The Cost of Medical Care

When uninsured people end up in the hospital, “sticker shock” can follow. Just a quick look at the current prices for medical procedures can be sobering.

How much does a CT scan cost? Between $300-$6,750, depending on where it is performed. Need a stent in your heart? The cost of that delicate procedure can cost between $11,000-$41,000. How about a knee replacement? The total cost adds up to an average of $37,300.1,2,3

Are these the only costs associated with a hospital or outpatient visit? Not quite. Think of the cost of the room, the medications, the anesthesia. Fortunately, many Americans have health coverage, so they only have to pay a fraction of the expenses linked to these and other procedures. Those without health coverage may find themselves in financial pain.

These days, you may take a big financial risk if you go without health insurance. Just one accident, one surprise trip to the hospital, and you may be left with a debt rivaling an auto loan.

If you need to pay for your own health coverage, the cost may be well worth it. Imagining that you can go without it for the next five or ten years may not be realistic, even if you are a millennial, or a member of Generation Z just leaving college. You might have a five-figure debt already; could you handle another one, perhaps with little or no warning?

Just how much does it cost to self-insure? Well, here is one estimate. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a hypothetical 40-year-old non-smoker making $30,000 per year is projected to pay an average of $452 per month for a benchmark health insurance plan for 2021. That works out to $5,424 for a year. The KFF reports, though, that the monthly cost could fall to as little as $149 with the help of a premium subsidy via federal or state government. This year, the mean monthly cost of a Silver plan after a premium subsidy is $195.4

Here is another projection. Looking at the 38 states in which residents buy coverage through Healthcare.gov, Investopedia calculates the average monthly cost of a benchmark plan at $413 for a hypothetical healthy 27-year-old, a price which could be lowered with subsidies applied.5

You can choose to put off paying a few thousand dollars a year for health insurance, but in doing so, you are also choosing to assume a great financial risk. A major medical procedure can cost as much as a new car, or a college education.

Keep in mind this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not a replacement for real-life advice so make sure to consult your financial or healthcare professional before modifying your insurance strategy.
If you are uninsured, take some time to look at your choices with someone who knows the insurance market. Do it today, as you never know what tomorrow could bring.

1. NewChoiceHealth.com, April 5, 2021
2. CostHelper.com, April 5, 2021
3. HealthGrades.com, September 9, 2020
4. HealthMarkets.com, April 5, 2021
5. Investopedia, March 13, 2021

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2021 FMG Suite.

Buying Auto Insurance For Teen Drivers

Driving may be a rite of passage for teenagers, but for parents, having a teenage driver can be stressful and expensive. Your child will need auto insurance coverage as soon as they receive their driver’s license. Here are some important considerations.

Determine Whether to Add Your Child to Your Policy or Purchase a Separate Policy

  • Check with your insurer to see how your premiums may be affected. Expect that they could rise dramatically; however, savings may be found through multi-vehicle and good student discounts.
  • If your child is driving an “old beater” that doesn’t require comprehensive or collision coverage, a separate policy, in limited instances, may save you money.
  • Discuss your options with your insurance agent.

Consider Your Teen Driver’s Coverage Choices

  • Most personal auto policies won’t cover a driver transporting goods or services in exchange for a wage. So, if your teen is planning on becoming a pizza delivery driver, for example, contact your insurance agent to determine if additional coverage is needed.

Find Ways to Save Money

  • Consider vehicles with high safety ratings over sportier, more-expensive cars.
  • Think about raising your policy’s deductibles.
  • Reassess your need for collision or comprehensive coverage.
  • Ask about “occasional” or “pleasure only” discounts, which may apply to children away at school.
  • Explore usage-based insurance, which involves installing a device in the vehicle that monitors driving behavior and rewards good driving. It’s also a way to keep tabs on your teen’s driving.
  • Have your teen complete a driver’s education course.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2021 FMG Suite.

Caring for Aging Parents

Thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in modern medicine, the worldwide population over age 60 is growing. The United Nations estimates that by 2050 the number of people aged 60 and older will have more than doubled.¹ As our nation ages, many Americans are turning their attention to caring for aging parents.

For many people, one of the most difficult conversations to have involves talking with an aging parent about extended medical care. The shifting of roles can be challenging, and emotions often prevent important information from being exchanged and critical decisions from being made.

When talking to a parent about future care, it’s best to have a strategy for structuring the conversation. Here are some key concepts to consider.

Cover the Basics

Knowing ahead of time what information you need to find out may help keep the conversation on track. Here is a checklist that can be a good starting point:

  • Primary physician
  • Specialists
  • Medications and supplements
  • Allergies to medication

It is also important to know the location of medical and estate management paperwork, including:

  • Medicare card
  • Insurance information
  • Durable power of attorney for healthcare²
  • Will, living will, trusts and other documents²

Be Thorough

Remember that if you can collect all the critical information, you may be able to save your family time and avoid future emotional discussions. While checklists and scripts may help prepare you, remember that this conversation could signal a major change in your parent’s life. The transition from provider to dependent can be difficult for any parent and has the potential to unearth old issues. Be prepared for emotions and the unexpected. Be kind, but do your best to get all the information you need.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

This conversation is probably not the only one you will have with your parent about their future healthcare needs. It may be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue. Consider involving other siblings in the discussions. Often one sibling takes a lead role when caring for parents, but all family members should be honest about their feelings, situations, and needs.

Fast Fact: The state with the oldest population is Florida, with 19.06% of its population over the age of 65. Maine is second, with 18.24%. 
Source: WorldAtlas.com, March 8, 2018

Don’t Procrastinate

The earlier you can begin to communicate about important issues, the more likely you will be to have all the information you need when a crisis arises. How will you know when a parent needs your help? Look for indicators like fluctuations in weight, failure to take medication, new health concerns, and diminished social interaction. These can all be warning signs that additional care may soon become necessary. Don’t avoid the topic of care just because you are uncomfortable. Chances are that waiting will only make you more so.

Remember, whatever your relationship with your parent has been, this new phase of life will present challenges for both parties. By treating your parent with love and respect—and taking the necessary steps toward open communication—you will be able to provide the help needed during this new phase of life.

  1. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2017
  2. Note: Power of attorney laws can vary from state to state. An estate strategy that includes trusts may involve a complex web of tax rules and regulations. Consider working with a knowledgeable estate management professional before implementing such strategies.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2021 FMG Suite.

How does umbrella insurance protect someone in Michigan?

Liability risk is something that people all over the Williamston, MI area need to take seriously. Even people that are careful and diligent run the risk of causing an accident that could lead to a loss. To ensure you are protected against the risk of liability, having insurance is very important. One form of coverage to consider getting is umbrella insurance. This insurance can protect someone here in many ways. 

Protects Against Wider Range of Risks

One of the ways you can be protected with an umbrella insurance plan is that it can protect against a wider range of risks. There are a lot of risks that someone faces that could result in a liability claim. Many of these may not be covered by other insurance plans. With an umbrella plan, you are going to have broad protection that could cover virtually any liability risk.

Protects Against Significant Claims

You should also consider an umbrella insurance plan to protect against more significant claims. If you are a vehicle or property owner, you likely already have insurance plans that offer some liability protection. However, there is a chance that a claim could exceed your policy. If this occurs, the umbrella insurance plan will offer the protection needed to cover claims that are in excess of your other plans. 

If you want to get an umbrella insurance plan when you are in the Williamston, MI area, it would be wise to speak with someone that understands this type of coverage. As there are a lot of options to consider, it would be wise to call the CG Insurance Agency. As you speak with the CG Insurance Agency, you can receive the support that is needed to choose a plan that will properly protect your organization. 

Can Group, Private Disability Policies Work Together?

According to the Social Security Administration, a 20-year-old has a 25% chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age.1

Loss of income for such a duration has the potential to cause significant financial hardship. And while Social Security Disability Insurance may help, it’s critical to understand that about two-thirds of initial applications are denied and the average SSDI payment is only $1,259 a month.2,3

Disability coverage may be available through your employer, who may pay all or a portion of the cost for your coverage.

Employer plans typically pay up to 50% of your income. This limited coverage might not be enough to meet your bills, which is why you may want to supplement employer-based coverage with a personal policy. Supplemental policies may be purchased to cover up to about 70% of your income.4

Taxation of Disability Benefits

When you purchase a personal disability policy, the benefit payments are structured to be income tax-free. Consequently, you may not be eligible for coverage that equals your current salary since your take home pay is always less.

If your employer paid for your coverage, then the income you receive generally will be taxable. If you paid for a portion of the employer-provided coverage, then the pro rata amount of the benefits you receive are structured to be tax-free.

Choices, Choices, Choices

Consider the waiting period before disability payments begin. A longer waiting period saves you money, but it also means that you may have to live off your savings for a longer period. You are the best judge of how much of this risk you are comfortable assuming.

You also may want to coordinate the waiting period with any short-term disability benefits you could have. For example, if your short-term disability covers you for 90 days, look to have at least a 90-day waiting period so that you can potentially lower the cost on the long-term policy.

Ask how a policy defines an inability to work. Some policies will say “the inability to do any job or task;” others will say “own occupation.” You may prefer the latter definition so you’re not forced to perform some less-skilled, lower-paid work. That type of work may not help you meet your bills.

1. Social Security Administration, 2021
2. Disability-Benefits-Help.org, 2021
3. Investopedia.com, 2020
4. Investopedia.com, 2021

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2021 FMG Suite.