Having a baby has given you a new perspective on life — including your finances. Suddenly, you’re not just worried about making it until the next paycheck. Instead, you’re thinking about things like how you can set your child up for the brightest future possible and how to care for your family if something happens to you.

Revisiting your financial plan during major life changes is always a smart move, and there’s no doubt that starting a family is a big change. Instead of just worrying about your finances, take these actions to set your family’s future up for success.

 

For all your insurance needs, contact Rhoads Insurance. Visit our site for quotes!

 

Enroll Your Baby in Health Insurance

Signing your child up for health insurance is one of the first financial matters to take care of after having a baby. Depending on your insurance provider, you’ll have 30 to 60 days to enroll your child in health coverage. You can enroll your child in an existing policy, change policies, or enroll in CHIP or Medicaid if you qualify.

 

Buy a Life Insurance Policy

Health insurance isn’t the only policy you need. Life insurance becomes important after you have kids because most couples couldn’t cover the costs of living including childcare on a single income. Life insurance keeps your family afloat if the worst happens, and buying it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can compare quotes online before talking with an agent, and if you want, you can even get a policy that skips the medical exam; neither simplified issue nor guaranteed issue life insurance policies require medical exams. However, if you’re in good health, you’ll probably save money with a medically underwritten policy.

 

Update Your Beneficiaries

As you get life insurance in order, think about the other accounts and policies you have. Have you updated beneficiaries since starting a family, or do you still have exes or your parents named on accounts? Update retirement accounts, insurance policies, and wills so they name your spouse or a trust as the beneficiary.

 

Upsize Your Emergency Fund

Insurance protects against big emergencies, but what about the little mishaps that throw a wrench in your finances? Whether it’s a broken-down car or a sick child keeping you out of work, it’s important to have a financial cushion for weathering all of life’s little emergencies. If you normally keep a three-month emergency fund, bump it up to six months now that you have a family. And if you don’t have an emergency fund at all, now is the time to start one!

 

Start an Educational Savings Account

It may feel strange thinking about college when your child is still a newborn, but it’s never too soon to start saving for your child’s future. Plus, education savings accounts aren’t only for college expenses. Depending on the type of account, you can use your savings for education expenses spanning from elementary school through college.

 

Make Sure Your Business Stays in Order

New parents who also run a business need to make sure they keep a close eye on operations, as time marches on regardless. For example, if you haven’t yet registered your business as an LLC, take some time to do so, as this will help protect your personal finances from your business’s finances in the event that something goes wrong. You can simplify the registration process by using a formation service like Zenbusiness.

It’s also very important to make those quarterly tax payments on time; this can help you avoid trouble come tax time, as the last thing you want is to stare down a larger-than-expected tax bill. Last but not least, devote some time every day to your business’s finances, which will help keep you abreast of what’s happening and what needs to be addressed.

 

Bonus: Plan for Charitable Giving

It’s not in the budget for every family, but if it is for yours, consider making charitable giving part of your family’s financial plan. Charitable giving is a wonderful way to help less privileged families and sets a great example for your children as well. Whether you give money or give time, your contributions make a big impact on the missions you serve.

It takes more than money to raise great kids, but that doesn’t mean finances aren’t important when starting a family. The steps you take today will impact your family’s financial well-being for years to come, so make sure you’re putting financial security at the top of your to-do list. When you make these financial moves a priority, you create a bright future for your growing family.

 

Image via Unsplash

What Insurance Is

What I’ve seen over and over is that most consumers don’t actually understand what Insurance is. They think you do it to get something. And that’s not completely true. You purchase Insurance in order to transfer risk.

Health Insurance, in particular, is confusing. Because there, you also want a program for non-emergency expenses. In order to (also) cover the risk on those more expected expenses, in addition to catastrophic losses, Health Insurance companies use Cost-Sharing mechanisms, like deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

Listen to my on the Struggling To Success Podcast for more!

One of the things that the Rhoads Agency is best at is helping people to qualify for federal money (that tax credit subsidy). When you’re buying health insurance, that difference is dramatic.

How much subsidy you qualify for is derived from the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) chart. To qualify for a subsidy, your household’s income must be at least 100% or above the FPL, but not above 400% FPL. The two biggest factors for calculating where you fall on the FPL are your income, and your household size. Listen to Dan’s new podcast, Struggling to Success, here:

Secondary Health Insurance

Medical costs can add up quickly. A secondary health insurance policy can pay cash benefits for hospital and doctor expenses.

Many Americans with employer benefits understand that having a second healthcare plan to assist with routine healthcare expenses is a smart decision. They know it as a Health Savings Accounts, or HSA. They make out-of-pocket expenses more managable and spending more predictible. And they are a smart way to deal with rising deductibles.

 

Personal Experience

This is Dan Rhoads here, your agent. I am a huge fan of supplementing a high deductible health plan with secondary coverage. As a strategy, it has worked for corporate employees and Medicare recipients for years. I believe that if more people took advantage of these options when they were young and still healthy, then there would be fewer Americans in dire healthcare situations.

That is why I am so passionate about secondary health insurance plans. I’m asking you to let me run comparisons for you. Let me compare a low deductible health plan, against a high deductible health plan and a secondary coverage option. I guarantee you’ll save money.

I have been offering this kind of combo plan for 2 years now. Click on the PDF image to see an example proposal.

UHC Combo Plan

 

Common benefits of Secondary Health Insurance

  • No network limitations.

You can go to any licensed doctor, hospital, or outpatient facility that works with your primary health insurance. In other words, it’s flexible. And, it goes where you go.

  • No deductible or waiting period.

Secondary coverage provides cash for medical expenses that are not paid by your primary coverage. And, isn’t that what we all want in this era of rising deductibles and healthcare costs.

  • No coordination of benefits.

Benefits will not be reduced, regardless of how much of the medical bill your primary plan pays. You will receive any excess benefits by check and can use that cash any way you want.

  • Renewable coverage until age 65.

These insurance plans are medically underwritten. So, you have to be relatively healthy to qualify for this class of insurance. But these secondary health insurance plans will not be cancellable due to any pre-existing condition, once you are subscribed.

 

A Smart Combination of Insurance Benefits

Consider combining this kind of plan with a high deductible health plan, just as you would for an HSA. Frequently, we see clients save a few hundred dollars a month by taking a high deductible health plan together with a secondary health insurance plan, when compared to a low deductible health plan.

 

Learn More

Please visit our Health Insurance page, or click here to get quotes to learn more.

 

That’s right, I felt that it was time to start doing a quarterly agency newsletter to stay abreast of changes going on with how I do business. And it being the end of the year, annual enrollment periods are upon us for making changes to health insurance and Medicare.

 

The Direction of RhoadsLife

Since going independent in 2018, I had a vision of serving clients as a one-stop-shop for all kinds of insurance and financial services. And I’ve come along way as an agent down that path. Most notably, I added homeowners and auto insurance to my portfolio in February, and college funding and financial aid in March. And currently, I am embarking on becoming securities-licensed, which will allow me to provide clients with Mutual Funds, IRA’s, 529 college plans, and variable annuities, as well as the fixed index financial products that are already available through my agency.

The majority of my clients find me when seeking out health and dental insurance. That isn’t changing. What is changing is where I can help clients from there. And that direction is towards supporting individuals and families who are seeking to build financially and/or protect their assets.

Check back in early January for developments…

 

Pressing Questions & Other Matters

Q: What is happening to Obamacare?

The Affordable Care Act does have its vocal critics, and over the last 4 years there have been reports that ACA plans are under attack. That may be, but I want to reassure those who depend upon their ACA plans to cover their pre-existing conditions or maternity care, that those protections will not be yanked away from them in an instant, no matter what happens politically. If you are one of the many Americans who depend on those protections, please do not panic: your ACA plans will be just fine through 2021 and the foreseeable future.

Q: What about those who want private insurance?

I can help out with that, too. More affordable private insurance is available for those who need it in the form of Short-Term Medical (STM) plans. STM’s serve their purpose well. The caveat is still the fact that these plans are not guaranteed renewable every year. So I recommend to those that want private insurance to talk to me about guaranteed renewable supplemental insurance that can be combined with a STM plan.

Q: Can you get Medicare plans with RhoadsLife?

Yes. Please submit a request for information on my MEDICARE page. Be prepared with your primary care physician’s name, your preferred pharmacy location, and a list of prescriptions you take including drug name, formulation, dosage, and frequency of use. I can compare all of the Medicare plans out there to offer you the best for your needs.

American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, so it’s a great time to have a conversation with me about your health insurance. Did you know that cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of medical bankruptcy due to inadequate health insurance (reference)?

Help protect yourself and your family by contacting me about health insurance and critical illness insurance, so you’re covered.

Speak with your doctor about signs that lead to early detection, recognizing the symptoms, and getting regular screenings.

And, be heart healthy!

Would you appreciate the stability of having the same health insurance plan for up to three years? Do you want coverage for preventive care, office visits and prescriptions but need a more affordable option than what has been available up to this point?

There have been some exciting developments in the past year when it comes to private health insurance plans. Insurance companies continue to offer low-cost health plans that cover only the Essentials – injuries, illnesses, and sickness – but the loosening of restrictions has helped matters. Insurers have responded by offering benefits, calling these new plans Enhanced.

How, exactly, are they enhanced? Insurers now have plans that offer:

  • More copay benefits.
  • Greater preventive care benefits.
  • Tiered prescription benefits.
  • Guaranteed renewal for up to 3 years instead of 1.

*Enhanced plans are not available in all states.

**Enhanced plans are being offered by Golden Rule (United Healthcare PPO) and National General (Aetna & Cigna PPOs).

Call the Rhoads Insurance Agency today to learn more.

The HealthiestYou telehealth app from Teladoc® has always offered individuals and families access to 24/7 virtual care from a nationwide network of doctors – all for the cost of a small monthly membership fee. Beginning October 1, 2019, for an additional per-use charge, that access will extend to Behavioral Health Care and Dermatology Services.

NEW! Behavioral Health Care – Your clients can receive support for anxiety, depression, eating disorders, family problems, and other issues. Care from a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist is available by phone or video 7 days a week.

NEW! Dermatology Services – Your clients can share photos of their skin condition or infection with a board-certified dermatologist and receive a diagnosis and treatment plan within two business days (typically within 8 hours).2 Free follow-up is included for a week after the session.

Included with Membership – Your clients will still have access to doctors ready to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication for many of the most common ailments, right over the phone. They can use the app to find a doctor, dentist or other provider in their area, and comparison shop to get the best price on a procedure or prescription.

HealthiestYou can be a great add-on to insurance products! Call us today to add coverage.

Many Americans could not afford an unexpected $1,000+ medical bill, and deductibles are often even higher than that. So just imagine needing $10,000 a month for chemo, or needing open heart surgery! That’s what happens if you’re diagnosed with cancer, heart attack, or other critical illness. You may need help with your deductible.

A critical illness (CI) insurance policy can fill that gap in coverage and keep you afloat. CI pays you a lump sum that you can use however you like – to pay what your health insurance didn’t cover, or to pay household bills while you take time off work to recover.

 

Did you know that there are 2 ways to get CI coverage?

Stand-alone CI policies larger than $50,000 are not avaiable though. That would help with deductibles.

Another, better way to get CI benefits is to get life insurance with living benefits. Living benefits bundles critical illness benefits together with chronic and terminal illness benefits, into a life insurance policy. This isn’t available with all life insurance policies, so talk to your agent about it.

With this type of policy, you can convert 75-95% of your life insurance’s death benefit into something you can receive while you’re still living.

If you need life insurance, this is a much more economical way to plan your benefits. Call us to learn more.

Trends in Group Coverage

Many people I speak with still hold employer-provided Group plans as the best kind of health insurance. Trends in group coverage actually suggest otherwise. This point of view is expressed in an article on the Harvard Business Review recently:

As a result of these trends, employers have shifted costs to employees; one common example is the implementation of high-deductible insurance plans, which increase consumers’ out-of-pocket costs. High costs can hurt employees in other ways, too: there’s evidence that as employer-provided health costs rise, employers are constrained in their ability to increase wages.

Consumers will see with their employer-provided insurance plans, all things being equal, that deductibles will rise, and they will have to pay more out-of-pocket for healthcare. I’m not about to suggest you turn down your employee health insurance plan though. Your employer is paying for most of it. But it will cover less in the future.

What to do then, if you’re in this situation? I’d suggest you get a hospital and doctor plan to go with your employer coverage. That could help pay all or part for doctor and outpatient healthcare expenses, before your deductible is met. That would be the best way to manage your healthcare costs.

Talk to me today and I’ll explain how we could help.

Dan Rhoads