Getting The Right Amount of Life Insurance

Getting The Right Amount of Life Insurance

Life insurance is a valuable investment for your dependants or anyone you have chosen as a beneficiary. If you are a financial support to others, it is imperative you leave behind something when you are gone so that your they will be able to look after themselves in case your gone.

However, it can be a challenge to determine exactly how much life coverage you require to ensure that your loved ones are well taken care of.

A recent survey showed that, while 20% of Americans agree that life insurance should be included as a part of any sound financial planning, only 40% said they would know what to look for in buying a life insurance policy. The same survey indicated that 50% of Americans felt they were under-insured.

Experts recommend at least six times the annual gross income as a good place to start for determining how much life insurance you should obtain.

As you consider the varying options available, always keep in mind that buying life insurance is like buying any other consumer product – your goal is to get the best value for your money.

Before taking out life insurance, it’s smart to speak with an expert to ensure that you understand all the options that are available to you.

And, working with an independent insurance agency ensures you can receive several quotes without having to call several carriers directly. This will help you make an informed decision while getting insurance that is tailored to fit your situation.

Beyond the “six times annual gross income” rule, you need to understand your “life value”. This may sound like an absurd thing to consider, but it is important. After all, you want to be sure that the money you leave behind will take care of your family.

So, do you expect to be earning more in the future? If so, plan for that. Do you take care of things around the house that someone might have to otherwise pay for? Be sure to include that as well.

Likewise, if you have debts, be sure there’s enough insurance to cover those bills as well.

And if you have kids and need to ensure they can go to college, you have to plan for that too… college is expensive and its costs are accelerating.

By taking full stock of your current situation and the impact your death will have, you’ll develop a clear understanding of what your family will really need to survive.

With an effective financial planning process, you will approach purchasing life insurance with an unbiased perspective that will allow you to make a sound decision. (If your life circumstances change, be sure to talk with your live insurance professional right away. Things like buying a vacation home, having kids, or even getting a divorce can impact your life insurance needs.)

We understand that life insurance is a subject most folks try and avoid talking about, yet it is important. It is about protecting loved ones from uncertainty in difficult circumstances. Please reach out to us for resources on getting the most out of life insurance. We’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction and help you explore your options.

Americans Surprising Agreement on Inclusion of Mental Health Benefit in Insurance

Americans Surprising Agreement on Inclusion of Mental Health Benefit in Insurance

In the hot debate about healthcare in the U.S. there appears to be one common thread. Research shows that 77% of Americans from both sides of the political divide feel that insurance coverage should cater to psychological wellness.

The research results by the American Psychiatric Organization shows that 76% of Democrats and 81% of Republicans are of the opinion that health insurance should provide mental wellness protection.

The research further clarifies that over 50% of Americans would want psychological health coverage to be part and parcel of any health insurance law. This is irrespective of whether the insurance coverage is purchased on an individual level, or it is part of a federal statutory program like Medicaid and Medicare, or any other bought through a Health Care Exchange.

55% of Democrats and 51% of Republicans perceive that all forms of government provided insurance health coverage must take into account the issue of mental wellness. The findings noted that Boomers are more likely to support this line of thought than Millennials.

Further data indicates that 50% of the respondents were of the opinion that mental health insurance coverage is of extreme importance.

But with that stated, more than 25% of respondents indicated  they did not know the status of their own psychological health insurance coverage!

Once again, this number cut across all demographic groups of age, race, ethnicity, party affiliation and income brackets. However, over 50% of adult respondents indicated that they would know how to access mental health if they required it. It was noted that  50% of women surveyed versus 37% of men had high confidence that they knew how to access mental health care should the need arise.

The research caught the attention of APA Head Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., PhD. She contends that the poll offered crucial insight into the American understanding of the relevance of mental wellness. In her opinion, the poll results showed a strong bi-partisan support for psychological health insurance coverage. However, she voiced her concern about the unusually large percentage of people who indicated their lack of knowledge on the status of their mental wellness protection, and those who showed a lack of knowledge on the best ways to access mental health care benefits.

4 in every five American adults acknowledge the link between mental wellness and  total health. (The majority are clearly  concerned about their families’ general health.) However most individuals indicate a lack of trust in Washington policy makers to understand the importance of psychological health as a top priority. Indeed, 69% of the respondents were of the opinion that the policy makers did not prioritize mental wellness protection.

The APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin said, ‘We have actually made progress in the broadening of Psychological health protection.’ He added that the proposed American Health Care Act would eliminate insurance coverage from a large number in the general population, in addition to curtailing the Medicaid expansion that was established by the Affordable Care Act.

The research was conducted online by ORC International CARAVAN Omnibus Survey on behalf of the American Psychiatric Association. It was conducted countrywide with a survey pool drawn from 1,019 adults, between April 20th and April 23rd 2017. It has a +/-3.1% margin of error.

While there are differences of opinion on the best way to handle health care in the U.S., it is clear that mental wellness protection is important.

If you have questions about the current law (The Affordable Care Act) and the proposed changes offered by the American Health Care Act, please reach out to your health insurance specialist.

And for other questions about insurance topics that can impact your pocketbook, please explore our past articles. Please know that we’re committed to helping you get the most out of your insurance protection. And if you have any insurance related questions, please be sure to reach us.