Health Insurance for individuals and families is becoming more popular as the cost of group health insurance increases. Some smaller employers are eliminating their group plans and offering individual coverage to their employees. This may not be an option for everyone, however, because most individual plans are underwritten and have a 12 month pre-existing exclusion.
As an independent agency, The Hatcher Agency can provide insurance plans from numerous health insurance companies. With the health insurance market changing frequently, we are always on the lookout for quality, service-oriented insurance companies for our clients.
The Hatcher Agency works with several different carriers to provide options regarding health insurance. Our main carriers are Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mercy Health, United Healthcare, and Assurant Health.
Vision Care Insurance is an important coverage for many people. Perhaps that's because about 60% of us wear some form of corrective eyewear. The cost of a vision plan is $11 per month for single coverage. The plan is designed with a small copay for the exam itself and a copay for the frames. It also allows you to purchase other materials (lenses, contacts) at Wholesale costs. With low out of pocket costs, it is a plan that most people can easily appreciate.
Dental Insurance is available to individuals and families that are not covered on group dental insurance. For people without dental insurance, cost often stands in the way of getting the care they need to maintain the health of their teeth and gums. Even for routine preventive care, a trip to the dentist's office could mean a substantial amount of money out of your pocket.
A freedom-of-choice plan allows you to see any dentist you wish. However, this plan does impose 6- to 12-month waiting periods for some services. This is not the best plan for an individual who needs comprehensive coverage within the first 12 months. However, if dental coverage is desired for a long period of time, and there is no rush to receive the major benefits, this plan may work for you.
Life Insurance is something that everyone needs, but no one likes to talk about. Life Insurance is the foundation of financial security for you and your family. It protects your financial resources against the uncertainties of life so you can plan for the future.
Why do I need life insurance?
The main purpose of life insurance is to provide cash to your family after you die. The money your dependents will receive (the "death benefit") is an important financial resource: It can help pay the mortgage, run the household, and ensure that your dependents aren't burdened with debt. The proceeds from a life insurance policy could mean that they won't have to sell assets to pay outstanding bills or taxes. What's more, there is no federal income tax on life insurance benefits.
Where do I Begin?
Start by evaluating your family's needs. Gather all your personal financial information and estimate what your family will need after you're gone. Include ongoing expenses (such as day care, tuition or retirement) and immediate expenses at the time of death (like medical bills, burial costs, and estate taxes). Your family also may need funds to help them readjust... perhaps to finance a move, or pay expenses while job hunting. Remember, life insurance provides financial protection. If protection is not your primary goal, you should consider other financial products.
How much life insurance will I need to purchase?
While there's no substitute for evaluating needs, one rule of thumb is to buy life insurance equal to five to seven times your annual gross income.
What are the different types of life insurance?
There are many kinds of insurance, but they generally fall into two categories: term insurance and permanent insurance.
What is term insurance?
Term insurance provides protection for a specific period of time. It pays a benefit only if you die during the term. Some term insurance policies can be renewed when you reach the end of the term -- which can be from one to 30 years. The premium rates increase at each renewal date. Many policies require that you present evidence of insurability at renewal to qualify for the new term.
What is permanent insurance?
Permanent insurance provides lifelong protection. As long as you pay the premiums, the death benefit will be paid. These policies are designed and priced for you to keep over a long period of time. If you don't intend to keep the policy for the long term, this may be the wrong type of insurance for you.
Travel Insurance is a specialized accidental death policy designed for business people who travel frequently. Benefits are paid when a covered employee suffers death or a severe injury while traveling on business in a foreign country. Travel Insurance covers losses that many other life insurance policies exclude - such as terrorism and acts of war. This benefit helps employers manage risk.
After the events of September 11th, many employers are reconsidering benefits for their traveling employees. Travel insurance requires no medical underwriting, and issuing a policy is extremely simple. Many plans also include a travel assistance benefit to give employees a resource when they are traveling far away from home.
Our coverage through GeoBlue offers two different plans with several options:
-Short Term Plans
Plans covering trips up to 180 days for vacation, business or missionary travel.
-Long Term Plans
Expatriate health insurance for global living. Comprehensive, portable benefits with an unlimited maximum.
Our Atlas Travel insurance plans offer protection while you travel outside of your home country with benefits like emergency medical evacuation, hospital and ambulance coverage, acute onset of pre-existing conditions coverage, and more.
When studying abroad, students need to protect themselves from the unexpected – accidents, illnesses, and theft can occur anywhere. Students traveling abroad need international student health insurance to pay for medical bills and other expenses that can occur. Having a good international student insurance plan can provide a student with the protection they need to avoid large financial losses.
Our StudentSecure international student health insurance plan is for those students and scholars who are studying abroad. This comprehensive plan even includes coverage for spouses and dependent children.
Individual Long Term Care
Long Term Care Insurance has been available for many years, but has only recently come to the forefront of insurance discussion. While early Long Term Care policies were similar to a basic medicare supplement policy, today's coverage includes a broad range of services including nursing home care, assisted living facilities, home care, and adult day care. Like any insurance product, Long Term Care insurance allows the insured to pay an affordable premium to protect an unaffordable catastrophic event.
What is Long Term Care (LTC)?
Long Term Care includes a wide range of medical and support services for people with a degenerative condition (e.g. Parkinson's, stroke, etc.), a prolonged illness (cancer) or cognitive disorder (Alzheimer's). However, Long Term Care is not always medical care but is sometimes "custodial care." Custodial care is providing assistance with activities of daily living or supervising someone who is cognitively impaired.
To better understand Long Term Care, think of the activities that you performed when you woke up this morning. You probably:
Climbed out of bed
Walked to the bathroom
Used the toilet
Used the bath or shower
All of the above are Activities of Daily Living (ADL's). However, when you or a loved one is stricken with a degenerative condition such as a stroke or Alzheimer's, performing these ADL's becomes impossible without the assistance of another person.
This type of assistance is known as Long Term Care. It is the same type of care that a parent must provide for a new baby. This type of care can be very expensive because it is often around-the-clock care. Long Term Care can be provided in many settings: nursing homes, your own home, assisted living facilities and adult day care.
Why is there a need for Long Term Care?
Basically people are living longer. Due to advances in modern medicine and life-style changes, the number of people over the age of 65 is expected to double by the year 2050. The 80-plus segment represents the fastest growing segment of the population.
As Americans take care of themselves through a healthy diet and exercise, they are increasing their lifespan. Unfortunately, as people age, they are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses such as strokes or Alzheimer's. Statistically, Americans over the age of 65 face a 40% risk of entering a nursing home for Long Term Care services.
Another reason for the recent public focus on Long Term Care is the change in the American family. In the past, elderly parents depended upon their children to care for them as they aged. Family members lived close by or even in the same household.
Today, more women are in the work force, children are moving away from their parents, and divorce rates are increasing. All of these factors make it harder for families to meet the needs of their aging parents. Because of these changes, the elderly often rely on professional assistance, which comes at a cost.
Individual Disability Income Protection
Individual Disability Income Protection is a must for a business owner, and highly recommended for executives. If you are a business owner, you should consider purchasing both group and individual policies, if possible. As an executive, you should be sure to obtain group coverage if it is available. Only fourty three percent of large companies provide group long term disability insurance. Your chances are even less likely to get long term disability insurance if you work for a small company. The cost of a plan provided by your employer is usually less than you would pay for an individual disability policy and often you can get coverage automatically without having to qualify medically. If your employer doesn't provide disability insurance then you may want to consider an individual disability policy.
Or, you may need a personal disability insurance policy to supplement an employer group plan. Be sure to check the group provisions carefully: How long does the group disability insurance coverage last? How much is the benefit? Does the disability insurance policy cover bonus and commission income? Will the coverage continue if you leave that employer?
A typical Individual Disability Income Protection plan starts to pay benefits after you have been off work for 1 to 6 months, and pays benefits for several years or until retirement age, depending on the policy.
Cancer Insurance is a benefit that few individuals think of when searching for benefits. With Cancer listed as the #2 cause of death among all Americans, a supplemental policy to help cover the expenses is important. A Cancer Insurance Policy is very affordable for most individuals. Also, the benefits are paid directly to the patient and are paid in addition to benefits paid by medical insurance or disability plans.
If you purchase a cancer policy as an individual, you will be able to keep it regardless of where you are employed. With benefits like these, you can't afford NOT to have a cancer policy.
Annuities can be a good way to make sure you have income during retirement. What is an annuity? It is a contract between an individual ("annuitant") and an insurance company whereby the insurance company agrees to make periodic payments to the annuitant. In essence, the annuitant gives the insurance company a specific amount of money and the insurance company agrees to make payments for a specific amount of time -- even for the rest of his life and the life of his beneficiary.
Annuities, sometimes called "upside-down life insurance," can be good for people who don't have a pension plan at work. In exchange for giving all your money to the insurance company, they promise to pay you a certain amount (either fixed or tied to investment performance) for as long as you live. Sometimes, however, the amount they pay you is small. The very small payoff from annuitizing is the reason that few people choose them. If you're considering an annuity, look at whether the cost of the insurance coverage is justified for the benefits that are paid. Annuities can benefit some individuals, but a majority of people will find better investment/return vehicles.
Short Term Medical and Travel Insurance
Short Term Medical is used to fill a short term need for medical insurance. Occasionally an employee will need medical insurance to cover him between jobs. Short Term Medical is an inexpensive way to provide major medical benefits to protect against accidents or major illnesses that are not pre-existing. The benefit designs are basic, no-frills plans with little or no office or prescription co-pays. They are designed strictly to cover large claims that may occur during a lapse in other coverage.
Identity Theft Coverage
The Hatcher Agency can offer Identity Theft Coverage on a voluntary basis or an employer paid basis for employees. More than 250 million Americans have had data lost in the last three years. Individuals are 25 times more likely to have their identity stolen than to have their car stolen and 40 times more likely to have their identity stolen than their home broken into!
The Hatcher Agency works with Life Lock and with Credit Guard to help protect individuals. Identity Theft coverage can help remove you from junk mail lists and pre-approved credit offers, they can put 2 of your phone numbers on the "Do Not Call List", can help members who have lost their wallets or have had them stolen, can help protect children's identities that are stolen; which now is the fastest growing form of identity theft. All with a $1,000,000 service guarantee.