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February 10, 2019

Navigating the Complexity of Insurance

Navigating the Complexity of Insurance

What does insurance do?

That’s a pretty open-ended question, since there are so many different types of insurance people choose or are required to purchase these days. From major medical to life to supplemental health, navigating the insurance field can be intimidating. Here’s a crash course.

Health Insurance

To help pay for the cost of medical care, most people have health insurance. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2017, 67.2 percent of people with health insurance had private coverage, while 37.7 percent had government coverage. “Of the subtypes of health insurance coverage, employer-based insurance was the most common, covering 56.0 percent of the population for some or all of the calendar year”1. If you do not have health insurance through your employer and would like to know about plans you can purchase, you can visit healthcare.gov.

Life Insurance

Life insurance can help ease the financial burden death leaves behind. If you purchase a life insurance policy, you potentially pay premiums for the duration of the policy and, if you die while the policy is effective, the policy will give a cash payout to your beneficiary (the person you designate to receive a cash benefit upon your death).

Life insurance can help ease the financial burden death leaves behind. If you purchase a life insurance policy, you potentially pay premiums for the duration of the policy and, if you die while the policy is effective, the policy will give a cash payout to your beneficiary (the person you designate to receive a cash benefit upon your death).

Life insurance has several different subtypes, but generally is available as whole life or term life. Whole life insurance provides financial protection for your beneficiary and it lasts your whole life (as long as premiums are paid, of course). It generally has a fixed premium and is more expensive than term life.

Term life insurance lasts for a specified amount of time. At the end of the term, if you wish to continue coverage, rates generally go up for the next term and you may have to re-qualify for the coverage.

According to nerdwallet.com, term life insurance is ideal if “your family’s need for life insurance will end around the time the term expires” – your kids will not be financially dependent on you, your mortgage will be paid, and you’ll have plenty of money in savings2. Nerdwallet.com recommends whole life if you’d like the payout to go to your heirs to pay estate taxes, if you have a lifelong dependent, or if you want to spend your retirement money and still be able to leave money for final/funeral expenses or an inheritance2.

Life insurance is something that virtually everyone needs. If you are the breadwinner, life insurance can help your family when they no longer have your income. It can be used to pay for things like final or funeral expenses, to pay the mortgage and other bills, or to pay for your children’s education.

It is also a good idea to insure a spouse who stays at home, since childcare, home care, and other costs may be incurred upon his or her death. Some parents also choose to buy life insurance for their children, because even though it’s a subject no one likes to talk about, the death of a child could result in a financial strain from medical bills and funeral costs.

It is also a good idea to insure a spouse who stays at home, since childcare, home care, and other costs may be incurred upon his or her death. Some parents also choose to buy life insurance for their children, because even though it’s a subject no one likes to talk about, the death of a child could result in a financial strain from medical bills and funeral costs.

Supplemental Health Insurance

Supplemental health insurance, like its name implies, is meant to supplement your existing health coverage. It can provide some more financial protection if you receive certain diagnoses, or if you have an accident.

There are some types of supplemental health insurance you’re probably familiar with, like dental or vision insurance. But there are also other types of supplemental health insurance, often offered through an employer or directly from an insurance company, such as accident, cancer, and critical illness insurance. These types of insurance provide some financial protection if you experience an accident or if you are diagnosed with cancer or a critical illness. Benefits can be paid to help cover medical costs or can come in the form of a cash payout.

According to thebalance.com, whether or not supplemental health insurance is right for you “depends on your risk factors and how much insurance you want, or what you want to be insured for.” An example of someone who might need this type of insurance would be “if you know that you could not afford the loss of income if you were diagnosed with cancer, or you had a family history of cancer, then cancer insurance may be a good investment for you to consider.

Health, life, and supplemental health insurance are only a few of the various types of insurance you may need in your life (others include home, renter’s, auto, and traveler’s), but they are important ones to consider when you’re figuring out your insurance needs.

If you have any questions about navigating insurance, contact your local insurance agency or go online and contact customer service of an insurance company of your choice.

  1. Census.gov - Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2017 - March 21, 2019

  2. NerdWallet.com - The Differences Between Term and Whole Life Insurance - March 21, 2019

Categories: Insurance, Life Insurance, Supplemental Health Insurance

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