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September 26 2012

brandonbeavers

How To Select a Group Benefits Advisor

As a human resources manager or an owner of a small business, one of the most important decisions you can make for your company is to select the right group benefits plan for your employees. Today, 52% of employees between the ages of 21 and 30 are worried about running out of money for retirement. About half of all employees count on their employers to provide group benefits. Progressive companies that provide group benefits also see positive effects on employee retention and productivity. Seventy percent (70%) of employees that are satisfied with their company’s group benefits plan report that they are also satisfied with their job, compared to only 23% of employees that are not satisfied with their benefits plan. In addition, almost 60% of these satisfied employees believe they will continue working for the same company in the coming year.

With so much importance placed on a quality group benefits plan, how do you ensure you are selecting the right group benefits advisor to help navigate through the selection and implementation process? We have put together some key attributes to look for in a benefits consultant to ensure a successful outcome.

Objectivity

A group benefits consultant should be independent of a particular insurance or financial services company. Having an independent insurance agent or financial advisor that is not driven to sell one product line gives your company the ability to review all the options in the marketplace. If your group benefits advisor works for a large insurance company, you will not be able to see competitor’s options.

Transparency

A group benefits advisor should be up front with the fees and expenses associated with the recommended plans, including all administrative, recordkeeping and investment expenses. For health insurance, the commissions are set by the insurance company and range from 8% to 20%. For 401(k) administration, the average fees are 1.30% of total assets under management for small company plans and 1.08% of total assets under management for large company plans.

Comprehensive Offering

A group benefits administrator should have a comprehensive product offering to meet all of your company’s needs. If you administrator is primarily a financial services firm and not a licensed Individual life insurance broker, you could be facing significant administrative challenges each pay period. If your group benefits administrator primarily sells , but cannot handle payroll deduction, then your total expenses could increase by hiring a third party payroll administrator.

Industry Credentials

A group benefits consultant should have industry credentials and references in addition to the licenses required by law. Seek out consultants that are members of industry organizations, such as the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) or the Better Business Bureau. Do not hesitate to request references prior to discussing your company’s needs with the advisor. Your advisor should be able to provide one or two references to contact and discuss other benefits implementations, even if they cannot disclose company names or plan details due to confidentiality.

Knowledge of PPACA

A group benefits advisor should have a thorough knowledge of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010. Many provisions of this law have already gone into effect and almost all provisions will be in effect by 2014. Your advisor should be knowledgable of the requirements under the law based on your company size and the tax implications for your business in the short and long term.

Selecting the right group benefits advisor is an important step in securing a company’s future. For additional reading, including statistics and organizations mentioned above, see the bullet list below:

MetLife 10th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends: https://www.metlife.com/assets/institutional/services/insights-and-tools/ebts/ml-10-Annual-EBTS.pdf

401(k) Averages Book, 12th Edition: www.401ksource.com

Society of Human Resource Managers: www.shrm.org

PeopleSurance™ Resources for Employers

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To know more about Online life insurance quote and to gain some insightful knowledge on Term life insurance online then do visit our website : peoplesurance.com

This article has been taken from : http://www.ideamarketers.com/?articleid=3597236&CFID=245497918&CFTOKEN=20965814

September 22 2012

brandonbeavers

Term Life Insurance Rates Rise

After more than a decade of decline, term life insurance rates have changed course, increasing in 2012. Previously, we wrote about term life insurance and how it differs from various forms of permanent life insurance, such as universal life or a variable life annuity. In our continuing series on life insurance, we are exploring the trends and trade off’s between historically, ever –decreasing term life rates and recent changes causing this reversal.

To begin, rates have been decreasing since the mid-1990’s largely due to one reason – the internet. Authors Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner devoted a chapter in the book Freakonomics to the topic of information availability and its correlation to price. The internet made it easy, for the first time, to compare term life insurance rates from hundreds of different policies in the comfort of one’s home. This increased competition caused term life rates to drop by 70% from the mid-1990’s.

In addition to increased competition and information availability online, two other factors drove down prices, according to Bankrate.com. First, life expectancy has increased, thanks to improvements in medical treatment. Secondly, the stock market saw tremendous increases from 1990 through 2000, allowing insurance companies to reinvest premium dollars has higher rates of return. These greater returns have been eroded with the stock market crash and subsequent recessionary period over the past four years.

The above factors have seemed to run their course and 2012 shows to be a tipping point for term life insurance rates, with several companies initiating 5% to 10% increases this year. While term life rates will likely start trending along with financial market performance, prevailing interest rates, and inflation, there are some key underlying trends that are much more drastic than overall average rate trends.

The primary drivers of term life insurance rates are an individual’s age and physical condition. Compare, for example, a 37 year old, non-nicotine user in Virginia to a person just 3 years older at 40. For the same 10 year policy, our top 10 least cost policies at PeopleSurance range from $175 to $200 per year. For the 40 year old, our top 10 least cost policies range from $195 to $240. Using a percentage change for each of these two, otherwise identical individuals, the increase over three years is between 11% and 20%. If each of these individuals is seeking a 20 year policy, the differences increase to 27%.

While term life rates are projected to increase along with the rate of inflation between 4% and 6% over the long term, a person’s age will have a much more pronounced effect, causing increases of between 3% and 9% with each passing year. In addition to age – based premium adjustments, significant unforeseen changes in a person’s health could cause even greater increases. If you are currently in a preferred plus health status (which we will be discussing next week) and you discover you have high blood pressure in the next year, you could be paying a drastically increased premium rate by delaying.

For a free, no obligation quote from our universe of term Life insurance rates, click on PeopleSurance and begin your study on rates in your area. You can quickly compare the difference between hundreds of policies and dozens of providers. Our life insurance calculator can help you determine exactly how much term life insurance you should be shopping for based on your current financial situation. If you still have questions, call, email us, or live chat with one of our agents today. We can help make your complicated decisions easy.

To know more about Life insurance agent and to gain some insightful knowledge on Term life insurance quote then do visit our website : peoplesurance.com

This article has been taken from http://www.ideamarketers.com/?articleid=3587493&CFID=243079960&CFTOKEN=30939161

September 18 2012

brandonbeavers

Are You Getting A Health Insurance Rebate?

Health Insurance Rebates

Many health insurance policy holders may be surprised to hear that on August 1, 2012, they may be getting a check. For the first time ever, health insurance companies will be issuing rebate checks to policy holders because a provision in the new health care law known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or PPACA. This has not been widely publicized because, until the Supreme Court Decision last month, it was not clear whether companies would need to follow through or not.

The rebate is tied to an insurance concept called the Medical Loss Ratio or MLR. The MLR is the percentage of premiums paid to directly cover medical expenses of the insured. Historically, these ratios for health insurance range from 60% to 110%. The PPACA contains a provision requiring insurance companies to have a medical loss ratio of at least 80% for individual and small group health plans and at least 85% for large group health plans. This means that insurance companies cannot incur more than 15% to 20% in general administrative expenses plus profit. Any amount over these limits must be rebated to policyholders.

According to an April report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, there will be an estimated $1.3 billion in premiums paid back to policyholders. Of these numbers, $426 million will be paid to individual policyholders, $377 million will be paid to small businesses and $541 million will be paid to large businesses. The largest health premium rebates will go to policyholders in Texas, of $186 million, and Florida, with $149 million. Some of the highest rebates to individual consumers will be up to $305 in Alaska, followed by the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Idaho, and Mississippi. For a complete report by state, download a complete report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

For company plans, these rebates will be sent to the employer for processing. Depending on the plan contract, these rebates may be handled with a refund check or credited towards future premium payments. Since employers share the cost of group insurance plans, only part of the rebate will go to the employee, based on the percentage that employer pays of the total plan cost. For individual plans, the rebate will be issued to the policyholder. In some cases, these rebates may be treated as taxable income for the policyholder. If the rebate amount is less than $5, the insurance does not have to issue a check.

Trust PeopleSurance™ to keep you up to date with your health care reform questions and news. If you are in the market for a quality health insurance plan, try our no-obligation, Term life insurance quote today to see how much you could be saving on health insurance. Look for more news and updates on the PPACA as new provisions go into effect because, at PeopleSurance™, our goal is to make Insurance Simplified.

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To know more about Life insurance rates and to gain some insightful knowledge on Life insurance agent then do visit our website : peoplesurance.com

This article has been taken from : http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/article.cfm?articleid=3574438

September 07 2012

brandonbeavers

What Is Term Life Insurance?

Many of our readers may be asking about the different types of life insurance and, specifically, what is term life insurance and how is it different from other types of life insurance? Perhaps, a more important question: is term life insurance right for me? We are going to answer both of those questions in this article, but let’s start with what insurance is.

Life insurance is a contract between a policy holder and the insurance company. It is a mechanism to spread risk over a large pool of policy holders and pay a specified sum of money in the event of death or, in some cases, permanent disability or critical illness. The policy holder pays a premium, either all at once, or over a period of time, typically monthly or annually, and the contract remains in effect until its expiration.

There are two main types of life insurance. Protection policies, including term life insurance, offer a defined benefit, as mentioned above. Investment policies, such as whole life, universal life, or a variable life annuity, have the primary object of growing capital over a period of time with the added benefit of a defined benefit, again described above. So, the main question that a person should ask themselves is this: do I wish to create an investment or do I wish to have a defined benefit protection in the event something bad happens. If the desire is to create an investment, then whole life, universal life, or a variable life annuity is the policy of choice. However, consider further a few items first.

With whole life and universal life, the policy holder pays premiums into an account that accumulates cash value. The key difference is that, with whole life, the premiums typically increase as the policy holder ages compared to universal life in which the premium typically remains fixed, but the cash value of the policy is reduced by the amount of premiums to fund the death benefit. In both cases, the policy holder can often borrow against the insurance policy (much like a 401(k)), but borrowing against the cash value of the policy may also reduce the benefit. Variations of universal life are a variable life annuity or an equity indexed annuity which will be indexed to either prevailing interest rates or an equity market respectively. The largest potential challenge with all of these policies is to ensure that the cash value of the investment component is generating a rate of return as good as other potential investments for the same cost, which is not always the case. In many cases, these investment policies are used by older policy holders for estate planning.

With a term life insurance policy, the policy holder will pay a specified premium over a fixed term. Those terms are typically 10, 15, 20, and 30 year terms. At the end of the term, there is no cash value in the policy. The trade off is that, especially for younger persons, the premium is a fraction of the premiums for any type of investment insurance policy. So, if an individual’s desire is to secure a protection benefit at a reduced cost, then term life insurance quote is almost always the most economical choice, particularly for younger persons. The difference in premiums between an investment policy and a term life insurance policy can still be invested as that policy holder sees fit. To understand your particular situation, consult your financial advisor or a PeopleSurance® agent who can help you calculate the difference for your particular situation. To estimate the total amount of protection benefit you need, regardless of the type of policy, PeopleSurance® has a life insurance calculator that allows you to input your current financial status and uses current tax rates, college rates, and rates of inflation to provide an objective, personalized financial plan for you. PeopleSurance® has resources available at www.peoplesurance.com and our agents can be reached at any time via email, phone, or live chat to assist you in all your financial decisions.

To know more about Life insurance rates and to gain some insightful knowledge on Life insurance agent then do visit our website : peoplesurance.com

This article has been taken from : http://www.ideamarketers.com/?articleid=3547840&CFID=234499188&CFTOKEN=60819753
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