Serious confused young couple checking bills, bank, loan documents with using laptop, large credit card bills, reading bad news, having debt financial problem conceptAs a busy crew member on a yacht, one of the most disturbing things to greet you upon returning from a long rotation is a medical bill demanding you owe thousands of dollars. Navigating the medical systems in the U.S. can not only be one of the most daunting endeavors, but also one of the most complicated. Which is right where we are waiting to step in!

Let the Experts Handle It

Frequently, we are contacted by crew members who have a bill in excess of $10,000 and are panicking because the letter is very threatening. Many times, they don’t even know where to begin to fix it. That is where we will step in and handle it for you wherever and whenever possible. Never pay a medical bill without contacting us to let us research it for you. It can often be as simple as a claim form needed to be completed. If you sought care inside the U.S, you will most likely receive multiple bills from a hospital visit, leaving you completely overwhelmed. It is not uncommon for this to happen in the U.S. and again, crew are ill-equipped and inexperienced to handle it.

Do Your Homework, and Keep Records

Utilizing your insurance to the best of your ability is our goal. Claim issues can often be avoided by just understanding your policy or taking the time and due diligence to pre-certify. We are available to review the policy with you and answer any questions you may have. It is also imperative one keeps copies of all the bills, receipts, charges, invoices, etc. from any doctor facility visits. In the event there is an unpaid claim, or it appears you owe a balance you already paid, you are able to validate.

It Happens More Than You Think

A recent case of a U.S. medical claim gone awry is with a shoulder surgery that a crew member had well over a year ago. They pre-certified as required, chose a network facility to minimize any out-of-pocket costs, and believed that the bills were all paid. Fifteen months later, they received bills from collection agencies threatening them. They reached out to us for assistance and luckily, we were able to find that the facility as well as the doctor had been paid and they never recorded it properly. We contacted the insurance carrier on behalf of the crew member, obtained copies of the payments, and dealt with the collection agencies. Once we provided them the proof they had been paid-in-full, the crew member was no longer under any legal responsibility for the bills.

As your insurance administrator, we are here to help you understand not only your benefits, but also to be the fixer when possible. We can work with the providers, the insurance carrier, as well as collection agencies, if it has gotten to that point, to avoid yourself from having to spend valuable free time on the phone trying to get a solution. At MHG, our commitment to service sets us apart from our competitors. We not only sell the policy; we never leave your side after the fact.  And if you happen to need medical assistance, we want you to know, you are not alone in this. Just reach out and let us help. If you are currently experiencing any issues with your Crew Insurance, have questions about your policy, are looking for a new policy please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com.

Navigating the medical systems in the U.S. can not only be one of the most daunting endeavors, but also one of the most complicated. Which is right where we are waiting to step in!

10 Safety Tips for Travelers

Casual young woman sitting, using her cell phone while waiting to board a plane at the airport terminal waiting room.Don’t be afraid to travel alone. Traveling can be one of life’s greatest, must fulfilling experiences. However, there are some precautions to consider, and preparation you can do to ensure a safe and successful trip.

1. Research

Researching the area that you will be traveling to. It can assist you in learning the local customs and other ways that can help you blend in. It is also important to research the area in order to get a grasp of how to find your way around, such as learning major roads, landmarks, etc.

2. Don’t Over-Drink

Drinking too much alcohol can slow your reaction time and dull your senses. This can cause you to have a lapse in judgment that can put you in a really compromising situation.

3. Dress like the Locals

Depending where you are traveling to, there may be customary wardrobes for people. It’s important to blend in, and not draw too much attention to yourself.

4. Don’t Wear Expensive Jewelry

Wearing a lot of jewelry can make you a target, especially in unfamiliar places.

5. Register with the U.S. Department of State

Registering with the U.S. Department of State is one of the easiest and quickest tasks you can complete to help keep you safe when traveling. It only takes minutes to fill out a form, and the department will contact you if there is any news relating to your destination.

6. Make Copies of All Important Documents

Make copies of all important documents such as passports, tickets, reservations, boarding passes, etc. Keep them in a safe place in case the originals are lost. Also, you can take pictures of them and keep digital copies in your email, or in an online storage like Google Drive. This will allow you access to them as long as you have access to a computer or mobile device.

7. Consider a Money Belt

Theft can happen anywhere, but the last place you want to be stolen from is when you are away from home. Look into getting a money belt to carry cash in. If someone steals your purse or your wallet, you won’t be left completely stranded. It’s also important to mention that if your purse is taken from you, let it go and do not put up a fight.

8. Keep in Touch

Give someone back home a copy of your itinerary. Keep in touch with them by checking in regularly and letting them know you are okay. Also, keep them updated with any changes you are making to your itinerary.

9. Spend on Safety

Traveling on a budget is always a good idea, however there should be no budget when it comes to your safety. If you do not feel comfortable walking home at night, call a cab. If you are flying into a rough area, plan your transportation ahead of time from a trustworthy source.

10. Get Travel Insurance!

No matter how many precautions you take, accidents happen. There is no better preparation than getting the proper medical coverage no matter where you are in the world.

For more help when traveling overseas, read our previous blog, “Tips for Traveling Abroad.” We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you and/or your family for the best value.

Traveling can be one of life’s greatest, must fulfilling experiences. However, there are some precautions to consider, and preparation you can do to ensure a safe and successful trip.

tourist in luxury beach hotel near luxurious swimming pool at sunset, tropical exotic holidays vacation, tourism and travelMany people don’t consider buying a life insurance policy until a major life event such as getting married, buying a house, having a kid. While all of those are great reasons to purchase a life insurance policy, you should actually have a policy before any of those things happen. Yes, even if you’re single, with no dependents or assets to your name. 

1. Investment

One reason to get a life insurance policy when you are single is because it can be used as a long-term investment. Purchasing a Whole Life insurance policy can give you many options on what to do, such as being able to withdraw from the cash value of your policy much like a bank loan. Also, depending on the whole life policy you purchase, it can act as a savings vehicle. So, after a certain amount of time, your cash value will be higher than the amount you have paid, depending on where it has been invested. 

2. Funeral

Here’s a question that many may not want to ask or try to answer. Who is going to pay for your funeral? Funerals are expensive, and unfortunately, it is an expense that many don’t prepare for. Having life insurance that will include your funeral costs into the amount of your policy is a very smart thing to do. Caskets themselves can be thousands of dollars, and funeral total costs can easily exceed $20,000. 

3. Personal debts

If you should pass, who is going to pay for your debts? When you die, if you have any co-signed loans, the full responsibility of paying off the loan will be left to the person who co-signed that loan with you. Which in many cases could be your parents, spouse, kids, etc. It may be tough on them to worry about their debts and in the event of a tragedy all of a sudden have to worry about your debts as well, all while still mourning your loss. Having a life insurance policy can be used to pay off your medical bills, mortgage, credit cards, etc. 

4. Leave a legacy

It can be a good idea to purchase life insurance in order to leave a legacy. For example, if you are passionate about a charity, church, or group, you can leave them as the beneficiary of your policy, which I’m sure they will greatly appreciate and never forget. Also, you can do this if there is someone close to you that you would like to help out. Maybe a friend who is struggling and would refuse to accept any help from you. 

5. Cheaper to get a policy when you are young

If you plan on getting life insurance later in life or waiting until a life event such as the ones stated before, it may make more sense to go ahead and purchase a policy now. Waiting for one of these events can take years and years, and by the time you go to purchase a policy, the premium could be as much as two times as high as if you would purchase it now. That is because the younger you are, the less expensive the premium is, because you are not viewed as a high risk. Also, another great thing is that your premium should be locked in at that price for the length of the term or for your life depending on the type of policy you get. So, in essence, you could be saving yourself money in the long run, by spending a little extra now. 

If you are interested in purchasing life insurance, or have any questions about your policy, or which policy would be best for you and your family, contact us at 954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. We have the insurance specialists to assist and advise you on the best coverage for you and your loved ones at every stage of life.

Yes, even if you’re single, with no dependents or assets to your name, you should still have a life insurance policy. Read more.

Doctor talking to the patient about menopause and treatment in future.When it comes to international yacht crew insurance, being as open and forthcoming as possible, both before and during the time you are insured, can be critical to having a successful insurance experience. When you ask people about their medical status, the most common response is “I’m fine”. Unfortunately, many people often... shall we say... “overstate” how healthy they are.  Normally, this will not bode well once a claim against insurance is made.

Let’s review the 5 most common pitfalls:

1. Non-disclosure of a past medical condition

Not only can this be a dangerous situation for you and your fellow crew, but it also sets up a scenario where in a worst case, your insurance could be cancelled. Insurance enrollment forms are a contract, and misrepresentation or incomplete information can render your insurance policy void. It’s important, no matter how minor it may seem, to disclose your entire medical history (and keep a file).

2. Non-disclosure of an ongoing medical condition

Accurately representing your health to the insurance company (and even your insurance broker) is really important. Many people don’t realize that taking a regular prescription drug is significant in the eyes of the insurer.  When the claims start coming in for the cost of those medications, the insurer is most certainly going to start asking questions and that’s likely to take you down the path of having your claims denied. With all of the necessary information, we can provide you with personalized support that works for you.

3. Overstating the recovery of a previous illness or injury

It’s important to be careful about saying, “I’m fine” after recovery from an illness or injury. This is particularly important with back, shoulder and neck injuries.  With the work that you do, we often see crew returning to work before they really should and that doesn’t always give the body time to fully recover. Not being in pain, may not mean you are fully recovered.

4. Non-disclosure of all the facts at the time of claim

If you have an injury or illness and you need to make a claim, it is important to fill out the claim form completely with as much detail as possible surrounding the circumstances.  This may include an incident report, or possibly a police report(!) along with your own personal narrative, which can be valuable.  Withholding information usually will simply result in your claim being delayed or otherwise declined.

5. Waiting until you have insurance to see a doctor     

This is the most critical item of all the pitfalls, when it comes to your wellbeing.  Do not delay seeking medical attention until you have health insurance. Not only are you putting your health at risk, but once you do see the doctor, the insurance company may not pay your claim because you had the condition prior to purchasing insurance. This is a standard clause in most international insurance plans, the language says something to the effect that treatment should have been sought previously by a prudent person. So please be prudent! The key to a successful insurance experience starts from the very beginning and goes all the way until you are no longer in need of health insurance.

The experienced Insurance Specialists at MHG Insurance Brokers are ready to help you with all the details of what coverage every crew member should have, and which carrier is best for your particular situation. MHG Insurance Brokers offers a wide range of yacht crew insurance plans and international medical insurance for expatriates, with customizable coverage for all nationalities and itineraries. 

When you ask people about their medical status, the most common response is “I’m fine”. Unfortunately, many people often... shall we say... “overstate” how healthy they are. The same applies to yacht crew. Read more.

 

Horizontal rear view color image of male crew member standing on luxury yacht boat and looking on sea view during sunny day.When you decided to become a yacht captain, you dreamed of an adventurous life spent cruising the ocean at the helm of a mighty vessel. While that is certainly part of a captain’s life, there are also a host of other tasks you must accomplish when accepting the responsibility of a yacht captain. 

One of the most important of these tasks may include choosing a yacht crew insurance plan for you and your crew. When searching for a comprehensive marine crew insurance plan that will ensure your crew are protected, consider the following: 

Evaluate the Full Value of the Plan

The plan you select will play a role in determining the financial security of your owner and crew, so you need to carefully choose the coverage based on features and services provided. Do not focus solely on the cost. MHG has been providing yacht crew insurance for over 20 years and during that time, we have seen insurance plans come and go. Right now, there are some new plans out there that look like Gold, for the price of Pyrite! Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Please, do not buy insurance (or most anything else) based solely on lowest cost. Talk to someone who can help explain what you are really getting (or not) before something happens and you find yourself or your crew thinking something was covered that isn't. 

Crew Leisure Activities May Require Extra Coverage

Yacht crews tend to be adventurous souls focused on enjoying an active lifestyle and working on the water presents the opportunity to indulge in some very exciting activities. Some of your crew’s favorite leisure pursuits carry an increased risk, however, and some yacht crew insurance policies do not cover injuries obtained while engaging in certain activities. There are insurance plans that include additional coverage for sporting activities, such as scuba and other water and winter sports, so be sure to look for those features. A comprehensive marine crew insurance plan that includes coverage for crew leisure activities will decrease liability exposure and protect both owner and crew.

Comprehensive Emergency Services Must Be Included

When a member of your crew suffers a serious injury or illness there are a number of issues that must be resolved quickly. If your crew member is unable to travel with your vessel or continue working onboard, you may be required to provide a flight home for that crewmember. You may want this feature included in the marine crew insurance plan you choose, along with adequate provisions for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.

Tailor Your Coverage to Your Crew

When choosing a marine crew insurance policy, the best way to balance costs and benefits is to consider the specific composition of your crew and the coverage desired. For example, if you don’t have any North American crew and do not plan to sail in North America, you can save premium by purchasing a policy that does not include coverage there. Does your crew consist of several members who have been long term crew for this particular yacht owner? Perhaps you should consider tailoring a plan to provide additional benefits for your crew above and beyond the standard policy. 

The experienced Insurance Specialists at MHG Insurance Brokers are ready to help you with all the details of what coverage every crew member should have, and which carrier is best for your particular situation. MHG Insurance Brokers offers a wide range of yacht crew insurance plans and international medical insurance for expatriates, with customizable coverage for all nationalities and itineraries. 

One of the most important of these tasks may include choosing a yacht crew insurance plan for you and your crew. When searching for a comprehensive marine crew insurance plan that will ensure your crew are protected, consider the following.

Shot of a newlywed couple looking out the window of a car and wavinghttp://195.154.178.81/DATA/i_collage/pu/shoots/784347.jpg“If there are any objections, speak now or forever hold your peace.”

“Wait they don’t have life insurance!”

Hopefully you don’t find yourself in this situation, and you already have a good life insurance policy in place. However, if you don’t have life insurance, it’s something you need to start thinking about it. After the honeymoon of course! Who knows, maybe you will say I do again... to life insurance. See what I did there? 

Protect Your Spouse

Unfortunately, death is a part of life that we all have to experience and plan for. Not all marriages are like “The Notebook” where you and your partner live into your golden years and pass away together in each other’s arms. Life insurance is designed with your loved ones in mind and plays an important role in your overall financial planning. If you have anyone depending upon you financially, you probably need Life Insurance even if you are young and healthy. For most, this financial responsibility begins when they either get married or have a baby. Have you thought how your family, or those you care about, would manage without you financially? The grieving process is hard enough, don’t let your better half also have to worry about how they will pay the bills or be able to afford the mortgage. In the event of your untimely death, you want to be reassured that your husband or wife will be financially secure in the event of your passing.

Invest in Your Future Together

Did you know that life insurance has other benefits besides providing a benefit to your beneficiaries? Certain policies such as a Whole Life policy can act as a way to save and invest money. In most cases, a Whole Life policy has a “cash value” that is invested and can earn as high as 5% interest. The cash value is calculated based on how much money you have paid so far in premiums, and after a certain amount of time, your cash value could be worth more than you have paid! Also, with a Whole Life policy, after a certain amount of time, you can cancel the policy and get back all of the money you have paid so far, and then some!

Lower Premium

Getting married, buying a house and having baby are life events that prompt us to buy life insurance but it’s really something you should be considering even if you have no assets or dependents. Did you know that in most life insurance policies, you have the same monthly premium for the duration of the policy? That means if you’re paying $50 a month, you will be paying the same amount for the life of the policy. Unless you increase your coverage, you are locked in to a set premium. This is important because as you get older, policies become more expensive. Typically, you can expect your premium to double every 10 years. Good enough reason to stop putting off purchasing a life insurance plan, right?

For more information regarding what life insurance options are available to you, read our previous blog, What Are My Life Insurance Options? If you are interested in purchasing life insurance, or have any questions, we’re here to help! Please contact us today at 954 828 1819 or visit mhginsurance.com. Congratulations and cheers to many years of wedded bliss!

After saying I do, consider investing in your future and protecting your spouse and future family with a life insurance policy. Read more!

514295221Do you have Life Insurance? Do you ever wonder what will happen to your family if anything ever happens to you? If you do have Life Insurance, you don’t need to ask yourself questions like that. The problem is not everyone has life insurance. Many don’t even see it as an option because they think it is too expensive or too cumbersome. However, that isn’t always the case. There are plenty of ways to secure your family without going broke.  

What are my Options?

There are two types of Life Insurance, Temporary and Permanent. Temporary Life Insurance covers you for a period of time such as 5 years, 10 years, etc. If you should pass away within the term, your beneficiary will receive the death benefit. Permanent Life Insurance covers you for your entire life. So, no matter when you should pass away, your beneficiary will receive the death benefit. Also, for either type of life insurance, the death benefit will pass to your beneficiaries, income tax free.

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent Life Insurance covers you for your whole life. You should purchase Permanent Life Insurance if you have a life-long dependent or have an estate or business to protect. In some permanent plans, your money may collect in an account, and after a number of years, you may be able withdraw money, borrow cash, or surrender the policy and receive the surrendering value.

Temporary Life Insurance                        

Temporary Life Insurance, also known as Term Life Insurance, is a good option if you would like to have coverage for a certain period of time. On some temporary plans, you can be approved without a medical exam and in just a few days. Usually an individual will have this coverage during the most vulnerable time of their life. For instance, until the kids are grown and graduated from college, or your house has been paid off. The premiums are lower than the premiums of a permanent life insurance plan. One downfall of this type of plan is that it does not pay a death benefit if you outlive the term of the policy. You may be able to renew your plan once it expires, but your premiums will be substantially higher. There is another type of temporary insurance that refunds your money at the end, if you outlive the term of the plan. This is called a Return of Premium policy and may be a good option to consider.

Not Going Broke

“So how do I purchase Life Insurance without going broke?” First off, there are a number of factors to determine which plan is right for you and which plan you can afford. But in general terms, the route to go would be purchasing a Temporary Life Insurance policy. As stated before, the premiums are less than those of a permanent policy, and your family or dependents will also be protected during the length of the term.

Not for Everyone         

Buying Life Insurance is not for everyone. There may be no need to purchase it if you don’t have any dependents and have enough assets to cover your debt and the cost of dying. Death can very expensive, having to pay for the funeral, estate lawyer’s fees, etc. So, if you are unsure about the need to purchase a Life Insurance Plan, or would like to purchase one, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you with all of your questions and concerns.

Call MHG Insurance Brokers today at 954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help in selecting Life Insurance and other coverage to ensure you and your loved ones have the protection you need at every stage of life.

Are you looking for a life insurance policy to cover your loved one? Here are some options.

successful indian businesswoman using laptop computer at airportLet’s face it, traveling for business can be stressful. From packing and putting the final touches on your presentation, to worrying if you’ll make your meeting on time, there is a list a mile long of different scenarios, to-dos, and unexpected events that are sure to raise anyone’s blood pressure! Travelling internationally can add an additional layer of stress as well! With so many things on your mind, the last thing you need to worry about is uncertain travel details and what-ifs. Having a proper travel insurance plan can help ease that stress and let you focus on having a successful meeting.

The Unknown

People traveling abroad for business should have a good travel insurance plan for many reasons, especially for, the unknown. Emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime, and most of the time there is no way to prepare for them, especially when you’re out of the country. Suppose you get into an accident and need emergency medical attention? Maybe second nature made you drive on the wrong side of the road, not being used to the driving laws of another country.

There are many other scenarios that can happen requiring emergency medical attention. Obviously, this is just one reason to get travel insurance no matter if you are traveling for business or leisure. Another unknown factor that you cannot prepare for, yet is very common when traveling abroad, is food poisoning. Food poisoning, unclean water, parasites, and changes in diet make gastrointestinal issues one of the most common medical threats that travelers face. Without travel insurance in place, expenses for treatment can be costly.

Trip Cancellation

It could be a waste of money if you don’t have travel insurance with trip cancellation coverage. For those that think it doesn’t happen, what if there was an unexpected storm that cancelled your flight? There are a plethora of reasons that a trip can be cancelled, and not many reasons why you shouldn’t have coverage for it, even for business trips.

24 Hour Assistance

Being in a foreign country can bring a lot of questions. Not knowing where to go, who to talk to, how to talk to them, etc. Having a 24/7 assistance line can give you a peace of mind, once again letting you focus on your work, which is the most important part of a business trip. Also, many times when people travel for business, they are traveling alone. Knowing that you have someone to back you up and be there for you when in a foreign place can make things much easier on your mind as well.

Having proper travel insurance can help to limit your distractions and help you to have an efficient and successful business trip. Maybe having an eased mind will allow you to enjoy some of the sites while you are there! If you have any questions about your travel insurance plan, or are interested in purchasing a travel insurance plan for your next business or leisure trip please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. MHG has the insurance specialists to assist and advise you, your loved ones, group, or business, on all of your insurance needs. Safe travels!

Having a proper travel insurance plan can help ease that stress and let you focus on having a successful meeting. Read more!

Happy family with cardboard boxes in new house at moving day.Are you in the market for a new home? If so, there are some important things you should be doing to prepare yourself, before and after your purchase. First and foremost, buying a home is one of life’s greatest financial accomplishments. Getting approved for a mortgage is a daunting task, and those 30-40 days of the approval process can feel like a lifetime. However, once you sign those closing documents, you feel a sense of pride and joy that you were able to whether the storm, and now you can start this next chapter of your life as a homeowner! Now, just because you are done with the paper work, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking of steps you need to take in order to protect your investment. Life insurance can do just that and provide all of the coverage you need given your newly acquired asset.

Before Buying a Home

Purchasing a home is a major life decision, one that comes with an enormous amount of planning, budgeting, saving, and often forcing one to make lifestyle changes in order to be able to complete the action. If you aren’t required to have a lump sum of money to use as a down payment, count your blessings. However, no matter what route you go, it will be a challenge if you don’t have a good credit score.

Once you have your strategy in place in terms of the type of loan you are going to use, the down payment amount, and a good enough credit score, the fun part will begin. Ask anyone who has gone through the process of getting approved, and many will agree it is one of the more stressful experiences someone can experience.

After Buying a Home

So, you’ve made it to the finish line, you are officially a homeowner! Now what to do? Before you start to think about investing into your property, fixing the kitchen or adding a pool, you need to think about investing in yourself and your loved ones. You’ve just gone through an extensive process and have probably taken on an extreme amount of debt. What happens to that debt or the responsibility of paying it off if something happens to you?

A life insurance policy is a critical necessity for anyone who has debts they do not want to leave to their loved ones. Do yourself and your family a favor and protect your new investment. For example, if you just bought a house with a 30-year mortgage that was $250,000, for starters you may want to consider a 30-year term life insurance policy with a $250,000 benefit.

Preparing for the Future

The strategy of protecting your investments and assets with life insurance is something that you should be using in every facet of your life, not just when buying a home. Especially if you have a family or dependents. If you are not sure the amount you need, the type of policy to get, or what you can afford, our insurance specialists are here to help!

MHG is here to assist you and offer any advice and help we can in this exciting time in your life. If you are interested in purchasing health insurance, life insurance, or have any questions please contact us today at 954 828 1819 or visit mhginsurance.com. We have the insurance specialists to guide and assist you in finding the best insurance options for you, your family, and loved ones.

Are you in the market for a new home? If so, there are some important things you should be doing to prepare yourself, before and after your purchase!

Shot of a team of colleagues celebrating with a high five in a modern officeLet’s face it group insurance plan comes at a price, and there is a reason many smaller businesses with less than 50 employees elect not to offer a group plan since it is not required. However, not having a plan in place immediately makes your business less competitive when it comes to attracting the best talent to help you succeed. So, what if I told you that there are several options out there that can help you save money when it comes to offering your employees insurance benefits?

Fully-Insured vs. Self-Insured/Level Funded

Most groups with less than 100 employees are covered through Fully-Insured plans as it is the most traditional method of coverage. The premium paid to the insurance carrier is a fixed rate for the year based on the number of employees enrolled. The carrier is responsible for paying all claims while the covered member is responsible for paying copays, coinsurance and deductibles based on the plan benefits. Fully-Insured rates are based on the demographic make of the group (census), changes to that census, comparative rates within a geographic area and industry, and to a smaller degree the claims experience of the members. Any group with 2 or more employees will qualify for Fully-Insured plans (Groups with two employees cannot be a married couple).

Level Funded plan options are becoming increasingly common as more carriers are offering them, and more employers are seeing the advantages. Let’s be clear, not all groups qualify; acceptance is mainly based on the employees’ medical claims history, and carriers require a minimum participation higher than Fully-Insured. Level Funded plans are filed with the Department of Financial Services as “Self-Funded”. A true Self-Funded plan has an arrangement where the employer provides health care to the employees using the company’s own funds. Level Funded follows the same concept, but there is a stop loss in place for each employee on the plan to prevent any liability for the employer. A portion of the premium paid on a Level Funded plan is saved in a funding “pool” which is used to pay claims. After an employee uses a certain amount of the claims fund (amount varies depending on the carrier) stop loss kicks in and the carrier takes over the payment of claims for that employee for the remainder of the year removing that exposure from the employer’s remaining funding pool.

What Are the Advantages of Level Funded?

On average a business spends 7% to 9% of its budget on employee health care. If your group qualifies for Level Funded plans, it is possible that the rates may be better than Fully-Insured when comparing similar plan options. Yes, you can get money back at the end of the year! Carriers typically offer the group a specified percentage of the unused amount left from your funding pool at the end of the year. The reimbursement percentage varies depending on the carrier, and in some instances can be as much as 94%, which can be a significant amount. Carriers may also include additional features on a Level Funded plan not included on Fully-Insured options.

Are There Any Shortfalls on a Level Funded Plan?

Level Funded plans follow the federal mandate as it relates to continuation of coverage. Groups with 20 or more employees will be eligible for federal COBRA. Most Level Funded plans will not administer State Continuation (mini COBRA) for employers with less than 20 employees, this means these employees will not be eligible to continue coverage upon leaving employment.

Another area that may affect some employees is dependent coverage. In some states, such as Florida, Fully-Insured plans will allow dependent children to be covered up to age 30, while Level Funded plans will remove dependent children at age 26, which is the federal mandate. In addition, some benefits offered on Fully-Insured may not be offered on Level Funded.

What Option Is Best for Me?

MHG Insurance Brokers comprises of a team of experts who specialize in group insurance. We have unique relationships with carriers and are sometimes the first to know the plans they offer. We have a 5-star Google review rating, and an outstanding 96% client retention rate in the Life and Health Division (Employee Benefits). Our team of experts can complete a full analysis of your current plan’s offerings, and if needed, recommend a package that will enrich your benefits while keeping cost at a minimum. If you do not have a group plan in place, we have you covered! Our team can provide a proposal for your group which may be less than you anticipate. If you are interested in purchasing health insurance, feel free to contact us at 954-548-3599 or visit our website at mhginsurance.com.

What if I told you that there are several options out there that can help you save money when it comes to offering your employees insurance benefits? Read more!