The arrival of winter means planning the perfect ski vacation for many people. What many people don’t realize, however, despite the hundreds of ski accidents that occur each year, is that winter sports may not be covered by their medical insurance plan. Nearly half of skiers on the slopes are not covered by vacation insurance and only 1 in 4 knows enough to ensure they are covered while skiing. 


Do you have proper insurance for your winter sport activities? 

Part of the fun of skiing and snowboarding is the element of danger involved, but you need to be certain you are protected in the event of the unexpected.  Even if you've been able to avoid an accident on the slopes, they do happen and you need to be prepared. 

You need extreme sports travel insurance, just in case you are injured, to be afforded these benefits:

Medical Expenses. These benefits cover you if you need medical care on the slopes. It will also cover care at a medical facility in any country you visit.

Emergency Medical Evacuation. These benefits will provide you with medical transportation to the nearest medical facility where adequate care can be received or back home, as necessary.

Multilingual Emergency Assistance. This service helps coordinate your emergency medical care. It will keep you, and the medical staff caring for you, in touch with your family.

You should be aware that a basic travel insurance plan may not be enough. Some providers exclude coverage for skiing and snowboarding and may require that you purchase an optional "extreme sports" rider to include winter sports insurance coverage. Also keep in mind that if you are a more adventurous skier who travels off-piste (out of marked bounds), you will want to make sure your plan includes cover for that also. Even if you are not a skier and you do not plan to hit the slopes this winter, it is important to make sure you have adequate coverage in the event of an accident or illness, regardless of the activities you may be pursing.

MHG Insurance Brokers offer a full line of individual and group insurance benefits for travelers and winter sports fans. Our wide selection of plans include medical insurance, US life and health insurance, disability income protection, life insurance, financial services, and property and liability insurance. MHG offers phone numbers from around the world so you can contact us easily and conveniently from anywhere around the world. Contact us to learn more.

Are You a Winter Sports Fan? Are You Skiing This Winter and Is It Covered by Your Insurance?

The experts say if you do something every day for 30 days it will become a habit. Summertime is the perfect time to develop healthy habits that can create positive lifestyle changes.  

 

For a healthy lifestyle one needs to eat healthy, be active, protect yourself and your family, manage stress and get regular checkups by your doctor. Eating healthy is an easy habit to develop in the summer with the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are available.  Stop by a farmer’s market and try some  of the amazing fruit that is in season right now. Make sure you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day and include some whole grains.

Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol. A balanced diet combined with physical activity will help keep you at a healthy weight. Children and teens need to be active for at least one hour a day and outdoor activities are plentiful this time of year.  Include activities that raise their breathing and heart rates and that strengthen their muscles and bones. Adults should be active for at least 2½ hours a week. You should also include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles. With the long summer days there are plenty hours of sunlight to get moving in.  

Physical activity helps to maintain your weight, reduces high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and several forms of cancer. Arthritis pain, depression and anxiety symptoms are also reduced by physical activity. When out enjoying the summer days remember to wear sunscreen and insect repellent.  Protect yourself and your family from injuries with seat belts, helmets, and protective sports equipment. Eating right and daily exercise will help manage stress.  

Remember to balance work, home, and play.  Everyone needs a support group of family and friends. Relaxation and meditation are great stress relievers, take time for yourself.  And strive for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, children including teenagers need even more sleep.  If you are still feeling over whelmed or depressed counseling may be needed. 

Remember to schedule regular checkups for you and your family with your doctors.  Discuss your health problems and risks and devise a plan for improvement.  Find out what exams, tests, and shots you need and when to get them. 

A little prevention goes a long way to help ensure a long and healthy life. Check with your broker to see if your health benefits plan covers for those regular checkups, tests, and shots. It is important that you know your coverage before you need it. MHG your Marine Insurance Broker offers a variety of comprehensive medical insurance plans to meet the needs of each unique client. 

Whether you are looking for specialty marine crew insurance, individual health insurance plans, family health insurance plans, or group health insurance plans, the experts at MHG Insurance Brokers have the resources to help you choose the ideal policy for your unique requirements. Contact us today at 877-278-7400 to learn more.   

Healthy Living Tips From Your Marine Insurance Broker

Yacht Crew Insurance

You have landed that dream job aboard a gorgeous yacht and are excited about the places you will visit and the people you will meet, but did you ask your employer the important questions?  How and when are you going to be paid? Will taxes be taken out of your pay? And what about insurance?  Health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance? 


“Look at salary as one part of total compensation package including vacation, travel stipend, medical insurance, opportunity for continuing education, etc., as those are real costs and represent another $10,000-15,000 in additional benefits that many employers now pay,” said a chief stew in The Triton survey of crew members. Most crew members, about 70 percent, are paid monthly with the rest receiving their pay every other week. 

More than three-quarters of them receive their pay through direct deposit or wire transfer, most of the rest received a paper check.  Very few are paid in cash and they are usually on smaller yachts. The U.S. dollar is the most popular form of currency for crew pay, about 82 percent, regardless of where they work in the world.  Most of the remaining crews receive their pay in Euros. 

Nearly 70 percent of crew members do not have any taxes deducted through their paychecks.  However, you are still responsible for taxes due, if any, in your home country. Many US crewmembers are paid as independent contractors and receive a 1099 form for wages and tips earned and will owe taxes.

Many long-term US crew have created corporations, and in that case the yacht pays the corporation, which in turns pays the crewmember.  The corporation then pays all the taxes, travel expenses and health benefits, which can be advantageous.

If your employer does not provide health insurance you need to obtain your own, so you are covered in case of an accident or illness. MHG Insurance Brokers works with several insurers to provide you with the medical benefits that you need for your new career and lifestyle. We offer health benefit plans designed specifically for captains, officers, and crew. With several plans to choose from, MHG can recommend a plan specifically designed for an individual or a group. 

MHG also offers plans suited for seafarers who need spouse and/or dependent coverage. MHG’s expert staff can assist you in selecting the medical insurance coverage that best fits your situation. We offer worldwide medical coverage or the option to exclude the US and Canada for reduced premiums.  Plans can also offer optional term life and disability coverage, special crew member return benefits and out-of-the-country legal expenses.   If you are on a yacht with recreational water sports and scuba diving,

MHG has a plan to cover you. Do not let your dream job turn into a medical nightmare.  Life on the water can be hazardous, and in the unfortunate event of illness or injury, you need a quality plan. As a yacht crew marine insurance broker MHG Insurance Brokers offers a variety of comprehensive medical insurance plans to meet the needs of each client. Whether you are looking for crew insurance, travel insurance, or group insurance plans, MHG has solutions to fit every budget. Contact the experts at MHG to help you choose the ideal policy for your specific requirements. Contact us today at 877-278-7400 to learn more.

Yacht Crew Insurance

At MHG Insurance Brokers we specialize in insurance plans designed specifically to meet the needs of marine employers, shipboard officers and crew, and contractors and concessionaires.  Because of the unique needs of individuals and groups at sea, choosing an insurance broker that understands the lifestyle and work environment is essential. 


Services offered by MHG can be tailored according to each employer’s needs with the secure knowledge that they are marine specific and supported by a team experienced in the marine environment. With our extensive market relationships and experience in the industry, we offer sound, independent advice as to which insurance and financial services providers and products are best suited to address the needs of individuals and employers.

Marine insurance solutions include private international health insurance, vacation health insurance, disability income, life insurance, short-term health insurance and retirement savings plans. Here is more information on the plans we offer.

MHG provides private international health insurance to all nationalities. Our extensive market relationships permit the design of international group medical plans that are tailored to each employer's specific philosophy and compensation needs. MHG also offers various benefit packages that can be combined for groups located in the US.

MHG offers short-term health insurance for contractors and concessionaires which provides coverage for emergency medical treatment, emergency medical evacuation, should the local facilities be inadequate and a number of other benefits. For groups requiring coverage for employees while on vacation, we can customize a plan to fit your needs.

Disability Income is an effective risk management tool for employers that not only enhances the value of compensation packages for employees but also provides peace of mind.  It can provide protection against loss of income in the event an employee becomes temporarily or permanently disabled while at work or on vacation. Coverage is available to groups of five or more and can be customized to fit your budget and benefit needs. With worldwide coverage for disability due to accident or sickness, these plans also allow you to select a waiting period and benefit amount while typically not requiring underwriting.

Let MHG Insurance Brokers provide you and your employees with peace of mind.  Group life insurance offers employees comfort knowing that in the event of their death their loved ones will receive financial support for ongoing expenses, funeral arrangements or children's education. For employers, group life insurance is a cost-efficient benefit because it is highly valued by employees.

MHG's investment team is able to provide cost effective, flexible benefit retirement savings plans which will help recruit, retain and motivate staff while providing the employer with maximum value for each dollar spent. As your specialist plan manager, MHG's role would normally involve consultancy, plan design, independent brokerage, investment planning and communication, installation and administration of the plan. We also provide consultancy and plan management services for employers with existing plans.

With over 20 years of experience focused on the welfare of crew, MHG has the knowledge to advise the cruise industry about its insurance needs.  Please contact us today at +1 954 828 1819 for more information on any of the services we provide.

If you are attending Cruise Shipping Miami March 13th-15th at the Miami Beach Convention Center, please feel free to stop by our booth #1893 located in the Ship Services and Hotel Operations section. Join us for a glass of wine during our reception on Wednesday, March 14th from 2pm-5pm.  If you still need tickets for Cruise Shipping Miami, avoid the $100 fee and register as our guest for complimentary tickets to the Exhibition Hall.

MHG – The Cruise Industry’s Insurance Specialists

In a victory for the Obama administration, the 6th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, based in Cincinnati, “upheld a key provision in the health care reform law that will require most U.S. residents to enroll in a qualified plan or pay a fine,” this past Wednesday, reports Business Insurance

 

Experts expect the issue to be examined by the Supreme Court either later this year or next year, around the time when President Barack Obama will seek re-election. The proposed provision, which aims to extend coverage to over 30 million uninsured Americans, will require U.S. residents to enroll in a health insurance plan beginning in 2014 or face a fine. 

Opposition is implied, as Republicans have sought to have the law repealed in Congress, state legislatures and federal courts. In addition, two federal judges have ruled the law unconstitutional and The Thomas More Law Center in Michigan previously argued that Congress could not regulate how U.S. residents pay for health care or insurance. However, a federal judge in Michigan ruled that the law was legal and the group repealed. 

The implications of the insurance mandate spell trouble for health insurers, hospitals, drugmakers and device companies. As government explores different avenues in which to improve the current health care crisis, millions of Americans continue to search for affordable health care services.

MHG Insurance Brokers employs passionate and knowledgeable insurance experts who provide sound advice on the most appropriate health insurance plan for individuals and families according to their unique financial situation.  Contact us today at the location nearest you for more information.

U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Health Care Reform Mandate

You’re a member of a yacht crew because you love travel, challenge and adventure. From setting sail to exotic destinations and scuba diving in some of the most beautiful oceans in the world, to the innumerable perks of a great salary, life as a crew member comes with countless benefits. But with every incredible job comes some degree of risk, and for yacht crew, it’s being without the proper insurance to protect against on-the-job injuries and to help pay for doctor visits when overseas. 

 

Many first-time crew members mistakenly assume that their existing native health insurance plan will cover them when they’re at sea. More often than not, your home country’s policy will not protect you in international waters. 

If you become sick or injured during your time at sea, you will need to secure marine crew insurance to help ease the financial burden of doctor visits. Avoid expensive hospital bills in foreign countries by choosing the right yacht crew insurance policy for your unique circumstances. 

Not sure which marine crew insurance policy to buy? One of the most important factors to consider in this decision is which nation you’ll be working in.

There are two main types of marine crew insurance plans: one that covers workers in U.S. and Canadian waters, and another that covers every other country’s waters.

MHG Insurance Brokers offers a wide range of yacht crew insurance plans and international medical insurance for expatriates. Our customizable plans offer coverage for European crew members, those wishing to avoid the fees associated with maternity coverage, those seeking portable international medical insurance, members looking for dependent coverage and many more. Life as a crew member offers many glamorous perks. Take advantage of the benefits while being aware of the risks and protect yourself before you board ship with a quality marine crew insurance plan.

Marine Crew Insurance: Staying Safe at Sea

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of people over the age of 65 require long-term care services. Most Americans mistakenly believe that their Medicare coverage will pay for most of their long-term care, or that they will qualify to receive Medicaid – but most do not. 

 

There are also other federal public programs like the Older Americans Act or other state-funded programs, but as with many federal aid programs, they target those with the greatest functional and financial need. 

So how can you start planning for long-term care services now? There’s a good chance you will have to supplement the payments for long-term care with your personal income and resources, and this can be particularly difficult – “Even if you have a modest need for assistance at home with personal care, say a visit from a home health aide 3 times a week, based on 2008 average costs, you would have to pay about $18,000 a year for those services,” says the HHS long-term care website

To formulate the best strategy for planning, you need to know what services cost, what public programs you’re eligible for and what they cover, what private financing options are available and which ones work best for you and your unique circumstances. Costs for personal care beyond what family can provide, disability support, and more extensive services in a facility can add up quickly, and vary based on the type and amount of care you need, the provider you use and where you live. “Home health and home care services, provided in two-to-four-hour blocks of time referred to as "visits," are generally more expensive in the evening, or on weekends or holidays,” reports the HHS. 

The cost of adult day service and other community programs are often provided on a per-day rate, and can vary based on overhead and programming costs. Although some care facilities offer “all-inclusive” fees, many charge extra for services rendered beyond the basic room-and-board charge. 

For more information, like what care costs bases on where you live, visit the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information website. MHG Marine offers a variety of comprehensive long-term care insurance plans to help you finance care services. Medicaid covers a fraction of these costs, and many people cannot afford to draw from their personal income or resources to cover the remainder. Securing quality long-term-care insurance is a great way to ease the financial burden of long-term care costs. Contact an expert at the location nearest you to learn more about long-term care medical insurance.

Planning for Long-Term Care: Why You May Need More than Medicaid

Healthcare reform continues to make headlines, as new mandates make their way to the Supreme Court. Although the Affordable Care Act became law on March 23rd of 2010, it is still waiting to be reviewed by the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, the Obama administration said that the review is slated to happen either late this year or early in 2012, just in time to influence voters in the next presidential election. 


The Justice Department has announced that it is petitioning the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the requirement for American adults to obtain health insurance starting in 2014 is unconstitutional. Various appeals panels have issued contradictory rulings on the mandate, while two threw out lawsuits brought by the attorney general of Virginia and a group of New Jersey doctors on procedural grounds.

The most controversial mandate has the 11th Circuit and the public alike concerned: “If the federal government has the power to require the public to buy coverage from private insurers, where does its power over the citizenry end?” asked Jon Healey for the LA Times. Luckily for “Obamacare” supporters, there are several answers to this question; however, “The bad news is that none of them is likely to make the law more palatable to the public.” 

Since everyone is an existing consumer of healthcare and the Supreme Court recognizes it as a form of interstate commerce that Congress can regulate, it is clear that critics of the measure are taking it out of context. “The individual mandate simply regulates how people pay for what they buy.” Essentially, this means that people who get sick must cover their costs, instead of forcing someone else to pay the tab. 

In addition, the mandate requires insurers to offer coverage to everyone, regardless of any pre-existing conditions. “If you can't bar insurers from discriminating against those with preexisting conditions, millions of Americans won't be able to buy coverage.” If citizens are not required to carry insurance, most will wait until they get sick to secure coverage, “triggering a vicious cycle of cost increases.” 

The final answer lies with the perceived power of the federal government. Historically, lawmakers have made conservative decisions regarding healthcare due to fear of voter backlash. The problem can be boiled down to the divisive subject of how big the government should be, and how much power it should be permitted to exercise – “That's why the administration needs to come up with not just a good legal answer to the question about the limits of government power, but also an answer that makes sense on Main Street.”

As we wait and see what happens with healthcare reform, MHG Insurance Brokers is here to keep you informed and up to date on any new developments.  As an insurance broker, MHG provides health insurance plans to meet the needs of individuals and groups from all financial backgrounds. MHG also offers yacht crew insurance, international medical insurance, disability insurance, long term care, life insurance and business insurance. Our staff applies years of industry knowledge to find the best plan for each individual client, and is always a phone call or email away to answer any questions. For more information, contact MHG today.

Healthcare Reform: Will Fight Over “Obamacare” Come to an End?

This weekend, the Sjømannskirken (Seamen’s Church) Scandinavian Church and Center will have its grand opening at 2950 Flamingo Road in Davie, Florida. The church will be named after Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and its official name will be “The Seamen’s Church/ Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s Church – Scandinavian Church and Center.”


MHG Insurance Brokers is honored to have our name on the Scandinavian Center lobby! Princess Mette-Marit will be attending the consecration on Sunday, a huge honor for the Scandinavian community in Florida.

Church facilities include a chapel, fellowship hall (reading room), offices, state-of-the-art conference room and center, banquet hall and staff residences.

The main donors for the event include: Royal Caribbean International, Eidesvik Invest AS, Norwegian Shipping Club and Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce, Sigurd Jensen, MHG Insurance Brokers, DnB Nor and Buyandreach.com. “We are beyond thrilled about the opening of the Scandinavian center,” said John Haagensen, President of MHG Insurance Brokers, proud Norwegian citizen and former seafarer. “I remember when the center was merely a trailer at the Port of Miami. I feel so honored to be here in South Florida to witness the opening of the new center, which will serve as a place for all members of the Scandinavian community to gather and honor our heritage and culture.” 

The center will serve as a welcome “home away from home” for the entire Scandinavian community in Florida. The grand opening event begins Saturday, November 19th at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with tours of the facilities, activities and swimming for kids. The opening of the MHG Insurance Brokers lobby will take place at 1:30 p.m. The church consecration will be held on Sunday, November 20th at 11 a.m. with the Crown Princess. An evening reception event will follow.

MHG Insurance Brokers specializes in health insurance plans designed specifically to meet the needs of marine officers, crew and contractors, expatriates, and US residents.  Whether you are looking for travel insurance, group insurance plans or business insurance, MHG has solutions to fit every budget.        

MHG Insurance Brokers Lobby Unveiling at the Scandinavian Center

The only constant in life is change. You’ve heard it and are intimately familiar with the dynamic quality of life. Whether you’re starting a family, going on a trip to a foreign country or moving to a new city, life’s milestones can also put you at risk of being underinsured. 


Although insurance can be confusing and overwhelming, it’s important not to dismiss the responsibility of understanding your coverage and when and why you need it. Instead of tackling this task on your own, the best way to ensure that your insurance coverage is keeping up with the events in your life is through periodic reviews with your insurance provider. Adequate coverage is essential to your financial security, and without it, you could be unwittingly putting your hard-earned money at risk. 

MHG clients are fortunate to have access to knowledgeable insurance representatives to help translate the convoluted to comprehensible, helping to make sure that the things that matter most are protected. Our reps offer round-the-clock support – whether you’re curious about the benefits of life insurance, are wondering whether or not you need commercial insurance or need to understand your health insurance co-pay policy, MHG is always just a phone call or email away.

All MHG clients receive this free service from our experienced, credentialed professionals. We are committed to helping you map out your financial future as a full-service insurance provider. 

Remember, MHG’s 24/7 service comes free of charge, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you took the time and action to protect your family and belongings is invaluable. MHG Insurance Brokers has set up phone numbers around the world for your convenience. We welcome you to call us any time to learn more. 

The Right Amount of Coverage for Every Stage of Life