Buying Insurance 101

Young couple shaking hands with a female agentBuying insurance, no matter what type, can be an intimidating and daunting task. For one, there is a ton of tricky lingo, a plethora of different coverages amounts and types, and of course the cost. Unless you are someone who works in the insurance industry, chances are insurance lingo can sometimes sound like a different language, and confusing protocol leaving you wondering what to do next.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way! Follow these 5 easy steps when making any insurance purchasing decision to help ease your mind and make the process as smooth and simple as possible.

What am I trying to protect?

When buying insurance, the first thing you need to ask yourself is “What am I trying to protect?” Are you trying to protect your business? Your health? Your kids? Your assets?

Once you have the answer to that question it will narrow down what you should be looking for. For insurance, If you wanted to protect your business, you would want to consider a General Liability policy, or Marine General Liability depending on the business. Protecting your kids? Look into life insurance.

What is my budget?

Once you know what type of insurance product you are in the market for, next you need to figure out your budget. After all, you don’t want to lapse your policy because you can’t afford it down the line if things become tight down the road, so be smart. Depending on your situation and what you are trying to insure, sit down and figure out what you can realistically afford, and what level of priority is the type of insurance you need.

Who do I know?

One thing that can make the decision easier is to figure out if you know anyone that currently has what are looking to get. If you do, ask them about it. What are the pros and cons? Is there anything they would do differently? Is there anything you need to look out for?

What don’t I know?

As with anything you buy, you should always do your own research. Figure out what products are out there, what pitfalls there are, and anything else that will help you get the best out of what you are buying.

Seek out a reputable broker!

Insurance Brokers often get a bad reputation but using a broker can help you avoid situations like this. For one, the majority of brokers are well-versed with the ins and outs of the insurance industry and can help you avoid a negative trend that you may otherwise know nothing about. Not to mention, brokers work for you! Brokers typically operate at no extra cost to you as it would be if you went straight to the insurance company to get your plan. If you would like to learn more details of using an insurance broker, read our previous blog, “Why You Should Use an Insurance Broker”.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are looking to protect your business, your loved ones, or yourself! Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the type of insurance you are in search of, and policy that works best for you and your budget. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about marine crew insurance, life & health insurance, travel insurance, expatriate insurance, property & casualty insurance, or ocean marine insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.

Follow these 5 easy steps when making any insurance purchasing decision to help ease your mind and make the process as smooth and simple as possible.

Shot of a couple looking stressed out while working on their finances at homeThe promise of an amazing benefit is great, but what happens when you try to use that benefit and experience resistance? That seems to be happening more and more when it comes to low-cost insurance plans. When buying insurance, a person is buying an intangible promise. With that mindset, one can see why low-cost insurance is rarely ever low-cost.

Can’t Have Good, Quick, and Cheap

Ever hear the saying you can’t have your cake and eat it to? Typically, with anything in life, you get what you pay for. Consumers are constantly trying to save money any way they can on products or services they buy. However, depending on the product or service, a good “deal” can quickly turn into an absolute nightmare. Low-cost insurance plans are no different. Consumers can expect to receive delayed quotes, slow service, claims issues, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

You’ll Pay for It Later

Saving money on premium doesn’t always mean that you’re saving money overall! Many times, those who opt for cheaper insurance end up paying more in the long run because of a lack of coverage that was unknown to them when trying to use their insurance, or even worse, no coverage at all. Imagine being involved in an emergency situation that ends up with you being in the hospital, the last thing you want to be worrying about in that moment is being stuck with the entire hospital bill which could end up being tens of thousands of dollars.

Possibility of No Service

One trend that has popped up as of late are insurance companies offering cheap plans to grow their business. However, businesses can’t afford to continue to operate on low margins, so the customers are the ones who end up suffering. Having a plan with great benefits, but no service when actually trying to use it results in disappointment for the consumer.

Consumers vs. Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are usually very large, so going toe to toe with one is no easy task if you have a dispute with the plan that you have purchased. Even if the consumer is completely in the right about a particular claim or situation, the costs and time involved can be substantial. It is for this reason that you really need to do your research and choose the best plan for your needs, not just the cheapest.

Use a Broker!

Insurance Brokers often get a bad reputation but using a broker can help you avoid situations like this. For one, the majority of brokers are well-versed with the ins and outs of the insurance industry and can help you avoid a negative trend that you may otherwise know nothing about. Not to mention, brokers work for you! Brokers typically operate at no extra cost to you as it would be if you went straight to the insurance company to get your plan. If you would like to learn more details of using an insurance broker, read our previous blog, “Why You Should Use an Insurance Broker”.

Having proper insurance is important in every aspect of life. Whether you are at sea needing international coverage, looking for proper life insurance coverage, going on a vacation, etc. MHG is your specialized broker. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about marine crew insurance, travel insurance, U.S. life and health, expatriate insurance, or property and casualty, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.

When buying insurance, a person is buying an intangible promise. With that mindset, one can see why low-cost insurance is rarely ever low-cost.

MHG Cruise Report Magazine 2019 COVER2- FLRFORT LAUDERDALE, FL (SEPTEMBER 5, 2019) – MHG Insurance Brokers, the cruise industry’s authority on crew benefits, has released the 2019 Cruise Industry Benefits and Trends Report. The report provides a glimpse into the benefits provided to officers and crew at some of the world’s leading cruise lines.

At the center of the report is the highly anticipated benefits matrix which contains a snapshot of what the cruise industry is doing today in terms of benefits provision. The matrix examines four categories including: medical insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, and retirement savings. Coverage details for each benefit are highlighted and lists which group receives them - all in an anonymous format.

Topical articles and trends affecting the industry, such as the anticipated growth across all segments and the introduction of LNG technology and the possible impact on crewing, are also profiled. Guest contributors, Paul Morter, founder of UK based Block 524, takes an in-depth look at retirement savings plans and their importance in a successful attraction and retention strategy while Caitlin Vaughan, Project Manager at the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), discusses crew mental health at sea.

“Staff attraction and retention set the most successful cruise lines apart from the rest,” said Lyall Duncan, MHG’s Cruise Division Director. “Seafarers may have been plentiful in the past, but with the recent and continued expansion over the next several years, it may prove harder to find and keep qualified officers and crew. We’re pleased to be able to provide our clients with this report so that they can determine which benefits and perks are necessary to be competitive.”

MHG Insurance Brokers continues to be at the forefront of developing innovative insurance solutions and products to meet the changing needs of the cruise industry, businesses, and individuals around the world. To receive a copy of the Cruise Industry Benefits and Trends Report or to schedule an appointment to review the report and discuss your benefit strategy, please contact MHG Insurance Brokers at +1 954-828-1819 or pr@mhginsurance.com.

About MHG Insurance Brokers

Established in 1991 in Miami, Florida, MHG Insurance Brokers is an independent, global, full-service insurance brokerage and consultative facility. Through its extensive relationships with international underwriting markets, MHG develops and provides a full range of employee benefits, risk mitigation programs, business insurance and financial services all supported by comprehensive attention to service support for all of our clients. In the marine community, MHG is well known for its expertise in the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) and developing MLC-aligned crew insurance solutions. For more information about MHG Insurance Brokers and the services we provide, please visit mhginsurance.com

MHG Insurance Brokers, the cruise industry’s authority on crew benefits, has released the 2019 Cruise Industry Benefits and Trends Report. The report provides a glimpse into the benefits provided to officers and crew at some of the world’s leading cruise lines.

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!

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.


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.

Mother with her daughter thinking of getting life insuranceDo 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!