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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Life Insurance

Is there a period of time during which after I purchase my life insurance policy I can change my mind and have my money refunded?
Yes, the Insurance Law requires a period of not less than ten days nor more than 30 days from the date the policy is delivered to you. The insurer must refund to you any premium paid, including any policy fees or charges.

What happens if I forget to pay my premium by its due date?
Your life insurance policy will provide for a 31 day or one month grace period within which you can still make your premium payment. Your policy will continue in force during that time. Universal Life type policies will generally have a grace period of 60 days.

If I pay my annual premium and then decide to cancel my policy, will I receive a pro rata refund of my premium?
An insurer is not required under the Insurance Law to refund any portion of your annual premium if you choose to cancel your policy during the year.

What if I made a mistake in completing my application for a life insurance policy? Can the insurer void my policy?
A life insurance policy will be incontestable by the insurer after being in force during the life of the insured for a period of two years from its date of issue. The insurer must show that a material misrepresentation was made in the application.

What happens to a life insurance policy in the event of suicide of the insured?
If the insured dies by suicide during the first two policy years, the insurer will refund the premiums paid and the death benefit will not be payable.

In order to purchase life insurance I am told I must have an "insurable interest" in the person to be insured. What is "insurable interest"?
The Insurance law defines "insurable interest" as, in the case of persons closely related by blood or by law, a substantial interest engendered by love and affection. In the case of other persons, a lawful and substantial economic interest in the continued life, health or bodily safety of the person insured, as distinguished from an interest which would arise only by, or would be enhanced in value by, the death, disablement or injury of the insured.

If there is a delay in an insurer paying the death benefit to the beneficiary when a death claim is made, is the beneficiary entitled to any interest on the death benefit?
Yes. The Insurance Law requires that interest computed daily at the rate of interest currently paid by the insurer on proceeds left under the interest settlement option be paid from date of death to date of claim.

Disability Insurance

What makes one contract better than another?
The key components to a disability insurance policy are the renewability, definition of total disability, definition of residual disability, built in exclusions, and company financials backing the policy. Notice we did not say price, any company could quote you a policy that looks cheaper than another.

What is the average price of an individual disability insurance policy?
One can expect to pay between 1-3% of your annual income in disability premium. The best answer is, the premium depends upon how much coverage you want to have. Disability policies can be customized to fit your needs in every way.

How long does it take to place a disability income policy in-force?
Underwriting takes us an average of 30 days. Quite often we have been able to issue policies within 10 days, however if we need to obtain medical records from physicians you have seen recently the process generally takes 30 days.

Long Term Care Insurance

Why should I apply for Long Term Care insurance?
Eventually, the majority of us reach a point in our lives where we are no longer able to take care of ourselves. Whether the cause is from an accident, onset of an illness such as Parkinson's disease or stroke, more than likely there will be a time where we will need extended long term care. Americans over the age of 65 face a 75% risk of entering a nursing home for Long Term Care services. A year in a nursing home averages more than $70,000 and can exceed $100,000 annually in some parts of the country.

Premiums for Long Term Care insurance rise with age. Also, your health plays a factor in your premium. If you wait to long before applying for Long Term Care insurance your age and health may make it very expensive or even impossible to qualify for a policy.

What is the average daily benefit?
This is the rate determined by your policy provider which will cover your daily benefits. On average they range from $150 to $500 daily depending on your location. View Your State's Average Daily Benefit.

What is the average Assisted Living Facility cost yearly?
Assisted living facilities can cost upwards of $100,000 a year with rates expected to continue to rise as the baby-boomer population reaches retirement age.

What are ADLs?
The basic activities and functions performed on a daily basis that are usually done without assistance. The six ADLs are:

  • Eating
  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Transferring
  • Continence

Are long term care insurance expenses deductible?
According to the tax code, for people who itemize tax deductions, medical expenses are deductible if they exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI). For an individual, the portion of the LTC insurance premium that is deductible is determined by the age of the insured. However, if you are purchasing this for a parent and you are not considered a dependent, you are not entitled to a medical expense deduction. Additionally, contact your tax advisor regarding other deductions if you are a Corporation.

How are benefits from the policy treated by the IRS?
For individuals, these benefits are generally not taxable, as long as the policy you own is a Tax Qualified policy. Almost all policies are "TQ" policies.

Why choose Long Term Care insurance over Medicaid?
Many planners refer to Long Term Care insurance as "asset protection". Medicaid eventually pays for Long Term Care services once an individual becomes impoverished. If you are able to pay Long Term Care insurance premiums without having to change your lifestyle, you should transfer that risk to the insurance company.

Medicare Advantage

What about emergency care while traveling?
Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover emergency care - whether home or away. You should not need a referral from a primary care physician or authorization from your Medicare Advantage carrier to receive emergency services.

Are there different types of Medicare Advantage Plans?
Yes. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Private Fee For Service (PFFS), Medical Savings Account (MSA), Special Needs Plan (SNP), Point Of Service Plan (POS) and Provider Sponsored Organizations (PSO).

What are my costs associated with Medicare Advantage Plans?
Your out-of-pocket costs depend on many factors including whether your plan charges a monthly premium in addition to your Part B premium, whether your plan has any deductibles to meet, whether your plan requires copayments or additional fees. Many plans offer a yearly limit on out-of-pocket costs.

Are all Medicare Advantage Plans essentially the same?
No. Medicare Advantage Plans are approved by Medicare but offered by private companies and as such, each has its own regulations and requirements. Not all plans work the same way so it's important to compare plans before enrolling.

When may I enroll in Medicare Advantage?
Initial enrollment is permitted when you first become eligible for Medicare or when you turn age 65. If you're newly eligible for Medicare because you're disabled and under age 65, if you're already eligible for Medicare because of a disability, and you turn age 65, and under certain circumstances that qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). NOTE: Under the new Healthcare bill, there are some important enrollment date changes: Starting in 2011, the Enrollment Period will be changed to October 15 through December 7 ONLY.

Medicare Supplement

Where can I learn more about Medicare?
We have Medicare explained in simple terms on our About Medicare page.

Why do I need a Medicare supplement, or "Medigap" policy?
Medicare coverage has deductibles that increase every year, and many gaps that could leave you with unlimited out-of-pocket expenses. A Medicare Supplement plan can help protect against these expenses.

How do I get a quote for Medicare Supplement insurance?
Give us a call at 973-660-1040 and we'll be happy to help. We can help you understand how the plans work, compare rates, and choose the one that will be right for you.

What plans are available, and what do they cover?
Medicare Supplement insurance is available in twelve standard plans: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. All plans of a particular letter are exactly the same, regardless of which insurance company offers it. Read more about the available 10 Medicare Supplement Plans.

How do I qualify for a Medicare Supplement plan? What if I have some pre-existing health problems?
When you enroll in Medicare, there is a 6-month open-enrollment period in which you can apply for coverage without having to qualify medically.

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