Best Loan Options for Retirees

Paul Tom

Getting a loan when you’re retired presents its own unique set of challenges. Most retirees are on a fixed income, and if you’re only getting a limited amount, lenders may be wary of issuing you a loan. It’s important to choose the right type of loan, because if you don’t you may end up with a loan that you can’t afford due to high interest rates. Consider the following options to find the best one for you.

The Ideal Solution – A Loan through a Bank or Credit Union

When it comes to personal loans, banks and credit unions still reign supreme. These tend to have the lowest interest rates and offer terms of a year or more, giving you plenty of time to pay back what you borrow. Because of the favorable loan terms, banks and credit unions are also the strictest when it comes to minimum loan requirements. This means it can be difficult to obtain a loan through either type of financial institution.

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Your best bet is with either a bank or credit union that you already use. If you’re a customer there, then they’ll want to keep you satisfied and are more likely to issue you a loan. They also have more knowledge of your financial history, which makes it easier to trust you.

The Alternative Option – A 0-Percent APR Credit Card

This won’t work if you need actual money deposited into your account, but if you can make due with a revolving line of credit, then a 0-percent APR credit card is an excellent alternative to a loan. The only catch is that you need to pay off as much as you use by the end of the card’s introductory period, when the APR goes up to a normal amount. Introductory periods are usually 12 months, but some card issuers offer cards with shorter or longer time frames.

This solution won’t work in every situation, but if you only need extra money for 12 months or less, then you can get it with a 0-percent APR credit card and avoid paying any interest.

The Middle Ground – Online Lending

There are two types of online lenders available:

  • Online lenders that issue loans themselves
  • Online lenders that facilitate peer-to-peer loans through their marketplaces

The difference is that with the former type of lender, you’re getting your loan from the company. With the latter, you’re getting your loan from investors who use the lender’s marketplace.

Both options tend to have moderate interest rates and loan requirements. They’re more flexible in terms of who they’ll lend to than a bank or credit union, but that comes at a cost in the form of higher interest.

The Last Resort – Title Loans

You’ve probably seen these advertised on TV all the time – title loans where you give the lender your car title and get a loan that depends on the current market value of your car. There are a couple benefits of these loans, including:

  • Speed – you can typically get a title loan within an hour after applying at the title loan company’s office
  • No credit check – the lender doesn’t need to check your credit to issue the loan

However, these benefits are outweighed by the massive interest rates. In quite a few states, an auto title loan will have an APR of 300 percent, and the term will be a mere 30 days. This makes it easy for consumers to end up trapped in a debt cycle as they need to keep renewing loans that they can’t pay off. Avoid these types of loans as anything other than a short-term last resort.

As a retiree, you need to choose your loan carefully. Start by checking out what’s available through banks or credit unions. If neither is an option, try going online.

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The 6 best tips to reduce morning anxiety

Anna Brecken is a writer for NootropicNation. She has extensive knowledge of Nootropics. She also writes for several other supplement and brain enhancement websites.

Morning anxiety is something all of us have to face each day. It is that feeling where you don’t want the night to end especially if you’re struggling all night from insomnia. It is that feeling when you hear the sound of your alarm clock, and you just want that snooze to die and just want to ignore it for you to sleep all day. Unfortunately, if you are a working class person reading this, not waking up is not an option. So, I’ve collected some of the best tips for you to reduce morning anxiety.

  1. Sleep well

This may not apply to all situations especially if you are suffering from sleep disorders, but most likely, you aren’t. So, instead of spending extra time doing some of the things you usually do during your day off, hit the bed as early as you could. This will ensure you’ll gain the right amount of sleep you need for you to reduce morning anxiety.

  1. Wake more naturally

In connection with sleeping well, once you get used to giving your body the adequate sleep it needs, waking up each morning becomes more natural. It becomes part of your system. Start conditioning yourself and accept the fact that you have to do it each day and the flow of things will start to become smooth. Simply put, just go with the flow!

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  1. Start your day with some relaxation exercises

One helpful tip to avoid morning anxiety is to have something to look forward to. A helpful way to do this is to practice some relaxation exercises of your choice. Pick those relaxation exercises that you want, pair it with some really relaxing music at the background and make it a motivation for you and to not be afraid of the alarm clock anymore.

  1. Control your breathing

In line with starting your day with some relaxation exercises, breath control is one of the best things you can do from the comfort of your bed. Most importantly, this has also been a proven way of reducing morning anxiety and is highly recommended by experts around the world. Being able to relax your respiratory system is a very effective way of fighting morning anxiety.

  1. Eat something after waking

Start waking up happy. Setting up proper motivation before waking up is one of the most important ways to reduce morning anxiety. This is the reason why this tip is included in the top six, making your favorite breakfast a motivation for you. You may also experiment with supplements and start learning some helpful nootropics information. This will surely reduce your morning anxiety and will even make you wake up before your alarm time.

  1. Post positive thoughts & affirmations

Positive thoughts and affirmations are really helpful regarding self-conditioning. Mornings would become better the moment we see some inspirational and positive thoughts and affirmations the moment we open our eyes. Practice posting some of these thoughts around your bedroom, put it in a very strategic location, somewhere where your eyes normally land each morning to make sure it’s the first thing you’re going to see. This helps reduce morning anxiety more than anything else.

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Should I Manage My Own Portfolio or Hire a Professional?

Gaby Revel

When faced with an important task that must be done, we often find ourselves wrestling with the question of whether to take on the task personally or hire it out to a professional. The answer to that question is both simple and complicated. It all depends on how comfortable you are in doing it alone.

If you’re not so sure about your own abilities to effectively oversee your investment portfolio, you’ll next have to ask yourself if you think someone else could do the job better than you. Your options are basically to go it alone or hire a pro to oversee your finances.

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Me, myself and I

There are definite advantages to managing your own portfolio. The obvious perk is that you don’t have to pay asset management fees to money managers if you’re doing it yourself. Thanks to the internet, you can have the same access to the markets in real time that the highest-priced brokers have. There are online tools that can help you assess your risk tolerance, walk you through setting asset allocation goals, help you research reports on any topic and track how your portfolio is performing.

However, going it alone isn’t all sunshine and puppies. There are risks involved. Should life intrude and hold your attention on things other than managing your investments, you could find yourself tumbling over a cliff before you see the danger coming. Those who go it alone also tend to shy away from safe retirement strategies, going with a more “go big or go home” attitude that doesn’t always play well when applied to money management.

Take your personal inventory

Before you make the final decision on who should manage your portfolio, take a hard look at yourself. Have a discussion with yourself, asking a few questions before you proceed.

Ask: Is it bigger than I can handle? If you’re a relatively low-level investor with limited investment funds, you can probably handle your portfolio with a few carefully chosen diversified mutual funds. If, however, you’re looking at a portfolio with a large sum of money – say, a half a million or so – you may be better served with a professional managing your portfolio.

Ask: What’s the limit on my risk taking? Generally, a more conservative approach proves to be the safer retirement strategy for growing investment portfolios.

Ask: Will my portfolio diversity shield me from market volatility? Reality in the world of finance shows that it is difficult for a solo investor to put together a portfolio of stocks, bonds and mutual funds that are diverse enough to protect you when the market takes wild fluctuations – which it will do.

Ask: Can I hold to my investment plan? Be honest with yourself. If you’re the type that cheats on a diet, you’re probably not going to stick to your investment plan.

Choose your route carefully

Regardless of the route you choose to take, make certain you do your homework first. With a little soul searching and some serious research, you can spare yourself a lot of headaches and heartaches in the future.

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Beauty and Skincare- Tips for Healthy and Glowing Skin

Charlie Brown

Protecting and nurturing your skin is essential for maintaining its health and beauty. In order for you to be able to have clear and glowing skin, you need an effective and regular routine that consists of quality products. Along with using the right products, promote the good health of your skin by adopting some key lifestyle habits.

Hydration

Drinking adequate amounts of water each day will help to keep your skin clear by flushing out toxins and providing hydration. Make sure that you always have access to water that you can drink during the day. Alternatives to water include herbal tea and fresh home-made juices.

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Healthy Diet and Exercise

  • A healthy diet also contributes to glowing skin. Consume nutritious vegetables and fruits that will regulate your bowel movements, benefit your skin and prevent constant breakouts.
  • Cut down on your consumption of salt and sugar. Excessive salt consumption can end up giving your face a bloated appearance.
  • Working out regularly stimulates the flow of blood around the body and to the skin. Consistent exercise yields long-term health benefits for the entire body.

Skincare Tips

  • Establish a skin routine that involves making sure that you cleanse your skin at night. During the day, oil, dirt and makeup pile up on your skin and this makes it necessary to wash it every night.
  • If you use makeup, invest in a quality makeup remover that will prevent clogged pores and breakouts while sleeping. Makeup remover also prevents the risk of smearing your makeup on the pillow, which can expose your skin to a buildup of bacteria as you sleep at night.
  • Use gentle products that are recommend at http://www.skincareconsumers.com/ to keep your skin clean without stripping away its oils. If you notice that your face feels dry or irritated after washing, you may be using something that is too harsh for your skin.
  • Be careful when cleansing the delicate area around your eyes.
  • Gently wash off the cleanser that you use with warm water rather than using abrasive washcloths that can cause irritation. Splash small amounts of water around your face and dry it by gently patting your skin with your towel.

Toners

Toners are used to remove excess buildup of dirt and oil from the skin. They are also useful for closing the skin’s pores. Place some drops of your preferred toner on to a pad or cotton ball and rub gently over the skin. Use a light swiping motion to apply your toner, especially around areas that are susceptible to breakouts such as the forehead and nose.

Moisturizers

Moisturizing your skin every night helps to restore your skin after a long day and keeps wrinkles at bay. Using moisturizer is an essential component of glowing skin on a long-term basis. You can use a light moisturizer for your daytime routine and a slightly heavier product at night, depending on the condition of your skin. Remember to go beyond your face when moisturizing because areas such as the neck can become dry when they are not regularly moisturized.

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Do You Need a Reverse Mortgage Set-Aside?

Cliff Auerswald

How to Tell if You Need a Reverse Mortgage LESA

Qualifying for a reverse mortgage today is a different process than it was in the past. As underwriting standards have tightened considerably in recent years, becoming eligible for a reverse mortgage now requires a more complex analysis of the loan applicant’s financial circumstances.

As a prospective borrower, it helps to know just what you’re going up against during the application process, including what aspects of your financial history are most likely to impact the overall determination of whether you can be approved for a reverse mortgage.

For applicants with a spotty financial track record, have no fear, because you might still be able to obtain a reverse mortgage with the help of a “LESA.”

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What is a LESA?

LESA is an acronym that stands for Life Expectancy Set-Aside. It was created by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and put into effect April 2015, in efforts to increase the safeguards afforded to reverse mortgage borrowers as part of the new financial assessment underwriting requirements.

“LESAs are an important aspect of the reverse mortgage application process. Not only do they factor into a lender’s determination of whether an applicant can be approved for a reverse mortgage, but they also impact the amount of loan proceeds that a borrower may be eligible to receive.” – Cliff Auerswald President of All Reverse Mortgage

How do I know if I need a LESA?

Whether or not a reverse mortgage loan applicant requires a LESA depends on the results of their financial assessment.

When lenders analyze the financial history of a loan applicant, they are largely looking to see if the applicant has the capacity to maintain the obligations of the reverse mortgage. Particularly, the lender is trying to determine that the applicant has enough residual income left to afford the terms of the loan.

Residual income is the amount of money that is left over after a lender has subtracted—from the applicant’s income and assets—what the prospective borrower pays for property taxes, homeowners insurance, along with any debt obligations or other living expenses the person has.

This figure is then compared to a government threshold amount based on region and family size that determines whether an applicant has sufficient residual income to pass the financial assessment. If the applicant passes this portion of the financial assessment, then he may move forward with the reverse mortgage.

But let’s say the applicant’s residual income falls a bit short of being able to cover the costs of the reverse mortgage and his/her ability to continue paying property taxes and insurance. Depending on how much of a shortfall there is, the applicant may still be able to move forward with the reverse mortgage—though a LESA would be required to pay for the property charges.

The money used to fund a LESA comes from the overall principal limit of the reverse mortgage. At first glance, this can be seen as a drain on the total reverse mortgage proceeds that a borrower may be able to access over the course of the loan, but a LESA can actually be a boon for borrowers, depending on the circumstances.

Why a LESA can be a good thing

LESAs can be either Fully Funded or Partially Funded. With a Fully Funded LESA, the lender makes property charges on behalf of the borrower using the funds taken from the reverse mortgage loan proceeds.

As for borrowers who seem capable of paying a portion of these mandatory obligations, a Partially Funded LESA will cover a portion of the property charges. In this scenario, the borrower will receive semi-annual payments from their loan proceeds to help cover these mandatory obligations. Borrowers, rather than the servicer, are responsible for the timely payment of all property charges.

For qualifying borrowers who might worry about having to pay their monthly taxes and insurance obligations, they may voluntarily choose to have their reverse mortgage servicer establish a LESA for the payment of these ongoing expenses.

If you feel more comfortable knowing that your lender will be responsible for making your monthly taxes and insurance payments, then you might want to consider setting up a voluntary LESA that enables them to do so—even if you have sufficient residual income to afford these charges yourself.

If you are considering a reverse mortgage and would like to learn more about LESAs also see:

Reverse Mortgage Set-Aside (LESA) Offers Peace of Mind.

 

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Getting out of Debt- Paying off Loans after Retirement

Joel Collins is a freelance editor and writer. He has been actively involved in various freelance writing forums that are aimed at mentoring and inspiring upcoming writers. To learn more about how to apply for online personal loans, please visit the site here.

Several people including seniors face the financial burden of different types of loans. The good news is that individuals do not have to let their debts disrupt their retirement. Various loans are a problem for older people who are nearing or already in retirement but can resolved through proper planning.

Loans and Retirement

Older borrowers account for a significant percentage of loan balances and while these have grown rapidly among consumers of different ages, it is interesting to note that there has been substantial growth in balances that are linked to borrower who are over the age of 60.

Student loans are owed by people who have not only borrowed funding for their own education but for their children and grandchildren as well. For those who have financed their education, the student loans are recent for the purpose of pursuing further education, obtaining degrees and changing occupations.

Avoid Defaulting on Loans

Older borrowers who default on their loans often believe that their loans can be canceled when they retire. However, the reality is that you are still obligated to pay on your loans after retirement. If you still carry a loan debt while approaching retirement or after retirement you need to avoid defaulting on your loan.

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Make all your payments when they are due. Allowing your loan to go into default may compromise your wages, tax refunds and various benefits to which you are entitled. A portion of benefits from your social security can be used to offset your loans.

Repayment Plans

Increase the possibility of successfully repaying loans by making sure that you do not put off payments, monitor your progress and keep in touch with your lender. Find out if you are eligible for a repayment plan that is income-driven and can prevent you from defaulting. Under such circumstances payments will be based on a percentage of your income.

Repayment based on income and extended payments can lower monthly payments and make them more affordable and manageable. However, you may end up with higher interest for the duration of the loan. Click here for online personal loans.

Refinancing Solutions

Refinancing a loan can help you access reduced interest rates, especially if you have good credit. Refinancing loans makes it possible for consumers to take out new loans at single interest rates that are typically lower that what they were previously paying, depending on the borrower’s situation.

It is important to find out the refinancing options that are available to make it easier for you to pay back the money you owe. Evaluate the options you have for repayment and get rid of other expenses that will enable you to eliminate debt as you retire.

Conclusion

Ideally, if you are retiring, you should not be dealing with debt in different forms such as student loans, mortgages and credit card debt. For most people, retiring indicates that their income will be reduced. Retirement benefits should be directed towards your upkeep rather than loan payments on a monthly basis. Even though you may have limited means to repay debt after retirement, you still need to identify a way to fulfill your financial obligations.

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The Best Merchant Account for Your eBay Business

Hae Lee

One of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to your business and your finances is selecting the right merchant account. If you pick the wrong one, or a merchant account service that does not provide the best fees or services, for example, you could end up with lowered profits and an overall weaker business. That is why you must be careful in your selection and take a look at a number of factors when making your decision. Let’s take a look at how you can select the best merchant account for your eBay business, and how the option to integrate payment processing with QuickBooks can help make your days easier.

Integrated Services

A merchant account provider should make your life easier. They should work on helping to build your business and enabling it to thrive, in other words, not making your life harder. With the right provider, you can access options that allow you to integrate payment processing with QuickBooks. This is a particularly useful option that can help save you time and money when it comes to keeping track of your finances and your business payments. Consider finding a merchant account provider that offers services like these.

Incentives

Sometimes, providers are so sure that they can provide you with the service you need that they even offer things like a free online merchant account to help make everything more cost effective in the long term. This is a fantastic deal, and taking advantage of it can help you keep the costs of accepting online payments down while also making your life more productive by presenting your financial information all in one place.

For a great merchant account service that understands how to help your business grow, check out Merchant Account Solutions today! They offer the ability to integrate payment processing with QuickBooks, and can make your days a little easier.

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Life Changing, Changing Lives

Lynn McClenahan

As I get organized here in Portland, Oregon to return to Guatemala for the fourth year in a row, I’m thinking back on how this “love affair” began with this country.

For many years I have been involved with an amazing organization called Dining for Women.  With over 450 chapters now in the United States, this educational giving circle has raised nearly $6  million donated to grassroots projects around the world that empower women and girls.

In 2013 I went with a DFW group and visited five of the programs we had donated money to in prior years.  We visited MayaWorks, Starfish One by One, Mercado Global, Friendship Bridge and 13 Threads.  While I had done a great deal of traveling before this trip, this was the first time I had the opportunity to see behind-the-scenes extreme poverty.  It was eye-opening and life-changing for me.

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These beautiful women and children were living in various conditions, often with lots of family members in one room, many times without a flushing toilet, predictably with chickens, and a cow out back, and usually their small villages were far from grocery stores or medical help.

We were greeted with such warmth and smiles of appreciation.  With Friendship Bridge we were able to see examples of their micro-finance small business transactions. We participated in the teen mentoring team building training at Starfish One by One.  We had a four directions fire ceremony with 13 Threads.  We tried a back strap loom at Mercado Global.  Mi corazon estaba lleno. My heart was full.

I stayed an extra ten days after this first trip and got connected with yet another wonderful organization, Mayan Families.  This social service program with several preschools in the highlands of Lake Atitlan also does amazing work with children’s education and nutrition, medical help for families, ancianos (elderly), and artisan support and training.

After that first year of infatuation, I’ve returned to Guatemala every year to study Spanish, visit some of the programs and projects that Dining for Women still helps support, and do some volunteering with Mayan Families including visiting our sponsored preschool children and their families.

I am now hooked on this country and this way of traveling.  I no longer can be just a tourist (though there is certainly some of that on my trips). Guatemala is an amazing country and Lake Atitlan is simply stunning. The indigenous culture still exists including the native dress in many villages with women and men wearing hand woven fabrics. The physical beauty of the natives themselves is remarkable.

Yes, there is extreme poverty.  Most visitors may never see this side of Guatemala with so many people who struggle to survive.  My love affair will continue as will my efforts including monetary donations to worthy programs to make a difference. My connection to Guatemala has been life-changing for me, and hopefully, in even a small way, also for them.

For more information on Volunteering in your retirement, click here and here.

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Giving Back in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Observations from a resident living in SMA

Hey Akaisha and Billy,

Happy December in the tropics. Were headed to Zihua soon for some warm weather and beach. It gets nippy at 6500 ft in the winter. We also like Caleta de Campos, a true cartel town that you turned us on to where we now have friends.

zihuatanejo5

I always appreciate how you inspire and give folks the tools for a more satisfying life. You certainly did us. Now, seven years after retiring at 58, we haven’t touched our investments and are able to save money from our Social Security. We’re living better than we ever could in the US or Canada and loving the weather and our volunteer work.

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You guys didn’t talk much about San Miguel de Allende Mexico even when you spent more time in MX. There’s an estimated 18,000 expats here in the high season and nearly 8,000 year round. Also low (visible) cartel action. But we still found a super-cheap apartment in 2013 which we remodeled and leased long-term. There is affordable housing in SMA still. I know folks who pay less than  $300usd/mo for reasonable housing in good neighborhoods tho $4-500usd is more common. Also SMA is a compact walking town so no need for a car (not to mention $2usd taxis or 25c busses).

sma-chapala-2b

But besides world-class art, music and culture, there are over 100 non-profits doing incredible things for the less-affluent here in the 4th poorest state in Mexico. Which makes Mexicans see us as something other than a cash machine. Literally thousands of volunteers from both cultures make it all work.

Our local Rotary club recognize a SMA “Citizen of the Year” every year. These average people are doing extraordinary things and loving their meaningful lives. Many of them with no savings and $700/mo Social Security checks. Others are Mexicans making $100usd/wk and still others are generous 1%-ers. Check: www.nonprofitsma.net

Being around a community that values helping others so much is what has made ex-pat life so good for me. Thanks for your example.

Your old high school buddy,

Tom S.

Rotary San Miguel de Allende Midday

VP Programs and Peace

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Understanding Your Health Insurance: 15 Definitions to Know

Jon Clark

It isn’t easy to understand health insurance. There are many terms associated with healthcare coverage that are likely unfamiliar or vaguely familiar. A lack of understanding can create both health and financial challenges.

A 2015 online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SCIO Health Analytics revealed that approximately two in five insured Americans lack a good understanding of which healthcare services are covered under their current plan. So if you’re confused about your health insurance, you’re not alone. In fact, you have quite a bit of company! Not only do healthcare consumers struggle with the insurance process, healthcare providers often do as well. That’s why many providers choose to outsource their medical billing services to reduce costs and errors.

To clear up some of your confusion, here are definitions of 15 terms associated with health insurance that often trip people up. Note: If you ever have questions about your insurance, including what is covered and terminology, call your insurance provider. They should help answer your questions so you can make better informed decisions about the healthcare that is right for you.

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  1. Health coverage. This is your legal entitlement to payment or reimbursement for your healthcare costs, generally under a contract with a health insurance company, a group health plan offered in connection with employment or a government program (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid).
  2. Health insurance. This is the contract that requires your health insurer to pay some or all of your healthcare costs in exchange for a premium (see below).
  3. Network. Your insurance plan’s network represents the facilities, providers and suppliers the insurer or plan has contracted with to provide healthcare services.
  4. Premium. This is the amount you pay for your health insurance every month. In addition to your premium, you usually have to pay other costs for your healthcare, including a deductible (see below), co-payments (see below) and coinsurance (see below).

When researching an insurance plan, it is important to understand that the plan with the lowest monthly premium may not be the best match for you. If you need a lot of healthcare, a plan with a slightly higher premium but a lower deductible may save you substantial money.

  1. Deductible. This is the amount you pay for covered healthcare services before your insurance plan starts to pay. With a $2,000 deductible, for example, you pay the first $2,000 of covered services yourself. After you pay your deductible, you usually pay only a co-payment or coinsurance for covered services. Your insurance company pays the rest.
  2. Co-payment. A co-payment is a fixed amount of money you pay for a covered healthcare service after you have paid your deductible. Sometimes called “co-pays,” co-payments can vary for different services within the same health plan, like drugs, lab tests and visits to specialists.

Plans with lower monthly premiums typically have higher co-payments. On the other hand, plans with higher monthly premiums usually have lower co-payments.

  1. Co-insurance. This represents the percentage of costs of a covered healthcare service you pay after you have paid your deductible. Generally speaking, plans with low monthly premiums have higher coinsurance, while plans with higher monthly premiums have lower coinsurance.
  2. Benefits. These are the healthcare items or services covered under a health insurance plan. Covered benefits and excluded services are defined in the health insurance plan’s coverage documents.
  3. Annual limit. This is the cap (limit) on the benefits your insurance company will pay in a year when you are enrolled in a health insurance plan. Caps are sometimes placed on specific types of services, such as hospitalizations and prescriptions. Annual limits may be placed on the dollar amount of covered services or the number of visits that will be covered for a particular service. After an annual limit is reached, you are responsible for all associated healthcare costs for the remainder of the year.
  4. Lifetime limit. Like an annual limit, but for your lifetime. A lifetime limit is a cap on the total lifetime benefits you may receive from your insurance company. An insurance company may impose a total lifetime dollar limit on all benefits, specific benefits or a combination of the two. After a lifetime limit is reached, the insurance plan will no longer pay for covered services.
  5. Excluded Services. These are the healthcare services your health insurance or plan does not pay for or cover, meaning that if you receive these services, you will likely need to cover the full cost.
  6. Out-of-pocket estimate. This is an estimate of the amount you may have to pay for healthcare or prescription drug costs. The estimate is made before your health plan processes a claim for the service provided.
  7. Preferred provider. This is a healthcare provider that has a contract with your health insurer or plan to provide services to you at a discount. Check your insurance policy to see if you can see all preferred providers or if your health insurance or plan has a tiered network that will require you to pay more to see some providers. Note: Your health insurance or plan may have preferred providers who are also “participating” providers. A participating provider also contracts with your health insurer or plan, but the discount may not be as great, so you may be required to pay more.
  8. Non-preferred provider. This is a provider who does not have a contract with your health insurer or plan to provide services to you. When you see a non-preferred provider, you can expect to pay more. It is worthwhile to check your insurance policy to determine if you can go to all providers who have contracted with your health insurance or plan, or if your insurance or plan has a tiered network.
  9. Allowed amount. This is the maximum amount an insurance plan will pay for a covered healthcare service. If your healthcare provider charges more than your insurance plan’s allowed amount, you may have to cover the difference. Allowed amount is also referred to as “eligible expense,” “payment allowance” or “negotiated rate.”
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