By David Ross
Many people avoid buying or even thinking about buying life insurance because they believe one or more of these myths about life insurance.
Myth #1: Life insurance is too expensive.
A healthy non-smoking 40-year old male can have his life insured for $250,000 under a 20-year term for less than $20 a month. A 30-year term policy for the same $250,000 is only about $30 a month. Compare these low amounts to a cell phone bill, a cable TV bill, or a latte every day. Life insurance isn't expensive -- it's downright cheap, an amazing bargain.
Myth #2: Only married couples or people with children need life insurance.
Life insurance is meant to benefit any beneficiaries who would suffer a financial setback in the event of your death. This could include spouses, children, parents, employees, business partners -- anyone who is in some way dependent on your income or the income your activities enables them to earn. Life insurance is also designed to make sure your final expenses -- funerals, final bills, mortgages -- can be paid for after your death.
Myth #3: Your health status will keep you from being able to get life insurance.
While it's true that people with critical illnesses or already in the end-stages of life may be uninsurable, most people who have chronic health conditions (diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, for example) or who smoke cigarettes are in fact insurable. Yes, some people may pay higher rates than healthy people because they present a greater risk, but they are still usually insurable.
Myth #4: You have to have a medical examination to get life insurance.
Many companies will insure you just based on a phone interview or your answers to a few questions. Companies that utilize full underwriting may require a visit to your home or office, at no expense to you, by a nurse who will take your vital signs, a blood and urine sample, measure your height and check your weight, and ask you some health questions.
Myth #5: You have adequate life insurance coverage through your employer.
Coverage you have through your employer usually ends when you leave the company. Because you did not buy your own insurance when you were younger, relying on the employee plan, your rates after you leave your job will be higher because you're now older. Sometimes an employee can convert their coverage into a personal policy, but the rates will usually increase dramatically when you're no long a member of the employee group that bought the original policy. Chances are also high that the amount of coverage you have from your employer is not nearly enough to cover your family's needs should you pass away prematurely.
These five myths are false. Life insurance is something most people need, and that most people can afford. Call or email me (678-654-95oo or email@example.com) or your local life insurance agent today.
The math behind your credit score is getting an overhaul, with changes big enough that they might alter the behavior of both cautious spenders as well as riskier borrowers.
Most notably for those with high scores: Abiding by the golden rule of "don't close your credit card accounts" may now hurt your standing. On the other side, those with low scores may benefit from the removal of civil judgments, medical debts and tax liens as factors.
Beyond determining whether someone gets approved for a credit card, a credit score can affect what interest rate and what spending limit are offered.
The new method is being implemented later this year by VantageScore, a company created by the credit bureaus Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. It's not as well-known as Fair Isaac Corp., whose FICO score is used for the vast majority of mortgages. But VantageScore handled 8 billion account applications last year, so if you applied for a credit card, that score was likely used to approve or deny you.
Using what's known as trended data is the biggest change. The phrase means credit scores will take into account the trajectory of a borrower's debts on a month-to-month basis. So a person who is paying down debt is now likely to be scored better than a person who is making minimum monthly payments but has been slowly accumulating credit card debt.
"This is a really big deal," said John Ulzheimer, an expert in credit reports and credit scoring. Ulzheimer said taking trended data into account has long been considered by the credit score industry, but hasn't been implemented on a meaningful scale. He expects more lenders to adopt it.
Continue reading at WMAZ-TV.com....
House Republicans are shopping around a new ObamaCare replacement plan, amid pressure to deliver a legislative win as President Trump nears the end of his first 100 days.
“We have a good chance of getting it soon. I’d like to say next week, but I believe we will get it” eventually, Trump said Thursday at a White House press conference.
“We’re very close,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said a day earlier at an event in London.
Fox News is told they hope to have revised legislative text in the coming days, and lawmakers are set to discuss the proposal on a conference call this weekend. But it’s unclear when such a plan could hit the House floor or what level of support it might have – Congress is currently on recess, and lawmakers won’t return until next week.
Fox News is told that leaders have not yet tried tallying support for the document on Capitol Hill.
"The question is whether it can get 216 votes in the House and the answer isn't clear at this time,” a senior GOP aide said. “There is no legislative text and therefore no agreement to do a whip count on."
A White House source said they could potentially have a vote by the end of next week, though they put the chances at 50-50.
Read more at Fox News....
The White House prodded House Republican leaders to make last-minute tweaks to their Obamacare replacement bill Thursday aimed at protecting high-cost patients before lawmakers leave Washington for their two-week spring break.
The House Rules Committee will meet later in the day to consider an amendment offered by two House members to create a new risk-sharing fund for the seriously ill, House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters at a news conference.
"Their amendment makes this a much better bill," Ryan said. "This amendment alone is real progress and it will help us build momentum toward delivering on our pledge to the country" to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The effort by the Rules Committee to rush to adopt an amendment to a bill -- without time for anyone to read it or any immediate intent to take the measure to the House floor -- is highly unusual. But it reflects the strong desire by the White House to demonstrate that the effort to repeal Obamacare isn’t dead, despite the embarrassing setback last month when Republican leaders had to pull the bill from the House floor right before a scheduled vote.
The provision is sponsored by Representatives Dave Schweikert of Arizona and Gary Palmer of Alabama, both members of the House Freedom Caucus, the conservative group that some other House Republicans have been blaming for blocking a deal on a final bill.
While the amendment "was offered by two of our most conservative members," it is embraced by a broad part of the Republican conference, Ryan said. Lawmakers will continue working on further revisions, he said.
The proposal would give health insurers $15 billion in government funding to subsidize the care of high-cost patients from 2018 through 2026, helping lower premiums for others.
It would give Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price broad authority in determining how the payments are handed out, including which patients insurers would be reimbursed for and how much. Many aspects of the program would be worked out by HHS and aren’t detailed in the four-page amendment. In 2020, the program’s operation would be handed over to the states.
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina said Thursday morning at an event hosted by Politico that if the offers made over the last few days are in the final bill, then “the majority, if not all of the Freedom Caucus will vote for this bill.”
Continue reading at Bloomberg.com....
Parts of the country are in jeopardy of not having an insurer offering Obamacare plans next year.
Many counties already have just one insurer offering health plans in the Obamacare marketplaces, and some of those solo insurers are showing signs that they are eyeing the exits.
Humana announced this year that they’d be leaving the markets altogether next year. That means there are parts of Tennessee that will have no insurance options unless another insurer decides to enter.
And Anthem, which operates in 14 states, is getting nervous, an industry analyst told Bloomberg News this week. Its departure would be a much bigger problem. According to an analysis of government data by Katherine Hempstead at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Anthem is currently the only insurance carrier in nearly 300 counties, serving about a quarter of a million people.
As you can see on our map of those counties, an Anthem departure could leave coverage gaps in substantial parts of Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio and Colorado, as well as smaller holes in other states. In places where no insurance company offers plans, there will be no way for Obamacare customers to use subsidies to buy health plans.
Without an option for affordable coverage, they would become exempt from the health law’s mandate to obtain coverage. A result could be large increases in the number of Americans without health insurance.
Continue reading at the New York Times....
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