Insurance doesn’t just protect your assets. It protects your family’s health and wellbeing. To get that protection, you need to choose the right life and health insurance.
Life insurance can help protect your family’s future in case the unthinkable happens. What kind of life insurance you need depends on where you are in life and your goals for your family. For example, the family’s primary breadwinner will usually want life insurance to guarantee their income in case something happens to them. On the other hand, you may still want life insurance for a stay-at-home spouse, because the working spouse would likely be faced with additional childcare costs if they had to continue working. Life insurance can also do things like protect co-signers on your loans, guarantee that your mortgage will be paid off, or provide for your children’s education.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is a life insurance policy that runs for a specific amount of time. The usual lengths are between five and 30 years. As a general rule, the younger you are when you start it, and the shorter time period you select, the cheaper it is.
Term life insurance is generally ideal when you have a defined need for insurance. If you’re looking to protect your income, this might be until you’re eligible to retire with a pension or Social Security. If you’re getting life insurance to protect your children, you might select a term that covers you through when they will finish college. If your needs change, you can usually extend your policy, but this would be at the then-current rates for your age.
Whole Life Insurance
A whole life insurance policy does what its name suggests. It protects you for your whole life as long as you continue to pay your premiums. Like term life insurance, whole life insurance is generally cheaper when you start your policy when you’re younger. Typically, your premium stays the same as long as you keep your policy in good standing.
Whole life insurance can be ideal when you want to maintain life insurance coverage indefinitely. It can help meet all of the same goals as term life insurance. You just don’t need to worry about what happens if your term ends, and you can’t qualify for new coverage, or the current rates are unaffordable.
Another benefit of whole life insurance is the cash surrender value. While term life insurance is use-it-or-lose-it, whole life insurance builds up a cash value over time. If you choose to cancel or reduce your whole life insurance policy, you can receive a portion of your premiums back plus interest.
There are several different ways to get health insurance. You might have coverage through your employer, be able to use the MNsure health insurance marketplace, or search out coverage on your own. The policies that you have available can change each year based on both your family’s situation and market conditions. Unfortunately, comparing health insurance plans can be very difficult as the exact coverages and providers are often buried in multiple layers of fine print. Your insurance agent can help you navigate this process.
Should You Use Your Employer’s Health Insurance Plan?
If you have a health insurance plan at work, you should consider it, but it isn’t automatically better than your other options. The first thing you need to consider is if it gives you the coverage options you need and if you can add your family members. Next, consider the costs. If your employer doesn’t subsidize it, it’s no different than if you were buying health insurance on your own, and you may find a better price elsewhere. Finally, consider if this is a job you want to stay tied down to for at least the next year. If you’re planning to make a move and a non-employer option is about the same as your employer option, it might make sense to skip the employer coverage.
Are You Eligible for Marketplace Subsidies?
If you’re currently eligible for marketplace subsidies or may become eligible for subsidies during the upcoming year, you probably want to select a plan through the health insurance marketplace. While anyone can go onto MNsure and buy their own health insurance, you may want to have an insurance agent walk you through the differences between plans and properly fill out the application.
Do You Need Additional Coverage?
There are a few situations where you may need additional coverage. You may have an employer plan that leaves out certain prescriptions or doesn’t have vision and dental. If you’re planning on traveling abroad, your health insurance may not be valid in another country, and you may need travel insurance. These are all options that you can find separately.
Have You Lost Your Job?
Losing your job after selecting an employer health insurance plan can leave you scrambling to find coverage. You may be eligible for COBRA, but that can be very expensive. You can also see if you can qualify for a special enrollment period or what short-term health plans are available.
Your Insurance Agent Can Help
Choosing the right life and health insurance takes more than just shopping for the best rate. You need to understand how it fits with your family’s current financial situation and your predictions for the future. Your insurance agent can help make sure you’re asking the right questions and that you understand the available options. Cornerstone Insurance Group is located in Zimmerman, MN. Contact Chris Klemesrud to learn more or to start your quote.