Medical Malpractice: How to avoid paying for “Tail Insurance” at retirement.

Medical Malpractice: Tail Insurance

Have you budgeted for the cost of tail insurance when you retire?

Tail coverage can be extremely expensive. Depending on the carrier, the cost of your tail insurance could range from 150% to 250% of your final year’s premium. This is a sizable amount for any physician but can be especially expensive for high risk specialties. Many standard malpractice carriers have free retirement tail provisions after the age of 55 and after 5 consecutive years of coverage. If you retirement is around the corner, this provision may be prohibiting you from looking at more affordable malpractice options.

The SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program picks up prior acts back to your retroactive date and provides free tail for life after insured for 12 months and over the age of 50.

Our program could potentially save your practice up to 50% off your current rates.

We’ve aggregated the over 4,000 Southern Medical Association members to provide you with the underwriting discounts and terms & conditions to independent physicians that would normally be reserved for large hospital systems.

If you would like more information on your eligibility for our program,
please contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org to request additional information.

Does your Malpractice Carrier provide coverage for privacy liability and regulatory violations?

Privacy Liability CoverageElectronic record-keeping and digital communications are now used by most businesses. Too often businesses underestimate the risks of data security breach & regulatory violations.

It is important that you know if your general liability or malpractice insurance covers privacy and regulatory exposures. Unless you purchase standalone coverage, your policies most likely specifically exclude data and regulatory related risk.

You are an expert at what you do but the demands on your time may not allow you to study and learn about the insurance coverage you need to cover cyber breaches that can occur at your facility. SMA Services, Inc. can help you find the policy that best fits your needs.

Our exclusive malpractice program proudly offers up to $100,000 in coverage for privacy and regulatory violations at no additional cost. Our policy provides separate $100,000 limits for Security and Privacy, Regulatory (HIPPA, RAC), Patient Notification & Credit Monitoring, & Data Recovery Costs.

If you would like more information on your eligibility for our program,
please contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org to request additional information.

 

 

What triggers a claim on your Malpractice Insurance Policy?

Medical Malpractice: Incident Triggers

Medical Malpractice claims made policies are issued one of two ways; they will either have an incident trigger or a written demand trigger.

Incident Trigger:

If your malpractice coverage has an incident trigger, the moment you report a bad outcome to your carrier they become responsible for any future claims based on this incident.

Written Demand Triggers:

Under a written demand trigger, you may know of a bad outcome but a carrier will not accept responsibility of a claim until a written demand for money or a lawsuit has been made.

If affordable, an incident trigger form should always be considered.

Demand Trigger policies may force a physician practice with a known incident (however large or small) to remain with their current insurance company for years to avoid a gap in coverage. There is the potential that the carrier could significantly raise rates or adversely change coverage forms while awaiting a written demand or the Statue of Limitations to pass.

The SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program provides an incident trigger form. We’ve aggregated the over 4,000 Southern Medical Association members to provide you with the underwriting discounts and terms & conditions to independent physicians that would normally be reserved for large hospital systems.

Our program could potentially save your practice up to 50% off your current rates.

If you would like more information on your eligibility for our program, please contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org.

 

 

Medical Malpractice: Is Claims-Made or Occurrence right for you?

Medical Malpractice: Claims Made or OccurrenceEvery malpractice insurance policy is going to contain a method, manner or time period in which a claim can be filed. The majority of insurance policies are written using the occurrence form but many others, especially professional liability policies are written on a claims-made form. These different forms have a major effect on your responsibility in the event of a claim, the actual cost of the policy and most importantly, how the company will respond to the claim:

Occurrence:

This policy covers claims made for injuries sustained during the life of the policy; even if the claim is filed after the policy has been canceled. An occurrence is an event that can result in the filing of an insurance claim.

Claims Made:

A claims-made policy provides coverage when a claim is made against the policy, regardless of when the claim event took place as long as the claim event took place after the ‘retroactive date’. If an insured elects to change insurance companies from one year to the next, it is important that the new carrier offer “retroactive” coverage back to the retroactive date to prevent any gaps in coverage.

While there are certainly pros and cons to both policies; in most cases, the claims made policy form is the most competitively priced option for the independent physicians.

If eligible, the SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program will assume prior acts back to the retroactive date of the previous policy.

If you would like more information on your eligibility for our exclusive malpractice program, please contact us at medicalmalpractice@smaphp7.wpengine.com.

Medical Malpractice: The dreaded Hammer Clause

Malpractice: Hammer ClauseHaving a hammer clause in your malpractice policy can be problematic in the event of a claim.

A Hammer Clause in your policy may read like this:

“Insurer will not settle or compromise any claim without the consent of the insured. If, however, the insured refuses to consent to a settlement or compromise recommended by insurer and elects to contest such claim or continue legal proceedings in connection with such claim, then insurer’s liability for the claim shall not exceed the amount for which the claim could have been so settled, plus claims expenses incurred up to the date of such refusal.”

Avoid policies with these hammer clauses at all cost.

A ‘consent to settle’ policy that requires the insurance company to have your approval in order to settle a case is most desirable.

The SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program does not have a hammer clause and the consent to settle lies with the physician. We’ve aggregated the over 4,000 Southern Medical Association members to provide you with the underwriting discounts and concessions to independent physicians that would normally be reserved for large hospital systems.

Our program could potentially save your practice up to 50% off your current rates.

Do you have time to read your policy? Most of our clients don’t – We can provide a quick review to determine if you have the dreaded hammer clause at no obligation.

Contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org for additional information.

Medical Malpractice: Do you have the consent to settle?

Medical Malpractice: Consent to SettleDoes your malpractice policy allow you to decline settling and fight unjust claims in court to the very end?

If you have a “Consent to Settle Clause” in you policy, in order to settle a case, the insurance company must have your approval. If you reject this settlement, you reject it without further penalty.

For instance: if you purchase a policy with $1M limits and you lose at trial after declining to settle, your insurance company will still be required to pay up to a $1M verdict.

Malpractice Suits are very personal, and the Southern Medical Association wants you to have the ability to fight a claim to the very end.

The SMA Service’s exclusive Medical Malpractice program allows our insured’s to reject settlement offers without further ramifications.

We’ve aggregated the over 4,000 Southern Medical Association members to provide you with the underwriting discounts and terms & conditions to independent physicians that would normally be reserved for large hospital systems.

Our program could potentially save your practice up to 50% off your current rates.

Do you have time to read your policy? Most of our clients don’t – We can provide a quick review to determine if you have the dreaded hammer clause at no obligation.

Contact us at MedicalMalpractice@SMA.org for additional information.

 

You want a solid foundation

IRAsOh man, you’re thinking, “I have to come up with a way to help my employees plan for their future.”  You want it to be a good plan because you will be using the same plan for your future. Problem is you just do not know what to do. You are thinking about IRAs. But you have found out there are many different types of IRAs. You had no clue. Now you have to decide what IRA would be best for you and your employees. You may even be wondering if each employee can chose what IRA they want. Your friends have listened and given advice, you have done research, you have even talked to other business owners but at the end of the day you still do not know what you want to do. The questions keep rolling in your mind. You want to do what is best for your employees and their families. At this point you are just plain tired of thinking about what to do.

 What you do know is you want a solid foundation for your investment portfolio before you introduce it to your employees. You have a good group of people and you want to keep them. The decision you make is going to be very important. You want them to be as happy with the company as you are with them.

 Instead of continuing to rack your brains think about this:  There is a better way to take control of your future. Let SMA Services, Inc. help you find the right IRA that will help you save for retirement and get great tax advantages along the way.

 You can talk to SMA Services, Inc. and they will listen. If you have decided to go with IRAs they will help you decide the best IRS for your need. Yes, there are several choices. You may already realize that and that is part of what is so confusing to you. Do not feel bad about that. It can be confusing, but SMA Services, Inc. has the resources to help you decide what is best for your company. They can even show you other options. You may continue to want to offer IRA plans to your employees. Plus you may come up with other options too. Remember you are trying to come up with the best plan for your employees.

 Think about this there is the SEP-IRA, (Simplified Employee Pension), the Contributory IRA, a Spousal IRA, a Rollover IRA, the Roth IRA, etc. Do you really want to continue to worry about this or do you want to use your time and energy running your business? You are an expert in your field. You do not have to be an expert in choosing an IRA plan for your company. It is time for you to call SMA Services, Inc. They are waiting to help you. Call 1-800-423-4992. Tell the person that answers what you are interested in discussing and you will be directed to the person you need to help you.

Planning Ahead to Avoid Pain Later

Planning Ahead to Avoid Pain LaterPlanning for our financial futures is something we should all take part in. You may never know when illness or death can strike and it’s better to be prepared when the time comes rather than be left with a financial burden on top of your grieving. Planning for your future doesn’t always mean funeral expenses. It can mean planning for health costs, vocational counseling, financial planning for a child’s educational costs, or financial planning for long-term income in the event of a severe injury. Each family is different and has different needs and resources available. There are no clear-cut answers to how a catastrophic event will affect your family, but it is important to begin planning now for the inevitable to lessen the blow when and if the time comes.

Planning ahead for funeral arrangements can eliminate a great deal of strain on your family members left behind. The value of “Pre-Need” arrangements can save a spouse or children thousands of dollars and time that can be spent properly grieving. Another one of the primary objective of “Pre-Need” arrangements is to ensure that the funeral is carried out according to your wishes. It doesn’t take much thought to see the value in this approach. In fact, millions of people choose to pre-arrange their funeral every year. Taking the beforehand approach can provide social, psychological, and emotional benefits to loved ones at a difficult time and allows your family to have peace of mind that “your affairs are in order.”

Not all planning has to be done to prepare for death. Albeit equally as grim, you may find yourself in a situation where you can’t work or you may find yourself in need of some sort of long-term care. People choose not to think about becoming dependent on others for care, and often times, people are just misinformed about the risks of needing care coupled with a lack of knowledge about the cost of care and payment options available. There is a very good chance that by the time you reach the age of 65 you will need some sort of long-term care or assistance, and that probability only rises as you continue to age.

Some people find it difficult to discuss these topics with their loved ones, making it difficult to explore their options and define their plans. Adult children often times find it difficult to raise these subjects with their parents for fear of feeling as if they are patronizing them, but the fact is, these things need to be talked about. Same goes for the parents of the adult children, they don’t want to make their children uncomfortable by discussing their passing or how they will be cared for in their final years. Some people realize the importance of planning ahead, but just don’t know how to go about doing so. The best way is to being with small and easy steps. Even just talking with your loved ones is a great first step toward being well prepared.

 

What, Why and Who

What, Why and WhoWhat is long term care insurance?

Wow, it is a little frightening to think of needing long term care insurance. But you know what we really need to think about it. So what is long term care insurance? It is a type of health insurance that pays for skilled, intermediate, and custodial care in your own home, adult daycare setting, assisted-living facility, or nursing home.

Why do we need long term care insurance?

People buy long term care insurance feel the need to protect themselves financially in case they become unable to care for themselves because of a chronic illness, disability, or cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease. If you have long term care insurance you want have feel you are a burden to your children. You may be able to stay in your own home if you get sick. Others just want to make sure they have the care should they need it.

Who needs long term care coverage?

According to the Insurance industry, just about everyone needs long term care insurance? Are they trying scarce us into buying insurance? No, just visit any nursing home. You will find that the residents are not just elderly people. Any age person can have a health related sickness or accident that requires them to need long term care. Research has been done that shows 60% of people who reach age 65 will require long term care at some time in their lives. One widely respected publication, Wall Street Journal, states “… a couple turning 65 has a 75% chance that one of them will need long term care.” This high risk can also affect the entire family where the children are at risk of a negative inheritance, also according to the Wall Street Journal.”

Cost of long term care

Long term care can be as much, or more, than $200.00 a day. Even with Medicare and a strong health insurance policy you still need long term care insurance. Many Americans think that if they are on Medicare they are covered for long term care. That is not the case. “When you ask them, ‘Does Medicare cover long-term custodial care?’ only a third know that the answer is no,” says Steven Wallace, associate director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.all

It is important to choose your insurance provider wisely. It would be so tragic to choose a company that was no longer in business when you needed them. Or one that did not follow through as they had indicated they would. That is why you should let SMA Services, Inc. Help you decide what company you should purchase your long term care insurance from.

Give SMA Services, Inc. a call. We would like to work with you and help you chose what long term care insurance you need. We have a Customer Services Representative waiting to help you.
Customer Services – 1-800-423-4992

Long Term Care Easier for You

long_term_care_insuranceWhen addressing long-term care, it is important to understand what that label encompasses. Long-term care refers to the help needed by people with chronic illnesses, disabilities, or other conditions that affect them on a daily basis over an extended period of time. The type of assistance can range from help with simple activities like dressing or eating to assistance from skilled care workers that’s provided by nurses, therapists, or other professionals. It is important to understand the basis for which long-term insurance is built on and what it can potentially cover for you. With the help from the professionals at SMA Services, you can rest assured that you’ll have guidance and support through your search for the appropriate plan for your specific situation.

If you ever find yourself in the position where long-term care is a necessary next step, it is important to recognize a few facts about long-term care insurance itself. If you receive health coverage through an employer, you may come to find that employer-based coverage does not cover extended care services. You may also want to reconsider turning to Medicare, because their coverage will only assist in a limited amount of at-home care or for a short stay in a nursing home. These are among some of the reasons that people in the applicable situation turn to long-term care insurance to help cover day-to-day expenses.

There are a few factors to consider when examining the many options of long-term care insurance. Usually, policies cost less if they are purchased when you’re young and in good health. Those with older and more severe health concerns may not be eligible for long-term coverage – and if you are covered at an older age, you will ultimately spend a considerably larger amount for your plan. Examine your income; if you’re struggling to pay your necessary bills or you are concerned about paying them in the years ahead, a plan may not be the logical decision for you. You may have a support system built from family and friends who would assist you in your time of need if it arises. Think about if you would want them to help or if they logically could in your time of need. Think about your savings and financial investments. A financial advisor can assist you in ways to save for your future long-term care expenses and what the pros and cons are of purchasing a long-term insurance plan. Usually, benefits paid out through long-term care policies are generally not taxed. Determine how to itemize the benefits and how your tax records should reflect your long-term plan.

Long-term care insurance is important coverage that provides valuable support and financial resources that help cover the cost of long-term care you may need in the event of an illness, accident, or through the normal affects of aging. By helping you protect your assets, and giving you the choice and control over where and who you receive care from, SMA Services can help you and your family face the future with confidence and peace of mind.