Ihateopenenrollment-01“I HATE OPEN ENROLLMENT TIME”
It’s that time of the year again. “OPEN ENROLLMENT” in insurances from personal, to work related, to Medicare, etc… Brochures pour into the mail and your employer is handing you the pamphlets by the dozens. Do you need group life insurance which is typically offered as a benefit through your employer or membership in an association?

Group life insurance is just one that can fill some of your life insurance needs, but probably doesn’t meet them all. Most times it is an inexpensive way to supplement an individual life insurance program. But holy pumpkins there are 6-10 different major plans with 10-15 supplemental coverage’s within the major plan. Many times it is relatively inexpensive at younger ages, but rates increase with age. Just ask me.

Take for example:

Guaranteed coverage
Under group life insurance programs a certain amount of coverage is often “guaranteed” – that means you won’t have to answer questions about your health or take a medical exam to qualify for the coverage. If the amount of coverage you’re requesting requires a medical exam, it’s typically a much simpler process than the full physical required for an individual insurance policy. And normally they send a nurse to you at home or even at your workplace.

Premium rates
Now you stop being an individual measured by your lifestyle habits and health factors, but are group together with others and rates are based on the risk of the group as a whole. Administration and billing systems designed for groups

The insurance company issues a life insurance policy to the employer or association – individuals insured under the policy typically receive certificates of insurance, which outline their rights under the policy. Here’s where we get to pick and choose which company we want or should I say afford nowadays. Oh yea, you only have 45 days to pick.

Portable or convertible coverage
If you decide to leave the group for whatever reason you may be able to keep your coverage, I would consider this if I could without providing proof of good health, Yes, we now pay them directly. Premium rates will get higher than those previously paid. If I lost eligibility for coverage, I want the option to convert to an individual policy with t the current rates for that type of policy.

What about increasing coverage
Keep in mind that many group plans allow an increase in coverage following a family status change. Sometimes these increases in coverage are automatic. You need to search for specific benefits plan and the qualifying family status changes accepted. There are 5 major changes that comes to mind – marriage – divorce – births – deaths – change in employment.

SMA Services, Inc. knows that everyone has different needs so we’ve given you the flexibility to choose the right amount of protection for you and your family. Our Needs Estimator will help you calculate the amount of life insurance you may need, then calculate the amount of premium using the Premium Calculator and contact a Customer Services Representative (listed below) to apply for coverage.

Call Customer Services – 1-800-423-4992 ext 150 ask for Wendy. benefits@smaphp7.wpengine.com

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About Bob Cantlay

I have been working for the Southern Medical Association since 2004 and hold Bachelor of Science degrees in both Business Administration & Computer Science, as well as a Masters of Management. Outside of work, my wife and two kids are the center of activity; but occasionally I get away long enough to play Ultimate (Frisbee Football). I also have a newfound interest in kayaking.

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