Man’s Best Friend

Have you noticed that one of the questions on our homeowners application is if there is a dog in your home? Have you ever wondered why? Some insurance companies are particular about covering certain dog breeds. In fact, there is a list of 11 types of dogs, or mix of these breeds, that insurance companies commonly consider a risk to cover. On the list are: Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chows, Great Danes, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and Wolf-hybrids.

Because St. Joseph Agency represents seven carriers for homeowners insurance, we can place your home with a company that protects you and your pet.

In some situations, an umbrella policy may offer better protection if you own certain dog breeds. Umbrella insurance covers dog bites under most circumstances. So, if your dog bites your neighbor and he or she decides to seek legal recourse, your umbrella policy can also cover you.

Be sure to let us know when you bring a new pet into your home so that we can place you with the best possible coverage for you and your pet.

Four Options from St. Joseph Agency for Health Insurance in 2018

Q – I had an ACA (Affordable Care Act) plan through Anthem in 2017 and they are cancelling my plan at the end of the year. What should I do?
Affordable Care Act. We have had contracts with four carriers in Indiana and watched each of them pull out over the past few years. As far as ACA/Obamacare plans go, there are two remaining carriers left in Indiana….CareSource and AMBetter. Neither cover all the counties in the state…but each can write in Metro Indianapolis and surrounding counties. Both are enrolled through the Marketplace and have in-house captive agents….so there is nothing for St Joseph Agency to offer our customers with a need for ACA coverage. ACA coverage was never great . . . with very high premiums, limited doctors and hospital networks, and with bad or no coverage out of state. Its legislative end has not yet occurred, so many folks are left with the question of what to do in 2018. Open enrollment for ACA is November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017.

Q – What other Health Insurance opportunities are available?
For Health Insurance, St. Joseph Agency is offering four options:
Medi-Share. Medi-Share is a Christian-based medical bill sharing ministry. It is not insurance but operates in very much the same way. I personally have Medi-Share for my own family and have been very pleased with the program.
To enroll, you must complete an application with some medical questions. You must be Christian and agree to live a healthy lifestyle. This plan also shields you from the ACA penalty tax.
With Medi-Share, you pay a monthly ‘share’ which is similar to a premium. There is a ‘annual household portion’ which is the part you are responsible for, similar to a family deductible. There are plan provisions which define what medical conditions may be listed for bill sharing. Medical bills are submitted through PHCS, an electronic bill clearing and repricing network that most doctors use. Networks are not narrow like the ACA and the program works in all states.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ENROLL IN MEDI-SHARE, please send the following to
Your Name, DOB of the oldest in your family, number to be included (ie 1, 2, 3 or more), cell phone and email address. We will send you a quote with a link to complete the enrollment.

Short-term Medical Insurance. On Thursday, October 12, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that restored pre-ACA status to Short Term Medical Insurance. In Indiana, the term increases from three months to six months. While not a perfect nor permanent solution, those that are healthy can save a lot in premiums over ACA plans using this strategy.

Association Group Plans. President Trump’s executive order also gave a ‘green light’ to Association Plans that may soon offer individual members of national associations coverage that goes across state lines and would offer lower premiums than ACA plans. This is a new development and we are certain to see these in the near future.

Small Employer Group Plans. If you can establish an employer group, even as few as two people so long as it is not husband and wife only, we can quote a self-funded group plan that might work for you. There are a few medical questions but in return a much better plan with lower deductibles that an ACA plan. Premiums are tax deductible to the employer.

What’s the difference between Whole Life and Universal Life?

Whole Life and Universal Life can be made to operate with exactly the same result or with much different outcomes.  Whole Life is a fixed product with fixed assumptions.  It operates in the insurance realm much like a fixed-interest mortgage operates in real estate.  You know the premium—and as long as the premium is paid as due, you also know the exact outcome, (death benefit, cash values, loan values) for the policy at any time in the future.  Universal Life can operate in the same way, but also gives you the ability to ‘not pay’ or to ‘pay less’ than billed.  Sure, that affects the accumulation and you may be hurting the reason you purchased the policy in the first place, but it sure gives you a bunch more flexibility in times when it may be difficult to make that ‘fixed’ payment.  Universal Life will stay in force so long as there is a minimal amount of equity left in the accumulation account.