What is Term Life Insurance and How Does it Work?

Insurance Basics for Medical Professionals

By Jeffrey H. Rattiner, CPA, CFP®, MBA

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After determining the need for insurance and the amount to purchase, the doctor-client and financial planner’s next task is to match those needs to the client’s objectives to determine what type of policy the client should purchase. The life insurance industry features more products today than ever before. One reason for this change is that, clearly, the insurance industry has expanded its product base to become more competitive. Another reason is that clients’ needs are constantly changing and the insurance companies must keep up with those needs or run the risk of having funds withdrawn from their companies. New and different types of life insurance products are here to stay. Since life insurance represents a significant part of a client’s risk-management program, planners have to be versed in the specifics of the varied product base.

Term Insurance

Term insurance provides protection against financial loss resulting from death during a specified time. Term insurance is often characterized as providing “pure” protection because it pays only death benefits and does not contain any cash value features. Coverage stops at the end of the policy period. Term insurance comes in two forms: nonrenewable term and annual renewable term.

Nonrenewable Term Insurance

Nonrenewable term insurance offers the client the poorest quality because the insured has to requalify or prove evidence of insurability for coverage every year. As a result, its cost is the lowest since the insurance company annually re-underwrites the individual applying for coverage. This allows the insurance company to be selective and avoid adverse risks.

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8

Annual Renewable Term Insurance

Annual renewable term insurance is a quality term product. Under this type of term insurance, the policyholder may continue coverage on an annual basis. The rates are higher than nonrenewable term since the insurance company must continue to renew the policy at the insured’s option. The premiums generally increase as the policy matures, and the policy offers no flexibility. Coverage automatically stops if the premiums are not paid.

Conversion Provisions

Term insurance may offer a conversion provision that allows the insured to convert the term policy into a cash value policy without evidence of insurability, providing the insured with a guaranteed hedge against future un-insurability. The insured can convert the policy to a whole life policy at a later date. This can be done in one of two ways:

1. The insured can go back to the original policy date of issue and pay premiums on the basis of the younger age. All back premiums, including interest, must be paid to date.

2. The insured can pay premiums at the attained age (or at the age of the insured at the time of conversion).

Advantages of term insurance policies include a lower initial cost, allowing dollars to be invested elsewhere, and pure death protection. Disadvantages include the lack of permanence, the absence of a savings element, the expiration of the policy after a specified period, and a periodic increase in cost. The increasing premium structure of term insurance results from the decreased life expectancies of an individual’s later years.

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

Assessment

Term insurance is most appropriate for young couples who have children or who otherwise may need a large amount of insurance. It is also appropriate for people who do not want to invest in a cash value insurance vehicle, who cannot afford the higher premiums of cash surrender policies, whose insurance needs will decrease over time, or who have temporary needs. Term insurance consists of mortality charges and policy expense. Because term insurance is quite expensive at the older ages, an alternative product was developed.

Conclusion

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Financial Advisory Reform Going Down in Flames

A [False] Hobson’s Choice*

By Staff Reporters

In political Washington DC, according to Ian Salisbury, almost anything will fly if you can make an argument it will benefit the middle class. It worked in the fight against requiring advisors to act in clients’ best interests … Say what?

Is this the case of a classic Hobson’s choice?

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=bank+reform&iid=8227139″ src=”c/3/0/3/Sen_Dodd_Discusses_655e.jpg?adImageId=12270785&imageId=8227139″ width=”380″ height=”570″ /]

The Strategy

Yep, its true! At least, this strategy worked for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors [NAIFA], which fought a recent proposal that would have made all financial advisors act in clients’ best interests … you know – the “F” word.

Assessment

It seems that there are few protections for the public from unscrupulous FAs, stockbrokers, and insurance agents. And, few wish to become fiduciaries.

http://www.fa-mag.com/online-extras/5406-a-phony-argument.html

*A Hobson’s choice is a free, usually economic, choice in which only one option is offered.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Please visit: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

As former certified financial planner, insurance agent, stockbroker, surgeon and this ME-P publisher Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA, CMP™ has always opined to physician colleagues: it is “buyer-beware” out there!

Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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Off-Road Touring with Dr. Marcinko [Part I]

“Using-Up” Health Insurance

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Dateline: June 18-19th, 2009dem24          

I flew into Marquette Michigan last night on a puddle jumper from Chicago, Illinois. Marquette will be the home base on my current book promotion and public/private  speaking tour. This second leg of our trip, from Atlanta, was delayed for mechanical reasons. So, rather than follow directions from American Airlines regarding new arrangements, and rushing to wait in a long line of humanity for a new boarding pass on a much later flight, I simply called the travel assistance number on my cell phone. We were re-routed by computer from American, to a Delta Airlines flight, that caused no additional time lag as we later learned the other passengers boarded their American flight three hours late. Many of the elderly and slower moving folks even missed connecting flights which necessitated overnight hotel stays, in some cases.

THINK: outside the box independently, and don’t follow directions mindlessly.  

About Marquette, Michigan

The City of Marquette is located in the central region of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With a population of 20,714, it is the UP’s largest community. In addition to being a population center, it serves as the regional center for education, health care, recreation, and retail. This regional draw is particularly evident due to Northern Michigan University and Marquette General Hospital, both of which are located in the City of Marquette. Of course, I visited both.

Quality Healthcare for the Upper PeninsulaUPHC

So, the next morning I called some friends who suggested we head over to the Marquette Upper Peninsula  Healthcare Network System, on Washington Street, for an unplanned and unofficial stop on our current “signing and opining” tour. It seemed very busy for a Friday morning; so we gathered some colleagues and ambled over to Viering’s Restaurant where we discussed the local economy, current state of the healthcare industry and the Obama Administration’s ideas for healthcare reform. When I expressed my surprise at the number of patients in the clinic waiting room areas, I was informed that an unexpected corporate layoff resulted in patients “wanting to use their health insurance, before being RIFed [Reduced-in-Force].” Now, as a doctor, and insurance agent, I find this attitude both very strange; yet not uncommon.

“Using-Up” Health Insurance

I can honestly say that after more than three-decades in the business, I have never heard a single soon-to-be unemployed client say,” I need to use up my life insurance”, or “auto insurance”, or “homeowner’s insurance”, etc. So, what gives with health insurance?

Health Insurance IS Different

Insurance of all types is sold to economically protect against catastrophic events like pre-mature death, auto accidents, or home destruction. But life insurance doesn’t pay for non-lethal issues; auto insurance doesn’t pay for new tires, tune-ups or oil changes; and home owner’s insurance doesn’t pay for regular upkeep and maintenance, etc. So, why do some patients believe that health insurance necessarily needs to be used-up? Were they not healthy before the lay-off announcement; or did they suddenly become ill, thereafter? What do you think? Is this just a local phenomenon, or would it be [is it] pandemic in any community given the same or similar circumstances?

AssessmentUPHC-DEM

For me, this scenario clearly demonstrates two things. First, that Health Insurance is thought of as a personal right and/or corporate fringe-benefit; rather than true financial indemnification. Second, it demonstrates the ability of patients to think ahead; unlike the airline customers on my initial trip here. So, if patients can be forward thinking about their health insurance needs, why don’t they think ahead about their personal health care needs? Why don’t more of us exercise regularly, watch our blood pressure and weight, and/or avoid drugs, alcohol and promiscuous sex, etc.  If we can monitor and pay for routine auto and home maintenance ourselves; why not our routine health needs?  Isn’t good health our most important personal asset? Aren’t we worth it? Do we really want to abrogate our very lives to others? Do we want to concede our responsibilities to a third party, ie, a national [single-payer] governmental controlled healthcare? Those patients wanting to “use their health insurance”, before unemployment, certainly seem to think so.

About Off Road with Dr. Marcinko

These sporadic off-road segments will continue through-out my 2009 summer promotional tour. On the one hand, formal attendance at several engagements was initially a bit sparse because of the death of several recent celebrities and entertainer types. On the other hand, local book stores and sponsors noted a spike in our CD and book sales, as well as interest in our online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com program and premier quarterly guide: Healthcare Organizations [Journal of Financial Management Strategies] www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Tell us what you think. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

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Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

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Securing Medical Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

Tips for Doctors Looking for Malpractice Insurance

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

dem2The following are buying tips for healthcare professionals who are shopping for medical professional liability insurance coverage:

** Shop well in advance of your renewal or expiration date. Your agent should have all of the necessary information to the insurer at least six to eight weeks before your coverage expires.  See below for more tips and  the type of information your agent will need.

** If you do not know an agent who can place your coverage, the Bureau of Insurance has a list of agencies that are licensed and appointed with at least one of the insurers on the Bureau’s list of “Insurers Writing New Business for Physicians and Surgeons.”

  • Contact one or two agents and be sure to ask each agent which insurer will be contacted for a quote. Ask the agent if an application will also be submitted to a surplus lines broker.  If so, ask for the name of the surplus lines broker and ask which surplus lines insurers will be contacted.  Provide this information to the other agent to avoid multiple applications being submitted to one insurer from different agents.  If the application is being submitted to a surplus lines broker, be sure to ask the agent for information on the coverage provided and specifically request information on exclusions.
  • If the agent recommends coverage through an unlicensed company (such as a surplus lines insurer or a risk retention group), be aware that, in the case of insolvency, the insured will not have coverage through the [State] Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association.  However, if the healthcare professional has had several claims or an open claim, they may only be able to obtain coverage through a company not licensed in their state.
  • Ask the agent for information on the financial rating of the company and if the surplus lines insurer has its own guaranty fund.  Also, if shopping, the medical professional should feel free to check with the Insurance Bureau of their respective state to see if the company and agent are licensed or authorized to do business.
  • The agent should fully understand the healthcare professional’s business.  If incorporated, ask the agent what coverage is needed to protect the corporation as well as any individual doctors.
  • Ask the agent about the availability of “tail coverage” or if the new insurer will provide coverage for “prior acts.”  If coverage is offered with two insurers, ask the agent what each insurer charges for “tail coverage.”  This information may help in deciding which insurer has the most competitive price.
  • Complete the application for coverage in its entirety.  Don’t omit any information and be sure to provide as much detail as possible, especially about prior claims.  Many insurance companies want 10 years of information.  They may also request information about any risk management practices and procedures.
  • Discuss deductible options with your agent.  These may help lower your premium.
  • Find out if the insurance company offers any risk management or loss prevention programs.  Such programs may lower the premium and help reduce exposure to losses.

insurance-book

Assessment

The author has been an expert medical witness in both state and federal court. He is a former licensed insurance agent and certified financial planner, advisor and consultant.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Have you ever considered a more modern liability coverage method, such as an RRG, etc?

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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Advetising in “Worth” and “Bloomberg” Magazines

Advertisers – Give Me a Break!

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™dr-david-marcinko16

Did you know that financial advisor Judith Zabalaoui, age 71, considered a pioneer of the fee-only business-model of financial services sales, pleaded guilty to using a Ponzi scheme to embezzle more than $3 million from her New Orleans area clients between 1993 and 2007? Yep, it’s true, but this is not really noteworthy to many pundits considering the current financial meltdown on Wall Street. But, do you know … the rest of the story?

Resource Management Inc.

Most of Zabalaoui’s clients came from Resource Management Inc. in Metairie, La., which she founded in 1974, according to the Times Picayune. Apparently, she became a Certified Financial Planner® in 1979, but the certification expired in 1999.

Link: http://www.nola.com/business/t-p/index.ssf?/base/money-1/1233728420253000.xml&coll=1

Assessment

So, here’s the rub. According to reports, Resource Management Inc. was the only firm in the country where each of the principals were allegedly “selected” by Worth [1996 to present], Money [1987] and/or both magazines as one of the top financial consultants in the country. The company also made Bloomberg Wealth Manager’s list of top wealth managers in 2004.

Industry Indignation Index: 55

Now, with all due respect and humility, I have been asked several times by Worth and Bloomberg to “promote yourself” in their “advertiser-driven” publications as a top financial consultant; but never Money magazine. I have always refused their selection charges for same of $12-18,000.

Full disclosure: I am the Founder of www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com and a reformed insurance agent, registered investment advisor and Certified Financial Planner™.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Was Judith Zabalaoui a fiduciary and what about these magazine “best-of” awards? Are they worthwhile monikers or worthless sales advertisements? What about all the so-called financial certifications, designations and charters; meaningful or meaningless? What is your opinion?

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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Upcoming Health Economics Interview with Dr. David Marcinko

Coming Soon from Medical Business News, Inc

By Ann Miller; RN, MHA

ME-P Executive-Directordr-david-marcinko22

Medical Business News, Inc., the publisher of Medical News of Arkansas, is a leading source for healthcare industry news that is truly useful. With a professional readership comprised of physicians and key industry decision makers, Medical News publications are devoted entirely to healthcare issues that impact both clinical and administrative best practices. Written and edited specifically for healthcare professionals, MBN writers work with experts at the local, regional and national level to keep stakeholders informed about the ever-evolving healthcare system.

Out Reach

It is no wonder then, why local market MNA editor Jennifer Boulden recently contacted us to arrange an interview with Dr. David Edward Marcinko, our Publisher-in-Chief, who is also a former insurance agent, registered investment advisor, health economist and Certified Financial Planner™

Link: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com  

Interview Topics

The wide open topic in this environment of medically specific lethargy and macro economic insecurity – personal and business planning for physicians. Of course, since this is a broad field, we will use the rating and ranking system of this blog to help Jennifer and her staff, winnow down categories to top-of-mind concerns of our ME-P subscribers and her MNA readers.

Link: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Assessment

But, we also ask you to send in any particular issues that you may have in order to make the interview helpful and exciting for all concerned.

Link: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

Link: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

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