Category Archives: Blog

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Shopping for Health Insurance in San Francisco

Healthcare has been a hot button political topic the last few years. What no one can argue is how vital it is to have quality health care available to you. We at Express Service Insurance know this first-hand, providing health insurance in San Francisco to anyone who needs it.

We offer numerous plans and packages for individuals or families, and can easily customize one to fit your specific needs and budget. Since our company works with many carriers across California, we’re able to get you a great price on your health insurance. So whether you’re in between jobs, self-employed, or simply want to find a more affordable plan, Express Service Insurance can help. Our plans come with an affordable monthly premium and a wide selection of benefits for people of all ages and medical conditions. Continue reading

Health Care Reform for 2013 & 2014

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Major changes in American health care are well underway, and yet thousands of people are still uninformed about the basics of the new changes, and what that means for individuals, families, and businesses. Today we will briefly cover the basic framework of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

What is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)? 

The ACA will create a state exchange and marketplace in which both individuals and companies can search for insurance plans. This marketplace is designed to have several benefits: Continue reading

Personal Life Insurance – Do You Have Enough?

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As a major business hub, many of us in The Bay are lucky to have our companies offer plans for life insurance. San Francisco employees can be covered with life insurance to little to no cost, which is a luxury not afforded by most.

Nonetheless, it is important to be smart about your personal life insurance. There are definite downsides and benefits to a blanket life insurance policy, and it is important to know whether a company plan is benefiting you or not.

The Benefits

At the top of the list of benefits is that more often than not, the cost of joining your company’s life insurance plan is significantly lower than what you would pay for the same plan independently. As a company, they have certain circumstances and leverages that you and any individual would not have.

The next major benefit that a company life insurance plan has is that you are not required to show any proof of insurability. Proof of insurability can be any number of medical evaluations and documents, including but not limited to a detailed medical history, recorded doctor visits, and up-to-date tests. Individuals who would not be eligible for life insurance based on their medical eligibility would circumvent this issue with a company insurance plan.

The Disadvantages

By nature, a company life insurance plan will not be a perfect fit for everyone. A diverse work force of differing ages, marital statuses, and health will all be receiving the exact same insurance coverage. Herein lies the problem—depending on your individual situation, your company’s life insurance may not be sufficient.

You can also lose your coverage should you ever get laid off, or choose to work for a different company. Most company life insurance policies are not transferable, and will not cover you in the event that your relations with the company are severed.

If you want to take a second look at your personal life insurance in San Francisco, let our insurance specialists help. Call us today and we will look at your insurance standings and deduce whether you need additional coverage based on any existing debts, predicted future expenses, and more.

Workers Compensation Insurance in California – How it Works and How to Keep Costs Low

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If you are a Californian business owner, you should be aware that it is mandatory by state law to have business insurance in California, specifically Workers Compensation Insurance. Whether you have 1 employee or 400 employees, you must have Workers Compensation Insurance or else you will face considerable fines and penalties.
Here we will briefly cover what is Workers Compensation Insurance, what it does, who it is for, and how to keep its costs as low as possible. Continue reading

General Contractors General Liability Insurance

General Contractors are getting great coverage at the lowest price with Preferred Contractors Association Insurance. With programs from “B” rated to “A” Rated carriers, we can get any type of General Contractor covered. We have been very successful with carpenters, GC’s, plumbers, electricians, and painters. Fill out the Quote Contact Form and we will call you back to give you a quick quote over the phone. With a Blanket Additional Insured endorsement, we can add as many clients as you need with certificates issued within an hour.

Young adults are key to success of Obama’s health care reform

Jason McCool, an adjunct music professor at Montgomery College in Maryland, doesn’t receive health-care insurance through his workplace, making him an important player in the implementation of President Obama’s health-care law.

“I actually haven’t been to a doctor in 10 years,” said McCool, who’s in his 30s. “I try to keep in good shape and all, but you never know if there’s going to be a car accident or something.”

McCool isn’t alone. According to estimates, nearly one-third of the nation’s uninsured are young and healthy Americans. And success – or failure – of President Barack Obama’s health-care law largely depends on their participation.“There’s pretty broad agreement that new health care exchanges can’t work if we don’t get broad participation in the system,” says Robert Zirklbach, a spokesperson for America’s Health Insurance Plans, better known as AHIP.

Enrollment for the exchanges begins on Oct. 1.

“If the younger people simply decide not to purchase health insurance until they need it, that’s going to actually increase costs for everyone, both those who are young as well as those who are old,” Zirkelbach adds. “Getting young people in the system is good for everybody, and it’s good for the long-term sustainability of the new health insurance exchanges.”

Under the new law, those who choose not to purchase health care insurance must pay a $95 opt-out fee or 1 percent of their respective income – whichever amount is larger.  But what’s still unclear is whether or not this is a harsh enough penalty to encourage participation.

“I don’t think that people are going to be terribly happy about paying something for nothing, so I think that the result will be that they’ll probably end up purchasing,” says McCool.

But he acknowledges that buying insurance will cost him money – maybe as much as $200 to $300 per month.

“Frankly, I don’t make enough money to justify that,” he said. (However, under the health-care law, someone in McCool’s income range would qualify for subsidies that could cover as much as 29 percent of his overall premium, according to the Kaiser Health Care calculator.)

Who are the uninsured?
A government marketing analysis
 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, better known as CMS, broke the uninsured into six groups that it believes are critical in making implementation of the new law successful:

1.The “Young and Healthy,” who have the lowest tendency to enroll, take their good health for granted and are likely to wait on purchasing health care until they feel they need it.

2.The “Sick, Active and Worried,” who are cost-conscious and likely to seek information about health care, but tend to have difficulty understanding the system.
3.The “Passive and Unengaged,” who are likely not to understand the health care system and fear making “wrong decisions.”
4.The “Informed, Healthy and Educated,” who feel that health care information is important, are in good health, and keep themselves informed.
5.The “Mature and Secure,: who are generally older in age, feel that health care information is important and use preventative measures.
6.The “Vulnerable and Unengaged,” who are not in ideal health, but feel that health care information is not important.

According to the analysis, the “Young and Healthy”, “Sick, Active and Worried” and “Passive and Unengaged” make up the majority of the uninsured.

While the “Young and Healthy” group is the least likely to purchase health care, a Kaiser health tracking poll finds that 77 percent of people ages 18-25 and 71 percent of people ages 26-30 say they feel that health care is “very important” to have. The deterring factor – cost. Roughly two-thirds of those ages 30 and younger say that they worry about being able to pay for medical bills due to a “serious illness or accident” and more than 40 percent say that they worry about being able to pay bills for “routine care”.

In order to encourage participation in October, organizations like Young Invincibles – dedicated to encouraging health-care enrollment among the young and healthy – will be taking an active role in informing the public about the new system through outreach programs.

Jen Mishory, the group’s deputy director, tells NBC News: “We’re going to be doing events across the country. In some states, we’re going to be doing enrollment events. In some states, we’re going to be doing we’re actually partnering with community colleges and local groups that actually work with young people, telling them what’s going on and then helping them to put on outreach events to educate this generation.”

And it will be targeting people like McCool.

“Nobody doesn’t want health-care coverage,” McCool says.  “I think a lot of us are very, very excited about the changes that [the health-care law] is going to bring about, because it’s going to open the door that previously had been locked for many of us.”

As it turns out, McCool will be getting health insurance this fall – as he returns to school for a Ph.D. in musicology at Boston University, where he will be receiving a full scholarship through a fellowship program.

But after school, he says he plans to enroll in a health exchange if his next job doesn’t offer health insurance. “Even if I wasn’t going back to school this fall, I’d probably be enrolling.”

But for health care to work, those probablys must become definitelys.

* Obamacare’s success hinges on ‘young and healthy’ purchasing insuranceBy Alexa Dragoumis, NBC News

Blue Shield of California Individuals/families rebate

Certain California small group health insurance subscribers will receive dues rebates by August 1, 2013. The 3.4% of dues revenue equals $24.5 million that will be returned to 29,232 Small Business policyholders who were enrolled in the Blue Shield plans that did not meet the MLR threshold. The average rebate amount per Small Business policyholder is about $827.

Blue Shield of California small groups rebate

Certain California small group health insurance subscribers will receive dues rebates by August 1, 2013. The 3.4% of dues revenue equals $24.5 million that will be returned to 29,232 Small Business policyholders who were enrolled in the Blue Shield plans that did not meet the MLR threshold. The average rebate amount per Small Business policyholder is about $827.

Workers Compensation…why is it so expensive??

Workers Compensation Insurance premium directly correlates to the cost of Health Care. In the United States, this has been a plaguing issue without resolve. The cost of out-patient services like Radiology, CAT Scan, MRI, etc. are among the most costly procedures in the world. Hospitalization costs are getting even more expensive with 24 hour stays costing over $10,000.A major factor in Workers Compensation premiums for you as the employer – Claim history, occupation description and payroll. Blue Collar jobs are the most expensive WC rates due to the riskier nature of their job. White collar occupations are the lowest.

To give you an example, Carpenters that are being paid less than $32 /hour are going to be close to $30 for every $100 in payroll. That’s a hefty additional expense to an employer. Office jobs in the clerical occupation are less than $1 for every $100 of payroll.

* in General Contracting, the higher you pay your employees the lower the WC insurance premium. Carpenters making over $32 an hour are going to cost you $15 per $100 in payroll.

When you get your next Workers Compensation renewal, remember that the main reason for the rate increase is the growing cost of health care.

Give us a call or fill out the Workers Compensation quote request form so that we can make sure that you are paying the least amount possible for this growing business expense.