The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, gift, holiday, Christmas

Is It Too Early To Think Of The Holidays?

School has started, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and before you know it, the holidays will be here begging for every cent of your paycheck.

We’ve gathered suggestions for you to stay within your budget and ideas for free / minimal cost gifts to begin preparing for the holiday season.

holiday, Christmas, gift, Stacia Robinson, The BeneChoice Companies

1) Creative Gifts are Memorable
Think about gifts that you can make instead of purchasing.  You don’t need to be a “crafty” person to make a creative gift. You can bake your favorite recipes and include them in a box, basket, or jar. Purchase small or relatively inexpensive items that you know people will enjoy. A small thoughtful something is better than an expensive gift that someone will never use.

2) Divide Large Gift Baskets
Purchase a large gift basket from a place like Costco or Sam’s Club then divide it into several smaller gifts. Doing this may cost you $50-75 initially, but you may also be able to give 5-10 people gifts from one purchase.

This splitting idea also works with other multi-packs. Think about fuzzy sucks, golf balls,  beauty sets, coffee mugs etc. You will save money and be able to personalize gifts as well – a double win!

3) Clearance & Discount
There is no reason to buy into the belief that you need to pay full price for a gift. Even if you strategically budgeted full price for an item, try to find coupons or sales for the item. There’s never a good reason to overpay for an item.

Look at secondhand items that don’t show worn signs. These are also great places to find baskets to gather treats into for people to give a polished look for low cost.

4) Unused Giftcards
Think about the gift cards you have yet to use and don’t intend to use; these are easy to give to someone else. Some places, especially restaurants, will have deals to purchase two or more gift cards for a discounted cost. Take advantage of these opportunities.

Whether you’ve started looking into your holiday budget yet or you’re simply getting back into the swing of school starting, the holidays will approach quickly. We’re hoping with these savings ideas you can not only save money but also be ahead of the game by getting things early and being on the lookout for the discounted items.

Happy Fall everyone!

Best wishes,

Stacia

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Disability Insurance Awareness

Disability Insurance Is Vitally Important

disability, insurance, The BeneChoice Companies

We have gathered information to help you look at your risk of income interruption and the value of disability insurance.

Purchasing disability insurance is insuring yourself: your experience, skills, and ability to work normally. Ultimately, having disability insurance is having protection for yourself and your family; it can mean the difference between surviving financially or facing an imminent catastrophe.

While the detailed information for each policy will vary, understanding the importance will help you make the best decision for yourself and your family financially.

How would you / your family survive financially if you were unable to work for one week? What about a month or more? A harsh reality is that most American’s are living paycheck to paycheck; having a savings of more than a few months of salary set aside takes time to build.

What disability insurance does is replace some of your income so that you can still pay your bills monthly. Disability insurance may even pay a portion of your income if you are only able to return to work part time as well.

Your initial thought may be “I’m healthy. I’ll be careful and not get disabled so I don’t need disability insurance coverage.” However, think about this statistic from the Social Security Administration: 25 percent of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before the age of 67. A disability may not be the result of a major, once-in-a-lifetime accident or injury. For most people, disabilities find a way to slowly sneak into their lives by hiding through common health conditions.

To help drive that point further home: last year the Council for Disability Awareness did a study asking people under the age of 40 to guess their likelihood of becoming unable to work due to illness or injury. In this study, 10 percent of workers stated that they were more likely to win the lottery than be unable to work due to illness or injury.

In reality, there is a 1 in 259,000,000 chance of winning the lottery jackpot and a 1 in 4 chance that you may be disabled during your career.

You read that correctly: a 1 in 4 chance.

After the likelihood of becoming disabled during your career sets in, the value of having disability insurance becomes even more evident. Protect the financial future of yourself and your family with disability insurance.

Please consider talking to an agent from the BeneChoice Companies today.

Kindest regards,

Stacia

Kiristen Draughn: ‘We thought we had a lifetime’

Watch this tear-jerking video about how this family’s life change in a second.

Kiristen Draughn says that her mom, M’Linda, is her role model: a strong independent woman who always wants the best for her children. That hasn’t been easy, though. Kiristen’s dad, Kenneth, died in a boating accident when she was just 4.

Watch the video HERE

Kiristen Draughn: ‘We thought we had a lifetime’

 

 

Travis Guthman: Disability can happen to you

Life can change in an instant, and that life-changing moment may be as simple as sending a text message. That’s what happened to Travis Guthman.

Travis and his wife, Wendy, moved back to where he had grown up when they had the opportunity to buy his grandparents’ farmhouse. They felt it was an ideal place to raise their six kids. They also decided to put their prior experience to work and open up a pizzeria.

It was on a busy day—typical of one so many parents have— that Travis juggled driving and arranging a meet-up for his son. While he had pulled over to read the text, he decided to answer it while driving back home. That’s when, distracted by his phone, he hit a concrete footing on a narrow bridge—a route he had taken hundreds of times before.

The accident landed him in the hospital with a shattered pelvis and other injuries so severe that it has taken him almost two years and countless surgeries just to be able to walk with the help of a leg brace. During this time, he hasn’t been able to work, and admits the family would have lost the pizzeria if it hadn’t been for the disability insurance that his insurance professional Tom Bader helped him put in place.

The monthly payment from his disability insurance has allowed the Guthmans to pay their ongoing bills and expenses and keep food on the table. “I didn’t have to pull money out of the restaurant to live on; instead I could continue paying the employees and keep things running,” he says. “Without disability insurance we would have been in a world of hurt. You think it will never happen to you, until it does. Disability insurance has been a huge blessing for our family.”

Check out the video of the Gurthman’s here.

Warmest regards,
Stacia

5 Things Millennials Look For From A Workplace

Millennials are flooding the job market and now make up one-third of the US workforce, making it imperative for employers to attract and retain young talent. But that can be tricky, since millennials often are looking for unconventional benefits.

Offering some of those benefits that will keep your employee engaged, motivated, and less stressed at work is key.  These are 5 things that the millennial generation consistently looks for from an employer.

 

  1. Flexible work schedules – It is no secret that the workforce is demanding more flexibility at work, and millennials are a big part of this push. Millennials say more flexibility will improve their happiness and productivity. Additionally, more than half of millennials report they work from home after the standard work day is done, compared to US office workers. With families, children, and home life, flexibility is becoming more and more important with the younger generation.
  2. An eco-friendly workplace – Eco-friendly practices aren’t just good for the environment, they are good for recruiting younger workers to your company. Half of all millennials say an eco-friendly workplace is an important factor when it comes to job consideration.
  3. A well stocked break room – A well supplied breakroom leads to happier employees, less stress, more productive workers, and a more social environment. It may encourage employees to take a break to refresh and recharge, which will improve productivity and lower stress.
  4. Job-site perks – Millennials place a great deal of value on job-site perks like free lunches or on-site gyms. A good working environment is a place that offers incentives and perks, which will improve their happiness.
  5. Strong leadership and consistent feedback – Millennials more than any other generation are looking for strong relationship with their bosses. One in five millennials report that it’s their direct boss who’s their motivator. A strong leadership defines a good work culture. Feedback is very important and is truly appreciated and contributes to employee loyalty. Being recognized in any way is what most employees like.

 

Highest Regards,

Stacia

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Health and Wellness

Other than health insurance, how important is health and wellness benefits in which a company offers in your choice of employer?

 

Nearly 90 percent of employees say it is either “very important” or “somewhat important” in their choice of an employer. Positive outcomes to employees who participate in wellness programs include lower out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, and often incentives from employers for participating or completing desired outcomes.

 

Employees were asked to take the SHRM survey. We found out that rewards or bonuses for completing a wellness program rose from 23 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2012. Usually, the participants are those employees most in need of health improvement. Incentives are perceived as a key strategy for engaging all workers. Almost 58 percent of employees say incentives are a “very important” factor in their participation in employer sponsored wellness programs.

 

The successful use of incentives to keep employees engaged remains a combination of art and science, but a survey by Optum Health showed companies that offer incentives have a 30 percent or higher rate of participation than those that do not.

 

Even after accounting for generous incentives, employers with robust wellness programs report positive return on investment. For example: Johnson & Johnson’s well-documented worksite health promotion program began in 1979. A recent evaluation of the program’s effect on employee health risks and health care costs for the period from 2002 to 2008 measured the company’s rate of annual healthcare spend against similar large companies, and found it was 3.7 percentage points lower.

Data Source: Workforce Management 2012 Employer/Employee Survey, May 2012.

 

Johnson & Johnson shows strong return on investment According to a June 2012 article in Health Affairs, Johnson & Johnson’s employee population benefited from reduced rates of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor nutrition.

 


Highest regards,

Stacia

 

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What You Need to Know About Cancer Insurance

Cancer insurance, also sometimes referred to as critical illness insurance, is a relatively new addition to the arsenal of world of health insurance programs. It was created as a response to the increasing rate of cancer diagnoses worldwide and the rising costs of cancer care and treatment. The supplemental insurance is designed to help reduce the out-of-pocket cost of cancer care and to bridge the gap between what your primary health insurance covers and what it doesn’t.

 

Introduction to Cancer Insurance

 

Cancer insurance is a type of supplemental insurance policy that helps to reduce the out-of-pocket cost of having cancer treatment. It is not designed to replace a traditional health insurance policy, but instead to complement it by covering additional cancer-related expenses that may not be covered by your current policy. The premium covers you for certain types of cancer-related expenses if you are diagnosed while the policy is in effect.

 

To be eligible, you cannot have any pre-existing cancerous conditions. For example, you cannot have been diagnosed with lung cancer and then apply for a policy. In most cases, people who have previously been diagnosed and treated for cancer are also ineligible.

 

What It Covers

 

Cancer insurance coverage varies based on the provider and policy details, but most plans cover both medical and non-medical expenses. Medical expenses can include co-pays, extended hospital stays, medical tests, procedures like stem cell transplants, and other disease-specific treatments.

 

The non-medical expenses that are covered with a supplemental cancer policy can include loss of income benefits, child care expenses, home health care, and dietary restriction aids.

 

Is It Worth It?

 

There is a lot of debate about disease-specific health insurance plans like cancer insurance. Some people firmly support them, while others believe that they are “junk plans” sold on fear. Here are some points to consider when thinking about buying a cancer insurance plan:

  • What is your cancer risk? Do you have a strong, familial history of cancer? If so, cancer insurance might be a solid decision. Those with a strong family history of cancer may want to take a look at their current policy and see how cancer insurance may complement their current policy. Remember, cancer insurance only kicks in if you are diagnosed with cancer. It will not provide any coverage for other common, chronic diseases.
  • Would upgrading my current health insurance plan be a better idea? Choosing to upgrade your current policy may be a better alternative to buying a cancer protection plan, especially for those who are at average risk of developing cancer. It may cost less to upgrade your current plan than adding an additional cancer policy. Perhaps most importantly, upgrading your existing policy would provide a wider range of coverage benefits than a cancer-specific policy.
  • Remember that two policies may not equal double the coverage. Having a basic comprehensive health insurance plan along with a cancer insurance plan does not necessarily mean that you will get double the benefits. Most major insurance policies have a coordination of benefits clause that states that it won’t cover expenses that the other plan does. By purchasing cancer insurance, you may be degrading the coverage of your primary health insurance policy!

 

Before You Buy

 

Before purchasing a cancer insurance plan, it is important that you understand exactly what is covered in the policy. You should also compare the benefits to your current health insurance plan to see if and where there is any overlap in coverage or redundancies. There is no sense in buying a cancer insurance policy if your current policy covers most or all of the same expenses.

 

If after careful consideration you decide that a cancer insurance policy may be the right move for your and your family, get in touch with your insurance agent who can help you work out exactly how much coverage you need. Many plans are available and comparing them is highly recommended. This includes shopping around for other types of insurance plans like long-term disability insurance, which may be a better option for you than cancer-specific protection.

Highest regards,

Stacia

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