Schwarz Insurance Blog

September 24, 2015 @ 12:00am

COBRA or Health Insurance MarketplaceWith summer ending and impending holiday's right around the corner, it's easy to get caught up in all the hoopla and forget about your health insurance needs. But before you put away your grill and start defrosting your turkey, here's your reminder: November 1st, 2015 marks the first day of Open Enrollment for a 2016 Health Insurance Marketplace plan.

"But I'm currently using COBRA coverage," you might be saying. What is COBRA coverage? COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It's a law that mandates that in the event in which you would typically lose health insurance benefits, your employer must offer continuation group health care coverage to you and certain family members for a period of time. When someone loses their job-based insurance due to voluntary or involuntary separation from employment, a reduction of house worked or a divorce, he or she may take COBRA continuation coverage. However, if you're terminated because of negligence or your employer simply changes or cancels the company health insurance plan, you are not eligible for COBRA.

COBRA coverage maintains your current health insurance plan even when unemployed for up to 18 months. However, it can be expensive. You are responsible for paying 100% of the premiums, including the share the employer used to pay, plus a small administrative fee. But with Open Enrollment coming up, you have options besides COBRA that may be less expensive.

If you're thinking about sw

September 17, 2015 @ 12:00am

November 1st is right around the corner, and you, along with many other Americans, may be preparing for Open Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM). While the process won't be too painful (hopefully), some parts can be confusing.

Take estimating your household income. When you fill out a Marketplace application, you'll need to estimate what your household's income will be during the period you want coverage. You have to make your best estimate so you qualify for the right amount of savings. Sounds like a lot of pressure right?

There's some information that may help you:

Your household income should include you, your spouse and you dependents, including those who don't need insurance coverage. The Marketplace counts estimated income of all household members who are required to file a tax return, like: Dependent children, including adopted and foster children Children you share custody of only during the years you claim them as dependents Children over 18 but under 26 who you want to be on your plan Dependent parents Dependent siblings or other relatives Separated spouse unless legally separated The Marketplace uses modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) from your adjusted gross income (AGI) on your most recent federal income tax return to determine the cost of your insurance. This ca be found on Form 1040: Line 37, Form 1040 EZ: Line 4 or Form 1040 A: Line 21. To establish whether you're eligible for savings, they'll consider: Federal tax

August 12, 2015 @ 12:00am

Freelance Insurance

Ah, the life of a freelancer. Waking up whenever you want, staying in your PJs all day and binge-watching Netflix while getting some work done. But is freelancing as easy and straightforward as most people think?

Having a lax schedule and being your own boss does come with some risks, and one of those risks is the potential to be subject of a lawsuit. Say a site you've built for a client crashes or a client gets injured in your home. Those who sell through home-parties can also be held liable for injuries that happen in someone else's home or be brought into a product liability lawsuit when the goods they've sold malfunction and cause bodily harm. Even if you've done nothing "wrong," costs of defense lawyers often break the freelancer's bank.

When determining what kind of liability insurance you need, consider the following questions:

Is there a possibility of bodily injury to other or property damage while you're working? Keep in mind the unexpected. Someone could trip over a cord you're using or you could accidently bump into a $25,000 14th century vase while on your way to an interview. Can my work cause financial harm? The website crashing. A mistake on an audit. Bad advice. Creating or publishing something that is incorrect. All of these things and more can cause your clients to lose money. That is what Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions Liability) insurance is for. Do I have any other liability exposures? Having company veh

August 11, 2015 @ 12:00am

Back to school Checkup

It's that dreaded time for your kids: the end of summer and the start of a new school year. A new grade in school doesn't just mean changes for them -- it means changes for you and perhaps even you insurance needs. With your kids getting older and a new school year beginning, now is a great time to evaluate your insurance before homework time commences.

Car Insurance

Is your child getting his or her license this year? Do you have someone in your family going off to college who is taking a car along? It's important to look into your different coverage options as your child grows up and moves out. Some insurance providers offer a good student discount that your young driver can take advantage of provided they maintain a certain grade point average.

If your child is an adult and is heading off to college, you'll have to decide if they are taking a vehicle with. If they are moving more than 100 miles away and aren't taking a vehicle, your insurance premiums could decrease by as much as 30 percent. If they are taking a car with them, your premiums may change due to the change in location.

Home Insurance

Your soon-to-be college grad is probably bringing expensive items along to their university like laptops, TVs and other electronics. Luckily, most home insurance policies that will cover these items if your child is staying in the dorms. However, if your child has lots of expensive equipment or furniture or is living off campus, yo

July 23, 2015 @ 12:00am

Single With Life Insurance.

Single with Life Insurance: Who Should be the Beneficiary?

Despite what many people may think, having a life insurance policy isn't just for married people with a family. Even if you're single and older or younger, your death will have some financial impact on others. Consider your "end of life expenses." Without life insurance, who is going to pick up the tab for funeral costs? What about your student loans and other debts? Your mortgage? Even if you don't have debt, buying life insurance as a single 25 year old is much less expensive than waiting until you're 35, married and a father of three as is purchasing life insurance before you have health issues rather than after.

One of the challenges upon obtaining life insurance as a single person is designating who should be your beneficiary. There are several things to consider when making this decision:

Has anyone co-signed any of your loans? The cosigners of your student or home loans in the case of your passing will become legally responsible for that debt. Leaving them enough money to pay it back is a wise and kind decision that will prevent them from financial despair. Will your parents or grandparents need financial help in the future? You may be helping them now, but in the case that you're not around to help later, your life insurance policy could stand in so they're well taken care of. Who would be taking care of your funeral arrangements if you unexpectedly passed away? They should

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