Open Your Eyes to the Importance of Vision Care

Maximize your Pension with Life Insurance

Life insurance in its most basic form covers your loved ones’ expenses after your death-but there are a number of other ways to use this financial product, and they aren’t only for the very wealthy or the financially sophisticated.

Other uses for life insurance

For example, a life-insurance policy can help cover a financial shortfall in a couple’s retirement income. Let’s say you have a pension plan, and it makes up a significant portion of your retirement income. However, like many pension plans, it ends upon your death. Social Security benefits may be insufficient, and the result could leave your spouse with little to live on.

One solution: Buy life insurance to provide for your spouse upon your death. This could be a lump sum that can be converted to an income stream via some basic investments in bonds.

Financing a life insurance policy

The cost of life insurance depends on your age and health. Your agent should be able to give you options. But if you still think life insurance is too expensive after reviewing those options, there are creative ways of financing it. You might, for example, take out a reverse mortgage, then use a portion of the monthly payment to purchase a life insurance policy. This has the added benefit of giving you a roof over your heads while providing for your heirs upon your death.

Peace of mind

The bottom line: Life insurance can be a way to maximize your pension or income from Social Security, plus the peace of mind you’ll have from ensuring that your spouse will receive an insurance payment on your death.

So, when reviewing your retirement plan, it’s a good idea to look at the details of your pension or Social Security benefits and consider how life insurance could be complementary to your plan. Your life-insurance agent can assist you with this.

Open Your Eyes to the Importance of Vision Care

If you’re searching for vision care insurance, the number of results from a Google search is staggering. Where should you begin?

Vision insurance covers or reduces costs associated with maintaining or improving your vision, including eye exams, contact lenses, frames, and lenses. Group eye coverage may be available where you work or through an association such as a credit union. However, a group plan may not be your best choice.

Some require special help

Your insurance agent can provide a tailored solution for your eye care needs. He or she will closely review each available policy’s benefits and make recommendations based on your family’s needs. Your agent can also tell you how often you can visit an eye doctor under your plan, as some plans include more frequent eye exams than the usual annual check-up. Those with chronic health conditions like diabetes or hypertension are more at risk for eye problems and may require a special plan. And if you’re considering refractive surgery to improve your vision, some plans offer reduced rates on this procedure.

If you already have an eye doctor, your agent can help you choose a plan that includes him or her. It’s important to know that by using an optometrist already approved by a plan you’ll likely pay less than you would outside the insurer’s network.

And don’t assume your vision policy covers eye infections or disease. Turn to your health insurance policy for health issues regarding your eyes. Vision coverage only defrays costs associated with vision exams and vision correction.

Because we often don’t consider vision insurance an essential like health coverage, we may overlook this important benefit. Even if you have never needed glasses, as you age an annual eye exam becomes vital to eliminating age-associated eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Why not consider vision insurance? Plans can cost just dollars a month.

Insurance Scams:  If It Seems Too Good to Be True, It May Be

The U.S. spends more than $3 trillion dollars each year on health care, and as the population ages, that figure will rise. Sadly, this industry attracts more than its share of fraudsters. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which acts to expose and investigate health care scams, estimates that “tens of billions of dollars” are lost every year at the hands of insurance scammers, causing increases in everyone’s premiums. So how can you recognize a scam and avoid falling victim to one?

Here are two examples:

  • One way scammers take advantage of consumers is by offering fake insurance policies. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Working with a licensed insurance agent is the best way to find reliable, legal health insurance. 
  • Another popular scam is medical discount cards. Those who sell them promise deep discounts on everything from medications to doctor visits, but these promises are empty. In the end, you’re stuck with high fees and no benefits. To protect yourself, make sure you research any claims a discount card offers and contact your local insurance agent for further investigation.

In fact, the best way to protect yourself from scammers is by asking questions. Reputable companies and insurance agents will welcome them and will answer to the best of their abilities. They’ll discuss the pros and cons of different policies and how they might work for you. Scammers? Not so much. As a consumer, be diligent about researching policies or discount cards before buying. It will benefit us all.