Heath Insurance Matters: Life Settlements

Heath Insurance Matters / Harry P. Thal

This past week I attended the California Association of Health Underwriters annual convention, this year held at the Bayfront Hilton Hotel in beautiful San Diego. I was a guest speaker at this 2-day affair, of course, speaking and training health insurance agents about Medicare.

I was most pleased to see many of my friends and colleagues from all over California at the meetings and workshops. Many folks from Orange County were in attendance, and it was absolutely great seeing my friends of some 30 years who are still in the business. Most of them are younger than me!

One such friend was Lisa Rehberg. Lisa has a unique product not known to many people. I am aware of it, but never spent much time thinking about “Life Settlements.” I thought it was worth mentioning, as I know many people are “stuck” with life insurance policies they no longer can afford, and in many cases no longer have a need for. That is where Life Settlements come in. There is a market for unwanted and unaffordable life insurance policies. The bottom line is, Lisa’s company’s investors will buy your policy, become the new owner and beneficiary and pay you for it. They then make the payments on the policy, and when you die, they get the benefits. Therefore, they give you up front, now, cash for the unneeded policy, and they make all payments and eventually collect when you die.

Lisa explained that people often buy life insurance policies for specific reasons. I bought a plan to pay for my daughter’s college education if I was to die before she graduated high school. I didn’t; but still make payments. Of course, my need changed as I now consider that policy as supporting my wife Stephanie if I pre-decease her. But I have another policy where there will be a huge increase in monthly premium coming up this year. Um, a possibility to get some cash out of this, as I was thinking of dropping the plan.
Did you know about 1 million Americans go to the hospital with pneumonia every year? Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by pneumococcal disease, which can also cause blood infections and meningitis.

The pneumococcal shot is the best way to help prevent certain types of pneumonia and other pneumococcal infections. Medicare Part B covers the initial shot, plus a second shot (a year after you’ve gotten the initial shot). Talk with your doctor to see if you need one or both shots.

While many insurance plans will cover this in full, be sure you get your inoculation from a participating provider. Many Medicare Advantage plans require you to get this shot from a “Preferred Provider”. If you get it elsewhere, it may not be covered. Same holds true for your annual flu shot.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS for “Medicare and a Movie.” The informative educational (no selling) seminar will again be held at Reel Cinema, Wofford Heights, on October 3. There will be new HMO plans introduced for Kern County as well as a Medicare Advantage PPO plan.
Refreshments will be served. Doors open at 12:15 p.m. with the “pre-show.” Seminar is at 1:00 p.m. followed by the week’s feature film.

Harry P. Thal, MA, is a licensed insurance broker in California (0621106) and 24 other states. His offices are in Kernville. He is a member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors and Past-President of the Kern Association of Health Underwriters. He may be reached at 760-376-2100, e-mail harrythal@aol.com or visit him on the web at www.harrythal.com.