The Price of Health: Settling Fair and Complete VA Employee Benefits

An article on the Inc.com website released last December 16, 2013 discusses the sensitive topic of employee health benefits. Due to the impending enforcement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (unofficially dubbed “Obamacare”), many workers have become concerned about paying higher premiums just to retain their health insurance plans. The article suggests that businesses might want to completely drop their health coverage plans in order to take some financial load off from their employees. Inc.com writes:

The Affordable Care Act caps what an individual worker can be made to contribute to an employer-sponsored health plan–the employee’s share cannot legally be more than 9.5 percent of their individual W-2 income. There is, however, no affordability cap on coverage for additional family members.

Say one of your workers makes $35,000 year, has a non-working spouse and two kids. Average-priced employer coverage for her whole family would eat up about 12 percent of household income. If this same family went to the public health-insurance exchange, though, they would qualify for subsidies based on household–not individual–income. (Individuals and households with income up to 400 percent of federal poverty would typically qualify for some kind of subsidy.) As a result, they could buy a Silver-level family plan for just $1,373 per year, or about 3.9 percent of household income after subsidies.

While it does seem economic to do away with health coverage, there’s no denying how enticing a package can be for prospective employees. A company should take responsibility for its own people, and having a system for benefits can show how much a business cares for its own. Flexible VA employee benefits offered by companies like Financial Brokerage Services are perfect for corporations that look out for their personnel’s welfare.

For some workers, a health insurance plan is a clincher for a job opportunity; there are even those who choose and stick to a job purely for such benefits. Health insurance plans can help employees and their families receive subsidized medical care, as offered by the company. In return, employers can potentially increase their productivity with their healthy and fulfilled workforce.

Indeed, health coverage can be attractive enough for employees, yet reforms in healthcare laws can be worrisome for employers looking to maximize their income. Businesses should coordinate with reliable insurance companies in order to secure affordable and inclusive coverage plans. Virginia group benefits, for instance, will have lower premiums compared to regular plans.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Why Some Workers Will Be Glad You Dropped Health Coverage, Inc.com, December 16, 2013) 

Settling the Estate with the Aid of Wealth Management Firms in DC

An article on the Tri State Neighbor website dated last December 26, 2013 details how estate planning is crucial to prevent financial disputes that any surviving kin might raise should something grave happen to the head of a household. Estate planning might not sound important until much later in life, yet failing to arrange for a contingency can leave a vacuum over a household’s assets that many will try to fill in. The article uses a simple metaphor to relay the importance of estate planning:

Sometimes estate planning can be the “green beans” of life.

By that, I mean when your kids were little, if you would have let them, they would have eaten nothing but candy or sweets or whatever they liked; they’d never eat any of the things necessary to stay strong and healthy. You, being a good parent, knew that if your kids didn’t eat their green beans or other fruits and vegetables, your children would die of scurvy. So you made them eat their green beans.

Now, 30 years later, comes the ultimate green beans in life example when again you have to tell your children: “Eat your green beans or you’re not getting any dessert.”

Or, in estate planning terms, you’d say, “Look, this is the way I see how things are going to be fair, and I understand you don’t necessarily agree with me.

It’s painful to imagine leaving nothing behind for your loved ones, hence estate planning is vital to ensure that your family receives its just rewards. A good plan will spare the infighting among siblings, and should clearly communicate the wishes of the deceased. To arrange for this, individuals will need the help of wealth management firms in DC, such as Financial Brokerage Services, Inc.

Estate plans outline how your estate and all your assets will be handled following your inability to properly manage them, whether it’s due to your untimely demise or a mental incapacity. With an estate plan in place, other financial complications can also be avoided, such as probate and estate taxes. It also allows individuals to protect their assets from creditors long after their passing.

To plan for an estate, people can turn to firms that specialize in wealth management in Maryland. These professionals won’t just help their clients arrange for their estates, but can also aid in the planning of financial goals and the creation of investment portfolios. When it comes to matters of finance, individuals should turn to a wealth management company for reliable and sound advice.

(Article Excerpt and Image from Estate planning: The green beans of life, Tri-State Neighbor, December 26, 2013) 

Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Group Health Insurance in Virginia?

Since its public disclosure, the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, has been through a lot of fire and scrutiny from American employees and employers alike. Those who have group health insurance in Virginia have become increasingly worried about how the passing of the law will affect their existing coverage. Here are some public opinions regarding Obamacare:

Employer Notices

Many large and small businesses have already seen to it that their employers be informed that the new rules regarding their insurance systems have been implemented. Nevertheless, the actual changes will not be occurring until 2015, where employers of large companies with more than 50 employees have a responsibility (not a mandate) to offer all employees insurance under the penalty of a fine.

Coverage Cutbacks

This necessitates some employers to adjust or completely modify their entire insurance coverage. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because although some choose to shift a portion of the cost to the employees (leading to larger deductibles), others see this as an opportunity to teach their employees to evaluate their behavior regarding health-related expenses.

Part-Time Workers

On the side of the employer, worry comes in the form of possible coverage for part-time workers. You don’t have to fret in this case, as there is nothing in the new law that pertains to this. Essentially, the law defines a part-time worker as one who works less than 30 hours in a week.

COBRA Rates

NPR.org also has this to say about how the new law will affect COBRA rates:

Whether your COBRA rate will go up depends entirely on what happens with your former employer’s health insurance plans. If their rates go up, so will yours. You’ll likely see a higher increase than your former co-workers, however. That’s because their premiums may be subsidized by the employer, whereas yours are not.

All in all, your insurance rates will increase to varying extents depending on your situation as an employer or employee. Nevertheless, there are companies like Financial Brokerage Services, Inc. that can offer your workplace an affordable and comprehensive Virginia group health insurance. Companies like these provide professional assistance when it comes to employee benefit programs, corporate financial planning, and wealth management.

(Article Information and Image from FAQ: How Obamacare Affects Employers And How They’re Responding, NPR)

Estate Advice You can Get from a Trusted Financial Advisor in Maryland

You don’t have to be extremely wealthy to be worried about your estate and how it will be divided among your heirs and donation recipients if any. In fact, planning wills and estates is one of the most important things that your financial advisor in Maryland will advise you on, especially if you’re nearing retirement age.

Know Your Assets

To ensure that you plan your estate properly, you first need to make an inventory of all your financial assets (income, stocks, investments, etc.). Next are the non-financial assets, which mostly include real (land and the structures you put up on them, basically anything “unmovable”) and personal (cars, jewelry, and every other ones not constituting real property) property.

Division of Assets

According to the rule of law, the absence of a will gives the court the right to divide your assets among your heirs. While you might wholly agree to give your children, grandchildren and spouse an equal share of your financial assets, the choice of who gets your non-financial possessions (vehicles, homes, property investments, etc.) may be more complicated. You want to ensure that these assets are bequeathed according to your wishes.

Allocating Financial Assets

Some people want to allot some of their financial assets to particular future expenditures (estate owner’s children and grandchildren’s education, for instance). If you are one of these people, you should open up a trust fund and choose a reliable trustee to ensure that the funds will be spent accordingly when the time comes.

Minimizing Taxes

Forbes.com advices that you can help out your heirs who might end up owing estate tax:

If you anticipate that your beneficiaries will owe estate and income tax on the amounts that they inherit, you might be able to minimize these taxes by using tax-efficient strategies. For instance, you could leave taxable assets to charities if charities are included in your list of beneficiaries, and leave your tax-free assets, such as Roth retirement accounts, life insurance and after-tax savings, to your other beneficiaries.

With the help of efficient financial advisors in Northern Virginia or Maryland, such as Financial Brokerage Services, Inc., you can create a solid and comprehensive will and estate plan to leave your heirs. This is an opportunity that you shouldn’t pass on if you have many heirs that might otherwise quibble over your properties when you’re gone.

(Article Information and Image from 5 Estate Planning Tips, Forbes)

What Employers Need to Know about Group Health Insurance in Virginia

These days, American employees of many industries have huge expectations about their company’s health care package that employers are often faced with the challenge of offering excellent Virginia group health insurance programs without breaking their bank. There’s a formula, however, that calculates the amount of premium employers can pay for their employees’ health insurance package that should turn out favorable (and fair) to both parties. Here are some pointers on employer insurance plans that you need to know.
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