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J.D. Van Nest & Associates Blog

The Costs of Remaining Uninsured: Navigating the Affordable Care Act


The Affordable Health Care Act is up and running. Some individual consumers’ will consider paying the penalty instead of buying insurance through the exchange. But they should consider the long-term financial benefits of having health insurance.

Facing the choice to get insurance or pay a penalty, they may resort to simple math and conclude that $95 is a lot more affordable than the $3,000 or $4,000 for the lowest level of insurance coverage available on the state exchanges. However there are several factors to consider before deciding to pay the federal penalty and forego health insurance:

You Risk penalties for having no insurance: In 2014, uninsured Americans will have to get health insurance or pay a penalty of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child or 1% of family income, whichever is greater. In 2015 the penalty rises to $325 per adult (half as much for each child) or 2% of income, whichever is greater. The penalties rise even further in 2016 and beyond.

You risk huge medical costs due to an accident: Being young and healthy does not vaccinate you from the kind of risk that can leave you and your family destitute.

You may have limited access to quality medical care when you do need it:  As more and more people become insured and providers will get busier. Some providers may simply decline you as a patient when they find out that you are uninsured.

You will be more likely to neglect the routine, preventative procedures: If you have been unwilling or unable to pay for health insurance, you probably skip the high cost of an annual check-up or routine procedures. It will cost more for the uninsured to get health care with the new health care laws in place.

I encourage you to look into all of the new options available to you and your families within the Affordable Health Care Act. I am here to help you navigate and understand the process and give you the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance.

Life Insurance Awareness, Part 2


As a continuation from my article on the importance of Life Insurance, I have included three steps for evaluating your life insurance needs.

Step 1: Get a sense of how much is right for you.  Determine how much money your family will need to cover immediate expenses and how much they will need over the long-term to maintain their standard of living or fund future plans, like college. To figure out the right amount of coverage to fit your needs, begin by thinking about everyone who depends on you financially, including your spouse, children, parents or other loved ones.       

Step 2: Educate yourself about the different kinds available.  Life insurance policies exist for virtually every need and budget. Determining the type that suits you best depends on a number of factors, such as how long you need coverage, how much you can afford, how much risk you can tolerate and how much flexibility you need

Step 3: Don’t go it alone.  Life insurance is one product where an expert’s opinion can make all the difference. Once you’ve established some of the basics, work with an insurance agent or other financial advisor you trust who can conduct a thorough needs analysis to ensure that all of your needs will be met. One way to find a good insurance agent is through recommendations from friends and family or other professional advisors, such as attorneys.  

I urge everyone to take a few minutes out of their busy schedules this month to make sure they have adequate life insurance protection. Please fell free to call me if you would like some more information. I am here to assist and guide you through these decisions.

Life Insurance Awareness


The Importance of Life Insurance

What do love and life insurance have in common? More than you might imagine. Love is the motivation behind almost all life insurance purchases. We buy it because we love people and want to protect them financially.  Life insurance may be one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. In the event of a tragedy, life insurance proceeds can help pay the bills, continue a family business, finance future needs like your children’s education, protect your spouse’s retirement plans, and much more

What a turbulent few years it has been. Many of us are still trying to get back on solid financial footing. Through it all, one source of financial security has remained strong, however, and that’s life insurance. A recent study by the nonprofit LIFE Foundation found that a majority of Americans (85%) agree that most people need life insurance yet 95 million adults today do not have coverage or the financial safety net it provides. In fact, one third of all Americans (33%) believe they do not have enough life insurance, including one quarter of those who already own a policy.

No one wants to think in these terms, but given that many of us are in the financial rebuilding stage, you need to ask yourself if your family would be financially secure without you in the picture. Even if you have coverage now, it’s important to review your policy at least once a year to ensure it still meets your needs and is enough to protect your loved ones.

In a future blog,  J.D. Van Nest & Associates will offer three tips for evaluating your life insurance needs.


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