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Nations Largest Insurer Regrets ObamaCare

The CEO of UnitedHealthcare said last week he regretted the decision to enter the ObamaCare marketplace last year, which the company says has resulted in millions of dollars in losses. Originally published by Sarah Ferris in The Hill. “It was for us a bad decision,” UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley said at an investors’ meeting in […]

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Vesity Financial merges with NorthPointe Insurance

I’m excited to announce the merger of my company with a regional leader in group benefits, NorthPointe Insurance. This partnership enables me to offer my clients full-service benefits planning and increased customer service. NorthPointe brings considerable expertise in the areas of workers compensation, liability and property and casualty, along with a history of excellence in providing defined […]

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Banking on Babylon

You’ve heard of banking on yourself? Well here’s a free ebook that’s even better. A savvy client recently reminded me of this classic financial book which I hadn’t thought about in many years. Generations ago, it was a bestseller which banks, financial planners and insurance companies gave away to customers, though this same lot has long […]

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The Implosion Begins

My best friend is an ER doctor in Florida, and he told me this would happen. Actually, he’s now the chief medical director for the same hospital where he’s spent most of his career as an ER physician.  Back when Obamacare was being crafted, he predicted that the ACA would force patients with limited or […]

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Case Study: Crohn’s Disease and IUL

A friend sent me this brief story about his recent experience with a new client.  I feel it’s worth sharing with you… Tim is a 41-year old successful hedge fund manager with a wife and three young kids. And he has no life insurance at all. Why? In college, Tim was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. […]

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Help For IRS 6056 Reporting

I’m pleased to share with you this exclusive IRS Section 6056 Employer Reporting Data Calculator, Toolkit, and Reporting Chart. The Internal Revenue Service requires 50+ full‑time equivalent (FTE) employers with fully insured plans to report information on coverage offered to their full-time employees as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Reporting was voluntary for 2014, but reporting is required for the 2015 calendar year. […]

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Up is Down

Did your 2014 healthcare costs increase 5% from the previous year? Not possible. Never mind that I personally observed carrier increases of 5%-10% last year. Never mind that, according to new data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Services Survey, the nation’s nearly $3 trillion medical bill grew 5 percent last year. A big jump, especially compared with an […]

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Health insurance: closed for business

To (almost) quote a Loverboy hit from 1982, I hope you’re healthy when it’s over. ObamaCare open enrollment was from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. During that time you were able to enroll, switch plans, and apply for subsidies. All Private Health Plans share the enrollment period prescribed by the Health Insurance Marketplace (aka Exchange), while […]

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Greasing the Markets

The bulls bounced back this past week as futures speculators bid up the price of oil, which closed on Friday at over $52.00 per barrel. The broad US indices rode the coattails of oil, producing their best weekly performance in awhile. Last week the S&P 500 Index gained over 3%, the Dow rose nearly at 4%, […]

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Don’t pull that lever!

Are you or someone you know about to file for Social Security benefits? I wouldn’t if I were you… at least not until you first learn how to maximize your benefits. You may recall that last year I began offering a new service to my clients and the community.  Myself and a small team of […]

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Reading the Market

Worth the read: These guys may not know where the market is headed, but their opinions are entertaining and informative, so here ya go!…. Strong dollar weighs on US results published by US Equities This Is a Flash Crash Waiting to Happen published by TheStreet Don’t Expect 7% Returns Like Your Dad Did; The Long View for Stocks  […]

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Battling Obamacare

In late November, Speaker of the House John Boehner filed a lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives against Obama’s executive actions on Obamacare. “Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and rewrite federal law on his own without a vote of Congress,” Boehner said […]

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Running on fumes

Are declining gas prices bad for the Markets? The past few weeks have seen an acceleration in the drop in the price of crude oil, with the expected contagion just beginning to work it’s way through the global financial system. At the closing bell last Friday, the S&P 500 Index had posted a weekly loss […]

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Buying Life in 2015

Some fairly significant changes are in store for the life insurance industry in the coming year. As 2015 approaches, you should be aware of the highlights as well as the pitfalls to avoid. 1. Policies Not Requiring Medical Exams It’s no secret that some people are reluctant to take a medical exam.  Many have difficulty working it into their schedules, […]

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Want tax on that SUB?

SUB and Severance Plans – Supreme Court Decision in Quality Stores Case Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plans, (SUB plans), have been the focus of scrutiny for the past several months. Employers have been uncertain whether or not they could use SUB plans as part of their benefits package without being subject to compliance and regulatory concerns. A […]

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Some COLA for your IRA

The IRS recently announced cost-of-living adjustments to the 2015 retirement plan contribution limitations. Although the COLA adjustments are incremental, the raised limits offer savers the chance to accelerate pre-tax contributions to many types of qualified retirement accounts. Some of the highlights The elective deferral (contribution) limit for employees who participate in 401(k) plans has increased […]

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HIPPA-Harpooned Healthcare

Have you heard of HIPPA? Congress enacted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) in 1996. The purpose of the law was to protect private health care information. So, what’s wrong with that? Sounds like the government was trying to protect our private information, right? Maybe. But every legal “protection” has consequences, unintended or […]

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Move over Rollovers

Are Rollovers over or on their way out?  Consider the IRA One-Rollover-Per-Year Rule Beginning January 1, 2015. The IRS recently announced that beginning as early as January 1, 2015, taxpayers can make only one rollover from an IRA to another IRA in any 12-month period, regardless of the number of IRAs they own. Roll what? Transferring money […]

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Is it over yet?

It’s been a wild ride over the last week in the markets, leaving many investors wondering if it’s over, or just beginning. With this question in mind, here are some quotable quotes from the last few days… The key question you need to ask yourselves is this: Have the reasons for this selloff disappeared after the […]

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Qualifying Life Events

If you’re like most folks, you may think a “qualifying event” is the mere fact that you need health insurance. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complicated than that, which is why I thought I’d take a minute to give you the low down. Outside of open enrollment (November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015), you can […]

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What is Open Enrollment?

With Open Enrollment almost here, you may be wondering what it actually means, and why it’s significant. Businesses have long been familiar with open (or annual) enrollment, as carriers have enforced it for decades for group health insurance. But the ACA, or Obamacare, includes a legal requirement for carriers to mandate an open enrollment period […]

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Social Security Workshops

Over this past year, I’ve begun offering a new service to my clients that I’d like to tell you about. Myself and a small team of financial advisors are providing Social Security workshops to employer and community groups, wherein we educate baby-boomers on how to get the most out of their benefits. The results have […]

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Oh-Drama-Care

Last month, National Review reported that President Obama’s old Harvard Law professor, Laurence Tribe, said that he “wouldn’t bet the family farm” on Obamacare’s surviving the legal challenges to an IRS rule about who is eligible for subsidies that are currently working their way through the federal courts. Ten days later, Tribe’s comments proved prophetic when […]

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Too Big for its Britches?

The following quotes are all from this recent week…   “…the next five months into year-end are going to be extremely treacherous for equity investors.” ~Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group   “Stock may get rattled by a shallow U.S. recession starting early next year, caused by slack consumer spending and a […]

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Hobby Lobbying for Change

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. ” ~Thomas Jefferson On Monday a divided Supreme Court ruled that some closely held, for-profit businesses may opt out, on the basis of religious objections, of a requirement in ObamaCare to provide […]

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Building a Bigger Bubble

Last Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 200 points, as worries mounted about China’s economy and escalating tensions in Ukraine. CNBC reported that Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management, pointed to a chart making the email rounds showing the correlation between NYSE margin debt and the S&P, with margin debt […]

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You’re too late. Sort of.

March 31 remains the firm deadline to sign up for Obamacare. So if you’ve not already done it, you’re out of time. Or are you? The IRS weighed in on the subject late last month, as reported at atr.org, quietly releasing a series of Obamacare “Health Care Tax Tips.” The tips warn Americans that they […]

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Stress-Free Retirement

How did your retirement account look before 2008? How does it look now? I’ve talked to many folks who say they are just recently getting back to where they were. But imagine what your retirement account would look like if you had never lost any money in the first place. This concept is the subject […]

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Hollywood HealthCare

Actors, Doctors & Democrats Ditching ObamaCare. Last month I met with a couple who work in the entertainment industry – I’ll call them Tom & Lisa – who wanted help getting out of the Exchange. They had successfully enrolled in Covered California in December of 2013, selecting a plan that fit their criteria; in fact, […]

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401kaution

If you are relying on your 401(k) as your only source of retirement income, take a lesson from 2008. And 2000. And ’87, and ’73, and ’29 and 1907… Just since the late seventies when 401(k)s came on the scene, trillions of dollars invested in this vehicle have simply vanished during market crashes such as […]

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To Change the Exchange

We learned last week of the latest big delay of the health-law rollout: most employers won’t face a fine next year if they fail to offer workers health insurance. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department said employers with 50 to 99 full-time workers won’t have to comply with the law’s requirement […]

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Stock Shock

The Ill Effects of the Ill Advised Two unrelated reports emerged yesterday about how our health is negatively impacted by the economy. The first may be a bit general and less than scientific; nonetheless, it’s not a difficult pill to swallow.  NYTimes blogger, Nicholas Bakalar, writes about a study published in the February issue of […]

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The Lone Legal Loophole

In 2010, President Obama signed legislation that requires Americans to purchase government-regulated health insurance by the year 2014. As I mentioned last week, there are a few exceptions – those who are legally exempt from the requirements; but the overwhelming majority of us don’t qualify for the exemptions. Of course, you can choose to purchase […]

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Ready, Set, Gobamacare

You still don’t have health insurance? – don’t panic (yet). There are only five days left to enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans for coverage beginning January 1st. The December 23rd deadline includes small businesses participating in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). But the truth is that December is not the […]

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Attracting Key Employees

Classic 401(k) and 401(k) Look-Alike plans have long been the retirement vehicle of choice for many employers. In both 401k (qualified) and 401k Look-Alike (non-qualified) plans, the employee participants choose to defer a portion of their income and thereby defer the income taxes due on that income. Employers also defer a tax deduction on that […]

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Health Reform Guide

Employers and employees alike are facing complex issues with regard to the Affordable Care Act.  The good news is that an important piece of the law has been delayed: the online small business insurance marketplace.  The Small Business Health Options Program, known as the SHOP exchange, will not be offering online enrollment until November 2014, […]

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Insurance that Sizzles

For nearly 17 years, I’ve had the privilege of helping scores of small business owners save thousands of dollars in taxes through unique retirement vehicles and health plans. Similarly, I’ve helped families find affordable individual health plans and term life insurance. In each case, I’ve listened to my client and then made my best effort […]

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Care for Obamacare?

Should You Care About Obamacare? I’m not talking about politically, morally or philosophically; but as a consumer, or potential consumer. How much should you care about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare? Maybe not much. That’s a position many insurance professionals are landing on at this scene in the show. If your […]

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