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Employee Benefits

IRS Issues New Tax Deductibility Limits for Long-Term Care Insurance

By | Employee Benefits, Individual Life & Disability, Personal Insurance, Specialty Insurance

Have you delayed securing a long-term care policy? Perhaps the new IRS deductibility guidelines might prompt you to consider a new policy.

Premiums for a tax-qualified long-term care policy are considered a medical expense. For individuals who itemize tax deductions, medical expenses are deducible to the extent they exceed the current amount required to meet an individual’s adjusted gross income (AGI). In addition, Maryland offers a one-time $500 tax credit for a tax-qualified long-term-care policy.

With the cost of nursing home care in Maryland approaching $10,000 per month, most financial planners recommend a comprehensive elder care strategy.

This includes a policy to transfer part of the risk from you to an insurance company. If you do not have a policy, you are 100% self-insured. Even a small policy would conserve some assets and part of your estate.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance has more detailed information regarding long-term care tax deductions. You can obtain this information at www.aaltci.org/tax.

For more information and specific quotes for a long-term care policy, please contact Keith Mathis at 443-449-2327 or by email kmathis@medchiagency.com.

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Has Your Group Disability Policy Been Updated?

By | Employee Benefits, Individual Life & Disability

Unlike group health insurance, many group disability plans are not reviewed every year at renewal, and the practice simply renews the policy as is. As a result, we have found many practice groups have outdated group disability programs.

The MedChi Insurance Agency can meet with you to complete a review of your program and offer alternative quotes if deemed necessary. Some of the areas we review:

• Monthly benefit: Insurance carriers now offer a much higher monthly benefit for the professional staff. You might have a plan that offers 60% of the physician’s salary but only to a maximum of $6,000 of monthly benefit. This could be changed to as much as $20,000 of monthly benefit or more.
• Definition of earnings: Does the plan cover bonuses as well as salary?
• Own Occupation Covered: Many older plans only cover a physician’s own occupation for a period of 2 years. An enhanced plan would provide coverage for own medical specialty until the age of 67.
• Are benefits taxable: Plans can be set up in a manner to provide benefits free of federal income taxes to the covered employee.
• How long are benefits paid: Benefits can now be offered to age 70.

To make sure you are obtaining the best coverage for your premium dollars contact Keith Mathis for a review at 443-449-2327 or kmathis@medchiagency.com.

CareFirst Individual Market Rate Increase

CareFirst Individual Market Rate Increase

By | Employee Benefits

The Maryland Insurance Administration announced approval for a 34.4% rate increase on Blue Choice HMO individual plans and a 49.9% rate increase on Blue Cross PPO Consumer Direct individual products for the “under 65 marketspace,” effective January 1, 2018. This increase is significant for those who have individual plans with CareFirst. If you dissolved your practice or left your small group plan a couple years ago in favor of a lower cost individual plan rates, you may want to reconsider returning to the small group market again to avoid a major increase in your IMD renewal premiums as of January 1, 2018. Read More