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One of the biggest inhibitors for someone purchasing life insurance is cost. Many people have this conception that life insurance is far too expensive for them and there is no way to work it into their budget. I am here to tell you it may be more affordable than you think. Don’t believe me? I’ll give you a few examples. The average 30-year-old pays $87 per month for cable, $78 per month for a smartphone, and $48 per month for high speed internet. In comparison, a 30-year term life insurance policy for $250,000 can cost as low as $20 per month for a 30-year-old. At just $20 per month you can protect your family from disaster for the next 30 years. We set aside hundreds of dollars every month to have the luxuries of cable packages, high tech phones, and high speed internet.

In my opinion, an extra $20 per month for something that can really make a difference in your family’s wellbeing is a no brainer. Your spouse and children would be inconvenienced by losing cable, smartphones, and internet. But if they were to lose you their worlds would be turned upside down and without life insurance your family may struggle to get by. If you are hung up on the cost of life insurance I hope this short post will put it in perspective for you.

Jared Martinelli

 

Jared Martinelli
Personal Risk Manager, BCF Group
t: 717-560-7730 | f: 717-560-8369 | 800 732 3556
e: jaredm@bcfgroup.net

Join other non-profits & save.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 Written by

BCF Group is passionate about non-profits, and we strive to serve them well. We know resources can be limited when organizations rely on donations and other avenues for financial support. We use a 4-step process catered to your needs and the size of your organization to bring knowledge, value, and add strength a that you have worked hard to sustain. Click HERE to learn more about our PRISM Process.

Non-profits are essential to the communities they serve. Together we can make a difference.

Work with an insurance broker who understands the non-profit world. Call Mike Whisler to learn about our plan to collaborate with community-minded 501(c)(3) organizations to put together a top-notch insurance program, reduce your losses AND save you money! We insure PANO members (including the PANO organization itself) and would love to speak with you as well. Call Mike today.

Mike WhislerMichael Whisler, Commercial Account Manager
717.560.7730 • MichaelW@BCFGroup.net

 

 

 

 


“We find that BCF Group has a deep understanding of our organization, its goals and the unique risks we face as a non-profit.”

Gwen Schuit, CEO, Friendship Community

Many of our clients are gun owners. They know safety is always the most important consideration with guns, because guns bring risk. But what if something goes wrong? What if someone is injured with your gun and you get sued? Does your Homeowner’s insurance Liability coverage protect you? That’s what I want to discuss in this Blog.

As a disclaimer, the information in this Blog is based on a standard Insurance Services Office (ISO) HO-3 form Homeowner’s Insurance policy. Your policy may be different, so you always want to have a discussion with your Agent about your specific policy.

The Homeowner’s policy contains no specific “Gun” exclusions. This means that a claim is not denied outright simply because it involves a gun. However, there is an exclusion for “Expected, or intended injuries”. But, this exclusion contains an exception for “use of reasonable force by an insured to protect persons or property.”

Are you confused yet? Here’s what this means.

Scenario #1: Let’s say that you are cleaning your gun and it accidentally discharges and hits someone. This is clearly an accident and you didn’t expect or intend to injure anyone (although you did break a Cardinal Rule of gun-ownership by not verifying the gun was unloaded prior to cleaning). There is little doubt here. The Homeowner’s Liability coverage would almost certainly provide coverage in this circumstance.

Scenario #2: What if you’re hunting and accidentally shoot a fellow hunter? You intentionally fired the gun thinking your target was an animal but had no intention of hitting a person. Unfortunately, this is where things start to enter a gray area. An insurance company could make an argument that since you fired your gun at a target with the goal of inflicting injury, you did intend for this injury to occur. They could also say that firing your gun at a target you haven’t properly identified should result in expectation of injury.  

Scenario #3: What if you shoot an intruder who breaks into your home? Like I mentioned, the policy provides coverage for “use of reasonable force by an insured to protect persons or property”, but “reasonable force” isn’t defined. This means that while you may be covered, even these scenarios can become gray.

Insurance coverage determination is always fact-specific, but this is particularly true when it comes to guns.

The bottom line is that your Homeowner’s policy has some coverage for gun liability, particularly for accidental discharge, and in some cases, self-defense. However, you cannot rely on it for comprehensive coverage in all situations. If you are going to own a gun, your best tool for avoiding risk is always gun safety. Additionally, there are gun organizations that have developed their own insurance programs to provide broader protection than is found on your Homeowner’s policy. You can certainly check those programs out if you’re concerned about having broader insurance coverage.

Let us know if you have questions on this issue, and as always, BE SAFE!

bcf group demand a better way
 
Join other likeminded employers whose primary goal is to lower employee healthcare costs. When you optimize your purchasing power and implement nationally recognized cost-containment strategies, you gain control over your healthcare expenses.

 

Health Rosetta

As a Health Rosetta Charter Certified Advisor, BCF Group is passionate about reducing healthcare costs for employers while delivering world-class healthcare to employees. We understand the increased costs, and we work to identify and remove hidden expenses. Next-generation solutions are now available that improve the quality of care for patients and lower costs for both the plan sponsor and participants.

BCF Group pushes the boundaries on the status quo and actively develops solutions that remove cost layers and yield improved financial results.

There is a growing movement to demystify healthcare purchasing and lower costs. Whether you’re a self-funded employer or a patient receiving care, you must be able to determine the actual cost and quality of care to purchase it correctly. By properly aligning service providers with purchasers you can remove the layers of inefficiency and create contractual and financial transparency which inevitably lowers cost.

Local cash pay providers are working with self-funded employers to deliver high-value, low-cost healthcare services every day. Community doctors who love doctoring patients are opting out of the healthcare “system” at staggering rates. Services such as inpatient and outpatient surgeries, radiology, high tech imaging, lab tests, primary care arrangements are all available on a cash pay basis in our local community today. Patients are seeking a simpler, less confusing process when receiving and paying for their healthcare services.

BCF Group uses an ever-evolving blueprint for wisely purchasing health benefits. We have access to next-generation best practices, nationally recognized cost-containment programs, leading subject matter experts and real-life case studies to guide innovation and optimal plan management. We help our clients improve their financial and workforce performance, improve the quality of care for plan members and reduce out-of-pocket employee spending.

BCF Group focuses on results. Our foundational blueprint components include:

  • Maximized funding arrangements
  • Captive healthcare solutions
  • Value based primary care
  • Patient stewardship
  • Active and independent plan administration
  • Transparent open networks
  • High performance plan strategies
  • Transparent pharmacy benefits
  • Major specialties and outlier programs
  • Transparent advisor relationships.

BCF Group believes in the power of Direct Primary Care. By offering a Direct Primary Care option, employers encourage more healthcare services to be delivered in the least expensive setting and DPC delivers a vastly improved patient experience. As a plan option, employees can choose to engage with a local primary doctor who embraces a different approach to care, one that offers patients all the time they need during appointments, same day visits, house calls, state of the art telemedicine as well as access to low-cost drugs and cash pay healthcare procedures.

Watch this informative video from BCF Group's Tina Wilt on Health Rosetta: 

 

For additional detailed information about health captives, attend a live webinar on one of the following dates. PLEASE NOTE: there is a required field titled "Consultant Agency" in the sign-up form. Please use "BCF Group" in that field.

 

Brad forneyPlease contact Brad Forney, BCF Group's president, for more information. Email bradf@bcfgroup.net or call 717.560.7730. 

 

Erik WalterBy Erik Walter, FLMI, ACS, AIRC
Employee Benefits Analyst, BCF Group

 

For many Americans, employer-sponsored healthcare coverage is a valuable benefit. Over 150 million Americans receive health coverage through an Employer Sponsored Plan1.

There is a great strain on employers to continue to offer these benefits, especially as the cost to provide coverage continues to increase at a rate much higher than inflation. According to PWC’s Health Research Institute, the growth of medical costs in the employer insurance marketplace has increased consistently over the past 5 years between 5.5 and 7 percent annually.2 Why should we care as employees and what can we do to help control healthcare costs and the price of insurance?

Due to the consistently high increases in health coverage premiums, employers must consistently review their healthcare program. When prices increase too much employers may take actions, such as increasing deductibles or copays, increasing employee cost share, or doing away with an employee healthcare program altogether. When benefits are decreased, or cost share is increased, the employee is directly impacted. For this reason, all employees covered under an employer health program should endeavor to be good consumers of healthcare.

How can we as employees be good consumers of healthcare? After all, shopping for healthcare is confusing and not transparent. There’s no published pricing chart and insurers don’t and won’t share procedure reimbursement rates. Despite this, there are some basic steps we can all do as employees to help lower utilization and overall health care costs, which ultimately saves our employers and ourselves.

Here’s how you can be a good consumer of health care:

1. Engage in healthy lifestyle choices. You’ve heard it before, but it just makes sense that living a healthy lifestyle is directly related to lower healthcare costs. For instance, it’s estimated that “obese adults spend 42 percent more on direct healthcare costs than adults who are a healthy weight”.3

2. Select the right provider. In a non-emergency situation selecting the right provider is not only important for receiving the correct level of care, it is also important for controlling healthcare costs. Health plans are designed to steer you toward the right level of care and there are direct consequences for employees that do not optimally utilize care.

The biggest factor for controlling costs when choosing a healthcare provider is to choose a network provider. It is typically much more cost-effective to choose an in-network doctor over an out-of-network doctor as your health care plan has negotiated a fee schedule for services provided by a network doctor. Out-of-network doctors are not relegated to the provider’s fee schedule and may charge significantly more for procedures. Health insurers pass these increased fees on to the consumer through higher deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

Here are the general types of healthcare facilities. Selecting the appropriate level of care will typically result in the most efficient use of health care dollars. Consult your plan design documents or Summary of Benefits and Coverage for the cost associated with each type of provider.

  • Primary Care Physician – when you have a non-emergency, non-urgent health care need you may choose to see your Primary Care Physician (PCP). Your PCP knows your health history and typically knows you best.

If your PCP is not available, or you need urgent care you may consider another option:

  • Telemedicine – this option is becoming more popular as it allows you to “visit” a doctor or health professional by phone or video.
  • Urgent Care – these centers are convenient, typically offering liberal service hours and walk in appointments. Consider this option for urgent, non-emergency, treatment.

Sometimes you will want to see a healthcare specialist, a Doctor with expertise in a specialized area of medicine.

  • Specialists – visits to Specialist Doctors often come after the referral from a PCP, however many medical plans allow you to see a specialist without a referral. Consult your plan design for specific deductible, copay or coinsurance information. Specialist visits are typically more expensive than PCP visits as the doctor has received specialized training in a specific area of medicine.

In emergency situations it is appropriate to seek emergency care. Because of the urgent nature of emergency care, the staffing and facilities it is typically the most expensive type of medical care.

  • Emergency Care – Medical emergencies are typically defined as “the sudden and unexpected onset of a medical condition that:
    • Is threatening to life, limb, or eyesight
    • Requires immediate medical treatment or
    • Manifests painful symptoms that requires immediate response to alleviate suffering” 4

3. Shop for prescription drugs utilizing your health plan formulary:

  1. Generic versus Brand – Typically when a generic version of a drug is available it is more cost effective to choose the Generic drug. Ask your doctor if suitable generic drugs are available when receiving a prescription.
  2. Know your Health Plan’s Formulary. According to Doctor Michael Bihari, “a drug formulary is a list of prescription drugs…that are preferred by your health plan.” Providers typically provide a booklet that describes the formulary, lists the approved medications, and explains the coverage tiers and payment levels. Consult this booklet or your provider’s online formulary resource for more information.5

4. Shop for services. There are some good online healthcare resources that allow you to shop for medical services and prescription drugs. BCF Group recommends the following sites that provide guidance on selecting lower cost providers.

  1. https://www.healthcarebluebook.com – provides a “Fair Price” tool that gives the consumer fair price information for procedures, tests or services in a given geographic area. While Health Care Blue Book provides a free “Fair Price” estimate for services, an employer sponsored membership fee is required to use their low-cost provider tool.
  2. https://www.goodrx.com – compare prices for prescription drugs from over 60,000 U.S. pharmacies.

By utilizing these strategies, you can become a better healthcare consumer and contribute toward driving down healthcare costs for your employer and yourself.

 

Erik Walter, FLMI, ACS, AIRC
Employee Benefits Analyst, BCF Group
t: 717-560-7730
f: 717-560-8369
800 732 3556
e: ErikW@bcfgroup.net
w: www.bcfgroup.net
a: 2101 Oregon Pike, Ste. 300, Lancaster , PA 17601

 

1 Kaiser Family Foundation, kff.org, “Premiums for Employer-Sponsored Family Health Coverage…”, Sep 19, 2017

2 PWC Health Research Institute, pwc.com, “Medical Cost Trend Behind the Numbers 2019”, June 2018

3 the State of Obesity.org – A project of the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, stateofobesity.org, “The Healthcare Costs of Obesity”

4 Air Force Medical Service, airforcemedicine.af.mil, “Seek Urgent/Emergency Care”

5 Verywellhealth, verywellhealth.com, “Understanding your Health Plan Drug Formulary”, July 20, 2018

 

 

Anabaptist Group Insurance Program

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 Written by

Are you interested in a Mennonite Group Business Insurance Plan that gives you the opportunity to earn back some of your premiums?

The Mennonite Group Business Insurance Plan is an insurance program for business owners who are members of Anabaptist-related churches. Eligible business owners who purchase business insurance through BCF Group could earn an annual dividend, depending on the total group premium and claims experience.

Participating in the program provides an opportunity for like-minded Anabaptists to bring their resources together with the goal of earning returns, in the form of dividends, for the group’s good loss performance.

*Eligible denominations are: Mennonite, Brethren in Christ, and Church of the Brethren.

Eligible lines* offered through this program include:

  • Businessowners
  • Property
  • General Liability
  • Commercial Auto
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Inland Marine

This program provides the comprehensive coverages you need at competitive pricing:

  • PennPac® – our enhanced coverages on auto, businessowners, property, workers compensation, and general liability – giving you added protection at no additional cost
  • Equipment breakdown coverage automatically included with businessowners and property policies
  • Eligible Anabaptist-related churches include all Anabaptist-related churches except Old Order Amish.
  • Information and services to help reduce losses – the payoff is greater dividend potential
  • Outstanding, local claim and customer support service

* Subject to individual risk characteristics, loss experience and underwriting guidelines.

How It Works

Dividend earned is based on the total group premium and claims experience of eligible lines.

For example: If group premium is: $2 Million and group loss ratio is: 16%

Group dividend is: 15%

If member premium is: $10,000

Dividend earned will be: $1,500

Dividend payments are based upon program eligibility and are not guaranteed.

 

To get started, contact Trent Hess, Business Insurance Professional, 717.560.7730 • TrentH@BCFGroup.net

 

 

 

Jared Martinelli, a valued member of our Personal Lines Team, shares some valuable tips on Life Insurance for you and your family. To learn more about ways we can help ensure you carry the proper coverage for your rental, call Jared at 717-560-7730.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

The Importance of Renters Insurance

Monday, June 25, 2018 Written by

Watch this video as Heather Groff and Cindy Marshall, BCF Group's Personal Risk Manager, discuss the importance of Renters Insurance.  To learn more about ways we can help ensure you carry the proper coverage for your rental, call us at 717-560-7730. 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

As everyone in Lancaster County is aware by now, a local multi-generational family business was shut down almost overnight due to apparent fraud perpetrated by an employee of the company. This is a terrible situation for everyone involved, and we certainly wish the best to all of the employees and their families who were affected. The question for this blog is, what can we learn from this situation to help minimize the risk to our own businesses, and how might insurance coverage come in to play?

We don’t know the specific details of the alleged fraud that took place, so it’s impossible to say at this time whether insurance coverage could come into play or not. I’m just going to discuss two coverages that could come into play in a fraud situation.

1.) Employee Dishonesty – Sometimes referred to as “Employee Theft”, this is a Crime coverage that protects your business from theft by employees, which is not covered by standard Commercial Property insurance. Most often these are situations where an employee with access to the company funds siphons off money in small amounts over a period of time, and by the time it is discovered there may be tens of thousands of dollars (or more) missing. Sadly, we read about these situations in the newspaper frequently, and oftentimes involving small companies. We find that business owners tend to believe that their employees would never steal from them, until they find out that they have.

This risk of employee theft is something that you can insure against, but you can also mitigate the risk with some straightforward procedural safeguards. These can include:

• Requiring two signatures on all checks
• Having the person who reconciles bank accounts be different than the person who issues checks
• Conduct financial audits
• Maintain oversight of the finances and try to avoid having one person with too much control

While we generally think of Employee Theft being the theft of money, it can also include the theft of inventory, stock, tools, or other business property.

2.) Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance – Most people are familiar with D&O from a Non-Profit perspective as they understand the desire to be protected from liability for their service on a charitable board. What is less understood is the need for D&O coverage for a privately-held, for-profit business. Once again, while we don’t know the details of what took place in the situation locally and whether coverage would apply or not, it does serve as a reminder why D&O coverage has value even for a privately held company.

Directors and Officers make decisions that may affect anyone who has a relationship with the company: Shareholders, regulatory agencies, creditors, suppliers, competitors and customers. Anyone who believes they have been harmed as a result of those decisions may take legal action, requiring costly legal expenses to defend the company and its directors and officers. If your private company has outside individuals serving on the board, D&O coverage is a “must” to protect those individuals from personal liability. Even if there are not outside individuals, D&O coverage is still critical to protect the company and its officers from potentially crippling legal expenses and judgments. This can include claims from creditors alleging mismanagement of the company resulting in their financial loss.

While we all sympathize and hope the best for the affected individuals in this tragic situation, hopefully we can all learn something as well and use this as an opportunity to improve our procedures to reduce risk, and review insurance plans to make sure we are more adequately covered.

Feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss any of these issues.

BCF Group's Jared Martinelli provides some excellent tips on your automobile insurance, including ways to protect yourself and your family with the right levels of liability coverage. To learn more about ways to ensure your auto policy provides the best coverage with competitive premiums, call us at 717-560-7730. 

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO!

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