Thursday, March 2, 2017

Special Enrollment (SEP) for Individual Health Insurance Eligibility



Individual Health Insurance is Still Available for Those Who Qualify For Life Event Special Enrollment.




If you were unable to get health insurance due to changing life events or circumstances beyond your control, call us for immediate help. Work with local agents and avoid the problems of call service centers. Our personal service enables you to have contacts that stay familiar with you and your needs.

(708) 754-1221

Following is a description of eligible situations that you may fall under that may have become an obstacle in obtaining individual medical insurance. As circumstances are unique, if you do not see one related to you, feel free to contact us for a Free Review of your issue and assistance in obtaining the health care plan for you.

LOSS OF HEALTH INSURANCE

  • Losing health insurance for any reason except not paying your premiums
  • Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or Children's Health Insurance Program
  • Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent's medical plan
CHANGES IN HOUSEHOLD
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Having a baby or adopting a child
  • Losing coverage due to a family member's death
CHANGES IN RESIDENCE
  • Moving to a different zip code or county
  • Being a student moving to or from school
  • Seasonal worker moving to or from a work location
  • Moving to or from a shelter or transitional housing
OTHER QUALIFYING EVENTS
  • Becoming eligible for Medicaid
  • Becoming eligible for tax credits that will lower your premiums, if already on ACA plan
  • Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen
  • Leaving jail or prison
EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES
  • You faced a serious medical condition or natural disaster that kept you from enrolling
  • An unexpected hospitalization or temporary cognitive disability, or were otherwise incapacitated
  • A natural disaster such as an earthquake, massive flooding or hurricane
ENROLLMENT OR PLAN INFORMATION DISPLAY ERRORS

  • Misinformation, misrepresentation, misconduct or inaction of someone working in an official capacity to assist you in enrollment (ex: insurance company, navigator, certified application counselor, or agent/broker kept you from
  1. Enrolling in a plan
  2. Enrolling in the right plan
  3. Getting the premium tax credit or cost-sharing reduction you were eligible for
  4. A technical error occurred when you applied on HealthCare.gov
  5. Your insurance company was prevented from receiving your enrollment information
  6. The incorrect data was displayed at HealthCare.gov at the time you selected your health plan

For
Contact Us Today!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Small Business Insurance: Special Rates Save 30%


best business insurance

An insightful new small business insurance program offered by Farmers Insurance Sopko Agency helps businesses protect their investment. 

Take time to visit with an expert and learn how to acquire a business insurance policy that not only saves you money, but recognizes the best way to protect the business you have created.

If your just starting out, give us a call and we can guide you through the process. We can help you recognize what type of insurance will protect you best and insure you meet all state and federal regulations necessary for your particular business.

Businesses play such an important part in the economic community and we are proud to support your business in its efforts to operate and grow.

Call Today:

Debi Sopko
(708)754-1221

jsopko@farmersagent.com


Protect your business with a trusted industry leader.
  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

3 Important Questions For Homeowners


       Get the most out of your homeowners insurance by understanding what your policy actually covers. Free insurance reviews help you to ask the pin- pointed questions that could make a big difference in your assumed coverage and actual coverage.


Can You Answer These Questions? 
  1. What is the top dollar amount of coverage I have with my insurance policy?
  2. Does my policy cover the estimated worth of my home OR ACTUAL REPLACEMENT?
  3. Will my policy replace my belongings OR only a percentage?


If you cannot answer all three of these questions, it is time to have your insurance reviewed.  Have your insurance reviewed with these questions in mind. Home is a wonderful place.

As we generally understand insurance, we can assume that everything is covered.  Often we do not fully take the time to comprehend the details of our insurance policy.  It is such a common thing to insure our homes and vehicles; but often we do not ask questions.  It may seem awkward or impertinent to us to ask questions with “how much” or “what if” starting our sentences.

Relax, your agent does not see this as impertinence. Your agent wants you to be informed and understand what your policy protects, this is how he services you best. He is eager to have this appropriate conversation.

Often our lives are so busy that homeowners insurance is something we purchase and then forget about it. However, this can be detrimental when the need arises to use your insurance. Never have the “it can’t happen to me” idea; that is human nature and everyone it happens to has to struggle through disbelief.

Those who believe in prevention and protection, are able handle a tragedy that affects the home better. Of course, no one ever feels it's smooth sailing, but with all the proper things in place, getting through it is easier.


Consider having to replace your belongings inside your home. As we own items they lose value over time. We invest in a bedroom set or our high end television with all the electronic systems that go with it;  it is important to protect our investments.  We need to be certain that our policy covers an actual replacement of the item and not a depreciated value of it. Imagine only getting garage sale prices or lower for the items in your home. That is why it is important to have these conversations.


Farmers Insurance Sopko Agency  is offering Free Reviews for your homeowners Insurance. Call today and make an appointment for your Review.  It’s a wonderful thing to be able to check this item off your list and have peace of mind knowing you are protected in the way you expect to be.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Circle of Champions Award for Jeff Sopko


Congratulations Jeff Sopko!

From the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight 200 in Washington, DC 


Congratulations! As a top performer, you have earned a spot in the HealthCare.gov Circle of Champions because of your outstanding performance enrolling individuals and families in Marketplace coverage. You have helped these individuals and families with more than 20 plan selections during Marketplace Open Enrollment. I would like to personally thank you for the work you have done to positively influence your clients’ lives. You play a crucial role in reaching the uninsured population and have contributed to bringing the uninsured rate down to a historic low.


Kevin J. Counihan Chief Executive Officer, 
Health Insurance Marketplaces Director,
Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight

Friday, December 9, 2016

Homeowners Insurance: What Do Gaps In Insurance Mean?




You Have Probably Seen the Commercials Talking About Gaps in Insurance; But What Does That Mean?


     Current statistics in a study by J.D. Power and Associates show that 59% of homeowners are under insured. As humans, we tend to tune out commercials. This may seem to have no impact on us, unless we realize we are part of that 59%.



     However, as homeowner or renter you need to be extremely aware of where you stand in this picture.  If you fall in the 59% range, this means that if something were to happen to your home, your insurance would only cover about 79% of what actually needs to be covered.  Worse yet, the under insured category includes, as documented by Chief Actuary, James Lynch of the Insurance Information Institute, that 4% of homeowners have no insurance whatsoever. This translates to them, having the full burden of replacing their home which would leave most people in dire straits.

Being insured only 79% of the way would be a hard hit because restoring the remainder of loss would rest totally on your shoulders. Your loss for being under insured would be 21%. The following example illustrates in practicality how this works.

For ease of this example, we will work with simple numbers. Let’s say your home is worth $100,000. In the occurrence of a catastrophic event that nearly destroys your home, you report to your insurance company. If you fall in the under insured category this is how it will play out. Your insurance company pays $79,000 to restore the damage; you have to come up with the extra $21,000 to get your home back to where it was.  Would this be easy for you to do? Keep in mind if you were at this basic level, your contents of the home would not be covered. Also note the replacement cost of your home may have increased.

It  is important to have your insurance reviewed at least every two years. Being aware that an increase in your home’s value, also means an increase in its replacement cost. Even if your home was to decrease in value, the replacement cost continues to grow. This is due to the nature of economics as labor and materials progressively cost more.

This is valuable information to take to heart. We insure our property for our protection. If you find your premium rises a bit to be properly insured, it is vital to understand that this is extremely lessening the risk on your shoulders. How much extra a month is worth not having to come up with $21,000 or more on your own?

Whenever improvements are made to your home, this is a cause to have your homeowners insurance reviewed and updated. Take advantage of free insurance reviews, they are very educational and in your best interest. 

FREE INSURANCE REVIEW
(800) 324-1004

Our agents pay close attention to detail and are very thorough. They will keep you from engaging in risky business when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones.  Your agent will assess the cost to rebuild and replace your home and assets (as opposed to insuring only market value).



Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Safety Tips


December is such a fun month with Christmas family traditions to look forward to. Most people enjoy the flurry of activity and special events to plan and attend. Here is wishing you a happy and safe holiday season.



We Have Put Together Some Old and Some New
 SAFETY REMINDERS 
to Keep in Mind During Our


  • Keep your home well lit when you are not home. Automatic timers that can turn lights off and on in various parts of the house are a good plan. Never set them exactly on the hour. You can even set up a radio or your TV to be on.
  • Stand in front of your home once during the day, and once after dark. See what a potential intruder may spot as an easy target. Make adjustments as necessary
  • BE VERY CAREFUL WITH SOCIAL MEDIA, this is something our parents never had to consider. Unfortunately, there are people who will scour social media to see when you might be attending an activity, a day trip or spending a few days out of town.  If you must post, post AFTER the fact when you have already returned home. EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN TO DO THE SAME.
  • Remember with social media, many strangers are able to access what you write through friend of a friend of a friend . . . and so on. Vandalism and break-ins are no longer just happening at night. Any time of the day is good for a bad guy.
  • Christmas packages need special arrangements and thieves are on the lookout to simply swipe a package before it ever enters your home.  Try to schedule them for when you know someone is home. Speak with a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out for when you are expecting a package and ask them to grab it. Make yourself available to do the same for them. If possible, use of online tracking to better gauge when you package will arrive.
  • If your workplace will allow it, have packages sent to you at work.
  • Make a special effort to NOT BE DISTRACTED while you are shopping and paying for items. Always keep your purse, wallet, and cell phones close. Do not let the business of the season put you at risk for a moment. Plan ahead in your mind how you will handle many stops and transactions using, cash, debit cards or credit cards. As you hurry through check out lines make sure all your stuff is secure.
  • As always the safest place for your holiday packages are in the trunk. Do not tempt a thief to break your car windows because they see something appealing inside.
  • Naturally be aware of your surroundings, as you load packages into your vehicle.
  • Safest home strategy is to have a good relationship with neighbors and keep an eye out for each other. Discuss how you can best help and protect each other’s home and property. Alert each other of special circumstances that might need extra watchfulness. Make sure you have each others numbers so you can text or call when something is in question. Always better safe than sorry.


I admit a little sadness in having an article like this. I wish everyone would just be so happy and wonderful to everyone else. Focus on the delightful. These reminders were to bring a sense of heightened awareness for your safety and the safety of your family.


Merry Christmas!




Sponsored by

Sopko Farmers Insurance
(800) 324-1004

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Monday, November 21, 2016

News Alert: Teen Drivers Safer with Parent/Teen Contract


Student 
Drivers Ed
Ending?




Teen drivers whose parents take a more active role in passing down their own knowledge make safer drivers.  When communication is open ended rather than sounding like a lecture, teens are more likely to take this experience to heart. Share personal stories of your driving experience; include the funny, the unusual and the bad.  There are also things your teen driver should know.

Teens who can relate that their parents encountered similar situations may be more open to ask questions and share concerns with their parents. As your student is unfolding into their adult role; let them know you are encouraging their independence.

Be sure to never fill them with your own personal fears. Communications should be in a positive light.  If you have something that feels awkward to communicate; try these for openers:
  • Of course, you know . . .
  • I was so embarrassed when . . . 
  • Your almost a man/woman, but my heart sometimes just sees the little boy/girl you used to be . . .
  • My friend once did this and it raised a fear in me for when I had children of my own . . . 
  • I was so goofy I once . . . (thought, did, tried etc.)
  • Ok. Because I'm a Mom/Dad I have to say this . . . 
Your student, excited with new found possibilities, will need you to help them keep sensibly grounded. A Teen Driving Contract, can open doors for discussion and clarify the expectations of both parent and child. When boundaries are known upfront, rather than made up as you go along, a teen has the chance to think more responsibly. You have provided tools for them to consider and discussed your own personal family rules and values.

Part of maturing is learning to respect authority, when your child knows this, they are better equipped to make responsible choices.