Employee & Voluntary Benefits
SAVING MONEY on employee benefits is a must in today’s economy. The cost of providing benefits is rising significantly, while employees consistently seek more and more from their benefits packages. Many employers struggle to balance employee needs with their own capabilities and bottom lines. Helping you meet these divergent objectives is our specialty.
For years, Guilford Insurance has been providing insurance and employee benefits consulting services to the business community. Built upon a tradition of integrity, industry leadership, and excellence, we are committed to delivering tailored benefit solutions with thoughtful strategic planning, valuable professional services, and technology-based solutions.
Our staff of experienced benefits professionals can develop benefits programs that make sense for your company and your employees. We have specialists in all lines of employee benefits, with the experience and know-how to keep your programs running smoothly and your employees happy.
We specialize in a wide variety of plans and lines of coverage, including:
Insured and self-funded health plans
Group life Insurance
401 (k) Plans
Short and Long Term Disability Plans
Human Resources Consulting
Using advanced technology and consulting expertise, we provide a variety of value-added professional services to our clients. These services reduce customer costs, increase efficiency, and improve employee satisfaction – bringing your employee benefits programs to new heights in quality and performance.
We pride ourselves on the level of knowledge and service we bring to our clients. Each client works with a single point of contact, making working with us seamless and easy.
We will develop a customized strategic plan for you that defines your objectives and outlines the actions needed to fulfill those objectives. Our strategic planning services ensure an organized, complete approach to fulfilling your benefits needs.
Individual & Family Health Insurance
Guilford Insurance can provide you with a wide array of products and services from a variety of respected insurance and benefits providers. We obtain and evaluate proposals from all available carriers. We can introduce and educate you or your family on the benefits.
Our agency offers a complete line of insurance products and services. These products and services are designed to provide solutions to your financial needs.
Long Term Care
Short Term Medical
Before choosing a plan we want to be sure you know the difference between your many options; In particular how Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage Plans differ. Many people sign up for Advantage Plans thinking they are Supplements, they are not.
A Medicare Supplement is used with original Medicare. Any caregiver that accepts Medicare will take a Supplement because they only need to bill Medicare. Medicare pays their part (generally 80% of Medicare covered benefits) and sends the remainder of the bill to the Supplement which pays their part (generally 20%). It is important to note that Supplements do NOT include Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D, PDP) and for those that do not get a PDP when first eligible there will be a penalty when they do get a PDP. (there are exceptions to this) A Medicare Supplement does not change year to year (although the cost does generally go up the coverage does not change).
A Medicare Advantage plan works differently than a Supplement. With a Medicare Advantage Plan a private company TAKES OVER for Medicare (you remain in the Medicare system but Medicare is no longer responsible for your bills). These plans follow the same type of module as many group plans such as HMO or PPO. With this type of plan it is important to remember several things. First, most Advantage Plans have Networks so you want to make sure your Doctor, Hospital, and auxiliary care are within the network. (otherwise you will be paying higher costs and in some cases are responsible for 100% of care outside the network) Second, Advantage Plans have co-pays associated with them. It is important to be aware of these because they can add up to be quite a bit of money. Third, most Advantage Plans have the Part D “built in” which is a nice bonus but you must be aware that when switching to a Supplement from an Advantage Plan you will also need to add a Part D. (there are several types of Advantage Plans that do NOT have the Part D built in so this is something you need to keep in mind when choosing any plan). Lastly, Advantage Plans typically have value added benefits. These benefits vary between plans but typical benefits include Health Club membership, limited dental, eye and/or vision.
Also, not all Plan D’s are the same. Although they are required to be at least as good as the Medicare model they can vary greatly in costs, co pays and specific drugs that are covered. It is important to check which one suits you and continue to check each year because they (like Advantage Plans) do change every year.
Because these plans vary even from county to county, we strongly recommend that you talk to an independent insurance agent to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.
We also offer various types of supplemental insurance plans, which are needed when life’s unexpected health issues come up. Having this type of insurance can save you thousands of dollars in medical bills. Our experienced staff of insurance agents will help you choose the plan that will work for your current situation, as well as help you plan for unexpected problems that may occur in the future. See the information below to read more about the types of supplemental insurance we have available. Supplemental coverage options also referred to as ancillary benefits, are often overlooked, but are an affordable health insurance option for many individuals and families. We offer a wide range of products that can supply extra protection on top of your traditional medical plan.
We provide the following types of supplemental insurance protection:
- Dental Insurance
- Vision Plans
- Life Insurance
- Hospital Indemnity
- Critical Illness Plans
- Short Term Medical
- Accident Plans
Hospital Indemnity Insurance Plans
What is hospital indemnity insurance?
Hospital indemnity insurance is a type of plan that pays a set amount – per day, per week, per month, or per visit – if you’re confined in a hospital. The Hospital Plan is a hospital indemnity insurance plan.
How is the Hospital Plan different from a traditional medical plan?
Medical insurance reimburses the insured, or provider, for covered and approved medical services, procedures, equipment, and prescription drugs. The Hospital Plan pays a lump-sum payment directly to the insured for a covered hospital confinement, outpatient surgery, and emergency injury or sickness.
Critical Illness and Cancer Insurance Plans
How is a Cancer Plan different from a traditional medical plan?
Medical insurance reimburses the insured, or provider, for covered and approved medical services, procedures, equipment, and prescription drugs. The Cancer Plan pays an immediate one-time, lump-sum payment directly to the insured upon initial diagnosis of covered cancer. The cancer insurance policy benefit can be used for any purpose you choose.
Accident Insurance Plans
Accident Insurance helps you handle the medical and out-of-pocket costs that add up after an accidental injury. This includes emergency treatment, hospital stays and medical exams, and other expenses you may face, such as transportation and lodging needs.
Protect What Matters Most!
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. If you’re considering securing you and your family’s financial future, we would be happy to review your current situation and offer a few ideas on how you can protect it!
Types of Life Insurance:
Term Insurance, the most affordable type of insurance when initially purchased, is designed to meet temporary needs. It provides protection for a specific period of time (the “term”) and generally pays a benefit only if you die during the term. This type of insurance often makes sense when you have a need for coverage that will disappear at a specific point in time. For instance, you may decide that you only need coverage until your children graduate from college or a particular debt is paid off, such as your mortgage.
Final Expense Insurance – Final expense insurance is an insurance policy used to pay for funeral services and a burial when the named insured dies. Such a policy helps ease the financial burden placed on a family when a loved one dies.
Universal life insurance was created to provide more flexibility than whole life insurance by allowing the policy owner to shift money between the insurance and savings components of the policy. Premiums, which are variable, are broken down by the insurance company into insurance and savings, allowing the policy owner to make adjustments based on their individual circumstances. For example, if the savings portion is earning a low return, it can be used instead of external funds to pay the premiums. Unlike whole life insurance, universal life allows the cash value of investments to grow at a variable rate that is adjusted monthly.
Whole Life Insurance
A life insurance contract with level premiums that has both an insurance and an investment component. The insurance component pays a stated amount upon death of the insured. The investment component accumulates a cash value that the policyholder can withdraw or borrow against.
As the most basic form of cash-value life insurance, whole life insurance is a way to accumulate wealth as regular premiums pay insurance costs and contribute to equity growth in a savings account where dividends or interest is allowed to build-up tax-deferred.
Long Term Care
We’re finding some people prefer some of the advantages of going the “hybrid” route for their long-term care coverage. I work with highly experienced professionals who understand the “Hybrid” market inside and out.
Our hybrid clients typically:
- Want a guarantee there will be NO rate increases to their premium, ever.
- Are very comfortable financially and are tempted to even just self-insure the risk, but realize having insurance in place may be prudent.
- Are people who have $100-150K in an easy-access fund like money market, CD, etc. – as “rainy day” money.
- Like to know they are going to use this insurance. With Hybrid, there’s a death benefit (life insurance) or the option to use the death benefit for long-term care costs instead. Hybrids work very similarly to “stand-alone” LTC products at claim time.
- May have income tax sensitivity. Benefits are income tax free.
- May have more serious health issues preventing the stand-alone companies from issuing them a policy. (We can often find a hybrid company may accept some health histories that are not acceptable by stand-alone companies.)
Other advantages of some Hybrid LTC products:
- One of our carriers still offers UNLIMITED lifetime coverage for LTC
- Though monies are re-allocated, it remains YOUR money under your control. So the money will be used either for long-term care costs, or for a death benefit (life insurance) or you can pull out your money later.
Disability Income Protection Plans
What is Disability Income Insurance?
Disability Income Insurance is a form of insurance that insures the beneficiary’s earned income against the risk that a disability will make working, and therefore earning money, impossible. It includes paid sick leave, short-term disability benefits, and long-term disability benefits.
Who Needs Disability Income Insurance?
More than a quarter of today’s 20 year olds will become disabled, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). It does not have to be a freak injury that prevents you from working – back injuries, cancer, heart disease or other illnesses are the majority of the reasons for long-term absences.
Are you prepared if you can’t work due to a long-term disability? The average long-term disability last 2 1/2 years; do you have the emergency savings to survive that long without an income? If not, you need to make sure you have disability insurance.
Individual Disability Insurance
Individual disability insurance offers multiple options for coverage, and a policy can be tailored to your needs. Since individual disability insurance policies are paid with after tax dollars, you don’t pay taxes on the benefits you receive.