Open Enrollment is here!

Has your carrier increase your premium by over 12%?  It is likely.  Have your carrier changed your network?  It is likely but probably not obvious to you.  Has your carrier cancelled your plan?  It is likely.

We are a personal health insurance shopper for your plan.  And, the good news is that it will NOT cost you a penny more to utilize our services.  You will not find the same plan cheaper anywhere else!  It’s the law!

Give us a call or email and we will help you find a plan that is a better value and works for you!

Thank you.

Posted in Heatlh Care Reform, Affordable Care Act or Obamacare | Comments Off

Will you qualify for a health insurance premium subsidy on January 1, 2014?

Starting January 1, 2014, nearly all Americans are required to purchase and maintain a health insurance policy which meets certain coverage requirements.   If your family income is at or below 400% of the federal poverty level, you will qualify for some form of federal assistance with your premium.

See the chart below to see if you or your family might qualify for federal assistance with your health insurance premium.

If you are under 400%, then you should contact your health insurance agent in September or October for help in obtaining the federal assistance.

2013 Federal Poverty Levels -  48 Contiguous States and DC

Note: The 100% column shows the federal poverty level for each family size, and the percentage columns that follow respresent income levels that are commonly used as guidelines for health programs.

 Household Size































































 For   each additional person, add







Posted in Heatlh Care Reform, Affordable Care Act or Obamacare | Comments Off

Individual Mandate Q&A


Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act includes a mandate for most individuals to have health insurance or potentially pay a penalty for noncompliance. Individuals will be required to maintain minimum essential coverage for themselves and their dependents. Some individuals will be exempt from the mandate or the penalty, while others may be given financial assistance to help them pay for the cost of health insurance.

What type of coverage satisfies the individual mandate?

“Minimum essential coverage”

What is minimum essential coverage?

Minimum essential coverage is defined as:

  • Coverage under certain government-sponsored plans
  • Employer-sponsored plans, with respect to any employee
  • Plans in the individual market,
  • Grandfathered health plans; and
  • Any other health benefits coverage, such as a state health benefits risk pool, as recognized by the HHS Secretary.

Minimum essential coverage does not include health insurance coverage consisting of excepted benefits, such as dental-only coverage.

How does “Minimum Essential Coverage” differ from “Essential Health Benefits”?

Essential health benefits are required to be offered by certain plans starting in 2014 as a component of the essential health benefit package.  They are also the benefits that are subject to the annual and lifetime dollar limit requirements.

This is different than minimum essential coverage, which refers to the coverage needed to avoid the individual mandate penalty.  Coverage does not have to include essential benefits to be minimum essential coverage.

What is the penalty for noncompliance?

The penalty is the greater of:

  • For 2014, $95 per uninsured person or 1 percent of household income over the filing threshold,
  • For 2015, $325 per uninsured person or 2 percent of household income over the filing threshold, and
  • For 2016 and beyond, $695 per uninsured person or 2.5 percent of household income over the filing threshold.

There is a family cap on the flat dollar amount (but not the percentage of income test) of 300 percent, and the overall penalty is capped at the national average premium of a bronze level plan purchases through an exchange.  For individuals under 18 years old, the applicable per person penalty is one-half of the amounts listed above.

Beginning in 2017, the penalties will be increased by the cost-of-living adjustment.

Who will be exempt from the mandate?

Individuals who have a religious exemption, those not lawfully present in the United States, and incarcerated individuals are exempt from the minimum essential coverage requirement.

Are there other exceptions to when the penalty may apply?

Yes.  A penalty will not be assessed on individuals who:

  1. cannot afford coverage based on formulas contained in the law,
  2. have income below the federal income tax filing threshold,
  3. are members of Indian tribes,
  4. were uninsured for short coverage gaps of less than three months;
  5. have received a hardship waiver from the Secretary, or are residing outside of the United States, or are bona fide residents of any possession of the United States.
Posted in Heatlh Care Reform, Affordable Care Act or Obamacare | Comments Off

Poll: Aging Americans in denial about long term care needs

  • Are you over 50?
  • Have you or known someone that had to provide extended care for a family member?
  • How did it change the family dynamics?
  • How did it impact your ability to earn a living?
  • Husbands generally don’t think they need long term care because they have wives.  Most long term care insurance claims are for women.  Women  live longer than their husbands and are often left alone.  If this concerns you, please read this article and then create a plan for care.–politics.html

Posted in Long Term Care or Extended Care | Comments Off

Is your Group Health Insurance plan renewing now?

All across the country, thousands of group health insurance plans are in their open enrollment period.  This means, your employer has presented you with your health insurance options for the upcoming year.  Often you are asked to select a new plan,  accept the default plan, or remain with your current plan.  What should you do?  And, if you have dependents on the group plan, should you keep them on the group plan or purchase often less expensive coverage in the individual market?

Here are a few articles to help you choose which plan is best for you:

Posted in Group Health Insurance | Comments Off

Morrill awarded CLTC – Certified in Long Term Care

Press Release: October 20, 2012

Thomas D. Morrill of the Morrill Insurance Group has been awarded a professional
degree in the field of long-term care, Certified in Long-Term Care (CLTC).
The program is independent of the insurance industry and focuses on
providing financial service professionals the tools needed to meet their
client’s long-term care needs.

“The field of long-term care is complex. It intersects with other professions such
as financial planning, tax law, home care, government funding and elder law. My
ability to serve the community depends on understanding what resources, such as
housing and services, clients will need as they age and how they will be paid
for,” Mr. Morrill explained.

“I have had far too many families ask for my advice on what they can do after a
loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or some other
chronic illness. The fact is there is little that can be done at this point and
now these families are faced with years of physical stress and heartache. This
is compounded by the reality that paying for care can easily devastate their
family’s financial viability,” Mr. Morrill stated.

“It is my responsibility to help people understand the emotional, physical and
financial consequences associated with providing or paying for care over an
extended period of time. It is essential they have this information so they can
take action to protect those they love while they have options. I am committed
to helping my clients create an appropriate plan to meet their specific needs”,
said Morrill.

Mr. Morrill can be reached at: 816-891-7771 or

The company website is  The Morrill
Insurance Group is located in Kansas City, MO 64153.

For more information about CLTC please visit

Posted in Long Term Care or Extended Care | Comments Off

Health Insurance Costs Making you Mad?

Are you self employed or a sole proprietor? If so, you have probably experienced the hassle and frustration of buying your health insurance and the fact that premiums continue to rise.  What can you do?

 My first suggestion is to work with a LOCAL independent broker who knows the local market.  Independent brokers work for you…..not just one insurance company with a few plans.  Independent brokers represent dozens of companies and hundreds of policies.  Each year, the broker can shop the market for you to find the best plans for your needs and budget.

Some people ask me if health insurance costs more if you buy it from an agent.  The answer is NO.  By MO and KS law, for a given person and a given plan the premiums are the same price whether they are sold through a broker or directly by the insurance company.

If you are self employed, you really have two general types of insurance you can purchase: a permanent or guaranteed renewable plan or a short term plan.

A permanent plan is one where, as long as you pay the premiums, the plan will stay with you until age 65.  This type of plan is a little more expensive but it will provide the best long term coverage.  Be sure it is a comprehensive major medical plan (coverage for doctors, hospitals, outpatient tests, and prescriptions) and there are no coverage limits.

Your aim with a permanent plan should be to insure yourself and your family against the most serious and financially disastrous losses that can result from illness or injury.  Buy a policy that will cover major expenses and pay them to the highest maximum level.  Save money on premiums, if necessary, by taking large deductibles and paying smaller costs out-of-pocket.

A short term plan is a temporary health plan (typically 1-9 months) and should NOT be used as a substitute for a permanent or group health insurance plan.  Short term plans are intended to be interim coverage or “gap” coverage, i.e., for people who know, with certainty, they will have long term coverage or coverage through an employer at a future date.

Also, if you have a group plan at work and also have dependents on the plan, you might have some other options.  Sometimes it is more economical to put some or all of the dependents on an individual policy.  However, this is a case by case basis and would require some evaluation of premiums and the health of your dependents. 

One word of caution about shopping on the internet: beware and be careful.  There are dozens of legitimate agents on the web.  But, there are also unscrupulous agents on the web selling nothing more than a discount plan with no or very little insurance coverage.   If you hear the words “all conditions accepted” or “you can’t be denied coverage”….beware!

Posted in Individual or Family under 65 | Comments Off