Tag Archives: Benefits

Travel Insured International Introduces New Travel Insurance Plans with Stronger Benefits, More Insurance Options

East Hartford, CT (PRWEB) April 29, 2008

Travel Insured International a leading provider of travel protection plans for travelers, has unveiled a new trio of travel insurance plans under the company’s popular Worldwide Trip Protector brand.

Worldwide Trip Protector, the signature brand of Travel Insured International now includes two plans redesigned with stronger benefits and more optional coverage choices than ever before. These include the company’s two popular comprehensive insurance plans, Worldwide Trip Protector and Worldwide Trip Protector Gold. A third plan, being launched for the first time, is Worldwide Trip Protector Lite and Lite Expanded, which is designed as basic yet flexible protection for families and budget conscious travelers.

New Upgrades and Options

Each of the three Worldwide Trip Protector plans offers a menu of included and optional features to help travelers select the right coverage to fit their travel insurance needs. Available benefits, depending on the plan selected, include Kids Are Free coverage, Cancel for Any Reason and Cancel for Work Reasons options (neither of these options is available in Texas, Washington State or Oregon), a new Sports Coverage option, ID Theft Recovery Assistance, Pet Care coverage, Missed Port of Call and School Year Extension protection.

Travelers can ask their travel agent to describe the plan that works best for their booking, or they can visit Travel Insured’s web site at http://www.travelinsured.com and ask questions using Live Chat. They can also speak to a friendly, knowledgeable Travel Insured customer care professional who can answer their questions at 1-800-243-3174.

All three Worldwide Trip Protector plans offer options to Cancel for Any Reason or Cancel for Work Reasons (neither option is available in Texas, Washington State or Oregon), as well as options for increased Emergency Medical Expense benefits including Medevac coverage, and Flight Accident Protection. Travelers on any of the plans may also opt for a Sports Coverage upgrade to protect prepaid sports activities, such as golf green fees and ski passes, and rented or owned sports equipment while on vacation.

Kids are Free and ID Theft Recovery

Worldwide Trip Protector, Travel Insured’s most popular comprehensive plan, is widely used by travelers booking land or cruise vacations in both the popular-priced and luxury markets. The updated Worldwide Trip Protector includes Kids Are Free coverage for children under 18 traveling with a related adult enrolled and traveling on the same policy.

Worldwide Trip Protector Gold offers the highest level of comprehensive travel insurance benefits for clients who seek enhanced coverage that protects the quality of their travel preferences. The Gold plan has higher Medical and Trip Delay limits and inclusive Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver. Both Worldwide Trip Protector and Trip Protector Gold feature an ID Theft Protection Service that works to resolve any compromised financial cards or documents for the insured client who is victimized by an ID theft event while traveling.

Worldwide Travel Concierge Services are an added benefit with Worldwide Trip Protector and Worldwide Trip Protector Gold. Along with several other destination support features, Concierge Services provide travelers with access to entertainment and sports event tickets, help with local directions, restaurant and hotel reservations, or locating translation services or guides.

New Lite and Lite Expanded Travel Insurance Plan

Worldwide Trip Protector Lite and Lite Expanded are two coverage levels available within one newly-created Travel Insured plan for budget-minded travelers. Customers start with broad Worldwide Trip Protector Lite basic coverage at our most affordable plan rates. They may upgrade to stronger inclusive benefits with Lite Expanded protection and select specific coverage options that match their trip type or individual travel protection needs. Kids are Free coverage is included for one child under 18 per related adult enrolled and traveling on the same Worldwide Trip Protector Lite or Lite Expanded policy

All Worldwide Trip Protector plans come with Travel Insured’s superior level of customer service and Worldwide Emergency Travel Assistance, which is available 24/7 by a free phone call from anywhere insured customers are traveling and in need of help.

About Travel Insured International

Travel Insured delivers comprehensive travel protection benefits ranging from trip cancellation and trip interruption to emergency assistance and Medevac insurance, travel accident and sickness medical expense, accidental death and dismemberment, missed connection and baggage delay or loss.

The company’s travel insurance plans include its comprehensive Worldwide Trip Protector, the most popular travel protection plan and Worldwide Trip Protector Gold, an enhanced travel insurance plan designed to protect luxury vacations and business trips. Travel Insured also offers two travel insurance plans designed to provide basic yet flexible protection for families and budget conscious travelers, its Worldwide Trip Protector Lite insurance plan and Worldwide Trip Protector Lite Expanded insurance plan. Finally they offer a Medical Protector insurance plan, an Airline Ticket Protector plan as well as a complete offering of Group Travel Insurance plans including Student Group insurance plans.

Visit Travel Insured’s web site at http://www.travelinsured.com or speak to a friendly, knowledgeable Travel Insured customer care professional at 1-800-243-3174.

Travel Insured International, based in East Hartford, Connecticut, was founded in 1993 by the foresight of insurance industry executive Peter Gehris when he acquired the travel protection division of the Travelers Insurance Company. Coverage is underwritten by Arch Insurance Company (a Missouri corporation, NAIC #11150) with executive offices located in New York, NY. Not all insurance products or coverage is available in all jurisdictions. Coverage is subject to actual policy language.


More Women Turning to Social Security Disability Benefits; Mothers Should Know Their Options

Belleville, Ill. (Vocus) May 5, 2009

More working mothers are becoming disabled and losing their ability to support their families. That means it’s even more important for women to understand the role of Social Security disability insurance, according to Allsup, which represents tens of thousands of people in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process each year.

In the past decade, from 1999 to 2009, the rate of disability for women has grown by about 72 percent compared with nearly 42 percent for men, according to the Social Security Administration. Since 1990, the number of working women who are fully insured for Social Security benefits has grown by 28 percent to 99.7 million women. As of April 2009, 3.6 million women were receiving SSDI benefits as disabled workers.

Disabilities may result from an accident, a chronic disease or worsening condition. Some of the diagnoses affecting women include multiple sclerosis, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, depression and fibromyalgia.

“Women may not realize they are insured for disability benefits, especially during the period before they experience a severe disability,” said Cindy Ratermann, manager of disability claims specialists at Allsup. “Women who are widows or widows with young children also may qualify for Social Security benefits based on their husband’s work record, so this is another option to consider.”

SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that operates separately from the retirement and SSI programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and can no longer work because of a disability (injury, illness or condition) expected to last for at least 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. More details are provided in the SSDI Overview on Allsup.com.

Concerns When Women Can No Longer Work

Women who have been working and supporting their families face enormous difficulties when they can no longer work because of an injury, illness or chronic disease. Allsup offers stories from women in this situation, including a former math teacher and former retail employee, on Allsup.com.

“If you’ve become disabled and must stop working on a long-term basis, you need to look at filing for SSDI benefits as soon as possible,” said Ms. Ratermann, who has more than 20 years experience in the SSDI process, working with a staff of nearly 580 professionals at Allsup.

Women must have a work history and meet certain qualifications to be eligible for SSDI on their own record, including having paid payroll taxes for five of the last 10 years. Having a record of your employment history for the past 15 years is ideal, said Ms. Ratermann. “Your earnings determine what your SSDI benefit would be if the SSA finds you disabled,” she explained.

Keep in mind that the SSDI process can be lengthy, with some claimants’ cases taking two to four years because of the backlog in the disability claims process. More than 2.9 million people are expected to apply for disability benefits in 2009, according to the SSA.

“Women can make this experience easier on themselves by choosing a representative to handle their SSDI claim,” Ms. Ratermann said. Allsup provides representation at all levels of the SSDI application process, including the initial application and, if needed, the hearing before an administrative law judge.

At the hearing level, or level 3, about 90 percent of claimants have a representative. Individuals Allsup represents at the hearing level generally receive an award four months faster than the national average. “It can be to your benefit to get representation from the beginning,” Ms. Ratermann said.

Considering Social Security Disability

There are a number of reasons why a woman should apply for SSDI, including regular monthly income. Additional considerations include:

Medical benefits: Regardless of your age, 24 months after your date of entitlement to SSDI cash benefits, you are eligible for Medicare, including Part A (hospital benefits) and Part B (medical benefits).
Prescription drug coverage: Once you are entitled to Medicare, you are also eligible for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan
COBRA extension: If you receive SSDI benefits, the length of your COBRA benefits could be extended an additional 11 months.
Protected retirement benefits: When you reach retirement age, SSDI ends and you transition to Social Security retirement benefits. Social Security disability entitlement “freezes” Social Security earnings records during your period of disability. Because the years in which you collect SSDI benefits are not counted when computing future benefits, your Social Security retirement benefits may be higher than if your earnings were averaged over a greater number of years.
Dependent benefits: If you receive SSDI benefits and you have a dependent under age 18, he or she may also be eligible for benefits. Benefits also may be paid to your husband on your earnings record if he is age 62 or older; or at any age if he is caring for your child (under age 16).

Insights On Social Security Benefits

Allsup provides representation services for Social Security Disability Insurance, but there are additional considerations for women.

Keep in mind that Social Security offers marginal amount of financial protection to women as a result of their earnings and through their spouse’s earnings, depending on the circumstances. Most people need 10 years of work, or 40 credits earned through payroll taxes, to qualify for benefits.

Today, nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits, including SSDI benefits, are women.

Women and earnings. Women are likely to earn less than men during their careers, so their benefits may be lower. For example, in April 2009 the average SSDI benefit for women was about 22 percent lower at $ 920.47 compared to $ 1,188.52 for men. One factor is that many women work as caregivers for family members and children during their earning years. Often, women step out of the work force for years at a time and, over time, pay less toward Social Security.

Women and business ownership. If you and your husband operate a business together, you are entitled to receive Social Security credits as a partner. Even though you may file your income taxes jointly, you should file a separate self-employment report with Social Security. This ensures that you get Social Security benefits from your own work. Otherwise, all the earnings will be reported on your husband’s work record.

Women and additional benefits. Your payroll taxes go toward several programs besides SSDI.

These include:

Idiot’s Guide Authors, Arnold and Harzog, Explain Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Lending

Little Rock, AR (PRWEB) August 4, 2009

With the recent come back of Prosper.com the authors of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Person to Person Lending, Curtis Arnold and Beverly Harzog are available to discuss what this means for the consumer.

“One of the big issues right now is that people are still afraid to borrow and lend money. Not much has changed for borrowers, but the recent changes at Prosper offer increased protection for lenders,” says author Harzog. Harzog and Arnold highlight the following benefits:

InstantAmber Introduces New Pricing and Benefits To Ensure Affordability for Families

Nashville, TN (PRWEB) September 28, 2009

InstantAmber is proud to announce that it has changed its pricing structure to ensure all families can afford its unique, life-saving service. InstantAmber has also added numerous benefits for its members to ensure that InstantAmber members have all of the resources necessary to ensure their families’ safety!

InstantAmber members will receive the benefits listed below all for a low annual membership fee of $ 30.00; plus $ 10.00 per registered child. Because InstantAmber is dedicated to helping families protect their children, InstantAmber will waive the first-year annual $ 30.00 membership fee through October 31, 2009.

InstantAmber’s Membership Benefits:

Instant law enforcement access 24/7/365
Ability to upload court orders, divorce paperwork, and fingerprint cards
Access to the Child Safety Store-which has partner offers to meet other child safety needs
If a member’s child goes missing, InstantAmber will notify its partners, proactively post emergency information on its website and broadcast alerts and updates on its social networks
Comprehensive child safety resources
Unlimited data updates, access and storage
Groundbreaking system with state of-the-art security
The most comprehensive and reliable safety service available
Ability to download and print flyers
Quarterly update reminders
Monthly E-Newsletter with child safety tips

InstantAmber is excited to offer its members numerous benefits and exceptional service for only $ 10 for each child registered through October 31, 2009 (please use the promo code: Cares). After that, a low annual membership fee and per child fee will apply to ensure that your family has a plan for a missing child emergency. Visit InstantAmber to take advantage of this special offer, please use the promo code, Cares, to save $ 30.

InstantAmber is a subscription-based service that assists families and law enforcement agencies in the recovery of missing children. It has partnered with organizations and businesses that share the same common goal of protecting children and ensuring child safety. Some of InstantAmber’s partners include National Organization for Youth Safety, KinderVision, My Gym, Stroller Strides, The National Vigil for Hope, and many others. To see offers from some of InstantAmber’s partners, please visit their Child Safety Store.

About InstantAmber:

InstantAmber is a web-based data gathering, storage and delivery service that enables law enforcement to retrieve critical information and photos in the event of a missing child emergency. Born in 2008, InstantAmber, a unique online service, is creating a community through targeted business and philanthropic partnerships for the safety and protection of children throughout the United States.


New Programs Offer Creative Benefits and Savings to Companies and Their Employees

Louisville, KY (PRWEB) November 19, 2009

Get Smart Benefits, LLC, a Louisville, Kentucky-based firm is opening their online benefits, services and products to employers across the country. With the launch of GetSmartBenefits.com, companies large and small can help their employees supplement insurance coverage at no cost to the employer and with significant savings to the employee.

Its a win-win service that has come at a time when we have tightened our benefits for employees in order to maintain affordable but comprehensive coverage, says Rhonda Hatfield, owner of Little Scholars Child Care. We can supplement existing insurance coverage with non-insurance benefits that include prescription discounts, 24-hour TeleDoc

Tax Relief, Rather Than Hikes a Reality : Liberty Tax Outlines Top Tax Changes and Expiring Benefits

VIrginia Beach, VA (PRWEB) January 07, 2011

Americans are ringing in 2011 with an immediate pay increase rather than tax hikes. Social Security taxes (FICA) will be cut by 2 percentage points for 2011 so employees will pay 4.2 percent of wages earned to Social Security instead of 6.2 percent. For every $ 10,000 of wages, the yearly increase in the paycheck will be $ 200. With that good news, Liberty Tax sizes up some of the recent new tax changes and expiring tax items to keep in mind for 2010 filing and 2011 tax planning:

The 2010 Tax Relief Act provided another patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The AMT exemption amount has increased to $ 47,450 for individuals and $ 72,450 for joint filers.

Taxpayers can also deduct nonrefundable personal credits in 2010 such as the child tax credit to reduce their AMT liability, added John Hewitt, CEO of Liberty Tax Service. Without the patch the, AMT exemption amount would have decreased to $ 33,750 for individuals and $ 45,000 for joint filers.

Its back in for some extender tax measuresagain. The state and local sales tax deduction, the higher education tuition and fees deduction, the $ 250 classroom expense deduction for educators, and charitable contribution of IRA proceeds were all extended again for 2010 and 2011.

The new law continued the temporary increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) through 2012. Prior to 2009, the credit percentage for the EITC for a taxpayer with two or more qualifying children was 40 percent of the first $ 12,570 of earned income. The percentage increased to 45 percent of the first $ 12,570 of earned income for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children. The EITC phase-out range has also been adjusted upward by $ 1,880 for joint filers to eliminate any marriage penalty.

Without action, the Child Tax Credit (CTC) would have decreased from $ 1,000 per qualifying child to $ 500 per qualifying child in 2011. The Tax Relief Act also continued to allow the CTC to be used against AMT. and continued the refundable portion of CTC (additional CTC) threshold to be 15% of the earned income above $ 3,000. Without action the threshold would have returned to $ 10,000.

The inheritance tax returns for tax year 2011. The first $ 5 million of an estate can pass tax-free to heirs, anything over will be taxed at 35%.

Conversions to Roth retirement plan. Beginning in 2010, the modified AGI and filing status requirements for converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA were eliminated. For any 2010 rollover from an IRA other than a Roth IRA to a Roth IRA, any amounts that would have been included as income will be included in income in equal amounts in 2011 and 2012. A taxpayer can choose to include the entire amount in income when filing a 2010 tax return.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act brought on some immediate health care changes for individuals for filing a 2010 tax return. Lifetime limits on benefits and restrictive annual limits are now prohibited. The adoption tax credit and assistance exclusion has increased by $ 1,000 to $ 13,170. The bill makes the credit refundable and extends it through 2011. Theres a 10% tax on tanning services that started July 1, 2010.

The First Time Home Buyer Credit is among some expiring tax measures. But also as a reminder, if a taxpayer claimed the first-time homebuyer credit for a home purchased in 2008, they generally must begin repaying it in 2010. Some other tax measures that have just expired are the $ 2,400 exclusion from income of unemployment payments, the government retiree credit, and the extra $ 3,000 IRA deduction for employees of bankrupt companies.

About Liberty Tax Service

Liberty Tax Service is the fastest growing income tax preparation company in the industrys history. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 8,000,000 individual income tax returns. With 41years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service

Liberty Tax Service (http://www.libertytax.com) provides computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing, refund loans, and online filing through eSmart Tax at http://www.esmarttax.com. Each office offers customers audit assistance, a money back guarantee, and free tax return checking.

Convincing Unbanked to Use Direct Deposit for Social Security Benefits May be a Challenge, Reports Allsup

Belleville, Ill. (Vocus/PRWEB) January 14, 2011

The U.S. Department of Treasury announced last month that eventually it will provide all federal benefits through direct deposit, including payments to more than 8 million workers receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Making certain recipients understand the costs and benefits of their choices is essential for a smooth transition, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of http:// SSDI representation and Medicare plan selection services.

Effective May 1, 2011, paper checks no longer will be issued to individuals applying for benefits. Instead, applicants must choose either direct deposit into a bank or credit union account or deposit onto a Direct Express

San Francisco based Heath-Newton Describes the Benefits of a No Contest Divorce

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) October 04, 2012

The law firm explains that the end of a partnership or marriage does not always signal acrimony. For those who are separating without such feelings, a no contest divorce, or uncontested divorce offers a host of benefits among them are speed, cost, and flexibility, according to the firm spokesman.

California is no-fault divorce state. That means that in California it doesnt matter who wants the divorce or why if either party wants a divorce, they can have it. Long gone are the days of proving infidelity to get a divorce. The upshot is that in California a no-contest divorce is simply a divorce in which the parties work out the terms of their divorce without appearing in court.

There are varying levels of agreement. Sometimes the parties know exactly how they want to divide assets and arrange child custody before they ever speak with an attorney. Other parties cant agree on anything at first, but with the help of their attorneys theyre able to work out a deal. Sometimes the process takes days; other times it takes months. Sometimes the parties mediate; sometimes they work it out at a coffee shop. Either way, in an uncontested divorce, the parties stay out of court.

Uncontested divorces are cheaper, according to a spokesman for Heath-Newton. “Youve heard the joke that the quickest way to get a million dollars is to start with $ 10 million, and get a divorce $ 8 Million goes to the attorneys, and you and your ex split the rest. Those numbers arent far from the mark. There are few things more expensive (and less satisfying) in this world than divorce litigation. Take our advice on this one: avoid divorce litigation if you can settle out of court! The quicker you can reach agreement with your ex, the less you will spend on the process,” the firm adds.

Speed, of course is the second benefit of a no contest divorce, according to the law firm. “There is nothing fast about the California court system, and the family courts are arguably the slowest of the bunch. Theyre underfunded, under-motivated, and overworked. They dont really care about your divorce, and they have no incentive to move quickly. If you want speedy resolution, dont litigate mediate. The divorce process can be done in as much time as it takes you to reach a deal with your spouse. Settlement is the best way to reach a quick and fair result,” states Heath-Newton.

Heath-Newton explains that the third main benefit of the no contest divorce is flexibility. “Judges dont know anything about your life so they cant make orders that truly benefit you. Courts follow the law the law is the opposite of flexible. Youre not going to get custom tailored divorce agreements from overworked judges. Youre going to get well meaning, but cookie cutter resolutions that follow the law to the letter. On the flip side, if you and your spouse reach an agreement on your own, the court is happy to turn your personal agreement into an order. Youll need to follow certain formalities, but those are the easy part pay a lawyer to handle those for your and youre saving a bundle as compared to the alternative. You can be as creative and flexible as you want with your personal agreement. You want to keep the coin collection and give her the shotguns? Go for it. Nobody cares how you divide your assets unless you take the issue to the court.,” adds the law firm.

According to Heath-Newton, a less frequently discussed benefit of the uncontested divorce process is that it allows parties to remain on healthier terms than litigation. The litigation process is emotionally draining and simply stated it makes people angry. A no contest divorce process can take any form a couple wants. Many couples include therapists in the process in order to ease the transition out of the relationship. Uncontested divorces are easier on the soul, according to the firm.

Heath-Newton says they help clients navigate uncontested divorces of every kind. They believe that its ultimately better for couples to avoid litigation, and so they support clients in that process.

About the company:

At Heath-Newton LLP, they specialize in family law, asset protection and estate planning services. Based in San Francisco, their boutique firm has earned a reputation for managing their clients cases well, reaching successful resolutions and minimizing costs and disruption to their clients lives.

They have handled a long list of family-law cases, including a broad range of issues facing new families (such as domestic partnerships, premarital agreements, adoption and more), as well as divorce, asset division, child custody and child and spouse support. They also have extensive experience in estate planning, wills, probate, mediation, living wills and trusts.

Collectively, their attorneys have thousands of hours of experience, allowing them to be both efficient and effective. They are guided by a practical approach that emphasizes avoiding litigation to minimize costs and disruption; however, they can and will be fierce litigators when all other strategies have proven ineffective. For more information visit their website at http://www.heathnewton.com. To discuss a situation with one of their attorneys, please call them at (415) 398-1290.

USI Affinity and Montgomery Bar Association Announce New Partnership to Provide Bar Members Insurance and Benefits

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) October 24, 2012

USI Affinity and the Montgomery Bar Association (MBA) today announced a partnership to provide a full suite of insurance and benefits solutions to MBA members. The Montgomery Bar Association is the third largest county bar association in Pennsylvania with more than 2,100 members. With its Lawyers Complete Program, USI Affinity provides complete insurance and benefits solutions to the legal industry, from Lawyers Professional Liability coverage to Employee Benefits options to personal insurance.

At the MBA, our goal is to provide our membership with exceptional value through exclusive benefits like this program, said Executive Director Nancy Paul. Paul adds, USI Affinity is a leading national provider of insurance programs to law firms and bar associations. Were confident they will provide our members the outstanding coverage and service they deserve.

USI Affinity has been a national leader in protecting the legal profession for more than 50 years. The company insures more than 30,000 attorneys nationwide and is the endorsed insurance administrator for more than 30 state and local bar associations, including the Pennsylvania Bar Association. USI Affinity is also the largest privately-held benefits broker in the United States. This combination gives USI Affinity the expertise and market clout to navigate the marketplace and design the most comprehensive and innovative insurance and benefits packages available for law firms.

We are very excited to partner with the Montgomery Bar Association, said Arnie Kaplan, President of USI Affinitys Professional Insurance Solutions Group. As the MBAs endorsed broker, it is our goal to provide bar members the best products and the very best possible service and guidance with their insurance decisions. With the quality of the products weve put together for the MBA, and our deep expertise, we look forward to working closely with Montgomery County law firms to design superior solutions tailored to fit their needs.

Key highlights of the Lawyers Complete Program for the Montgomery Bar include: