Financial Focus- Produced By COPIC Financial

Disaster Recovery Fraud:
Tips for Selecting a Reputable Contractor


1) Get more than one estimate. Don't be pushed into signing a contract right away.


2) Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, materials, time schedule, guarantees, payment schedule and other expectations should be detailed.


3) Never sign a contract with blanks; unagreeable terms can be added later.


4) Ask for proof that the contractor is bonded, carries liability insurance, and covers his or her workers with workers' compensation insurance. 



What Our Customers are Saying about Our Health Insurance Department 


"Andrea Levine is so much more than an insurance broker. She understands the unique needs of our physicians who are more than just small business owners. She never stops looking for solutions that will achieve that delicate balance between minimal expense and quality coverage."

-OB/Gyn Medical Office Manager, Littleton



Added regulatory scrutiny caused by the HITECH Act and penalties for violations of HIPAA have resulted in an increased importance for data breach and network security coverage.


 Learn more. 

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In This Issue-August 2012
Health Care Reform Law: A Quick Summary and Future Implications
Wildfire Loss Coverage Under Homeowners Insurance
Rate of Return Demonstrates the Financial Benefits of Life Insurance
Vision Insurance Encourages Eye Care and Supplements Costs
The Dangers of Cell Phones, Texting, and Driving
Brush Up on Your Dental Insurance Options

Health Care Reform Law: A Quick Summary and Future Implications


On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision on the health care reform law. The majority of the Court agreed that the individual mandate's penalty is essentially a tax that Congress can impose using its taxing authority. Because the Court upheld the individual mandate, it did not need to decide whether other provisions of the health care reform law were constitutional.


One exception to this is a provision that required states to comply with the law's new Medicaid eligibility requirements. On that issue, the Court ruled that the provision is constitutional, but that Congress cannot penalize states that decide not to participate in the law's Medicaid expansion by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.


Additionally, the remaining provisions of the health care reform law that are not currently in effect will continue to be implemented as planned. The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury will continue to release regulations relating to the health care reform law, and employers and health plans will be required to comply with these.


Opponents of the health care reform law may challenge other provisions using various legal arguments. Members of Congress have already introduced new legislation to amend or repeal various parts of the health care reform law, and
will likely continue this strategy.


Need guidance on the health care reform law and its future requirements? Contact Andrea Levine at 720-858-6287.


Wildfire Loss Coverage Under Homeowners Insurance


Homeowners insurance typically covers property losses caused by wildfire. Insurance continues to be readily available and affordable in most wildfire prone areas; however, with increasing risk for a devastating wildfire, residents should be aware of some important factors:


  • Many homeowners insurance companies are responding to the wildfire threat by asking customers to share the risk by taking precautions to protect their property and maintain affordable insurance.
  • Increasingly, insurance companies are conducting on-site inspections and notifying policyholders of what they need to do to mitigate wildfire hazards to help save their homes and keep them insurable.
  • In Colorado, insurance companies generally ask homeowners to mitigate fire hazards on their property in accordance with Colorado's "Are You Fire Wise?" program, as well as local fire codes. Those recommendations will vary depending on the risk for individual properties and requirements for different insurance companies.
  • Insurance companies have different requirements for individual properties they are willing to insure. Proper mitigation may help reduce the risk, but insurance companies also consider other factors, such as:
    • The type of construction, materials and features on your home, including the roofing.
    • Distance to a fire hydrant and a fire station, whether your neighborhood is protected by a fully staffed and well-equipped fire department, and any factors that affect the time it would take to extinguish a fire in your area.

Contact Wendy Heckman at 720-858-6285 to learn what you can do to mitigate fire hazards on your property and reduce wildfire risk.


Rate of Return Demonstrates the Financial Benefits of Life Insurance

Once people learn the math behind life insurance, they can see why it is often considered an essential part of financial planning. Life insurance competes with cash and bonds in terms of being on the safe side of portfolio asset allocations, and it offers high returns when you look at the actual numbers.


Life insurance, at the average life expectancy of 84-87, generally delivers a tax-free internal rate of return (IRR) of 6 to 8 percent. In other words, you would need to receive an equivalent yield of 9.23 to 12.31 percent in a taxable investment just to compete with tax-free.


Other benefits that come with owning life insurance include:


  • Life insurance companies issue both current assumption projections and guaranteed illustrations before you even buy the policy.
  • You have access to your policy cash surrender value.
  • The death benefit is paid tax free when set up properly. The policy can be purchased so the death benefit can also be estate tax free.
  • When established properly, life insurance can be purchased inside your pension plan with tax-free dollars.


Life insurance is a portfolio asset--just like stocks, bonds and real estate. It can be bought at a net-zero cost (receive a positive IRR on premiums paid vs. death benefit), minimum-funded, overfunded, gifted, and held until death, when the heirs can collect the insurance benefit without sky-high income and estate taxes.


Contact Mike Edwards at 720-858-6289 to discuss how life insurance can be a conservative investment alternative in your portfolio.

Vision Insurance Encourages Necessary Eye Care and Supplements Costs


Vision benefits are often overlooked in a typical benefits package, but they can be incredibly useful to employees. Regular eye doctor visits can identify otherwise unknown medical problems, lowering cost and improving treatment when those problems are caught early on.


The following are advantages to offering vision insurance:


  • Visiting the eye doctor may be one of the few times that your employees visit the doctor and other illnesses may be discovered as part of these visits. For instance, diabetes can often be diagnosed through an eye exam, even before the patient realizes the problem exists.
  • Offering vision care is beneficial to employers because eye problems can cause safety issues or discomfort; treating those problems can help improve an employee's productivity and safety on the job.
  • Vision care insurance can be reasonably inexpensive to offer, yet can be a powerful retention tool.


Vision insurance generally covers the following services: annual eye exams (including dilation), eyeglass frames and lenses, contact lenses, and LASIK and PRK vision correction at a discounted rate.


To learn more about vision care insurance plans and the options available, please contact Andrea Levine at 720-858-6287. 

The Dangers of Cell Phones, Texting, and Driving


Talking on a cell phone or texting while driving is quickly becoming one of the leading causes of accidents nationwide. A business auto policy may help to protect a business from financial loss when an employee is responsible for an injury or property damage resulting from an accident.


Colorado state laws for cell phone use while driving are as follows:

  • Texting is banned while driving and drivers can be cited for texting when it's their only offense.
  • Cell phone use by novice drivers (16 or 17-year-olds with an intermediate license) is prohibited.


When looking at business auto policy options, any vehicle used for your business should be covered, and some of the main coverages include:


  • Liability--Covers you for injuries to the "other guy" as well as damage to his vehicle from an accident where you were at fault.
  • Physical Damage--Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle from an accident. Comprehensive coverage covers damage from things like floods and hitting animals.
  • Medical Payments--Some states provide for a small amount of coverage for you or your employees' medical bills in the event of a vehicle accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist--Uninsured motorist insurance pays for your injuries and damage to your vehicle if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
  • Hired Auto--Covers you for accidents you cause while driving rented vehicles for your business.
  • Non-Owned Auto--Covers your business for accidents caused by your employees while driving their own vehicle for your business.


Contact Wendy Heckman at 720-858-6285 if you have questions about business auto insurance.


Brush Up on Your Dental Insurance Options


There are many insurance options for individuals and families that are designed to offset the costs of important dental care. Most of these plans have limitations on the number of visits, X-rays and treatments that are covered throughout the year, and some procedures may even be excluded.


Dental insurance plan options:


  • Indemnity Plan: Allows you to pick your own dentist and is considered a fee-for-service plan. It comes with limitations and co-payment stipulations, meaning that you pay a flat fee for your visit to the dentist and have an annual limit on dental spending coverage. There may also be specific limits for individual procedures. 
  • Self-Insurance Plan: Similar to an indemnity plan but you may not be able to pick your own dentist.
  • Closed Panel Plan: Limits you to only a few facilities and dentists to receive care.
  • Capitation Plan: Designates certain dentists for a schedule of treatments. They will receive payment regardless of whether the treatment was required or performed.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): Limits you to only a few dentists who can provide care at a discounted cost.
  • Dental Care Service Plan: Group of dentists who create a nonprofit organization, providing care at set fees.


Dental treatments can cost from $300 per year just for hygiene visits to $25,000 or more for restorative treatments and cosmetic procedures. To combat these costs, it is wise to purchase dental insurance for you and your family.


There are many dental insurance options available. Contact Andrea Levine at 720-858-6287 to help you find the one that's right for you. 


Even if you're not currently in the market for insurance products, we're always available to help make sure you're getting the best coverages at the best prices. Call us at 720-858-6280!

Wendy Heckman
President, COPIC Financial Service Group
COPIC Better Medicine, Better Lives
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Copyright 2012 by the COPIC Trust. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be produced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher.

  COPIC Financial Service Group, Ltd. is an insurance brokerage firm representing a variety of insurance carriers. Products offered by COPIC Financial are not issued by COPIC Insurance Company.