A local agency providing GREAT  local service!                     March 2015


Sharon Castell
In This Issue

Monthly Staff Lunch Nourish  

This month we took a staff vote and decided to visit Nourish. 
The glorious sunshine made this a great spot to have an amazing view and also check out the beginning growth of their edible garden. 
The food was delicious in a relaxed atmosphere.  If you have not visited yet - it's well worth the trip!

You can check out their website by We had a little St Patrick's Day fun as you can see in these photos!
Andrea ~ Stephany ~ Phil ~ Christy
Phil and Boris

Fun John! Andrea~Stephany ~ Christy~Sharon   

Welcome Bennett James Castell
Second son for James and Sarah 
Grayson meets Bennett
The Castell Brothers!
Shred Event
shredding event  

Last month we jumped the gun when we announced the date of the annual Castell Insurance shred event as April 11th.  We found we were in conflict with the First Federal shred event which will be held on that date at the Sequim High School parking lot - with donations to the Sequim Food Bank


We have changed the date until later in the year.


Saturday August 15th


at the front of our office

9:30 am - 11:30 am


We will be accepting donations of school supplies for the  

Sequim School District.  


Team Work
Many Hands makes light work The night before preparations.
James directing traffic.
John Drama

John Coulson is again participating in the Drama Club at Helen Haller Elementary.

 He is one of 8 dedicated volunteers spending time with the kids interested in the arts.  He  is the producer for the third year and the program will be presenting

Spring begins next week and March is the month when most of us start to notice new growth, warmer weather and with the clocks springing forward longer evenings.

At Castell Insurance we are pleased to announce new growth with the birth of James and Sarah Castell's second son.  Bennett James was born on February 28th at OMC in Port Angeles and both Mom and baby are doing well.  Sarah worked the day before she gave birth as a PE teacher at Helen Haller Elementary, she is a remarkable young lady.


Other big happenings in March are the annual March Madness where college basketball becomes a major topic around the water cooler, and yes, at Castell Insurance we do actually have a water cooler.


I would also be remiss if I did not mention that other big event in March, St. Patrick's day on the 17th, or as it is frequently called St. Paddy's day.  Make sure you check out the staff photos getting in the spirit. 


Health & Medicare
Good afternoon!  How many of you were happy with a 1.7% raise in your Social Security?
Not many I guess.

Now how many people were upset when the price of gas dropped below S2.00?  Not many here either.


Now, how many of you are happy that your Medicare Supplement premium is going up?   That's right; Spring is the time when most companies increase their Medicare Supplement premiums.   We all know it is going to happen, none of us like it but there is nothing we can do about it right?



In the state of Washington you can change your Medicare Supplement at any time if you wish.   

There are no waiting periods, no health questions or pre-existing condition limitations.   


So if you are interested in saving money on your premium, give us a call and we can talk about your options.  We can move you from company to company or from plan to plan any time.  Let's at least talk about your options.


So "John", you say, "What are these price increases that we are going to see?"   


Well since you asked, here are the rates as of  4/1/2015.  


AARP-        Plan F $194.71  ~  Plan N $127.75

Premera - Plan F $188.00  ~  Plan N $149.00

Regence-   Plan F $184.00

Mutual of Omaha - Plan G $158.00  (must pay $147.00 annual deductible).


At this time with all our major companies increasing premiums by basically the same amount, we do not see any reason to recommend any specific plan changes. If this should change in the future we will of course let you know immediately.


None of these rates include discounts for married couples, auto pay or full year payment, so if you have any of those discounts your rate may be slightly lower, but increasing none the less.  These are the "rack rates" as advertised.


Click here  

to visit web site of the Office of the Washington State Insurance Commissioner to view the rates.  


You will be able to see all the prices for all the companies available in Washington.  This should be updated as of 4/1/2015.


If you have any questions, please contact us.   

We look forward to helping you with your health insurance now and in the future.

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Home & Auto


As many of you have heard over the past few months, Sarah and I are lucky to be welcoming our second child into the world any day now.  In fact by the time you are reading this article I bet he will have already arrived.


Something that struck me when it comes to a major change in your life like this, is how many places I have to notify of the new addition.  Health Insurance needs to know to add him to our policy.  Beneficiaries!  Life Insurance and Investment accounts must be updated.  Family Will.  Lots of places that must be contacted.  That's right, the responsibility falls on us to notify all the companies that may be interested.



This ties into Home and Auto insurance because without being informed, we won't know of changes on your end.  

Have you purchased new jewelry or artwork?

Bought a new fun toy like a motorcycle, trailer or RV?  

Did you add an aftermarket backup camera or any other fun stuff to customize your vehicle.  

Have you remodeled? New kitchen or bathroom? Built a shed or workshop that might not be updated on your policy?  


Whatever the change is, a simple call to your local agent to make sure you are covered is probably worth the time.  Don't pay money for a policy and HOPE that you are covered correctly.  Part of that ownership falls on the client to make sure recent changes and improvements are reflected accordingly.  


If you think you might need a 'checkup' or have new additions you want to run by us, just give us a call!  And if you don't have a local agent to answer your questions about this stuff, you should be asking yourself why not?  


If you enjoy coming to our office to ask questions and get great service with your health insurance, why not have the same service on ALL of your insurance policies!


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Affordable Care Act
Open Enrollment with the Washington Health Plan Finder has been extended until
April 17, 2015.

Anyone who has been unable to enroll or did not realize the implications of not having health insurance will be able to enroll through the Washington Health Plan Finder at

The penalty for not having coverage in 2015 is $325 or 2% of your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) whichever is higher.


Currently Open Enrollment has not been extended directly with the insurance carriers so anyone looking for coverage must utilize the Washington Health Plan Finder regardless of whether or not they are eligible for tax credits based on their income levels.


After April 17, 2015 - Open Enrollment will be closed and will not open again until November 1 for coverage  becoming effective on January 1, 2016.  


Only people experiencing a Special Election Period or SEP will be eligible for purchasing coverage outside of the Open Enrollment period.  


Apple Health does not have an Open Enrollment period and can be applied for or renewed at any point in the year.


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I frequently get asked questions about interest rates and what do I think they are going to do.  The simple answer is that I have no idea when rates will increase but common sense says that they will increase at some point.


Five years ago when rates dropped close to where they remain today, I was sure that by the year 2015, rates would be back to a more normal rate of 5% or so for deposit accounts.  I thought that with the government borrowing trillions of dollars a year to fund the deficit it would add pressure to increase interest rates.


March and April are months when many folks have CD's renewing.  This is no coincidence but rather many folks do this on purpose so they may pay tax bill's or property taxes as the come due in April.


Locally First Federal and Sound Community banks ran limited time offers with higher interest rates and when questioned, I was advised that they were trying to pick up new customers from the Union Bank branch closing in Sequim.



Insurance companies offer multi-year guaranteed annuities that are currently paying in the 3% range
for a 5 year period.  


Annuities are different from bank CD's.     


If you are interested in learning the differences please let me know.


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