Hurricane Sandy and Medicare
With the recent developments on the east coast, you may be thinking; what if my neighborhood was affected by some kind of natural disaster? Would the normal rules for Medicare still apply? If you live in an area that has been declared a disaster, the rules may change for a short time. I have provided the following information for you to have in case of an emergency.
- If the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Resources declares a public health emergency, go to http://www.phe.gov/emergency/pages/default.aspx
- If the President declares an emergency visit FEMA at http://www.fema.gov
- If your state governor declares and emergency visit your states official web site
- For any emergency go to our website as well for updates, http://columbiariverinsuranceservices.com
Here are additional phone numbers:
Of course you also can contact my office and we will be happy to help you.
The Importance of Replacement Cost Coverage
Replacement cost is the amount of money it would take to repair, replace or rebuild your home with materials similar to the kind and quality used in constructing your home. If replacement cost is the criterion to settle a claim on your home, then there is no deduction for depreciation or decrease in value over time due to age or wear and tear.
The benefit of replacement cost coverage is that it provides the necessary funds to rebuild your home at current day costs. For example, if you purchased a new home in 2009 for $250,000. The cost to build that same home increased to $275,000 in 2012. If your home is damaged and you have replacement cost coverage, the insurance will pay the $275,000. If you do not have replacement cost coverage, you would have to pay the additional $25,000 out of pocket.
There are a number of factors that cause increases in replacement cost; building codes for new energy efficient windows, general construction costs, and cost of materials.
We recommend you always have replacement cost of your home or commercial business.
Workers Comp 101
Workers compensation is no-fault insurance benefits provided by law to most workers who have job-related injuries. There are three key workers compensation benefits: medical, lost wages, and permanent partial disability.
Medical - Provides reasonable and necessary medical treatment to treat the injury or illness.
Lost wages- Lost wages or temporary total disability (TTD) are paid for the time period the employee is unable to return to work as indicated by a doctor.
Permanent Partial Disability- Usually provides payment when an injured employee reaches a point where medial treatment will not bring the individual back to the point where they are able to perform the same functions as prior to the injury. This varies from state to state.
Employers in the State of Washington must purchase coverage through Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Labor & Industries does have a number of industry groups and plans for you to consider. Oregon employers can utilize many standard markets including SAIF.
The key to keeping workers compensation costs low are safety and prevention programs. Here are a few examples:
- Return to work program- This provides a temporary modified job for the injured worker to return to work
- Develop a safety program with specific policies and procedures
- Offer training to all employees on the use of equipment and related safety features
- Create incentives for no claims- This might be a pizza lunch or extra time off during holidays