September 6, 2013

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In This Issue
Healthcare
Personal Auto
Your Agent Steve Davis

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Columbia River Insurance Services is a professional agency dedicated to providing our clients with the best insurance protection and service possible. We will strive to use the industry's most superior products while maintaining affordability.

 

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Health Care Reform Will       Impact You

 

Health care reform is poised to create a host of challenges for individuals and businesses in Oregon and Washington but it will be individuals and the medium to small companies that face the biggest decisions. There is no question that there will be significant issues facing individuals and employers over the next number of years. These issues will most likely mean higher health care costs and more administrative time.

 

News Update- The employer mandate for employers with 50 or more employees has been delayed to January 2015.

 

2014 Key Dates

  • Health insurance exchanges start
  • Financial assistance for exchange coverage of lower-income individuals
  • No annual dollar limits on essential health benefits

 

Small Group Key Issues (25 or less employees)

  • Guarantee issue--No underwriting (Not in self -funded)
  • Compliance date is January 2014.
  • New insurance exchanges for the small employer and individual markets.
  • New small-business tax credit to purchase coverage.
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered
  • New Reporting Begins- 2014 employers must provide reports to IRS for each individual.
  • Community Rating (Not in self -funded)
  • Small Business Health Care Tax Credits- up to 35% in 2014 and up to 50% in 2015
  • Small Business Health Options Program- access to new programs
  • Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBCs) Disclosure Rule- Employers will be required to provide employees with a standard "Summary of Benefits and Coverage outline.
  • Limits on Flexible Spending Account Contributions
  • New Medicare Assessment on Net Investment Income-a 3.8% tax will be assessed on net investment income such as taxable capital gains, dividends, rents, royalties, and interest for taxpayers with Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) over $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married joint filers
  • 90-Day Maximum Waiting Period
  • Workplace Wellness Programs-The Affordable Care Act creates incentives to promote wellness programs

All these factors should be part of your health issue review and strategy and we are prepared to help you. Call our office today and let us guide you through the reform. 

 

 

 

Permissive Use; The Hidden Dangers of Personal Auto Insurance

One of the questions we often get asked is, "Who is insured to drive my car"?  A permissive user would be a third party you give permission to use your car, such as a co-worker. Insurance policies are not equal, and you should be aware that some insurance coverage may limit permissive users. The hidden danger occurs when the person you permitted to use your car then allows another person to use the car without your knowledge.

Before you lend your car to anyone you should review your coverage or contact our office and have us provide an analysis for you. The following claim involved an accident involving a non-permissive user. Please note this was not one of our clients.

 

The case concerned two vehicles involved in an auto accident. The driver of one of the vehicles was the teenage boyfriend of the insured's daughter. He was driving the insured's vehicle without permission. In addition, the teenage male did not have any automobile insurance of his own. The driver of the other vehicle was also injured, and the investigation revealed that the teenage male was at fault. As a result, the owner's insurance company was attempting to deny the claim, stating the responsible driver did not have permission to drive, therefore limiting coverage. Fortunately, the courts ruled against the insurance company and the claim was eventually paid. It is our hope that a phone call to me will resolve any questions before something like this occurs.

 

Just who is covered to drive your vehicle?

The driver must either be specifically listed by name on the automobile insurance policy, listed by category on the policy. A permissive user is someone you give permission to drive your vehicle. Some examples might be:

  • A family member not living in the household
  • A Mechanic
  • Your Neighbor
  • Someone who is test driving the vehicle prior to purchase

 

In Washington and Oregon, the liability insurance always follows the vehicle, so as the owner/insured you will have coverage per the policy terms and conditions. But coverage may not extend to the individual who drove without permission. If you have any questions regarding permissive use, please contact our office for more information.

 

The information provided here is not intended to change or modify any insurance coverage. It will be the terms and conditions of in force policies that will govern claims settlements.