Weber’s Winter Driving Tips from EMC

winter-roadNo one knows how to handle large vehicles in inclement weather better than snow plow operators.

The safety precautions these drivers take are appropriate for drivers of any sized vehicle driving on snowy and icy roads.

Regardless of the type or size of your fleet, consider these following five tips from Michigan County Road Commission snow plow operators:

  1. Aim high in steering. Hold the vehicle steering wheel at the 2- and 10-o’clock positions. This allows the driver to keep total control of the vehicle, especially during evasive maneuvering.
  2. Get the big picture. Look far enough down the road to see hazards before you arrive. This helps you spot problems ahead and on either side of you.
  3. Keep your eyes moving. Don’t lock onto any one item for too long. Keep scanning from side to side to identify changing conditions.
  4. Leave yourself an out. Don’t box yourself into a poor situation as you travel. Try to keep other drivers out of your blind spots.
  5. Make sure they see you. You can generally spot a large vehicle from a great distance. To help make sure they see you, keep your lights and beacons working at all times. Take extra precaution by lightly tapping on the horn to make eye contact with the driver.

In addition, drivers are encouraged to:

  • Use the three-point contact method when entering and exiting vehicle cabs (SEE VIDEO BELOW).
  • Wear a seat belt at all times.
  • Walk around the vehicle to check side mirrors and lights.
  • Avoid unnecessary backing maneuvers whenever possible.

WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO DEMONSTRATION OF THE THREE POINTS OF CONTACT.

For additional winter driving tips to share with your drivers, download a copy of EMC’s Winter Driving Tech Sheet.

Bill Weber on Health Care Open Enrollment

ask-weber-health-200Health care open enrollment begins November 15, 2014…are you ready?

As most of us know, health insurance has undergone a transformation.

Trying to make sense of the massive amounts of information make decision-making next to impossible.

Weber Insurance, however, is prepared to address questions about healthcare open enrollment and can cut through the maze of associated with information overload.

One of the primary issues we face as insurance professionals is helping people understand their options and guiding them toward the most affordable health insurance we can find that meets their budget, life and needs. – Bill Weber, Owner

Weber Insurance Offers Free Guidance For Open Enrollment

The Open Enrollment period for 2015 coverage is November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

If you haven’t enrolled in coverage by then, you generally can’t buy Marketplace health coverage for 2015 until the next Open Enrollment period for coverage the following year.

If you’re enrolled in a 2014 Marketplace plan, your benefit year ends December 31, 2014. To continue health coverage in 2015, you can renew your current health plan or choose a new health plan through the Marketplace during the 2015 Open Enrollment period.

If you don’t have health coverage during 2015, you may have to pay a fee. The fee in 2015 is higher than it was in 2014 — 2% of your income or $325 per adult/$162.50 per child, whichever is more.

Enrollment and Coverage Start Dates

You will want to know how your enrollment date affect your coverage date. Here are some answers.

Here are some dates if, during the Open Enrollment, you enroll:

  • Between the 1st and 15th days of the month, your coverage starts the first day of the next month.
  • Between the 16th and the last day of the month, your coverage starts the first day of the second following month. So if you enroll on January 16, your coverage starts on March 1.

Did you know you may be able to buy marketplace insurance outside Open Enrollment ONLY if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a qualifying life event such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of other health coverage. Learn more about how you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

You can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program any time. There is no limited enrollment period for these programs. You can apply any time. If you’re qualified, you can enroll immediately.

If you own or operate a small business, you can start offering coverage to your employees at any time.

According to Bill Weber,

We cannot stress enough the importance of consulting with us prior to executing your enrollment because income and other reported information will impact your costs and can even trigger negative results…it worth your time to talk with us and our consultations are free. – Bill Weber, Owner

WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO: How Health Insurance Works and then call Weber Insurance at (928) 445-8720 for a free open enrollment consultation.

Customer Endorses Weber

Over the past three decades I have owned businesses and operated them for others at the senior management level.

The insurance world has become complex, the products are myriad and of course, keeping up with the changes is nearly impossible for business owners.

My solution has always been to call Weber Insurance where Bill and his staff can shop the best products for me and find the best combinations at the most affordable price.

Many thanks to Bill Weber and his team!

Donald Teel
Prescott, AZ

A Quiet ‘Sea Change’ in Medicare

By SUSAN JAFFE: New York Times – March 25, 2014

ask-weber-medicare-200Ever since Cindy Hasz opened her geriatric care management business in San Diego 13 years ago, she has been fighting a losing battle for clients unable to get Medicare coverage for physical therapy because they “plateaued” and were not getting better.

“It has been standard operating procedure that patients will be discontinued from therapy services because they are not improving,” she said.

No more. In January, Medicare officials updated the agency’s policy manual — the rule book for everything Medicare does — to erase any notion that improvement is necessary to receive coverage for skilled care. That means Medicare now will pay for physical therapy, nursing care and other services for beneficiaries with chronic diseases like multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease in order to maintain their condition and prevent deterioration.

But don’t look for an announcement about the changes in the mail, or even a prominent notice on the Medicare website. Medicare officials were required to inform health care providers, bill processors, auditors, Medicare Advantage plans, the 800-MEDICARE information line and appeals judges — but not beneficiaries.

Ms. Hasz said she was shocked when she heard the news. “This is a sea change,” she said.

Read the full article at New York Times >>

Should College Athletes Buy Disability Insurance?

ask-weber-disability-200Kevin Ware’s grisly leg fracture during Louisville’s run to the title was excruciating to watch for anyone—but especially so for NCAA athletes, who were reminded of how quickly and violently hopes of an eventual professional career can be put in jeopardy.

Mishaps like Ware’s help explain why athletic-disability insurance policies, once reserved for elite professionals and their clubs to protect the fragile appendages of valuable superstars for exorbitant amounts of money, are now fairly common among student-athletes. In just the last couple months, Texas A&M’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel and South Carolina defensive back Jadeveon Clowney both garnered headlines for their pursuit of insurance policies against career-ending injuries.

Kentucky basketball big man Nerlens Noel, who tore his ACL in mid-February, reportedly paid between $40,000 and $60,000 for a $10 million policy through a private underwriter. Before Noel, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck had a maximum policy of $5 million through a program known as Exceptional Student-Athlete Disability Insurance (ESDI) that the NCAA provides student-athletes it predicts will likely be high draft picks.

Read the full article >>

4 Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs

ask-weber-auto-200By Donna Fuscaldo – April 11, 2013 – FOXBusiness

There are a slew of ways to reduce your auto insurance costs besides being a good driver—all you have to do is ask.

“Some discounts are to encourage customers to buy with the company and some discounts are because the risk to the insurance company is reduced,” says David Thompson of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. However, he says if you want the discount, you have to ask for it.

Safety Equipment Discounts

These days most new cars come standard with safety features that not only protect the drivers in an accident, but can save on auto insurance.

According to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, drivers can get discounts if their cars are equipped with anti-theft devices, anti-lock brakes and/or passive restraint systems like airbags.

Other safety features that can yield savings include traction control and daytime running lights. And the savings add up: At AllState, airbags and motorized seatbelts can slash up to 30% off a bill, anti-lock brakes can get a 10% discount and an anti-theft device can save up to 10%.

Read the complete article >>

Covered by Homeowners Insurance? Don’t Be So Sure!

homeowner insuranceYou’ve no doubt noticed that premiums have gotten pretty pricey. Rates have climbed 69% over the past decade to an average of $1,000 a year.

What you may not realize is that you could be facing another vast expense. Insurers have also been quietly hiking deductibles, scaling back basic coverage, and adding new restrictions.

Coverage now varies widely among carriers, but that’s not always clear when you’re shopping around, says Daniel Schwarcz, a University of Minnesota professor who has studied hundreds of policies.

“Consumers shop almost entirely on price and reputation,” notes Schwarcz, and exclusion clauses are often written in legalese and buried in a policy that runs dozens of pages. Moreover, comparison shopping is difficult, since consumers rarely get a copy of the policy before they buy.

Read the full article at CNN Money >>

Employer-Provided Health Insurance Dips 15% in Michigan

health insuranceMichigan workers are losing their health-care coverage at a greater rate than any other state.

In 2000, about 78 percent of Michigan workers got insurance through their employer.

By 2011, that fell to about 63 percent.

Lynn Blewett is a University of Minnesota professor who took part in the national study funded by the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“We wanted to get a baseline of employer-sponsored coverage before the Affordable Care Act fully kicks in in 2014,” Blewett says.

She says those who could afford it least were the most affected by the loss of health coverage.

“These are small employers, low-wage firms, so it’s workers who have minimum wage or slightly above minimum wage, those are the ones that were hit the hardest,” Blewett says.

Blewett says annual health-insurance premiums nearly doubled over the past decade causing many employers to drop the benefits.

Read full article >>