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The PROES Insurance Blog


I thank you for your assistance in signing me up for insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act.  As a 62-year-old woman with no health insurance...
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You guys are amazing.

My husband and I are very, very grateful of all your help...
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Dear Dana and Micky,
Thank you again for putting my dad and me in touch with Pam Evans of Star Benefit.  Pam was extremely generous in sharing her Medicare expertise and experience...
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October 24th, 2014

11 Tips for a Safe Halloween

With Halloween less than two weeks away, many consumers may not realize how frightening the scary night could really be for their personal safety, property or bank accounts. To help individuals, families and businesses protect themselves against Halloween risks follow these safety tips:

Don’t be a scary driver. Drive sober, slowly and even more carefully than usual on Halloween. Watch for children who may be running or wearing dark costumes.

Stay accident-free. Remove or move lawn furniture or any other obstacles to avoid accidents or damage. Ensure your home’s entry is in good condition, free of loose or broken pieces on stairwells, and that walkways are clear to avoid trick-or-treater injuries on your property.

Prevent fire dangers. Place pumpkins containing candles at a distance where curious guests cannot tip it over or accidentally ignite a costume. Extinguish all candles before going to bed and use battery-operated lights wherever possible. A variety of Jack-O-Lantern lights are available at most stores that sell Halloween decor.

Practice costume safety. Costumes can hide more than someone’s true identity and cloak potential hazards as well. Craft all disguises from flame-resistant materials and make sure they don’t contain sharp accessories. Try to avoid masks that may obscure vision and use hypo-allergenic make-up.

See and be seen. Encourage each trick-or-treater and adult chaperone to carry a flashlight. Apply light-reflecting material to costumes for additional safety.

Hear and be heard. Make sure your hearing isn’t impaired with cumbersome costumes or ear buds. Be alert to the sounds of moving vehicles and other groups of pedestrians, bicyclists or animals.

Power in numbers. When traveling on foot, walk in groups, cross only at corners and crosswalks—never between parked cars—and keep to well-lit streets.

Fend off unwelcome guests. Keep outdoor lights on to scare away property vandals who often use the chaos of Halloween night to strike.

Protect your pets. Keep pets inside. Warn children to stay away from animals as they go door to door. Halloween night can be stressful for even the friendliest creature. Inspect your candy. Cavities aren’t the only candy-related risks on Halloween.

Inspect all trick-or-treats and never eat unwrapped items. Collect candy only from people you know and ask the local police department if it offers a candy x-ray or inspection service. Throw away any suspicious candy.

Have an umbrella. Make sure you have homeowners or renters insurance to provide protection in the event of slips and falls, a costume on fire, tainted candy claims and more. An umbrella policy may be the best option for comprehensive coverage.

Stay Safe and Happy Halloween!

October 21st, 2014

Get the best results on a life insurance medical exam

Many of us have questions relating to the life insurance underwriting process. One of the most common has to do with why people come back at a different rate class than applied for. We find that one of the major reasons that people applying for life insurance come back at a different rate class or are declined for life insurance is simply due to a lack of understanding of what the life insurance exam entails. Let's take a moment and look at of some various tips on how to get the best results on a life insurance medical exam.

Watch your diet closely in the days leading up to the medical exam for life insurance.
Focus on eating things that improve your blood work. Leafy greens - such as spinach, broccoli, and kale - help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. How important are low cholesterol and blood pressure numbers? Elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels are the number one reason life insurance applicants come back at a different rate class than originally quoted. Underwriters are looking at two cholesterol numbers. One is your total cholesterol and the other is your HDL ratio. You can have a high total cholesterol number but your HDL ratio needs to be excellent. The more good cholesterol you have, the better. That is why focusing on foods that improve your HDL before you take your exam can lead to a lower rate by qualifying for a higher rate class.

Diet Do's to help increase HDL levels:
• Leafy greens
• Apples & oranges
• Small glass of wine with dinner (but avoid liquor & beer)
• Olive oil
• Peanut butter
• Oats
• Fish

Diet Don't's:
• Fast foods or processed foods high in salt & sugar
• Caffeine
• Alcohol (liquor and beer should be avoided, while a small glass of wine is acceptable)

Drink lots of water.
Drink a lot of water in the days leading up to your life insurance physical exam. This will flush out your system and make it easier for your examiner to draw blood. Limit coffee, which acts as a diuretic and causes you to urinate more. And completely avoid coffee the morning of your medical exam for life insurance as it can cause elevated blood pressure.

Refrain from exercise and alcohol 24-48 hours before your exam.
Exercise can elevate your blood pressure and may also cause elevated proteins in your urine. Also, consider laying off of the supplements (whey and casein protein powders, creatine, etc.) for a day or two before your life insurance physical exam. No hard alcohol for at least 48 hours before your medical exam for life insurance. Alcohol is high in calories and sugar and has a direct effect on triglycerides. Plus, it does not look good to have blood work or a urine sample high in alcohol levels.

Fast for at least 8 hours prior to your exam.
When preparing for your medical exam it is important to fast. If you do not fast you risk elevated blood sugar and blood pressure levels. The last thing you want is a false positive on your life insurance physical exam. If you are concerned about fasting for 8 hours, consider taking your life insurance exam first thing in the morning. No breakfast or coffee until after the examiner has taken your labs, although water is alright.

Wait to take your blood pressure if you feel overly stimulated.
Sometimes the idea of a health exam for life insurance can cause people's heart to race. If you find your heart racing, wait to have the examiner check your blood pressure until you have calmed down. If you have an EKG scheduled, make sure you have a couch to lay down on.

Dress in light clothing and stand up straight.
Sometimes the difference between one rate class and another is one measly pound. Don't take any risks on your medical exam for life insurance. Wear shorts and a t-shirt if possible. A sweater can weigh as much as two pounds. Deal with the cold and ditch the sweater, at least for the exam. Make sure your pockets are empty of such things as keys and phones. Finally, when the examiner measures you, stand up nice and tall. Life insurance carriers use a build chart to determine what rate class you qualify for. The taller you are, the more weight you can carry. Stretching your neck out for one more inch could make a difference.

If you follow this easy advice when taking their life insurance physical exam, you should have no problem qualifying for your best rate class.


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