The Pros and Cons of Medicare Advantage - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

The Pros and Cons of Medicare Advantage

These popular Medicare Advantage plans may carry hidden risks. Here’s what to know.
By Penelope Wang
Consumer Reports | Published October 14, 2021, | Updated November 15, 2021, | Medicare Advantage

If you’re one of the 63 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, you’re probably being deluged by marketing pitches for Medicare Advantage plans, which offer managed care with low or zero premiums. 

Medicare’s fall open enrollment season starts Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, when you can switch your coverage between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, change Medicare Advantage plans, or make changes to your prescription drug plan. 

All that marketing seems to be working. Recently, 42 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Advantage plans, up from 31 percent in 2016, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Those numbers include 50 percent of Black and 54 percent of Hispanic enrollees vs. 36 percent of whites in 2018. By 2025, half of Americans are expected to be in Advantage plans.

It’s easy to see the appeal of Advantage. Original Medicare doesn’t cover all your medical expenses, while Advantage plans have cost-sharing requirements but then cap your out-of-pocket costs. Plus, you have low premiums and the simplicity of all-in-one coverage.

But there can be hidden risks to Advantage plans, especially for those with major health issues. 

“Some people in Medicare Advantage end up paying unexpectedly high costs when they become ill or find their network lacks the providers they need,” says Tricia Neuman, senior vice president at Kaiser.

Your alternative is to opt for Original Medicare and add a supplemental, or Medigap, a plan that covers your out-of-pocket costs and gives you a wider choice of providers. But you’ll pay additional monthly premiums for a Medigap policy, and unless you’re enrolling in Medicare for the first time, you could be denied Medigap coverage due to a preexisting condition. 

Click here to see the rest of the story…


Have you checked out other Shield Insurance Articles?

Read More
7 Habits to Help You Make Dinner Without Planning At All, According to a Recipe Developer - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

7 Habits to Help You Make Dinner Without Planning At All, According to a Recipe Developer

The art of improvisation in the kitchen can absolutely be learned if you reframe how you look at your pantry. Plus, three recipes for go-with-anything sauces that turn any ingredients into a meal.

FoodNetwork.com | November 05, 2021 | By: Dawn Perry | Make Dinner

For the past twelve years or so I have spent the bulk of my professional time writing recipes for busy working people, myself included. Focused on dinner solutions, I made promises about 30-minute meals, aimed to dirty as few dishes as possible, and put melted cheese and tomato sauce on enough things that I thought the kids might, at the very least, taste what I was selling.

Those solutions are all great on paper but they can only get you so far when you get home, tired and hungry, and faced with the task of putting together another meal you hope everyone might like.

A lot of people will tell you it’s all about meal prep. You make A, B, and C on Sunday and then reinvent them throughout the week. Which is great in theory, but I’m not interested in spending a whole Sunday in the kitchen chopping and simmering and packaging meals for the week ahead. Plus, rare are the times when whatever I had intended to eat on Wednesday still seemed appealing when hump day finally arrived.

I say forget meal planning. Instead, I exercise these habits to help make weeknight meals so easy it hardly feels like cooking at all. (And read even more of my tricks and recipe ideas, in my brand new cookbook, Ready, Set, Cook.)

Click here for the rest of the story…

Read More
The Inter-connectivity of Risk and Building Resilience - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

The Interconnectivity of Risk and Building Resilience

Source: BusinessInsurance.com building resilience

Businesses large and small have ongoing challenges – from labor shortages to social inflation, to environmental, social, and governance issues, and these risks are interconnected. These risks range from workplace illnesses and injuries to greater liability exposures to reputational damage and litigation over business practices. In this video series from Liberty Mutual Global Risk Solutions, David Perez offers insights to help risk professionals cope with these interconnected risks and improve their organizations’ resilience.

Risks in Labor Shortages

There are many factors behind the current labor shortages, from the pandemic to workers’ shifting attitudes on remote working, but all of these factors are combined to create risks for businesses. The impact of labor shortages goes beyond the ability to serve customers. Filling roles with new or inexperienced employees increases the need for training and an emphasis on safety in the workplace. In addition to retaining talent, businesses also should focus on building safety cultures, advises David Perez of Liberty Mutual Global Risk Solutions in this Business Insurance video.

Impact of Social Inflation

While not new, social inflation has become a major concern today for businesses and their liability insurers. A long-term trend, social inflation refers to shifting perspectives among plaintiffs and jurors, who are more willing today to seek or award outsize judgments. Higher jury awards and settlements mean increased costs and greater liability exposures for businesses. Learn how to mitigate the impact of social inflation in this video from Liberty Mutual Global Risk Solutions.

Environmental, Social, and Governance

Click here for the full story…


Check out the other blogs!

Read More
Subway Giftcard Winner from Shield Insurance

Gift Card Winners Compliments of Shield Insurance Agency!

Wednesday, November 24 2021

Every week, Shield Insurance Agency draws a winner of a local gift card from its clients and social media followers.

Why? Because we love giving stuff away!

Be sure to LIKE our Facebook Page to get yourself entered to win and see who the winners are!

Shield Insurance Agency has given away thousands of dollars in local gift cards over the last 20 years serving Michigan.

Look who is winning!

Meijer gift card winner from Shield Insurance Agency
Shield Insurance Agency Lowes Gift Card Winner
Shield Insurance Agency Denny's Gift Card Winner
Shield Insurance Agency Cracker Barrel Gift Card Winner
Shield Insurance Agency Meijer Gift Card Winner
Shield Insurance Agency Lowes Gift Card Winner!
Shield Insurance Agency Target Gift Card Winner!
Shield Insurance Agency Red Robin Gift Card Winner
Panera Bread Gift Card Winner at Shield Insurance Agency
Subway Gift Card Winner at Shield Insurance Agency
Shield Insurance gives away another local gift card!
Target Shield Insurance Gift Card Give A Way
Red Robin Gift Card Winner at Shield Insurance Agency

Read More
Holiday Shopping Tips - How to Get Around Delays and Shortages - Shield Insurance Agency

Holiday Shopping Tips: How to Get Around Delays and Shortages

Instead of fighting the crowds, be creative and do things differently this year
By Penelope Wang, Octavio Blanco November 10, 2021

You’ve heard all the warnings. Shipping delays and supply chain glitches are going to make holiday shopping even more difficult this year. 

Some of the biggest delays have been with large applianceslaptops, and some types of cars. But supply chain problems have led to spot shortages for a broad range of products.

Those concerns have prompted many shoppers to start their gift buying early. As a recent report by Bank of America (PDF) found, 65 percent of consumers had started preparing for the holidays by early October, with one-third having already purchased a seasonal gift.

That said, there are still products available for the holidays, especially if you’re flexible, and Black Friday deals have already begun. Check CR’s deal coverage, including bargains on top-rated laptopsmattresses, and ranges.

Even so, unless you started buying presents before Labor Day, you may feel like you’re already behind. But there’s no need to feel stressed. Fact is, there are plenty of options for gift-giving that don’t involve close monitoring of package tracking alerts.

Instead, consider supporting your local merchants, where you can find a wide variety of gift choices. You can also provide holiday cheer by making thoughtful online purchases, such as giving tickets or paying for services, rather than buying items that may get stuffed into a closet or tossed on a shelf.

“Purchasing local handcrafted items or the gift of an experience, such as a concert, can be more personal and more fun,” says Deborah Small, professor of marketing and psychology at Wharton Business School.

Here are some suggestions:

Go Local

Click here for the rest of the article…


Read More
The future of climate change disclosures - 4 critical risk areas boards should address - Shield Insurance Agency

The future of climate change disclosures: 4 critical risk areas boards should address

Brian McLoughlin, claims officer, Complex Management Liability Claims, Ironshore | Climate Change

In a 2020 study on climate outlook in business, 78 percent of leaders at the world’s top 500 companies reported that managing climate-related risks will be critical in keeping their jobs over the next five years. They know that climate change is a vital business issue — and it’s particularly urgent for companies in the U.S., where experts anticipate that mandatory climate disclosure requirements are on the horizon.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has considered climate change a risk area since 2010, and many companies already voluntarily disclose information. But in July 2021, Gary Gensler, chair of the SEC, spoke about his plan to submit a proposed rule for mandatory climate disclosures — and based on an outpouring of public messages, that proposal will likely pass. Mandatory disclosures should make it easier for buyers and investors to access consistent, comparable data about climate impact, and for companies to showcase their positive work. However, these new regulations can feel daunting for board members, particularly at companies with less experience in this area.

“In July 2021, Gary Gensler, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), spoke about his plan to submit a proposed rule for mandatory climate disclosures — and based on an outpouring of public messages, that proposal will likely pass.”

Click here for the rest of the article...


More great articles from Shield Insurance Agency

Read More
Can't Find Time For Self-Care Try Habit Stacking - Shield Insurance Agency

Can’t Find Time For Self-Care? Try ‘Habit Stacking.’

This extremely simple productivity hack will instantly carve out time for yourself in a way you never thought of before.

By Alexandra Frost 11/11/2021 05:45am EST | Updated November 11, 2021

We live in a world where it seems like everyone is doing the most. They’re getting their work done, they’re keeping their houses clean and they’re seeing their loved ones ― all while making time to practice self-care. Seeing others “mastering” balanced lives can feel defeating, particularly when you struggle to get through even two tasks on your to-do list.

Of course, sometimes doing nothing is productive, and we all know what we see on social media isn’t always a reflection of reality. But if you are struggling to make some time for yourself, you might just need to do some strategizing.

This is where “habit stacking” comes in, a term created by author SJ Scott in his 2014 book on the topic.

Habit stacking might seem like another kitschy self-improvement hack, but it may just be the mental trick that helps you stick to your quests long term. The strategy involves listing habits you already have ― such as walking the dog or driving to work ― that are already quite easy and routine for you, and attaching new self-care methods on top of them.

Ready to try it yourself? Here’s how to make sure your habit stacking sticks:

Start by picking a small new habit

This can include anything you are hoping to improve on. It should be a self-care technique that makes you feel good, but not necessarily something you always have time to do.

The key here is to start off as granular as possible. Say you want to get some movement in, but just writing “exercise” on your to-do list seems like a lofty goal. Instead, add a workout move you’re trying to master to the end of a habit you already do each day.

Diane Boden, host of the “Minimalist Moms” podcast and author of “Minimalist Moms: Living & Parenting With Simplicity,” practices this each morning by adding pushups after the habit of brushing her teeth.

“If I already practice one behavior, why not attach another to it? The connectivity makes all the difference in maintaining new habits you’d like to develop,” she said, noting that eventually your new habit will become second nature. “Can you get yourself to a point where the habits you desire to cultivate become reflexive?

Write out a list of everyday habits you already do, then stack them together in a way that makes sense

Mentally roll through your normal routine and jot down the automatic behaviors you do each day, like Boden with brushing her teeth. Other options can include getting out of bed, brewing coffee, changing out of work clothes or getting into bed.

Listing these on paper will help you realize the long list of possibilities and find the area of your day that works best for you. For example, Allison Chawla, a psychotherapist in New York, recommended stacking sitting down to dinner with a gratitude moment.

Other potential combinations could be something like meditate for just one minute while brewing your coffee, doing a few yoga poses immediately after changing out of your work clothes or journaling for five minutes when you get into bed.

Boden prefers to stack habits in categories, such as combining two health and fitness habits. For example, you could drink a glass of water before and after your daily walk, improving your health habits in multiple ways.

Build up these combinations slowly for most success

The endgame here is for your brain to automatically associate one habit with another, so this won’t happen overnight.

And don’t try to do too much at once, either. Say you have multiple self-care habits you want to try, like journaling and meditating. What you should not do is string all these habits together or try all the combinations in one day — hence the “stacking.” Focus on making the journaling a daily routine before jumping to that and meditation.

Try not to get discouraged if it takes a long time. “It’s a lifestyle change, so people often don’t see the results they want because they are productive in one aspect but they lose that productivity in another way,” said Andre Pinesett, a physician and student productivity and performance coach.

Also keep in mind that multitasking, which research shows can be inefficient and counterproductive, is not habit stacking and is not helpful, Pinesett added. Instead of trying to do these habits at the same time (can you brush your teeth while doing a pushup?), use one as a cue for the next one to start.

Check out the entire article!


Read More
Businesses Everywhere Are Looking for Help - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Businesses Everywhere Are Looking for Help

Here’s what you need to know and how to take advantage of all the job openings

by Sharon Waters, AARP, November 3, 2021 | Looking for help

Businesses Everywhere Are Looking for Help

En español

Now would seem like a great time to be looking for work. Job openings hit a record 10.9 million this summer — the highest figure since the Labor Department started tracking that number two decades ago. Is it time for you to return to work or maybe even look for a different job

Kenneth Moore, 67, would say yes. The Chico, California, resident is an independent contractor with Amazon Flex, driving his 2018 Ford Fusion car to deliver packages whenever he wants to pick up a route from the online retailer. Moore says the part-time work — he puts in about 24 hours per week — is flexible and fun, and he’s lost 20 pounds since starting the gig in late June. Moore worked in heavy construction before retiring two years ago, but he found the pace of retirement was too slow, prompting him to take the Amazon position. “I like the idea of having something to do,” says Moore, adding that he didn’t want a job with set hours. “It’s like being your own boss.”

Click here for the full story…


Check out the other articles

Read More
Shield Insurance is helping Roslyn & Maddox by donating $25 to the family for each non-client who gets a quote from Shield

Shield Referral Program Supports Local Family

Shield Referral Program Supports Local Sparta, Michigan Family

Your Referrals to Shield Insurance Agency Help a Local Family in Need

Your referral can make a difference for Roslyn and Maddox who both have a form of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenital. Shield Insurance is helping this Sparta, MI family by donating $25 for each non-client who gets a quote from us.

No purchase necessary!

CLICK HERE to get a quote and we’ll donate $25 to them! (Be sure to mention Roslyn and Maddox in the comment section!) You can also call or text the office (616) 896-4600 and one of our agents will take a few minutes of your time to offer up a quote. Don’t forget to mention Ros and Maddox

“The highest compliment we can receive is the referral of your friends, family & business associates. Thank you for your trust!”

Meet Roslyn
Roslyn and Shield Insurance Agency Referral Program

More great stories featuring Roslyn…


Have you seen the Shield Insurance Agency Blog Articles? It’s some great stuff!

Read More