Increased Home Values, Rising Supply Costs May Leave Homeowners With Insufficient Insurance Coverage If Disaster Strikes

Mental Health Care Services Are Covered by Most Health Insurance Plans

DIFS: Mental Health Care Services Are Covered by Most Health Insurance Plans

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779, DIFS-press@michigan.gov
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 31, 2022

(LANSING, MICH) As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is reminding consumers that mental health care services are covered by many health insurance plans, enabling Michiganders to get the help, support, and care they need.

“Mental health care is health care. It is just as important as physical health and should not be neglected, yet we know that approximately 40% of Michiganders experiencing mental illness do not seek treatment for these concerns,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Mental health services are covered by many health insurance plans, including all Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans purchased through HealthCare.gov. Review your policy documents to determine if you have this coverage, which will cover the costs of office or virtual visits with a licensed mental health professional, substance abuse disorder treatment, or medications.”

Michiganders are encouraged to check with their health insurer to confirm that they have coverage for mental health services and to make sure they understand their out-of-pocket expenses before seeking the mental health care they need. Mental health and substance use disorder coverage offered by a health plan must be similar to coverage provided for medical surgical services. Out-of-Pocket expenses, such as copays, and prior authorization requirements must also be similar to those for medical surgical services.

DIFS stands ready to help Michiganders get the most out of their health insurance and reduce barriers that may discourage them from seeking mental health care. If consumers have concerns about mental health-related insurance claims that cannot be resolved directly with the insurer, contact DIFS by calling 877-999-6442 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by filing a complaint at Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints.

DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints and can provide information about the Special Enrollment Period that is currently open for households with incomes lower than 150% of the federal poverty level. Contact DIFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 877-999-6442 or Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

You can also call Shield Insurance for additional details on Mental Health Care Coverage at 616.896.4600


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The Drawbacks of Not Having Renters Insurance

As a renter, you might feel like you don’t need insurance. After all, your landlord has insurance, right? And your belongings aren’t worth that much, right? Wrong. There are many drawbacks to not having renters insurance. Shield Insurance Agency in Michigan provides you with this guide to navigate the issues around not having this coverage. 

The Drawbacks of Not Having Renters Insurance

1. You Could Be Held Liable for Damages

Did you know that you could be held liable if someone is injured on your property? If a guest trips and falls in your apartment, for example, you could be sued for their medical bills. Without coverage, you’ll pay those bills out of your own pocket. This can quickly become very expensive, especially if the injury is serious.

2. Your Personal Belongings Won’t Be Covered by Your Landlord’s Insurance

Your landlord’s insurance policy covers the building itself, but it does not cover your personal belongings. If there is a fire or another type of disaster, you would have to replace everything yourself. This can be very costly, even if you don’t have a lot of possessions.

3. You Might Be Kicked Out of Your Apartment

Some landlords require their tenants to have renters insurance. If you don’t have it and your landlord finds out, they could give you notice to vacate the property. This means you would have to find somewhere else to live, which can be very difficult on short notice.

4. You Could Miss Out on Important Coverage

Renters insurance doesn’t just protect your belongings; it also provides liability coverage and can even help with temporary living expenses if your apartment is damaged and you have to move out. Without renters insurance, you could be left without a place to live while your apartment is being repaired.

Get Renters Insurance in Michigan

As you can see, there are many potential drawbacks to not having renters insurance. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to purchase a policy. Shield Insurance Agency can help you find the right renters insurance policy for your needs. Give us a call today to get a free quote.

 

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Grand Rapids, MI Voted 16th Best Place to Live

US News Reports | By Anna Gustafson

Grand Rapids, Michigan Overall Score 6.6/10

What’s it like to live in Grand Rapids, MI?

Grand Rapids has an affinity for public art, and its craft brewery scene is one of the best in the nation. A scenic spot perched on the Grand River – Michigan’s longest waterway – Grand Rapids has evolved from its 19th-century roots as a hub of furniture production to the modern-day metro area that is attracting college students and young families with its healthy job market, affordable housing and outdoor recreational activities.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on the quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there.

Click here for the rest of the story!


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Business Leader under 40 years old

Know a Business Leader under 40 years old?

As a business leader, it’s been a monumental year of change in everything from the way we work and travel to how we buy groceries and invest our savings. (Bitcoin, anyone?) Do you know a rising entrepreneur, influencer, creator, or executive that has shaped the global pandemic experience—and paving the way for what comes next? Nominate someone for the 2022 year here.

GRBJ’s 40 UNDER 40 Business Leader Nomination Form

Thank you for nominating an emerging business leader for GRBJ’s 40 Under 40 class of 2022! Once the nomination form below is submitted, nominees will be contacted to fill out an application form. Application forms must be submitted for nominees to be considered.

Nomination Deadline: June 13
Application Deadline: June 20

Click here to nominate someone!

About the Grand Rapids Business Journal

Since 1983, the Grand Rapids Business Journal has been West Michigan’s primary and most-trusted source of local business news. The biweekly print edition of the Business Journal, a must-read for the area’s top decision-makers, is known as the business newspaper of metro Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon and all of West Michigan.

grbj.com provides the same trusted and objective business reporting that the Business Journal is known for — plus real-time original content, timely e-newsletters/alerts, exclusive blogs and more. Business Journal subscribers receive the biweekly print edition, including bonus publications like the annual Book of Lists.

The Grand Rapids Business Journal is published by Gemini Media, LLC.


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Increased Home Values, Rising Supply Costs May Leave Homeowners With Insufficient Insurance Coverage If Disaster Strikes

Tips Following Northern Michigan Tornado

FROM: Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Offers Insurance Tips Following Northern Michigan Tornado

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779, DIFS-press@michigan.gov 
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2022

(LANSING, MICH) As residents across northern Michigan assess the damage and begin to recover from Friday afternoon’s tornado, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is providing tips to assist residents when working with insurance companies to file claims and repair damages.

“DIFS stands ready to assist the residents of northern Michigan as they begin to recover from the incredible devastation wrought by Friday’s tornado, hailstorm, and power outages,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “It is important that those who have experienced damage understand their rights and responsibilities when filing insurance claims. They should carefully review their policies and work with their agents and insurers to see what coverage is available to them. DIFS is available to answer questions and assist consumers 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.”

Anyone impacted by storm damage should:

  • Contact their insurance company’s claims hotline and/or agent to report the claim. Have the policy number and other relevant information readily available. DIFS has prepared an Insurance Claims Tracking Sheet to make this process easier.
  • Take steps to protect the property and prevent further loss. Be sure to keep receipts for any purchases of supplies that are needed to protect the property.
  • Document the loss. Take pictures or videos of the damaged items and do not get rid of the items until instructed to do so by the insurance company.
  • Review insurance policies to understand their coverage and discuss with their agent or insurer if there are any questions.
  • If there is water damage to a home or other structure, consumers should tell their insurance company that there is water damage and they are looking to determine what coverage is available. Consumers should not simply state that the damage is due to a flood as there may be additional causes for water damage, such as storm-related rainwater intrusion, sewer backup, or failing sump pump, that may be covered under the policy.
  • If there is damage to a vehicle, consumers should contact their auto insurance company. They may have coverage for the damage if they carry comprehensive coverage on their auto policy.

More Information

Additional disaster recovery information is available on the DIFS website.

DIFS encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve any claim disputes directly with their insurance company. If a resolution cannot be reached, DIFS will help try to resolve disputes. To learn more and file a complaint, visit Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints. Anyone with questions or concerns about their insurance coverage is asked to call the DIFS toll-free hotline 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.


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April Showers Bring May Flowers - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

April Showers Bring May Flowers

April Showers Bring May Flowers

For me, spring and fall are by far my favorite seasons.  After a long, cold winter it was so nice to be outside this past weekend and enjoy the sunshine!  I am so thankful to live in a location that gets to experience all four seasons.  As I was outside this weekend I could not help but stop & look around.  The creation seems to be bursting with life!  There were buds on almost every tree, the flowering trees seemed to explode over the weekend and the spring flowers are appearing everywhere.
     In a household with 4 teenagers, spring is very busy at our house with school activities, sports, year-end school programs, graduations, college finals, work, etc.  Everyone seems to be hustling about, going here, going there.  What about your household?  If it’s anything like mine, there are times when you feel you can’t even catch your breath.
     My challenge for myself and my family (and you too) is to try to schedule – yes schedule – time to take a break and enjoy some quiet time outside.  Enjoy the outdoors, the beautiful city that we live in, the nature around us.  It’s amazing how therapeutic listening to birds singing while soaking up the sunshine and smelling the fresh spring air is.  So take a break!  Allow yourself to relax and enjoy the beautiful spring season.

Submitted by Tammy

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How to Make a Flower Garden - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

How to Make a Flower Garden

If you have been wanting to start a garden, now is the time! The long, sunny days are a great source of energy for plants, making summer the perfect season to start growing flowers. Any home could use a pop of color. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, it can be helpful to cover the basics. From sunlight to soil, there are a lot of choices that must be made in order to create a successful flower garden, but hopefully, this guide will help you through the process with just five easy steps!

  1. Choose a Location
    The first step is deciding where you would like to plant your flower bed. Most people make flower beds along the front or the side of their house, but feel free to get creative with it. You could create a garden around the base of a tree, around your mailbox, or you could use flowers to hide certain objects in your yards such as electrical equipment or pipes. Sunlight is important to consider when choosing a location. Depending on the flowers you choose, they could need up to six hours of sunlight. It is important to read the labels of any seeds or plants that you buy to ensure that the location will be able to provide the necessary amounts of sunlight.
  2. Choose your Flowers
    Different flowers will flourish in different climates and different types of soil. Temperatures and day length plays a key role in the photosynthetic cycle. Depending on what region you live in, some flowers may not be able to grow. The country is divided into climate zones. Research what plants suit your climate zone, or ask for help at a local plant nursery! They will be able to help you choose the right flowers to make your garden successful.
  3. Remove the Grass
    Once you have picked a location, it’s time to prepare the soil. Begin by removing the grassy layer. With a shovel, start digging in the center of the designated area. Continue to lift the sod with your shovel until all grassy parts have been removed. If digging isn’t your style, there is another option! Although it is a longer process, it’s far less labor-intensive. Instead of digging up the grass layer, set newspapers over the entire area. Cover the paper with rich planting soil or compost and, in four or five months, the grass will have died and the area will be rich and ready for soil preparation.
  4. Prepare the Soil
    The next step is to add planting soil on top of the garden bed you have just prepared. When choosing one of the six soil types, consider what types of flowers or plants will be living in the soil. Each plant grows better in a certain type of soil. Be sure to research which type of soil will be best for your flowerbed before you begin planting. Soil does its best when it is loose and breathable. Before you add the soil, break up any clumps of dirt and remove rocks. Lay down six inches of soil. Do not apply too much pressure to the soil; packing it down will increase the density, making it difficult for air and water to reach the roots. Once the soil is down, create an edge with rocks or bricks to separate the garden from the grass.
  5. Plant the Flowers
    Before you begin planting, make sure that the soil is ready. You want the soil to be moist but loose. If you are planting seeds, look at the packet to see how deep they should be planted. Seeds need oxygen to germinate – planting them too deep can inhibit growth. Begin by digging a hole; for most plants, you want the hole to be about ¾ the size of the pot. Once you have taken the plant out of the pot, gently remove and discard the excess dirt from the roots. Set the roots in the hole you prepared, and gently push topsoil back into the hole, but do not press down. The soil needs to remain loose and full of oxygen.

Now that you have your flower garden, remember to take care of it! Some areas may have enough rain to nourish the plants naturally. If you live in a dry area, you will need to water your flowers between rainstorms to make sure that they are healthy.

Happy summer, and happy planting!


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