Companies are offering a number of fixed indexed annuities with uncapped strategies for 2015. Given the similarities between the various uncapped options it can be hard to tell which companies are offering the best growth annuities for 2015. Although the options with uncapped growth annuities seem endless, they all are relatively similar. The key if identifying the common components of indexed annuities and comparing them between the companies. A list of the key areas is provided below. Read more
Market linked CD’s are a good alternative to traditional bank CD’s and annuities. Bank CD’s are currently yielding 1% on a short term basis and no higher than 3% on a 5 to 7 year term. Market linked CD’s work differently as they have a guaranteed minimum return (usually .5% to 1%) but have an unlimited upside. Instead of providing a set return over a period of time, market CD’s base returns on the performance of the securities in the market such as indexes or individual stocks. If the investment yields a positive return in any given year, a portion is shared with the investor. If the investment has a negative or neutral return, the investor is credited with the minimum state return such as .5% or 1%. Market linked CD’s are FDIC insured just like a traditional CD. Read more
If you would like to learn about the Aetna Medicare Plan Changes Connecticut 2015, you should read this post. Aetna Medicare will be making major changes to their Medicare Advantage plans in some Connecticut counties for 2015. A quick summary of changes is listed below. Call or email our office for specific information and CMS approved benefit summaries and other info.
Please either call or email our office with any additional questions at 203-796-5403 or by email at [email protected]
In this post Crowe and Associates gives clients some information about CD Type Fixed Annuity Rates. The more options you are aware of for your investment dollars the better decisions you can make. A fixed annuity works in a very similar manner to a bank CD. The insurance company offers a fixed rate. That rate does not change for a specific set number of years. At the end of the term, the money is free of any type of surrender penalty. You can then either leave it in the account, cash it out or move it into a different investment. For example: A five year fixed annuity at 2.85% will have a guaranteed payment of 2.85% per year. You can move that money anywhere you want at the end of the 5th year with no penalty.
The penalties apply only if you take out more than 10% of the money in any given year prior to the end of the term. Unlike a bank CD, fixed annuities are not FDIC insured. Although, they are backed by the state of issue up to a specified amount. The amount in Connecticut is currently up to $500,000.
Like a CD, companies compete with each other to offer the highest annuity rates for any given term. In fact, Guggenheim currently offers terms of 3 to 10 years. They have the best rates available for each individual term. We include a current rate sheet in this post, below for your review.
Crowe and Associates would like to help you with your both your insurance and investment needs. Please call us if you have any questions or need any insurance or investment advice. You can reach us either by phone at 203-796-5403 or email at [email protected]
Crowe and Associates wants to make sure all our clients are aware of the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Connecticut 2015. This is a great opportunity for both uninsured individuals as well as families to get much needed health coverage. Medicare Advantage plan companies are able to make plan and benefit changes to existing plans every January, during open enrollment. There will be major changes this year for many plans in Connecticut. These changes include premium increases, plan terminations, as well as the introduction of referral based plans and more.
Medicare Advantage plans are currently offered in Connecticut by United Healthcare (AARP and non AARP branded), Aetna, Connecticare, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield and also Wellcare. Most of these companies will be making major changes to existing plan holders benefits. Please note: Medicare Supplement plans such as the AARP Medicare supplements (also called Medigap) do not change benefits. They are only subject to rate increases.
(OEP) is your opportunity to review your plan and make changes if necessary. The OEP period runs from October 15th to December 7th. If you apply for any changes during that period they will be in force as of January 1, 2015. OEP is the only opportunity during the year to change plans or companies. (Unless you have a special election). Crowe and Associates works with all MAPD plans offered in Connecticut for 2015. As a result, we are able to review all available plans to help you find the best option. Plan reviews can be done by phone, at our office in Brookfield, our various library seminars or even in the home.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to schedule a review for the open enrollment period. You can contact us by either calling our office at 203-796-5403 or emailing us at [email protected]
The Annexus BCA annuity is a fixed indexed annuity. This is a specialized offering from Aviva. Unlike a traditional fixed annuity that offers a fixed interest rate for a set number of years. The Annexus product uses an interest strategy based on performance of the S & P 500 while it still provides a 100% principal guarantee.
The idea behind the Annexus product is that it provides an opportunity for superior returns compared to either a bank CD or fixed annuity while it still provides a guarantee against loss.
It attempts to accomplish this with a unique interest strategy. The following description intends to give clients a general understanding of the product. Returns are based on the S & P 500 using a 2 year point to point strategy. The gain in the S & P over a 2 year period is used to determine the return provided to the client. After 2 years, the point to point is reset and another 2 year term will begin.
Not all of the return is provided however. 40% of the funds that clients place in the account are in a fixed account that yields a declared interest rate. This leaves 60% of the money in the S & P. Some of that gain has a further depression because of the annual spread. “Annual Spread” is an amount of the overall return the company keeps prior to giving the reminder to the client. The spread ranges from 1% to 2% this amount depends when the client purchases the product.
The Annexus product is certainly going to lag behind the standard S & P return. The fact that it will allow no less than a 0% interest credit in a negative 2 year cycle helps the performance of this product. The bottom line is that the product certainly does protect against poor market timing with the 0% floor but it will also provide lower returns than the S & P in positive years.
An example of returns from the Annexus product vs. the S & P 500 is provided here. Annexus BCA 12 Annuity
Please contact us if you have any questions about either investments or insurance. You can reach us either by phone at (203)796-5403 or by email at [email protected]
How is a bank CD different from a fixed annuity? In this post we will talk about Bank CD Compared To Fixed Annuity. They are more similar than you may think. Here is a review of similarities and differences.
Crowe and Associates is here to help you with all of your investment needs. If you have questions, please either call us at (203)796-5403 or email us at [email protected] Also, feel free to ask us about insurance coverage.
In this post, we want to explain some things about Medicare Part D Connecticut. We want you to understand as much as possible about the coverage that is available to you. This way you can make an informed decision. In fact, Medicare Part D plans are Medicare drug plans offered by private insurance companies. Medicare offers these plans either on a stand alone basis or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan. Multiple insurance companies offer various part D plans. The plans range in monthly premiums from as little as $12 a month up to $140 a month in Connecticut. The Benefits (copays for drugs) also range greatly. The prices for drugs vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. You should make a list of all your medications and check which insurance plan includes the medication that you use.
That there is a Part D plan offered by the Government or Medicare. Medicare only established the guidelines of what the base part D benefit and premium should be. They do not have an actual Medicare Part D plan that a consumer can enroll in. This must be done with a private insurance company.
Members are eligible to enroll in a Part D Rx plan when they turn 65 or first become eligible for Medicare. They may also add, drop or make a change to an Rx plan every January during the Medicare Annual Election Period.
Crowe and Associates is a full service brokerage. In addition to Medicare, we offer clients a full range of medical, dental, life, home and auto insurance products. We also offer advice on investment products including annuity and bridge loan products.
Please feel free to contact us with any insurance or investment questions. We are here to help you. You can contact us either by phone at (203)796-5403 or by email at [email protected]
Move To A Plan N Supplement In this post, we are going to give you some reasons why you should Move To A Plan N Supplement. The majority of seniors enrolled in an AARP Medicare Supplement plan (Also called Medigap) are in Plan F when the best choice would be AARP Plan N supplement. Why are so many people enrolled in Plan F? What reason should they enroll in plan N instead? In fact, there are a number of good reasons to consider this option.
First, we will look at why most people with an AARP supplement in Connecticut have Plan F. Because Plan F has been around the longest most people are familiar with it. It also has one of the highest premiums which makes consumers think it is the best choice. On the other hand, Plan N has only been around for 3 years and is not as easy to understand compared to Plan F.
Covers 100% of Medicare approved services not covered by Medicare A and B. Plan N has some limited out of pocket costs ($50.00 for ER visit, $147.00 annual part B deductible, up to $20 for physician services). All other benefits are the same as plan F. The premium of plan N in CT is $145.50 a month vs. the Plan F premium of $218.50 a month representing a $876.00 a year premium difference. The limited out of pocket costs of Plan N make it highly unlikely that anyone will have $876.00 in medical copays. Only the highest of utilizers of care would be able to approach the number.
Those that want to make a change in Connecticut do not need to wait for the Annual Election Period. You can switch from Plan F to Plan N any time of the year in Connecticut. Because it is a guaranteed issue state for Medicare Supplement plans.
If you would like more information about this healthcare plan or any other plan please contact us. You can reach us either by phone at (203)796-5403 or by email at [email protected]
Medicare Supplement cost comparison If you are either new to Medicare or