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What Is Professional Liability Insurance and Do I Need It?

Running a business is not for the faint of heart. There are mountains of risk involved, which is why entrepreneurs always tend to be the brave and the bold of society. Successful business owners experiment with new ideas, knowing full well that failure is a possible outcome, and it could cost them a lot financially, yet they march on into the unknown.

While taking chances is simply a part of life for business owners, there are certain kinds of risk that should be avoided if possible, which is where professional liability insurance comes in handy. If you are new to owning a business, you might not have heard of this insurance before. Here is a quick guide to explain some of the basics of professional liability insurance that will demonstrate how valuable one of these policies can be to your company.

What is Professional Liability Insurance?

This type of insurance product is designed to help protect you and your company from being sued by clients and customers as a result of any advice, expertise, or services rendered. A client could say that the service or advice you offered harmed them in some manner, due to an act of negligence, some kind of error, or an omission of important information.

Without having the proper protection, a lawsuit could be a serious hit to your profit margin and possibly put you out of business.

Who Needs to Buy This Type of Coverage?

Not every type of business owner needs to have professional liability insurance. Retail businesses that sell a tangible product of some kind would not need this coverage. However, if your business offers any type of advice, recommendations, or services, you need to purchase a policy in order to help offset the risk associated with certain lines of work.

A few good examples of professions that need this type of insurance would be financial professionals like an advisor or insurance salesperson, architects, real estate agents, accountants, and dentists.

Why You Need to Buy Professional Liability Insurance

Anyone who is a professional in a specific industry is expected to have expert-level training and knowledge of their area of expertise. As an expert in your field, your customers count on you to provide services that match your qualifications, and any time a customer feels you have failed to do that, it puts you at risk for legal action.

A lawsuit is bad for business all-the-way-around. Court costs, settlements, and bad publicity could force you to shut your doors. Having professional liability insurance will help protect you from the financial devastation of a legal claim, enabling you to keep your company up and running.

What Does This Insurance Cover?

Professional liability insurance protects you from several types of risk. The insurance will protect you from cases involving a faulty service. A faulty service is simply an error that you made when providing your services or advice to a client. It will also cover instances where you may not have performed a service that you promised to perform for a customer. This is known as an omission.

One of these policies helps cover court expenses, such as your legal defense, and will also cover the cost of damages awarded to your customer, up to the policy limit.

A professional liability insurance policy is considered to be specialty coverage, which means it is not included in your business owner insurance. As you can see, running a business, especially one that offers advice or professional services, puts you at great risk should a client feel dissatisfied with your work. Rather than take the risk of being sued and having expenses come out of pocket, purchase one of these plans and rest a bit easier knowing that if something should happen, your business is protected.

What Is Personal Umbrella Insurance and Do I Need It?

There are lots of different insurance policies out on the market, and each one provides a unique type of protection to help offset some sort of risk. You more than likely have auto and homeowners insurance, which are common types of coverage, but you might be new to personal umbrella insurance, without a clue in the world as to what it is. You can rest assured it has nothing to do with protecting you from the next torrential downpour you experience while out for a stroll in a rain storm.

Basically, personal umbrella insurance is designed to go above the current limits of your insurance coverage to protect you from major lawsuits or claims. If someone takes you to court over an automobile accident, your auto insurance will cover your costs up to the maximum policy limit. Personal umbrella insurance is designed to pick up the slack once the original policy has exhausted its benefit.

This type of insurance also offers protection for claims like false arrest, slander, libel, and liability coverage on rental units.

What Is Covered With an Umbrella Policy?

While personal umbrella insurance goes beyond the call of duty to protect you from things your regular insurance might not cover, perhaps you’re still a bit fuzzy on what kind of protection these policies have to offer.

One of the key areas of protection deals with injuries to a person’s body. An umbrella policy will cover the cost of medical expenses for someone injured in an accident that was determined to be your fault. It will also cover damages from injuries sustained during a dog attack, a guest that sustained bodily harm during an accident in your home, or even a child who gets hurt playing with your kids in the backyard.

Not only does umbrella insurance protect the body, it protects property too. Any damage sustained by a vehicle as the result of an accident deemed to be your fault will be covered. If you were to damage a priceless piece of property at a friend’s house, this too would be covered.

If you were to be sued for slander, which is defined as a spoken statement that is deemed injurious to another person, this type of insurance will cover the claim or settlement.

Why You Need an Umbrella Insurance Policy

You might be thinking that you already have enough insurance, but is there really such a thing as having too much protection? Your current homeowners and automobile insurance only goes so far, so what happens to you and your bank account when the policies are all used up? Do you have the financial resources available to pay for the rest of the damages or injuries? Can you afford to buy your friend a new rug after your dog decides to eat the old one for lunch?

There are many unexpected occurrences in life, and it is always better to have protection and not need it, then to need it and not have it. Having an umbrella policy will help you sleep a bit better at night knowing that you are prepared for the unexpected.

Preparing for a Life Insurance Medical Exam

When you apply for a life insurance policy you may have to participate in a brief medical exam performed by your doctor or a medical professional chosen by the insurance company to document the current state of your health. One of the many reasons for the exam is to make sure there are no hidden problems with your health that you were unaware of or forgot to mention on the application. These kind of conditions or issues could affect your eligibility for certain life insurance plans or directly impact the cost of your coverage.

There are a few things you can do to prepare for your exam that will keep you from getting dings on smaller items, which while minor, can still play a role in determining your eligibility for life insurance.

The Day Before the Exam

There are a few measures you should take at least a full day (24 hours) before your life insurance medical exam that will improve numbers in your blood work. You should steer clear of any alcoholic beverages and avoid eating red meat and other foods high in cholesterol. Doing this will keep your lipid count down. Do not participate in rigorous exercise routines because these could skew results for certain blood and urine tests that you might be a required part of the exam.
Stop taking any over-the-counter medications including cold medicines and nasal sprays, but continue to take prescription medications according to your physician’s instructions.

Exam Day

When exam day arrives, be sure to avoid drinking coffee, soda, or tea, as these contain caffeine. As with your preparation the previous day, do not partake in strenuous exercise or smoking cigarettes because these activities, along with the caffeine, increases your heart rate and blood pressure.
Schedule meals around your exam time. If your exam is in the morning hours, wait until after it has been completed before having breakfast. Eat alight lunch if the exam is in the evening, and make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.

During Exam Time

Just before the exam begins, make sure to have all of your medical information, including prescription bottles, with you so that you can consult your records during the interview portion of the exam. You will need to give a detailed explanation of your health history, who your doctors are, how often you see them, and why. Be sure to answer all of the medical history questions truthfully and to the fullest extent of your knowledge.

The medical professional conducting your exam will be taking your height, weight, blood pressure, and  blood samples. Avoid wearing sweaters or long-sleeved shirts if possible, as this gives the nurse or doctor easier access to your arm for the blood pressure cuff.

In many cases a urine sample is also required, so be sure to drink a glass or two of water at least an hour before the exam.

While medical exams can be a bit nerve wracking, the kind required by life insurance companies often only takes a few minutes to complete. Once it is over, you’ll be well on your way to providing the right type of financial protection your family deserves.

Obamacare Facts for Small Business Owners

Ever since the controversial Affordable Care Act, also know as “Obamacare,” was passed by Congress in 2010, it has caused massive confusion for small business owners across the country. Politicians on both sides of the matter have made things a bit more complicated, giving answers that do not really clear up the concerns that many business owners have.

If you own your own company, you might be wondering how this legislation is going to impact you and your staff.  Here are a few answers to some common questions that business owners have about Obamacare that will hopefully clear up some of the confusion. After all, you’re busy running a business, you don’t have time to read through a bill that is thousands of pages long!

Do All Small Businesses Have to Offer Health Insurance to Their Employees?

With all of the vague, muddled language used in the legislation, many business owners are left puzzled as to whether or not they have to start offering health insurance to their workers. The answer to that question depends on the size of your business. If you have 50 or more full-time employees working on your staff, then yes, you have to offer them affordable health insurance options. A failure to provide these options results in a $2,000 fine for each staff member not covered by insurance.

It is important to note that two part-time workers equal one full-time employee, so if you have 50 part-time workers, you technically have 25 full-time staff members.

If you happen to operate with less than 50 full-time employees, then your business is not subject to any penalties. At this point in your company’s life, you are in full control over how you decide to offer healthcare, if at all.

Most small businesses with over 50 workers already offer insurance, so technically, only a small number of companies will be impacted by the law.

How Will Obamacare Impact the Self-Employed Without Employees?

If you are self-employed, but do not have any staff, you will more than likely be required to purchase health insurance. While the self-employed may balk at the idea of an extra, added expense, the good news is that the legislation does provide affordable options that will prevent purchasing coverage from eating away at too much of your profit margin.

In some states, self-employed individuals are considered small businesses, which means you’re eligible for the same kind of plans available for small companies in your area. If your state does not consider you to be a small business, then you will still need to go through to find an individual plan for yourself.

What are Health Insurance Exchanges?

Obamacare requires all states to have health insurance exchanges, either created by the individual state or federal government, that will certify plans and provide consumers with detailed information about the costs of the insurance and other available options.

The exchanges are websites, and they walk buyers through the process of finding health insurance plans that meet their healthcare needs. Some state and federal exchanges have experienced technical issues that have made the process of signing up for coverage a bit more difficult. These bugs are currently being worked on in order to provide a better user experience.

Where Can Small Business Owner Go for Help When Shopping for a Plan?

If you are uncertain about what coverage is best for you and your employees, there is plenty of information available on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website to help guide you along in the process. The SBA offers a number of webinars that go in-depth into Obamacare and better equip business owners on how to implement the program for their employees.

Also, make sure to contact your current insurance agent or provider and ask for help. Your agent will gladly meet with you and discuss your current situation and what you need to do to make sure you are in compliance with the law.

Is the Affordable Care Act unaffordable? An Agents View

With so much information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) flooding airwaves, news print, and online media, it is hard to sift through all of the rhetoric and find the facts. What’s worse is that the majority of individuals weighing in on the topic are politicians, reporters, and pundits. The best way to find out the truth about the ACA is to either read it, or talk to insurance professionals who are experts in the field and who understand the inner workings of the legislation.

In order to better equip consumers such as yourself with the information needed to make informed decisions and conclusions about the bill, down below you’ll find a summary of two opposing view points on the affordability of the ACA that come from insurance professionals. These individuals work in the field of insurance as licensed agents, giving them a bird’s eye view of the impact of the ACA on the clients they deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Why Some Agents Believe the ACA Is Unaffordable

Many health insurance agents believe that the Affordable Care Act, while full of good intentions, is actually a bad thing for consumers in America. This is largely due to the fact that, despite the aim of the bill being affordable health insurance, the costs of obtaining coverage has actually increased. There are three factors that agents cite as being the cause of this increase.

One of the big factors is that the ACA is not really about dropping the price of insurance, but about redistributing wealth by subsidizing one group of consumers by raising the cost for a different group. The line of reasoning here is that there is no such thing as a “free lunch.” The subsidies being granted by the government to help some consumers afford their monthly health insurance premium come from taxpayer dollars, which in essence means that someone else is paying for another person’s health care coverage. The only way to afford doing this is to raise taxes and collect more revenue, which is bad for consumers as it eats into their income, leaving them less money for their own coverage or other things they need.

The second reason that the ACA is considered to be unaffordable by some insurance agents is because many individuals are losing their current plan due to non-compliance with the law, and the new coverage actually costs more, but has fewer benefits. This means that consumers pay more out of pocket for coverage and for other medical expenses, which is the exact opposite of being affordable.

Affordability ties heavily into the free market concept of competition. With the ACA, there is only four plans, where before, there were hundreds. Insurance companies were allowed to create their own insurance products, as long as they met legal requirements, presenting consumers with tons of options for health care coverage. This competition, though heavily regulated, allowed people to find plans that were in their price range and had benefits they needed for their health care. Through the ACA, this has been eliminated.

Why Other Agents Feel the ACA Is Affordable and Right for America

While quite a few agents are against the ACA, there are many who fall on the opposite side of the spectrum. These professionals think the legislation is a blessing, especially for small businesses. A lot of the agents who are all for the ACA believed that small businesses were having a hard time affording health insurance for their employees.

To them, there is a huge market for affordable insurance plans, and the ACA helps to meet that need. One of the chief concerns for those opposed to the legislation was that it reduced competition and choice, which makes products more expensive. These agents feel the opposite is true. They feel the subsidies are increasing the competitive nature of the market, which is part of what is driving down the cost of insurance.

Rather than seeing the cost of the subsidies raising taxes as a bad thing, they tend to focus on the results the ACA is producing with those who were not able to afford health insurance before. Millions of people who were not previously insured, that possibly went without needed medical care, can now afford to get the treatment they deserve.

While lots of agents believe that the Affordable Care Act is good for America, they are still not blind to some of the consequences that come along with the bill. For some small businesses, the coverage will still not be cheap enough, and it will actually be more affordable for them in the long run to take the penalty for not offering coverage.

These are two opposing viewpoints that give an inside look at what insurance professionals think about this new health insurance law. Ultimately, it is up to you, the consumer, to weigh out the arguments, research the facts, and draw your own conclusion about whether or not the ACA is really affordable or not.

Applying for Individual Health Insurance due to Qualifying Events

The open enrollment period to purchase health insurance for compliance with the Affordable Care Act ended in March, but quite a few people missed the deadline. If you missed the open enrollment period you basically have two options:

  • Pay the pentalty for not being insured
  • Apply for private coverage under a qualifying life event

If you are still interested in applying for insurance, you can only do so at this point through a qualifying life event. There are certain life changing events that can make you eligible for a special enrollment period. When these events occur, if you do not already have coverage you may be eligible to apply for a private plan through the Marketplace.

Qualifying Events

Not every life-changing event will make you eligible for the special enrollment period, so it is important to know if you qualify for the exemption before you attempt to apply for coverage. Here is a list of events that may qualify you for the enrollment period:

  • Marriage
  • Having a child, placing a child up for adoption or foster care
  • Moving to a different state
  • Becoming a citizen
  • Getting out of prison
  • Losing your current coverage through job loss
  • COBRA coverage expires
  • Aging off of your parent’s plan
  • Losing eligibility to Medicaid
  • Change in income or household status for current enrollees
  • Being a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe
  • Divorce

If you have currently experienced one of these life altering events, then you can apply for coverage through the Marketplace, or you can contact a health insurance agent outside of the Marketplace to assist you in finding the coverage you require for your health needs. You must apply for coverage within 60 days in CA.

It’s important to note that if you, for whatever reason, voluntarily decide to terminate your current health insurance coverage voluntarily, you will not qualify for the special enrollment period, and unless you have an exemption, you will have to pay the penalty for being uncovered.

There is an appeals process available for those who apply for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event but are turned down for coverage. If you believe you should still qualify you can fill out the appeal request.

Those who are changing jobs do not have to worry about obtaining a special enrollment period, as small businesses offering insurance are able to purchase plans any time of the year from SHOP.

Individuals who are going to pay the penalty, but would like to enroll for 2015 can do so starting November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.

To find out if your event qualifies, visit our website and follow the instructions for applying for insurance coverage. Depending on your situation, it might be a good idea to sit down with a licensed health insurance professional and discuss the details of the event, as well as what coverage is best suited for the health care needs of you and your family.

How tax credit could attract more employers to SHOP

One of the biggest groups of consumers concerned about the rollout of Obamacare is small business owners and rightfully so. Most of the legislation in the Affordable Care Act is aimed at small businesses, so it is critical that they understand what the bill means for them and their employees.

A lot of small companies are concerned about the increased cost of providing health insurance for their employees, as it will take more away from their bottom line. The ACA has a tax credit set up that is designed to inspire businesses with 25 full-time employees to purchase health care coverage for their workers through the  Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace.

Benefits of the Tax Credit

The benefits of the credit are designed to draw small companies out to purchase a plan through SHOP. They are numerous and can really help  offset the cost of insuring their employees and relieve some of their tax burdens.

Small businesses pay a lot of taxes, so a tax credit that can help relieve that burden is very attractive to most business owners.

Those that are small enough to be tax exempt also benefit from this credit, as it could be paid out to them in the form of a refund. The only stipulation being that the refund cannot exceed the income tax withholding.

Qualifying for the Credit

There are a few requirements that your company must meet in order to qualify for this tax credit. Your business needs to be paying for 50 percent of the coverage for each one of your employees. The number of full-time workers you employ must be below 25. If you have two part-time employees, they count as one full-time worker.

Your employees are required to have average wages that are less than $50,000 annually. The health plan you provide for your employees must be one that was purchased through the SHOP marketplace.

The size of the credit you get is based on the size of your business. The smaller the company, the larger the credit you are eligible to receive.

In order to claim the credit you will need to use a Form 8941.

The whole idea beyond receiving this credit is to entice business owners to come on board with the ACA and purchase health insurance for their employees, which might have been something they had not done before. This is a win-win for businesses and employees because the company gets a tax break and workers get quality health insurance.

Since small businesses are always looking for a way to reduce their taxes, those that are already enrolled in a SHOP plan should make sure to take advantage of the tax credit. Companies not yet on board should consider looking into it to determine if it is advantageous for their operation.


Health Care Tax Tips

With the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many individuals are wondering how the new law will impact their taxes for 2015. A bill as large as the ACA tends to raise a lot of questions, and there has been a lot of information released in the media that has generated confusion for consumers who are left wondering what their next steps should be.

While the ACA is probably a bit to lengthy to read, there are certain tips and pieces of information that you should be made aware of so that you can act in accordance with the law and have an understanding of the impact the law might have on your current tax situation.

The ACA Has Little Impact on Those Already Covered

Most people have some type of insurance coverage through their employer or a government program. These folks only need to maintain the current plan they have, as they are in compliance with the law already. Given that they are insured, these individuals will not likely experience any significant changes in their tax status.

The Uninsured Can Purchase a Plan Through the Marketplace

If you do not have insurance through your employer or through some type of government plan, you can visit the Health Insurance Marketplace and purchase one. You can do this through a website that will take you step-by-step through the process of finding coverage that meets your needs with a reasonable premium. Many states have their own exchanges, but for the ones that do not, there is a federal exchange that you can use to purchase a plan.

One of the perks of purchasing your insurance through the Marketplace is you could be eligible for an advance premium tax credit. This perk will help lower the cost of the monthly premium you pay for coverage, helping you to save money on health care related expenses.

Shared Responsibility Payment

The 2014 tax return will feature questions related to your health insurance coverage. If you did not have any coverage in 2014 or did not qualify for some type of exemption, you may be required to pay what is known as a “shared responsibility payment.” This is a penalty for not meeting the requirements of the health insurance law, and you will be responsible for the payment when you file your taxes in 2015.

Key Information of Note

For individuals who are self-employed, do not forget that you can deduct the cost of your insurance premiums on your tax forms. There are certain limits on how much can be deducted, so be sure to consult with a tax professional if you aren’t sure how much to put down.

If the coverage you have through your employer is a flexible spending arrangement, the cash that you invest into it reduces the amount of taxable income you make. Also, a health savings account that your company contributes to is money that cannot be taxed.

Reimbursements you receive from a health reimbursement arrangement are considered non-taxable income.

Keep these bits of information in mind when filling out your tax return in 2015.


How to Buy Small Business Health Insurance

One of the key components of running a successlful small business is workforce retention. As an employer, when you find good people who are willing to work hard and help you achieve your goals of success, you want to give them an incentive to continue working for your company. Offering health insurance benefits is a great extra that you can provide for your employees to encourage them to stick with you for the long haul.

Unfortunately, buying health insurance for your small business can feel a bit overwhelming, especially with the high volume of information saturating the Internet. You want to make sure that you choose a plan and provider that is going to supply the kind of coverage your staff needs to live healthy lives. Here are a few steps to follow that will guide you in purchasing the best health insurance plan for your company, while avoiding the headaches of sifting through mountains of information online.

Assess Your Needs

When you start shopping for health insurance you have to assess your needs first, as this will help clarify what type of policy you and your employees need. One of the first questions to ask is who the plan will be covering. Call a meeting with your staff to find out their current health insurance situation. Ask if anyone has coverage under their spouse or through another family member. It is important to know how many people and their families will need to be covered, as this will decide the type of plan you choose and will have a major impact on the overall cost of the coverage.

Group health insurance, which is the type of insurance used by small businesses, is usually regulated by state law. It is important to keep in mind that most states will require an employer who provides health insurance for its employees to pay at least 50 percent of the monthly premium. Remember that percentage when shopping around for a quote. If you find a plan below your budget that provides great quality care, you may want to consider chipping in a bit more than the minimum 50 percent as an extra incentive.

You will also need to find out whether your employees want to pay more up front when they are well and less when they are ill, or the other way around. This is a great conversation to have during the benefitis meeting mentioned earlier. Some plans have higher annual deductibles, but come with a smaller monthly premium, while others have a higher premium but lower deductible. Once you know where the majority of your employees stand, you will want to try and find a plan that has a good balance between the deductible and the premium.

Ask your team what kind of benefits are important to them, as this will also play a critical role in determining what policy you choose for your business. Federal laws will prohibit you from asking too many detailed questions about an individual’s private medical history, but you can still ask them if they want something that provides more coverage for prescription drugs, or if they are interested only in catastrophic health coverage. This would also be a good time to discuss whether or not your team is interested in add-ons like dental and vision care.

Getting a Quote

Once you have gathered some initial information from your assessment, you are ready to go get quotes from various providers and compare prices and benefits to find the plan that best suits your employee’s needs. The simplest way to get a quick quote is to do an online search. Most companies can allow you to get a quote through their website in a matter of minutes, while others may perfer to sit down in person and dig deep to find coverage that specifically matches your needs. Meeting with an agent is always a good idea, as you get more in-depth information about the company, benefits, and cost.

There are three things you need to keep in mind when shopping for quotes:

  • Benefits: Make sure that you find a plan that features benefits that are important to you and your staff. Try to avoid buying policies with a lot of extra bells and whistles you don’t need.
  • Cost: Before you start shopping around, make sure you set a budget and then do your best not to go over it. If a plan is out of your range, keep looking.
  • Brand: Do your due diligence on an insurance provider before deciding to purchase plans through their company. Check online to see what kind of reputation they have with their customers. Check the company’s financial ratings also, as you want to do business with a company that is financially solvent, as well as in good standings with their clients.

Apply for Coverage

Once you have selected a plan, you are ready to apply for the coverage. It is best to do this in the presence of a licensed agent with the company you are purchasing the coverage from, as they can guide you through the process and answer any questions that might pop up while filling out the paperwork.

Many employers worry that the health of their employees may cause them to be ineligible for the coverage they are applying for, but there is no need for concern. Group health insurance will not decline coverage based on an individual employee’s health history, though their current health may have an impact on the monthly premium.

Next comes enrollment, which is the process of getting your staff signed up for the health insurance plan you have purchased. You will work with your agent to ensure that all of the paperwork is filled out correctly and all of the necessary materials have been collected and turned into the insurance provider.

After you have completed these steps, you will need to follow up with your agent to see when your company’s benefits begin. Make sure to keep your agent’s contact information in a safe place so that if problems or questions should arise later on down the road, you know exactly who to contact. While shopping for the right insurance can be time consuming, it does not have to be stressful. Following these three simple steps will help you get the best coverage for your employees to ensure that they stick with your company for a lifetime.

Health Insurance Trauma

One fine afternoon, I was working at my office and I received a call from this guy about the huge medical bill he had received. Apparently, he had heard me talk about insurance on the radio and he wanted my help with his bill. He explained that he had just come from India 6 weeks ago on H-1 visa, his employer had enrolled him on the medical insurance plan but he still got a huge bill.

What has happened is it was a Sunday and he was suffering from Fever. Due to lack of knowledge about health care system in USA, he decides to walk into an emergency room of a well-known Bay Area hospital. After waiting for 2 hrs, doctor sees him and prescribes him a medication. While he was with the doctor, he asked the doctor to do a complete medical exam so he does not have to come back again. I was shocked and asked him, are you serious? Did you just do a medical exam at the most expensive hospital? Well long story short, he got a bill of $2500 from hospital in few weeks for his fever and exam visit. He could have done an annual medical exam by going to a general physician for probably less than $300. Interesting thing is that his employer never told him that there was $4000 deductible on his plan and how it worked, so he was responsible for the whole bill.

Being so new in the country and got hit by such a huge bill, he was upset and angry with the health care system here. His main complaint was even after having coverage through his employer, he has to pay this much. Unfortunately, these cases happen quite regularly within our community. Medical bills are among the top reasons for bankruptcy. Health care system is completely broken. Doctors are so afraid of lawsuits that they prescribe unnecessary test just to cover their back and I don’t blame them. Insurance rates keeps increasing every year.

Here is what you should do if you have to see a doctor. My suggestion is to go to your regular physicians for most general and minor issues unless it’s an emergency. It could be quite difficult to find your physicians over the weekend so you need to find the closest urgent care center. Urgent care centers are fully equipped to handle most of the situations. You can save a lot of $$$ by going there instead of walking to an emergency room.

Here are links to some good urgent care centers:

Fremont :
Santa Clara:
San Jose:
Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Multiple locations:

Over the next few weeks, I plan to help you navigate through the complex world of health insurance. And by the way, we were able to get the guy some discount from the hospital to ease his pain. Till next time….

Sunny Sethi