How to Control the Cost of Prescription Drugs

Even if you have prescription drug coverage, chances are it pays only a portion of the total cost. Learn how to keep the costs of prescription drugs under control.

Ask for Generics: Don’t be afraid to ask your physician to prescribe a generic if it is available. The cost is often a fraction of the brand-name version.

Evaluate Efficacy: Just because a drug is new doesn’t mean it is any better than older versions. In fact, research indicates that 40% to 80% of new drugs duplicate existing drugs. Unless only the new version can meet your specific medial needs, ask your physician if an older equivalent will meet your needs instead. There is often a substantial savings to be gained by using older equivalents.

Contact the Pharmaceutical Company: Most pharmaceutical companies provide low-cost drugs to those in need of financial assistance. Many local, state and not-for-profit organizations also help cover drug-related expenses, especially for the elderly or those with low incomes, special needs or chronic health conditions that require high-cost prescriptions.

Practice Prevention: Keep the lines of communication open and practice preventative measures to stay healthy. Doing so not only will help reduce your dependence on expensive medications, but will often minimize the complications and side effects associated with prescription drugs.

Life Insurance Beneficiaries: What to Consider

One of the most important insurance decisions you can make is purchasing life insurance – it ensures that your loved ones will not suffer financial hardship in the event you are no longer there to care for them.
However, life insurance is a complex legal contract, so it’s essential to understand how to properly select a beneficiary in order to provide the needed protection and reduce the risk of extended legal battles.

Decide Who Will Be Your Beneficiary

Typically a spouse, a child or another relative is named as beneficiary, but when the designation is properly set up, a charity, a trust or even an estate can be named as the beneficiary instead. It’s also possible to have more than one beneficiary. For example, your spouse may be listed as the primary beneficiary, with the children listed as secondary beneficiaries in the event something were to happen to both of you.

Calculate Amounts

Determine how much to buy based upon need. For example, a newly married couple with toddlers at home may have significantly greater need than a middle-aged couple with grown children. Likewise, a sick spouse or a child with special needs may require additional care throughout his or her lifetime. The goal is to replace the care, compensation and other essential financial measures you contribute to their lives.

Understand the Rules

Depending upon your state and individual situation, there may be legal considerations that mandate how the insurance policy is to be written. For instance, many states require a spouse to sign a waiver if he or she is not listed as primary beneficiary on a policy. Likewise, taxes and other considerations should be carefully reviewed in order to understand the implications for the prospective beneficiary.

Plan on Change

It’s important to periodically review your policy to make needed changes, especially if you have experienced a major life event such as a change of marital status or the birth of a child.

Coverage for College: Insuring Children Away at School

Purchasing coverage for children away at school can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with the options.  Learn the ABCs of keeping your student protected with these building blocks of coverage:

A – Analyze:
The first step is to analyze your current insurance policies against the needs of your child. Most students will need health insurance, automobile insurance and some type of renter’s policy. It’s also a good idea to evaluate your liability coverage to protect your family from legal claims in the event your child is involved in an accident or other liability situation.

B – Bargain: Most parents are surprised to learn how easy it can be to qualify for discounts, especially on auto insurance or for multi-policy coverage. Ask about alumni discounts, safe driving perks and other programs designed to reduce the rates of providing coverage for your child.

C – Compare
: Most parents simply add riders to an existing automobile policy or extend their homeowners coverage to provide insurance for a college student. However, it may be more affordable to purchase insurance in your child’s name instead. For example, if your student owns an older make/model of automobile, the lower value of the vehicle combined with decreased liability needs often provides enhanced savings over increasing primary policies or purchasing an umbrella policy. Many colleges also provide low-cost health insurance, although you should carefully review limits and exclusions of coverage prior to purchasing, especially if your child has a pre-existing condition.

How to Be a Wise Buyer of Auto Insurance

Most people shop for auto insurance after they have purchased a new vehicle, but for the best rates and biggest savings, it’s actually better to begin at the end.

Learn how to buy right to save big on car insurance costs without putting the brakes on the fun.

Shop Used Rather Than New

Not only will a used vehicle mean a slower rate of depreciation, but it’s often less expensive to insure a gently used car.

The sweet spot of savings is on vehicles roughly two to three years old and with less than 45,000 miles, although it varies considerably from car to car.

Keep Credit Tuned

Not only does good credit help reduce the cost of financing your new vehicle but insurance companies routinely consider credit score, driving record and other personal criteria in the cost of insurance.
Make it a priority to stay in shape by performing annual credit evaluations while steering clear of traffic violations in order to obtain the best rates.

Call for Quotes – Especially on Customized Cars

That super-charged engine or enhanced wheel package might look fantastic but tripping the light fantastic could cost you a bundle when it comes time to buy insurance. In fact, depending upon the type of work performed, it may negate the warranty and limit the terms of liability should damage related to the custom changes occur.

Safety Rating Rule

Perform a search for the most recent safety rating associated with the make and model of the car you are considering for purchase.

Title Matters

How you legally hold title to the vehicle is especially important when it comes time to purchase an auto insurance policy.

Parents or partners with poor driving records should pay special attention to how the title may impact the purchase of auto insurance.