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Life insurance is a personal financial tool, so the right type of insurance for you depends on your goals and current situation. One of the main differences between term life insurance and whole life insurance is that term life insurance only covers you for a set period of time. Once you meet the premium payment requirements on a whole life plan, it covers you for the rest of your life. Whole life insurance also builds cash value, making it a potential investment. But whole life insurance is typically much more expensive than term life insurance.
A common recommendation is purchasing life insurance that is equal to five times your current salary, or more. But you can also estimate how much life insurance you need by adding up your debts, annual expenses for dependents multiplied by the years you want to ensure support, and any other items you wish to cover, such as a future wedding or college tuition.
The details of how life insurance works depend on your individual plan, but the basics are as follows:
The cost of life insurance ranges widely. Term life insurance can cost as little as a few dollars a day, and whole life insurance can cost thousands per month on the high end. Factors that impact the cost of your life insurance include whether you're choosing term life insurance or whole life insurance, your age, how much coverage you want, your overall health, and your gender.
Life insurance proceeds are the funds paid via your plan to your beneficiaries if you pass away. These are also called death benefits. Typically, these are not considered income for taxes. If you take out cash value from a whole life insurance investment and the amount exceeds how much you paid in premiums, the difference may be considered taxable income.
When people say "Obamacare insurance," they typically mean insurance within the health insurance marketplace. You can get health insurance outside of the marketplace by going through your employer, choosing COBRA coverage if you leave your job, or buying a short-term health insurance policy through an insurance agent. ACA-compliant plans meet all the benefits and coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act. But you may be able to find supplemental or short-term coverage that simply provides peace of mind for major medical expenses.
To buy health insurance in the marketplace, you must purchase it within open or special enrollment periods. But you can purchase short-term coverage to bridge the gap between now and the next open enrollment period. These plans are meant to be used for less than a year. You can purchase them online or via insurance agents, but they may not be ACA-compliant.
Supplemental health insurance is a product that helps cover the cost of services that your primary health insurance policy doesn't. One popular option is secondary insurance that helps cover some of the costs associated with high deductibles. Medicare supplemental insurance is also popular. Medicare doesn't cover everything, and older adults on a limited income can face large prescription or medical bills after Medicare pays. Supplemental insurance helps reduce those patient costs.