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Healthcare Insurance Quotes in Palmetto, FL

Martin Vreman, Agent

941-721-9888

2823 US-301 - Suite 1
Ellenton, FL  34222
Fax : 941-721-9801

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Healthcare Insurance PalmettoHealthcare Coverage

Do you need Health Care Insurance?

GreatFlorida Insurance is committed to helping Floridians make informed decisions about their health care. Health insurance is designed to protect individuals and families from the high costs of health care.

Whether you are facing a pre-existing health condition, an emergency situation or just want preventative and wellness care, health insurance will pay part of your costs.

GreatFlorida Insurance offers coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, also known as Florida Blue.

We can help clear up any confusion about recent health reform, the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) and answer any of your questions concerning health care.

How does health insurance work?

Your health insurance plan is a contract between you and your insurance company.

You pay a monthly bill called a premium for the health plan and the insurance company agrees to pay part of the costs for covered medical services.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has four levels of coverage, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

The plans have varying costs and coverage to meet your needs and budget. Another option includes a Catastrophic Plan for single people under 30 who qualify through financial hardships.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help you understand your choice of plans and options for health care through Florida Blue.

We will help you apply for and enroll in a plan that works best for you.

Affordable Care Act

In March 2010, President Obama signed into law, comprehensive health reform, Affordable Care Act, (ACA). The law makes preventative care more accessible and affordable for many Americans.

The health care law is designed to provide better benefits and expanding coverage while creating a stronger Medicare program.

What if I do not get health insurance in 2014?

If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you will be penalized and must pay a fee. The fee in 2014 is 1 percent of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher.

The fee increases every year. In 2016 it is 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher. In 2014 the payment for uninsured children is $47.50 per child.

New Options Include:

Floridians can find out if they are eligible for lower costs for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, (CHIP) and enroll in health coverage.

Parents can keep their children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.

Insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

In 2014, health insurers will no longer be able to charge more or deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition.

Health insurance companies now have to spend at least 80 cents of your premium dollar on health care or improvements to care or provide you with a refund.

Insurance companies are required to publicly justify their actions if they want to raise rates by 10 percent or more.

Insurance companies are banned from imposing lifetime dollar limits on health benefits. The law also restricts the use of annual limits and bans them completely in 2014.

Preventative services such as colonoscopy screening for colon cancer, Pap smears and mammograms for women, well-child visits and flu shots for all children and adults, will be covered with no deductible or co-pay required.

Increases funding to community health centers

Strengthens Medicare Program

Increasing coverage for brand name and generic drugs

No deductibles or co-pays for preventative services seniors and people with disabilities

Extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by ten years

Simply call 941-721-9888 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Health Care Insurance Agent in Palmetto will help you find the best deal for you.

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Florida Healthcare  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/17/2018

Hurricane Michael was the 3rd most powerful storm to hit the U.S. The storm quickly escalated to a category 4 hurricane, making it the worst in almost a century. National Geographic reports, Michael had the three most critical characteristics for a hurricane to gain strength and make a big impact. Those include, warm waters, low wind shear (a change in wind speed or direction in a short distance) and a tight core, keeping the storm intact.

“In a span of 48 hours we watched the tropical storm grow to a worst-case scenario,” recounts Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance company.

While it has been a week since Michael made landfall, the impact was so devastating, crews are still searching for survivors in the hardest hit areas. Hundreds remain in shelters and over 100,000 are still without power. Many are dependent on food and water being air dropped to their areas. Bay county schools are closed indefinitely for over 26,000 students. Cell phone service is spotty, and it is difficult to fill a gas tank. To support victims, Verizon announced it would give a three-month credit to every Verizon customer in Bay and Gulf counties.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has established a website, floridadisaster.org, for storm victims, as an information hub. The website includes a list of open shelters, instructions on how to apply for disaster assistance, emergency supply distribution locations, updated curfews for each county, family reunification, boil water notices, debris reporting, insurance resources, available gas stations, power outage details, school closures, traffic, weather, a list of open camping areas, rumor control and more.

“At GreatFlorida Insurance, we are making every effort to provide our customers with a quick response so they can piece their lives back together,” says Ellsworth Buck Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance company.

Gov. Rick Scott, issued an emergency order that ensures additional protections to Florida insurance policy holders. According to the Insurance Journal, the order requires that insurers perform the following.

  • Freeze any rate hikes for 90 days.
  • Provide an additional 90 days to policyholders to supply required information to their insurance company.
  • Rescind for 90 days, all non-renewals or cancellations issued to policyholders in the days leading up to Hurricane Michael. This gives policyholders 90 days to either renew their insurance policy or find a new insurance policy.

For those interested in helping financially, Charity Navigator has highly rated the following charities. They will help by providing food, shelter, medical care and other necessities to victims of the storm.

Team Rubicon, https://teamrubiconusa.org

Samaritan’s Purse, https://www.samaritanspurse.org

All Hands and Hearts- Smart Response, https://www.allhandsandhearts.org/programs/hurricane-michael-relief/

Direct Relief, https://www.directrelief.org/emergency/hurricane-michael/

Many good Samaritans have packed up trucks with food and supplies to come and aid storm victims utilizing their own resources.

The post Hurricane Michael- What is being done? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
10/2/2018

It’s fall in Florida, that means, football, pumpkin-spice and flu shots. October just started and there are already confirmed cases of the flu.

Last year, 80,000 people died from the flu in the U.S. The largest number of casualties in four decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Americans made 900,000 hospital visits. The CDC also reports last year’s flu season, was the most severe since the pandemic in 2009.

“There is really no reason to avoid a flu shot this year,” comments Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency in Florida. “It’s readily available, quick and for most people free.”

The Florida Department of Health recommends everyone over the age of six months old receive a flu shot by the end of October. The flu vaccine is convenient to get and available at most pharmacies such as CVS, Publix and Walgreens, walk-in clinics, public health facilities and your doctor’s office.

“Many health insurance companies cover the cost of the flu vaccine, but in case, check with your insurance beforehand to see if your plan requires your shot from a particular office or location,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance agency.

The Florida Department of Health reports, “Influenza or the flu, is a respiratory infection caused by a variety of flu viruses. The “flu” is a common catch-all term used for a variety of illnesses, but it correctly applies only to the upper respiratory diseases caused by the influenza virus.”

While, getting a flu shot will not guarantee you will not get the flu, research shows people who receive the vaccination experience less severe complications. A CDC study in 2017, showed that vaccination reduced flu deaths among children with high-risk medical conditions by half and among healthy children by about two-thirds.

To keep updated of national and state flu activity, check out the Florida Health Department’s web page at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/influenza/index.html.

GreatFlorida Insurance is committed to helping Floridians stay healthy. Our experienced agents can offer you and your family quality health insurance policies to fit your needs while staying within your budget. Call us at 888-478-7801 or go online to www.greatflorida.com for a free quote today.

 

 

 

The post Think you don’t need a flu shot? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
9/6/2018

Animal related insurance claims

 Florida is known for its abundant wildlife population. Green space surrounds many of our highways, increasing the chances of an animal-auto collision.

“When driving at night, it is almost impossible to avoid a collision once an animal steps or jumps onto the roadway,” observes Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency.

The U.S. Department of Transportation claims an estimated one to two million collisions between a car and large animal occur every year.

A recent study from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), analyzes the number of animal-related insurance losses for the years 2014-2017.  All animal-related claims went up 6 percent over the four-year period.

The most common animals involved in auto collisions include: deer, racoon, dog, turkey, coyote with deer being the most frequent victim. Additional animals often struck by cars in Florida include the alligator, Florida panther, black bear and birds.

“If animal related accidents are a concern for you or you frequently travel near wooded areas, you might want to check out comprehensive coverage through your car insurance policy,” recommends Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

Consider these wildlife-auto collision statistics from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

A collision with some form of wildlife occurs on average every 39 minutes.

The average repair cost of a car-deer collision is $2,8000.

Approximately 200 motorists die every year in car-wildlife collisions.

1 out of every 17 car collisions involve wandering wildlife.

89% of all wildlife collisions occur on roads with 2 lanes.

84% of all wildlife collisions occur in good weather on dry roads.

If you unexpectedly come upon an animal in the road while driving, experts advise not swerving. Consequences could be more severe if you hit an oncoming vehicle. It is recommended to hit your brakes, honk the horn and duck low behind the dashboard.

The post To Swerve or Not to Swerve appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
8/23/2018

Good relationships between neighbors strengthen the community you live in, however conflict between neighbors can lead to serious tension, lawsuits and even violence. “Discerning between an annoyance and a true nuisance will help you decide what course of action to take,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.

Below are a few of the most common neighbor complaints and how to handle them graciously.

Noisy neighbors

Firing up the lawn mower at 7 am on a Saturday, a barking dog, loud music or parties can violate your peace.  Whether you live in an apartment, condo or home with a yard, noisy neighbors are unsettling. Addressing your neighbor about noise is best handled with diplomacy while keeping your cool. Dealing with the issue before it threatens your civility is recommended. If the noise continues to persist after making a request to your neighbor, check to see if your community has laws prohibiting unreasonable noise, a noise ordinance or designated quiet times. You can also contact your landlord, or neighborhood association.

“If it comes to it, reach out to law enforcement who are trained to handle enforcing noise ordinances,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowners insurance agency.

Overhanging trees

Trees contribute to the beauty of nature and provide wonderful shade; however, they are also the source of hostility between neighbors. Here is the lowdown on how to handle potential tree issues. You can cut back overhanging branches but avoid pruning a tree if it will cause damage to it. Most communities have laws against excessive pruning. It is a good idea to alert your neighbor before pruning. If a tree trunk straddles property lines, you and your neighbor both own the tree, so it is best to get your neighbors permission to prune.

Consumer Reports informs, if there is a hazardous tree belonging to you or your neighbor, the local government will often step in and handle the situation or force the owner of the tree to act. You can locate the appropriate agency by contacting city hall or the county courthouse. When it comes to leaves, fruit and debris, if a tree is jointly owned, you and your neighbor share the maintenance as well as the rewards. If the tree is not commonly owned, each of you deal with the debris on your own property.

According to legal support website, LegalZoom, “If the roots are pushing onto your property, they are considered an encroachment in the same manner as fences and other physical belongings.” They go on to explain, if the roots cross your property line, the tree owner is responsible for the removal.

Property Lines

If you feel as if your neighbor is encroaching upon your space, you will find yourself in a boundary line dispute. A little research is required. Check your deed or settlement papers indicating your property lines. If you cannot locate them, try finding your plat online.  Assume, it was a mistake and show your neighbor your findings. It might be necessary for you to both have the property surveyed. Mediation is the next suggestion. If a situation gets out of hand, call the police and report trespassing.

The post Won’t You Be My Neighbor? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
8/16/2018

Before you dig into your favorite and nourishing breakfast consider, it could contain weed killer. A recent report found dangerous amounts of the herbicide, glyphosate, the active ingredient in weed killer Roundup in several oat-based breakfast foods.

“These findings are disturbing and require our attention without causing mayhem in your pantry,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance agency.

Environmental advocacy organization, The Environmental Working Group (EWG), conducted a study of oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars. Glyphosate was found in all, but five of the 29 regular and organic products tested.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and California scientists, believe glyphosate is a carcinogen. Last week, a California jury awarded a groundskeeper $289 million in damages. He claims long-term exposure to large amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup is responsible for his terminal cancer. Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, strongly disputes the finding that glyphosate is a carcinogen.

Also, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes glyphosate as one of the most widely used agricultural pesticides in  the U. S. and claims it is, “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” The EPA says there is no risk to human health when used accordingly. According to EWG, more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate is sprayed on American crops annually.

“In cases like this, where different experts have opposing conclusions, you must make decisions based on your beliefs,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency.

Below are the results of the study.

Potentially dangerous to children

Back to Nature Classic Granola

Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls, Original, Cereal

Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats

Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal

Giant Instant Oatmeal Original Flavor

Great Value Original Instant Oatmeal

Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran Cereal

Lucky Charms (without the marshmallows)

Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream

Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats ‘n Honey

Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats ‘n Honey

Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal

Quaker Old Fashioned Oats

Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisin and Almonds

Quaker Steel Cut Oats

Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan

Contains safe amounts of glyphosate

Back to Nature Banana Walnut Granola Clusters

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry

KIND Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut

KIND Vanilla, Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds

Nature’s Path Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats

Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar

Whole Foods Bulk Bin conventional rolled oats

Contained no glyphosate in any tests

365 Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Berry, granola bar

Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted Cereal

Nature’s Path Organic Honey Almond Granola

Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, Original

The post Weed killer found in popular breakfast foods appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
8/9/2018

“Being on the water, provides a sense of calm and clarity,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent boat insurance agency.

In his book, Blue Mind, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist, explains that being on, in or near the water improves creativity, emotional health and relaxation. It can also heal the mind and body.

In the book, he describes the state of a “red mind” and its antidote, a “blue mind.” A red mind is characterized by stress, anxiety and fear, whereas a blue mind is described as calm, peaceful and happy. A blue mind can be achieved by being in, near, on, under or around water. Such as being on a boat. He describes to Discover Boating, that a blue mind, gives our minds a break, it helps us to disconnect from tech and connect with our thoughts and insights as well as with other people.

Research shows walking on the beach, hanging out at the lake or even taking a dip in the pool can calm you down while sparking creativity. He shares with Huffington Post some additional benefits to being around water.

Water gives our brains a rest.

Water can induce a meditative state.

Water can inspire us to be more compassionate and connected.

Exercise by or in water is good for our brains and our bodies.

“These findings explain why we feel so much joy when boating,” observes Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

Boat rental website, Carefree Boat Club, explains that boating allows you to create bonding experiences and enjoy memories with family and friends. They report, according to studies, boaters respond to stress or stressful situations in a manner better than non-boaters.

So, the next time you are debating that fishing trip or all-day outing at the beach, remember, it can benefit your health, body and mind.

The post Can Boating Help Us Be Our Better Selves? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
8/1/2018

Over the last two months, U.S. health officials have issued several warnings regarding certain foods associated with foodborne illnesses. “While food poisoning might just seem like something you have to ride out, some symptoms can be quite serious,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance agency.

Below are details about foods it is best to continue avoiding.

Salads and Wraps

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a public health alert for salads and wraps from Trader Joe’s, Walgreens and Kroger. The food is possibly contaminated with the cyclospora parasite from a lettuce contamination. The tainted food contains beef, poultry or pork and was distributed by Caito Foods, LLC. It is also the cause for McDonald’s to stop selling salads at over 3,000 of their locations this summer. Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness that causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting fatigue and fever.

Ground Beef

Win Opportunity Knocks recalled more than 6,000 pounds of frozen and fresh ground beef from St. Petersburg due to an E.coli contamination.

Snacks

The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public health alert for foods that contain whey powder. The powder is produced by, Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI). The recall was prompted by a positive test for salmonella. A few companies have issued voluntary recalls of their snacks containing whey powder. Recalled items include:

Ritz Crackers-Ritz Bits and Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and mixed cookie and cracker variety packs.

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers-The recalled flavors include, Flavor Blasted Xtra Cheddar, Flavor Blasted Sour Cream & Onion, Goldfish Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar and Goldfish Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel.

Swiss Rolls– Swiss Rolls are distributed nationwide under a variety of brand names.

Another snack food to avoid is Taco Bell Salsa Con Queso Mild Cheese Dip for possible botulism. Botulism is a potentially fatal form of food poising. It can cause dizziness, double vision, trouble with speaking or swallowing, difficulty in breathing and constipation.

Cereal

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal recalled in June and again in July is responsible for over 100 people falling ill in 33 states with salmonella.

On a side note, as of July 26, the CDC declared the melon outbreak was over and it is safe to consume again.

“If you experience any symptoms you feel might be related to food poisoning, seek immediate help from your doctor or healthcare professional,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance agency.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimate that each year 48 million people fall ill from food poisoning, while 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. While it seems more foods are contaminated this year

Experts credit legislation and updated technology to the increase of food recalls by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The post Food Recalls: Products to Avoid appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.