Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Open enrollment for children ends Oct. 31

Do you need health insurance for your child? Open enrollment for individual health insurance for children is now underway. From Sept. 15-Oct. 31 you can buy an individual plan for your child or add them to your plan with out having to fill out a health questionnaire.

Under health reform, health plans can no longer deny children coverage if they have a pre-existing medical condition, but they can create open enrollment periods. Washington state has two annual enrollment periods: March 15-April 30 and Sept. 15-Oct. 31.

If you need coverage now, don't wait. You have until the end of Oct., but the sooner you enroll, the faster you'll get coverage.

The next open enrollment starts March 15. Here's a list of plans in the individual market by county and what to do if you miss the enrollment period.

Life insurance explainer: What are life settlements?

Life settlements are when you sell your life insurance policy to someone else. You get immediate cash, and they collect the value of the policy when you die.

There's a similar type of transaction, known as a viatical settlement, in which a terminally ill person sells his or her life insurance to someone else.

Both these types of transactions are mentioned as options in a notice that life insurers are required to send to some Washington policyholders.

According to a New York Times article published last month, the fast-growing life settlements business swelled to $12 billion in transactions by 2007, but has dropped off dramatically, with only $3.8 billion worth of policies changing hands in 2010. Life settlements brokers maintain, however, that with trillions of dollars in life insurance out there, the industry is still in its infancy.