Step 1: How BIA Helps
As an independent health insurance broker we are licensed by the state of Oregon to represent and work for our clients in the purchase and service of their insurance products. Unlike a captive insurance agent who represents that insurance company alone, we as a broker are independent of a specific insurance company. We work throughout the State of Oregon By using an insurance broker you pay the same price for your insurance as you would if you went directly through the health insurance company.
You will get information on many companies in one place with no bias to sell one over another. You will also receive personal customer service with any issues you may have. We hope you will take some time to look through the individual and family health insurance information we have provided for you.
Step 2: What are Annuities?
There are two primary types of annuities that we deal with fixed and indexed annuities.
Step 3: Questions to Ask Before Buying
If you've decided that an annuity makes sense for you, here are a few key questions to ask yourself before signing up:
- Have you done some comparison shopping and considered all of your options? Because annuities are long-term savings vehicles, you'll want to make sure the company you pick will be around at least as long as you will. Different annuities offer a wide range of choices, prices, features and flexibility.
- Does the rate on a fixed annuity look too good to be true? You want a competitive interest rate at renewal time. If the company is offering bonus rates (a higher interest rate for a set period of time) make sure the underlying interest rate and the company selling the annuity are financially viable. Once the bonus rate term expires, there is no guarantee going forward that renewal rates will be competitive. Be especially careful if you are exchanging annuities.
- What are the annuity's surrender fees and how long are they in place? If the surrender fee is high (typical fees are around 6-7% and decline over a period of approximately five to seven years), you could feel locked into a contract from which it will be costly to escape.
- Will your ordinary income tax rate be greater than the current capital gains rate when you begin to take distributions (possibly at retirement)? If so, you may pay more in taxes by choosing annuities over another investment that would be taxed at the capital gains rate. Keep in mind, however, that your money in an annuity is accumulating on a tax-deferred basis. By selecting an annuity, you avoid paying yearly ordinary income tax on the earnings while your money compounds and grows.
- What is the insurance company's rating? While anyone who is properly licensed to sell insurance products (e.g., banks, brokers, agents) can sell annuities, the annuity contract is issued by an insurance company. So, you'll want to consider the company's rating. Is it financially secure, with a good claims paying record? While this is most important for fixed annuities, it is relevant to any guarantees (e.g., death benefit) in a variable annuity as well. Checking up on an insurance company is easy at your local library, or you can contact your state's Department of Insurance. A.M. Best, Standard & Poor's and Moody's all rate the financial stability of insurance company general accounts. Morningstar and VARD's evaluate and report information on variable contracts only. Variable annuities are rated by independent sources such as Lipper Analytical Services, VARD's and Morningstar. It's a good idea to choose an annuity from a company that gets high marks from at least two independent rating sources.
- Client Services
(Claim Forms, Applications, State of Oregon Care Facilities & Get a Quote)