GreatFlorida Insurance - Ceci Wise - Apollo Beach Insurance

Healthcare Insurance Quotes in Apollo Beach, FL

Ceci Wise, Agent

813-645-7616

437 Apollo Beach Blvd
Apollo Beach, FL  33572
Fax : 813-849-0856

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Healthcare Insurance Apollo BeachHealthcare 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 813-645-7616 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Health Care Insurance Agent in Apollo Beach will help you find the best deal for you.

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Florida Healthcare  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance
5/16/2018

The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. “Current research proves hurricanes are growing stronger and occurring more frequently,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

Colorado State University predicts a slightly above average Atlantic hurricane season, with 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Whereas, The Weather Channel, is predicting 13 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

While thunderstorms commonly occur in Florida, hail is not as common. It is a type of frozen precipitation that occurs within strong to severe storms any time of the year. Hail causes approximately $1 billion in property damage annually nationwide.

Hail can dent your automobile’s hood, trunk and doors. It can break and crack mirrors and windows and cause damaged or stuck doorjambs.

“It is really tempting to observe the novelty of anything frozen falling from the sky but hail can be dangerous, especially if it is sizable,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance agency.

If you are out driving when a hailstorm hits, don’t panic. Below are tips to stay safe on the road.

Slow down and be aware of other drivers around you who make not know how to react when driving in a hailstorm.

Create distance between you and the driver ahead of you.

Safely, get off the road. The impact of hail is greater on a moving object, so your car is at greater risk of damage when it is moving forward.

Look for coverage close by such as a gas station awning or garage.  Avoid trees, falling branches can cause more damage.

If you stop under a bridge or overpass be sure to pull completely out of traffic lanes and onto the shoulder.

Do not leave your car.

Try and keep your car at an angle so hail hits it from the front. Windshields are reinforced to withstand pelting objects. Side windows and back glass are not, they are much more vulnerable to shatter or break.

If the hail is severe, cover your eyes or the eyes of any passengers with a blanket. Get face down in the backseat or floor, face away from any windows.

Stay clear of culverts or ditches that quickly fill with water.

Most comprehensive auto insurance policies will cover hail damage. Once the hail damage is accessed, work with your insurance agent to file a claim and get your car into an auto body shop to repair any dents or other damage caused by the storm.

The post Protect Your Car from Hail Damage This Storm Season appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
5/9/2018

Hawaiian lawmakers recently passed a bill prohibiting the sale of sunscreen containing chemicals known to harm coral reefs.

“Once signed by governor David Ige, it will be the first law of its kind,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatForida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

The chemicals contributing to the destruction of coral reefs and other ocean wildlife are oxybenzone and octinoxate. These are common ingredients found in over 3,500 popular sunscreens such as Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat.

Oxybenzone and octinoxate are chemicals that filter and absorb UV light, blocking out the sun’s radiation and extending the amount of time a person can spend in the sun. However, like most topical products, they wash off in the water causing damage to coral and fish. According to coral reef advocates, Be Reef Safe, 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen end up on coral reefs every year.

A 2015 study conducted by a group of scientists of coral reefs in Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Israel found oxybenzone and octinoxate leach nutrients from coral, bleach it white and reduce its resiliency. The chemicals are known endocrine disrupters, even a tiny amount can damage coral.

“The largest coral reef in the continental U.S. is the Florida Reef, found in the Keys,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatForida Insurance, Florida’s top independent boat insurance agency.

It is the third largest barrier reef ecosystem in the world. It too is being threatened by using these chemicals. In order to protect the future of Florida’s reef tract a similar bill could be passed in Florida. As the public becomes aware of the threat these chemicals pose to coral reef and underwater wildlife, it could prompt action to preserve our beloved reef.

Best thing to do now is read sunscreen labels and avoid oxybenzone and octinoxate. There other ingredients available in sunscreens that can effectively protect your skin. Most importantly, cover up. Sunscreen, should be the last line of defense.

The post Could Florida Ban Sunscreen? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
4/18/2018

2018 Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22. The theme for this year’s Earth Day focuses on ending plastic pollution. Single-use plastic is believed to be the biggest source of trash in and around water worldwide.

We use plastic everyday- plastic bags, toothbrushes, water bottles, product packaging. It’s hard to go a day without plastic,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent boat insurance agency.

Some alarming statistics about plastic include the following:

2.5 million plastic bottles are used every hour in the U.S. (Recycle Across America)

8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean every year (Recycle Across America)

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the world’s largest collection of floating trash has grown to 600,000 square miles, twice the size of Texas. (Scientific Reports)

According to the website, Earthday.org, plastic poisons and injures marine life, disrupts human hormones, litters beaches and landscapes and clogs our waste streams and landfills. The movement is hoping to inspire and inform people into changing their attitude about plastics.

So, what can one person do to make a difference? Below is a list of suggestions to help you reduce the use of plastic.

Carry your own reusable shopping bags to the store.

Stop buying bottled water, carry a reusable water bottle.

Use a refillable mug at the coffee shop, you can even get a discount for it.

Say “no” to straws.

Checking your packaging. When possible, choose paper packaging over plastic, such as a box for pasta rather than a plastic bag.

Trade in your disposable razor for one you that you only must switch out the blade.

Change up your food storage. Instead of using plastic baggies or plastic wrap, try mason jars, bento boxes or glass containers.

Recycle

“Doing something is better that do nothing,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

If we all try and make one or two changes to our plastic use, collectively, we can make a difference. Consumer choice speaks loudly.

 

 

 

The post Trashing the ocean appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
4/5/2018

Recently, an 11-ft. alligator made its way into a homeowner’s swimming pool in Sarasota, FL after busting through the patio screen.

A seven-ft. alligator caused a traffic jam on Easter Sunday in Jacksonville, while trying to cross Interstate 295.

Warmer weather is bringing out alligators.

“Most Floridians have seen an alligator lurking around, especially golfers,” comments Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent boat insurance agency.

In 2017, the Statewide Alligator Nuisance Program (SNAP), received 13, 210 nuisance alligator complaints resulting in the removal of 8, 455 nuisance alligators.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), This once endangered species, has a healthy and stable alligator population estimated at 1.3 million in a variety of sizes just in Florida. In addition, alligators inhabit all 67 counties in Florida

An important part of Florida’s wetlands and eco-system, alligators become more active when the temperature rises and their metabolism increases. Mating season is from April – June.

“While alligators are a part of the Florida landscape, you certainly want to keep your distance,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent boat insurance agency.

Alligators are unique, in the fact they that inhabit land and water. This feature also makes them very dangerous. American zookeeper, Jack Hanna says an alligator can outrun all human creatures within the first 20-30 feet of exiting the water, making it very difficult for humans to outrun alligators.

The Key West Aquarium, has advice for living with alligators:

Avoid feeding an alligator, it is dangerous and illegal.

Stay at a safe distance of at least 50 feet away.

Do not approach an alligator to take a selfie.

Avoid checking to see if an alligator is alive.

Before entering a freshwater stream, lake or spring, check around. Alligators are often around even if you don’t see them.

Keep pets on a leash and away from the water.

Steer clear of water at night.

If one bites you, make as much noise as possible. Work hard to get away, use force and try poking at their eyes.

People with concerns about an alligator can call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline, 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

 

 

 

 

The post Here come the alligators appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
3/14/2018

This year’s legislative session was unique. The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School prompted action from lawmakers, shifting the agenda toward the end. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s Legislature passed the fewest bills in two decades. The lack of progress could be due to the unexpected gun debate that took place. In response, legislators passed gun-control measures for the first time in 20 years.

Many of the same issues, along with some new debates were brought up again among lawmakers. Let’s look at what passed and what fell short.

FAILED

A bill to repeal the no-fault auto insurance system, requiring drivers to carry personal injury or PIP Coverage.

“Florida lawmakers have argued over eliminating PIP and replacing it with a fault-based system for years. It seems to never gain enough momentum to become law,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance company.

An effort to ban fracking, the controversial oil- and natural- gas drilling process.

A ban to red-light cameras.

A proposal allowing law enforcement officers to pull people over for texting while driving. A practice, the National Safety Council reports causes 1,600,000 accidents a year.

Creation of new specialty license tags.

Guns at church.

PASSED

Tax cuts by $168.6 million- including a property tax break for homeowners displaced by hurricane Irma and nursing homes that purchase electrical generators. It also includes back-to-school holiday exempting sales tax on clothing and school supplies and reduces sales tax on business rents.

“It adds an 18 percent reduction in penalties for non-criminal traffic infractions for drivers who attend driving school,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent auto insurance company.

Permanent daylight saving time.

Permits trained school employees to carry concealed weapons in school, raises the age requirement for gun purchases from 18 to 21, imposes a three-day waiting period for rifles and other long guns, allows police to seize weapons from those who pose a danger to themselves and others, and bans the sale of bump stocks.

A bill to make threats of mass shooting and terrorist attacks a second-degree felony.

Expansion of mental health services in public school.

K-12 -Creates voucher-like scholarships to pay for students who are bullied in public schools so they can attend private schools. Requires all schools to visibly display the Florida state motto, “In God We Trust,” and allows tenants of commercial property to direct tax revenue of up to $57.5 million in rent into the account of two scholarship programs.

More money for the state’s Bright Future’s merit scholarship program.

A homeowners’ insurance policy must visibly state that hurricane insurance does not include flood insurance.

Creation of the first Florida Slavery Memorial built on Capitol grounds.

Prescription limits on opioids and money for addiction treatment.

A resolution declaring pornography a health risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Winners and Losers from the 2018 Florida Legislature appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
2/27/2018

The Florida Highway Patrol reports recently, that an elderly man was driving the wrong way on a Florida highway in an RV. The RV struck a truck head on, killing the truck driver and passenger. Three days later, the RV driver also passed from his injuries. Not only was the senior driver driving the wrong way, his lights were not on at the time of the crash. 29 days before the accident, he passed a driving test in his home state of Michigan.

After hearing a tragic story like this, it’s tempting to set age restrictions on a driver’s license. “Keep in mind, people age at differing rates,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency. One 75-year-old can barely get out of bed in the morning, while another person the same age, does yoga and goes for a run.

A decline in vision, cognitive functioning (the ability to reason and remember), physical limitations along with medical conditions and prescription medication can hinder the ability to drive. The most common condition the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) decides to restrict a license is for failing cognitive skills including memory, coordination and flexibility.

Although, more options are available for aging drivers. “Driver programs and car innovations are readily available to meet the challenges of senior drivers,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent auto insurance agency.

For example, The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), has developed the Florida GrandDriver program for aging drivers. It is an education and outreach initiative that provides information and resources on driving safely and how to plan for safe transitioning from driving. Also, Driver Rehabilitation Specialists offer refresher courses to keep driving skills sharp.

While it is important for senior drivers to maintain their driving independence, eventually elderly drivers and their family must have the difficult conversation about when driving capabilities are beginning to diminish and causing potential danger for others on the road and themselves. Consumer Reports found safety is the biggest motivator for handing over the keys.

How do you know it is time to have that awkward discussion with your loved one? AARP, has some warning signs that indicate a person should begin to limit or stop driving.

Delayed response to unexpected situations.

Becoming easily distracted while driving.

Decrease in confidence while driving.

Having difficulty moving into or maintaining the correct lane of traffic.

Hitting curbs when making right turns or backing up.

Getting scrapes or dents on car, garage or mailbox.

Having frequent close calls.

Driving too fast or too slow for road conditions.

The DHSMV requires that Florida drivers age 80 or older who renew their license undergo a basic vision test.

 

The post Too old to drive? appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance
2/21/2018

Across the country hearts are heavy, grieving the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. “These tragedies impact our communities-our parents, our children, our school professionals, our first responders-the mental health of our whole country,” reminds the professionals with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“Even if someone is not involved directly traumatic events, especially within our state, burden our hearts and minds,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent health insurance provider.

Many people experience sadness, anxiety or anger. Some have trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating. Their minds are dominated by the details of the event. These symptoms typically decrease over time.

Effective and healthy ways to cope during this time include:

Talking to your children about the incident, discuss how it makes them feel.

Limit news and social media exposure. Continuous exposure causes a person to relive the trauma. Also, descriptions and images in the media can cause fear in kids going to school.

Maintain your normal routine.

Connect with people in positive ways. Talk with people and take the time to listen to others. Tell people you care about that you love them.

“Doing something for others can help you channel stressful feelings,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance provider.

However, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), points out that in some cases the anxiety will continue and interfere with everyday life. For people who continue to experience the effects of trauma, it is important to get professional help. Signs to look for include the following:

  • Worrying a lot or feeling very anxious, sad or fearful
  • Crying often
  • Having trouble thinking clearly
  • Having frightening thoughts
  • Feeling angry
  • Having nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Avoiding places or people that bring back disturbing memories and responses.

Our world seems to be experiencing tragedy and stress on a more frequent basis. Be sure to slow down and be kind to yourself as well as others.

The post Coping with tragedy appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.