GreatFlorida Healthcare Insurance - Lake Wales, FL - Esther Echeverria
Healthcare Insurance in Lake Wales, Florida
Healthcare Insurance Agency in Lake Wales, Florida

Healthcare Insurance Agency - Lake Wales, FL

Esther Echeverria


Esther Echeverria - GreatFlorida Insurance - Lake Wales, FL.

1386 State Road 60 East
Lake Wales, FL. 33853
Fax : 863-676-3432

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Lake Wales, FL Health Insurance

Healthcare Insurance | Lake Wales, FL

You might be the picture of health, or have suffered with health issues for years. No matter your situation, there is no denying Lake Wales, FL residents need health insurance.

GreatFlorida Insurance can help you navigate through the process of selecting the right coverage level for you and your family.  Our relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida or Florida Blue, offers our customers quality healthcare services with a broad range of network doctors and healthcare specialist in Lake Wales.

Esther Echeverria at GreatFlorida Insurance Lake Wales, FL will explain the new healthcare laws, plan features and benefits as well as co-pays and deductibles. We will make sure to find a plan that fits your budget while leaving you feeling comfortable about your future healthcare plan.

Your local GreatFlorida Insurance Agent in Lake Wales can help you find the right Healthcare Insurance policy at the right price. more...

Lake Wales, FL Health InsuranceHealthcare Coverage FAQs

You cannot afford to gamble with your health. Life’s unforeseen events such as an accident or sudden illness can catch you off guard financially.

GreatFlorida Insurance has affordable medical coverage in Lake Wales that can protect you and your family from emergencies and keep you maintaining a healthy lifestyle with preventive care.

Our experienced agents in Lake Wales can help you asses your current and future healthcare needs to find health insurance to fit your budget.

We offer flexible healthcare plans that provide a variety of services while offering a comprehensive network of doctors and medical facilities for your convenience.

Do not let the cost of medical insurance rob you of a healthy lifestyle. GreatFlorida Insurance can make it easy for you to find affordable, quality health care coverage.

Lake Wales, FL Health InsuranceDo 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 863-676-2886 or complete our online quote request form. A GreatFlorida Health Care Insurance Agent in Lake Wales will help you find the best deal for you.

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Florida Healthcare  Insurance Blog
by GreatFlorida Insurance

When filing your taxes, you want to take every opportunity possible to save money on expenses that can reduce your taxable income.

“Deductions are sometimes available on health programs and treatments such as smoking cessation, weight loss and alcohol and drug abuse, if it is not covered under your current health insurance policy,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent healthcare insurance agency.”

Below is a list of some commonly missed tax deductions and credits that could be available to you.deduct-home-business-expenses

  • State and Local Sales Tax Deduction– Floridians do not pay a state income tax making taxpayers eligible to deduct state income tax paid on purchases. If you purchased a large item such as a car or boat, you can add the sales tax paid to the amount sown on the IRS tax table.
  • Charitable Contributions-Money donated to your church, a charity or even if you purged your closet or home of household items and dropped them off at Goodwill, those can be counted. Out-of-pocket expenses such as food ingredients needed to prepare meals for a soup kitchen or if you drove your car for charitable activities, you can deduct 14 cents per mile.
  • Tuition-There are Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits, as well as the American Opportunity Tax Credit available for those taking classes. A tax credit is available for tuition, fees, books and other educational supplies for you, your spouse or dependents.
  • Health Insurance-“Health insurance premiums for self-employed people, are 100 percent deductible from their gross income,” reports Buck from GreatFlorida Insurance.
  • Job Relocation-Your moving expenses are deductible if you took a first job and moved more than 50 miles away. You can deduct 23 cents per mile of getting you and your household goods to the new area, including parking and tolls.
  • Casualty, Disaster and Theft-Casualty, disaster and theft losses can be deducted on your tax form, but the IRS has some stipulations. The IRS states, “You may not deduct casualty and theft losses, (generally covered by homeowner’s insurance) unless you reduce the loss by the amount of any reimbursement or expected reimbursement.”
  • National Guard-National Guard and Reservists can claim overnight travel expenses.
  • Gambling Losses-Your losses cannot surpass your winnings, which must be reported.
  • Child Care-A child care tax credit is offered, worth 20 – 35 percent of what you pay in childcare while you work.

Financial management company, Intuit suggests a tax credit is better than a tax deduction because it reduces your tax, dollar-for-dollar. As painful as filing your taxes is, take your time to think back over your finances for the year to save money on your taxes.

GreatFlorida Insurance is the leading independent insurance company in Florida, offering health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance and boat insurance. Call us today for a free quote.

The post Overlooked Tax Deductions appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

“Everyone is familiar with the harmful health effects that result from smoking, but many smokers probably do not take the time to calculate the expense attached to the habit,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent health insurance provider.

For years Floridians have been educated on the dangers of smoking.  The American Lung Association reports, “More than 480,000 people in the U.S. die every year from tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke. It is the leading cause of preventable death in this country.”

Cigarettes are loaded with cancer causing chemicals and are the primary source of lung cancer and COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also causes coronary heart disease and stroke with a list of other health issues.

You cannot ignore the addiction of smoking without being sympathetic to the difficultly in breaking the habit.  Nicotine is a physical, social and psychological addiction.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, close to 35 million smokers want to quit each year. Unfortunately, more than 85 percent of those who try to quit on their own relapse within a week.

“Most smokers confess that smoking is bad for your health, but that doesn’t make it easier to quit,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance.

If the above evidence isn’t enough to persuade you to quit, personal finance website, recently published a study calculating the costs of smoking per state. “The study calculated the potential monetary losses including the cost of a pack of cigarettes per day over several decades, healthcare expenditures, income loss and other costs brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Over a lifetime, the average smoker in Florida will spend, $1, 453,333. Healthcare costs are estimated at $163, 277. Over a year, the average Florida smoker will spend $28, 497 with healthcare costs totaling $3, 202.

Whether the figures are exact for each smoker or a mere generalization, the fact is smoking is a drain on your wallet, healthcare costs and more importantly your life.

GreatFlorida Insurance provides health insurance that covers the cost of programs designed to help smokers to quit. Check with our independent insurance agents across Florida today to see how they can help.




The post The Real Cost of Smoking appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

What is important to you when it comes to selecting insurance? There is no right or wrong response, the answer is based on personal preferences.

A survey of over 400 agents and brokers from Insurance Journal found overall, regional insurance carriers scored better than national carriers. “Local insurance provides an opportunity for more personalized service, you’re not just a number” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent auto insurance agency in Florida.

In order to guide you through your decision making process, below is a list of the top ten reasons to choose a Florida based insurance agent rather than a nationally based one.

  1. Customer Service – When calling a local agent, you will get them phone, giving you one- on- one service. Your personal agent is already familiar with your policy and coverage. When you phone a national insurance company, you will most likely reach a call center and a different representative every time.
  2. Personal Contact – Local insurers are better at building personal relationships and getting to know their clients. They ask you specific questions and examine your needs more to make sure you are not underinsured. They can also make you aware of discounts, special savings or bundling opportunities for your car insurance and homeowner’s insurance.
  3. Know the Area – A local insurance agent has intimate knowledge of your area. They can assess possible risks and will inform you if you require specific coverage. For instance, if your home address is in a flood zone and you require flood insurance not just homeowner’s insurance. They are also familiar with common claims in the area and can make recommendations due to that information.
  4. Human Resources – A local insurance agent can serve as your personal HR department if you own a small business. If one of your employees has a question regarding their health insurance, they can inquire with the agent.
  5. Flexibility – Local insurance agencies will offer more flexibility to customize coverage. National insurers usually work off a standard operating procedure.
  6. Second chances – No one is perfect. If your driving history has a blemish, local insurance agencies are less rigid and more accommodating to offer car insurance coverage. A national carrier often has their hands tied to strict company policy.
  7. Options -A local independent insurance agency, such as GreatFlorida Insurance, can comparison shop with different insurance providers for you. While a captive agent is obligated to one insurance company.
  8. Support a Local Business – Money spent locally, stays in your community. Forbes points out; local businesses will give back to the community, further increasing community character and economic benefits to build up the area.
  9. Prompt Service – Direct access to your agent usually means you get answers quicker and the claims administration process will be faster.
  10. Security – With the constant breach of security at large companies online, inputting your personal data can leave you more vulnerable. Knowing who you are submitting your personal information directly to feels more secure.

GreatFlorida Insurance has been offering auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance throughout Florida for 25 years. Our independent insurance agents can find the right insurance for you, give us a call.buylocalbanner

The post Buying Insurance Local vs National appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

As a new year begins, many people make resolutions and pledges in hopes to living a happier and healthier lifestyle. That usually means making changes to the way you currently live.

“Most doctors will be quick to tell you the benefit to simplifying your life, is a decrease in stress,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, one of Florida’s leading healthcare insurance providers. “Reducing stress levels can save your health and sanity.”

Streamlining your life is not a new idea. The simplicity movement is taking hold and has many followers who believe you can be more with less.

Writer and Minimalist, Joshua Becker has a website,, where he shares 10 tips on how to simplify your life and the benefits it offers.

  1. Possessions – We love our belongings, but sometimes they can begin to take over and complicate our lives. Becker recommends removing the non-essentials. Salvation Army or Goodwill are reliable charities that will accept your donations. Some stores such as H&M and Ann Taylor will offer a discount on your purchases in exchange for your used clothing.
  2. Time Commitments – Extracurricular activities are great, but they can become a drain on your time. “Remove activities that are not in line with your greatest values,” recommends Becker.
  3. Goals – Setting goals for your life will no doubt help you create purpose, but too many goals can be overwhelming and cause you to lose focus. Put your efforts toward one achievement at a time. Once that is accomplished you can focus on your next goal.
  4. Negative Thoughts – Negative thoughts are useless. They consume your mind and cause depressing emotions. “If you are positive, you’ll see opportunities not obstacles,” Activist Dr. Widad Akrawi. “Positive thoughts and positive self-talk can help with stress and improve your outlook on life, improving your mental health,” says Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top health insurance agency.
  5. Debt – Financial debt will control you. Even if you can only do a little, start working toward getting from under its power.
  6. Your Words – Proverbs says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Becker urges people to communicate clearly and honestly with people, “mean what you say and avoid gossip.”
  7. Artificial Ingredients – It doesn’t take a doctor to know, natural is good for your body. Natural rather than artificial ingredients can boost your energy and help you feel better. Take the time to read the labels of your most often purchased foods. Check for partially hydrogenated oil, artificial sweeteners, MSG and BHA- butylated hydroxyanisole. Men’s Fitness reports, BHA is considered a carcinogen by the Department of Health and Human Services but allowed by the FDA.
  8. Screen Time – The amount of time you spend in front of the computer, TV or a mobile device can affect your physical and psychological health. Your attitude can be greatly influenced by the media.
  9. Connections to the World – Relationships with people are good but, a constant stream of distractions from social media is not healthy. Becker points out, “A steady flow of distractions from other people make us feel important needed and wanted, but feeling important and accomplishing importance are completely different things.”
  10. Multitasking – Multitasking deceives us into thinking we are extra productive. Research from Stanford University actually found that multitasking is less productive than performing one task at a time. Their study found it can lower your IQ and even cause brain damage. Focus on accomplishing one task at a time and doing it well, before moving on to the next thing.

Simplifying your life can help you live a healthier and happier life by reducing stress, promoting healthy behaviors, all while being “present” and living in the moment.

If you are looking for top notch health insurance in Florida, contact GreatFlorida Insurance today.


The post Simplifying Your Life appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.

by GreatFlorida Insurance

 “Passing on the latest product and food recalls are one of the ways we can keep our employees and customers healthy and safe,” said Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent healthcare insurance agency.

USA Today declared just last month, one of the hottest toys/tech gadgets for Christmas was the hoverboard. It’s a motorized, self-balancing, two-wheel scooter. The hoverboard is available from several manufacturers and is powered by a lithium battery and operated by leaning in and balancing.

Just as this in demand gift was hitting its rise, several accounts began coming in to the U.S. Product Safety Commission.  CBS News reports the number of injuries and fires associated with the hoverboard has increased to 25 percent in the past several days. Many injuries are fall and collision related while there are also reports of the boards catching fire.

The agency is not issuing a recall until they can determine what is causing the hoverboards to overheat and catch fire. Meanwhile several retailers such as Costco, Amazon and are ceasing the sale of some models.  All major U.S. Airlines have banned hoverboards on planes. They are citing the lithium-ion batteries responsible for charging the boards as a potential problem.maxresdefault

Products are not the only recent recalls. With outbreaks of norovirus and E.coli at the popular restaurant Chipotle, it is an unfortunate reminder that food and product recalls happen on sometimes a daily basis. Some popular food products that caught our eye at GreatFlorida Insurance are listed below.

  • Sweet Leaf Tea – glass fragments have been found in some products. The recall affects 1.5 million bottles of the organic tea and lemonade.
  • Tyson Foods – has recalled over 50,000 pounds of fully cooked chicken wings. The product is detailed as having an, “off-odor” and causing mild illness.
  • Stella & Chewy’s – some of the dog and cat food has tested positive for listeria monocytogens bacteria. Over 990 cases have been reported.

Tyson1-1170x584Listeria is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections especially in young children, the elderly and others with a compromised immune system. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to listeria because the illness can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.

Symptoms include fever, severe headache, nausea, stiff neck, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Pets can spread the bacteria to humans while they rarely show signs of the disease.

GreatFlorida Insurance wants to keep you safe by keeping you informed. We offer a variety of choices for health insurance to suit a variety of budgets. Give us a call today.


The post  Important Food and Product Recalls appeared first on The GreatFlorida Insurance Blog.