These unprecedented times have left many in a state of financial insecurity and concerned for their financial futures. Unpreparedness for sudden unemployment or the loss of a family’s primary wage earner has people scrambling to protect themselves and their families should they be directly affected by this pandemic.

COVID-19 has underscored the importance of protecting one’s family with life insurance. For many Americans, the easiest way of obtaining life insurance is through an employer benefit package. An employer’s insurance offerings are a core consideration when choosing a job, so it’s critical that in addition to comprehensive health insurance, you’re also offering robust life insurance options. But just offering life insurance isn’t enough anymore — employers also need to educate employees on the benefits of life insurance, detail the specifics of each available plan, and urge them to enroll as a proactive step in protecting their family’s financial security.

What to consider when choosing group life insurance
There are two main types of employer-provided group life insurance: Basic Employer-paid Life and Supplemental/Voluntary Life Insurance. Many employers offer Basic Employer-paid Life and cover part of the premium, but it’s also advised to offer Supplemental/Voluntary Life Insurance as well to ensure employees have sufficient coverage to meet their family’s needs. Employees who enroll in Supplemental/Voluntary Life Insurance have the cost deducted from their paychecks.

A comprehensive life insurance plan should also provide resources to help employees and their dependents navigate certain unexpected events or stressful times — the pandemic being a perfect example. Some additional benefits to look out for include counseling, financial and legal consultations, identity theft services, identity theft protection, and tools to help put together wills, power of attorney and other legal documents.

Offering life insurance options that go the extra mile will provide employees with a sense of security

By Tracy Rucinski and David Shepardson

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A $2.2 trillion draft bill for coronavirus aid unveiled by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives late Monday gave airlines some hope for a second bailout before tens of thousands of layoffs occur on Thursday, though tough hurdles remained.

“We remain hopeful that Congress will act swiftly before the current Payroll Support Program expires on September 30 to preserve the jobs of these flight attendants, pilots, mechanics, gate agents and others…,” CEO Nicholas Calio of trade group Airlines for America said in a statement.

Washington insiders said passage by Thursday, when an initial $25 billion that protected airline jobs through September expires, was unlikely, and the airline group did not detail the congressional action it hoped to see.

An option would be a quick standalone bill for the airlines, though senior Democratic congressional aides said that is also difficult given that many industries are seeking help.

International President of Flight Attendants-CWA Sara Nelson called the proposal, which includes $25 billion for airlines to keep workers on payroll for another six months, “a significant and serious move in negotiations.”

“It makes agreement on a full relief bill very possible in time to save our jobs,” she said.

Between United Airlines

and American Airlines

alone, more than 30,000 employees will be furloughed on Thursday, and tens of thousands more at those airlines and others have agreed to voluntary leave as the sector battles a deep downturn in demand.

The House bill would provide $28.3 billion for the aviation sector, including $25 billion for passenger airlines and $3 billion for cargo carriers, under the same terms as the first package in March.

The measure would provide $13.5 billion to airports as well as aid for other sectors, including $120 billion to restaurants.

It

“Health insurance is an enormous cost for small businesses,” said Amanda Ballantyne, the executive director of the Main Street Alliance, an advocacy group for small businesses. “It continues to be even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.”

Many businesses say they need Congress to provide more money, and health insurers say they support federal efforts to help employers continue their coverage. “We believe Congress should provide temporary subsidies or direct financial assistance for employers to protect the health and financial stability of hard-working Americans,” said Justine Handelman, a senior vice president at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents the nation’s Blue Cross plans.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers must return the excess profits if they do not spend at least 80 or 85 cents out of every dollar in premiums on customers’ health care. But even that provision strikes some as inadequate, given the current circumstances and the timing of the potential rebates.

“We are in the middle of a once-in-a-century health and economic crisis, and it will take everyone stepping up to do their part to get us past it — including health insurance companies,” said Representative Lauren Underwood, a Democrat from Illinois.

Dave Piersall, the owner of Lake Marine & RV, a boating business in Woodstock, Ill., used some of his federal aid on the $7,400-a-month insurance bill to cover his employees. “We came within inches of being canceled,” he said.

Although his business has rebounded as people have bought boats to help them cope with staying home, he worries about the coming cold weather. “I would be lying if I didn’t say winter is a scary time for the boat business,” Mr. Piersall said. “The health care is the biggest concern.”

And as hard as he is trying to maintain insurance for

An infamous Peruvian gold trader at the center of a multibillion-dollar money laundering case in Miami has died of COVID-19 in his homeland, according to authorities and news accounts.

Pedro David Pérez Miranda, 60, died Saturday at a hospital in Lima, Peru, after struggling with the coronavirus respiratory disease since late August.

His alias was “Peter Ferrari,” dubbed with that nickname by the news media because of his love for flashy cars, beautiful women and the yellow precious metal, gold.

Ferrari, who had been in custody in Peru before his hospitalization, was accused in a 2017 indictment of trading tons of gold illegally mined in the country’s rainforest and selling it to three Miami brokers at NTR Metals. They pleaded guilty to a $3.6 billion money laundering conspiracy were sentenced to several years in prison.

Ferrari, changed along with his two sons and a former bodyguard, had earned a notorious reputation as a suspected smuggler of “dirty gold” who used shell companies, straw owners, false paperwork and cash bribes to move the precious metal to lucrative markets in Miami and other parts of the United States.

Federal proseutors alleged that South American drug traffickers washed their illicit proceeds from cocaine through the unlawful gold mining industry in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, where Ferrari was suspected of acquiring most of his precious metal for export to the United States.

Once the U.S. government receives formal confirmation of his death, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami is expected to dimiss the single-count indictment aganst Ferrari. But his twin sons, Gian Piere Pérez Gutierrez and Peter Davis Pérez Gutierrez, and former body guard, Jose Estuardo Morales Diaz, could still be extradited for prosecution in Miami.

“When a defendant dies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office dismisses charges against that person,” said

U.S. life insurers are paying out far fewer Covid-19 death claims than initially expected, largely because the virus is disproportionately killing people with little to no insurance.

In the past few weeks, many life-insurance companies have sharply reduced estimates of their exposure, as measured by payouts per 100,000 U.S. Covid-19 fatalities. Estimates have come down by an average of 40% to 50%, according to Credit Suisse stock analyst Andrew Kligerman.

Driving the rapid reduction in exposure are two groups: older Americans and minorities.

Older people often have smaller policies than people who are still in the workforce. The latter typically buy policies to protect spouses and children against the loss of a breadwinner’s income, aiming to cover home mortgages and fund college tuition. Based on data through mid-September, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculates that approximately four-fifths of U.S. deaths involving Covid-19 have been of people at least 65 years old. Its current total shows just over 200,000 total U.S. deaths.

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There has also been a disproportionate impact on minorities, such as African-Americans. More than a fifth of Covid-19 deaths have been non-Hispanic Black people, above their roughly 13% representation in the overall population, according to government data.

In a pattern dating back decades, Black Americans typically have bought modest policies aimed at paying burial and related costs, rather than bigger face-value policies, according to life-insurance agents and historians. Detailed data on policy ownership by race is hard to come by. Since the 1960s, U.S. life insurers quit using race as a factor in underwriting and pricing policies, so they quit collecting race information, executives say.

Buying a large life-insurance policy is “not