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First Quarter 2010

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First Quarter 2010

From the Partners...
Our country's economic landscape has changed quite a bit over the last year. It seems that you cannot open a newspaper these days without reading about a financial institution being bailed out. However, at thorntonpowell we are confident in the financial stability of the companies that we represent.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind all of you that thorntonpowell has weathered market changes for over 28 years. Our experienced team is here to help you confront the unique challenges the current economy has presented you with.

While you may drive down the street and see many businesses closing their doors, know that we at thorntonpowell are here to stay.

~John Thornton & Greg Powell


Meet Sarah McGrath
            My name is Sarah McGrath (formerly Eastman). It is still very strange to me to say McGrath. I was married in Costa Rica in February 2010, so I am still getting use to the new name deal. I have been a benefits consultant with thorntonpowell coming up on 8 years! WOW time sure flies when you enjoy the environment you work in.

If I said my life long dream was to be an insurance agent that would not be true. I happened into this industry purely coincidentally; it certainly comes back to the people you know. Having said that, I can honestly say that I have evolved from a health insurance producer into a full blown insurance nerd. Are you laughing?

It is true; the idea of selling a health plan….well that is the easy part. Over the past 8 years I have been an active member in the National Association of Health Underwriters. Not satisfied with just attending monthly meetings I wanted more. I decided to dive into the role of Legislative Chair and more recently President Elect for our local chapter (CSAHU). Aside from staying on top of hundreds of benefit packages offered by the top health insurance carriers in Illinois; I found myself caravanning to Springfield to meet with our local and State representatives to discuss how the decisions they make are directly affecting our Small Business clients and as our advocates they need to do better. Michele Thornton & I have also made trips to Washington DC; again to continue discussions with our Representatives. We prefer to give them a face to go along with all the Operation Shout emails we send them all year long opposing mandates that will further increase premiums on our Small Employer groups. We provide them with our direct phone lines and encourage them to call on us when a bill comes across their desk and they want to know more about how it will be a positive or negative for Small Business USA. We give them our email addresses so we have the opportunity to exchange ideas on productive, much needed market reform.

Are you wondering why I am sharing this with you? It’s important that you understand that we don’t “sell health insurance”. As I mentioned that would be the easy part. Instead we are fulfilling our commitment to you, our client; which far exceeds filling out an application. Our role as your agent means that when you are calling from the hospital because a family member was admitted and you are frantic, grasping for guidance….we don’t just take the call, we hop on line and start looking up in-network professionals that are contracted with your health plan. We are contacting the insurance carrier to verify that the next course of action in the treatment is pre certified or will be covered We use our experience and knowledge of the industry to help give you peace of mind when you are dealing with an event you never dreamed you would encounter. Once the bills start rolling in, our team is still there to help you get all the Explanation of Benefits in order with the bills and make sure they were adjudicated correctly.

At the end of the day, if all you want is a health insurance policy-we may not be the fit. If at the end of the day you want sound, quality coverage with an advocate in your corner that will be a true resource for you for years to come, that’s where we FIT!



Discounts for Life Insurance???
Did you know that certain insurance companies give you discounts on your auto/home insurance if you have a life policy with their company? It’s true. For example, Metlife Insurance will give a full 5% discount on your auto policy if you have a qualifying life policy. What a great deal! Other companies that will offer discounts for having a life insurance policy with their company besides Metlife Insurance are, AAA and AutoOwners.

What are other reasons to buy or review Life Insurance?

  • getting married
  • preparing for college
  • buying a home
  • refinancing a home
  • estate planning
  • becoming a parent
  • planning for retirement
  • death of a parent
  • caring for an elderly parent depending on you for support
  • selling a home
  • getting divorced
  • single parent
  • creating a trust
  • empty nesters
  • tax time
  • changes to your group health coverage
  • losing a job
  • reviewing your auto/home insurance
  • change of health history

Regardless of the reason, life insurance is an essential component in protecting yourself and your family. We are not in the business of selling insurance. “Safeguarding your future” is the ThorntonPowell promise to you. Call us today and set up an appointment to safeguard your future.

~ Amber Morrison, Life Specialist 708-752-8242


Keeping your Fitness Resolutions
(ARA) - Some of the most popular resolutions with each new year are to get fit, get in shape and lose weight. Though plenty of people jump into new programs in pursuit of those goals, many aren't able stay fit, in shape and keep the weight off.

The rich foods and drinks of the holiday season leave us all feeling a little bit uncomfortable, which is another factor that sends people to gyms and to stores in search of workout videos. After that point, though, a plethora of complications can arise and sabotage those good intentions. It's hard to get motivated, going to the gym takes time many people don't have, workout DVDs don't meet individual needs, it can be intimidating to go to a public gym and on and on. And when these issues start piling up, people stop seeing results, which is enough for them to give up entirely.

Avoiding those pitfalls might seem impossible, but there are some solutions that can really help you follow through on your resolution and make it last all year long. If you can stick with your fitness goals this year, it'll be a resolution that you won't have to come back to next year.

* Head to the Web
You already shop, connect with friends and keep up on the events of the world on the Internet, and now it's an ideal tool for getting in shape. There is quite a lot of information to wade through, and some sites stand apart for being well-designed and truly effective. The free exercise Web site (Wexer is short for "World of Exercise") is a resource for a wide variety of specialized exercise videos. A unique option is that you can customize what videos are recommended for you by filling out a self-assessment that takes into account your current physical condition, your exercise experience, goals and other factors.

* Don't waste time - or money
With work, kids, friends and family, our days are already full. Taking the time to go to a gym can be a real strain on your schedule, adding in transit time, waiting for machines, locker room time, and then the drive back home - not to mention the time you actually need for your workout. You can cut out much of that time wastage by working out from the convenience of your own home. Don't get muddled in workouts that aren't right for you, though. Buying DVDs to use at home is a minefield, and an expensive one at that. How many times have you spent $20 on a DVD only to find that the exercises aren't right for you? Free exercise programs on Web sites like will help you focus on your specific needs, goals and abilities - and you can even choose the duration of the workouts, so you'll stay on schedule.

* Social support
One of the characteristics of most failed plans to get fit is a lack of motivation. With no one to back you up, it's easy to let things slide - to the point where you're not even working out anymore. We're all more connected more than ever these days, and that can easily translate to a support system for your workout goals. brings in social media functions, like synching with Facebook, Twitter and Web-based e-mail programs, as well as the ability to connect with other people who are using the site to get fit. You can challenge friends, family or colleagues and help keep each other on track, or if you're going it alone, you'll get follow up e-mails and alerts that correspond to your fitness, weight loss or exercise frequency goals.

If you can take control of your workout goals by making them fit your schedule and finding good support, your goal to get fit and stay fit throughout the year is more attainable than ever. For more information about how to stay on track and to get started with your own unique workout program, go to

Courtesy of ARAcontent