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Most Person Wellbeing Insurance Is just not Very g Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Should you purchase your personal overall health insurance now, you can expect to be in for a big change once you indication up for protection in 2014.

Just in excess of half from the person designs at present to the market do not satisfy the standards for being offered up coming 12 months, when quite a few key provisions of President Obama's Economical Treatment Act kick in, in accordance to your University of Chicago examine. That is since the legislation sets new minimums for your standard coverage each and every individual overall health care approach need to deliver.

"They will give a good deal much more economic defense," Jon Gabel, the report's guide creator, explained on the unique options that can be available up coming year. His crew drew its conclusions from 2010 info supplied by well being insurers.

Some 15 million Us citizens, or about 6% of non-elderly grown ups, currently invest in coverage within the person sector. Beginning this tumble, they're going to be able to buy and enroll in overall health insurance by way of state-based exchanges, with protection taking effect in January. By 2016, some 24 million folks will get insurance in the exchanges, when a further 12 million will keep on to obtain person coverage beyond them, the Congressional Spending budget Business estimates.

Both groups will probably be impacted from the new Obamacare rules. Beginning up coming yr, approximately all person strategies -- both in and out in the exchanges -- are going to be needed to include an variety of "essential" services, which includes medicine, maternity and mental health and fitness care. Quite a few programs you should not now supply those advantages.

So what comes about for the strategies that don't meet up with the new minimal benchmarks? They can very likely disappear. A few current ideas will probably be grandfathered in, but the qualifying requirements for that is tricky to satisfy: Associates really need to are actually enrolled from the strategy prior to the ACA passed in 2010, and the plan has got to have taken care of fairly regular co-pay, deductible and coverage prices until now.

The insurers in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Affiliation are big players in the specific industry. They are really readying new merchandise lineups for 2014, according to Kim Holland, the trade group's executive director of point out affairs. She expects most existing Blue Cross person options being discontinued.

"They are heading through the wayside," she claimed. "Plans will have to conform towards the better amount of advantages."

Customers shopping for particular person strategies will be able to choose between four amounts of coverage next yr: platinum, gold, silver and bronze.

Platinum plans will carry the best rates but offer the bottom out-of-pocket bills, with enrollees spending not more than 10%, on ordinary. For the other conclude of your spectrum are bronze designs, which can possess the most affordable month to month premiums but greater deductibles and co-payments totaling approximately 40% of out-of-pocket costs, on normal. Beginning in 2014, all Us citizens is going to be demanded to carry protection or confront fines. People penalties start off at $95 for each adult or 1% of modified family cash flow, whichever is bigger, and escalate in later on many years.

Individuals with yearly profits of around 400% with the poverty line -- or about $45,000 for a person and about $92,000 for just a loved ones of four -- can get federal subsidies that will help defray the premium expenditures.

Most individual strategies sold upcoming calendar year, even the lowest-level "bronze" ideas, are very likely to charge higher rates than modern most bare-bones individual insurance. For most prospects, even though, all those fees might be offset by reduced out-of-pocket fees and a lot more thorough coverage, mentioned Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Basis.

"Now, they buy a policy and once they get sick, they could go broke anyway as the policy leaves them with a great deal to pay," she reported, noting that deductibles of $10,000 are certainly not unusual.

The insurance industry's trade group counters that lots of people may possibly end up with a lot more coverage -- and higher regular monthly fees -- than they need. Some persons might opt to simply shell out the fantastic as a substitute, stated Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America's Health and fitness Insurance Programs.

"Now, men and women can choose the approach that best fulfills their requirements," Zirkelback claimed. Up coming 12 months, "they may perhaps select not to acquire any protection."

Posted by at 12:47:36

8 Characteristics That make A good Insurance Agent Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Should you have at any time contemplated turning into an insurance agent or questioned no matter whether this job path may be correct to suit your needs, then there are actually many attributes that you will ought to possess, not less than to a point. All excellent insurance agents share a number of the following main characteristics in a single way or an additional.

Individuals Skills
1. Places the requires of the customer to start with - An agent who's only out to make a commission, regardless of the needs on the client, is not more likely to previous extensive while in the business enterprise. Brokers and brokers who listen carefully to what their shoppers and potential customers say are going to be ready to receive their believe in, which is the hardest portion of their occupation. People who are ready to put their consumers right into a product that pays a reduced fee since it superior matches their demands tend to be much more prone to be successful.

2. Great consumer services - Shoppers who will be ready to get a maintain of their brokers after they need them are much much more very likely to continue to be pleased and reassured. A well timed reaction to inquiries and cellphone phone calls is a have to, and you also ought to find a way to accomplish whatever you say you might do, whenever you say you might do it - or not less than have got a fantastic purpose regarding why you cannot. One of several key complaints of individuals that invest in lifestyle insurance policies is the fact there isn't any a single all around to reply their queries once they have ordered the plan.

3. Emotional intelligence - This involves the flexibility to listen and empathize with clients over a further stage if you want to discern whatever they truly want and need. A great agent is tactful and is aware of the way to enable a shopper see financial truth obviously, regardless if the client is dead set versus it.

Sturdy Identity
one. Superior electricity level - One of many most important characteristics of the fantastic insurance agent is that they appear for being psyched and keen all the time. A worn-down or dreary disposition will immediately rub off on customers and discourage them from shopping for nearly anything.

two. Persistence - This is probably the most vital excellent of any very good insurance agent. Individuals that operate on this field completely need to be able to deal with rejection daily in excess of the study course of their professions, and get it done which has a smile. Fantastic insurance brokers have an understanding of that every "no" only brings them nearer to a person who will say "yes."

three. Honesty - Insurance brokers who use deception to close business rarely remain together with the similar company for pretty long - and may find yourself driving bars occasionally. A superb agent recognizes that telling the reality up front will gain them clients' respect and trust and is also very likely to bring about repeat business after some time.

General Knowledge
1. Big selection of items - Given that the aged saying goes, if all it's important to do the job with is really a hammer, then all the things from the environment seems like a nail. A superb insurance agent are going to be able to supply a comprehensive variety of services that may satisfy any fair have to have a customer may have.

2. Technical understanding - A superb insurance agent is aware of considerably over tips on how to provide a coverage. The agent ought to recognize the tax and authorized facets of the goods they sells and the way these are made to fit into a client's total fiscal condition. Lots of brokers make monetary scheduling designations these since the Accredited Monetary Planner®, Chartered Financial Counselor or other credential. Some brokers exercise fiscal arranging, cash flow tax preparation or another avenue of financial assistance as their major occupation after which you can publish insurance business enterprise when it will become needed.

The bottom Line
They are just some on the attributes that lifetime insurance agents need to have as a way to be successful. The lifestyle insurance small business can be very complicated and immensely rewarding for those who are ready to master the required skills to develop their company. To find out more regarding how to become a prosperous insurance agent, contact the recruiting workplaces of the few various businesses or perhaps a headhunter who will work with insurance agents.

Posted by at 12:46:30

Will your home insurance take on a tornado? Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It seems to appear out of nowhere and is gone within minutes, but in that short time a tornado can devastate a home. The vital question is: Can your home insurance withstand its winds?

About 1,000 tornadoes touch down in the U.S. in an average year, causing billions of dollars in insured losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Last year, these monster storms -- which can wipe out whole neighborhoods and small towns -- were the costliest type of natural disaster in the country for insurers, according to Munich Re, a company that insures insurance companies.

Here are five steps for assessing your insurance needs in the face of tornadoes.
1. Know your coverage

Unlike floods or earthquakes, tornadoes don't require a special type of insurance. A basic homeowners policy should cover the damage inflicted by a tornado, whether it's from wind or rain, says Christopher Hackett, director of personal lines policy at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Still, homeowners concerned about tornadoes should make sure their policies match their financial needs, he says.

For example, a policy with a higher deductible likely will translate into lower premiums, but you will end up paying more out of your own pocket if a tornado damages or destroys your house, Hackett says. Make sure you can cover the deductible. Otherwise, consider a higher premium with a smaller deductible.

It's also important to know if you have a replacement cost policy, which replaces the damage to the home with materials that are similar in quality and kind. The alternative is a cash-value policy, which accounts for depreciation and probably won't pay as much, Hackett says.

2. Take inventory

Of course, homeowners insurance covers more than just the structure. The policies cover what's on the inside, too.

If your insurance replaced "just a home (but) no bed, it's not a home," notes Jim Whittle, the assistant general counsel and chief claims counsel at the American Insurance Association.

Make a list of what you have, to ensure your possessions are covered adequately. Include brand names, when you bought each item and approximately how much you paid. Include receipts when possible, especially for more expensive belongings such as electronics and appliances.

Create a photo log of your possessions or record what you have on video. A detailed list will help you determine how much coverage you need and make it easier to file a claim after a tornado.

Store these records in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box at a bank or in a lock box in whatever room you designate as your safe room.
3. Consider your valuables and car

Your home insurance will cover personal property up to a limit. If you own valuable items such as stamp or coin collections, fine art, expensive photography equipment or jewelry, consider a rider on your policy to increase coverage, Hackett recommends. These items may require an appraisal before a rider is granted.

If your car is damaged while parked in the garage, it may or may not be covered by homeowners insurance, says Whittle. Still, the comprehensive portion of an auto policy should take care of any damage from a tornado's wind or hail, and cover your vehicle against flooding, vandalism, and theft during or after a storm, he says. (A cautionary note: Not all states require comprehensive coverage for auto insurance, so make sure you have it.)
4. Don't forget about living expenses

Another consideration is where your family is going to live and how you will eat while your home is being repaired (or rebuilt) after a tornado. Instead of crashing on a friend's couch in the basement, check if your homeowners insurance will pay for additional living expenses, Hackett says.

This type of coverage helps cover the cost of staying in a hotel or paying rent for temporary housing. It can even cover meal expenses while your family is displaced.
5. What to do in the aftermath

After making sure your family is safe, get in touch with your insurer. You should have contact information for your homeowners insurance company and agent in a safe place with your inventory of possessions.

Often, insurance companies will send out emergency response teams to a devastated area and set up temporary shop outside local supermarkets or strip centers, Whittle says. These representatives may issue checks or debit cards immediately, for food and housing.

A claims adjuster will be sent to your home to assess the damage. The insurance adjuster will ask for proof of lost items (your inventory list) and a description of the event (tornado) signed by you. The adjuster will investigate the validity of your claim, come up with the replacement cost and issue payment. How long the process takes depends on the complexity of the claim, Whittle says.

Posted by at 13:34:39

Home insurance addresses meteors and Asteroids but Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The time period "rush hour" took on new that means in Russia's Ural Mountains previous Friday when an early early morning meteor using the wallop of 30 Hiroshima atomic bombs showered the outskirts of Chelyabinsk with fireballs, toppling partitions, blowing out windows and injuring much more than one,000 inhabitants.

It was a visceral finish to a nerve-wracking, Rooster Little-themed week around the globe that also witnessed a shock nuclear check by North Korea and an uncomfortably near face by using a passing asteroid.

The suddenly hostile skies left numerous Us residents inquiring the same dilemma: Will my home owners insurance deal with me if a flaming house rock can take out the guest wing?

The solution is sure: a normal home owners insurance plan typically addresses damage to your home and its contents attributable to "falling objects," which often can contain all the things from tree limbs and plane to self-propelled missiles, spacecraft, satellites and meteors.

Naturally, "falling object" protection comes with several regulations hooked up:

The meteor ought to result in harm to the roof or an outside wall for contents protection to kick in.
Although your coverage will deal with the cost to mend that unplanned open-air skylight, it may not address other injury brought on by rain or wind coming with the meteor hole until you take realistic steps to circumvent even more injury, say by placing up a tarp.
Coverage restrictions typically apply.

As with most insurance claims, it's an excellent concept to forgo building any long term repairs until finally an insurance adjuster establishes the extent on the destruction.

Exciting aspect take note: Harm to the slipping object alone is often not protected below an ordinary plan. Though this clause was in all probability intended to launch the insurers from having to pay back to maintenance fallen airliners and these, it raises a degree couple of home owners are informed of: Meteors are important house. And when a person falls on your own property, it formally will become your useful property.

Inside the course of masking financial tales, I at the time interviewed a meteor hunter named Michael Farmer, who travels the entire world searching down and advertising fallen room rocks. Relying on which ZIP code they hail from (Mars and the moon are very valued), even little meteorites commonly fetch between $10,000 to $100,000 and in some cases as much as $1 million from collectors, Farmer claims.

Early estimates suggest that chunks of the meteor could fetch more than 40 occasions the price of gold, which currently sells for $1,610 an ounce.

So, within the unlikely occasion a meteor really should arrive crashing into your property, for heaven's sake, really don't discard it.

That room rock just could build you a different, vastly enhanced a person.

Posted by at 12:07:57

Do I need to buy mortgage life insurance? Read mo Monday, March 11, 2013

Mortgage life insurance is a policy sold by your mortgage company/bank that pays off your mortgage upon your death. The beneficiary of this type of policy is almost always the mortgage company. Under some circumstances, that may be your preference. But in many cases, it may work out better for your loved ones to receive the proceeds themselves, giving them the choice of whether to pay off the mortgage. There may be more pressing needs than paying off the house.

Term life insurance sold in the open market is often more competitively priced and allows you to name your children as the beneficiaries rather than the mortgage company.

Mortgage life insurance has other disadvantages, too. The premium you pay is often lumped into the home loan, which means you are paying finance charges on the premium. A healthy nonsmoker can usually beat the price of mortgage life insurance by as much as 50 percent. Another disadvantage is the insurance stays with the house. In other words, it's not transferable the way regular life insurance is.

Who should buy life insurance from the mortgage company? If you are obese, have high blood pressure, are a smoker, have diabetes, or have other health issues that keep you from getting preferred rates or in some cases keep you from getting life insurance at all, check out mortgage life insurance. It may be your only option.

By the way, I'm not a huge fan of any type of insurance designed to pay specific bills, including mortgage life insurance. You buy life insurance to minimize the financial impact of your death on your surviving loved ones who depend on your income (i.e., your spouse and kids). Determine how to do that with the assistance of a good life insurance agent or financial planner. Then go out and buy the appropriate amount of coverage.

All the best.

Read more:

Posted by at 14:25:21

6 ways to protect your home from flooding Read mo Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Unless your house sits at the highest point atop a mountain and your yard slopes downward, you are a potential victim of flooding.

That doesn't mean it's time to give up and buy a canoe. You have options to protect the place from floods.

Do nothing and you could be sloshing around smelly and soaked carpeting, furniture, walls, appliances, lighting, and ruined electronics and keepsakes. Mold soon follows.

You'll find yourself ripping out walls to reach soaked insulation, tearing up flooring and replacing anything electrical.

There's only one real way to avoid this: stay above water.

"The one nasty thing about flooding is that there is no (margin) of safety other than elevation," says Tim Reinhold, senior vice president of research and chief engineer at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, or IBHS.

While engineering can allow a home to stand up to hurricane winds even stronger than structural design limits, there isn't much that can stop a home from sustaining flood damage as soon as water crosses the threshold.

"Once the water reaches the level of your floor and goes an inch above, you have significant damage," Reinhold says.

It's important to know the flood level at your home -- an official measure of how high floodwaters could rise where you live. You'll find this information by checking the online flood maps on the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, website. Your local building department and your insurance agent will know this, too.

Short of putting your home up on stilts, here are six measures that will offer some protection if flooding occurs.

Be sure to use licensed and insured contractors to make any modifications. Check with your local building department about permit requirements.
Safeguard in-home electrical and climate systems

Raise switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area, the IBHS website advises.

Modify your furnace, water heater and any other anchored indoor equipment so that it sits above your property's flood level.
Anchor and raise outdoor equipment

Fuel tanks, air-conditioning units and generators should be anchored and raised above your flood level.

Unanchored fuel tanks can break free, and severed supply lines will contaminate surrounding ground, the IBHS warns.

Jose Mitrani, engineer and professor at the OHL School of Construction at Florida International University in Miami, cautions that electrical power units and generators should never sit on the ground.

"These backup facilities will be inundated (by water) and useless," he warns.
Modify water valves

A flooded sewer system can cause sewage to back up into your home. So that you won't find yourself knee-deep in you-know-what, install an interior or exterior backflow valve, IBHS advises.

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, or FLASH, recommends gate valves. They are more complex, and you operate them by hand. But they provide stronger seals than flap or check valves, which open automatically to allow water to flow out and then close when water tries to get in.

Valves should be installed on all pipes entering the house, FLASH advises.
Determine how water flows around your house

Called the grading or slope, the angle of the ground can direct water to or from your house. Obviously, it's best if the home was built so that water drains away from the building.

This is easy enough to determine by watching how water flows or accumulates during an average rainstorm, says FLASH President Leslie Chapman-Henderson.

If your street is prone to standing water even after a fairly ordinary rainstorm, talk to your county planning or environmental services department, advises Chapman-Henderson. "A major part of their job is water flow, and they can make suggestions."
Opt for a major retrofit

If your home floods frequently and moving isn't an option, you may need to take drastic and costly measures.

FLASH's home safety program suggests three options:

Raise your home on piers or columns so that the lowest floor is above the flood level. If that sounds expensive -- well, it would be. Experts tell FLASH that such an undertaking would cost $20,000 and up, Chapman-Henderson says.
"Wet-proof" your home by installing foundation vents that would allow water to flow through the building, instead of rising inside and causing more damage. You'd need at least two vents on different walls. A 1,000-square-foot house would require 7 square feet of flood vents, according to FLASH.
Do some "dry proofing" by applying coatings and other sealing materials to your walls to keep out floods.

Take last-minute measures as waters rise

Clear gutters, drains and downspouts.
Move furniture, rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors, or at least raise them off a ground floor.
Shut off electricity at the breaker panel.
Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks if they're potentially in harm's way from flooding.


Posted by at 12:31:14

New Insurance Laws for 2013 Sunday, December 23, 2012

In 2013, the California workers’ compensation benefit coverage system regulatory changes are passed due to SB863, the Workers’ Compensation Reform Package. This new legislation, SB863 says that it will reduce system costs and increase worker indemnity benefits.

SB 863 is designed to cut costs, yet increase permanent disability benefits for workers. It will change the way disability claims are handled and this will save 1.4% in annual costs to the system.

Posted by at 23:26:52

A.M. Best Assigns Debt Ratings to Highmark Inc.’s Wednesday, May 11, 2011

OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A.M. Best Co. has assigned debt ratings of “a-” to $350 million 4.75% senior unsecured notes due 2021 and $250 million 6.125% senior unsecured notes due 2041 issued by Highmark Inc.(Highmark) (Pittsburgh, PA). The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable.

A.M. Best anticipates that the proceeds from these issuances will be used for general corporate purposes, which could include the repayment of short and long-term debt. The existing ratings of Highmark and its subsidiaries are unchanged.

The new debt issuances will increase the company’s debt-to-capital ratio to approximately 20%. Highmark’s debt-to-capital ratio was approximately 11.9% at December 31, 2010. The company’s financial leverage and coverage ratios are within A.M. Best’s guidelines for the current ratings and are expected to remain so over the near term.

Highmark reported strong underwriting and net income results in 2010, driven by a moderated medical trend as well as corporate initiatives to reduce administrative cost. It is anticipated that underwriting and net income results will continue to remain positive. Capitalization has continued to strengthen through the retention of positive net income along with retained earnings and the stabilization of the market value of the organization’s investment portfolio.

The principal methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology -- Global Life and Non-Life Insurance Edition, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and highlights the different rating criteria employed. Additional key criteria utilized include: “A.M. Best Ratings & the Treatment of Debt.” Methodologies can be found at

Posted by A.M Best at 13:09:55

Car Insurance Sunday, January 02, 2011

Vehicle insurance (also known as auto insurance, car insurance, or motor insurance) is insurance purchased for cars, trucks, and other road vehicles. Its primary use is to provide protection against physical damage resulting from traffic collisions and against liability that could also arise therefrom.
Posted by Car Insurance at 09:37:17

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need Saturday, January 01, 2011

The answer isn't really how much life insurance you need, it's how much money your family will need after you're gone.

Ask yourself:

How much money will my family need after my death to meet immediate expenses,
like funeral expenses and debts?

How much money will my family need to maintain?

Posted by Todd at 22:05:25

How is life insurance paid? Thursday, March 13, 2008

life Insurance Life Insurance is a practical way to provide the most coverage for your premium dollar during the early years of your policy. Term insurance provides protection for a limited period of time and pays death benefit if you die during that period. The two type of life insurance are term and permanent. The one that is right for you depends on many factors including your budget, the amount of coverage you need and the length of time you would like the coverage last. Term life insurance - Term policies can help meet a wide variety of business and personal needs and often provide the most coverage for your premium dollar for set periods of time. Permanent policies can provide lifetime protection . There are several different types of permanent policies. Universal life insurance can help meet the needs of people who desire long term death benefit protection with a flexible premium structure. Variable life insurance offers a choice of death options and a potential to accumulate non-guaranteed tax -deferred cash value that fluctuates based on the performance of underlying investment option that you choose. Survivorship life insurance insures two people and pays the death benefit when both have died. It is used primarily for wealth preservation .
Posted by Steva at 11:18:38

Different health Plans? Thursday, March 13, 2008

Health Insurance Life Insurance is an agreement between two parties namely the insurer and the insured. A health insurance policy can be considered as the most important type of insurance. Most people priorities having one because of the heightened cost of medical treatments and services. Different companies and organizations each offer their own schemes of coverage. The basic things that should be included in each in any health insurance plan are medical , surgical and hospital expenses. Prescription drugs should also be covered , although such is no t the case for some. Dental services may also be included in more comprehensive insurance policies. There are two types of health insurance policies. First one is free for service. In this type of policy , an insured person may go to whoever doctor or medical attendant that he wants. The insured pays for the bills and asks for the receipts , which is later filed to the insurer for reimbursement. The second type of health insurance is managed care. It includes plans such as Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPS) and Point Of Service Plans (POS). A monthly premium is required to be a member of such plans , which should provide you with comprehensive health services.
Posted by Steva at 11:17:30

Auto Insurance Thursday, March 13, 2008

Auto Insurance Auto insurance is a insurance purchased for cars , trucks and other vehicles. It protects against losses occurred during and against liability that could be incurred in an accident. There are the agents that work for the insurance companies and they can answer any questions you might have. There is no need to get the auto insurance policy through company as a quote and information is free. If you have classic vintage autos you really need to have them insured , even if you don’t drive them. The auto insurance specialists at Classic Auto Insurance will set you up with the right package for your needs. If you get in an accident , the amount of money that you receive if the car can not be repaired , the amount you receive as a cash settlement will be stated in the policy. Auto insurance specialists do require that you have papers with the appraised value of the car when you get the insurance and this should coincide with the book value of the car.
Posted by Steva at 11:15:36

Might be time to end employer provided health care Wednesday, February 06, 2008

There is a renewed interest in addressing health care reform on both the state and national levels. This focus may be enhanced by Michael Moore’s new film “Sicko” that starts next week. Much of the legislative efforts have been concentrating on the uninsured. I think this is a valid first-step as it is the uninsured that create the cost shift that helps to escalate insurance premiums for the rest of us. On the other hand, it is a band-aid2 for a health care system that is barely on life-support.

We are about to get our renewal rates for our health insurance policy and we expect a significant increase of something in the neighborhood of 15-20%. This is clearly unsustainable. The rising cost of health insurance premiums is perhaps the single most uncontrollable element of business overhead and is forcing companies to make difficult choices like dropping or reducing coverage. When this happens, the costs of health care is either absorbed by the business, or shifted to families, state programs, or back onto those who are insured and those employers who continue to provide insurance. Increased health insurance premiums means businesses have reduced capacity to invest money in their business for expansion, to raise employee salaries, or to increase other benefits like retirement plans, etc.

As a businessman that provides health care coverage for my employees, I know very well about the rapid escalation of the cost of providing health care for my staff. When I first started in business over 30 years ago, when I founded Northern Power Systems, I was able to cover an employee and dependents for about $1500 a year. Today, coverage that is not even as comprehensive will cost me in excess of $11, 000 a year.

The employer has become the “payer of last resort,” picking up the costs of uncompensated provider care, whether it results from inadequate reimbursement rates or inadequate insurance coverage for people needing health care. As a business owner, no longer do I make hiring decisions based solely upon my company’s need for growth and development. I must consider carefully the impact of the rapidly escalating health insurance premiums as I make each new hire. Sometimes the cost of those “taxes” can equal 50% of an entry-level worker’s salary.

I have intentionally used the word “taxes” because in the health care debate it really all comes down to money. Businesses that do the right thing are paying a health care tax to insurance companies. The dollars I need to spend on providing health care to my employees, who could not get affordable coverage in any other way is a tax, call it a premium but it barks just like a tax! It’s a standing obligation I have, is my contribution to a defined social need. But the “health care insurance tax” that I pay is very different from the other taxes I pay. Unlike other taxes, a) not everyone pays this tax, although everyone benefits from it; b) there is no rational allocation of the tax burden; c) the burden is not distributed through a transparent democratic public debate process; and d) as a “health insurance taxpayer” I have no influence on the administration or governance of the public good that is funded by the tax. I would much rather pay taxes that are determined through a democratic process, with democratic oversight of the disbursement and delivery system, to fund health care, than continue to be subject to unpredictable, opaque and rapidly escalating health insurance “taxes”.

Additionally, employer-funded health insurance has impacted the competitive marketplace, making the decision NOT to provide coverage a strong competitive advantage in bidding for contracts. Employers that do not provide coverage shift their employee’s health care costs to those of us who choose to act responsibly, thereby doubling the adverse competitive impact. Other employers hire part-time or seasonal workers to avoid this premium/tax, still others “dumb down” coverage with very high deductibles and limited coverage that encourages Vermonters to avoid medical care even for chronic conditions.

Ending the employer-based funding of health care will stimulate economic development by reducing the tendency of employers to offer part-time jobs to avoid health care costs, will give employees the freedom to change jobs without fear of loss of health benefits and will eliminate this contentious issue as a labor-management dispute.

The huge administrative load created by our current “Rube Goldberg” “system” of health care in the USA is absorbing millions of dollars to have patients and medical providers fight with insurance companies for coverage. You get an explanation of benefits that needs a lawyer to interpret and the insurance companies are motivated to deny coverage to increase their profits. It would be one thing if our method of providing health care to our citizens produced the best health care in the world, but it does not.

It is time to scrap employer-funded optional health care and provide everyone with access to health care as a “public good” that is publicly-financed so that everyone pays their fair share and everyone receives top-quality health care. This is really the only solution to health care that is feasible and has been demonstrated to be effective throughout the world. There are 27 industrialized nations in the world and 26 of them provide universal health care

Posted by drtamiflu at 17:15:28


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