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5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT

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5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
« เมื่อ: กุมภาพันธ์ 09, 2020, 12:30:47 AM »
5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT


1. Insurance


Haven't organised insurance yet? Get it now! It can be a risky practice to rely on the vendor's  insurance cover (or lack thereof) if something happens to the property during the period from exchange to settlement. Having adequate insurance in place will give you peace of mind.

2. Keys, codes and passes


Make sure you organise who has the keys and when you can collect them from the agent or your legal representative. Also, make sure you have the alarm codes (if any) and instruction manuals. Some purchasers want to collect the keys that day from the agent; others have the keys delivered to their solicitor after settlement. By sorting out the logistics beforehand, you can enjoy your property sooner (without setting off any house alarms!).

3. Final inspection


This is probably the most important inspection you will undertake, so you should organise it during daylight hours as close as possible to settlement and really take your time with it. Has any debris been left behind? Do the fittings and fixtures remain? Are the contractual inclusions actually in place? Have the exclusions been disposed of?

4. Final Title Search


Just like a final inspection, a final title search will inform you if there have been any dealings with or new interests in the legal ownership of the property. After all, you can't buy something from someone if they don't own it. You'll also need to remove any caveat you've placed on the title to enable the change of ownership to take place.

5. Cheque directions


Your legal advisor and lender will organise the cheques on your behalf, but it's up to you to make sure the settlement amounts and payees are correct before property settlement. Also, make sure the cheques have correct spellings - incorrectly issued non-negotiable bank cheques can hold up and delay a settlement, and that's the last thing you want!

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Re: 5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
« ตอบกลับ #1 เมื่อ: กุมภาพันธ์ 09, 2020, 12:31:13 AM »
Deciding when to downsize
There’s a new “real-estate headache: Baby Boomers who won’t sell their homes,” said Aimee Picchi in CBSNews .com. In previous generations, Americans entering their early 70s—as the oldest Boomers are now—typically downsized into condos and apartments. But Boomers “are healthier and working longer than previous generations,” and showing less inclination to relinquish their longtime homes. Americans over age 65 have the highest ownership rate of any generation—80 percent, compared with 35 percent of those under 35. And with 85 percent of seniors not intending to sell in the next year, they’re adding to an “ongoing inventory crunch” in the housing market. A few factors could be at play: More seniors are now in the workforce than at any time since 1948, so they may not be ready to move. And many have kids who haven’t moved out: More than one-third of adult children still reside in their childhood home. “Downsizing is increasingly shifting to very old age, when Americans are in their 80s.”

We’d love to move, said Mark Pothier in The Boston Globe, but we “can’t afford to.” After 20 years in our home south of Boston, we have “a pile of equity” built up. Our youngest child just moved out, and we’re ready to “ditch the drudgery of yard work and upkeep for a simpler life governed by condo association rules.” But we can’t afford to sell in this market, at least “not without exiling ourselves to a place where we don’t want to live.” Most condos, with “marked-up amenities like $60, 000 kitchens,” are now out of our price range—and we  aren’t alone. “When did downsizing become as expensive as upsizing?” Many Boomers simply assume they can “take advantage of equity and the sellers’ market” to cash out and buy a smaller place, said Kevin Simpson in The Denver Post. But they “run into trouble trying to find something comparable if they choose to remain in the area.” That’s why many are deciding to use their equity on remodeling and adding aging-in-place features, with the aim of one day leaving the house to the kids.

How do you know if downsizing is the right move? asked Tanisha Sykes in USA Today. Run the numbers, factoring in the cost of selling your current home, your relocation costs, and the fees associated with the purchase of a smaller home. “The amount of space you have may also influence your decision to scale down.” Seniors can also choose to rent a smaller place and invest the profit from selling their home to generate more income in retirement, said Casey Dowd in FoxBusiness.com. And in the end, “it may make more financial sense to not downsize at all.” Even simply doing an aggressive decluttering could make life in your old home easier to manage.


SCOTUS ends tax-free online shopping
“You’ll soon be paying more in taxes for online purchases,” said Ben Fox Rubin in CNET.com. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 last week that states can force retailers beyond their borders to collect sales tax revenue from consumers, overturning a decades-old decision that only required companies to collect sales tax in states where they had a physical footprint. All this time, if retailers didn’t collect sales tax, consumers in, for instance, New York were ostensibly responsible for sending in the necessary taxes if they bought a product from a company in, say, Utah—“something that most people never do.” Brick-and-mortar retailers rejoiced at the South Dakota v. Wayfair ruling, saying the court had finally “leveled the playing field,” said Joyce Rosenberg in the Associated Press. But the change also angered many small online businesses, which say their expenses and compliance costs could now skyrocket, because they will be responsible for sales tax in some 10,000 state and local jurisdictions nationwide.

It’s about time this bizarre loophole was finally closed, said Josh Barro in  BusinessInsider.com. In 1992, when SCOTUS first ruled on the issue, mail-order sales totaled roughly $180 million. Last year, digital retailers sold half a trillion dollars’ worth of goods. States have been losing out on an estimated $8 billion to $33 billion in uncollected revenue per year. Ensuring our tax system is “a little less broken” is a positive outcome for all of us, “even if it means missing out on deals from time to time.” However, “this doesn’t mean that websites will all of a sudden start collecting sales tax,” said Alana Semuels in The Atlantic. So far, this rul ruling only covers South Dakota, which passed a law requiring retailers that sell $100,000 worth of goods in the state, or process more than 200 separate sales, to collect tax. It’s still unclear what the implications are for other states, or for “the people who shop in them.” Thirtyone states currently have internet taxation laws, but their rules “may be more restrictive than South Dakota’s law, and so may not hold up in court.”

Lest you think Amazon is now in trouble, I expect CEO Jeff Bezos will “lose zero sleep,” said Jordan Weissmann in Slate.com. “The fact is that plenty of big players in online retail were already collecting sales tax on many, if not most, of their sales.” That includes Amazon, which applies sales tax on all the items it sells directly to customers. It didn’t always do so, and you can argue that its yearslong tax dodge was key to its incredible growth. But as it has expanded, “its vast network of fulfillment centers” has made the company subject to states’ tax jurisdiction. That’s one reason this decision “won’t fundamentally change Americans’ shopping habits.” But it did hand Amazon another opportunity “to squash potential competitors,” said James Freeman in The Wall Street Journal. The businesses most hurt by this ruling will be the millions of small-business owners who sell on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, who now have to navigate thousands of different tax rules. That’s yet another advantage for Amazon, which could find a new opportunity in offering mom-and-pop online shops a tax-collection service—for a fee, of course. Just one more way “Washington is now helping the tech giant prevent upstarts from challenging its position.”

Navigating airline rewards programs
“We all dream of flying in first class, glass of prosecco in hand, away from the screaming children and armrest battles,” said Lucas Peterson in The New York Times. Frequent flier miles are the most likely pathway to the front of the plane for most travelers. “But negotiating the world of airline rewards can be onerous.” Rules change often, and many flights aren’t eligible for rewards. Even if you don’t have a favorite airline or route, your best bet is “signing up for an airline-specific frequent flier program.” Alaska Airlines, “once somewhat niche,” has recently become a favorite beyond the West Coast, thanks to its acquisition of Virgin America, which vastly expanded its national footprint. Alaska offers generous perks for even medium-level fliers; it still confers miles and status by actual mileage flown. Delta’s SkyTeam global alliance is solid, but its “opaque” SkyMiles program frustrates loyalists. The popular low-cost carriers Southwest and JetBlue have widespread domestic networks and robust loyalty programs, but redeeming an international flight can be more difficult than with legacy carrier networks.

“Travelers have complained for years about skimpy or nonexistent availability of award seats and big increases in the number of miles needed for awards,” said Scott McCartney in The Wall Street Journal. But remarkably, in the past 12 months some carriers have actually been “opening up availability and cutting the number of miles needed for tickets to places people really want to go.” American Airlines in particular has “significantly relaxed its grip on award seats,” especially for wanderlust-worthy destinations like Hawaii and Europe. Last year it had reward seats available on 71 percent of its trips longer than 2,500 miles, a vast improvement from the 17 percent it offered in 2012. United has also upped the number of rewards seats by 10 percent. But excluding long-haul flights, low-cost airlines have the highest number of available tickets. Southwest and JetBlue make more than 90 percent of their flights available for rewards redemption.

Once you sign up and start earning, check your airline reward account’s points balance as you would your bank account, said Catherine Hamm in the Los Angeles Times. Americans currently hold roughly $48 billion worth of miles and rewards. The website AwardWallet.com allows you to track your various travel rewards accounts and monitor any fraudulent use. Make sure you don’t sit on your miles for too long, said Patrick Allan in Lifehacker.com. Holding a large mile count is risky, as carriers notoriously set an expiration date on each mile you earn, and miles and points can “devalue massively” faster than you expect. The longest you should bank points is for a year. Beyond that, “you’re running the risk of the dreaded devaluation demon coming and wrecking everything.”

5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
8 HABITS OF WEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
WHY MILLENNIALS CHOOSE TO BUY HOME
7 TIPS EVERY HOMEOWNER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INSURANCE

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Re: 5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
« ตอบกลับ #2 เมื่อ: มกราคม 14, 2021, 04:09:34 PM »
Finding Travel Insurance After A Cancer Diagnosis
For people suffering from cancer and other serious conditions, finding adequate travel insurance can be tricky. But help is at hand from specialist companies providing great cover at reasonable cost

Finding suitable travel insurance after a cancer diagnosis can be fraught with problems. The premiums quoted online often cost more than the holiday or else any claim relating to the cancer is excluded.

Action is underway that should lead to better levels of insurance and more reasonable prices for those with medical conditions. But in the meantime consumers must know where to look to avoid buying inadequate cover.

All insurers and comparison websites will soon be required to signpost consumers with preexisting conditions to specialist travel insurers, whether they have offered them a quote for cover or not. It follows an investigation into this market by the regulator - the Financial Conduct Authority.

Andrew Williams, business development manager for specialist travel insurer Free Spirit, says: "The FCA is in discussions with insurers, and changes should be coming soon, which is great news for anyone with cancer or any other serious condition who has struggled to find insurance. Cover is out there for people in this situation but it can be difficult to know how to get it."

A recent survey by consumer group Which? found that when consumers with pre-existing medical conditions apply for travel insurance, around one in five are only offered cover that excludes claims arising from their condition and one in four faced inflated premiums.

"Research by Which? highlights the importance of speaking to a specialist broker or insurer when you have cancer or other medical condition," says Sarah Page, brand manager for specialist insurer Insurancewith. “Not everyone's situation is going to fit neatly into the tick boxes on a screen when applying for cover."

Ms Page adds: “At Insurancewith we can offer one-to-one medical underwriting and policies tailored to your specific needs so the price more accurately reflects the risk. This usually makes it much more affordable, particularly for someone with cancer.”

The type of cancer you have, its stage, your treatment and your medication will all affect the premium, as will your age - with older consumers typically having to pay more, as statistically they are more likely to claim.

Your choice of destination and the duration of the trip will also have a bearing on the cost. This is because the cost of healthcare in different countries varies widely. In Spain, for example, tourists will often be directed to private clinics when they need medical attention - this can vastly inflate the cost of a claim, compared to state-funded healthcare. Healthcare in the US and Australia, for example, can also be expensive.

The delay to Brexit means holidaymakers to European Union countries can continue to use the European Health Insurance Card (known as EHIC) for now - although future arrangements are unclear. EHIC entitles you to emergency state healthcare in EU countries. But consumers should not rely on this as an alternative to travel insurance. The standards of care may be much lower than with the NHS. It also won't cover the costs of repatriation.

The majority of insurers in the market use medical screening software called Healix, although a number use a different package called Protectif. The screening will ask questions about your condition and treatment to arrive at a 'medical score' before offering a premium cost for the travel insurance. As the two screening methods are slightly different it can be worthwhile getting quotes from a range of insurers that use different screening software.

Chris Rolland, chief executive at specialist insurer AllClear, says: "Declare everything. You will be asked to provide answers to set questions relating to each medical condition to ensure the insurer gets the information it needs to offer appropriate cover."

Using a broker can be helpful as it will look across a broad spectrum of providers to find you the best cover and price for your needs. The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) website at biba. org.uk can help you find one.

For most people with cancer and serious pre-existing conditions, and even those with a terminal diagnosis, it should be possible to find cover at a reasonable cost, although in some circumstances specific and tailored underwriting may be necessary.

Fi Munro, 33, from Errol, Perthshire, was diagnosed with stage-4b ovarian cancer in January 2016. She has since written a book How Long Have I Got?, set up an award-winning blog - Live Like You are Dying - and started her own businesses teaching yoga and meditation.

Fi says: "After the diagnosis I just wanted to live my life in the way I wanted and without barriers. I love to travel, but looking around for insurance that would cover me and my cancer was so difficult.

"A medical professional recommended that I speak to Insurancewith,” she adds. “I just couldn't believe the difference in its approach - and also the cost. It was so much cheaper than the mainstream brands that I'd previously been looking at."

Fi takes out single-trip cover for each holiday. Cover for her and her husband, Ewan, for a two-week trip to France in April cost ?85, for example. It is a stark contrast to the hundreds of pounds she could be charged with less specialist insurers. According to experts, it is a good idea to take out joint cover with the same insurer, even where one person in a couple does not have any preexisting medical conditions. The cost should not be any higher.

Mr Williams at Free Spirit says: "There could be complications if you need to cancel your trip due to illness, but your partner's separate insurance won't cover the cancellation."

Insurer AllClear offers Travelling companion' cover for travellers who are insured with a different provider for cancellation or curtailment as a result of the pre-existing condition of their travelling companion under AllClear. Think about purchasing travel insurance even for trips booked in the UK - because cancellation is among the main reasons for claiming on a policy for those with medical conditions.

How to Keep Premiums Down Shop Around:
Do your research and speak to different specialist insurers. A broker should be able to scour the market to find different policies to suit your needs at a reasonable price. Opt for a larger excess: By agreeing to pay a higher excess - the first part of any insurance claim that you must pay - it may be possible to lower the premium. Book holidays closer to the time of travel: If you can reduce the risk of cancellation due to ill health and can exclude cancellation cover from your insurance this should bring the premium down.

Consider changing destination and reduce length of trip: Insurance for travel to some countries will be much more expensive, so if you have not yet booked your trip talk to insurers and find out where might be cheapest. Shorter trips mean a lower risk of a claim and will bring insurance costs down.

Most insurers will ask about any treatment or prescribed medication you have taken within the last two years, or if you have been an in-or outpatient at a hospital, clinic or GP in the same time frame. It means if you had cancer three years ago, for example, but you can answer 'no' to these questions you will not need to declare the cancer and your premium should be much lower.

Cost Was Greater but Reasonable
Many holidaymakers with pre-existing conditions decide to take a gamble and travel without insurance because they feel the premium cost is unaffordable. But this is a high-risk strategy.

John Carpenter was extremely glad he had taken out annual travel insurance when he was forced to cancel a cruise he had booked for his wife Linda's birthday last year, after a lump appeared in his neck and he needed urgent chemotherapy.

John, in his early-60s, had been diagnosed with lymphoma in 2016. At that time doctors advised him to wait and see because his symptoms did not warrant immediate treatment. John and Linda, who love to travel, continued to take many holidays each year - although, due to his cancer, John now took out cover with specialist insurer AllClear, rather than buying cover through his travel agent as he always had done in the past.

“At ?500 for annual worldwide cover my condition did mean a significant increase to the cost of cover," says John. "But I felt it was reasonable considering the cruise I had planned and that it included the US, renowned for its high medical costs."

The couple received a 25% refund on the cost of their ?3,000 holiday from the cruise company and luckily, the terms of AllClear's cover meant that they could reclaim the remainder on their insurance, minus the ?250 excess.

"We were sent an email confirming our claim had been successful within two days," says John, "and the payment was in my bank account within seven days of making the claim.”

John responded well to treatment and has stem cell therapy planned. He has been advised he is well enough to go on holiday before this treatment starts and AllClear has provided a new policy, taking into account his current medical situation. He has taken out a single trip policy for ?200 for a seven-night break to Turkey.
BY JO THORNHILL
Souce Moneywise



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Re: 5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
« ตอบกลับ #4 เมื่อ: มกราคม 25, 2021, 01:23:27 AM »
10 QUESTION YOU SHOULD ASK MORTGAGE LENDERS
What's the interest rate?
Right off the bat, you should ask your lender for a direct interest rate quote as well as the corresponding annual percentage rate (APR) for the loan. Since the APR accounts for fees and other loan-related charges, it gives you an apples-to-apples comparison among lenders. Don't be afraid to shop around until you find one you're comfortable with.

How many points does that include?
A point is a fee paid to the lender at closing in exchange for a reduced interest rate. (1 point = 1% of your total mortgage amount.) Be sure to ask your lender how many points are included in the quoted interest rate and what the benefits might be to buying more or fewer points.

How much money do I need to put down?
To get the best rate and terms for your loan, it's usually best to put down at least 20% if possible, although a lower down payment doesn't necessarily disqualify you. There is a chance that a monthly PMI (private mortgage insurance) payment will be added if your down payment is lower than 20%. Your down payment will affect other variables as well, such as your rate, terms and monthly payments. Ask your lender for more information on the minimum down payment required for your loan, and decide what's right for you.

When can I lock down the interest rate?
Interest rates always fluctuate. Sometimes locking in a low rate can really pay off. Ask your lender when you can lock down a particular rate, and for how long. Keep in mind, lenders will usually offer lower interest rates for shorter-term locks and higher interest rates for longer-term locks.

What are my estimated closing costs?
Remember to factor in the various costs and fees associated with buying a home. Particularly closing costs. Closing costs include loan-origination fees, appraisal fees and attorney fees (if any), to name a few. Ask your lender to estimate what your closing costs might be so you can budget accordingly.

Are there any other costs or fees I should know about?
Be sure to ask your lender for a detailed list of all the costs and fees you might encounter during the homebuying process. The more information you can collect up front, the more prepared you'll be should you run into any unexpected expenses along the way.

What's the difference between a fixed-rate and an adjustable-rate mortgage?
A fixed-rate mortgage keeps the same interest rate for the life of the loan, typically 15- or 30-year terms. This keeps your monthly payment for principal and interest steady and predictable over time. Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, have interest rates that change based on the market, so your payment will go up and down. Most ARMs are based on a 30-year term and typically start with an initial fixed interest rate for a specific period of time, usually 5.7 or 10 years.

Are there any special requirements I should be aware of?
There are all sorts of qualification guidelines for homebuyers applying for a mortgage. Typical requirements relate to income level compared to debt, employment status and credit history. But, if you're a military veteran or first-time homebuyer, you may also be eligible for special government-sponsored mortgage programs. Talk to your lender to see what you might qualify for.

Can you estimate when the closing will be?
A lot of factors help determine when your exact closing date will be many of which are completely out of your control. Ask your lender for a ballpark estimate of when you might expect to close. That way you'll at least have a rough idea of the timetable you're working with

Is there anything that could cause a delay?
The best way to avoid delays in your closing is to stay in touch with your lender and always provide the most up-to-date and accurate documentation in a timely fashion.

5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
8 HABITS OF WEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
WHY MILLENNIALS CHOOSE TO BUY HOME
7 TIPS EVERY HOMEOWNER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INSURANCE
8 TIP ON HOMEOWNNER INSURANCE
10 QUESTION YOU SHOULD ASK MORTGAGE LENDERS
HOW MUCH IS MY CAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT WORTH



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low interest personal loanscredit union loanshelp to buy equity loan
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loans for those with bad creditpersonal loan interestquick easy loansdirect payday lenders
instant personal loanstart up loanshousing loan interest ratehome finance
debt consolidation loan ratesfast loan advancecar finance rates15 yr mortgage rates
commercial real estate loansworking capital loanelastic line of creditmortgage application
second mortgage ratescurrent home mortgage ratesfirst bank mortgagevehicle finance
commercial loan ratestypes of mortgage loansprivate money lendersbad credit business loans

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Re: 5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
« ตอบกลับ #5 เมื่อ: มกราคม 25, 2021, 01:24:14 AM »
10 Ways To Cut Your Health Care Costs
If you haven't already received your company's health insurance renewal notice this year, bruce yourself. Average cost per employee scem certain to surge by more than 20 percent for the second year in a row.

Among Nations Business readers who responded to an August health care survey, nearly one-third reported health-insurance premium increases of 30 percent or more. Thirty-seven per cent reported increases ranging from 16 percent to 29 percent.

At that rate, the average cost of health insurance per employee will exceed $3,000 in 1990, up from $2748 in 1989, recording to A. Foster Higgins & Co., benefits consulting firm based in New York.

A recent, survey by Nobel Lowndes, in employee benefits firm in East Orange, NJ., found that 79 percent of senior executives believe health-care costs will continue to increase 20 percent or more each year for the next three years. These gloomy executives tre primed for the worst, knowing that costs have already gone up eightfold since 1970.

Moreover, business shouldn't count on Congress for a big fix. Although some lawmakers favor Canadian-tyle nationalized health-care system or mandated coverage for all workers, those legislators comprise . vocal minority that is better at capturing public attention than winning converts on Capitol Hill. In addition, both of those proposals focus on broadening coverage to the nation's 81 million to 37 million uninsured, not on controlling spending.

The message here is clear: If you haven't already gotten serious about cutting your company's health-insurance costs, now is the time. It can be done. Just ask Philip Leber, who slashed his small company's monthly premium from $10,000 to $2,500.

The first thing you should do is learn how the system works-or doesn't work. Most small employers spend few er than four hours a year thinking about their company health plans.

Learn what your options are. Your insurance agent can help you shop for cheaper plans. But don't stop there. Compare plan benefits, insufitncc-COMpany records and service guarantees.

Consider Blue Cross and Blue Shield plus and HMOs (health-maintenance organizations), even if your agent lireas offer clear advantages to small companies. Experts regard HMOs as the best buys in health care.

Find out if your company is eligible for new, low-cost health insurance plans now available in five states. In addition, foundation-funded pilot projects in several parts of the country are demonstrating that it is possible to eut health-coverage costs 30 to 10 percent.

In short, health insurance isn't as simple as it used to be. And the pace of change is accelerating, offering new hope for a truce in the business battle with exploding health-care costs.

The next couple of years present as much potential for change as at any time in the past 20 years," says Gail Wilensky. administrator of the federal Health Care Financing Administration, which ovence Medicare.

You can be part of that change by putting at least some of the following 10 idens to work for your company.

1. Increase Cost Sharing By Employees
This recommendation is at the top of every consultant's list. Small companies tend to pay for more of their workers' Local healthcare bill than large companies do. Yet research shows that insulating employees from the costs of care encourages unnecessary use of health services.

Fifty-two percent of the companies responding to the Nation' Business health survey said they pay 100 percent of their employees' health insurance premiums. But 45 percent said they intended to implement or increase employee contributions to these premiums. An equal number said they plan to increase employee deductibles.

Insurance companies first attached $100 deductibles to major-medical plans in the early 1950s. But 40 percent of employers still set deductibles at $100 or less.

Celtie Life Insurance Co., a small business health insurer based in Chicago, calculates that raising . $100 deductible to $250 would eut premium COKLS for single coverage by about 11 percent. A 3.500 deductible would cut costs by about one-fourth. A $1,000 deductible would save about one-third.

2. Allow Employees To Pay For Health Premiums With Tax Free Dollars
Set up a so-called flexible spending account, which allow your employees to pay their share of health insurance premiums and we reimbursed health-centre expenses with pretax dollars. A flexible spending account could save employees 20 cents to 35 cents on the dollar, because state and federal income taxes and Social Security taxes ?r? n?t imposed.

Moreover, the company saves by ducing the employees base salary on which it pays Social Security and other taxes.

Hire an outside payroll accounting firm to handle the paperwork. You can pay the service fee and still come out with a net savings, by Dan Brown, 1 Silver Spring, Md., insurance broker The monthly administration fee would run between $2 and $5 per employee.

3. Transfer HighRisk Employees To The State's High-Risk Pool
Insurance premium sonr' whenev. er someone in a small-group planbecomes very ill with cancer or heart disease, for exam. ple. As an employer, you should explore the possibility of moving employees with serious health problems into 1 state high-risk pool and then negotiating a lower premium for the healthy members of your group.

Twenty-four states have high-risk pools for people whom insurance earners don't want to cover, although some of these pools are not yet operational, Risk-pool insurance generally sells for 150 percent of the typical individual premium. The insurance is comparable to that offered by i standard munjon: medien health policy.

Rules governing coverage differ from state to state. For example, some states won't allow employers to move high-risk individuals into the pool if only the uninsured are admitted. Other states encourage it. Some state pools have waiting lists.

Call your state insurance commissioner's office for details if you live in one of the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Geor gin, Illinois, Indiana, Iow, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota Missouri Montana. Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

4. Switch To An OpenEnrollment Blue Cross And Blue Shield Plan
Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans operate as de facto high-risk pools in a number of states by providing open enrollment periods during which any group can buy insurance. Among the 74 Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations nationwide, 21 offer open enrollment.

Open-enrollment plans are better than state risk pools because Blue Cross offers coverage at substantially less cost than the rates charged by state pools," says Greg Scandlen, director of states services research for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in Washington, D.C.

Employers who buy open-enrollment plans are insulated from the premium spikes they can experience with other insurers once someone in the group becomes very ill. These plans une so-called community rating to calculate premium increases. All companies buying one of these policies are in the same risk pool, and all pay the same rates.

All the Blues once tried community rating to set premium levels. But that began to change in the 1960s when commercial insurers started to lure away firms with low risks by offering them cheaper health insurance. The Blues in: increasingly found themselves writing policies for groups with above-average health claims. As a result, premiums went up. And most Blues today use the same health screening and rating practices used by commercial insurers.

Five of the open-enrollment plans limit applications for insurance to speeifle periods during the year. Some will tazke groups no smaller than 10 employees. For details, contact Blue Cross pilates in Alabama, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, the National Capital Arel (Washington, D.C.). New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (six different plans), North Carolina, Pennsylvania four different plans), Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

5. Replace Your Traditional Health Plan With An HMO
Unlike traditional health insurance, HMOs cover all medical needs, in eluding routine preventive care, for a flat monthly fee that typically is less expensive than traditional health insurance. Moreover, two types of HMOs, the staff and the group models, have proven to be more effective at controlling costs than any other form of health-care delivery. Staff models employ physicians directly and put them on salary. With group models, the HMO contracts with a multispecialty group practice and caps payments for services.

Look for an HMO that operates in Accordance with voluntary federal standards, 50-called federally qualified HMOs. These HMOs are barred from refusing health coverage based on medical screening. Their premium rate increases are tied to the experience of everyone in the HMO, which protects a company from sharp increases based on heavy claims from a few of its employees. There are 307 federally qualified HMOs covering more than three fourths of all persons enrolled in HMOS tuationwide.

The catch with an HMO is that those who are covered have to use the HMO's doctor and the hospitals that it designates. Those unwilling to surrender their freedom of choice can go for an "open-ended" HMO, & new hybrid that will allow the insured to see doctors outside the HMO if the covered person is willing to pay out-of-pocket deductibles and coinsurance. Enrollment in open-ended HMOs jumped 39 percent in 1989.

Because HMOs typically can't afford to market to small companies, start your search in the Yellow Pages.

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Re: 5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
« ตอบกลับ #6 เมื่อ: มกราคม 25, 2021, 01:24:37 AM »
6. If An HMO Is Dut, Shop For A Traditional Plan With Managed Care Or A PPO
Switching to a mannered-care health plan with built-in restraints on the use of health services should cut your costs by 5 to 10 percent.

The context health insurance you can buy is a traditional indemnity plan. Under such a plan, employees choose their physicians. Insurers, acting as a passive pass-through mechanism, reimburse doctors and hospitals on li fee for service basis. They also increase employer premiums as necessary to keep pate with rising costs. Many experts predict that traditional indemnity health insurance will be replaced by mariage-care indemnity plans by the mid-1990s. Mina ged-eare plans attempt to hold down costs by placing controls on the use of medical services.

Most insurance carriers already aller variety of managed-care features as additions to traditional indemnity plans. They include prior approval for elective hospital admissions, second opinions for surgery, utilization review, case management, and discharge planning.

A number of insurers also offer preferred-provider organizations (PPOs), which also may be organized by hospitals or sponsored by large employers. PPOs are groups of doctors who have agreed to discount their fees, usually by about 10 percent to 20 percent. By definition, PPOs build in managed-care fenturen to hold down expenses. To encourage use of PPO doctors, employees pay only a small fee of $5 to $10 per office visit. Employees my use doctors outside the PPO, but out-of-pocket expenses rise sharply with the addition of deductibles and coinsurance.

7. Purchase Your Health Insurance Through A Business Group Or Coalition
Individual small employers have little or no lever age in buying health insurance, but when a number of small employers band together to purchase insurance they can wield real clout in the market.

The Small Business Service Bureau, an association based in Worcester, Mass.. arranges group insurance through HMOs and Blue Cross organizations for 35,000 small businesses most with fewer than 10 employees, across the country. We negotiate the terms of the benefits, and we have trained staff members who explain the options to small-business owners," says Lisa M. Carroll, health-services director.

Fred Rohm, president of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, in Newark, Del, manages a group-purchasing arrangement for seall employers in his area. Premiums for 350 small employers covered by the chamber's indemnity plan went up only 1 percent this year.

The chamber in San Francisco launched a group-purchasing arrangement in March. It lets small employers in the Bay Arel choose an indemnity plan, an HMO, or a PPO, Ask your local chamber or business association about group purchasing.

But we caution in signing up. Some insurance agents and many business trade associations offer group-purchase. ing plans known as multiple employer trusts (METS), "METS were everybody's answer to the problem of rising costs several years ago," says David Helms, president of the Alpha Center, health policy and planning center in Washington, D.C. But METR in general have not lived up to their cost cutting expectations, primarily because insurers lure away low risk groups with rock bottom rates, says Helms. This leaves the MET with higher-risk groups, which erodes its ability to negotiate low rates. Make sure the MET you choose is backed by an insurance company. Self-insured METS—those not backed by an insurer have experienced high failure rates.

8. Purchase One Of The No-Frills Insurance Plans Now Available in Five States
Virginia, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, and Washington this year exempted small firms from regulations requiring them to provide certain types of health coverage. Typical mandates cover chiropractors, well-baby care, dental checkups, and treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. Some states require coverage for more exotie procedures, such as in vitro fertilization and acupuncture. By exempting small firms from such mandates, Insurers may offer no-frills plans with premiums costing 20 to 10 percent less.

"To prevent employers from canceling existing insurance, some states restrict the new. lower cont plans to companies that have been without insurance for at least a year. Call your state insurance commissioner for details. More states are expected to remove mandates for small companies next year.

9. Determine if You Are Eligible For One Of The Low-Cost Pilot Projects Operating In 10 States
Pilot projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, NJ have helped nearly 2,000 small businesses in 10 states purchase health insurance at sayings of 30 percent to 40 percent. The projects were designed to attract small unit: sured companies. Although these projects typically exclude firms that have offered group insurance within the past year, there are two notable exceptions-in Florida and Colorado.

The Florida Small Business Health Access Corp. in Tampu accepts firms that have gone uninsured for only six months. The corporation currently provides health services to 560 small businesses covering 2,856 individuals. It uses state funds to subsidize marketing and administration. That lowers the cost of premiums employers pay to enroll their workers in a local HMO, A 35 yer old adult male pays $75.52 a month for the standard option plan; family coverage is $198.96.

Eighty percent of the companies enrolled have three or fewer employees. says Rod Sailors, the corporation's director. The legislature more than doubled the plan's subsidy this year to $4.7 million permitting it to expand into 11 rural counties by next June.

In Denver, the Shared Cost Option for Private Employers (SCOPE) accepta small companies seeking to switch to s lower-cost health plan, as well as those currently uninsured. SCOPE, in operation less than a year, is providing health Insurance to 171 companies covering 4,296 individuals.

SCOPE's health plan is the only project funded by the Robert Wood John son Foundation that operates without a government subsidy. It cuts premium costs by requiring relatively high deductibles and coinsurance (the percentage of costs not covered by insurance) and by relying on a select group of doctors and hospitals. Routine visits to a doctor's office require a $15 payment. Hospital admissions require an individual to pay a $250 deductible plus half of the first $5,000 in charges. But the plan also covers a wide array of preventive Care at no charge.

The high enst-sharing with employees allows U.S. Life Insurance Co., the Neptune, NJ.. insurer offering the plan to keep rates low. A single 31+ year-old male pays $18.91 n month: family coverage is $148.47. "In the first five weeks of the plan]. 8,000 businesses called for information," says Judith Glacner, SCOPE's director.

Other Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health-care pilot projects are those operating statewide in Michigan, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin as well as those in Tucson, Ariz Brunswick, Maine and San Francisco.

10. Seek Out New, Low-Cost Plans Offered By Some Insurers
The low-cost health-insurance plan offered by U.S. Life Insurance through the SCOPE program in Denver already has inspired similar plans, says David Dunn, a senior vice president of U.S. Life. Just because of SCOPE, most of the carriers in Denver have tried to design similar products to appeal to the same market," says Dunn.

He has encouraged other insurers to copy the plan and offer it elsewhere. A number have shown some interest in doing so. Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations also have launched a number of low-cost plans designed for small companies and the uninsured. Blue Cross of Tennessee offers a comprehensive, nongroup program called Impact, for employers with four or fewer workers. Premiums for individuals start as low 18 $28.13 a month.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oregon offers a PPO for small groups. Premiums ire about one-third less than those of regular Blue Cross plans. there are, of course, other ways to eat health-care costs. The additional options that follow are common among midsized and larger companies yet are within the reach of many small firme:

- Start a wellness program that promotes healthful behavior. By some estimates, about one-half of nll health problems are related to lifestyle choices such as smoking and neglecting to get ?r???r ?x?r????.

Explore the feasibility of using a mail-order prescription drug program if you have employees who need large quantities of high-cost maintenance dngs, Mail-order pharmacies do a high volume business and offer unit prices based on that volume. They are often more aggressive in providing lower cost generic drugs, which can be a cost saving in itself when appropriate.

Eliminate mental health and drug dependency care from your health plan, and contract for this coverage separately, using a quality managed-care company that specializes in these services. This strategy can save you 10 to 40 percent of your health-care costs. Mental-health and drug-dependency care are the fastest growing segments of medical plans today. Experts say that much of the treatment now provided is inadequate or unnecessary.

- Offer a cafeteria-style benefits plan. Cafeteria plans allow employees to tailor their benefits to their individal needs, and they also enable employers to establish limits on company contributions.

For small companies, the frontier in health-care cost management lies in direct contracting with doctors and hospitals. Fred Rohm, of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, is eager to test how well this works. Although his plans are still in the formative stage, Rohim knows what he wants:

health center staffed with salaried doctors who would provide basic services to employees and dependents of hundreds of small companies in his area. Patients would receive routine care at the center, including X-rays and laboratory tests. As necessary, the staff doctors would channel patients to outside specialists who would work for discounted fees. Hospital treatment would be paid according to a set fee schedule reflecting significant reductions from sual charges.

I think we can sell the plan if we can price it at 360 to $75 per month per individual," says Rohm. That's about 40 percent to 50 percent less than the typical health-insurance plan.

Rohm is negotiating with JSA Health Care Corp. of Columbia, Md, to set up the proposed health center. JSA is one of a handful of companies nationwide breaking into the business of setting up health centers with company doctors for corporate clients.

Joseph L. Falkson, JSA's director of primary health, says the company currently runs seven similar health centers for dependents of US military personnel, and those centers have succeeded in holding down costs. We have calculated that between 1986 and 1989, we had 1 million patient visits at the centers," he says. "Our estimate is that we saved the military $40 million over what it would have spent if our patients had been purchasing typical fee-for-service medical care."

Company health centers represent just one approach for solving the health-care problems faced by American business. Clearly, there is no one solution best for all, but there are many small ways in which individual companies, business groups, insurers, and government can chip away at the problems today while contributing to a lasting solution for the future.

Time will tell whether any of the recent innovations in health-care delivery will lend the way out of the current Crisis. But workable solutions need to be developed sooner rather than later. The nation's employer-based health-insurance system can't take too many more years of 20 percent price increases.


 

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