Recession Causes Higher Individual Health Insurance Rates In More States

Recently, Anthem Blue Cross–the largest provider of health insurance in California–proposed a significant increase in the price of its individual health insurance policies. The price hike of over 30% was set to take effect several months from now, and drew criticism from the Obama administration. Under current law, health insurance companies are regulated by the states. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius only had the authority to write a stern public letter criticizing Anthem. In an attempt to resuscitate healthcare reform, Democrats pointed to the WellPoint subsidiary’s actions as a harbinger of what would happen in the health insurance market if their bill fails and the status quo remains.

It remains to be seen whether that tactic will revive support for health insurance reform, but there are indications that individual health insurance plans in several other states are looking to follow suit. In Maine, Anthem Blue Cross health insurance wants to increase its rates by nearly one-fourth; that’s on top of last year’s jump of one-third. Meanwhile, health insurance companies in Oregon have had their requests for 15% rate increases for individual health insurance approved. They, too, had also previously increased prices the year prior.

Many people have demanded an explanation for these price increases, especially during a recessionary period. Standard economic logic would have predict that lower demand from consumers with less money to spend would cause insurers to lower their premiums to attract more businesses. However, the health insurance industry is unique in that regard. In some respects, their costs are relatively fixed. Healthier people are more likely to drop their individual health insurance policies or switch to Health Savings Accounts and high-deductible health insurers plans with lower premiums. The people that keep their comprehensive health insurance in those circumstances tend to be those in worse health. Unhealthier people continue to use medical care. It costs health insurance companies money to fulfill their claims, while they are losing the more profitable individual health insurance consumers that generated income while using relatively small amounts of health care.

As a result, Oregon and Maine insurers–along with individual health insurance providers from California–have to increase their prices to maintain profit margins. Despite job losses, the employer-based group health insurance market has seen less volatility in sales. That, in addition to the larger risk pool that allows health insurers to spread costs, means that their rates have increased as significantly as those for individual health insurance.

What are the state health insurance regulators doing about this? Some states have no authority in the matter; they can negotiate with a health insurance company and plead with them to lower the level of proposed increases, but insurers don’t have to heed them. In these particular states, insurance departments can deny health insurers rate increases. However, individual health insurance companies can appeal the ruling or even sue to have it overturned. Oregon regulators approved several years’ worth of double-digit increases, since 2006 premium cuts caused individual health insurance providers to lose money. Unfortunately, the state insurance department’s reparations had exceptionally bad timing for its residents. In addition, they agreed with health insurance companies that an increase in diagnostic tests and higher service provider costs justified the rate increases.

Maine regulators have not been as charitable towards providers of health insurance. Originally, Anthem Blue Cross wanted last year’s average increase in the rate of individual health insurance to be 18.5%, but the state was able to hold the average consumer’s rate hike down to about 11%. The state is holding two public hearings on the issue later this month. Consumer protection groups are planning to attend in full force.

Proponents of healthcare reform claim that these increases show that the current system is not working, especially states like California or Maine, where a single health insurance company holds a near-monopoly. If there is a dominant individual health insurance provider in a state, it is easier for them to raise their rates without competition. A national health exchange market would attempt to bring prices down by promoting market competition, while subsidies and health insurance mandates are intended to help lower individual health insurance rates by increasing the size of risk pools. Anthem has called for the health insurance reform process to continue, because it has the potential to bring them more customers. Others believe that a better approach to the problem would be to allow insurers to sell policies across state lines, which would also serve to open up the market.

Some Simple Steps Can Help You Get Compensated if You Have Been Mis Sold PPI

Payment protection insurance, generally referred as PPI, is there in place to assist the individuals to settle up any amount overdue if the person becomes ill, loses his job, or has met with an unfortunate accident. Although Ppi is there to assist people in their state of financial instability, but the issues come when the buyers are sold the cover, without their knowledge. If you also have faced something similar, then you can file claim.

The fact is that if you have been a victim of mis sold payment protection insurance, then you might have paid or still be paying for a policy you do not need. Many times, the individuals deter from taking any legal step as they are unsure about the entire legal process and are unaware about the steps to take. You have to follow some simple steps and get back what you rightfully deserve. The first and most important step is that do not bother that once you claim your association or relation with your banker or lender might change. After all, you have been victimized because of their mistake and hence, you have all the rights to take the standpoint that you are lawfully allowed to reclaim back what should be yours.

The next step has to be collecting all the related credentials and documents. Find the documents, which have the exact details of the time of insurance selling. Check the rules and regulations for your loan as the cost of PPI may be incorporated on your accounts. It is also possible that it is not listed as PPI, but is called a loan protection, credit insurance, loan repayment insurance, ASU (accident, sickness and unemployment) insurance, account cover or payment cover. If there are any of the terms incorporated, you have been mis sold Ppi.

In case, you are unable to find any information or are unsure whether you have the insurance cover or not, then, get in touch with your bank or the lender and ask them to send you all the details. They have to send you the information, if they fail to do so, they might have to pay extra compensation. Once, you have all the details, assess the document and confirm that you have a genuine case to submit. You can’t just claim for the sake of it, particularly if you were aware of PPI and knowingly agreed to the terms at the time. This might entail reviewing the little features and investigating the details of the mortgage, credit card or loan, whatever you were getting.

Once you think, you have a claim, immediately get in touch with a financial claims management company or an expert notary to help you with your allege. These experts have the knowledge and skill to handle your case and will guide you accordingly. One thing you have to remember that just because you have made claim, you will not get recompensed. You have to have the necessary evidence and proof.

These are some simple steps that will help you get whatever you lost because of mis sold payment protection.

Do I Really Need To Insure Myself?

Have you ever stopped to consider what would happen to you and your family if you were unable to earn the money to support them through an accident or an injury to yourself?

Some of the unpleasant things in life we tend to say I’ll look after that later and later is always coming. Things like being incapicated for a year or longer, permanently disabled or even the worst, killed in an accident.

You tend to take care of insurance for your home, your contents, your car and neglect the most important, your family and yourself.

Many companies will have protection in place if you are injured while working, this can differ from company to company, state to state and country to country. But what if you were injured while not at work, you would not have any income protection insurance cover to help you support your family. If you are working for yourself then your definitely need your income protected with an insurance policy.

There are a couple of insurance covers to protect you. There is firstly life protection insurance and then income protection insurance.

Life protection normally has three forms, you can be insured against death, injury or illness.

1. Death cover this is usually called term life, and will pay out a lump sum to your dependants if you die unexpectedly.

2. Total and permanent disablement, this cover pays a lump sum if you happen to suffer and injury or illness that stops you from working again.

3. Trauma cover is the third and this type of insurance will cover you if you suffer a range of specified illnesses. These normally include, heart attacks, cancer or stroke.

The above three can often be combined, talk to your insurance consultant about this.

The other insurance to cover you is an income protection policy. This is a ‘must have’ insurance cover if you are self-employed.

Income protection will cover your ability to earn money. If you are unable to work due to illness or injury, this policy will cover you for up to a percentage, often 75%, of your monthly income.

The cover can be for two years, five years or until a particular age. There is normally a waiting period, somewhere between 30 and 90 days, after which the benefits will start being paid.

So you have a choice to protect your family and yourself. If your employer does not have the employees’ compensation type cover then you will need your own income protection policy to protect you while working and for everything else you will need the life protection insurance.

Let your insurance company or insurance consultant, guide you with getting the right cover for you.

Compare Home Insurance Quotes Online

After you buy the home, it is important to have the good insurance policy for your home. It is also necessary to get the sufficient coverage for protecting your investment when you buy the home. To make sure that the coverage you are getting is proper and that too at reasonable rate and the deal you are making is the best, you should perform some of the comparisons through various comparison sites that are available on the internet. Visit various home insurance price comparison sites that provide you with the multiple home insurance quotes from the different insurance companies.

It is not at all difficult to get the insurance quotes online and then you can compare the rates to get the best one. When you visit the comparison site, you will be asked to fill a short form asking for your some of basic information including your age, location, coverage you want, investment you make etc. after filling the form, you are required to click a button which will fetch you the multiple quotes from the numerous insurance companies. In order to speed up the process, you must have some of the necessary information before filling it. The information that is required for you to have include the year when your home was built, square footage area of your home and also few materials used for constructing your home.

Besides having all these information, you must also know the coverage that you desire to have before making the search. Mistake that most of the people commit is to insure the home at an amount which is equal to the price of the purchase. You require the sufficient money that will replace your home in case it is destroyed because of any mishap or natural calamity. The price required to rebuild the house is always less than the price it was purchased. This is because when you bought the home, it included the land where house is build along with the structure. And when you are rebuilding the house, you already have the land; you are just paying cost for the labor and material.

Insurance policy also includes the coverage for the personal possessions you have inside your home. If you want to have sufficient coverage for replacing the personal possessions during any event of fire, natural disaster or burglary, you must have the inventory of all possessions you own. You may also take video or photos of your possessions.

Car Insurance ? Are You Paying Over The Odds?

I?m sure many of you have, at one point or other, been on the receiving end of seemingly exorbitant premiums.

Whether this is a cause of points on your licence, an unexpected loss of no claims due to collision or merely the result of buying that speedy little car you?ve had your eye on for years, it can still be a nasty surprise.

There are a few things you can do however to decrease the price of those monster policies and here they are:

? Don?t accept the renewal you receive from your existing insurer as 9 times out of 10, you will find a cheaper policy by searching around online.

? Do be as accurate as you can with your estimated mileage ? rounding up this figure will cost more as you will be increasing your risk due to more time spent on the road.

? Add an older more experienced driver to your policy ? this will bring the premium down as having this less risky driver makes you a safer prospect.

? If you can afford to pay out a higher excess at the time of a claim you can increase this figure on a prospective policy to bring the premium down. (Please be aware this decrease is not proportional to the amount you have increased your excess by, i.e. if you increase your excess from ?250 – ?500 you will not usually save ?250 on your premium).

? If your vehicle does not have an immobiliser or alarm system consider getting one or both installed as this will mean your car is at less risk off theft and bring that premium down further still.

Life Insurance Uk: One Mighty Help

One thing that goes into making the present times the most comfortable one to live in is the emergence and availability of plenty of utility services. Indeed, they have gone a long way in reducing the worries and tensions from our lives. Well, talking about utility services, one service that really fits the bill is life insurance. No wonder then that life insurance has a massive fan following in UK.

The reasons for the popularity of life insurance UK is not difficult to understand. The rate of accidents have increased enormously in the past decade across the world. Particularly in UK they present a very scary scenario. What is even more scary is the fact that in most of the cases the injuries proved to be fatal. Imagine the plight of families who loose their only earning member in the mishap. Needless to say that they stand on the verge of ruins.

It is here that life insurance swings into action and ensures that one is spared the agony of financial crunch by making available to them the premium amount at the earliest and without any hassles. However, it would be in the best interest of people if they take care of a few things before signing the policy. First of all they must ensure that the policy comes to life as soon as soon as it is signed. They should also do well to know that what are the formalities that the family members will have to undergo before they can get the premium amount. In addition to this one would also do well not to default on monthly premium as well as not to provide any wrong information to the insurance company.

If efforts like these are taken then one can be rest assured that life insurance would provide a perfect security cover to the families who loose their only earning member.

Potholes Cause Expense For Government And Drivers

Motorcycle riders could see themselves having to pay out for damages that are caused by problems with the roads, such as potholes or bumps.

TyreSafe cited the AA?s research as showing that there was ?320 million in damages to vehicles throughout 2006, the company also revealed that there was a 42% increase in pothole-related accidents during the last 10 years in England.

This has not only affected car and van insurance but also bike insurance, more claims have been made due to the severity of the poor condition of Britain?s roads. TyreSafe went on to warn riders and motorists that particular care should be taken when it is dark or visibility is poorer than usual, this is because it will be even more difficult to see potential dangers such as potholes at these times.

TyreSafe spokesperson said: ?Damage to the tyre is not immediately visible and therefore motorists may be unaware of this until a potentially catastrophic failure occurs, thus putting the vehicle occupants and other road users at risk.”

Councils are responsible for roads, and they say they try to fill potholes or other dangers on the road as soon as they are made aware of them. The AA says that this is not always the case, the Automobile Associations estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of incidences of damage to road which councils are aware of but do not repair.

Edmund King, president of the AA said: “Last year in London alone there were 35,000 potholes that were reported and not filled in, so we can only estimate across the whole of the country there must be hundreds and thousands of potholes not being filled in.”

Unhappy road users across the UK note potholes and other road damage online, and CTC, a cycling group, logged almost 10,000 complaints over the previous year. CTC believes that council funds do not stretch to fixing these problems, and the government needs to fund these repairs.

Figures released by the AA and the road builders? association Asphalt Industry Alliance have suggested that the UK?s local authorities are paying as much out in compensation for injury and damage caused by potholes as they are filling them in.
Richard Wakelen, chief executive of National Joint Utilities Group which carries out reinstatements on road surfaces said: “If our members do fall short then Highways Authorities rightly hold them directly responsible and ensure the utility companies return to correct the problem.”

According to the government, its spending on repairing roads has trebled over the last decade, it also said that councils should have an ongoing programme of repairs and should not wait until problems and potholes appear. Road Minister Rosie Winterton thinks that local authorities need to be aware of how many roads are under its control.
She said: “They need to see what sort of condition they are in and they need to have an ongoing programme of investment in them.

“They need to make sure they are regularly mending roads not leaving it until they are in such bad condition that it becomes incredibly expensive.”

The Local Government Associations said that councils simply do not have the funds to deal with the backlog of repairs required on Britain?s roads. The money cannot be raiding through council tax or by adding to the government allocation of its own funds.

David Sparks of the LGS estimated that another ?200 million would be needed to reach the government?s targets for filling existing potholes by 2010. He said: “Our evidence shows that the backlog of work plus the escalation in costs means that we haven’t got enough money to solve the problem.”

Cheap Car Insurance Uk – Discovering The Most Appropriate Online Car Insurance Rates

You must also realize that there will be requirements you have got to persist with if you secure a policy.
Car insurance providers verify the amount you might pay for your rates through attempting to analyse the amount of a risk you might be. For example, males below the age of twenty five will usually pay much more to their coverage than females of any age or guys more than the age of 25. The main reason for this is because figures demonstrate that males in that age group get into more accidents and accidents cost insurance firms money. Regrettably, there is not a lot you could do to alter your age or gender although there are other solutions to obtain reduced policies.

If you’re able to make yourself look as less of a danger you may be eligible for reductions. There are lots of reductions available for any amount of different things. Students that maintain a very good grade point average, anybody that can maintain a good driving license, driving a vehicle utilising various safety features, taking an advanced driving course, any one of those things that make you entitled for a reduction on your insurance policy coverage. You may have the ability to come across alternative reductions your insurance provider offers by simply calling your insurer and posing some questions. A couple of minutes spent over the telephone may uncover a number of reductions that you never would’ve considered in case you had not taken any time to inquire.

The best way to get a lower rate is to simply perform some comparison shopping. Individuals do comparison shopping on a regular basis whether or not it is to save fifty pence in the grocery store or trying to decide on a large ticket item that may save them a lot more money. People equate prices on almost everything as they buy in a store although the majority do not take some time to go looking for the best policy rate on their vehicle insurance. The main reason may be simply because individuals don’t know where to look. The one tool you need to obtain the best price is your laptop as well as the Internet.

Now, you’ll be able to drive around your neighborhood area and try from one insurance company to another to locate low price car insurance. Unfortunately, you have to compile all the data from each, bring it home, and try to check each one so you’ll be able to obtain the very best policy. If you don’t want to deal with all these problems then you should look on the internet for your cheap car insurance. You’ll see that lots of the web sites these days provide you with a means to compare every one of the companies in one place. As a result once you input your coverage information, as much as eighty providers will show up with quotes.

Then again, before you leap in it’s important to compile all the best information that offers you a better possible opportunity to obtain savings. Consider it like the way you complete tax returns. You search for everything that will add money right? Well in this case you’re looking for places which can help you obtain cheap car insurance. Among the many ways to try and do this is through increasing the excess amount. If you are presently using a ?250 excess, raise it to ?500. This alone will be able to bring down your estimates or month to month costs if you make payments. However, in the meantime we recommend setting to one side some cash just in case an unfortunate situation occurs.

There are lots of other solutions to finding discounts, but you only have to read over the whole thing. If you’re in the military, you do not need to overlook that cheap car insurance reduction. What about the fact that you might have multiple policies? Are you married? Twenty-five years old or older?

In the end you simply need to stay one move ahead of your car insurance providers if you want really cheap car insurance. In the meantime, you should also follow the easiest course to finding the very best deal. We are pretty certain in the event you make use of a comparable quotes website, you won’t experience any difficulty getting cheap car insurance for you and your family.

The truth is everything is really in front of you. Attaining cheap car insurance is not about simply having very cheap rates. Instead you will have to find the best coverage and price at the exact same point in time. If you’ll be able to do this then you will be well on your way to receiving the very best auto insurance plan.