The Patient Protection And Affordable Health Care Act – Is Obamacare Healthy For America?

The American public is totally divided about the merits and demerits of Obamacare. The whole episode has also become a contentious political issue. However, people who oppose the Health Care Act seldom understand the true benefits that it can bring to the people of America.

The main focus of the Act is to bring as many people as possible under health insurance coverage. When the Act is enforced, people would be adequately covered by health insurance, and enjoy the benefits of Obamacare. Here is a brief overview of the real benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act.

First of all, insurance companies will not be allowed to discriminate based on the pre-existing conditions of applicants. Currently, guaranteed issue is mandatory only in the small group market. Employees who are enrolled in a company with a size of 2 to 50 employees alone currently enjoy this benefit. People who apply for insurance in the individual health insurance market can be denied insurance in many states based on their pre-existing condition. Obamacare seeks to eliminate this practice by requiring all insurers to offer uniform premiums to all applicants of similar age and geographical location, without taking pre-existing conditions into consideration.

Under the provisions of the Act, insurance companies offering individual or group health insurance coverage to dependent children of the policy holder would be required to extend that coverage until the child is 26 years old. Therefore, a number of youngsters can benefit from their parents’ health insurance coverage until they turn 26. This would benefit most youngsters who are struggling to pay for their personal health insurance coverage. In case these youngsters have children of their own, those children would not come under this coverage however. Thanks to the Act, six million young people would now enjoy health insurance coverage.

Obamacare also comprehensively addresses the infamous ‘donut hole’ problem in the Medicare Part D program. From 2010, eligible seniors who entered the donut hole were issued a $250 rebate check. In 2011, they were entitled to receive a 50% discount on branded medications within the donut hole. The prices of generic Part D drugs were also discounted. From 2013, even the cost of branded Part D prescription drugs would be discounted. By 2020, the hole would be completely eliminated. Seniors who are on a prescription drug plan will continue to receive Part D coverage throughout this period.

These are some of the benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act. Just as auto insurance is mandatory in the United States, the Act strives to make health insurance also mandatory so that every American can enjoy affordable health care.

Smart Plans for the Future

Smart, which is a DaimlerAG subsidiary company has seen its sales in recent years decline. The most probable reason for this decline is that the Smart cars are designed to stay within a certain mileage, plus they do not offer a ton of room like most modern cars. However, in order to combat this problem, Smart is contemplating bringing about an electric motorcycle and scooter in order to increase sales. 

However, the decision is not certain yet. As Smart is still in talks with developers and technicians in order to find out if they should consider these vehicles. The Smart brand has yet to say what company they are in talks with in order to produce these vehicles. 

Smart did have a concept that was revealed at the Paris Auto Show in 2010. Overall, most feelings toward the concept were positive, as it would be the first completely electric powered motorcycle and scooter of its kind. This would put Smart above the competition, which is what they are aiming for right now. However, will the concepts become reality? That is the question that everyone is asking. 

Those that work in the higher ranks of the Smart company seem to believe that these concepts will become reality as talks with the companies involved have been rather successful thus far. Until that time, Smart has quite a few other cars that are in the lines to be developed. In 2013, they plan to release a newer version of the Smart for Two cars. While in 2014, they plan to launch a four seat Smart car, which should alleviate some of the problems that people have with space.

For 2012, the company will be launching a full electric car for two, however, they do not expect sales to reach many heights. In order to increase sales, these cars will be combined with certain incentive offers in order to attract more consumers.

Commercial Carpet Cleaning – The Fundamentals to Finding the Best Commercial Carpet Cleaner

When it comes to cleaning carpets in commercial premises the underlying requirement is based around the simple formula of providing quality cleaning at a competitive price in the fastest possible time with minimal disruption. Whilst this formula is simple; the provision in itself is steeped in complexity and in-depth knowledge of the trade is required.

To provide the highest level of cleaning for commercial clients the best served professionals invest in the most modern of equipment, training and techniques. Independent specialists are not tied to any affiliate or franchise. The benefit that this offers is that it allows for the use of the best equipment and products without being dictated to

The commercial services are provided to the hospitality, leisure, retail, professional and industrial sectors. The service needs to be tailored to suit individual requirements and previously arranged commitments as minimal disruption to businesses within this sector is pivotal. Careful consideration and appreciation will instantly provide your clients with assurance they are dealing with a professional outlet

Your chosen company should have an established website, filled with information, detail of their services, testimonials from clients, a presence on social media and easily accessible contact details. Each of these aspects help to build up an unrivalled reputation and will help them stand out above their competition.

A lot of companies boast the provision of a superior service. Nothing can prove this more than varied experience in the commercial carpet cleaning field. This builds up time-served knowledge and this will be instantly recognisable when discussing your requirements during the quotation and inspection process. Your chosen professional will have detailed knowledge of carpet stain removal, timescales to complete the work and will be comfortable discussing all aspects of the cleaning work.

Another important aspect of superior provision is reliability. How is this managed? The answer is consistency in their provision of information, punctuality when arranging and keeping appointments and start times and dependable and trustworthy approaches.

Transparency in pricing is fundamental. Larger commercial cleaning work will require an inspection which allows for the provision of an accurate quote. This will discuss the logistics of the work and will give a price inclusive of machinery, solutions, insurance and man power to make sure that the job is completed to the highest of standards.

Each of these points will allow potential clients with the essential points to identifying the best, local professional to complete the task of cleaning their carpets. The appearance of your work place is the window to your business and impressions are critical to the overall success in a competitive corporate world. It is a brilliantly cost-effective service, transforming the look and feel of the work place for a fraction of the cost of replacement. This information should empower readers and will pay dividends in the overall success.

The Real Purpose of the Human Resources Function

When we think of the human resources function in an organization, it is often about the discrete activities that fall under its domain. Recruitment, orientation, job descriptions, discipline, performance management, compensation and benefits, etc. are certainly all part of the human resources umbrella. Yet, the most important dynamic that is part of this function is people development. Unfortunately it is often overlooked or put on the back burner.

It is easy to fall into the trap of seeing the human resources function as discrete activities listed above. Increasingly, as the years have passed, the complexity of laws pertaining to human resources in an organization, the complexity of a wide variety of benefit needs, and the need to meet ever demanding worker expectations have gobbled the time of those responsible for the human resources function. Nevertheless, it is critical for the organization that the human resources function see people development as its most important dynamic.

Two factors impact how an organization meets the dynamic of people development. The first involves the people themselves. The second involves the environment in which they work.

When we stop to consider the “people” in our organization, we realize we are dealing with a complex set of aspects. These include:

-the person’s view of life in this organization: paycheck, career, a place to interact with others, a place where I contribute to the making of a product or service that our customers buy and use, etc.

-the responsibilities this person has outside the work place: family, relationships, community, etc.

-the problems the person faces outside of work: financial, relationships, health, etc.

Before people can be open to development, they have to feel comfortable with the basics of the life they are living.

Does the organization provide employee assistance through a program or insurance that supports personal and confidential counseling and assistance when necessary?

The second factor that impacts the human resources dynamic is the environment that exists for employees in the organization. Environment creates a climate. It includes:

-payment of a fair wage for the work the employee does and belief by the employee that it is a fair wage.

-payment for good performance rather than pay for time put in.

-additional things the organization does to support its people such as providing flex time, a gym or exercise area, occasional social events that create a community spirit, etc.

-conducting organizational “climate surveys” on a regular basis to see what people in the organization think about the environment.

-the organization taking steps to make the environment more attractive and supportive.

Once there is a sound foundation of the basics described above, the human resources function can then concentrate on real people development. People always have a wealth of potential that they have not developed or utilized. Most of that potential will never be developed in the work place unless there are means available to support development.

In the contemporary work place, there are many means of development available:

-return to a formal educational provider such as a community college or university with or without the organization providing some financial assistance for this.

-training programs that are work and skill related, provided inside or outside the organization.

-self-development opportunities offered through on-line training, video courses etc.

It all comes down to “does human resources in the organization support the people development effort and how?” It is not merely window dressing to make the organization look good. The payoff is ultimately in the creativity, performance and quality that the organization’s people put into the product or service.

Obviously, a human resources effort that really promotes people development costs time and money. The payoff, however, far offsets the cost of continually turning people over because they think the organization doesn’t really care about them or their development. The market place benefits as well, and after all, that is where the future of whether the organization stays in business lies.

Four Reasons to Contact a Locksmith

For many people, contacting the right trade worker completely depends on the right situation. We never think about their work until we actually need them to make our lives easier somehow. We don’t need a locksmith for most of the things in our life, but when they’re called upon, we need them to do their jobs and do them correctly. With the advent of the Internet and social media, a reputation can be made or broken very quickly. Here’s a look at some of the more frequent reasons people would contact a locksmith at home and at the workplace.

You need a lock fixed or replaced. One of the more obvious reasons that a lock and key specialist would be contacted is that a new lock needs to be installed or the old one needs to be fixed. Maybe you’re a homeowner who’s been the unfortunate victim of a robbery and your insurance covers a replacement. Perhaps your car key got jammed inside the lock on a cold day and broke off. Maybe you’re a new homeowner and want to replace the old locks on the house. Either way, contacting a specialist is usually the preferred way to solve the problem and make everyone happy.

You need help checking out your security system. This reason doesn’t come immediately to mind, but can be quite important in the long run. If you make the investment to purchase a brand-new security system, then it’s fair wise to have a professional come by the house or workplace. After all, checking all of the keys and locks can’t be done by someone who’s not sure what to test for in the first place. Not having locks checks is an unwise thing to do as a homeowner and would be disastrous for a workplace. Contacting a specialist and seeing what your options are is a smart first step to guaranteeing a solid level of protection.

You want to be careful with some prized possessions. For any homeowner, there are certainly plenty of reasons why some sort of security system is a vital investment. There’s the time spent with loved ones and the desire to ensure that everyone is safe at all times inside the home or wanting to make sure the home is locked up tight when everyone’s away. With any home, there are certainly some prized possessions that will be locked tight. A good security system is arguably the best defense against burglars, and a specialist can ensure these items are well-protected.

It’s another guard against identity theft. Technology has grown at a rapid rate, and so too have the tools of burglars everywhere. Cases of identity theft have skyrocketed over the last decade, along with the methods used to steal identities. Not only do hackers steal such information online, burglars can swipe paper credit card statements from the home and use those for devious means. The right security system can put those sensitive papers in a nice, safe area with a solid lock protecting it. A good specialist can explain all of these options in a personable manner.

Grounds Under Which You Are Entitled For Compensation Under the Lemon Law

There are several pitfalls which consumers, and particularly buyers of used or new vehicles must be wary of. Employees of most car dealerships have a tendency of misrepresenting the company. As a result, many facts are often concealed, which should otherwise be disclosed to help buyers make an informed decision. Fortunately, we have the lemon law that seeks to promote the rights of consumers who are victims of fraud. Furthermore, lemon law attorneys deal well with consumers who are caught on the wrong side of the law while doing transactions. The following are some of the grounds you are entitled for compensation under the lemon law:

· Undisclosed prior rental history

In circumstances where a motor vehicle dealer is seeking to obtain a used vehicle from a rental, the company should disclose the vehicle’s prior rental history, even if the dealer does not ask. Such disclosure is very important because many people fail to treat rental vehicles with the same care and respect they treat their own vehicles. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find a rented car being mishandled or driven by a person with poor driving habits.

· Undisclosed information of prior damage

The integrity and safety of a vehicle that has had prior damage can be compromised severely. When buying used vehicles, consumers often ask whether a particular vehicle has been involved in an accident and experienced damage. However, some of the dealerships lie or fail to disclose information about prior damage.

· Undisclosed prior salvage history

It is not uncommon to find a vehicle that was involved in an accident and compensation made by the insurance, repaired and sold to unsuspecting consumers. Instead of being confined to the junkyards, they are normally poorly repaired and resold. The integrity and safety of such vehicles is severely compromised. Therefore, information pertaining to a salvaged vehicle should be disclosed to the buyer, even where they have not asked.

· Invalid service contracts & extended warranties

Some consumers find it irresistible buying a used car that comes with an extended warranty or a service contract. They figure they are getting a good deal by purchasing a vehicle that provides for expensive repairs performed by the warranty company. However, many buyers soon discover the service contracts and extended warranty is not available when they need it most. Furthermore, the contracts often contain exclusions for motor vehicles that have had accident damage, vehicles that do not have original factory parts or vehicles with pre-existing defective conditions.

Why Is a Bankruptcy Petition So Confusing?

Lately there’s been a lot on the news about the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling and even the US on the verge of bankruptcy. All one has to do is pick up a financial paper or go on the inter-web and they will see many articles even about a $23 trillion credit bubble that is starting to collapse in China. It seems that no one is immune from bad financial news globally. Let’s face it, the world has been living too high on the hog for too many years. The big banks have been behind a lot of the financial problems by loaning money to people and even countries that can’t afford to pay it back. All they care about is getting their interest payments monthly and are not too concerned about paying them back. The US is now close to the breakeven point where the taxes that are collected won’t even pay the interest on the US debt. The government recently reported that unemployment was down to 6.7% but zero hedge said that unemployment is closer to 37% and is higher than it was in the 30s after the Great Depression. What the government is not accounting for, is all the people that lost their jobs and never found a new one before losing unemployment insurance. If it wasn’t for all the social programs, like food stamps, there would be long soup lines just like there was in the depression.

Now, many people are once again dangling at the end of their rope not knowing what to do next. Creditors once again have become overly generous allowing Americans to get in historically deep debt like we’ve never seen before. People are now using one credit card to pay another one so they are able to continue charging and digging themselves a deeper hole. At some point in time the only thing that will help this group of people is filing bankruptcy.

When a person decides filing bankruptcy is in their future, they should speak with a bankruptcy attorney about the process. Although it is possible to file for bankruptcy on your own, it’s best to have the help of a bankruptcy attorney. The first thing the attorney will need to do before filing bankruptcy is fill out the bankruptcy petition. In most cases, a bankruptcy attorney will use an online software that has a secure web portal that allows their clients to log in and submit all of their information to help populate the bankruptcy petition. This will keep the bankruptcy attorney from having to go back and forth with their clients while trying to pry information out of them.

The bankruptcy petition includes all financial information about the person filing for bankruptcy. The information will be divided up into schedules and that is where the bankruptcy attorney really comes in handy. For the layman, knowing where to put information can be complicated and sometimes can cost the person money or even property if the bankruptcy petition is filled out improperly.

The schedules of the bankruptcy petition are divided into real property, like real estate or land on schedule A and personal property will be listed on schedule B. Schedule C will be a list of all the bankruptcy exemptions protecting the property from schedule A and B. The secured debts will be listed on schedule D, priority debts will be listed on schedule E and unsecured debts will be listed on schedule F.

When filing bankruptcy, the petition will be filed with the bankruptcy court and at that time the individual will be given a date of when they will need to appear at the 341 meeting or meeting of creditors. At this time, the individual will meet the bankruptcy trustee and be asked questions regarding the bankruptcy petition. Once again this is why it’s good to have a bankruptcy attorney representing the individual. When a person is being represented by a bankruptcy attorney, they have the assurance of a professional to handle their case so as to avoid any problems along the way.

Advancements in Electronic Health Record Software

Brave New World

Rudimentary efforts in electronic health record (EHR) systems were in play as early as the 1960s. Those programs were built by academic medical institutions solely for their use. As the advantages of electronic health records on a broader scale became clearer, the next two decades saw a collaboration of learning institutions and medical facilities experimenting with and implementing more complex programs for mutual benefit.

In addition, various governmental agencies whose individual missions demanded the retention of massive amounts of records recognized the need for a system that would provide more accuracy and better security than paper copies offered. Consequently, they developed and integrated into their organizations programs specific to their requirements.

Not Lost in Translation

By the first decade of 2000, international appeal for the use of EHRs had significantly broadened. That led to the acknowledgement that such sensitive technology called for refined analysis and oversight. Global electronic standards needed to be set for the purpose of ensuring that each component of an EHR enjoyed flawless compatibility with its integrated elements. Considering that one EHR system’s individual components could conceivably come from a number of different vendors, a common platform for developers was essential.

Standards-developing organizations, operating as non-profits, were formed to distinctly define the shared applications — such as computer language — necessary for the successful optimization of EHRs. Members within the various SDOs would meet at scheduled times within each year to create documentation that specified how medical information would be commonly used between various applications. To say that the implementation of EHRs was advancing immodestly is an understatement; by 2010 discussion of the architecture’s merits had become an integral part of the political process.

New Stars are Born
The union of health and information technology also gave birth to new pertinent industries, which naturally gave rise to expanded career fields. Specialized healthcare courses and more extensive programs in IT schools have now become vitally integrated into the higher-education environment. The inherent versatile quality of medicine that is the foundation for specialization must, by necessity, extend to the programming for EHRs. Initially, the software primarily addressed only basic information:

  • Patient’s Identification and Personal Data
  • Medical History
  • Insurance and Billing

It was inevitable that practitioners and care facilities would one day request programs geared to their unique needs. Today, there are EHRs dedicated to many sub-specialties. Amongst them:

  • Gastroenterology
  • OB/GYN
  • Neurology
  • Orthopedics
  • Dentistry

Other advancements in software now include timesaving speech-recognition technology. Doctors and medical transcriptionists can more accurately record notes. Electronic prescriptions offer pharmacists the luxury of not having to interpret the fabled scribbling of physicians.

As specialized formats continue to grow, healthcare courses and IT schools have adapted their curricula to ensure that their students may successfully participate in the real world.

The Courts and Social Media: Will the Evidence Hold Up?

When sites like LiveJournal and MySpace first hit the scene, it was probably difficult to understand the influence that social media would someday have. Now that at least 80 percent of all Internet users have some form of social media page, it’s hard to deny social networking’s reach. What many people don’t realize is the fact that attorneys, prosecutors and parties to lawsuits are now increasingly using social media as a form of evidence at trial. Failing to recognize this has landed, and will probably continue to land, many people in trouble.

Increase in Social Media Evidence

There’s absolutely no doubt that the use of social media in lawsuits has greatly increased over the years. Less than a decade ago, most people would’ve never even fathomed the idea, but a quick search on the Internet shows that it’s common practice in this day and age. This isn’t difficult to understand considering the fact that Facebook has well over one billion users on the site.

The majority of people online now have these types of pages, and strikingly, the seeming anonymity of the World Wide Web leads many people to post incriminating things. As it turns out, it’s not even really necessary to post something that is considered criminal.

A woman, for example, recently posted a negative review against a large company in a public forum. When the woman refused to remove the review, the company brought forth a defamation lawsuit. Whether this will be successful or not will not be known until the trial is over.

Effects on Plaintiffs and Respondents

The effects of social media evidence can be detrimental for either party in a lawsuit. For defendants, it can go to prove exactly what a plaintiff is saying. For example, a person may post pictures of themselves drinking at a local bar fifteen minutes before being involved in a wreck and this could be used as evidence by a personal injury lawyer for the plaintiff in a personal injury suit against them. It’s important to note, however, that damaging posts can go both ways.

There have been many times when plaintiffs to a case have gotten less than admirable settlements after posting certain things online. People going to court against a workers’ compensation insurer, for instance, will likely be in trouble if a picture of them climbing a mountain is posted three days after their alleged injury.

What can be Done?

The most important thing for anyone to do is to be weary of what they post on social media. Far too often people feel as if their friends will be the only ones who have access to their posts, but these posts, even protected ones, can easily be accessed by legal professionals. Not posting incriminating things in the first place is essential.

This simple rule is because in the case of Torres v. Lexington Ins. Co., the courts used punitive measures against a plaintiff that deleted an incriminating social media page after learning that the defendant had found it. The court called the action an “unconscionable scheme” that it sought to deter. Strong words, so it’s imperative to be smart with social media proactively, not after the fact.

Social media has done great things for the world. On a small scale, it has brought friends and families together across great distances. On a macro level, it has sparked revolutions that led to entire countries being liberated from despots. Because of the power social media obviously holds, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s now being used in court. For plaintiffs and respondents in a lawsuit, it’s best to be very careful when posting to their pages.

If You Like Your Health Care Plan You Can Keep It?

Remember at a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire on August 11, 2009, the President said, “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” I have been in the insurance business for many years, and as we have migrated toward the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, it became increasingly more obvious that you would not be able to keep your health care plan. Many of the insurance carriers have left the market. Since the bill became a law, some of the carriers that I have worked with over the years such as Principal Financial, American Community, World Insurance and American Republic, have left the Health Insurance Market. If you had one of those carriers, guess what, you cannot keep your health care plan.

This weekend several of my clients insured with Celtic insurance, received letters that their plans are not health care reform compliant and they will be terminated effective December 31, 2013. That is a nice piece of mail to receive. Celtic is a carrier I have placed a lot of business with over the years. I was featured in their first quarter of 2012 newsletter as their featured agent for the amount of production I did with that company. Celtic is based in Chicago and is owned by Centene Corporation (CNC).

While I have seen most of the carriers new plans to be compliant with the law, I knew my personal insurance plan would likely change. I love my Health Savings Account (H.S.A). I have a $5000 deductible and I pay all charges up to that amount. I have also funded the savings account for the medical expenses I may incur.

Today, I received the letter from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of IL. The first paragraph of the letter states, “The new health care law is effective January 1, 2014, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of IL (BCBSIL) is offering brand-new plans with important benefits and features. This means the BCBSIL health insurance plan you now have will no longer be available for renewal as of December 31, 2013.”

It goes on to tell me they will send me information in the near future of a similar plan or a different plan that would be available. Now I knew this day was coming, but it hits you harder when it actually applies to you. As a broker, I can usually figure out what kind of insurance is best for each client. As a parent, and husband, I know what kind of insurance is best for my family. I also believe that health insurance should be kind of like auto or homeowners insurance in so much as, they are designed to pay for things you cannot pay for yourself. My auto insurance does not pay for my oil changes on my car because it is preventive. I still get the oil changed every 3,000 miles even though my insurance does not pay for it. I go see a doctor periodically and I have no problem paying the $100 every so often to see the doctor. I do not need a co-pay of some kind to encourage me to go to the doctors. If I am sick I will go. I do not need maternity on my health plan as I am no longer having children.

I have also always had health insurance even when I was 23 years old and only made about $17 or $18,000 per year.

So I am curious when the President of the United States of America said, if you like your health plan you can keep, which health plan was he talking about?