Category Archives: Insurance

Medical Schools Teach Students To Talk With Patients About Care Costs

From NPR News

Time for a pop quiz: When it comes to health care, what’s the difference between cost, charge and payment?

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Determining a Realistic Retirement Figure for Gen X and Millennials

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Calculating a realistic figure on how much Gen X-ers and Millennials need to save for their retirement can be an unnerving task.

Many financial advisors recommend saving at least $1 million since life spans are increasing, but even half of that amount appears to be daunting and unattainable for many people who are saddled with both student loans and credit card debt.

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John Hancock Hopes You’ll Trade Activity Data For Insurance Discounts

You don't need to run a marathon — or wear a gorilla suit — to get a discount on John Hancock's new life insurance program. But at least one of them may help.You don’t need to run a marathon — or wear a gorilla suit — to get a discount on John Hancock’s new life insurance program. But at least one of them may help.
Rick Rycroft/AP

Would you lead a more active lifestyle if it meant lower life insurance premiums? Insurer John Hancock and Vitality, a global wellness firm, are hoping the answer is yes. But there is a condition: They get to track your activity.

The practice is already employed in Australia, Europe, Singapore and South Africa, where Vitality is based.

The companies announced the new plan Wednesday and posted a video on John Hancock’s website.

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How Retirees Should Approach Interest Rate Hikes

It’s difficult to predict whether or not interest rates will rise this year. If you’re retired and risk-averse, then you’re probably not living high on the hog from a savings standpoint. Did you know that the average savings yield in the first quarter of 2015 was a measly 0.09%? For someone in retirement, that won’t be enough income to live off of. Actually, for most retirees it wouldn’t even be enough to go out for a nice dinner once per year. According to Swiss Re (a Swiss insurance company), since 2008 approximately a half-trillion dollars has been lost in interest income due to low interest rates.

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The Independent Agent Network represents a multitude of top-rated carriers, which allows our agents to offer a diverse portfolio of products and maintain a competitive edge in the industry. Our agents are independent and energized by a clear sense of purpose. When you get contracted with us, you’ll be working in a team environment, with the training and support systems you will need to be successful.

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Health Insurance Premiums Will Go Up In 2016, But By How Much?

An analysis shows the monthly premiums for many people with Obamacare policies will not much change in 2016. But the high increases of some policies are drawing fire.

Some health insurance companies are asking for big price increases next year, and that has again riled critics of the federal health care law. But early analysis shows those steep hikes may not affect the majority of consumers.

The numbers released last week came out of a June 1 deadline, under the Affordable Care Act, that requires insurance companies to tell government regulators when they’re requesting price hikes of more than 10 percent. Some officials opposed to the law, like Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, decried the increases.

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Insurer Uses Personal Data To Predict Who Will Get Sick

Carol and John Iovine say the health coach their insurer assigned John after he had a torrent of grave health problems in 2014 has helped them get the medical care he still needs. And it's helped keep him out of the hospital.

(Carol and John Iovine say the health coach their insurer assigned John after he had a torrent of grave health problems in 2014 has helped them get the medical care he still needs. And it’s helped keep him out of the hospital.
Todd Bookman/WHYY)

The first thing out of John Iovine’s mouth is an apology.

“You got to forgive me if I don’t remember too much,” he says. “I had a stroke.”

Signs of that stroke are everywhere — the bed in the dining room, a shower installed in the pantry. John is thin, and sits in blue pajama pants in the wheelchair he uses to get around.

He may, however, have overstated his memory problems.

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Weighing Privacy Vs. Rewards Of Letting Insurers Track Your Fitness

Patient Gary Wilhelm looks at his medical data on a smartphone that is synchronized to a new Fitbit Surge on his wrist.

Would you be willing to hand over your health information to a life insurance company, in exchange for financial rewards?

Activity trackers have become increasingly popular over the past few years, tracking everything from how many steps you walk to your location throughout the day.

Now, John Hancock, a U.S.-based insurer, hopes that fit and active people will exchange activity data for lower life insurance premiums and other perks. Those who sign up for this optional program, the first of its kind in the United States, will receive a free Fitbit device to track their activity levels.

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Health Insurance Prices: Highest In Alaska, Lowest In Sun Belt

Alaska: home to Denali National Park and Preserve, grizzly bears and some very pricey health insurance.

In health insurance prices, as in the weather, Alaska and the Sun Belt are extremes. This year Alaska is the most expensive health insurance market for people who do not get coverage through their employers, while Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M., and Tucson, Ariz., are among the very cheapest.

In this second year of the insurance marketplaces created by the federal health law, the most expensive premiums are in rural spots around the nation: Wyoming, rural Nevada, patches of inland California and the southernmost county in Mississippi, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has compiled premium prices from around the country. (KHN is an independent program of the foundation.)

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6 Pitfalls To Avoid When Picking Insurance On The Job

Man shopping with some very high-price options.

You don’t get a pass this year on big health insurance decisions because you’re not shopping in an Affordable Care Act marketplace. Employer medical plans — where most working-age folks get coverage — are changing too.

Rising costs, a looming tax on rich benefits packages and the idea that people should buy medical treatment the way they shop for cellphones have increased odds that workplace plans will be very different in 2015.

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