Managing Your Finances (BMO Scavenger Hunt)

Managing Your Finances (BMO Scavenger Hunt) Emily Dickey posted this in UncategorizedThis post brought to you by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. All opinions are 100% mine.It’s the last week of the BMO Harris Bank Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes! Have you been entering each week and getting great new tips for your financial milestones? I have! Even if some of the previous weeks haven’t quite applied to where you are at this point in your life (buying a home or having a baby), this week is for everyone!Week 5 is all about managing your finances. After college when I entered the “real world,” I always said–why wasn’t there a mandatory class in college (or even high school) about finances?! Taxes, mortages, types of insurance…

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Know the Risks of Medical Tourism: Is It Worth It?

Know the Risks of Medical Tourism: Is It Worth It?Posted onMarch 10, 2014byRichard ReichEnglish-speaking patients are increasingly traveling to such places as Malaysia, Brazil and Mexico to save anywhere from 30 to 90 percent on medical procedures. The medical tourism market reached $10.9 billion in 2012, and according to projections by Transparency Market Research, it will grow to $32.5 billion annually by 2019.Some experts warn of the risks of traveling for medical procedures, however. Boston plastic surgeon Samuel Lin recalls a woman who had traveled abroad for breast augmentation. She came into his office complaining of discomfort, thinking her silicone implant had ruptured—only to learn a large cloth had been left in her chest.Such cases have some consumers wondering whether the risks of medical tourism are worth it. …

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Window Cleaners Fined Over Compensation Failings

Home » No Win No Fee » Latest Personal Injury News » 2014 » 2 » Window Cleaners Fined Over Compensation FailingsWindow Cleaners Fined Over Compensation FailingsJason Mawson, the boss of a County Durham window cleaning company, has been fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over compensation insurance failings.Darlington Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr Dawson operated a window cleaning company that traded as We-aredale Cleaning and offered local residents their services on a door-to-door basis.Part of his role as an employer required him to hold insurance against injury or disease liability.This would enable his workers to claim compensation for any industrial accident that took place, but his failure to have cover in place left his workers at risk.An inspector from the HSE asked Mr Mawson to produce his insurance certificate a number of times, but he repeatedly failed to do so, even when presented with a formal notice in September 2013.For failing to have adequate compensation cover in place, Mr Mawson was fined £100 and told to pay £755 in costs after he pleaded guilty to breaching the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.This statute dictates that employers must, at all times, have a relevant insurance policy in place to allow staff to claim redress in the event of an accident.”As well as being a legal requirement, Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance offers important protection for employers and employees alike,” HSE inspector Victoria Wise said.”Without it, if a worker becomes ill or is injured at work, they will not be able to claim compensation from the employer. For employers, insurance covers the cost of legal fees and compensation payouts in the event of a claim by a worker.”In 2013-14 some 148 workers in the UK died as a result of injuries at work and thousands more suffered industrial diseases caused by issues their employer was liable for.But despite this, many small businesses neglect their obligation to arrange Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance, leaving workers out of pocket and at risk of financial insolvency.By Francesca WitneyOr Call freephone 0800 884 0321SHARE THIS

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First large-scale study of stock market volatility, mental disorders

Falling stock prices lead to increased hospitalizations for mental disorders, according to new research published today in the journal Health Policy and Planning.Researchers assessed the relationship between stock price movements and mental disorders using data on daily hospitalizations for mental disorders in Taiwan over 4,000 days between 1998 and 2009. They found that a 1000-point fall in the Taiwan Stock Exchange Capitalisation Weighted Stock Index (TAIEX) coincided with a 4.71% daily increase in hospitalizations for mental disorders.A downward daily change in stock price index coincided with significantly increased hospitalizations for mental disorders — when the stock price index decreased by 1% in a single day there was a 0.36% increase in hospitalizations for mental disorders on that same day. The researchers also found that falls in stock price index on consecutive days were associated with a 0.32% daily increase in mental disorders hospitalizations — when the stock price index falls consecutively for 5 days there was a 1.6% increase in the number of mental disorder hospitalizations on the fifth day.These effects were found to be significant for both genders, with daily and consecutive changes in stock price index having a greater impact on men’s mental health. Low stock price index and daily change in stock price index had a significant effect on hospitalizations for the 35-54 age groups while consecutive change affected the 45-54 age groups.The research, led by Dr Chung-Liang Lin at Dong Hwa University and Dr Chin-Shyan Chen and Dr Tsai-Ching Liu at Taipei University, is the first of its kind to investigate a potential relationship between stock market volatility and nationwide prevalence of mental disorders. The results suggest that the mental health of middle-aged males may be critically influenced by the stock market — when the stock price index is low, hospitalizations for mental illness are relatively high.Previous research has suggested that mental disorders are more likely to affect disadvantaged members of society, with financial hardship having a negative impact on psychological health. The global financial crisis led to a decline in wealth for many and subsequent research has looked at the links between national economic conditions and the general health of the public. Data have also shown that economic recession has an exacerbating effect on the use of mental health services and decline in reported happiness. Most research on economic recession looks at involuntary job loss; few studies have looked at the effects of a fluctuating stock market on population health outcomes.The researchers used stock market movements as a proxy for changes in economic conditions and assessed the relationship with mental disorders using data from the National Health Insurance Research Dataset published by the National Health Research Institute of Taiwan.Dr Lin, Assistant Professor of Economics, said: “The stock market became the most watched indicator for much of the economic recession. Drops in the value of stocks can, and often do, announce a reduction in wealth and the multiplication of business failures with consequential pay cuts or layoffs. Indeed, it is reasonable enough for people to have dire fears about the future, and those fears are heavily reinforced by media coverage. …

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Do You Have a Valid Injury Claim?

If you have been injured in a car accident and wish to seek damages from the other driver, you must first determine if your claim is valid. There are many factors that can both predict, and affect, the validity of potential claims, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help you identify and purse those in an efficient and effective manner.As a rule of thumb, it is vital to contact your insurance company, the police, and if applicable, the department of motor vehicles (DMV) immediately following an accident in which you sustained an injury. State-level rules vary in terms of the time frame within which they allow accident victims to report a crash. If you fail to report your accident within the allotted time, you may severely limit your ability to seek damages for your injuries.“No-fault” states prohibit accident victims from filing claims against the other party unless their accident-related expenses are above a certain amount. The term no-fault essentially means that insurance companies for each driver will pay the costs associated with an accident to their own clients without the need to prove the other party was at fault. Therefore, if accident-related expenses are below the threshold limit, each party would receive payment from their respective insurance company regardless of who was responsible for causing the accident. To complicate matters, however, no-fault states vary in terms of the circumstances that allow an accident victim to file a claim. Therefore, it is advisable to consult an insurance agent to gain a complete understanding of individual policies as well as state laws pertaining to injury claims.On the other hand, individuals who reside in “fault” states may have legal recourse against the other driver in the event of an accident, even if the damages exceed the limits of the other driver’s insurance policy. In the event that a driver is under-insured, and the accident victim’s insurance policy does not include coverage against under-insured drivers, the injured party must then consider the option of filing a claim.Similar in concept to the time limits described above with regard to reporting an accident, there are also time limits for filing a personal injury claim, and these vary by state. Known as statues of limitations, these time periods dictate the period within which a legal claim can be filed. …

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Florida Life Insurance: An Adaptable Insurance policy

Florida Life Insurance: An Adaptable Insurance policyWhen anyone thinks of purchasing life insurance, then term life insurance and whole life insurance strike one’s mind. You must deem the mixture of these two policies for the life insurance quotes i.e. universal life insurance. This insurance policy is a sort of permanent life insurance that has extra characteristics and benefits; it collects cash value through investment of the insurance premium payments, it is similar in some ways and was developed from whole life insurance.The attractive characteristic of this policy is that it has adaptability of premium payments, and has groovier prospective for cash value growth; the purchaser has the chance to change the insurance policy to beseem his altering requirements. In another word, this policy grants the …

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Are Canadian Under Insured?

According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, more then 20 million Canadians are protected by life insurance with an average amounts owned were $156,200 for insured individuals and $312,200 for insured households. That leaves approximately 30% of individuals without important insurance protection as well insured households only having an average amount of $312,200 of life insurance, this could represent many families being underinsured in Canada. Creating awareness around the need for life insurance is paramount there are many brokers and insurance agencies in Canada available to help with your insurance needs, call a insurance professional whether you are protecting your family your business there is help out there. Author: Peter C. Choma an insurance specialist with Solutions Financial Reference: Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. 2008 Edition …

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You have Disability Insurance – What about your Business?

You have Disability Insurance – What about your Business?Posted onAugust 26, 2013byRichard ReichBusiness Overhead Expense Disability InsuranceYou may have purchased a disability insurance policy for yourself, but what about your business?  The bottom line is, your personal bills might be covered by an individual policy, but if you own a business, those expenses need to be covered by a separate policy, typically called a business overhead expense policy.The health of your business is closely tied to your health, but what would happen to your business if you became too ill or injured to work?How would you meet the everyday business expenses like rent and utilities? Without you providing your services, how will new revenue for the company be generated? Would you have to take on …

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Study in teens & young adults may help predict if health insurance expansion will cut ER use

Oct. 17, 2013 — As the nation’s health care system prepares for uninsured Americans to gain health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, a question hangs over crowded hospital emergency departments: Will the newly insured make fewer ER visits than they do today?According to the results of a new University of Michigan Medical Schoolstudy in teens and young adults, the answer likely reflects a balance of ER care versus clinic visits. While the number of ER visits will likely stay about the same, clinic visits will likely go up.The results, from the first national study of its kind, are published in Academic Emergency Medicine by a team led by U-M emergency physician Adrianne Haggins, M.D., M.S. The work was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at U-M, and used data from the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The researchers looked at patterns of emergency and non-emergency outpatient visits made by adolescents between the ages of 11 and 18 in the years before and after a major expansion of public health insurance coverage for this group. They were especially interested in ER care, given that it is unclear how the demand for both types of ambulatory care will change nationally when insurance is provided.The results show the impact of CHIP, or Children’s Health Insurance Program, a federal/state program signed into law in 1997 that made it possible for near-poor children to receive state-sponsored insurance. More than 7 million children now have CHIP insurance, and it remains an option under the Affordable Care Act.By comparing the national trends in adolescents’ ER and outpatient visit numbers with those for young adults (ages 19-29) in the 1992-1996 pre-CHIP era, versus post-CHIP years 1999-2009, the team could gauge the impact of CHIP as a national source of new insurance coverage. Most states didn’t allow such young adults to enroll in CHIP, making them a good comparison group in the pre-ACA era.The researchers found:Outpatient visits rose significantly among adolescents after CHIP went into effect, while young adults’ outpatient visits were flat. ER visits by adolescents stayed flat after CHIP went into effect, while ER visits by young adults rose. The ratio of outpatient-to-ER visits rose among adolescents, but fell among young adults. A ratio such as this, which shows the balance between the types of care settings, could be useful for assessing the impact of insurance reforms. …

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Top 8 Vital Tips for Health Insurance

Choosing private medical insurance can be daunting. There are so many plans and the expenses are extreme. Use the following vital tips to save money and find the right plan. Taking time to do a little research could really ease the budget and provide peace of mind.1. A first stop can be the state insurance website. This is a centralized location that will have a list of insurance providers in the state, ball park figures for individual and family plans, and will give details about any low income options. Each state has some form of plan for low income brackets, even if they only cover children.2. Using a health insurance broker is also a possibility. If a person doesn’t have the time to do a search, the …

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Is bigger really better when it comes to size of labor wards?

Sep. 9, 2013 — New research reveals that large labor wards — those handling 3,000 to 3,999 deliveries annually — have better overall approval rates compared to small, intermediate or very large obstetric units. The study, appearing in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology, suggests that greater access to in-house obstetricians and auxiliary specialists contributes to the lower obstetric injury claims from patients at large labor wards in Denmark.Nearly one million children were born in Denmark over a 15-year period, with a noted downward trend from 69,000 births in 1995 to 63,440 in 2009. While obstetric injuries are rare, they can be severe or fatal when they do occur. During the same time period, the Danish Patient Insurance Association (DPIA) provided compensation of nearly 300 million Danish kroner (40 million €; $53 million U.S.) for approved obstetric injury cases.For the present study, researchers reviewed DPIA obstetric claims with 1,326 included in the analysis. Financial compensation from DPIA is granted if one or more of the following conditions are met:1. If an experienced specialist in the field in question would have acted differently during examination or treatment thereby avoiding the injury — the “specialist rule,”2. if the injury is caused by defects in, or malfunction of the technical equipment used in association with investigations or treatment,3. if the injury might have been avoided using another available treatment, and this was considered to be equally safe and potentially to offer the same benefits,4. if the injury encountered is serious and more extensive than the patient should be expected to endure.The claims were categorized based on size of the labor unit with small units performing less than 1,000; intermediate at 1,000 to 2,999; large at 3,000 to 3,999; and very large wards with greater than 4,000 deliveries per year.Analysis shows that the overall approval rate for submitted obstetric claims was nearly 40%. …

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Preventive dentist visits may not help save on kids’ teeth costs

May 27, 2013 — It may seem logical that taking children to the dentist for regular preventive check-ups will lead to fewer pricy restorative procedures like filling a cavity. But new findings from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) published online in Pediatrics show the opposite.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is recommended that children see a pediatric dentist as soon as their first tooth appears in order to prevent dental problems. Study lead author Bisakha Sen, Ph.D., said earlier research actually does not show that these visits lead to less costly dental issues in kids.

“It was shocking to us to find that previous data was misinterpreted, and there was actually more expensive restorative procedures among kids with more preventive dental visits, because this is counterintuitive,” Sen, associate professor in the Department of Healthcare Organization & Policy, explained.

“The problem is that these prior studies were limited by selection bias because children are not randomly taken to get preventive dental services,” Sen said. “It may be overly cautious or concerned parents, or children with a family history of dental problems who get these visits, then also use more restorative care.”

To investigate further without bias, Sen’s team used data collected from 1998-2010 by Alabama’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), ALL Kids, a low-cost, comprehensive healthcare coverage program for children under age 19; benefits of ALL Kids include regular dental care.

Children who were continuously enrolled in CHIP for at least 3 years were included. Children who used non-preventive dental services the first year were not included because there was no information about their prior preventive dental service use. A total of 14,972 kids under the age of 8, and 21,833 ages 8 and older, were included.

Using a technique called individual fixed effects, the team was able to use each child as their own control, and then compare what happens to child X in a year when they do not get preventive visits, to a year when they do get preventive visits.

“Simpler techniques gave us the same findings of earlier work, but this more advanced technique we used was an effective, though not fool-proof, way of controlling for the selection problem of past literature,” Sen said.

What they found was that more preventive visits were associated with fewer subsequent restorative services for the same child for both age groups, even though the cost savings for CHIP do not appear to sufficiently cover the cost of the preventive services.

For example, the researchers find that when children had one preventive visit, their subsequent non-preventive costs went down by an average of $25.67. However, this savings of $25.67 was not enough to offset what CHIP paid for the preventive visit. So when the costs of preventive visits and non-preventive visits were added together, overall CHIP spending was actually $90.94 more.

Despite the figures, the researchers caution against interpreting findings only with dollar figures in mind.

“Preventive visits may not just reduce non-preventive costs, but may also reduce pain and discomfort suffered by the child due to oral health problems,” Sen said.

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Facial dog bites in children may require repeated plastic surgery

Apr. 22, 2013 — Dog bites to the face are a relatively common injury in young children, and often require repeated plastic surgery procedures to deal with persistent scarring, according to a report in the March Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

In the study, Dr. Barry L. Eppley of Indiana University Health North Hospital, Carmel, and Dr. Arno Rene Schelich of Hans Privatklinikum, Graz, Austria, review a ten-year experience of the common dog bites of the face in children. “[R]egardless of the severity of the trauma, most dog bite injuries result in permanent scars, and secondary revision surgery is frequently needed,” the researchers write.

Dog Bites in Children — Patient Characteristics

From 1995 to 2005, Dr. Eppley treated 105 children with dog bits of the face, scalp, and neck. The children’s average age was about six years — the youngest was 6 weeks and the oldest 11.5 years. In contrast to previous studies showing that most dog bites occur in boys, Dr. Eppley’s patients were about equally divided between girls and boys.

In 95 percent of cases, the dog was known to the patient and family — belonging either to the family or to a friend, neighbor, etc. When the breed was known, the most common was Pit Bull, followed by Chow, German Shepherd, and Doberman Pinscher. Most of the bites were classified as “provoked,” occurring when the child was playing with, petting, or otherwise interacting with the dog.

In 90 percent of children, the bites caused a combination of crush, laceration, and shear injuries. However, in most cases the wound could simply be closed (ie, with stitches), with no significant risk of infection. Some bites required skin grafting or other reconstructive surgery. One child developed an infection and one was left with permanent injury to the facial nerve.

High Rate of ‘Scar Revision’ Surgery

In more than three-fourths of cases, the child underwent additional “scar revision” surgery in an attempt to improve the aesthetic results. About one-fourth of patients needed a second or even third revision surgery.

More than one-third of cases involved legal action, either against the dog’s owner or insurance companies. Because of the high litigation rate and possible denial of insurance claims for reconstructive procedures, Drs Eppley and Schleich advise surgeons to keep meticulous records, including photographs, of dog bite cases.

Dog bites are a common in children, with many of these injuries involving the head and neck. The new study highlights the characteristics of facial dog bites in children, including the young age of the patients and the fact that most bites are “provoked.” The researchers strongly suggest that young children be kept away from “high-risk” breeds.

“Even with favorable results from scar revisions, the patient and family may still regard the scars as a permanent disfigurement,” Drs. Eppley and Schleich write. They suggest that plastic and craniofacial surgeons treating dog bite injuries in children should advise parents about the possible need for further surgery for scar revision, and provide counseling to “align expectations with expected surgical outcomes.”

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