What You Should Know About Flood Insurance

It was in 1968 that the United States Congress initiated the National Flood Insurance Program so that ensuing related private and business property damage would be reduced. Available through insurance companies and insurance agencies, the coverage is managed and dictated by government laws and can protect the property owner from damage caused by flooding.

A Standard Insurance policy for a dwelling is meant as coverage for a one, two, three or four-family residential building, as well as a single-family home.

A general property flood policy can insure five or more family residential buildings, as well as buildings that are not used for a residence.

A Residential Condominium Building Association policy can insure a residential condo association building.

This type of policy should incorporate two types of related coverage: building property and personal property, defined as the contents in your premises.

Three Essential Things about a Related Insurance Policy

• Contents coverage needs to be purchased independently from the building coverage.

• Flood Insurance is not a valued coverage, meaning, it only covers the actual damages up to the policy’s limit.

• Flood Insurance does not feature guaranteed replacement cost coverage that is not bound to limits. Flood insurance only pays for damages up to the policy limit.

More Things to Understand

It is important to note that the government-run program provides special consideration when there are numerous flood claims submitted by the same policyholder. Officially regarded as ‘severe repetitive loss’, where intervention may be warranted to prevent future losses, these claims may result in an offer of a FEMA mitigation grant if applicable.

Acceptance of the grant is voluntary, but any policyholder that declines the opportunity for government-funded improvements that are designed to reduce the likelihood of property flood damage, may be strapped with a rate increase that is equivalent to one-hundred-fifty percent of the rate charged for property when the grant was offered.

Policyholders with severe repetitive loss property can be eligible for the grant if the following conditions are present:

• 4 or more different insurance claim payments (including building/contents payments) have been issued and every one of them is more than $5,000

Or

• A minimum of 2 different flood insurance building claim payments have been issued that all together are more than the current property value

For more about flood insurance and how a respective policy can be tailored to your individual needs, please contact an experienced independent agency.

Source by M Wyzanski

Know More About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the most dangerous and life-threatening cancer. This type of cancer is diagnosed at the between the age of 45 to 60 years. The people, who take tobacco, drink alcohol, smoke, and intake other types of drugs, are more prone to lung cancer. Generally, this type of cancer is diagnosed at the late stage. The body shows the symptoms like, a sharp back pain that starts from the mid-back region and migrates to chest, hoarse voice, consistent coughing, light fever, and the voice loss. People think that they are suffering from the flu or influenza, which is taking time in recovery.

If you are coming across such symptoms, don’t try to associate this health disorder with a normal health disorder, which can be cured by taking the medicine. The first step that you should do is, go for the CT-Scan. CT-Scan is a special type of X-ray test that can scan the human body completely and produce the cross-sectional image of it, which help easy diagnosis. The test result helps the specialist to go further for the treatment.

Cancer is the growth of the abnormal cells within the body; these cells compound themselves into its multiple, and their multiplication affects various nearby organs. This is how the cancer cell splits from one part of the body to other parts. This disease is curable, but after the CT-Scan test, if the result is positive, you need to visit the health care provider as soon as possible. The oncologist after identifying the stage of the lung cancer will start with radiotherapy, chemotherapy or some time both are required. Surgical treatment is very rarely done in this type of cancer because specialist can operate on lungs, but sometimes lung transplantation is suggested, which is not everyone’s cup of tea.

There are many people, who are striving hard for their life. They step back to go for the treatment because of the low financial budget. Life is an important gift of God, one should not step back to serve it. There are various affordable medical tourism companies, who have the connection with the certified and trustworthy hospital. The company that provides medical tourism for the globally located people take care of the patients each and every requirement. They will connect you with the top oncologist, who has a decade of experience in curing cancer in its advanced stage. So don’t hesitate to contact them to cure this disease, from its roots, within your pocket stipulated budget.

Source by Lakhwinder Singh

Public Pension Plans Struggle to Meet Funding Obligations

Low interest rates are one of several factors contributing to higher levels of unfunded pension liabilities at state and county pension plans across the country.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest U.S. public pension plan with 1.8 million total members covered by 3,000 employers, reported a 0.6 percent net return on investments for the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2016.

The California State Teachers Retirement system (CalSTRS), which manages retirement funds for California’s 896,000 public school educators from 1,700 school districts, reported a 1.4 percent net return for the 2015-16 fiscal year ending on June 30, 2016.

Both California funds have a target annual return of 7.5 percent. CalPERS and CalSTRS had $62 billion and $74 billion in unfunded liabilities, respectively, as of the 2013 fiscal year, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. CalSTRS now states that it is on track to achieve full funding by the year 2046.

The New York State and Local Retirement System reported an average rate of return of 0.2 percent for the fiscal year on March 31, 2016, compared to its stated goal of 7 percent.

The Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) reported a 2 percent investment return in 2015, compared to its goal of 7.75 percent, resulting in an increased liability of $3 billion.

A 7.7 percent average rate of return is now the target set by most state and county pension funds across the country, according to a 2015 report by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimates that every 1 percent decrease in investment returns results in a 12 percent increase in liabilities.

The inability of state and municipal pension plans to properly fund current liabilities at the same time that rates of return are falling is causing significant underfunding. The situation is putting pressure on public pension managers and elected officials across the country.

New public pension accounting standards are also bringing more attention to underfunded municipal liabilities. The Government Accounting Standards Board issued GASB Statement No. 67, Financial Reporting for Pension Plans, and No. 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions in recent years. The new reporting standards for government-administered pension plans took effect for reporting periods after June 15, 2013 under Statement No. 67, while new employer reporting standards followed one year later under Statement No. 68.

The Pew Charitable Trust reports that as of 2013, states owed almost $1 trillion in unfunded pension benefits as well as $587 billion in unfunded retiree health care liabilities. Looked at another way, Wilshire Consulting estimates that state pension obligations are only 75 percent funded as of 2013, despite that fact that most states strive to maintain an 80 percent funding level.

The State of Illinois alone has $101 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $56.4 billion in unfunded retiree health care benefits, according to The Pew Charitable Trust. Illinois is listed by the Trust as having the third highest level of debt and unfunded retirement costs as a share of state personal income (after Alaska and Hawaii) as of 2013. In June 2016 Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the credit rating of some of the state’s general obligation bonds to Baa2, down from Baa1, which is two units away from junk bond status.

The City of Chicago is struggling with its own pension challenges. The City’s Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund, which covers 70,000 workers, reported that unfunded pension liabilities more than doubled to $18.6 billion at the end of 2015 from $7.1 billion a year earlier. Moody’s reduced the city’s credit rating to junk bond status in 2015.

Municipalities are responding with a wide range of measures to increase pension funding, reduce benefits, and cut expenses. Representative actions include the following.

  • Chicago implemented a property tax hike in 2015 to better fund the police and fire retirement funds. The mayor also seeks an increase in water and sewer levies as a means to support municipal retirement benefits.
  • Pennsylvania officials are evaluating a range of pension plan changes, including the possible adoption of less expensive 401(k)-style plans.
  • Connecticut now devotes 10% of its budget toward unfunded pension liabilities, which doubled in the past decade.
  • Oregon plans to increase pension funding rates, which is likely to translate into expense reductions such as teacher lay-offs, larger class sizes, and public safety cuts.
  • Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy was settled, in part, with pension cuts of 4.5 percent approved by certain retirees. Benefit reductions were also seen in the areas of cost-of-living adjustments and health care costs.

Pension Funding Litigation a Certainty

As states and municipalities struggle to fund pension obligations in a low interest rate environment, court battles in New Jersey, Illinois, California and Michigan may serve as precedent for similar challenges likely to unfold across the country.

Source by Mark Johnson, Ph.D., J.D.

How Can I Get My Employment Insurance Claim Processed Faster?

How can I get my Employment Insurance Claim processed faster? There are some little tricks that will have your Employment Insurance processed fast and easy, without delay. When first applying for E.I., you will be given an access code, Make sure you complete your reports for the four weeks period leading up to your approval of benefits.  Failure to make your two week reports can cause your Employment Insurance benefits to be delayed, and that is the last thing you want.  When your claim is approved you will have to complete your reports again but this time the money will be in your account in two days.

One way to have your Employment Insurance claim processed faster is to meet with the adjudicator that is working on your E.I. claim. I find this approach to very effective when you left your last position on bad terms. E.I. will contact your employers to find out why you are no longer working there. But if they are unable to get a hold of the appropriate people, they have your side of the story face to face. Nobody wants to deny some on their benefits and this will make it a lot harder.

This Method Is 100% Successful when you quit your job on bad terms. It works great, most people never think about this avenue. But sometimes meeting with the person working on your case can be difficult if you live in a small town and your claim is processed in another city. Take a shot, and do everything you can to meet with the right people.

Source by Liam Gannon

Mesothelioma And Smoking

Mesothelioma is not caused by smoking but can complicate a person’s likelihood of getting the disease.

Mesothelioma is a fatal cancerous disease caused due to exposure to asbestos. This disease is unique as its symptoms appear after years.

The survival rate is much lower in this disease due to the inability of its diagnosis.

The combination of asbestos and smoking can be very dangerous even if it is done many years ago. It can lead to lung cancer or any other lung related diseases.

Though extensive research is performed in this field, there still is no major breakthrough in this field to completely cure the disease.

Fine fiber get deposited in the lungs leading to scar tissue which results in cancer and this is aggravated by smoking. It was found in during 1950s, the Kent brand of cigarettes used asbestos in its filters resulting in some cases of mesothelioma.

The cases of mesothelioma has increases over the last 20 years as its latency period takes about 40 to 50 years but still mesothelioma is considered as a rare form of cancer.

It is found in the number of cases. i.e. about 1 per 1,000,000.

Whereas in the case of smoking, people with a higher level of smoking can contract lung cancer more than mesothelioma and the number of incidents is as much as 1,000 per 1,000,000.

Due to extensive exposure of asbestos in Western countries, the incidence of malignant mesothelioma is increasing to 7 to 40 per 1,000,000 and it has increased to about 15 per 1,000,000 in United States in 2004.

Smoking should be immediately stopped after diagnosis:

A person suffering from mesothelioma should not smoke as the lungs can be further damaged by the side effects of smoking leading to asbestosis. It is not a kind of mesothelioma, but if ignored it might become cancerous. Smoking does not lead to increased cases o but it is debated that it leads to 50% more chances of causing lung cancer.

It is imperative for the patient to stop smoking as soon as the disease is diagnosed as the patient who is smoker can develop comparatively more lung-related complications than those who do not smoke but are were exposed for many years.

In the case of lung cancer, the amount of cigeratte smoked and the time frame matters whereas in the case of mesothelioma, the amount of asbestos inhaled and the time frame matters.

While the ban on asbestos has been implemented, let us hope the same for a ban on smoking as well!

Source by Adia O’Hara

Medical Identity Theft – Deadly Consequences

Of all the ways we are victimized through identity theft, truly the most devastating could be the fraudulent theft of medical benefits. Although the least studied and worst documented form of the crime, this one has far reaching and almost irreversible repercussions. Recent federal and state legislation have provided consumers an extensive array of rights and protections to battle the effects of financial identity theft. In stark contrast, those victimized through the misuse of their “medical identity” are often left with no recourse and face almost insurmountable challenges during their attempt to correct fraudulent medical information.

The real damage in these cases occurs when a victim’s medical record is changed to suit the needs of the thief. Unlike your credit file(s), you do not have the same rights to correct or dispute the medical information in your file. To illustrate the point, let’s refer to the 1996 case against Dr. Richard P. Skodnek of Massachusetts. Dr. Skodnek was convicted of over 130 counts of fraud related to false Medicare and insurance billing. The previously highly respected psychologist had been submitting claims to his patients’ insurance providers for treatments and appointments that did not take place. In some of the cases he also claimed to provide treatment to the siblings of his patients when in fact he had never even met them. All of these fraudulently billed “sessions” and related diagnoses were documented in each victim’s personal, permanent medical history. A judge in the case reviewing the impact on victims wrote;

“The evidence suggests that once the claims were entered they cannot be deleted from the system. The most that can be done is to enter a notation in the computer records to reflect that a particular claim was false”. And – “Moreover, even where a notation is entered to show that the billing record was false, the insurance carrier cannot declare–and the notation will thus not reflect –whether Skodnek’s statements about diagnosis, medications prescribed and/or psychiatric symptoms of the patient were false.”

United States v. Skodnek, 933 F. Supp. 1108,; 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9788 (D. D. Mass. 1996)

With this statement in mind, remember that your medical information is also used to make other decisions about you besides treatment of illness. Victims have had available benefit totals decreased or used entirely and have also been denied life or medical insurance, security clearances and even employment.

Detecting the theft or misuse is almost as difficult as correcting your information. Some of the ways people have discovered they had been victimized include;

  • receiving someone else’s medical bills at their address
  • collection notices from agencies and attorneys for medical services they never received or from providers they never used
  • notifications from insurance companies, law enforcement or healthcare providers
  • inaccurate information in their medical file (i.e.; different blood type or allergies and illnesses not suffered by the patient)
  • denial of benefits or employment

Although they are potentially time consuming, there are some steps consumers can and should take to detect medical identity theft.

  • Obtain and review a copy of your Medical Information Bureau report. All consumers are entitled to one free copy each year under the Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act (FACTA). Included in the report is who has reported information to the MIB, requested your file and also the consumer’s individual insurance application activity. Visit www.mib.com for information and instructions for consumers.
  • Review any “Explanation of Benefits” sent by insurers – even if your balance is $0. Contact your insurer immediately if anything is inaccurate.
  • Review all statements and bills sent by health providers and insurers carefully. Never assume mistakes were accidental and will be corrected. Call and question inaccurate entries with both the provider and your insurer.
  • Annually request complete medical files and an accounting of disclosures from each medical provider you see and your insurer(s). Include hospitals you may have visited over the year for any reason. Review them carefully and immediately dispute errors.

Unlike financial identity theft, monitoring services are not available to alert you when your medical information has been accessed or altered. The detection and correction of this crime will be your responsibility for the foreseeable future. However the best identity theft monitoring and restoration services available to consumers will include valuable assistance if you are victimized by this type of theft. The best advice to consumers is to educate yourself and monitor your information and statements carefully. Lastly, seriously consider a top-rated identity theft service for your family that specifically addresses this crime.

Source by Rick Christiana

Sh! Your Insurance Company May Be Spying on You!

Inside story about auto, workers comp and other accident insurance claims

So here’s the scoop in regard to your auto, workers comp, disability or any policy that includes accident coverage.

Insurance companies, if you do not realize, are not willing to lose money. In fact, the real agenda behind being in business is to make money in the way of profits. Now, because related studies demonstrate the presence of significant insurance fraud – something that amounts to the tune of about $30 million in losses for the industry that is passed on as well as to the customers – insurance providers in general choose to do as much as legally permissible to thwart false claims related to liability.

To that end, the industry invests quite highly in several means that monitor a claimant’s activities so as to verify the accuracy and validity of an injury call. Though the vast majority of those bringing a related claim honestly suffer from the injury that is cited, as a preventive course, anyone is subject to suspect.

After you submit a claim, your insurance company may do one or more of the following:

• Search your social media accounts for any reference to your accident

• Scrutinize your medical records to see if there are any inconsistencies

• Interview witnesses of the accident

• Speak to your employer to hear his take on your work activities and how it relates to your injury

• Hire professional investigators to spy on you and gather any evidence that indicates you are lying

Insurance sources will be on the lookout for any contradictory evidence. For instance, if you say your leg has been broken and investigators check in with your tweet about running in your kids’ school-sponsored picnic race that features you winning the gold star after crossing first in the finish line, you will definitely find yourself in real hot water!

Of course, for the honest claimant, there should be nothing to be afraid of in regard to ongoing insurance inquiries. Nonetheless, it’s important to go by the guidelines listed below:

1. Be as accurate as you can when describing your injuries in the claim, as well as when you describe them to family or friends

2. Don’t post claim info online in full view of public’s eye

3. Follow doctor’s instructions regarding limited physical activity

For more about auto injury and workers comp claims, contact a qualified and experienced independent insurance agent that deals with many of the leading underwriters in the industry.

Source by M Wyzanski

Asbestos in Your Digestive System

When most people picture diseases related to asbestos, they think of mesothelioma. It is true that mesothelioma is directly linked to exposure to asbestos, but this is not the only disorder that can arise as a result of contact with asbestos. Additionally, lungs are not the only areas of the body that can suffer from asbestos exposure. In fact, asbestos can also cause cancer in the digestive system.

Although asbestos is now mostly banned and otherwise strictly controlled, it was once a very popular material for many different industries, such as construction, automotive, and shipping. Asbestos is a silicate mineral that can insulate against heat, flame, chemicals, and electricity. Also, this material is strong and flexible, which makes it easy to be added to everything from ceiling tiles to brake pads to fire doors.

Normally, asbestos is not harmful when it is combined with another strong material. However, as an asbestos-containing item ages, it can degrade. This allows the asbestos to escape in microscopic particles. If you inhale these fibers, they can go into your lungs, or they can get trapped in your mouth.

From here, swallowing your saliva can then transfer the asbestos to your digestive system. Additionally, if airborne asbestos settles on your food, you can consume the particles that way. Lastly, some water mains were constructed with asbestos-laden cement, which can break down and release asbestos into the water supply. You can drink the water and ingest the fibers.

Our bodies do not have the ability to break down the asbestos fibers once they are lodged in our tissue. Thus, the trapped fibers can grow into tumors. There are several different types of cancer that have been linked to asbestos in the digestive system, including:

  • Gastrointestinal
  • Colorectal
  • Kidney
  • Throat
  • Esophageal

Even a single moment of asbestos exposure can lead to devastating consequences. If you believe that you have been exposed to asbestos, you may want more information to learn more about your risks. Please visit the Asbestos Help Center today for more information.

Source by James Witherspoon

Grow Revenues in Chiropractic Clinic With Point of Service Sales of Retail Products

In 2006, two out of three chiropractors increased billings (67%), while almost ninety percent (88.3%) of chiropractors sold retail products to patients. At an average $28.5 collections per patient visit (PVA), retail product sales to patients remains a major revenue source. But for junior practitioners with a humble patient growth record, point of service sales is the fastest way to increase practice revenue.

An added benefit of such sales is improved patient relationship. By offering your patients quality products that enrich their lives outside of your office, you demonstrate your care. Your patients are reminded of you – and of your care about them – every time they use the products you sell them. Better patient loyalty means lower attrition, frequent referrals and, eventually, improved profits.

Stick to familiar products. Offer products you use during your treatments. Offer items like topical analgesics, hot and cold packs, orthopedic pillows and supports, water-based pillows, herbal packs, massage tools, lotions, oils, butters, scrubs, aromatherapy, etc., which can be used in your office to benefit your patients daily.

Maintain exclusivity. Choose products not available in retail stores. Patients feel special if you offer products they can not find in mass retail markets.

Display. Set up retail displays in both waiting room area and the treatment room. Make sure the patients can feel, touch, sample, read about the benefits of the products, and ask you questions, giving you an opportunity to talk about their benefits.

Manage accounting. Best billing systems manage both healthcare claims and point of service sales records uniformly, without imposing extra complexities on practice management. The challenge is to process healthcare claims with insurance companies while leaving point of sales records aside and still produce correct sales and balance reports for each patient.

Source by Yuval Lirov

Fire Claims Process

The fire claims process is considered the time that the policy owner notifies their insurance company of the fire until the claim process is finished and ends in a settlement for the policy owner. To get to the end point there are several steps involved.

Review your policy

At all times you should know where to look for and find your insurance policy. It should be in a safe fireproof lock box or safety deposit box rented from the bank. When there is a fire you should get your insurance policy out and review it to determine what type of coverage you have and how much it is for, what is covered and what is excluded. This information will help you know how you should file your claim and if there are any deadlines to file your claim. Most of the information that you will need can generally be found on the declaration page. This is usually found at the beginning of your insurance policy. If, for some reason or other, you cannot find your insurance policy or do not understand what is covered and how to file a claim contact your insurance company.

Contacting your insurance company

As soon as you review your policy, or even before if you want, you should contact your insurance company to notify them of the fire and what type of loss you have suffered. Some insurance companies may require that you contact them as soon as the loss occurs while others may give you a couple of days. This information will also be in your insurance policy. With some insurance policies there are often provisions that will provide you with money for temporary housing if your home was destroyed by fire, which is another reason you should contact them as soon as possible. You may have to submit written notification instead of calling.

Information needed by insurance company

When you contact your insurance company they will tell you what you need to submit in order to start the fire claims process. This will generally consist of a statement from you telling what happened and what the damage is. If they need more information or documentation it is your responsibility to provide it as long as what they request is reasonable. Make sure that in all of your documentation that you are thorough because you will not be reimbursed for anything that is not documented.

Payment process

How you will be paid for your loss will depend on the type of fire claims you submitted and what the loss was. If it is a small loss the insurance company may just write a check but if it is to do repairs or rebuilding they may disburse the payments to the one doing the work.

Source by Lora Davis