David Kirkpatrick

November 13, 2009

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009

This is a pretty nice rundown on the bill’s specs.

From the link:

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (H.R. 3548) was signed into law by President Obama on November 6, 2009. The bill began as a simple extension of unemployment insurance benefits but then several tax provisions were added to it, namely the expansion and extension of both the home buyer tax credit and the net operating loss (NOL) carryback rules.

October 29, 2009

The public plan is in play

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:30 pm

And if the GOP is honestly against it I really wonder why the party took itself out of the sausage-making from day one.

From the link:

U.S. House leaders today plan to unveil legislation that would create a government-run health- insurance program, require employers to offer coverage to their workers and impose a new tax on the wealthiest Americans.

The legislation comes after three months of negotiations by House Democrats and represents the most sweeping changes to the nation’s health-care system since the 1965 creation of the federal Medicare program for the elderly. The measure would overhaul the insurance market, encourage greater use of preventive medicine and help Americans buy coverage.

“We think we’ll have the votes,” said California Representative George Miller, who runs the House Education and Labor Committee, after meeting with fellow Democrats yesterday. Formal debate is planned for next week, Miller said.

Lawmakers said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to a compromise over one of the most divisive issues facing Congress — the establishment of the government insurance program to compete with private insurers try to and drive down costs.

October 7, 2009

WeCompareInsurance.com — Now in Spanish

Filed under: Business, Technology — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:17 am

A release from today:

http://www.wecompareinsurance.com/

October 07, 2009 08:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time  

WeCompareInsurance.com — Now in Spanish

Fast, free online insurance quotes now available in Spanish

DALLAS – WeCompareInsurance.com, an independent resource for comparing insurance quotes, announces its easy-to-use online application is now available in Spanish.

“Here at WeCompareInsurance we are very pleased to offer our application in Spanish,” says Sharlene Baker, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of WeCompareInsurance. “We feel this market is under served, and in these difficult economic times we think it’s important to make it easier for our Spanish speaking users to fill out the free insurance application on our web site, and find out how much money they can save.”

The WeCompareInsurance application process is provided at no cost to website visitors seeking insurance and takes about five minutes. The application is presented to hundreds of insurance providers and brokers, and the top five offers based on each individual application are immediately returned for review.

Baker adds, “We are always searching for ways to help everyone looking for insurance find the best policy for their needs.”

In both Spanish and English WeCompareInsurance.com offers:

  • A quick and easy online application process.
  • Access to hundreds of insurance providers and brokers ranging from companies with nationwide reach to brokers located right in your neighborhood.
  • The opportunity to compare insurance quotes soon after completing your individual application.

Every insurance application is different. WeCompareInsurance excels in getting each application to insurance providers who can best meet those insurance needs.

About WeCompareInsurance.com

WeCompareInsurance.com was founded in early 2006 and is dedicated to providing free, fast and highly competitive quotes for seekers of auto insurance, home insurance, life insurance, health insurance and renters insurance. The company offers its free online application in both English and Spanish and provides its customers with the opportunity to compare insurance quotes from hundreds of competing insurance providers. WeCompareInsurance excels at matching insurance seekers needs to insurance providers offering great insurance quotes.

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Here’s a link to the same release in Spanish.

September 30, 2009

What is COBRA?

With all the talk about health insurance and ongoing unemployment, COBRA gets tossed around a lot in news and conversation. Here’s a quick overview of COBRA from WeCompareInsurance.

From the first link:

previous article covered how the recent government stimulus plan, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), affects COBRA, but the more simple question is, “What is COBRA?”

COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act and was passed by Congress in 1986 to provide health benefit provisions that provide continuation of group health coverage that would end, such as employer-provided health insurance for an employee who loses his or her job. COBRA amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Internal Revenue Code and the Public Health Service Act. If you qualify for COBRA you can keep your group health insurance for a period of time, but you do have to continue paying for your policy.

The following is taken directly from the Department of Labor’s website on COBRA on exactly what COBRA does:

What does COBRA do?

COBRA provides certain former employees, retirees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children the right to temporary continuation of health coverage at group rates. This coverage, however, is only available when coverage is lost due to certain specific events. Group health coverage for COBRA participants is usually more expensive than health coverage for active employees, since usually the employer pays a part of the premium for active employees while COBRA participants generally pay the entire premium themselves. It is ordinarily less expensive, though, than individual health coverage.

You must meet a number of criteria to qualify for COBRA coverage, but if you do qualify make certain to complete your application and other paperwork within required deadlines. These deadlines do change – as in the ARRA event in 2009 – so it’s in your best interest to do some research and find out the current deadlines and requirements for COBRA. Currently typical COBRA lasts up to 18 months after the qualifying event, e.g., losing your job, and a qualifying disability can extend that coverage up to another 11 months.

Head to the Department of Labor’s COBRA FAQ page for employees for more information on its continuation of health insurance benefits.

May 22, 2009

Making a case for renters insurance

Filed under: Business, et.al. — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:23 pm

I’d hazard a guess most renters don’t carry renters insurance. I know all the years I rented apartments and houses not once did I have insurance, and it was a bad idea. Suffered one break-in through the sub-par back door of a rental house, and got lucky to never have any damage or loss due to fires or flooding in all the places I lived before buying a house.

Here’s an article from WeCompareInsurance.com that outlines why renters insurance is a good idea. And not to mention it is very cost effective for the security renters insurance provides.

From the first link:

Carrying renters insurance may rarely be a provision in a rental agreement, but protecting your possessions and yourself against liability through renters insurance is a very good idea for a number of reasons. Your landlord will likely have a commercial property or homeowners insurance policy on the structure you are renting, but that policy does not cover your possessions such as furniture, clothing, electronic equipment and other belongings. Beyond protecting your property, the liability provision in renters insurance protects you against legal action for personal injury or property damage caused by you, members of your family and even your pets. Even though renters insurance is relatively inexpensive it does pay to compare renters insurance policies to find the best deal.

One of the best reasons to carry renters insurance is there are many factors affecting your household that are largely, if not completely, out of your control as a renter. These include the upkeep and overall condition of your rented house, condo, apartment or other structure, and who might be living around you. Renters insurance helps protect you from loss from any problem arising because of one of these elements.

February 3, 2009

WeCompareInsurance.com

There’s a great new player in the online insurance aggregater field — WeCompareInsurance.com. I’m doing some content and new media consulting for this start-up and some pretty exciting features will be rolling out over the next few weeks and months.

Right now you can hit the site for basic insurance information and to get quotes from multiple insurance companies for auto insurance, life insurance, home insurance,  health insurance and renters insurance. The easiest way to compare different rates from different companies.

Here’s a link to some info on life insurance and the basics for auto insurance.

From the auto insurance link :

The two types of auto insurance all states require car owners to carry are bodily injury and property damage. These requirements help ensure all drivers can pay for damages or injury caused by the vehicle they are driving. Each state does have it’s own specific requirements for minimum auto insurance, so do be certain you understand the requirements in your state.

Beyond required car insurance, collision is a popular option to look at when getting a car insurance quote to compare different plans. Collision pays for damages to your car in case of an accident – either with another vehicle, an object or just loss of control that leads to damages. Collision insurance comes with a deductible that must be paid before insurance kicks in, and a typical deductible will range from $250 to $1000. The higher the premium paid on the auto insurance, the lower the deductible. If you are not at fault in the accident, you might even get your deductible covered by the driver who was found at fault.

Comprehensive coverage adds anther layer of protection beyond required liability and collision. Comprehensive auto insurance covers damages or loss caused by something beyond an accident with another car or an object. This type of loss can come from a number of sources such as fire, falling objects, hail, flood, vandalism, missiles, explosion, riot, striking an animal, earthquake or windstorm. Comprehensive also covers glass breakage such as a cracked windshield. Comprehensive auto insurance is typically sold with a deductible, similar to collision.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 72 percent of insured drivers opt for collision coverage and of those drivers 77 percent add comprehensive coverage to their collision and liability coverage.

January 8, 2009

Health care reform …

… is coming. Let’s hope it’s a decent system.

And that’s an honest hope. Even as a libertarian I recognize the system as it is has broken. Insurance has become a roadblock to the process of medicine, and to a reasonable allocation of money through the process. I’m no fan of regulation, but some order in this house might just be in order.

From the link:

Former Senator Tom Daschle pledged on Thursday to work with lawmakers of both parties in a grass roots, ideology-free campaign to revamp the nation’s struggling health care system.

“We will be guided by evidence and effectiveness, not by ideology,” Mr. Daschle told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions after saying that he wanted “to work with each of you” on ways to improve health care for all Americans.

“When it comes to health care, we really are in it together,” Mr. Daschle said, adding that to do nothing — or too little — about the spiraling costs of health care, the growing legions of the uninsured and substandard medical treatment in some areas is simply unacceptable.

December 6, 2008

Is the US ready for Dutch-style health care?

Not too sure about this bit of news.

The release:

UT public health policy expert says US can learn from Dutch universal healthcare coverage

The United States can learn from the Dutch Health Insurance System model, according to an article by Pauline V. Rosenau, Ph.D., in the December issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

Rosenau, professor of management, policy and community health at The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, co-authored the lead article, which discusses universal health care coverage in the Netherlands and its possible lessons for the United States.

The article examines the 2006 Enthoven-inspired Dutch health insurance reform, which is based on regulated competition and requires individuals to purchase basic insurance policies. The structure of the Dutch model provides insight into the effects that universal health care reform could have in the United States, Rosenau said.

“Although this type of reform is important and critical, policymakers must think carefully on how it is done,” she said.

According to Rosenau’s evidence-based assessment, U.S. policymakers seeking to establish universal health care should be aware that, according to the Dutch model, it may not control costs. Insurance companies have seen profit loss on basic policies, health care providers are in opposition and public satisfaction is not high in the Netherlands.

“The Netherlands is the best test of market competition-based health insurance reform to date,” Rosenau said. “But U.S. policymakers should be careful with this form of universal coverage because it has failed, so far, to reduce costs or improve quality.”

However, according to Rosenau, the quality and access to health care is sometimes better in the Netherlands, while the healthcare cost per person is half the amount of the United States.

“We suspect that if patient satisfaction with the Dutch healthcare system has not declined dramatically since the insurance reform (and surveys provide conflicting findings), it is because of a dedicated ‘army’ of primary care physicians who remain committed to their patients. An excellent example is the after-hours care provided by Dutch primary care physicians,” says Rosenau.

With several industrialized countries providing universal health care coverage, Rosenau believes the Netherlands’ model closely resembles the model that U.S. policymakers are looking to create.

The Dutch Health Insurance System requires regulated sale of health insurance policies and makes the purchase of basic health policies mandatory by implementing fines and penalties for those who ignore the law. The basic policy requires services such as primary and specialist care, hospitalization for up to one year, maternity care, ambulance service and prescription pharmaceuticals. For basic health insurance policies, there are no limitations on preexisting conditions. Citizens can purchase supplementary coverage for procedures such as cosmetic surgery or expanded dental or vision care, but insurance companies are able to choose the patients they want to cover.

 

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The article, titled “An Experiment with Regulated Competition and Individual Mandates for Universal Health Care: The New Dutch Health Insurance System,” is co-authored by Christiaan J. Lako of the Radboud University Nijmegen of the Netherlands.