Does the TSA Pre-Check Really Offer a Head Start?

Dianne Jimenez

This article from CNN is a fun step-by-step comparison of two travelers. One has purchased the TSA Pre-Check while the other simply goes through the check points like most of us do. Read on to see who “wins” in this “competition.” After reading this, you will be well equipped to decide for yourself which method works better for you.

The TSA race to the gate  |  CNN
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Healthcare Reform is Around the Corner: What this means for individuals and their families

Greg Petit

This special short video and article from Consumer Reports provides an excellent overview of what the ACA will mean to individuals and their families. It includes many helpful sections on how people will be affected by the ACA, including information on getting insurance through work, buying your own insurance, and if you are on Medicare. Additionally, the report includes charts that allow you to understand your income relative to the federal poverty level, whether your state is one that is expanding Medicaid, and how all of this will affect your potentially available subsidy. 

It’s showtime for health care reform: What the Affordable Care Act means for you and your family  |  ConsumerReports.org
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Watch this Excellent Video on the Affordable Care Act

Greg Petit

This is an excellent video created by The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which provides useful information on the Affordable Care Act.

Kaiser Foundation Video
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Is self insurance for small groups a threat to PPACA?

Becky Thorn

Jay Hancock of Kaiser Health News Thunderdome offers a clear and concise overview of the perceived threat of self insurance for small groups. This ongoing debate will be more clearly understood as we move into the state exchanges later this year and beyond.

Small Businesses Pursue Health Law ‘Loophole’ | Kaiser Health News

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Tales From the Front

Greg Petit

When Health Concerns Threaten the Expat Experience

My son, shortly after graduating from college, chose to become an expat. This caught me by surprise as I had no idea that today’s intelligent, driven young people entering the workforce are choosing more and more to travel the globe and find work in other countries. The entire experience has been an adjunct to my son’s non-official education. My big surprise, however, is it also turned out to be that for me.

Imagine my fear as I heard the news from my nearly hysterical daughter one morning at 2:30 AM that my son had been hospitalized in a third-world country for something called Dengue Fever. Besides knowing nothing about the disease, my mind filled with images of unclean conditions. This was a rude and sudden introduction to the world of the expat or global traveler when something goes wrong with those exciting plans.

I had no idea what hospital he was in and no idea how to reach him. Extremely concerned, I went to work later that morning filled with worry and crazy thoughts about what I could possibly do to help in this situation. Luckily for me, I work for a company that was studying the expat business as a potential new market. Someone at work suggested I call a contact of theirs involved in the study. Fortunately, the contact turned out to be the medical director for the company that would ultimately partner with BCS to embark on a shared international travel venture. This person and his organization sprang into action, figuring out what hospital my son was in and giving me excellent medical information about his disease. Thanks to these efforts, my son was moved from a less than adequate facility to one closer to American standards of care, where he finally recovered.

Since that first episode, my son has had plenty of other unexpected health events overseas. He crashed his motorcycle in Vietnam where his head, thankfully inside a helmet, was run over by another vehicle. He was scratched and bruised but OK. He also cut his foot severely on a remote island beach in Thailand, where he had to be medically evacuated to the mainland. Even though he had insurance through Blue Card Worldwide, the foreign facility confiscated his passport until they received satisfactory proof of payment from the insurance provider. Unable to continue his travels with the group of which he was a part, he was forced to stay behind without a passport for several nerve-wracking days.

I offer these tales as food for thought because there is another side to foreign travel or life as an expat that, when it rears its ugly head, can make you wish you had purchased special coverage such as GeoBlue for events like these.

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A Tale on Risk Management

Chad Chaffin

Consider the following actual case:*

Since 2004, a BCS insured agent, Deborah Jones, has assisted her client, our potential claimant–The Cholo Company, in procuring health insurance for its employees through the local BCBS plan. In 2007 and 2008, Deborah Jones submitted an Average Age Adjustment Appeal to the BCBS plan to help reduce The Cholo Company’s premium costs. The appeals were honored both of those years. Deborah Jones submitted the same type of appeal again in 2009 after speaking with The Cholo Company and the BCBS plan about her intent to do so before the end of May 2009. In the meantime, Deborah Jones went ahead and met with the employees of The Cholo Company to discuss approximate rates based upon the expected approval of the 2009 appeal. But on June 1, 2009, the BCBS plan denied the appeal claiming that The Cholo Company had a bad loss ratio for the last three years. As a result, the renewal rates Deborah Jones quoted to The Cholo Company’s employees were lower than the actual rates the BCBS plan charged for the renewal. This resulted in approximately $35,000 of additional premium cost to The Cholo Company. Deborah Jones contends that the BCBS plan representative admits never having check the loss ratio for The Cholo Company prior to the denial. The Cholo Company has retained counsel and is suing for $50,000.

*Actual names of individuals and companies have been changed and are fictitious.

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Considerations When Buying Life Insurance

Dianne Jimenez

This article is worth sharing for the valuable information it provides for life insurance policy holders and those considering the purchase of life insurance products. Keeping beneficiaries knowledgeable, researching company ratings, and understanding policy basics are some of the concepts covered.

Tips for Buying Life Insurance | Find Your Policy

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