Thursday, November 26, 2015

CDC has Warn the Public About the Deadly "Kissing Bug?" (Triatomine Bugs)

Triatomine Bugs, kissing bug, kissing bugs, Chagas

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC has warn the public about the spread Kissing Bug throughout the United States. Kissing Bug are Triatomine Bugs, they are blood-sucking bugs that usually bites the face of their victims. These bugs carries a possibly fatal disease called Chagas.

The kissing bug recently made its way to Georgia, Alabama and California, although health officials said the insect has been around the U.S. since the 1850s.

The bug looks like a cockroach and it earned the name kissing bug since it feeds on the blood of mammals, usually by biting them on or around the lip. Chagas disease, which can be fatal if left untreated, according to the CDC. There are currently about 300,000 cases of Chagas in the U.S.

The bugs are typically found outdoors but they can tend to hide under beds and mattresses.

The CDC provided a map of states that have reported of the bug:
Triatomine Bugs, kissing bug, kissing bugs, Chagas

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How to avoid them: The CDC recommends synthetic pyrethroid sprays, this have been proven effective against the bug in Latin America. You can also seal all your windows, roofs and doors. It is also great to have screens over windows and doors, minimize yard lights as the bugs are attracted to light, seal all holes and cracks throughout the house, having pets sleep inside and regularly checking for the bugs is extremely helpful.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Obamacare: High Deductibles and Higher Premiums

Obama care, ACA, Affordable care act

Bad news for Obamacare enrollees, reports said that there will be an increase in the out-of-pocket costs for deductibles next year 2016 that will significantly diminish the benefits of consumers health care plans and this will further discourage some from purchasing coverage.

Robert Laszewski, president of Health Policy & Strategy Associates, said “That these deductibles are so high is clearly one of the reasons people aren’t buying a plan—they simply don’t see themselves getting anything for the money.”

People have until the end of the year to enroll themselves for the 3rd season of Obamacare. The government said that there are a lot of plans available with low premiums however, most of those plans requires you to pay huge out of pocket costs before they Obamacare coverage actually kicks in.

The average annual out-of-pocket costs per worker increased nearly 230 percent between 2006 and 2015, according to an annual survey of employer health benefits coverage by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The New York Times report said that majority of the states and more than half the plans being sold on Obamacare insurance exchanges have a deductible of $3,000 or more.

Median deductible in Miami is $5,000. In Jackson, Miss the median deductible is $5,500. Chicago is $3,400. Phoenix $4,000. While in Des Moines, Iowa, it is $3,000.

It is also revealed by the government that Obamacare will not hit their 10 million target by next year. Also another problem hounding the Obamacare is the rising premiums for policies the median rate increase for the lowest priced, most popular “Silver” plan will rise by 11% compared to just a 7% increase in 2015.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Anbang Insurance Group of to acquire Fidelity & Guaranty Life US

Anbang Insurance Group, Fidelity & Guaranty Life, Insurance

Anbang Insurance Group Co., Ltd., a leading global comprehensive insurance group based in Beijing, China, will buy the Fidelity & Guaranty Life FGL, -1.64% ("FGL"), a leading provider of annuities and life insurance in the U.S. for about $1.57 billion as Chinese insurers seek to expand into the United States.

According to Anbang, they will pay $26.80 per share, a premium of 3% to the stock's Friday close.
Fidelity & Guaranty's stock was down 1% at $25.98 in early trading.

The purchase will turn Anbang as one of the largest insurers by market share in fixed indexed annuity products in the United States. It is expected that FGL's solid life and fixed indexed annuity platforms will enhance the growth of Anbang's business while accelerating FGL's ability to further extend its policyholder base.

Financial holding company HRG Group Inc, Fidelity & Guaranty Life's majority stockholder, has approved the deal. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016.

Affordable Care Act: 500,000 plus sign up for Insurance

Affordable Care Act, ACA, Obamacare

More than 500,000 has already submitted their application to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act on according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Department spokesman Benjamin Wakana said that 250,000 applications were sent in the first 48 hours.

Enrollment for 2016 opened on November 1, 2015 throughout the country. They want to see if the number of uninsured people will drop. 28.5 million people in the US are still uninsured according to  the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics.

Texas topped the states with the most number of uninsured (20% or about 5 million people), followed by Alaska (17.2%), Florida (16.6%), Georgia (15.8%) and Oklahoma (15.4%).

Enrollment will continue up to January 31, 2015. Federal officials urge people to consider enrolling early or by mid-December to ensure uninterrupted coverage.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! I hope you enjoy all the fun festivities and have a super scary costume ready.
Save some candy for us!

Have a “spook”tacular Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Obamacare: Open enrollment Nov 1 to Jan 31

The open enrollment for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will start on November 1 to January 31, 2015. This will be the 3rd year of health care sign-ups. Covered California officials said that there are still 2 million residents who are uninsured, primarily Latinos and African Americans and 36% of them don't know that they may be entitled to premium subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act. In contrast, only 16% didn't know about the tax penalty for lacking health coverage.

Covered California exchange have 500 storefront locations, they employ thousands of enrollment counselors, and have launched a $29 million advertising campaign and a statewide bus tour, to encourage more Californians to come under the health care umbrella.

They said that about 90% of the 1.3 million Covered California enrollees receive subsidies, and more than 200,000 people pay less than $50 a month thanks to that financial assistance.

For those who are uninsured tax penalties for not having health care coverage will increase again in 2016. Under the federal health care law, those without health insurance in 2016 may be subject to a federal tax penalty, which starts at $695 per person in a household or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is greater. For a family of four earning $70,000 a year that chooses not to purchase health care coverage for 2016, the tax penalty could be $2,085, according to Covered California.

For a family of three with an annual income of $61,021 living in Los Angeles I got these premium rates: Molina bronze $332, $0 monthly premium assistance, Oscar Bronze $396, Anthem Bronze $398 and Kaiser Permanente $403. Well, if you ask me those rate are expensive no wonder they are not signing up. If they just used the $29 million they pay for advertising in improving the discount then it would have been great.

Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, ACA

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Life Insurance Coverage 101

Know the basics on your life insurance coverage, since it is a long term investment that will protect your love once. Life insurance should be designed to fit your situation so it is not an "one size fits all." Most people, get the most coverage for the lowest cost as possible that they can afford.

There are two types of life insurance policies:

Term life insurance - this is basically a policy that gives death benefit for love once after you die. There are no other features.

Whole-life or permanent life insurance - this policy combines death benefit for love ones with a cash value that you can access while you are still alive.

Term insurance is a wise choice for younger and healthy people who are just starting out with life insurance since it is less costly. In term insurance you can keep your premiums as low as possible.

Married couple usually purchase this kind of life insurance to keep them secured financially in an event one dies. Most companies also offers this kind of insurance policy as added employee benefits. However, if you leave your company the policy will end.

Term insurance expires after a stated period of time or once you reach a specific age, so your love once is only secured during the stated term. This kind of life insurance is feasible only when you are young because they get much more expensive as you age.

Permanent life insurance has a number of kinds, that include traditional whole life, variable life, universal life or variable universal life. Just like the term insurance policy your beneficiaries will get paid when you die, the difference is that it doesn't have a stated termination date. If you have paid the adequate amount of premiums and the policy is in force, your love ones will receive the death benefit.

Premiums are higher and there are often have additional costs for permanent life insurance compared to term insurance policies. This type of life insurance also has cash value that accumulates as you pay premiums. Premium payments must be sufficient to avoid a policy lapse, but a portion of those payments accrue within the policy and can grow on a tax-free basis.

Before purchasing life insurance coverage make sure that you have assess every option there is and make sure that you have discuss your choices with a financial adviser.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

AIG's Couture Insurance For Shoes and Designer Wardrobe Collections

Couture Insurance

You can now insure your expensive Louis Vuitton, Hermes, or Christian Louboutin thanks to AIG Private Client Group (a division of American International Group Inc. NYSE: AIG). The insurance company has introduced a more specialized insurance that is specifically designed for couture and designer wearable collections for its high net worth policyholders.

The new couture insurance product will give coverage not typically found in a homeowners policy and recognizes the high value placed on the fine craftsmanship of high-end designer fashions and wardrobe accessories.

It covers couture and ready-to-wear garments, shoes, handbags, and vintage and historic clothing. They will be individually itemized in the policy with the option to use blanket coverage for less expensive items. The insurance will cover damage caused by flood, mold, and moths, risks often excluded from a homeowners policy. Additionally, it covers custom, work-in-progress couture and shoes, as is reimbursement of expenses for clients who protect their couture by removing it from the home in advance of an impending threat.

Also, the insurance covers dry cleaning and wardrobe preparation expenses by a high-end garment care specialist following a covered loss. This is a common prerequisite for acceptance into a secure garment storage facility.

In developing this coverage, AIG worked with Garde Robe Online, LLC, a wardrobe storage and preservation service, to identify coverage features that would address real concerns for collectors.

New home sales In the US is Up by 5.7% in August 7-year high

New home sales, economy, finance

Newly built homes being sold has posted the highest level since early 2008 in August, that's more than 7 years. This shows that the demand in housing is strengthening. New single-family homes sales were up by 5.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 552,000 according to the Commerce Department. The increase in sales is a result of steady job gains and low mortgage rates.  The real estate market hast been really hit hard by the Great Recession and recovered slowly even after the downturn ended in 2009. New-home sales have soared nearly 22% in the past year.

Strong sales in newly built home and construction could help the economy by generating construction jobs, demand for more building materials and more spending on landscaping and other services.

Home builders raised new-home prices aggressively last year, likely weighing on sales, which totaled just 414,000 in 2014. That was little changed from sales in 2013. But builders have reined in price increases this year, fueling more buyer traffic and purchases.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week that she expects the housing market to keep improving as more people find jobs and younger Americans increasingly move out on their own.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Amazon Criticized for Toxic Working Environment, Amazon founder respond

Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos

Last Saturday an article on the New York Times blasts Amazon because of its working conditions in the company. Entitled "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace" it exposed how the company pressured their employees with their “unreasonably high” standards. The report detailed the company's lack of empathy for employees' health-related issues. There were instances when employees that suffered from cancer, miscarriages and other personal crises said they had been evaluated unfairly or edged out rather than given time to recover. A woman employee who suffers with breast cancer was placed on "performance improvement plan" because personal issues were affecting her work.

And because of the backbreaking work and Amazon's penchant of extracting unreasonable work from their employees Amazon has expanded tremendously their campus is now a 10-million-square-foot with  thousands of new workers. Amazon has also eclipsed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the US at $250 billion and their CEO Jeff Bezos is the 5th wealthiest person in the world.

Bezos responded with a memo to Amazon employees defending the culture at the company and encouraging employees who heard of similar stories to contact him as well as human resources.

He said, "Even if it's rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero," "The people we hire here are the best of the best. You are recruited every day by other world-class companies, and you can work anywhere you want."

Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, an Amazon analyst with Forrester Research said that "most of the allegations sound consistent with things that former employees have told me about the company."

- Work work work work, corporations greedy goal to accumulate more money and wealth are turning people into stupid zombies with no life. We are not robots mr CEO.