Medical Loss Ratio – What is it and Why Might I Get a Refund Check?

There are a number of provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that was passed in 2010.

Now that the legislation has been mostly upheld by the Supreme Court, there is little to stop many of the provisions from the PPACA from coming to fruition.  From the inability of insurers to drop you due to illness, to the individual mandate for health care coverage, to the establishment of state exchanges, there are a number of highly publicized new policies in the bill.

However, there are also plenty of other provisions in the law, some of which you might not know about.

One of the lesser known provisions is the rebates that insurance companies will be required to send a rebate to customers if they do not keep overhead costs lower.

Some estimates suggest that as much as 30% of what we spend on health care goes to overhead — and not to health benefits.  This is rather distressing when the costs of health care in the United States are compared to other developed countries that, in many cases, more efficiently keep the overhead to 1/3 of what it is in the United States.

What is the Medical Loss Ratio?

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Have You Thought About the Costs of Being Self-Employed?

The dream of self-employment is something that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years.  Thanks to the Internet, almost anyone can start a side hustle from home.

Not only is it technically easy to become self-employed, it’s also relatively inexpensive — depending on the strategy you use.

A number of side hustles require only a computer and a fast Internet connection.  Even if you choose a more expensive venture, you can still save money by starting out at home.

Because of the ease involved, and the low startup costs that are possible, many would-be solopreneurs fail to account for other costs that they might run into.  While being self-employed works for many people, it isn’t the only satisfying career path.  And there are costs involved that you might not have thought about.

Some of the costs of being self-employed include:

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Review: Outright Online Accounting Software

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When you start a business, you don’t often think about the accounting aspects. You just want to see the money start rolling in.

However, you need to be on top of your accounting if you want to keep up with your taxes (or at least not make them difficult).

One of the ways that you can stay on top of things is to use some sort of accounting software or application.  As I started looking, I considered a number of options. While I eventually just settled on using Quicken (although now I’m using MoneyDance) to keep track of my business income and expenses, I did look into other options.

One of these was Outright.com small business accounting.

What is Outright?

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Drought: Are You Ready for Higher Prices?- Tips to Fight Food Price Inflation

Chances are, you are aware that this summer has been hot.

It’s been much hotter than normal where I live, in the intermountain west.

The result of all this hot weather is likely to be failing crops.

Indeed, I notice that, thanks to a strange winter, and hot weather, our garden isn’t doing as well as it did last year.  We don’t have the same number of tomatoes and peppers.  Even our berries are failing.  (Our herbs, on the other hand, are thriving.  Apparently, the basil, oregano, and thyme are all fond of this weather.)

Across the nation’s farmland, a similar situation is playing out on a larger scale.

Drought is causing crops of corn and soybeans to begin failing, and that will likely mean a squeeze in supply — and a rise in food prices.  But it’s not just a direct rise in prices, such as a rise in corn prices.  This type of issue is likely to spread throughout the food supply chain.

What we often forget is that we aren’t the only living things that need grown food.
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5 Keys to a Frugal Retirement

When we think about frugality, many of us consider the here and now.

However, it doesn’t hurt to consider that you might need to be frugal during retirement as well.

While many of us hope to be able to forget about frugality during our golden years, the truth is that you never know what will happen in the future to create uncertainty in your finances.

It makes sense to be prepared to live frugally in retirement, if the need should arise.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind as you prepare your retirement finances:

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Steps to Take if You Lose Your Job and You’re Now Unemployed

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Many of us live in fear of possibly losing a job.

After all, the job is what provides income stability in the household, and is often the source of benefits, like health insurance, for your family.  Without a job, you are on the hook for a number of these costs, and may find it difficult to make ends meet.

Losing your job doesn’t have to be the end of the line, however.

There are steps you can take to alleviate the situation, as well as ways to make unemployment an opportunity.

Before you panic into doing something unwise, take a deep breath, step back, and consider the following actions if you lost your job:

Apply for Unemployment Benefits

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Why You Need a Small Business Credit Card

Many of us with small and home businesses don’t think a lot about getting a credit card.

After all, what do we need with a business credit card, when everything is so…small?

However, a small business credit card can be a good move for just about any small business — even if you don’t think that you need one. There are advantages to having a credit card in the name of your small business.

Here are some of the advantages of having a small business credit card:

Build Credit for Your Business

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