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Visit One News Page for Health Insurance news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Health Insurance news headlines.

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    The Centre has kept an outlay of Rs 14,264.60 crore for metro projects across the country in the Union Budget for 2018-19, a reduction of nearly 20 per cent from the allocation in the previous budget.

    Presenting the budget today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said infrastructure is the "growth driver" of the economy and urbanisation is the government's "opportunity and priority". However, the budget document did not provide a break-up for the individual projects like those being executed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The budget also proposed a grant of Rs 50 crore to the Delhi Metro for its expansion into NCR areas. The allocation for metro projects for 2017-18 was Rs 17,810 crore and for expansion into NCR areas, the DMRC was granted Rs 150 crore.

    This year, the pass through assistance such that loan amount provided by external agencies, has been pegged at Rs 10,373 crore while the equity investment figure stands at Rs 2,341 crore. According to the DMRC, the sanctioned cost for the Phase III project, which includes extension to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, stands at Rs 44,816.91 crore.   Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday welcomed the Budget 2018, describing it as a "visionary" budget.

    Earlier in the day, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget in the Parliament. Talking to ANI, Union Railways, Coal and Power Minister Goyal said, "It is a visionary budget. It is not populist but yet caring every section of the society". He added that fiscal prudence has also been maintained, and at the same time, a deep focus has also been given to rural India. The minister also termed the government?s decision to provide health insurance to poor as a "game changer".

    "The poor of the country who used to often in the debt trap because of health expenses have been given a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family, which will cover 10 crore families. It is a game changer; moving towards healthcare for all", Goyal said. He added that the Budget has shifted focus now for strengthening the country in terms of infrastructure so that country becomes ready and prepared for a modern tomorrow and a new India. 

     

    Article Type: 
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    Thu, 1 Feb 2018-11:10pm
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    Union Budget 2018: 8 ways it will impact a salaried taxpayer
    Union Budget 2018: Health, wealth and happiness with a pinch of salt
    From Print Edition: 
    Highlights:  Reported by DNA 4 hours ago.

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    The announcement of National Bamboo Mission and allocation of Rs 1,290 crore for it during the 2018-19 fiscal has special significance for the Northeast and it shows the Modi government's continued commitment to the region's development, Union minister Jitendra Singh said today.

    He said, it is also a pleasant coincidence the Budget announcement by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has come close on the heels of the Union cabinet's decision to amend the 90-year-old "Indian Forest Act of 1927", which was a legacy of the British empire, and the amendment has exempted the bamboo grown in the non-forest land from the Act.

    "The Bamboo Mission has a special significance for Northeast and the announcement made by the Finance Minister today is a vindication of the Modi government's continued commitment to the development of the region," Singh told reporters here.

    The Cabinet decision followed by the budget announcement today will serve as a game changer by generating revenue and at the same time creating avenues of employability, particularly in the Northeast, he said.

    Singh, the MoS in the Prime Minister's Office, also lauded the announcement of Rs 10,000 crore as 'Fishery Fund', saying it too will benefit the people in Northeast.

    He said the budget also deserves to be commended for having evidently addressed the issue of increasing population of senior citizens in India which is indeed going to become a bigger issue in the years to come.

    "As the average lifespan increases, not only the number of senior citizens increases, but they are also faced with the issues of late-age illness, lack of caretakers for help and financial constraint," the minister said.

    This, he said, has been taken care of by exemption of the interest on bank account from income tax up to Rs 50,000, enhancement of the health insurance amount up to Rs 50,000 and hike in medical expenditure.

    In addition, Singh said, the budget this year has floated a new concept of "Operation Green" with special focus on enhancing the income of the farmers.  

    Article Type: 
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    Thu, 1 Feb 2018-11:44pm
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    From Print Edition: 
    Highlights:  Reported by DNA 3 hours ago.

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    BOSTON (AP) — A state agency that oversees health insurance for public employees has reversed its decision to limit offerings for hundreds of thousands of state workers and retirees, following criticism from labor unions and political leaders. The Group Insurance Commission voted Thursday to undo a Jan. 18 vote that eliminated three major insurance carriers […] Reported by Seattle Times 3 hours ago.

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    India Announces Program To Provide Free Health Care To Half a Billion Citizens Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government announced the final budget before national elections take place next year which included a massive program to offer half a billion citizens health insurance, marking a massive change to the country's struggling public health-care services, according to The Washington Post. The new plan has been dubbed "Modicare" by Indian media figures and if approved by Parliament and given adequate funding, it could be the first step to providing universal health coverage in India, according to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The new program would be life-changing for the country that still struggles to provide millions of people medical treatment, with many... Reported by WorldNews 3 hours ago.

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    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Feb. 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hawthorn Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ:HWBK), today reported consolidated financial results for the Company for the year ended December 31, 2017.  

    Net income for the current year was $3.4 million, or $0.59 per diluted common share, compared to $7.3 million, or $1.24 per diluted common share, for 2016.  Included in the 2017 net income is a $4.1 million charge, or $0.70 per diluted common share, that includes $3.1 million resulting from application of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) enacted in the fourth quarter of 2017, and $1.0 million resulting from tax planning strategies implemented at year-end 2017.

    The return on average common equity was 3.59% (7.90% excluding the charge from the Tax Act) and the return on average assets was 0.25% (0.56% excluding the charge from the Tax Act) for the current year compared to 7.97% and 0.58% for the prior year, respectively.

    Commenting on earnings performance, Chairman David T. Turner said, “Hawthorn reported a 4% increase in non-GAAP earnings per share to $1.29 excluding the impact of the Tax Act for the current year.  Loans increased $94.4 million, or 9.7%, from the prior year end and they have increased $203 million, or 23.5%, since year-end 2015.  This growth was accomplished without a deterioration in credit quality as nonperforming loans to total loans improved from 1.19% at 12/31/15 to 1.00% at 12/31/17. Our current year net interest margin remained strong at 3.41% while net interest income was $42.9 million, a $2.6 million increase from the prior year driven primarily by loan growth. Non-interest income of $9.0 million for the current year was level with the prior year, mostly due to securities gains of $0.6 million recognized in 2016 that offset increases in most other non-interest income categories.  Non-interest expense of $38.8 million was $2.0 million higher than the prior year mostly due to a $0.9 million, or 4.5%, increase in salaries and benefits expense and a net increase in other operating expenses of $1.1 million primarily due to costs associated with technology related expenses to improve operating efficiencies and our ability to react to new technology developments.”

    *Net Interest Income*

    Net interest income for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $42.9 million compared to $40.3 million for the prior year. The increase in average loans from 2016 of $111 million, or 12.1%, was the primary contributor to the growth in net interest income. The net interest margin declined 7 basis points from 2016 to 3.41% for 2017 primarily due to the yield on average earning assets increasing 7 basis points while the cost of interest bearing liabilities increased 19 basis points.

    *Non-Interest Income and Expense*

    Non-interest income for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $9.0 million compared to $8.9 million for the prior year ended December 31, 2016.  The net change from the prior year was primarily due to increases in trust income of $0.2 million and combined real estate servicing and mortgage loan sales income of $0.3 million offset by securities gains of $0.6 million recognized in the prior year.

    Non-interest expense was $38.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of $2.0 million, or 5.4%, over the prior year level of $36.8 million. Salaries and benefits increased $0.9 million, or 4.5% over 2016 due to cost of living adjustments, merit increases and increased health insurance and pension costs.  Other operating expenses increased $1.1 million primarily due to technology related costs.

    *Allowance for Loan Losses*

    The Company’s level of non-performing loans at December 31, 2017 was 1.00% of total loans compared to 0.95% at December 31, 2016. During the year ended December 31, 2017, the Company recorded net charge-offs of $799,000, or 0.08% of average loans, compared to net charge-offs of $143,000, or 0.02% of average loans for the year ended December 31, 2016.  The increase in net charge-offs over the prior year was primarily due to a recovery of approximately $500,000 on a construction loan during the second quarter of 2016. The allowance for loan losses at December 31, 2017 was $10.9 million, or 1.02% of outstanding loans, 101.57% of non-performing loans and 180.87% of nonperforming loans when excluding accruing TDR’s. At December 31, 2016, the allowance for loan losses was $9.9 million, or 1.01% of outstanding loans, 107.35% of non-performing loans and 282.94% of nonperforming loans when excluding accruing TDR’s. The allowance for loan losses represents management’s best estimate of probable losses inherent in the loan portfolio and is commensurate with risks in the loan portfolio as of December 31, 2017.

    *Financial Condition*

    Comparing December 31, 2017 balances with December 31, 2016, total assets increased $142.2 million to $1.4 billion. The largest driver in asset growth was the increase in loans of $94.4 million, or 9.7%, while federal funds sold and other overnight interest-bearing deposits increased $41.6 million. Total deposits increased $115.1 million, or 11.4%, to $1.1 billion and FHLB advances and other borrowings increased $28.0 million to $121.4 million at December 31, 2017. During the same period, stockholders’ equity increased 0.4% to $91.4 million, or 6.4% of total assets. The total risk based capital ratio of 12.93% and the leverage ratio of 9.33% at December 31, 2017, respectively, far exceed minimum regulatory requirements of 8.00% and 4.00%, respectively.

                       
    [Tables follow]
                       
    *FINANCIAL SUMMARY*                  
    (unaudited)                  
    $000                    
                       
    * * * * *Three Months Ended* * *
    *Statement of income information:* *December 31,*     *September 30,*     *December 31,* * *
    * * * * *2017*     * * *2017*   * * *2016* * *
    Total interest income $ 13,219     $ 12,936   $ 11,877  
    Total interest expense   2,351       2,183     1,497  
    Net interest income    10,868       10,753     10,380  
    Provision for loan losses   530       555     450  
    Noninterest income   2,268       2,181     2,395  
    Noninterest expense   9,999       9,766     9,285  
    Pre-tax income   2,607       2,613     3,040  
    Income taxes   4,979       847     1,052  
    Net income $ (2,372 )   $ 1,766   $ 1,988  
    *Earnings per share:*                  
    Basic: $ (0.41 )   $ 0.30   $ 0.34  
    Diluted: $ (0.41 )   $ 0.30   $ 0.34  
                       
                       
    *Statement of income information:* * *   *For the Year Ended*
    * * * * * *     *2017*     *2016* * *
    Total interest income       $ 50,935   $ 46,010  
    Total interest expense         8,007     5,663  
    Net interest income          42,928     40,347  
    Provision for loan losses         1,765     1,425  
    Noninterest income         8,955     8,917  
    Noninterest expense         38,802     36,807  
    Pre-tax income         11,316     11,032  
    Income taxes         7,902     3,750  
    Net income       $ 3,414   $ 7,282  
    *Earnings per share:*                  
    Basic:       $ 0.59   $ 1.24  
    Diluted:       $ 0.59   $ 1.24  
                       
                       
    *Key financial ratios:*   *December 31,*     *September 30,*     *December 31,*  
    * *   *2017*     * * *2017*   * * *2016*  
    Return on average assets (YTD) 0.25   %   0.58 %   0.58 %
    Return on average common equity (YTD) 3.59   %   8.18 %   7.97 %
                       
        *December 31,*     *September 30,*     *December 31,*  
        *2017*     * * *2017*   * * *2016*  
    Allowance for loan losses to total loans 1.02   %   1.05 %   1.01 %
    Nonperforming loans to total loans 1.00   %   1.06 %   0.95 %
    Nonperforming assets to loans and foreclosed assets   2.21   %   2.29 %   2.37 %
    Allowance for loan losses to nonperforming loans   101.57   %   99.42 %   107.35 %
    Allowance for loan losses to nonperforming loans - excluding performing TDRs  180.87   %   172.20 %   282.94 %
                       
    *Balance sheet information:* * * *December 31,*     *September 30,*     *December 31,*  
    * * * * *2017*     * * *2017*   * * *2016*  
    Loans, net of allowance for loan losses $ 1,057,580     $ 1,034,047   $ 964,143  
    Investment securities   237,579       222,410     224,308  
    Total assets   1,429,216       1,386,532     1,287,048  
    Deposits   1,125,812       1,107,960     1,010,666  
    Total stockholders’ equity   91,371       96,072     91,017  
                       
    Book value per share $ 15.68     $ 16.47   $ 15.52  
    Market price per share $ 20.75     $ 20.70   $ 17.02  
                         

    *Use of Non-GAAP Measures*

    Several financial measures in this press release are non-GAAP, meaning they are not presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the U.S. The non-GAAP items presented in this press release are non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP basic earnings per share, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share, non-GAAP return on average assets and non-GAAP return on average common equity. These measures include adjustments to exclude the transitional impact of the Tax Act and the Company's implementation of new tax planning strategies, which are non-recurring and not considered indicative of underlying earnings performance. [The adjustments do not include the ongoing impacts of the lower U.S. statutory rate under the Tax Act on current year earnings.] The Company believes that the exclusion of these items provides a useful basis for evaluating the Company's underlying performance, but should not be considered in isolation and is not in accordance with, or a substitute for, evaluating performance utilizing GAAP financial information. The Company uses non-GAAP measures to analyze its financial performance and to make financial comparisons to prior periods presented on a similar basis. The Company believes that providing such adjusted results allows investors to better understand that Company's comparative operating performance for the periods presented. Non-GAAP measures are not formally defined by GAAP or codified in the federal banking regulations, and other entities may use calculation methods that differ from those used by the Company. The Company has reconciled each of these measures to a comparable GAAP measure below:

                   
    *NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES*              
    (unaudited)                  
    $000                      
                         
    * * * * *Three Months Ended* * *  
    *Statement of inc**ome information:* *December 31,*     *September 30,*     *December 31,* * *  
    * * * * *2017*     * * *2017*   * * *2016* * *  
    Net income - GAAP $ (2,372 )   $ 1,766   $ 1,988    
      Effect of net deferred tax asset adjustments (a) 4,105              
      Net income and Dec 2017 non-GAAP Net income $ 1,733     $ 1,766   $ 1,988    
    *Earnings per share:*                
    Basic - GAAP $ (0.41 )   $ 0.30   $ 0.34    
    Effect of net deferred tax asset adjustments (a) 0.71       0.00     0.00    
    Basic and Dec 2017 non-GAAP Basic $ 0.30     $ 0.30   $ 0.34    
    Diluted - GAAP $ (0.41 )   $ 0.30   $ 0.34    
    Effect of net deferred tax asset adjustments (a) 0.71       0.00     0.00    
    Diluted and Dec 2017 non-GAAP Diluted $ 0.30     $ 0.30   $ 0.34    
                         
    *Statement of income information:* *For the Year Ended*  
    * * * * * *     *2017*     *2016* * *  
    Net income - GAAP   $ 3,414   $ 7,282    
      Effect of net deferred tax asset adjustments (a) 4,105        
      Net income and 2017 non-GAAP Net income $ 7,519   $ 7,282    
    *Earnings per share:*                
    Basic - GAAP     $ 0.59   $ 1.24    
    Effect of net deferred tax asset adjustments (a) 0.70     0.00    
    Basic and 2017 non-GAAP Basic $ 1.29   $ 1.24    
    Diluted - GAAP     $ 0.59   $ 1.24    
    Effect of net deferred tax asset adjustments (a) 0.70     0.00    
    Diluted and 2017 non-GAAP Diluted $ 1.29   $ 1.24    
                         
    *Key financial rati**os:* *December 31,*     *September 30,*     *December 31,*    
    * *   *2017*     * * *2017*   * * *2016*    
    Return on average assets (YTD) - GAAP 0.25   %   0.58 %   0.58 %  
    Effect of net deferred tax asset adjustments (a) 0.31   %   0.00     0.00    
    Return on average assets (YTD) and Dec 2017
    non-GAAP Return on average assets (YTD)   0.56   %   0.58 %   0.58 %  
    Return on average common equity (YTD) - GAAP 3.59   %   8.18 %   7.97 %  
    Effect of net deferred tax asset adjustments (a) 4.31   %   0.00 %   0.00 %  
    Return on average common equity (YTD) and Dec 2017
    non-GAAP Return on average common equity (YTD)   7.90   %   8.18 %   7.97 %  
                         
    (a) Calculated using the difference in combined statutory rates of 38% for 2017 and 21% for subsequent years.
     

    *About Hawthorn Bancshares*

    Hawthorn Bancshares, Inc., a financial-bank holding company headquartered in Jefferson City, Missouri, is the parent company of Hawthorn Bank of Jefferson City with locations in the Missouri communities of Lee's Summit, Liberty, Springfield, Branson, Independence, Columbia, Clinton, Windsor, Osceola, Warsaw, Belton, Drexel, Harrisonville, California and St. Robert.

    Statements made in this press release that suggest Hawthorn Bancshares' or management's intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations, or predictions of the future include "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the estimated effects of the Tax Act. It is important to note that actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause the Company's estimated effects of the Tax Act to differ materially include, but are not limited to, changes in interpretations and assumptions the Company has made with respect to the anticipated effects of the Tax Act, federal tax regulations and guidance that may be issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury and future actions by the Company resulting from the Tax Act. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements is contained from time to time in the Company's quarterly and annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    CONTACT: Contact: Bruce Phelps
    Chief Financial Officer
    TEL: 573.761.6100 FAX: 573.761.6272
    www.HawthornBancshares.com Reported by GlobeNewswire 2 hours ago.

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    Will the Trump administration compel Idaho to stick to health insurance rules laid out in the Affordable Care Act or let the state proceed with plans to skip some of its consumer protections? Reported by NPR 4 days ago.

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    Nearly 25% of full-time employees in the U.S. do not receive benefits, such as health insurance, retirement savings plan, or paid vacation, from their employers, according to a new survey by Clutch Reported by Mondaq 3 days ago.

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    This new alliance promises to save employers on health insurance premiums Reported by bizjournals 4 days ago.

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    New hire adds depth to company's strengths in cyber security, systems integration, M&A

    RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    Jon Kelly, a 29-year leader in IT systems and strategy, has joined CREO, Inc., a Research Triangle Park-based management consulting firm specializing in the life sciences, healthcare, and technology services industries. Kelly will serve as principal consultant, advising clients in cyber security, due diligence and integration of IT systems, and regulatory compliance.

    Kelly joins CREO after 12 years in progressively senior roles at CSRA, an IT services company serving US government customers. He most recently held the position of Senior Director, Managed Hosting Services, where he led a group that created full-service hosting and data center operations supporting more than 50 contracts operating under stringent Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) Moderate level requirements. He was a member of CSRA’s senior leadership team.

    Kelly spent nearly a decade leading IT due diligence during mergers and acquisitions, including post-merger systems integration, at SRA and The Constella Group, both later acquired by CSRA. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of technical, consulting and sales engineering roles at legal and accounting firms. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.

    “Jon offers our clients a wealth of experience to help solve their critical technical challenges,” says Mike Townley, co-founder and managing partner at CREO, Inc. “Many companies, especially those in industries such as drug discovery and clinical research organizations, recognize the need to strengthen technology, procedures and training for data privacy and security. Jon has built these systems from the ground up, and led teams that implemented effective solutions.”

    Kelly is excited to return to consulting, which will provide him an opportunity to work both with emerging companies and established industry leaders. “I am looking forward to putting my nearly 3 decades of hands-on operational, leadership and technical skills into helping CREO’s clients address their most pressing issues, using proven solutions,” he says. Kelly says he anticipates helping companies assure that their IT systems are compliant with federal regulations, including FISMA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the electronic records requirements mandated by the Food & Drug Administration.

    ABOUT CREO, Inc.: CREO, Inc. is an innovative management consulting and advisory firm based in Research Triangle Park. CREO helps its clients operate effectively, freeing them to apply their talents, pursue their mission, and realize their vision through a focus on effective operations and organizational health. CREO’s senior team of C-level advisors works shoulder-to-shoulder with clients to solve their toughest challenges and realize their biggest opportunities. To learn more, visit http://www.creoinc.net. Reported by PRWeb 3 days ago.

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    Dear Abby: My 25-year-old niece still lives at home. She works full time and attends college online. She’s a hard worker who doesn’t do drugs or engage in risky behavior. I pay her a bonus for every A she earns, and I also pay for her health insurance. While I gladly pay the college bonuses, I have misgivings about continuing to pay for her health insurance, even though I can afford it. She doesn’t make much money at her job, but she goes out to restaurants and bars often, attends concerts and takes trips out of state three or four times a year. When I was her age, I also went to college, worked a low-paying job and lived with my mother. Reported by SFGate 3 days ago.

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    Amazon is partnering with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank, to explore getting into the health insurance business. Reported by CNNMoney 3 days ago.

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    Health insurance industry could be shaken up as Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announce they're looking at joint venture in field. Reported by CNNMoney 3 days ago.

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    World-class, affordable healthcare is a top priority for retirees abroad. Luckily, it’s easy to find and access in the 5 countries that win top ranking in the Healthcare category of International Living’s just-released Annual Global Retirement Index 2018.

    BALTIMORE (PRWEB) January 30, 2018

    Healthcare is one of the most important and hard-to-plan-for costs in retirement. For many Baby Boomers in the United States, it’s the biggest expense they incur in their “golden years”—and it can be crippling.

    But in the right places overseas, according to the editors at International Living, it’s possible to access world-class care for pennies on the dollar.

    The high level of service and low cost of quality healthcare has attracted thousands of U.S. and Canadian retirees to the world’s top retirement havens abroad. Expats in these countries praise the quality of care, reporting that physicians take time and often share their personal cell phone numbers with patients.

    They say, too, that they’re impressed by the affordability of healthcare. Prices are often so low, expats simply pay out of pocket. And health insurance premiums can come to less than $100 a month for a couple.

    “Our evaluation of the healthcare across the 24 countries we compare and contrast in our annual Index includes an investigation of the typical quality of care for expats, access to care, and costs for care and medications in the communities where we recommend expats go,” says International Living’s Executive Editor, Jennifer Stevens.

    “In addition to a survey of specific prices for a range of treatments, medications, and insurance, we also take into account the ease with which expats can access care. In the communities we recommend in all the nations that top our list, expats can find excellent healthcare at prices as low as 50% or less of what they’d expect to pay at home in the United States.

    “This is as true for medical tourists who simply ‘dip in’ to a system to get their teeth cleaned, say, or have an in-depth physical with tests...as it is for full-time expats who enjoy what they say is often better care than they received at home—for a small fraction of what they used to pay.”

    The five countries that scored the highest marks for Best Healthcare in the World in this year’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2018 are...

    1.Costa Rica

    Costa Rica claims the top spot in the Healthcare category of International Living’s Global Retirement Index, scoring 99 out of 100.

    Texan John Michael Arthur, M.D. has a lot of praise for the Costa Rican healthcare system. “When my partner and I left Texas for Costa Rica, many friends said, ‘Well sure, you’re not worried about medical care, you’re a doctor,’” Arthur says. “To tell the truth, that actually makes me much more critical of the medical care available in other countries.

    “Costa Rica has modern, state-of-the-art healthcare available to everyone. We pay $82 a month as a couple for the universal public healthcare system—after that, all care is covered and free.

    “If you prefer a second opinion or more immediate care, there’s the private system which runs about one third of the U.S. costs. I had a dental crown replaced recently with a new, state of the art zirconia crown—total cost $320. Due to a very complicated prescription, my last set of eyeglasses in the States cost me $1,200. Here I got the same for $420—and it includes a one-year guarantee.”

    Jackie Minchillo, IL Costa Rica Coastal Correspondent, lives in the beach town of Tamarindo, on the Pacific coast. She enjoys the choice of medical options available in Costa Rica.

    “My experiences with the doctors since moving to Costa Rica have continually, pleasantly surprised me. There's a wide array of options to combine the public healthcare system with private options once you're a resident. And even before you are a resident, access to private healthcare is high quality and affordable to pay for out of your pocket.

    “I had bronchitis just before the holidays last year. I walked into a private clinic with no appointment and was seen right away. I paid $80, which covered my visit and the prescribed antibiotics and I was back home resting within an hour.

    “Another thing that I really love has been the access to variety of alternative healthcare practitioners that seem to flock to Costa Rica. I work out a lot and I've found incredible sports massage therapists who offer deep tissue massages for $40 per hour. In the States, I could never see a reputable traditional physical therapist or masseuse for muscle soreness or sports injuries for that price.”

    2.Malaysia

    Malaysia attracts many retires for affordable, high-quality healthcare. All the doctors speak English and most were trained in the UK, U.S., or Australia so they are familiar with Western standards of care.

    Many of the hospitals in Kuala Lumpur and Penang are Joint Commission International accredited, meaning that they are considered to meet the gold standard in healthcare throughout the globe.

    Malaysia is second from the top in the Healthcare category with a score of 94.

    Penang offers a world-class medical care, which expat Larry John experienced when he suffered a frozen shoulder. “I was unable to rotate my arm without feeling incredible pain,” says John. “In Canada, it would take at least three months to see a specialist.”

    But in Penang he walked into the hospital and saw one. After the initial exam, he made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed the problem as a frozen shoulder.

    “At 7 a.m. the next morning, I checked in for out-patient care and was put under general anesthesia, while the surgeon rotated the arm to loosen the frozen ligaments. The procedure itself took only minutes and I was very impressed with all the staff and the doctor from the time of check-in to check-out.”

    In two days, Mr. John resolved the issue without surgery and the total cost was just $1,167. To aid in the healing process, he went to a local physucal therapist for a couple of hours of therapy and home exercises. Each session was only $14 to $16.

    3.Colombia

    Many retirees have been drawn to Colombia’s top-class healthcare with five of Colombia’s hospitals being JCI accredited, the gold standard in world healthcare.

    There are many excellent hospitals and clinics all around Colombia which offer services from routine office visits and testing, to complex procedures such as joint replacements, organ transplants, ICU services, and cancer treatment—bringing Colombia into third place with a score of 93.

    “As a retired healthcare executive, I know what I’m talking about when I say that the quality of care for expats in Colombia is excellent,” says International Living’s Colombia Correspondent, Nancy Kiernan.

    Kiernan lives in Medellin with her husband Mike and says, “I have had laboratory tests, a mammogram, tests for cervical cancer, and a biopsy. In each case, the process was quick, the facilities were state-of-the-art, and most of the results were available online within a day or two.”

    These sentiments are shared by Curt Noe, a retired traffic engineer from New Jersey, who moved to Medellín in 2007. “I arrived with a pre-existing condition of cancer,” he states. “I expected to have a problem getting health insurance here and was pleasantly surprised that I was completely covered by the national health plan (EPS) after only a six-month waiting period.”

    During his first few years in Medellín, Curt flew back to the U.S. for second opinions and follow-up appointments. “I realized I didn’t need to spend the money to do that, after my U.S. doctors said that the care I am receiving in Medellín is on par with what they would do.”

    (Mexico and Panama are tied for fourth place in the Annual Global Retirement Index 2018 Healthcare Category with a score of 90.)

    4. Mexico(Tie)

    In Mexico, every medium to large city has at least one first-rate hospital. And a big plus, most doctors and dentists in Mexico received at least part of their training in the U.S.

    “When I moved to Mexico, one piece of emotional baggage I left behind in the U.S. was worry over the cost of healthcare,” says International Living ’s Mexico Editor, Glynna Prentice.

    “In Mexico, I have access to two affordable healthcare systems: public and private. In Mexico’s private healthcare system, costs—pretty much across the board—run 25% to 50% of U.S. costs for comparable services. And as a legal resident in Mexico, I also have access to Mexico’s public healthcare system, which runs most people around $300 to $400 or so a year—or less,” says Prentice, one of an estimated 1 million Americans now living in Mexico.

    She’s not alone in finding good healthcare in Mexico.

    Expat Kate Barron, who lives in Mérida, Mexico says that she visited one of the city’s top allergy specialists. “He was great, on time, and cheap,” she says. The cost: about $35. For quick treatment of minor ailments, you can also get a walk-in appointment with doctors on staff at discount pharmacies.”

    4. Panama(Tie)

    Panama provides good quality, affordable healthcare with clinics and hospitals tactically located in hubs across the country. And since the country is so small, it’s unlikely retirees will be more than an hour from a modern facility.

    “I’ve been in Panama for over 10 years now and sometimes I forget just how good we have it until I go back to the States and see some of the prices,” says Jessica Ramesch, International Living Panama Editor.

    “Though of course costs go up over time—everywhere—I am still spending around 50% less on doctor’s consults and dental appointments than my friends back in the States. Recently, my dentist spent two and a half hours with me and charged me just $50. I got a filling replaced and she x-rayed it afterward to make sure everything looked good. We chatted for a good 20 minutes afterward, as well. That’s how people are here. Providers spend time with you, give you their cell phone number…often they become friends."

    Maine-native Katherine Gallimore speaks just as highly of the healthcare offered in Panama. “I had surgery not long ago with an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor. The care and service were excellent and my out-of-pocket cost was only $900. And, as usual, the doctor gave me her personal cell phone number in case I needed to reach her.”

    More details on the top five countries in the Healthcare category of the Annual Global Retirement Index 2018 can be found here: 5 Countries with the Best Healthcare in the World

    Editor's Note: Members of the media have permission to republish the article linked above once credit is given to InternationalLiving.com.
    Further information, as well as interviews with expert authors for radio, TV or print, is available on request. Photos are also available.

    For information about InternationalLiving.com content republishing, source material or to book an interview with one of our experts, contact PR Managing Editor, Marita Kelly, +001 667 312 3532, mkelly@internationalliving.com
    Twitter: @inliving
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/International.Living/

    About International Living

    For 37 years, InternationalLiving.com has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, InternationalLiving.com provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. InternationalLiving.com has more than 200 correspondents traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment. Reported by PRWeb 3 days ago.

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    What we know about the new healthcare company Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway are forming (AMZN) · *Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan are teaming up to form an independent venture that'll be focused on healthcare for their US employees. *
    · *The venture will be nonprofit, and its initial focus will be on technology solutions, the companies said in a press release.*
    · *Beyond that, we don't have many details about whether that means the companies will team up to form a health insurance plan, or another way to tackle healthcare spending. *

    --------------------It's official: Amazon is getting into healthcare. 

    Amazon, along with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan, are teaming up to form an independent venture that'll be focused on healthcare for their US employees. 

    "The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said, the first time he's addressed the company's healthcare interests since news the online retail giant was making moves to potentially enter the sector bubbled up in 2017. "Hard as it might be, reducing healthcare’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation."

    *Here's what we know about the new venture*

    · The new independent company will be nonprofit.
    · To start, the focus of the company will be on technology solutions that will provide "simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost."
    · The venture will be geared toward employees of the three companies, rather than healthcare consumers overall in the US, though JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said that potentially, all Americans could benefit. 
    · The hope is to lower the cost of healthcare while at the same time improving health outcomes and patient experiences.

    Beyond that, there aren't a lot of specifics about how the three companies will reach the goal of lowering costs and improving outcomes.

    "Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable," Buffett said in the release. 

    In its initial stages, the venture will be led by Berkshire Hathaway investment officer Todd Combs, JPMorgan managing director Marvelle Sullivan Berchtold, and Amazon senior vice president Beth Galetti.

    Combs has been frequently cited as Buffett's potential successor and also serves as a board member at JPMorgan. Sullivan Berchtold joined JPMorgan in August 2017, according to her LinkedIn page. Prior to working at JPMorgan, she was the global head of mergers and acquisitions at the pharmaceutical giant Novartis. Galetti is the senior vice president of human resources at Amazon, according to LinkedIn. 

    It's still unclear whether the joint venture will create its own health plan, or if it will take another approach to tackling healthcare costs for employers. Even so, the news was enough to send healthcare stocks — especially pharmaceutical supply chain members and health insurers — plummeting on Tuesday morning. 

    The companies also noted that more details about the venture will be announced later, including where it will be based. 

    *SEE ALSO: The entire healthcare business is being redrawn — and it's anybody's guess what's going to happen next*

    *DON'T MISS: Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan are creating a new healthcare company to tackle the 'hungry tapeworm' of rising costs*

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Netflix is headed for a huge profit milestone in 2018 Reported by Business Insider 3 days ago.

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    Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and Chase to Form Health Care Company Amazon is linking up with the world’s most prominent investor and the country’s biggest bank to tackle health care.

    The tech giant, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase jointly announced on Tuesday that they’re forming an independent company “free from profit-making incentives and constraints,”  in an effort to provide American workers with better health insurance.

    “The health care system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement.  “Hard as it might be, reducing health care’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”

    *Also Read:* Amazon Prime Monthly Membership Just Jumped 18 Percent

    Details were sparse for the unnamed partnership, but the companies will leverage “technology solutions” to drive down costs, according to the joint statement.

    “The ballooning costs of health care act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy. Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable,” added Buffett. “Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes.”

    The cost of the new operation wasn’t disclosed, and there was no mention of when it would roll out to workers beyond those tied to the three companies.

    *Also Read:* Amazon Pulls 'Slavery Gets S-- Done' Merchandise

    “Our people want transparency, knowledge and control when it comes to managing their health care,” said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. “The three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.”

    *Related stories from TheWrap:*

    Amazon Pulls 'Slavery Gets S— Done' Merchandise

    Amazon Prime Monthly Membership Just Jumped 18 Percent

    Will Amazon Add Target to Its Cart in 2018? Reported by The Wrap 3 days ago.

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    Three of corporate America’s heaviest hitters — Amazon, Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase — sent a shudder through the health insurance industry Tuesday when they announced plans to jointly create a company to provide their employees with high-quality, affordable care. The announcement was short on details about precisely what the independent company will do. But given the three companies’ outsize influence — and Amazon’s ability to transform just about everything it touches — the alliance has the potential to shake up how Americans shop for health care, and the stocks of insurance companies, drug distributors and others slumped in reaction. Reported by SFGate 3 days ago.

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    Company Grows Florida Workforce By 15% To Service Customers In Arkansas And Hawaii

    DANIA BEACH, Fla. (PRWEB) January 31, 2018

    Issa Asad, founder and CEO of Q Link Wireless, announced today that his company, the nation’s third-largest provider of free phone service through the federal Lifeline program, will add 40 new fulltime jobs at its headquarters in Dania Beach. The job creation comes after the FCC awarded Q Link a license to provide its wireless services in Arkansas, the first license of its type issued by the FCC in more than five years, followed by another license in Hawaii. Expansion into Arkansas and Hawaii increases Q Link’s geographic presence to 30 states and Puerto Rico and will translate to significant growth beyond its existing 1.9 million customers.

    “These new jobs increase our Broward-based workforce by 15 percent in c-suite, mid-, and entry-level positions,” said Issa Asad, founder and CEO of Q Link Wireless. “While we have operations throughout the nation, Florida – and more specifically, Broward County – is our home. So we want to do everything possible to make sure this community benefits from our growth and success.”

    The company is actively recruiting employees in all areas, from sales and customer service, to fulfillment, to senior management; and several of the jobs are high-paying positions. Q Link provides employees with competitive pay, health insurance, a retirement plan, and bonus opportunities.

    The company’s rapid growth since its founding in 2014 has resulted in more than 300 local jobs. Unlike many of his competitors that outsource jobs overseas, Issa Asad has purposely sought to keep the entirety of his employees together in one location. He maintains this staffing approach at every level, housing compliance, marketing, and even warehouse services at the headquarters location in Dania Beach.

    “Over the past few years, Q Link has grown dramatically and hired full-time workers from diverse backgrounds,” said Rafa Carvajal, chief operating officer for Q Link. “Now, as we expand service to new parts of the county, I have every expectation we will continue to contribute to the economic stability of our community here in South Florida.”

    Q Link serves people who might not otherwise have access to wireless phones, including veterans, SNAP recipients, Medicaid recipients, and people living in Section 8 housing. Program participants receive a free smart phone, 350 minutes of calling each month, unlimited texts, and up to 1 gigabyte of free data. The program was designed for Americans who might not otherwise have access to vital communication services, including the ability to make 9-1-1 calls.

    For more information about Q Link Wireless, or to schedule an interview with Issa Asad, please contact Meieli Sawyer at 305-668-0070 or msawyer(at)weinbachgroup(dot)com.

    About Q Link Wireless

    Q Link Wireless, a Quadrant Holdings Company, is one of the nation’s leading providers of wireless voice and data service through the Lifeline Program. With more than 1.9 million customers, Q Link is wirelessly connecting people to the world around them, regardless of their income. Reported by PRWeb 3 days ago.

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    Healthcare a recurring US theme at the moment. Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) is a stock in focus in pre-market, with shares adding 1.40% to US$246.85 in extended hours. The health insurance group beat analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter, posting revenue of US$22.4bn, up 4.5% from a year ago and more than the US$22.2bn analysts had predicted. Anthem reported a profit of US$1.23 billion, or $4.67 a share, compared with US$368mln a year ago. Enrolment in the group's medical plans dropped by 13,000 in its latest quarter but increased slightly overall last year, it told the market. Elsewhere, Wall Street expects Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) beat estimates for its fourth-quarter earnings before the New York bell, posting strong results for both its top and bottom line. In New York, shares are down 0.91% in pre-market. Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) shares were up 1.75% to US$87.60 after hours.  The group posted a fourth quarter earnings beat, while the new tax law boosted its 2018 earnings guidance Last but not least Tuppwerware Brands Corp (NYSE:TUP) saw shares close down  0.44% yesterday. It reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $326.5 million, or $6.41 per share, compared with income of $79.0 million, or $1.55 per share for the same period last year, whioch beat estimates, but revenue missed Wall Street expectations. Tupperware earnings beat but revenue misses https://t.co/yKjjJPzrfX — MarketsTicker (@MarketsTicker) 31 January 2018 Reported by Proactive Investors 2 days ago.

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    A bunch of people are betting that a 70-year-old health system could hold the key to fixing out-of-control healthcare costs · *Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan announced Tuesday they're teaming up to launch a new nonprofit healthcare company. *
    · **Venture capitalist Bill Gurley — the legendary investor who backed Uber, Snap, and eBay —*** thinks employers should get out of healthcare.*
    · *But there's one piece that needs to fall into place before much change can happen, Gurley said: narrow networks.*
    · *At Kaiser Permanente, a health system on the West Coast that has both a health plan and a hospital, members see the doctors Kaiser Permanente employs in network. The model is a favorite of Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger.  *

    --------------------Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway plan to build a new nonprofit healthcare company that will provide to their employees "simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost."

    Depending on how that company takes shape, it could have a big impact on the role employers play in healthcare.

    Bill Gurley, a general partner at Benchmark Capital, told Business Insider that the new venture could be a sign that companies are trying to create change in how employers interact with healthcare for their employees. 

    But there's one piece that needs to fall into place before much change can happen, Gurley said: narrow networks.

    In the US, employers are mandated to provide health insurance for their employees. The US isn't alone in having an employer-funded healthcare system, but in many other countries, it's supplemental to a government-run insurance system as opposed to full coverage.

    Narrow networks are plans that offer fewer health providers in the hopes that it will keep costs lower and members will get better quality care than if health plan members could go to a wider selection of doctors. And Gurley thinks for the JPMorgan-Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway health venture to work, it will need to include one of those.

    In the case of Kaiser Permanente, a health system on the West Coast that has both a health plan and a hospital, members see the doctors Kaiser Permanente employs in network. The model is a favorite of Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger.  

    "If the whole nation had Kaiser Permanente care, the average quality of the care would go way up and the cost would go way down," Munger has said.

    Narrow networks are becoming standard, especially among Medicare Advantage plans, or private insurance alternatives to Medicare. About 35% of Medicare Advantage members were in narrow network plans, while 22% were in broad-network plans in 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. They're also common in the Affordable Care Act marketplace. 

    But still, the majority of health plans aren't built around narrow networks, especially employer-funded plans, which proponents of narrow networks say keeps healthcare costs high.

    "I don’t know how we get to reform until there’s narrow networks," Gurley said.  

    *SEE ALSO: Bill Gurley — the legendary investor who backed Uber, Snap, and eBay — is now betting big that healthcare has hit a 'tipping stage'*

    *DON'T MISS: Warren Buffett has been speaking out about the cost of healthcare for years — and it could hint at what’s to come with a new health venture*

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Expect Amazon to make a surprising acquisition in 2018, says CFRA Reported by Business Insider 2 days ago.

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    Will it be a fancy app or a true disruptor? Those are some of the questions being asked about what's behind the big health insurance project announced yesterday by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase. Amazon.com Inc.’s first major step into health care follows a well-honed strategy the company has used to deploy some of its biggest businesses, writes Casey Coombs of The Puget Sound Business Journal, a sister publication of Bizwomen. Like Amazon's cloud unit, Amazon Web Services,… Reported by bizjournals 2 days ago.

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