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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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    Brushing aside criticism of the newly announced mega healthcare scheme, Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar has said it is a "game changer" and revenue from the 1% additional cess would be enough to meet the funding needs.

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget for 2018-19 announced the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) announced to provide health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.

    "This scheme is a game changer," said Kumar. He also said he regretted the "completely baseless and false propaganda" that is being spread against the ambitious scheme of the Modi government.

    Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has termed the proposal "a jumla" with no money provided in the budget for it.

    On funding of the scheme envisaging to cover about 50 crore people, the Niti Aayog vicechairman said the allocation for the health sector has been raised by Rs 6,000 crore.

    Moreover, there is an existing facility of Rs 2,000 crore for the ongoing RSBY scheme.

    The government has provided further financial space to the health ministry by establishing an alternate mechanism Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA) for funding capex needs of the health education project.

    And in addition, the 1% extra education and health cess proposed by Jaitley in the budget will annually yield Rs 11,000 crore.

    All these combined would be more than adequate to meet the financing needs of welfare programme.

    The Centre and the state governments, Kumar added, will only have to bear the insurance premium which is likely to be very moderate. It will benefit from bulk procurement and competition.

    "Like all central schemes it will have 60-40 ratio. Those states which want to join join the scheme will contribute 40%. Northeast states will pay 10%," he added.

    Many experts have questioned the ability of the government to fund such as ambitious scheme and also the availability of infrastructure to provide medical facilities for a large number of people across the country.

    On the infrastructure for health services providers, Kumar said the scheme will encourage private sector enterprises that will come up rapidly.

    "The bottom line is that financial resources will not be allowed to be a constraint on this game-changing scheme," he insisted.

    According to senior Niti Aayog officials, the mega healthcare scheme will cost up to Rs 12,000 crore annually and it is likely to be launched either on August 15 or October 2.

    All poor people identified by the socio-economic and caste census 2011 will be eligible for the scheme.

    It will be linked to Aadhaar but will not be a mandatory condition for availing the benefit. Reported by Deccan Herald 10 hours ago.

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    The BJP believes that the Union Budgets thrust on welfare schemes such as free LPG connection and health insurance for the poor will resonate with the masses and help the party electorally ahead of Assembly polls in a number of key states.

    The party top brass has briefed leaders on the key pro- poor and pro-farmers highlights of the budget and asked them to reach out to the masses with these details.

    The Opposition claims that there is a growing rural distress and believes it can use the issue to corner the BJP.

    The BJPs below-par performance in Gujarat, where it again formed a government, and its comprehensive defeat in three Rajasthan bypolls has boosted the morale of the Congress and Opposition parties in the run up to crucial Assembly polls followed by Lok Sabha elections scheduled for next year.

    The Left-ruled Tripura goes to the polls on February 18, followed by the Congress-ruled Karnataka, where the elections are expected to be held in May, and then in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh by this year-end.

    BJP sources said victory in states like Tripura and, more importantly, Karnataka will belie the Oppositions claim of a larger rural distress aimed against the party and insisted that the budget has given them weapons to fight it .

    The key budget provisions include the announcement of a minimum support price for farmers that will be 1.5 times of the cost incurred by them, a health insurance of Rs 5 lakh for 10 crore poor families, dubbed "NaMo care" by BJP leaders, construction of 2 crore more toilets in the new financial year and giving free LPG connection to 8 crore poor women.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cited these measures among others at a BJP Parliamentary Party meeting on the day the budget was presented to exhort the partys law-makers to inform the masses about them.

    He had projected the BJP as a party which did not merely talk about social justice but also implement it.

    Party president Amit Shah, too, dwelt at length on these provisions to assert that they will empower the poor and weaker sections of the society.

    Under Modi and Shah, the BJP has managed to deepen its support among the Other Backward Classes and Dalits, resulting in the party being in power in 19 states, including those it rules with allies- an unprecedented high in its history. Reported by Deccan Herald 7 hours ago.

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    Reported by Sify 8 hours ago.

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    The BJP believes that the Union Budget's thrust on welfare schemes such as free LPG connection and health insurance for the poor will resonate with the masses and help the party electorally ahead of Assembly polls in a number of key states. Reported by Firstpost 6 hours ago.

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    A group of college students, donning degree robes and selling 'pakodas' to passers-by in a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks over job creation, were today whisked away by the police, hours before the PM's rally here.

    The students appeared near the Mehkri Circle, a few metres away from Palace Ground where Modi is scheduled to address the rally, in protest against his recent remarks linking pakoda (snack) selling and job creation.

    On being asked about inadequate job creation in the last four years in a recent interview to a news channel, the prime minister had said that a person selling pakodas outside their (channel's) television studio and earning Rs 200 a day should also be perceived as 'employed'.



    Live: PM Shri @narendramodi addresses Parivartana Yatre rally in Bengaluru. #KarnatakaTrustsModi https://t.co/cBZmZEmxxF

    — BJP (@BJP4India) February 4, 2018



    The young students sold 'Modi Pakodas', 'Amit Shah Pakoda' and 'Dr Yeddy Pakodas', a reference to Karnataka BJP chief Yeddyurappa, to those passing by, including the BJP workers and visitors on their way to the rally.

    The police later removed the degree robes of the protesting students and took them into custody.

    Earlier, PM Modi Modi launched a scathing attack on Congress saying, the state doesn't need grand-old party's culture.



    pic.twitter.com/vdSE2BvIpY

    — BJP (@BJP4India) February 4, 2018



    "In this budget, the government has made a significant decision so that correct price of crops is given to farmers. If BS Yeddyurappa, son of a farmer, becomes CM of Karnataka, the projects for farmers will work at its best, because Yeddurappa has farmer's best interest at heart. The countdown for the Congress to exit the state has begun," PM Modi said.

    The Congress had earlier on Sunday hit out at the Centre for presenting a "disastrous" budget, the Congress asked the Centre "where is the outlay" for the health insurance scheme for 50 crore poor people and Kharif support prices higher than the cost of production.

    Article Type: 
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    Sun, 4 Feb 2018-05:45pm
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    'First ever Indian PM whose words don't mean anything,' Rahul Gandhi takes a dig at Narendra Modi over Naga Accord
    From Print Edition: 
    Highlights:  Reported by DNA 5 hours ago.

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    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Some Nebraska residents could see their health insurance premiums spike in future years now that Congress has effectively repealed a legal requirement to purchase coverage, but advocates say it’s too early to know by how much. The so-called individual mandate was effectively repealed under the Republican congressional tax plan signed by […] Reported by Seattle Times 2 hours ago.

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    Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar has said, the newly announced mega healthcare scheme is a game changer and revenue from the 1 per cent additional cess would be enough to meet the funding needs.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget for 2018-19 announced the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) announced to provide health insurance cover 5 lakh rupees to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families. Reported by All India Radio 2 hours ago.

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    Israeli company launces discounted health insurance for vegans"With the understanding that veganism is a global trend that is developing especially here in Israel, we decided to provide a solution to this segment of the market too." Reported by Jerusalem Post 1 hour 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 6 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 6 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 6 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 6 days ago.

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    Joining fellow disgruntled BJP leader Yashwant Sinha in a protest over farmers issues, MP Shatrughan Sinha today questioned viability of the health insurance scheme announced in the Union Budget.

    The actor-turned-politician today reached Narsinghpur in Madhya Pradesh, where former finance minister Yashwant Sinha has launched a sit-in protest for farmers whose lands would be acquired for a thermal power plant.

    The National Health Protection Scheme announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley would require Rs 1,25,000 crore for premium payment, which is more than the allocation for health sector in the budgets of the Centre and the states put together, Shatrughan Sinha said.

    "Where would this money come from," he asked, addressing the gathering.

    The BJP MP recently joined Rashtra Manch, a political platform floated by Yashwant Sinha. Rashtra Manch has organised the sit-in outside Narsinghpur collectors office since February 1.

    Earlier in the day, the Madhya Pradesh unit of AAP joined in Sinhas agitation.

    "I am sitting with Yashwant-ji. Our party also took out a mock funeral procession of the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh for its anti-farmer policies," state AAP convener Alok Agrawal told PTI over phone from Narsinghpur.

    Agrawal added that Sinhas protest is to press for several demands, among them jobs for farmers who will be displaced by the upcoming coal-fired power project. Reported by Deccan Herald 2 hours ago.

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    The Budget for 2018-19 strikes a balance between fiscal prudence and growth, and a "slight" slippage in fiscal deficit has no material impact on overall economic strength.

    The government has revised its 2018-19 fiscal deficit projections to 3.3 per cent of GDP and for the current fiscal to 3.5 per cent of GDP, against original targets of 3 per cent and 3.2 per cent, respectively.

    "The revised fiscal consolidation path is modestly shallower than the previous roadmap, but does not fundamentally alter Indias overall fiscal strength," says William Foster, Vice President-Senior Credit Officer at Moodys.

    The medium-term target to reduce the central government debt-to-GDP ratio to 40 per cent is supportive of the sovereign credit profile, Foster said.

    Moodys in a statement said Indias budget for the fiscal year ending March 2019 strikes a balance between fiscal prudence and growth.

    "Slight slippage in the budget deficit targets has no material impact on the countrys overall fiscal strength and is in line with Moodys expectations," it said.

    The budget benefits corporates as well as infrastructure and insurance sectors, said Joy Rankothge, Vice President -- Senior Analyst.

    Moodys expects that the government will meet next years deficit target, based on achievable budget assumptions and demonstrated commitment to fiscal prudence.

    "However, some ambitious revenue assumptions and uncertainty about some spending items could result in a shortfall to overall fiscal consolidation," Moodys said.

    "The projected expenditure restraint and strong revenue growth are likely to be broadly achieved, although some measures such as the rule guiding increases in Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) and ambitious GST revenue targets could result in some further slippage," Foster said.

    The formal adoption -- as stated by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley when he announced the budget -- of key recommendations by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Committee (FRBM) as "credit positive".

    These include the objective to bring down the central government debt-to-GDP ratio to 40 per cent (from about 50 per cent today) and use of the fiscal deficit target as the governments key operational parameter, Moodys said.

    For most of Indias corporates, the budgets measures of higher rural spending, lower corporate taxes, and relaxing restrictions on the ability of financial intermediaries to invest in lower rated corporate bonds are credit positive, it added.

    The infrastructure sector will benefit from a boost in spending and the governments continued focus on public investment will also help galvanise Indias upturn in capital spending, Moodys said.

    Finally, the insurance market will benefit from the launch of a national health scheme and the merger, as well as listing, of three state-owned insurers.

    "The insurance, and in particular non-life market, is set to benefit from the growth prospects provided by the widening of universal health insurance cover," it added. Reported by Deccan Herald 40 minutes ago.

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    Joining fellow disgruntled BJP leader Yashwant Sinha in a protest over farmers' issues, MP Shatrughan Sinha today questioned viability of the health insurance scheme announced in the Union Budget. Reported by Firstpost 1 hour ago.

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    Indiana has become the second state to win permission from the Trump administration to require certain low-income residents on Medicaid to work, study or perform public service to qualify for the health insurance.

    Federal officials' approval Friday came almost exactly three years after the Obama... Reported by ChicagoTribune 18 hours ago.

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    Embrace Pet Insurance asked where pet parents’ dogs sleep and the results were as unique as their pets. (Infographic)

    CLEVELAND (PRWEB) February 05, 2018

    A popular question when it comes to dog ownership is where they sleep at night. Should dogs be crated, or is co-sleeping okay? The answer is that is that they should sleep wherever is the safest and most comfortable for them and for you. Embrace Pet Insurance asked more than 10,000 people where their dogs sleep at night. 53% of pups sleep in bed with their owners, but only 25% of them sleep under the covers and 39% with their head on the pillow.· 20% sleep in their own bed, 53% of them with a blanket.
    · Some people (and dogs!) prefer a crate, 12%, actually. And of this crowd, 76% have a blanket in there with them.
    · Everyone’s heard of checking under the bed for monsters, but how about a dog guarding it? 2% of dogs find that under the bed is their favorite sleeping spot!
    · 6% choose to surf the couch.

    What about the cuddlers? 86% of owners like to cuddle with their dogs at night, but only 81% of dogs cuddle with their owners. Our condolences to the 5% of owners whose dogs won’t cuddle them. There is one thing that almost half of all dogs have in common, and that’s that 48% of them snore.

    Blankets are a theme no matter where dogs sleep, and really, is there anything cuter than a dog all wrapped up in a blankie? But those with dogs who have a habit of chewing beware, a blanket to a stressed or bored dog could be an emergency waiting to happen. Unfortunately, one of Embrace’s own employees learned this when her crated Labrador ate a piece of her blanket and had to be rushed into emergency surgery. The bill topped $3,800, with Embrace reimbursing over $2,600. Keeping a close eye on pups while crated, or skipping the blanket altogether, is always advised.

    Dogs sleep a considerable amount more than humans. It’s a good idea for owners to pay attention to their specific sleeping habits. If there is a change (i.e. sleeping more, sleeping restlessly, changing sleeping locations, etc.) make note of it, and ask a veterinarian if things don’t seem right. Our dogs tend to tell us that they’re having problems in different ways and sleeping habits are one of them.

    Embrace wants to see your sleeping pets. They are hosting a sleeping pet photo contest from February 5 through February 15. Interested pet owners can upload their pet's photo at https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/waterbowl/article/sleeping-pet-photo-contest for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card*. (Cat photos are welcome too!)

    *Amazon is not affiliated with this giveaway. No purchase necessary. By submitting your pet's photo to this contest you agree to the contest rules.

    ###

    About Embrace Pet Insurance
    Embrace Pet Insurance is an Ohio-based pet health insurance provider, offering comprehensive, personalized insurance products for dogs and cats across the United States. Embrace is consistently ranked as one of the highest-rated U.S. pet insurance companies, and is a proud member of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. Embrace is the only company to offer a diminishing deductible feature, the Healthy Pet Deductible, and continues to innovate and improve the pet insurance experience for pet parents across the country. For more information about Embrace Pet Insurance, visit http://www.embracepetinsurance.com or call (800) 511-9172. Reported by PRWeb 1 day ago.

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    National Firm Enters Massachusetts with Recent Acquisition

    DEERFIELD, Ill. (PRWEB) February 05, 2018

    Alera Group, a leading national employee benefits, property/casualty, risk management and wealth management firm, has acquired Spring Consulting Group LLC, located in Boston, MA. This acquisition expands the national presence of Alera Group, establishing locations of the firm in 17 states. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    Spring is a multidisciplinary employee benefits and risk management consulting firm. Through innovative risk financing and wealth creation strategies, Spring works to provide long-term measurable financial benefits for each of their clients. Their expertise covers the full spectrum of organizational risk, from small group health insurance to captive insurance for large multi-national corporations.

    “Our firm is focused on innovation and collaboration between associates to meet the needs of our clients. With the national resources of Alera Group, we will be able to increase the creative solutions and resource offerings available to our clients,” said Karin Landry, Managing Partner for Spring Consulting Group.

    “Spring Consulting Group is an excellent addition to Alera Group. We look forward to sharing the consulting and captive management expertise of Karin and her team across our entire platform,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “Adding the Spring location to Alera Group is a great way for us to enter Boston and further strengthens our presence in the northeast.”

    Alera Group continues to grow organically and through acquisitions since its formation in December 2016. For more information on partnering with Alera Group, visit Partnership Opportunities at http://www.aleragroup.com.

    About Alera Group
    Based in Deerfield, IL, Alera Group’s over 850 employees serve more than 20,000 clients nationally in employee benefits, property and casualty, risk management and wealth management. Alera Group was created by merging 24 high-performing, entrepreneurial firms across the U.S. It is the 14th largest independent insurance agency and the 7th largest independent employee benefits firm in the country. For more information, visit http://www.aleragroup.com or follow Alera Group on Twitter: @AleraGroupUS. Reported by PRWeb 18 hours ago.

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    Many organizations slow to review worker assessments, solicit employee feedback and track benefit sign-ups

    NEW YORK (PRWEB) February 05, 2018

    Employee Benefit Adviser’s Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark (OERB) finds many organizations slow to start the critical task of reviewing their fourth-quarter open enrollment efforts.

    The OERB tallies employer self-assessments in 26 activities that need to be completed in four key stages for a successful open enrollment, with no progress receiving a score of zero and completed tasks earning a score of 100. The open enrollment period, which usually takes place in the fall, is a critical time for employers as they look to engage their staff in health and retirement planning.

    As employers emerge from their annual open enrollment periods, they usually begin appraising their programs to gauge whether their benefit strategies are working. However, among organizations with benefit start dates in the first quarter, the average score for enrollment analysis and follow-up tasks stood at just 47 in the most recent OERB report. Marks for individual activities within this stage, such as reviewing worker assessments of the process, and tracking benefit usage, were in the 40s or lower.

    Benefit experts strongly recommend that advisers work with employers to review benefit participation statistics and the sign-up process so clients can better engage their workforce during the next open enrollment period.

    “Working with clients to improve their open enrollment performance is a great way for brokers to prove they are valuable partners in the benefit process,” said John McCormick, Editorial Director of SourceMedia’s Employee Benefits group, which includes EBA and Employee Benefit News. “And those advisers who can truly position themselves as consultants are more likely to retain and attract business than those who are viewed simply as brokers of insurance products.”

    The Open Enrollment Readiness Benchmark is a data-based performance benchmark that gauges how prepared employers are for their annual employee benefit enrollment periods. The benchmark is sponsored by ADP. To produce the results, SourceMedia Research and EBA each month survey more than 400 pre-screened HR and benefit executives at organizations of various sizes and across multiple industries. These professionals are asked to rate their completion levels for 26 activities — from selecting health plans to reviewing enrollment metrics — that take place during the four critical phases of open enrollment: benefit plan design, employee preparation, employee enrollment and post-enrollment analysis. Scores range from a low of zero to a high of 100 and reflect the degree to which an employer considers itself prepared for a particular activity. The activity scores are then averaged to determine scores for each of the four phases and an overall readiness score. A complete analysis of the most recent OERB data is available here.

    About Employee Benefit Adviser
    Employee Benefit Adviser (EBA) is the information resource for employee benefit advisers, brokers, agents and consultants, providing the current awareness and perspective they need to anticipate changes in the marketplace and optimally serve their clients. EBA delivers a broad range of critical content, including comparative market data, legal and regulatory updates, the latest products and services, and best practices in benefits delivery — including health insurance, vision and dental insurance, and voluntary and retirement benefits. The benefits broker community relies on EBA to stay connected through its website comment forums, its social media communities and live events.

    About SourceMedia Research
    SourceMedia Research is a full-service B2B market research service that draws upon SourceMedia’s market expertise and proprietary database of engaged executives to develop information and insights for clients. SourceMedia Research provides research solutions for marketers, agencies and others targeting sectors such as banking, payments, mortgage, accounting, employee benefits and wealth management.

    About SourceMedia
    SourceMedia, an Observer Capital company, is an innovative, growing digital business information and performance media company serving senior-level professionals in the financial, technology and healthcare sectors. Brands include American Banker, PaymentsSource, The Bond Buyer, Financial Planning, Accounting Today, Mergers & Acquisitions, National Mortgage News, Employee Benefit News and Health Data Management.

    About ADP
    Powerful technology plus a human touch. Companies of all types and sizes around the world rely on ADP’s cloud software and expert insights to help unlock the potential of their people. HR. Talent. Benefits. Payroll. Compliance. Working together to build a better workforce. For more information, visit http://www.adp.com/business.

    For more information, please contact:

    Dana Jackson                                        
    dana.jackson(at)sourcemedia(dot)com
    212-803-8329            

    John McCormick
    john.mccormick(at)sourcemedia(dot)com
    212-803-8509 Reported by PRWeb 18 hours ago.

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    New name, logo, website better represent company’s approach to health accounts

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (PRWEB) February 05, 2018

    Empire Innovation Group is now OneBridge Benefits, said its CEO.

    Nicholas Knab, who started the company in 2013 with VP of Product Development Ryan Schultz and Co-Founder Josh Bishop, said he and his team had long felt they needed a name that signified their approach to servicing Funded Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), a unique employee benefit typically offered by governmental, Taft-Hartley and nonprofits.

    “Employers and bargaining groups are talking, now more than ever, about what it costs to have health insurance—and how employees and retirees pay for medical-related expenses,” he said. “As health accounts, like HRAs, became an essential part of employee benefit offerings, we recognized a need for a software that could better service them. Our platform does just that by reducing the administrative burden and connecting all parties involved.”

    Consultants and third party administrators can leverage OneBridge as a trusted partner when it comes to full administration services, such as eligibility management and claims processing. The OneBridge platform allows significant flexibility in plan design and investment types. The proprietary software, including the industry-leading mobile application HRAgo®, is fit for a variety of HRAs, making it easier for everyone to manage and administer the following complex accounts:

    VEBA Accounts
    Active HRA Accounts
    Health Savings Trust
    Defined Contribution HRA Accounts
    Retirement Health Accounts
    Post-Employment Health Plans
    Retiree Medical Savings Accounts

    “We understand the flexibility our partners require when working with their employer clients in designing these unique health plans, which is why we offer a highly customizable platform along with our high-touch service offering,” said Knab.

    Executives at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s Spokane, Washington branch were so impressed by the OneBridge team’s vision and approach to complex benefits management that they extended a collaboration opportunity when the leadership team struck out on their own.

    “They built their company from the ground up and understand what it’s like to create something that serves the individual needs of their clients,” said Charlie Isaacs, an Area President for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.. On paper, OneBridge is a service consultant, but to our team and our funded HRA clients, they’re much more than that. They understand the need for accountability and transparency in a highly scrutinized and complex industry. It’s critical for us to have a partner who has a firm grip on this concept and can act accordingly.”

    OneBridge’s exceptional service and client attentiveness will only improve as plans to expand their platform for Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) management are developed. By integrating such accounts, employers can provide seamless offerings for their employees. It also ensures that OneBridge’s innovative platform continues to set the industry standard for excellence.

    About OneBridge Benefits

    Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y., OneBridge Benefits provides proprietary, secure, web-based Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) software for consultants and administrators looking for an integrated, customized solution. OneBridge has partnered with some of the nation’s leading benefit consultants and provides the technology backbone to their unique HRA product offerings.

    OneBridge Benefits was formerly known as Empire Innovation Group, and rebranded in 2017 to better exemplify its passion for connecting people with their benefits. For more information about the company and its people, visit http://www.onebridgebenefits.com, or find OneBridge on LinkedIn.

    # # # Reported by PRWeb 13 hours ago.

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