Health Insurance Rate Drops Among Americans For First Time In A Decade

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number of uninsured Americans has risen since Obamacare was introduced a decade ago. The number of uninsured went from 7.9 percent to 8.5 percent in 2017 and 2018. That means about 2 million more people are now without health insurance thanks to the Trump administration’s relaxed regulations and gutting of previous Obamacare laws.

Also relevant, this is the first time uninsured rates have increased since the recession hit hardest during 2008 and 2009. It’s important to note because the economy is continuing to grow, while the unemployed and poverty rates continue to fall. In 2018, about 27.5 million people went without health insurance. The number will likely grow during Trump’s presidency. Even with years of inflation, the median household income is staying the same.

Some have attributed the increasing rate of uninsured to the repeal of Obamacare’s health insurance mandate, which penalized those who went without with a stiff fine. Other critics say that the law didn’t really motivate anyone to seek health insurance anyway.

One of the more concerning aspects of this increased rate of uninsured is the children who fall within that statistic. According to Census data points, about a million young people aged 18 and younger are now without insurance compared to the same time two years ago.

Joan Alker, the executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, said: “Prior to the Trump administration assuming office, reducing the number of uninsured children was a national success story. Unless things change immediately, this progress is at risk — and our children and their families will pay the price.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “President Trump’s cruel health care sabotage has left two million more people without health insurance, forced to live in constant fear of an accident or injury that could spell financial ruin for their families.”

Some analysts believe that Trump’s “public charge” rule is also compelling immigrants to stop seeking coverage or drop coverage they already have, rather than risk being deported from the United States because they need help.

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Rachel Garfield explained, “We’ve heard a lot of anecdotal reports and even started to see some data that either immigrant families are declining to renew their coverage or not enrolling.”

The Trump administration has sought to reduce Obamacare standards by approving Medicaid work requirements in nine states to reduce the number of people who are eligible. 18,000 people in Arkansas lost their Medicaid in 2018 as a result of Trump’s changes. More states will see the new regulations go into effect soon.

Latest Insurance Reforms Leaving Motorcyclists Vulnerable

As the four-door sedan struck Dave Ramirez on July 5, 2002, little did he and his wife, driving north to Traverse City know that their journey will be cut short. Their plan to spend the long weekend holiday with their friends ended up being in the hospital after the crash. Dave and his wife were riding in their custom-painted Harley Davidson when this mishap happened. Both of them were admitted to the nearby hospital where they required extensive medical care, not to mention the months of in-home nursing.

All this resulted in a staggering $1 million bill combined, but their medical bills were covered, thanks to their auto insurance policy of the respective driver who was the main culprit. But that was in 2002. Fast forward to 2019, and motorcyclists are worried that the new insurance reforms will not provide such benefits anymore.

According to the new law, there is a significant drive down in the auto insurance rates, which was supposedly one of the highest in the nation. The new policies will allow motorcyclists to buy insurances that come only with limited personal injury protection benefits. Republican-led Legislature pushed for this law, and it was eventually taken up by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer who signed it after considering the possibility of accidents in the city.

This insurance law will revoke the lifetime coverage guarantee for motorists who are involved in car accidents. Instead, their medical coverage decisions will be taken by the auto driver responsible for the crash. As per the reports of the Michigan State Police, there were over 2100 motorists who were injured in 2018 and more than 134 died in such crashes. Sadly, most of these accidents involved more than two vehicles.

According to Steve Sinas, a highly experienced estate planning lawyer, the new law cripples motorcyclists from controlling their destiny while riding. They will not be able to claim their deserved no-fault claims anymore. This will totally depend on the random nature of the accident and if the other vehicles involved in the crash has lifetime no-fault coverage or not.

While the motorists are literally being thrown down under the bus with this reform, supporters acknowledge that although this law is challenging, the main focus here is to cut down the insurance costs of the auto drivers. Since many people complain regarding the rise of auto insurance prices, this law comes as a necessary evil that leaves people divided in their opinions.

New Insurance Law in Florida Takes Effect On July 1

Over a hundred new laws made their way through the Florida House of Representatives and were implemented on July 1, 2019. One of those new laws overturned a controversial insurance rule that governed how insurance benefits are allocated to various parties and beneficiaries. The new law, HB 7065, will provide new definitions for several insurance terms like “assignment agreement.”

It will also revise old requirements for how insurance agreements were executed, and may change the validity of agreements already in place. In addition, even the effects of those agreements might change with the new law.

Insurers are now required by the new law to report new data about previously paid claims by January 30, 2022. One of the more controversial aspects of the law will allow insurers to reevaluate the way they assign benefits, or prohibit them altogether depending on the conditions. 

Another controversial measure of the old law was struck down, which will allow attorneys to potentially collect more in fees by implementing a new revenue structure dependent on overall awards after litigation is won. 

Barry Gilway, CEO of Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp had this to say: “This is a consumer protection measure, not just in terms of impacting the overall premium they have to pay, but also giving them some protections they didn’t have before.”

These protections are the result of a battle fought for seven years between insurance companies and those advocating for change because of rising costs of all types of insurance coverage even as that coverage has diminished. 

According to Gilway’s Insurance Corp, customers who have policies already in place will likely see relaxed rates soon enough, as the savings from the new provisions are expected to be passed down. Then again, that sounds a lot like “trickle-down” economics, and we all know how that concept actually plays out when put in practice.

Gilway’s organization experienced a lot of abuse as a result of former policies where AOB lawsuits are particularly popular, the rates of which have risen out of control over the last decade. That led the organization to ask for a shocking 97% increase in its overall rates for 2019. 

If you are in the midst of insurance litigation in North Miami, then you might want to speak to a defense attorney about your situation. 

Flood Insurance Rates Rising Under Trumps Plan

The Trump Administration intends to roll out a new way to calculate flood risk in the next comings weeks under the National Flood Insurance Program which could cause flood insurance premiums to rise and property values to fall. Instead of focusing on whether or not a property is inside or outside of the 100-year flood plain, FEMA plans to use private sector data to calculate the “real” flood threat for each home and set the costs of flood insurance based on that data.

The change can be a good and bad thing for homeowners. On one hand, it would be the first real major advancement to improve the understanding of flood risk giving homeowners a proper evaluation of the likelihood of a flood in their home. On the other hand, communities that weren’t in the flood zone or near the flood zone could be facing the need to have flood insurance by the government. An unexpected cost that many families might not be able to handle.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) currently covers 5 million people as of 2017. Even with the increase in flooding due to climate change, that’s 10% lower than properties covered in 2009. The House Committee on Financial Services will hold a hearing tomorrow on reauthorizing the NIFP. In 2012, the government tried to reform NIFP but failed to do so after a public outcry. The reason for the reform is that claims often outpaced premiums which caused the NIFP to have a debt of $30 billion in 2017. The current model that determines rates do not take into consideration flooding from intense rainfall. The new risk assessment system will take things like that under consideration when determining rates.

The goal is to have more transparent rates so people will get insurance coverage. The impact on what this will have on property values has yet to be seen but it will be interesting once the new premiums roll out.

How Much Power Does Robert Mueller Have In The Russian Collusion Investigation?

It seems that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion between the Russian government and the Trump administration to swing the results of the 2016 election is finally drawing to a close, and both Democrats and Republicans are somehow in agreement (on occasion) that things aren’t looking so great for President Trump.

With the possibility of impeachment growing more likely by the day, we’re all wondering: How much power does Special Counsel Robert Mueller have when it comes to the prosecution of crimes he found to have occurred during his investigation?

At the least, Trump will likely be indicted on charges for the violation of campaign finance laws. According to recent documents from the investigation, Michael Cohen was directed by Trump, and with Trump’s complete knowledge, to make payments to at least two women who accused him of sexual misconduct during the campaign. Hush money is a big no-no in the world of politics.

In these documents, Trump was referred to as “Individual-1”.

More telling is that Mueller made a sentencing recommendation in regards to Cohen’s crimes based on his (eventual) willing participation in providing evidence that could eventually be used to burn Trump. Could he do the same when it comes time to feed Trump to the wolves of American judgment?

There are a number of individuals who believe such indictments could might only occur after Trump vacates the Oval Office, but there is always the possibility that our representatives could try to oust him sooner than that with impeachment. Should we find ourselves in front of our televisions on such a day, it will be up to Congress to decide whether or not Trump has committed an impeachable offense. Unfortunately, they get to decide if his law-breaking antics during the 2016 campaign meet the definition of “impeachable offense.”

Because a two-thirds majority is required and the Senate is currently controlled by Republicans, an acquittal seems likely in such a case.

We don’t know how far the Mueller investigation probed into the Russian-Trump affair during the 2016 election, nor do we know how far they intend to press the matter once the investigation is complete. Even if the investigation finds that Trump committed these crimes and others, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will attempt to prosecute him. After all, we already know that our president is a criminal. We already know he has broken laws. We haven’t done anything about it yet. Sadly, we might not ever.

What Is Reinsurance Litigation And When Is It Applied?

Whether or not you think that insurance is the devil’s work, it’s a fundamental component of business in the real world. Without it we’d be lost, and some of us would find ourselves in financial turmoil. Insurance provides us with an added layer of security for situations in which we risk liability, such as owning a car or a home, by transferring the greater share of responsibility to the company if something goes terribly wrong.

But what is reinsurance?

Well, it’s the same principle. That’s the short answer. When an insurance company decides to go through with an especially risky venture, it might want more protection for your policy.

The policyholder pays a premium in order to buy insurance, that premium usually representing either a small fraction of the risk, or something that will add up to a large portion of the risk when paid over years and years. Normally the insurer takes 100 percent of the risk outside of that premium. On occasion an insurer will not be comfortable with that level of risk.

It’s on these occasions that an insurance company will opt to “reinsure” the original policy through an outside reinsurer. The reinsurer will be given part of the premium paid by the policyholder in direct proportion to the amount of risk the insurer wants to take, whether it’s 30 percent, 50 percent, 70 percent, etc.

If the worst happens, and the claim costs must be paid to the policyholder, then the insurer pays 100 percent. After the claim is paid, the insurer can follow up by requesting reimbursement in the percentage agreed upon with the reinsurer. Reinsurance is just insurance for your insurer. It’s that simple.

One type of reinsurance is called facultative coverage. This policy is an added layer of protection when an insurance provider covers an individual for a single risk in a single contract. Additional risks require additional contracts.

Another common type is called a reinsurance treaty. This policy covers any number of risks based on a period of elapsed time. An example of this is when life insurance isn’t calculated when someone is estate planning.

An excess-of-loss reinsurance policy is considered non-proportional coverage, and this type of policy is put into place when the reinsurer agrees to cover costs only when they go beyond whatever the original insurance company’s retained limit was set at. This coverage mostly applies to acts of god during substantially costly events.

Why Is Having Life Insurance So Important?

As you age, you start to understand the increased importance of having life insurance. No matter how well you have planned for your financial future with Lenzo and Reis, New Jersey Employment Attorneys, you cannot sufficiently prepare for unexpected death without proper life insurance coverage.

1. Protect Your Loved Ones.

The main reason you are going to want to adequately prepare for an unexpected death by getting life insurance for yourself is to properly protect your loved ones. If your loved ones are relying on you for their financial support, it is going to be absolutely necessary to get the right life insurance coverage. This is particularly important if you have young children that rely on your financial support because they will be vulnerable if something were to happen to you and you could no longer provide for them. Additionally, it is equally important for those families that might find it difficult to sustain a certain standard of living if one of the partner’s incomes disappeared overnight.

2. Leave More For Your Children.

Another big reason you would want to consider investing in something like life insurance is to provide a greater inheritance for your children. Being able to leave an inheritance for your children is one of the main reasons you would want to purchase a life insurance policy. By naming your children as beneficiaries, you will be able to help them secure a better future for themselves if something were to happen to you. This alone is going to allow your children to have a much more stable financial future which can really help them in the long run.

3. Avoid Being a Burden.

If you are someone that has a lot of debt, you are going to want to be sure to invest in the proper life insurance coverage to adequately cover them. Otherwise, any debts that you might have are going to be forced on to your family. You don’t want to leave a financial burden on your family if at all possible. By getting adequate coverage that is going to sufficiently cover any and all debts that you might have once you die, you should be able to alleviate the burden of debt. Along with this, your death is going to come with a lot of foreseen and unforeseen expenses including but not limited to burial expenses, funeral costs, and more. Thus, you will want to be sure that you have the proper insurance coverage that can help cover all of the expenses.

Overall, there are plenty of reasons you will want to make the investment in life insurance. Not only is it going to help reduce the financial burden on your family, but it can help you set up your children for a better and much more secure financial future. If you have a family, there is absolutely no reason to go without proper life insurance coverage with the affordable options available to choose from.

Everything You Didn’t Know Was Covered By Homeowners Insurance

Sometimes it can seem like insurance is a silly creation only meant to make businessmen a lot of money. Maybe it is, and maybe it does. Other times it can come in quite handy, and not always in the situations you think. Here are a few uncommon–but (sometimes) helpful–situations in which you might be covered by your homeowners’ insurance!

 

  • Space Shuttles. If you survive an emergency space shuttle landing or the debris from a lost vehicle high above, then your homeowners’ insurance has you covered. You’ll be able to grab a hotel and eat on the dime of your insurance company, so don’t let these unlikely scenarios get you down. You’re also protected from blimp and helicopter accidents. And other homes.
  • Bikes. You have to opt-in to this kind of coverage. If you do, your bike is protected up to 3,000 miles from your home. In other words, if you take your bike on vacation in the states, chances are you can get a replacement if it’s stolen. The same kind of coverage protects you from lost luggage.
  • Dogs. Depending on the breed, your homeowners’ insurance will cover a family-owned dog bite. Considering these attacks are relatively commonplace, this is definitely one to keep in mind.
  • Accidents. You can be held personally liable for accidents that affect a neighbor’s property, but your homeowners insurance will likely help pay medical, funeral, and legal expenses incurred as a result. A tree in your yard might have fallen on their house, but at least you won’t have to pay for it.
  • Children. Kids are also sort of treated as if they fall under the accident clause. If your children haven’t reached thirteen-years-old, then any damage they cause to your property is covered by your insurance. Who knew?
  • Children, again. If your kids are in college, chances are they’re going to have to deal with stolen property sooner or later. It happens. The good news is this: your homeowners’ insurance covers that property.
  • Stones. Not the normal kind, but the graveyard kind. If someone vandalized a family grave away from home, you’re still covered for thousands of dollars of damage. Another one to remember.

 

The list goes on, so do some research when looking over your homeowners’ insurance policy. Take advantage when you can!

 

Flood Insurance In The Wake of Hurricane Florence

The good news is that South Carolina is the second-highest insured state in regards to flood insurance with 65% of properties in a flood zone having insurance. The bad news North Carolina, the state the suffered the most flooding, only 35% of the homes in a flood zone have insurance.

Hurricane Florance parked itself on North Carolina bringing 90mph winds, storm surges, and flash floods.

The one thing that Hurricane Harvey taught residents of the United States is that flood insurance is important. Since the devastation in Midland and Odessa, Texas and Louisianna, over 145,000 new policies were written. But federal officials state that there are too many Americans that do not have flood insurance simply because most property insurance doesn’t offer it. Floor insurance is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency aka FEMA.

The issue is that many Americans who should have flood insurance aren’t in a flood zone and aren’t mandated to have it. And who would opt for extra insurance when they aren’t mandated by FEMA, especially when the area they lived in hasn’t been flooded in several years.

Data has shown in the past 5 years that North Carolina and South Carolina that residents with insurance have dropped 3% and 6% respectively.

Fortunately for FEMA, when Hurricane Florence hit it was downgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane the amount of damage is less severe than originally thought. Since Hurricane Katrina, FEMA has been shelling out billions of above what they collect in premiums. In fact, Hurricane Harvey and Irma caused FEMA to reach it’s max borrowing limit at $30.5 billion. In order to renew the flood insurance program, Congress forgave FEMA’s $16 billion in debt.

How A DUI Impacts Your Insurance

Being pulled over for a DUI requires that you call a DUI defense attorney immediately. However, if you are convicted of a DUI, there are several repercussions ranging from losing our license, breathalyzer installation. Yet, one thing that many are not prepared for is how immensely your car insurance will be impacted by this conviction.

Most states require to fill out a form known as an SR-22 with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This form gets sent to your insurance. They then usually classify you as a high-risk driver or chose to drop you completely, even if you have no prior accidents or anything else on your driving record. When you are moved to a high-risk policy, insurance can double sometimes triple its rates.

Depending on what state that you live in, a DUI can stay on your driving record from 3 to 7 years making switching auto policies almost impossible. Keep in mind the infraction will stay on your criminal record forever.

In the event that you get into an accident while you are driving under the influence, you can be dropped from the policy as well. It depends on which liability coverage you had but most insurance companies believe that DUI is intentional not accident and are probably not even covered under your insurance.