5 Ways to Save Money on Health Insurance

(NewsUSA) – The overwhelming mass of uninsured Americans is firsthand evidence that health insurance is too expensive — as if we didn’t already know.On average, middle-income families with individual coverage spend 22 percent of their income on health care. Others pay up to 50 percent of their household income on health coverage, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.To avoid paying more for less quality coverage, it’s essential to compare insurance options and gather as many quotes as possible. There are, however, some other ways to save money on health insurance, too.Check out five tricks and tips to save on health coverage:1. If you get a call from an insurance provider as part of an application process, do not divulge any additional details. Since these calls are usually recorded, disclosing extra info could come back to bite you as a higher premium.2. Know your insurance policy well, and review it when needed. You should know precisely what services and costs are and are not covered. Visiting in-network doctors, for example, can save a lot of money. In the event of complex surgeries or assessments, ask both the doctor and insurance provider explicitly what is covered before undergoing a procedure.3. Exhaust group insurance options before buying an individual policy. Group insurance is always cheaper, but if your employer doesn’t offer health insurance, or if you’re self-employed, consider other group options. Groups like labor unions, fraternal and business organizations, student associations and other special-interest groups may offer coverage.4. Consider reputable discount opportunities. Several states offer discount programs, and the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and the Together Rx Access Card both save money on medication costs. Also, a new consumer-driven movement called All Our Power emerged recently that provides group buying power for individuals. As more people join the movement at www.allourpower.com, AOP negotiates with top insurance companies to secure lower rates for its members.5. Regardless of your coverage, ask physicians and hospitals about paying for services in cash. Many hospitals offer huge discounts for patients paying in cash, but your insurance provider likely won’t be forthcoming about that tidbit.

5 Tips to Save Money While Getting Quality Health Care

The overwhelming mass of uninsured Americans is firsthand evidence that health insurance is too expensive – as if we didn’t already know.

On average, middle-income families with individual coverage spend 22 percent of their income on health care. Others pay up to 50 percent of their household income on health coverage, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

To avoid paying more for less quality coverage, it’s essential to compare insurance options and gather as many quotes as possible. There are, however, some other ways to save money on health insurance, too.

It’s Not Too Late: A Resolution That Can Save Money and So Much More

The New Year has just begun, and already people are ditching their New Year’s resolutions and revisiting their old ways. But what if you had picked a resolution that could help save you money or even your life? Maybe then you wouldn’t be so quick to break it.

Maintaining your vehicle could do both: save money and keep you safer on the road. All you need to do is follow — and keep following — these important steps from Firestone Complete Auto Care:

Get Better Heat, Save Money by Going Hybrid This Winter

As the cost of fuel continues to rise, homeowners look for more efficient ways to heat their homes. One of the best ways to achieve efficiency, cost-effectiveness and comfort is to use a Hybrid Heat system. Hybrid Heat systems include a heat pump and gas furnace, managed by a compatible control or thermostat.

Hybrid heat or dual fuel systems deliver exceptional performance by using a heating source that provides its most energy-efficient comfort during moderate heating conditions. As the temperature drops outside, the system automatically switches to your second heating source when that becomes the most economical way to keep your family comfortable.

Koons, Kiehl’s Unite to Raise Money For Missing and Exploited Children

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The winter holidays are all about giving — giving thanks, giving gifts, giving to charity. In the past, you might have given your mother a bracelet and made a donation. Today, the line between purchasing a gift for a loved one and helping someone in need has merged.
Some people make donations to a favorite charity in a loved one’s name. Others purchase gifts that donate part of their proceeds to a worthy organization. Now, Kiehl’s Since 1851, a company that creates skin and hair care formulas derived from the most unique natural ingredients, is collaborating with Jeff Koons, to benefit The Koons Family Institute, an initiative of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC).
The Koons Family Institute was created by Jeff Koons, an internationally recognized artist best known for iconic sculptures such as 1986’s “Rabbit” and 1992’s “Puppy.” Koons is less well known as the father of an abducted child. Koons has fought for custody of his son on two continents without success. This experience had made him a fervent advocate for protecting children.
Koons has partnered with Kiehl’s to raise awareness and funds for child protection through the sale of the Limited Edition Creme de Corps Holiday Collection, which contains four products. Each product in the collection features the artwork of “TULIPS,” a Koons painting from his Celebration Series.
One hundred percent of Kiehl’s Worldwide Net Profits up to $200,000 will benefit The Koons Family Institute and ICMEC. Surely, your loved ones will enjoy knowing that their gift raised money to help children just as much as the luxurious, skin-softening products in the Creme de Corps Holiday Collection.
The Creme de Corps Holiday Collection features three sizes of Kiehl’s iconic Creme de Corps body moisturizer as well as a new product: Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter. The rich, air-whipped butter delivers rich hydration for up to 24 hours with skin-soothing ingredients like shea butter, beta carotene, vitamin E and squalane — a highly refined moisturizing oil derived from the olive.
For more information, visit www.kiehls.com.

Save Money With Free Software for Your Computer

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Looking to save money? There are ways to leverage great technology without burning a hole in your wallet.
Here are some safe, secure options — all of them free — that can help make your computer more productive, useful and fun:
* Firefox Browser:
(www.GetFireFox.com) — Get onto the Internet with this alternative to Windows Internet Explorer that is compatible with both Macs and PCs. It is fast and secure and allows you to download lots of free plug-ins that provide information, social media integration and multimedia capabilities.
* TweetDeck:
(www.TweetDeck.com) — This free program enables you to easily manage, monitor and post to all of your social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, from one place.
* Trillian:
(www.Trillian.im) — Not everyone uses the same instant message service. You might use AOL while your friend uses Yahoo. Trillian lets you combine all of your instant message accounts — AOL, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ and IRC — into one program. Recently updated, it can integrate your Facebook and Twitter accounts, too.
* LogMeIn:
(www.LogMeIn.com) — The free version of LogMeIn lets you securely access your computer from anywhere in the world. Want to check your home computer while you’re on the road? Go to a web browser from any Internet-enabled computer or mobile device, and log in to your account to instantly connect and access any programs, files, photos or music on your desktop.
* Windows Live Desktop:
(www.WindowsLive.com/desktop) — Windows 7, which will be loaded on many new computers and mobile devices this year, does not include its own email program. Instead, Microsoft offers a mail program as a free download from this site, along with other programs, including a photo organizer and an application for creating videos.
* Picnik:
(www.Picnik.com) — Picnik is a free alternative to Photoshop and offers photo-editing capabilities such as cropping, resizing, sharpening and red-eye reduction. You can add special effects, fonts, or various shapes to turn your precious memory into a work of art. Google’s Picasa is another good option for free photo-editing software.
Any or all of these programs will immediately add value to your Mac, PC or laptop — at absolutely no cost.
Do your homework first and check out product reviews from reputable technology sites such as CNET’s Download.com to find out more about free and safe software options before you install them on your computer.

Enjoy the Fourth of July to the Fullest – Be Safe and Save Money on Your Daily Drive

Fireworks, sparklers and hot dogs, oh my! The Fourth of July is upon us, and it’s a great time to think about little ways you can show your patriotism and celebrate being an American. One way you can celebrate the nation’s birthday is by not only protecting yourself and other while on the road, but also guarding your wallet from high gas prices.

Firestone Complete Auto Care would like to honor this July Fourth with tips on how you and your vehicle can save money and stay safe on your daily commute.

Stay Cool While Saving Money and Energy

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When the mercury rises, it is hard to remain comfortable inside your home without running up a huge bill. Fortunately, the solution is much more affordable than investing in a new air conditioner or central air system. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), installing a ceiling fan in each living space will help family members feel cooler while saving energy. And if you have not upgraded your ceiling fans in the past eight years or so, you are missing out on saving even more money as many of today’s models are more efficient than ever.

Keep Your Cool While Saving Money and Energy

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When the mercury rises, it is hard to remain comfortable inside your home without running up a huge bill. Fortunately, the solution is much more affordable than investing in a new air conditioner or central air system. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), installing a ceiling fan in each living space will help family members feel cooler while saving energy. And if you have not upgraded your ceiling fans in the past eight years or so, you are missing out on saving even more money as many of today’s models are more efficient than ever.
“A ceiling fan can save homeowners as much as 40 percent on their air conditioning bills by creating a breeze that makes the ambient temperature feel seven or eight degrees cooler than it actually is,” explains John Moody of ceiling fan manufacturer Fanimation. “You can set your thermostat at 80 degrees and it will feel like it is set at 72 degrees.”
How exactly does that work? “A ceiling fan cools the room by creating a ‘wind chill effect.’ It does not lower the room temperature,” Moody says. “This wind chill effect makes you feel cooler by accelerating the evaporation of perspiration on your skin. It’s the same feeling you get when you open the window in a moving car. When used in conjunction with an air conditioner, a ceiling fan can lower energy costs because you can set your air conditioner thermostat at a higher temperature.”
For large homes, installing ceiling fans in laundry rooms and closets is becoming more common, according to Bethany Pirtle of Emerson Ceiling Fans. “Master bathrooms are also a perfect place for smaller ceiling fans, because hair dryers and steam showers can make a bathroom hot and sticky. A small-span fan can quickly and efficiently add comfort,” she says.
Another factor in determining where to install a ceiling fan is the fan’s UL listing. There are three basic UL-listed ratings for indoor, damp and wet locations. Fans that are rated only for indoors should not be used outside — even if the area is mostly covered.
Check out the best ceiling fans for your home at an ALA-member showroom. To find more information and showroom locations, go to www.americanlightingassoc.com.

Make Your Money Go the Extra Mile

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Is the cost of household items getting you down? During tough times, families are forced to cut their spending down to only the bare necessities. Yet, even the basic essentials can take a big bite out of a financial budget. The key to trimming your bottom line doesn’t mean skimping on necessities; it means saving money on them. So when shopping for your must-haves, make your dollar stretch even further with these money saving tips:
Switch to LED lightbulbs. The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent light bulb costs five to ten times the original purchase price of the bulb itself. LEDs last up to 10 times longer than the typical bulb, and although they’re more expensive than others, the cost is recouped over time and in battery savings.
Invest in a water filter. Don’t like the taste of tap water, but spending wads of cash on bottled water? A quality water filter can cut the costs of your water-drinking tremendously. A Brita filter costs around $20, but you must refill when it runs out. A family of four who drinks two gallons a day combined can save upwards of $2,500 a year by using a filter.
Install a programmable thermostat. This handy device is a crucial addition to your long-term money-saving strategy. Ranging in price from $30 to $130, it allows you to automatically regulate your home’s temperature at certain times of the day. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save 10 percent on energy costs a year by setting your thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hours out of the day.
Buy HP Ink. When stocking up on office supplies, make sure you’re getting the quality and reliability you’re paying for. A recent study found that HP ink cartridges print on average up to two times the pages of refilled cartridges tested. And while HP ink cartridges had no failures, the overall failure rate for the refilled cartridges was 72 percent, according to the study (http://www.buyerslab.com/news/viewarticle.asp?article=74815). Companies like HP offer online options (www.shopping.hp.com/supplies) for purchasing new cartridges with ease. Additionally, ink cartridge recycling programs, such as HP Planet Partners (www.hp.com/recycle), help reduce the environmental impact by diverting cartridges from landfills.
Skip the grocery store. Amazon.com helps you save not only on books and movies, but groceries, too. It has a program called “Subscribe & Save,” where you can sign up to automatically receive grocery staples every one, two, three or six months. That bag of Splenda that costs $10 at your local grocery store is only $6 on Amazon and ships to your home for free — saving you time, gas and money.