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.

What Are You Paying Too Much For?

(NewsUSA) – The 99 percent has watched gas prices follow a perpetual climb that has left consumers wallowing at the pump. By the beginning of April, the national average was $3.92. Though it’s since fallen about 18 cents for most regions, the west coast is stillstaring at billboards offering $4.37 a gallon.Fuel isn’t the only cost crippling middle-class Americans. While the consumer price index (CPI) may be relatively unchanged on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Wall Street Journal says core inflation is rising — and the Federal Reserve can’t ignore that for long.Core inflation, an estimate excluding food and energy costs, rose in April for the eighth time in the past 11 months. The increase in core inflation can be pinned on the typical products and services, which are primarily the ones we can’t live without."CPI numbers report annual spikes in the usual suspects: rent, used cars, air fares and medical services. As higher and higher prices meet stagnant income levels, Americans lose their purchasing power," says Joe Kalfa, founder of All Our Power (AOP). AOP is a growing social movement seeking to create the world’s largest group purchasing organization with free membership.Group purchasing gives individuals a platform to negotiate with megacorporations, and AOP wants to put purchasing power back into consumer hands.As more people join the movement, AOP aims to secure discounts and membership benefits for a variety of consumer products — car rentals, health insurance, cell phone plans, groceries and maybe even gas.The trend in Groupon-style buying shows marked interest in discount opportunities. The Occupy protests made income inequality a national issue, but purchasing power is still diminishing.According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, average personal income rose from 2009 to 2010. However, the richest 1 percent of Americans received 90 percent of that growth. More recently, MarketWatch reported that hourly earnings flatlined, and when adjusted for inflation, wages actually dropped.As a result, U.S. News Weekly says big retailers like Costco and Target saw sales below expectations. With two eyes glued to income inequality and consumer unrest, AOP may offer a solution for individuals who are tired of unreasonable prices.To learn more about your purchasing power, visit www.allourpower.com.

Are Consumers Over the Daily Deal-Groupon Craze?

Groupon made a pretty big slip-up in their fourth quarter earnings report, forcing them to issue a restatement admitting they lost $22.2 million more than originally estimated. What caused such a significant loss – totaling $64.9 million — that they didn’t account for? Customer distress, which basically means: refunds.

It seems Groupon, the confident leader in the daily deal market, didn’t expect to have so many unhappy customers. As the rapidly-growing company started dealing with higher-value services, they began allowing refunds. Consequently, refunds surged. But Groupon accountants didn’t consider this possibility. Consumers who were initially dazzled by the expanse of group buying options and daily deals now face an over-saturated industry full of deals they either can’t use or don’t care about.

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.

New Movement Picks Up Where Occupy Wall Street Trails Off

Occupy Wall Street’s most recent push, “May Day,” exemplifies the crux of the protest: it’s a great forum to express widespread discontent about financial issues, but less adept at affecting bona fide change between giant corporations and average consumers.

Critics of the movement tend to call it politically dangerous and radical, like pollster Doug Schoen in the Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, President Obama is embracing a 2012 platform crusading for the 99 percent against the presumptive GOP nominee.

Increase Your Mussel Power in 2012

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Latinos in the U.S. have a longer life expectancy than the non-Latino white population.
Given lower average income and access to health care among Latinos, epidemiologists have proposed various theories to explain this puzzling statistic, dubbed the “Latino Paradox.”
A 2011 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found the low mortality rates were partially attributable to fewer deaths from cigarette smoking — Latinos are less likely to smoke, and if they do, they tend to smoke less.
Another popular theory points to healthy aspects of Latino culture, including the Latin Diet. In “The Hot Latin Diet,” author Dr. Manny Alvarez says Latin cooking typically includes healthy “power” foods like tomatillos, cilantro and chili peppers.
The capsaicin in chili peppers reduces inflammation. Inflammation aggravates common ailments like headaches and arthritis and has been associated with the development of deadly cancers and heart disease.
“For fabulous flavors and good health, we recommend using the Latin American Diet Pyramid. Let traditional foods — the old ways of your grandmother — be your guide to well being,” said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways, a non-profit organization promoting healthy eating habits and creator of the Latin American Diet Pyramid.
There are many new products that make cooking healthy Latin food easier. Chef LaLa, a cookbook author and certified nutritionist, has just launched her new line of all-natural Mexican sauces and marinades.
“Chef LaLa Homemade products are all about easy meal solutions with the healthy natural flavors and ingredients of the traditional Latin Diet,” says Chef LaLa.
Get a taste of the nutritional power of Latin cuisine — and chili peppers — with this recipe from www.cheflala.com:

Delivering Wind Power to Produce Water

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Open a faucet, and fresh water will quench thirst. Turn a handle, and a shower will invigorate a person. But what if the tap was dry, and bringing water home were your job?
Almost one billion people around the world live this way. One in eight people does not have immediate access to clean water, or “blue gold,” and lugging it home for miles often is the only option.
Within the next 10-20 years, worldwide demand for fresh water could outstrip supply by 20 percent. It soon could cost more than oil.
Growing up in Greenwald, Minnesota, Daniel Ohmann was acquainted with pumping water. Windmills were found on most farms. His father installed many windmills to pump water before electricity reached the area.
Years later, as a Maryknoll priest in Tanzania, Father Ohmann thought about the windmills as women carried five-gallon water buckets on their heads six miles from a river. Drought is common in Africa. Villagers often can be seen scooping murky water from makeshift wells in scorched riverbeds.
“You don’t need to be here long to see that water is the number-one need in this part of Africa,” said Father Ohmann. The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is the overseas mission society of the U.S. Catholic Church founded during 1911.
When Minnesota farmers converted to electricity, many donated their windmills to Father Ohmann. Others were purchased from Nebraska, Australia and South Africa to support Tanzania’s initiative to ensure all homes had access to water. Government inefficiencies, though, eventually closed the windmills for 15 years.
Father Ohmann was committed to get them pumping again, and more were installed. Twenty windmills now provide water to 18 villages. Each fills a 2,000-gallon tank, and water can be used to irrigate gardens and orchards. A fully installed system today costs about $20,000.
“People enjoy better health in the villages served by clean water,” said Father Ohmann. “Diarrhea and cholera, once common, are now rare.”
For more information about the work of Maryknoll missioners such as Father Ohmann, visit http://www.maryknollsociety.org. Follow Maryknoll on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MaryknollNews) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/maryknollsociety).

Publish a Book to Support Your Cause

It’s common for celebrities who experience tragedy and want to help others to have a book published by a traditional publisher. But now, “everyday people” can do the same thing. The power of publishing has truly gone public.

Thanks to continuing advancements in digital technology and print-on-demand resources, more people who want to make others aware of a worthy cause can have a professionally published book.

Harnessing the Power of Language

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Whether mingling socially with others in a crowded room or talking intimately one-on-one, being someone who communicates effectively is a major …

Engineers Eye Job Opportunities In the Power Industry

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The need in the United States to expand the power infrastructure to meet the anticipated heightened demand for electricity could grow the job market for engineers skilled in plant operations, equipment design and related disciplines.

By some government estimates, more than 150,000 megawatts of additional electrical generating capacity, or the output of 200 to 500 new power plants, will be required in the U.S. to meet rising demand both in the consumer and industrial sectors. In addition to constructing new plants, many older power facilities will require extensive refurbishment to be safe and reliable energy suppliers. And the nation’s power grid — the infrastructure of transmission and distribution lines that carry electricity to homes and businesses — would need to be modernized to handle the extra load and, in some regions, expanded to meet the requirements of large-scale solar and wind energy projects.

All this projected development activity in the energy market could translate into jobs for engineers. According to a report published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), human resources staffs at power companies say hundreds of good jobs could open in the coal, nuclear, and natural gas areas. In addition to plant design and operations and maintenance, energy companies will be seeking engineers with skills and ability in fire protection, nuclear refueling, and thermal efficiency.

International mandates to reduce the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming could lead to employment opportunities in the areas of carbon sequestration technology and renewable energy development.

Although employment opportunity for engineers in the power market is promising, issues associated with government policy could impede energy development projects and, consequently, the hiring of engineers. The United States at this time lacks a national energy policy that could create new industries around renewable energy technologies like wind and solar power, while also encouraging investments in advanced coal and gas-firing plants that are essential to meeting the increasing demand for electricity. Many in the engineering community, including ASME, believe an energy policy promoting a balanced mix of resources — coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydropower and renewable energy — is the best approach from a policy standpoint.

Another challenge facing hiring managers in the power industry is to find qualified engineers to get energy projects designed, approved, funded and built. According to the report published in ASME’s Mechanical Engineering magazine, many engineering schools lack curricula tailored to power generation and utility services, including courses in design, technical procurement, and construction. And while engineers in the struggling manufacturing and automotive businesses might be willing to make the leap into the power industry, they often lack the specialized skills needed to make solid contributions to utility companies and other power plant generators.

Energy is a strategic priority of ASME. The Society is committed to serve as an essential energy technology resource for business, government, academia, practicing engineers and the general public. For information, visit www.asme.org.