CCSD: Lecturers union ‘didn’t adequately clarify’ cash shortfall in academics medical insurance belief

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The Clark County School District issued a statement early Friday following a nightly school committee meeting in which numerous teachers raised concerns about their health insurance and unpaid medical bills.

“Despite the presentation to the Board of Directors, the CCEA was unable to adequately explain the THT deficit of 42 million US dollars or answer questions about the solvency of the THT satisfactorily and precisely,” said the statement, which was published shortly after midnight.

THT Health, the nonprofit insurance company that covers thousands of district teachers and their families, is struggling with money. THT Health is overseen by CCEA, the teachers’ union. Executive Director John Vellardita said the trust has not received adequate funding from the school district for years and an increase in contributions is needed to avoid a widening deficit.

The district’s declaration states that the burden should not fall on the employees.

CCSD teachers deserve an effective, functioning health plan that will take care of them and their families. When teachers are concerned about their health insurance and whether their health needs can be met, they are unduly burdened by the alleged inadequate care under the THT plan.

Teachers should not be turned down by health care providers because providers do not trust that the services provided will be paid for. Further burdening teachers and their families with higher contributions due to inadequate coverage is unreasonable. The Clark County School District can’t watch while the Teachers Health Trust is burdening teachers with higher expenses for less coverage.

Clark County School District Statement

You Can Save Cash With Utilization-Based mostly Auto Insurance coverage — However Ought to You?

Peggy Coleman switched to usage-based auto insurance from Allstate. But in return your VW … [+] Bug has been bugged.

Peggy Coleman

When Peggy Coleman’s insurance agent told her about a new way to save money on auto insurance, she knew she had to try it. The solution Allstate called Milewise allowed her to pay only for the insurance she used, thanks to an emerging technology called vehicle telematics.

But there was a catch: Coleman agreed to install it a small device in the onboard diagnostic connection of your 2015 VW Beetle to qualify for the discount. It would track your mileage, speed, time of day and certain driving events like sudden braking.

“The cost of auto insurance was significantly lower with Milewise compared to a standard policy,” said Coleman, a sales director based in Tucson, Arizona.

before Miles at a time, she paid $ 1,750 a year to insure her car. The program – and driving them carefully – lowered that rate to $ 1,056 per year, a savings of 49%.

Sometimes the savings are automatic. At registration COUNTRY finances With the new DriverIQ program, a telematics tool that uses your smartphone, you get a 10% discount for every vehicle for which you are listed as a driver in the policy. Driving behavior, tracked and reported by the company DriverIQ dashboard, gives you an additional discount of between 1% and 25% for every six-month contract renewal.

“The data monitored by the app’s smartphone sensors – which is only shared privately between the customer and COUNTRY Financial – includes acceleration, braking, cornering, phone distraction while driving and overspeeding,” notes Felipe Teixeira, Director of National Auto Product at COUNTRY Financial.

The Allstate Milewise device.


Why everyone is talking about usage-based car insurance

Usage-based car insurance is hot. With more Americans taking road trips rather than flying during the pandemic, they are paying more attention than ever to auto insurance. (The main question: what happens when you go on a long trip? Fortunately, pay-per-mile programs are limited so you don’t end up with a huge bill.)

In one LexisNexis usage-based insurance study, nearly 9 in 10 drivers (88%) said they prefer car insurance prices based on their actual driving habits. In addition, another 71% of drivers said they believe telematics, including driving behavior data, is one of the fairest ways to price insurance when they see an advantage.

“There is widespread consumer interest in participation in usage-based insurance programs, and the growing number of connected vehicles is fueling that interest,” said Adam Hudson, vice president, Connected Car, LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

But how does vehicle telematics work and what does “Pay as you go” mean? What happens when an insurance company looks over your shoulder at the wheel? It turned out that this new technology can bring benefits to both the driver and the environment. But as with any new technology, there is a cost to using it.

What are telematics and pay-as-you-go insurance?

Allstate’s program is part of a new breed of insurance programs that use vehicle telematics to create pay-as-you-go insurance policies. they include Progressive snapshot, State Farm Drive Safe and Save and Nationwide SmartRide. On average, consumers can save between 5% and 50% on insurance with pay-as-you-go insurance.

The ideas behind these programs are enticingly simple: what if you could only pay for the insurance that you use? What if an insurance company could lower your premiums by verifying your good driving behavior in real time?

“Telematics revolutionized the auto insurance industry by providing insurers with real-time, personalized information about their customers,” said Stan Caldwell, Executive Director of Institute for Transport21 at Carnegie Mellon University. He says insurers can now assess risk based on a driver’s actual behavior rather than the demographic and geographic averages of many drivers.

“Customers who actually drive fewer kilometers and drive more safely than the average driver can save money,” he adds.

“Big Brother” questions

So how did it feel to have a bug in Coleman’s bug?

“At first I was concerned – like Big Brother is following you,” she says.

But after switching to Milewise, she saw Allstate gathering and using her data through the website. She could see that it was tracking her speed, whether she was stopping quickly, and whether she was driving after 11pm. She could also see her vehicle health summary on the website, including engine warnings, pending recalls, and location.

After seeing how the program works, she says the benefits outweigh the privacy concerns.

“Besides,” she adds, “our phones are tracking us anyway.”

Allstate says transparency helped allay the privacy concerns of customers like Coleman. The smartphone app provides the driver with information about his car and his driving habits, which is helpful to him – and which he is generally happy to share with an insurance company. The company also says it will never share personal information without the customer’s consent.

In states where Milewise and its Drivewise safe driving program are available, nearly 40% of its new customers sign up for connected plans. That’s double what the company saw at the start of the pandemic.

“More and more people are beginning to understand what telematics is and how it can benefit them,” said David MacInnis, Allstate vice president of Telematics and Usage-Based Insurance. “This is especially important now that driving habits have changed for so many people during the pandemic.”

The advantages of telematics explained

Insurance companies are not promoting usage-based insurance programs that rely on vehicle telematics as a one-size-fits-all solution, said Mary Boyd, CEO of Plymouth Rock Assurance.

“The real advantage of telematics and usage-based driving is the reduction in demands for safe drivers and the associated costs,” she says.

Boyd says that before telematics, drivers had a “set and forget” mentality. In other words, people pay for their insurance and never think about it. But now that your insurance company can reward you for the way you drive, it has become a hands-on experience. And they can even turn the whole process into a game, a process called gamification.

“In telematics, for example, there’s a gamification aspect that gives drivers the ability to strive for the best in order to get rewards like discounted premiums or monetary rewards,” she adds. For example, Plymouth Rock’s telematics program allows users to select a family sharing option. Not only does it allow parents, teenagers, and young drivers to monitor, but it also lets up to 10 family members compete for streaks, badges, and a spot on the top driver leaderboard.

Now there is a video game that all parents can support.

Of course, telematics and pay-per-mile programs are not for everyone. If you’ve had a couple of accidents – or have a reputation as a lead-footed driver – you might not want your insurance company to look over your shoulder. And if privacy is important to you (you carry a blackphone and refuse to use Google) then these programs are definitely not for you.

The economics behind pay-per-mile programs

Experts say pay-per-mile auto insurance has the potential to do more than just help individual drivers. You can help the drivers as a group.

“With more traditional auto insurance policies, safe drivers and low-mileage drivers subsidize mile-long and dangerous drivers to a certain extent because insurance companies ignore this important information,” said Cody Nehiba, assistant professor at Louisiana State University’s Energy Studies Research Center.

Instead, a pay-per-mile policy charges drivers for every mile, which provides an incentive for people to drive less.

“This reduction in driving could alleviate some transportation problems such as pollution, traffic jams and accidents,” he adds. “The inclusion of a telematics device enables insurance costs per mile to vary based on driving data as well, providing an additional incentive for safe driving. This incentive can lead individuals to drive slower and more cautious – again to reduce pollution and accidents. “

In other words: telematics devices and the corresponding pay-per-mile programs are helping safe and low-mileage drivers save money today. But you could also save some money for the drivers as a group and possibly reduce pollution.

The saving has its price

Brogan Woodburn who covers auto insurance for the auto location Detroit office, says he saved money with Progressive’s Snapshot program. His insurance costs dropped from $ 120 a month to $ 65.

“My rate has almost been cut in half,” he says.

But he says the results can vary.

“Remember, I work from home and only drive a few hundred kilometers a month,” he says. “I had a good overall safe driving score, but I think most of the discount was based on how little I drove.”

Woodburn compared several telematics programs and found that mileage was a major ranking factor for most of them.

“With some programs, it can be difficult for a driver to get a discount when they have a long commute to work, no matter how safely they drive,” he adds.

Are telematics and pay-per-mile right for you?

So should you go for one of these new pay-per-use auto insurance programs? Here’s how to find out if it’s right for you:

If you are a safe driver. If you’ve had no recent moving company accidents or violations, pay-per-use might be worth considering. How do you know if you are a good driver? Here is my current USA Today column this will help you answer the question.

When you don’t drive a lot. If your car has been parked in the garage for days, paying insurance by miles instead of a flat rate will likely lower your insurance bill. On the other hand, you may not need a car at all.

When you don’t worry too much about privacy. You share your location information with your insurance company. If you don’t want a third party to know where you are going, skip vehicle telematics and get regular auto insurance.

Coleman says she met all three of these criteria and is happy with her savings from Allstate’s Milewise program.

“I saved money,” she says. “I also like to be able to see how I drive.”

Wausau medical health insurance dealer sentenced to federal jail in drug, cash laundering scheme

From Shereen Siewert

A Wausauer health insurance broker who ran a program to import and distribute fake brand medicines from India will spend six months in jail after pleading guilty of postal fraud and money laundering, federal officials said Friday.

Kenneth Zipperer, 54, was also fined $ 150,000 and $ 483 in restitution costs.

In January 2019, At least five agents were seen pulling boxes from the Zipperer Financial, Wausau Forststr. 115 carried and placed in vehicles. The agents wore jackets that identified them as IRS-CID officers.

Zipperer Financial offered complementary Medicare plans, benefit plans, and Part D pharma plans.

Investigators refused to comment on the investigation for more than 18 months. But in November 2020, federal officials announced that Zipperer had been charged with 26 federal charges stemming from a plan with an unlicensed pharmacy. Zipper initially faced five postal fraud cases, ten wire transfer fraud cases, two cases of distributing bogus prescription drugs without a written prescription or license to administer such drugs, five cases of covert money laundering, and four cases of advertising money laundering.

According to the indictment, Zipperer imported overseas prescription drugs via the U.S. Mail and Express Mail Service from an Internet pharmacy company in India, and none of the drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for human consumption in the U.S. Attorney’s Office Zipperer was not licensed to dispense or prescribe prescription drugs, and that he used his staff, computers, and office space to order prescription drugs from India, break down bulk shipments into quantities for individual customers, store drug inventory, and issue invoices for payment, and deposit drug customers’ checks into the company’s commercial bank account, officials said.

Zipperer urged his prescription drug customers to pay him cash to avoid leaving a paper trail of financial transactions related to the operations of his underground pharmacy and for him to conduct financial transactions knowing that it was revenue engaged in illegal activities, prosecutors said. Usually he personally distributed the drugs to insurance customers, mostly in his office in downtown Wausau.

On Friday, Zipperer was convicted of postal fraud and once money laundering, said Timothy M. O’Shea, acting US attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin. US District Judge William M. Conley directed the case.

O’Shea said distributing unapproved prescription drugs is not only illegal, but also endangers consumer health.

“To protect public health and safety, our office works closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who seek profit from the sale of unapproved prescription drugs,” said O’Shea.

Federal officials warn against taking foreign unapproved prescription drugs that can put patients at serious risk. Unapproved drugs have no guarantees of safety or effectiveness and can harm those who use them, said special envoy Lynda M. Burdelik, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Chicago Field Office.

“We will continue to investigate those who endanger public health,” said Burdelik.

The charges against Zipperer were the result of an investigation by the US Postal Inspection Service, the US Food & Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigations, the IRS Criminal Investigation, and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. Deputy US Attorney Daniel Graber took the indictment.

AI-powered Jerry raises $28M that will help you lower your expenses on automobile insurance coverage – TechCrunch

When art Agrawal grew up in India, driving a car was a rare treat, and owning a car was a dream. When he moved to the US and bought his first car, he was shocked by how much it cost and how difficult it was to maintain a car.

In 2012 he co-founded a company called YourMechanic (and won TechCrunch’s To disturb this year), which offers on-demand mobile maintenance and repair services for motor vehicles. Over the years, he had the challenge in mind of helping consumers find car insurance more easily. So he teamed up in 2017 Lina Zhang and Musawir Shah Create Jerry, a “super app” that is the first to own a car. The Palo Alto-based startup launched a car insurance comparison service using artificial intelligence and machine learning in January 2019. Since then, it has tacitly amassed nearly 1 million clients in the US as a licensed insurance broker.

“Today, as a consumer, you have to go to several different places to do different things,” said Agrawal. “Jerry wants to change that.”

And today today Jerry announces more than $ 57 million in funding has been raised including a new $ 28 million Series B round led by Goodwater Capital. A group of angel investors also participated, including Greenlight President Johnson Cook and Greenlight CEO Timothy Sheehan; Jay Vijayan, CEO of Tekion; Jon McNeill, CEO of DVx Ventures and former President of Tesla and former COO of Lyft; Brandon War, CEO of Stash and Ed Robinson, Co-Founder and President of Stash.

According to CEO Agrawal, Jerry differs from other car-related marketplaces in that it is designed to help consumers with various aspects of car ownership (from repairs to maintenance to insurance to warranties) rather than just one. Although it is currently primarily focused on insurance, it plans to use its new capital to move into other categories of car ownership.

The company also believes that it differs from its competitors in that it does not direct a consumer to an insurance carrier’s website, for example requiring them to register with them separately. Rather, Jerry uses automation to provide consumers with tailored offers from more than 45 insurance carriers “in 45 seconds”. Consumers can then sign up with the new airline through Jerry, which would even terminate previous policies on their behalf.

Credit: Jerry

“With Jerry, you can complete the entire transaction in our app,” said Agrawal. “We’re not sending you to another site. You don’t have to fill out a lot of forms. You just give us some information and we will make you offers immediately. “

Customers save an average of $ 800 a year on auto insurance, according to the company. Jerry also has a similar offering for home insurance, but its focus is on owning cars.

The company has to do something right. In 2020 Jerry saw sales increase 10x.

According to Agrawal, Jerry sold several million dollars in insurance in 2019. This year the company is on the right track to do three to four times more than in the previous year.

“There is no other automated way to compare and buy auto insurance because not all APIs are easily accessible,” he said. “We have automated the end-to-end journey for the consumer using our infrastructure, which only scales over time.”

Jerry makes recurring income from earning a percentage of the premium when a consumer purchases a policy on their website from providers like Progressive.

“Many of the marketplaces are leading. A very small percentage of their sales keep coming back, ”said Agrawal. “For us it’s 100% of our sales.”

Goodwater Capital’s Chi-Hua Chien notes that insurance has historically been a very challenging category from a customer experience perspective.

“They took something that was historically painful, intimidating, and difficult for the customer, and made it effortless,” he told TechCrunch. “This experience will also apply to comparison shopping and maintenance over time.”

Chien said he was also drawn to the category itself.

“This is a competitive category as 100% of drivers must have auto insurance 100% of the time,” he said. “It’s a big market that won’t go away. And since Jerry is powered by AI, it will only serve customers better and just grow faster over time. “

Sensible Cash Podcast: Free Well being Insurance coverage and Discovering Scholarships

Liz Weston: Welcome to the NerdWallet Smart Money podcast, where we answer your personal finance questions and help you feel a little smarter about what you do with your money. I’m Liz Weston.

Sean Pyles: And I’m Sean Pyles. To have your money questions answered on a future episode, turn to the Nerds. Call or text us on the Nerd hotline at 901-730-6373. That’s 901-730-NERD, or email us at [email protected].

Liz: One last plug before we get to the episode, we want to hear from you, our listeners. We put together a quick two-question survey. You can find the link in the episode description. Please take a few seconds to fill it out. We’re always working to improve the show for our listeners, and this is your chance to help.

Sean: On with the show. On this episode, Liz and I answer a listener’s question about how to find scholarships and make higher education more affordable. First, though, in our This Week in Your Money segment, we’re talking about why you might be entitled to free health insurance right now. Liz, you recently wrote an article on just this topic. Can you give us the details of what people should know?

Liz: Absolutely. It’s really surprising how much change there has been with health insurance, but those $1,400 stimulus checks really stole all the headlines, so I think a lot of people missed some of the big changes. One of the biggest had to do with the changes in who qualifies for subsidies on the Obamacare exchanges.

Liz: Before the new relief package that President Biden signed in March, people with incomes greater than 400% of the poverty line typically didn’t qualify for subsidies. Now, people with incomes up to 600% of the poverty level can qualify. What that means is if you’re a single person and your income is just under $77,000, you can get a subsidy. If you have a family of four and your income’s about $157,000, again, you can qualify for subsidies. That’s a big change. A lot more people are going to get help.

Sean: I also understand that the relief package that passed in March also reduced premiums for the vast majority of people who get their own health insurance.

Liz: In fact, nearly half of the 29 million people who are now uninsured can qualify for a free plan. That’s a big change, yeah.

Liz: Yeah, it is. If you have income at, I think 150% of the poverty line, which is about $19,000 for a single person and just under $40,000 for a family of four, you can now qualify for zero-premium silver plans with annual deductibles of just $177. There’ve been some reduced cost-sharing measures and some other changes that have made these really affordable.

Sean: One of the other big changes also affects people who receive unemployment, which we know a lot of people have received. One thing that people should know is that if you get unemployment benefits for any part of 2021, you can qualify for a zero-premium silver plan with the ACA.

Liz: I know I’ve been telling my friends about this, and the reaction is, “No, that can’t possibly be true.” But, if you got even a single unemployment benefit check, you can get this free silver plan with all these cost-sharing reductions for free. Go check this out. This is really important.

Sean: Well, that brings me to my next question, which is how people can qualify and find these plans.

Liz: These plans need to be purchased through the Obamacare exchanges, the Affordable Care Act exchanges. is where most people can go. If you have a state plan, it will funnel you to your state plan. Otherwise, you can buy your insurance on If you already have a policy, the refunds should be automatic. You shouldn’t have to do anything. But, if you don’t have a plan, you should sign up if you qualify.

Sean: We’re currently in a special enrollment period that people can take advantage of through Aug. 15 of this year.

Liz: I wouldn’t wait, because you never want to be without healthcare insurance, but you do have some time to take advantage of these.

Sean: Well, speaking of unemployment, there was also a change to COBRA coverage, where people can get free COBRA coverage.

Liz: When people lose their job, a lot of times their preference is to extend the coverage that they had through their employer, right? You’re familiar with that plan. You’re familiar with that insurer. You just want to keep that going. The problem is, even though you do have access to your employer’s health insurance, typically for up to 18 months, you have to pay the full freight, and that can be extremely expensive. Most employers subsidize your healthcare insurance, even though most people are paying a premium, they’re not paying the full premium. When you suddenly have to do that, a lot of people simply can’t afford that.

Well, this new law says that the government essentially will be paying your insurance, your COBRA premium from April through September. If you don’t qualify for other insurance, if you’ve lost your job and your spouse doesn’t have coverage, for example, you can get this free COBRA coverage for six months. Then, if you’re still unemployed at the end of that, there’s going to be a special enrollment period, so you can hop on the Obamacare exchanges and get your coverage that way.

Sean: That’s a great benefit.

Liz: Yeah, it’s pretty neat. As we mentioned earlier, a lot of people don’t know about this. If you’re in a situation where you don’t have employer-provided coverage, or you recently lost your job, this is something you really want to check into.

Sean: Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your neighbors, tell anyone you know, because they can get free health insurance if they qualify.

With that, let’s get onto this week’s money question.

Sean: This episode’s money question comes from Brittany in Oregon, so she must be my neighbor. She writes, “My questions revolve around my college because I feel lost at the moment. I am currently in my final year for my BA in library science, and I have been trying to figure out if there is some way to help with the blow of student debt before I graduate.” Ooh, I’ve been there before.

“My questions are,” Brittany writes, “one, where do I start looking for scholarships? Two, how do I know what is a scam and what is real? Three, are there advisors aside from my school that I could contact? Four, how come I am not qualified for many of the ones I have found? Thank you so much, Brittany.”

Liz: To help us answer Brittany’s question on this episode of the podcast, we’re joined by student loan Nerd Anna Helhoski.

Sean: Hey Anna, welcome on the podcast.

Anna Helhoski: Thanks for having me, Sean and Liz, appreciate it.

Liz: Anna, let’s start with the basics. What are scholarships?

Anna: Scholarships provide students with free money for college. There are a ton of them out there that are up for grabs, but you have to know where to look, and you also have to qualify for them. Scholarships and grants, unlike student loans, don’t have to be paid back, so they’re really the best first place to start when you’re talking about financing a college education.

Sean: This sounds like a great deal. You’re basically getting some money based on your application. How are scholarships typically awarded?

Anna: They’re usually awarded based on financial need or on merit, or some kind of combination of both need and merit. Scholarships are a lot of times confused with grants, and they essentially do the same thing, but grants are always based on financial need. Both of them are known as gifted.

When you’re looking for a scholarship, availability is really going to vary. They can come from all kinds of places. It could be your school, community groups, private companies or individuals, and national nonprofit organizations. Your school might also award scholarships, especially if it’s a scholarship that’s based on need, or you might have to apply for it. I would say if it doesn’t come from your school, you’re probably going to have to apply. Scholarships are primarily going to be based on family income or merit requirements, as I mentioned, such as GPA or academic or artistic achievements. You might have to apply to them using letters of recommendation, a résumé of your school or volunteer accomplishments, and some kind of an essay.

Sean: You mentioned income, which is something that I wanted to home in on. That’s how I actually was awarded a good amount of scholarships in my undergrad from my very expensive liberal arts college, and it helped me tremendously. Can you go in a little bit about what need-based scholarships look like?

Anna: Yeah. Need-based scholarships usually have some kind of a means test in them. Usually they use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which you need to submit every year in college in order to access federal, state, as well as school financial aid.

Liz: I had a question about the need aspect of it, because my understanding was that if you had a lot of need-based financial aid, if you got a scholarship, that could actually replace one of the grants you got. Is that something that people need to be concerned about?

Anna: It really depends on the kind of aid that you’re talking about. If you’re awarded a federal Pell Grant, for example, that’s never going to be reduced if you win a private scholarship or a scholarship from your school, even if you end up getting a scholarship that exceeds the cost of attendance. The Pell Grant is really based on your estimated family contribution, not on financial need. Any kind of other changes in financial aid don’t really affect the amount of the Pell Grant that you get. But, if you’re awarded multiple scholarships, that could affect any kind of school grants that you might receive, or if you’re even able to accept all of that money, because you can only get financial aid up to the cost of attendance.

Liz: OK. We just want to let people know this might be a possibility, so they don’t break their necks trying to find a scholarship that just winds up leaving them in the same position that they started in.

Sean: All right, I also want to talk about how to find scholarships, because that’s a pretty central part of Brittany’s search as well. How do you think people should go about locating the best ones for them?

Anna: I can honestly say I did not do enough of this when I was an undergrad, and I wish that I had. But, what you need to do is cast a very wide net. The more scholarships that you apply for, the greater your chance of receiving one. But, that doesn’t mean that you should just go about applying for any scholarship that comes to you. The key is really applying for scholarships that you’re going to be eligible for, so ones that you can actually win. Scholarships could be a one-time thing, but the best ones are ones that are going to be renewable each year.

Sean: When I was in college, I applied for scholarships that were specific to my niche, so LGBT student scholarships and also journalism student scholarships. I’m wondering if this is still a good route for students to go.

Anna: It definitely is, and I also got a journalism student scholarship, so I know how that went. Niche scholarships are really the ones where you can distinguish yourself. That could be through volunteer work, club membership, athletics, classes or what you plan to study. But, you really can find scholarships that are also related to identity, could be by race or ethnicity, LGBTQ identity, religion, community, where you live, hobbies, interests, any kind of volunteering that you do, civic involvement, if your family member has military status, could also go by immigration status or nontraditional student status. That could be being a parent, an older student or if you’ve just received a GED.

Liz: I want to circle back to what you said about renewable scholarships. This was something that you had experience with, right?

Anna: I did. My freshman year of college, I ended up getting quite a few scholarships, and that really helped pay for my expensive liberal arts college. But, that was really just a freshman year scholarship. I ended up needing to actually transfer to a state school because it just wasn’t going to be affordable for me anymore to try and attend a college in the middle of Manhattan when I really couldn’t afford that after my first year. A lot of times when you front load a lot of financial aid, that can put you in that same kind of position, where, sure, you can afford your college your freshman year, or maybe even your sophomore, but as time goes on, it’s just going to end up being more expensive and you could end up taking on more debt that’s going to be really difficult to repay after you graduate.

Liz: We should also talk about where to look for these scholarships. We talked about finding the ones where you can distinguish yourself, but where do you actually go to find them?

Anna: Using the U.S. Department of Labor scholarship search tool is kind of my go-to when I’m giving anyone advice on looking for a scholarship. But you should also talk to your own school. If you’re in high school, talk to your guidance counselor. If you’re in college, talk to your school’s financial aid office.

There also could be industry organizations related to your field of study that you might want to look into. You can search locally at community organizations, local businesses, religious organizations or civic groups. You also could inquire about scholarships that might be sponsored by your parent’s employer or your own employer. Then, of course, there are a ton of scholarship databases;, Scholly, College Board, the Ultimate Scholarship Book, Fast Web, Big Future, Scholarship America, Unigo, there’s a ton of them out there. It’s also going to be really important that, once you have your big list of scholarships that you want to apply for, to pay attention to those deadlines. Make that list early, take note of the dates so that you can really keep track.

Sean: All right, so Brittany was also worried about scholarship scams. How can people identify whether a scholarship they’re looking into is legitimate or not?

Anna: Yeah, so this one’s tough, because you want to believe that anybody giving you free money is just going to hand it over, right? You really need to be careful where you apply and what kind of information that you’re providing. Some signs of a scam could be pressure tactics, so they’re pushing for money or personal information a little bit too quickly. They want your bank account or credit card information right upfront. They want you to pay a fee to guarantee that you’ll win by paying money, even if they say there’s some kind of a money-back guarantee if you don’t. The FTC actually says that oftentimes those guarantees come with some kind of a condition that make it pretty much impossible to get your money back. Your safest bet is to try and stick with free scholarship search services.

There are also ones that are asking you to submit your FAFSA for a processing fee. Those aren’t technically illegal, but in order to submit the FAFSA, you’ll need to provide them documentation and information that you would need to gather anyway, so it’s really best to do it yourself, since the hardest part is gathering all of that personal and financial information together.

Sean: It seems like the elements that help anyone identify any kind of scam are relevant here, too. Where someone’s trying to get your bank account information, and they’re trying to get your personal information, they’re trying to get you to pay for something that you shouldn’t have to pay for. Those are common red flags across all personal finance decisions that you might be dealing with a scam.

Anna: The FTC also lists some kind of telltale lines about scholarship scams on its website, like the scholarship’s guaranteed or your money back, or you can’t get this information anywhere else, or we’ll do all the work, you just pay a processing fee. Those are all going to be come-ons that are not going to be true and could very well lead you to be getting scammed.

Sean: All right. What should someone do if they think they have been scammed?

Anna: If you have been scammed and you have given them some personal information, or you have handed over your bank account information, halt all payments if you’ve provided that, and you also may want to freeze any credit cards that could be on file with one of these predatory companies. Then, you definitely want to file a complaint. File with the FTC, file with your state attorney general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau so that they can log this.

Liz: We might also recommend that they freeze their credit, because if they’re handing over all this personal information, it might not just be a one-off. It could be sold to other bad guys or used in other ways.

OK, so Brittany was also interested in contacting advisors who can help her. What’s your advice about that?

Anna: I always go for the free ones first. Your best advisor would really be your guidance counselor at your high school, or your school’s financial aid office or advising office. But, there are coaches and mentors and consultants that you can pay to help you get into college, get scholarships, etc. But, those services can be costly, hundreds of dollars or some kind of a monthly fee. They might be able to help you, but there’s no guarantee that that will be the case, so it really depends on your comfort level.

Sean: One thing I want to talk about is how folks aren’t going to get approved for every scholarship they apply for, which can be pretty demoralizing. I had that experience when I was applying when I was in college. I’m wondering what some common reasons are that people might not be granted the scholarship that they do apply for.

Anna: You might not meet the requirements. That usually is there, especially if it’s some kind of a niche scholarship, or if there is a financial need component that you really just don’t fit. There also could just be a lot of competition. Unless it’s a local-only scholarship, where you’re not really competing with a ton of people, it’s best to try to apply for scholarships that you definitely can fit the bill. You don’t want to apply for a scholarship whose criteria you really don’t meet, because the competition for most scholarships is pretty high. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep looking. Really figure out what it is about you that’s unique, or how you can fit your experiences or your volunteerism into some kind of a niche category. There’s probably a scholarship for you out there, but you’re just really going to have to look for it. Try and talk to your school counselor about your options, and look through an online database or two.

Liz: Do you have any other tips for how people can minimize college expenses?

Anna: Definitely. Scholarships are great, but so are other gift aid, like grants and work study, if you’re eligible. Maximizing all kinds of free aid can really help you then keep your student debt low. Most students are going to have to take on some kind of a student loan debt in order to go to college. There is really a hierarchy of financial aid that we try and follow, so that’s maxing out all free aid first before turning to federal loans, and eventually private loans, if you do need them. But, it really all starts with submitting the FAFSA.

Sean: I have another question that is outside of the realm of what Brittany was wondering about, and I’ll admit is kind of in the self-interest of my household, specifically my partner, who is going to be entering grad school in the fall. I’m wondering if you have any advice for people who are looking for scholarships or ways to make grad school more affordable.

Anna: Yeah. I mean, first off, congrats to your partner. Grad school enrollment is really up right now, so that’s really great to hear. Scholarships for grad school, similar rules are really going to apply, but you might want to look for some grad-school-specific scholarships. Again, start with that U.S. Department of Labor scholarship search tool. But this could also be an opportunity to really check in with professional associations, especially if you’re going to grad school after having been in the workforce for a little while. Some grad-school-specific search engines are Go Grad, Sallie Mae Grad School Scholarship Search, but you can also find them on Fast Web, Big Future, Scholarship America, etc.

Liz: OK, so we’ve been focusing on scholarships, but grad schools kind of work differently than undergraduate anyway. Are there other options for reducing your expenses?

Anna: Yeah, so many grad and PhD programs are actually designed to offset your expenses. They’ll pay your tuition and fees, and in exchange you teach courses. But not all programs are like this, or they may have limited slots, depending on the program.

Sean: All right, I have one last thing I want to throw at you, Anna, and also this is for you, Liz, and for me to talk about a little bit, too. We got another listener question from Andrea, who is wondering whether it is, quote, in their words, “A really stupid idea to put tuition on a credit card for the zero APR period, and then continue to transfer the balance to future similar cards until it’s paid off.” For a little bit of additional context, they said their tuition will be somewhere between $35K and $95K, their credit score is currently over 800, and that they’ve done this before with other credit card debt. Throwing that out there, anyone take a little bit of that information and let’s talk about it.

Anna: Sure. You technically can use a credit card to pay for college, but it’s kind of a bad idea. Schools aren’t like other merchants, they usually charge convenience fees that are pretty high, so that could be around 2.75% up to 3%, maybe even higher. That can end up costing you more than the rewards on that card might actually net you. Usually you have to get rid of your balance fast to take advantage of those 0% interest periods, and even if you end up juggling the balance using different zero interest cards, you can get hit with transfer fees. Then if that zero interest period runs out, you’re looking at a pretty high interest rate compared with federal student loans.

Say you have $35,000 on a credit card, as the reader estimated was on the low side of her potential balance. If you have an 18% interest rate and want to make a minimum payment of $350 a month — that’s around the typical student loan payment, by the way — your payment wouldn’t even cover the interest. Your more realistic monthly payment would be closer to $800. You’d end up paying over $22,000 in interest, and it would take you six years to pay it off.

Sean: That’s a nightmare.

Anna: Yeah, so your much better bet is to take a federal student loan at a low interest rate. It’s currently 2.75% for undergrad and 4.30% for direct unsubsidized loans for grad students.

Liz: One thing I have noticed is people who do use these balance transfer offers tend to expect them to always be available. As we know now, that’s not always true. When the economy goes bad or lenders start to get nervous, even great credit scores might not guarantee your approval, or you might not get a large enough credit limit to move the whole balance over, and then you’re in that situation that Anna just talked about, where you’re paying incredibly high interest on this debt.

Sean: What makes me a little bit nervous about this is that, I’m sure that at some point in Andrea’s life, a curve ball is going to come her way, and maybe she will miss a payment on something, she’s on vacation and just forgets to pay a bill one day. Anything could happen that could make her credit score go beneath 800. That could make it go beneath the point where she’d even qualify for one of these cards, and then she’s kind of out of luck.

Anna: Weirdly, [federal] loans provide you a safety net. They provide you with opportunities for loan forgiveness, but also income-driven repayment plans that tie your payments to a portion of your income. They really are just a better idea.

Sean: OK. Well, you said the word student loan forgiveness, so I have to ask you as someone who reports on this a lot, what are your current thoughts, if you could look into a crystal ball about what folks’ odds are that they might get some student loan forgiveness this year?

Anna: I’m not going to place any bets. However, signs are sort of starting to point in the direction that we could at least see some kind of a proposal. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen in Congress. That is very clear by how hard Congress is pushing Joe Biden to make an executive order on this. Now, at this point, we’re really just in a wait-and-see.

Sean: All right, well, thank you so much. If that happens, we might drag you back to talk about it.

Sean: OK. Well, thank you for talking with us, Anna.

Anna: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Sean: With that, let’s get on to our takeaway tips. First up, leave no rock unturned when looking for scholarships. The more scholarships you apply for, the greater your chances are of receiving one.

Liz: Next, also focus on your applications. You may be more likely to win a scholarship that’s specific to your niche.

Sean: Lastly, know how to spot scams. Common red flags are scholarships that use pressure tactics or ask for your bank or credit card information.

Liz: That’s all we have for this episode. Do you have a money question of your own? Turn to the Nerds and call or text us your questions at 901-730-6373. That’s 901-730-NERD. You can also email us at [email protected]. Also, visit for more information on this episode, and remember to subscribe, rate, and review us wherever you’re getting this podcast.

Sean: Here is our brief disclaimer, thoughtfully crafted by NerdWallet’s legal team. Your questions are answered by knowledgeable and talented finance writers, but we are not financial or investment advisors. This Nerdy info is provided for general educational and entertainment purposes and may not apply to your specific circumstances.

Liz: With that said, until next time, turn to the Nerds.

Leisure Insurance coverage Firm Builds a Useful Insurance coverage Suggestions Library

LOS ANGELES (PRWEB) May 04, 2021

Athos Insurance Services is proud to introduce the new “Athos Entertainment Insurance Tips “Article Library. The article library is a valuable resource for anyone in need of entertainment insurance. The goal of the library is to help filmmakers, videographers, production companies, freelancers, event managers, and photographers find their way around the library better Entertainment Insurance Legals for which they are responsible.

As an entertainment insurance broker, Athos specializes in the entertainment industry, well beyond the average insurance agency. This means they speak the language of their customers’ entertainment industry and understand the unique challenges they face. The new library continues to speak that language, creates more dialogue, and passively answers some of the most common questions in entertainment insurance in greater detail.

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Read the full story below

Introducing Rebranded EverSports & Leisure From Everest Insurance coverage

Everest Insurance announced that its sports, leisure and entertainment division, previously known as Specialty Insurance Group (SIG), has been renamed EverSports & Entertainment Insurance.

EverSports & Entertainment Insurance continues to offer initial and deductible, commercial vehicle, employee compensation, property, emergency, and participant accident insurance customers in the fields of sports, leisure, and entertainment.

EverSports & Entertainment Insurance Inc. is a licensed manufacturer and broker for excess lines in certain US jurisdictions and a member of Everest Re Group, Ltd.

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State medical health insurance pool for colleges might lower your expenses, has bipartisan curiosity | Native Information

“Hopefully there are several options,” said Wieske. “The result would be problematic if they only had one carrier.”

Wieske said he did the study for CTA strategies in Madison, led by Andrew Hysell, who refused to say who paid for it. Hysell said he had worked on education policy with a focus on rural schools and raised money from the insurance industry and public education organizations.

Savings by district

According to the study, the Milwaukee School District would save the most at $ 23 million excluding HSA employer contributions, followed by Green Bay at $ 15.1 million and Fond du Lac at $ 8.2 million.

The Madison School District would save $ 1.9 million, a much lower amount per person, likely because the district is already doing relatively good business in Dane County’s highly competitive HMO market, Wieske said. La Crosse district would lose $ 2.2 million and Kenosha would lose $ 9.2 million, also because they now have relatively low costs, Wieske said.

The budget panel rejects Scott Walker’s auto insurance plan and finds other savings

Without employer HSA contributions, McFarland District would save $ 434,000, Middleton-Cross Plains $ 1.4 million, Monona Grove $ 964,000, Oregon $ 1.2 million, Sun Prairie $ 2.5 million, Verona $ 388,000, and Waunakee 1 $ 2 million, the study says.

Unemployed employees are hit with one other shock: Many owe the federal government cash for medical insurance

According to the federal government, Ryan made too much money off unemployment. It was more money than she would have made as a preschool teacher, and it bumped her into a different income bracket that reduced her insurance subsidy under the Affordable Care Act. Desperate to keep health insurance in the middle of the pandemic, she’s trying to figure out how to pay the big bill.

“Where do I get all the money to pay back during the pandemic?” said Ryan, 50, who lives in Bergen County, New Jersey. “What did you expect from us? Drop Obamacare During Pandemic? “

Ryan is one of the million Americans facing surprisingly high tax burdens amid a global health crisis. She was finally able to go back to work in a daycare center but says she doesn’t have $ 3,100. She used the savings she had to move from Pennsylvania to New Jersey when a job opened in her field.

“We’re just trying to get back on our feet and we’re now overwhelmed with all the bills we owe,” said Ryan, who lives with her boyfriend.

Congress is trying to fix this problem so that low-income Americans won’t drop their health insurance because they can’t afford it. The $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package, expected to be passed in mid-March, would forgive these tax burdens. (According to an agreement reached late Friday, households earning less than $ 150,000 would also save taxes on the first $ 10,200 in unemployment income.)

Politicians and health experts say the United States needs to keep as many people as possible covered by health insurance during the deadly pandemic. But this subsidy problem that Ryan and millions of others are now facing makes it difficult.

Low-income workers and the self-employed typically turn to the Affordable Care Act marketplaces for health insurance. If workers earn between $ 18,000 and $ 51,000, they’re eligible for a government grant to make plans more affordable. The catch, however, comes if they got health insurance in November or December 2019 – before the pandemic became a national emergency.

People like Ryan estimated their earnings for 2020 and were far from it, largely because of the additional $ 600 a week Congress made available to the unemployed from April to July. Workers such as preschool teachers, teaching assistants, waiters and the self-employed often benefited more from unemployment than from their regular work last spring. Now they owe money to the government to repay some of their health grants.

This happens to some low-income Americans every year, but experts say it is particularly common now that the livelihoods of so many people have been dramatically disrupted.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, around 3.2 million low-income Americans owed the state money for their health grants in 2018 Data. That number is expected to be over 5 million, according to 2020 Estimates from the Joint Tax Committee and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“This just goes to show how complicated it is to subsidize people’s health care through the tax system,” said Larry Levitt, executive vice president of health policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation. “In the midst of the enormous uncertainty for the people, it would certainly be helpful if they didn’t have to pay back subsidies for having misreported their income.”

According to the economic stimulus plan, everyone who is unemployed will automatically qualify for the full health insurance subsidy in 2021. If the legislation goes into effect, these Americans won’t get a shock tax bill next year, and they should be able to afford health insurance by now.

Lawyers for the poor hailed these recent initiatives by Congress and the White House, but complained that it had taken lawmakers a year to figure out how to help.

“We have been in a pandemic since March, and nothing has been done by Congress to bring more people to health insurance,” said Tara Straw, a senior health policy analyst at the left-wing Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

And while there’s a solution along the way, some Americans like Shawn McCreary of Doylestown, Pennsylvania have already paid their taxes – and the credit fine for health insurance.

“That year, I owed $ 3,565 in federal taxes, of which $ 1,300 apparently came from” overpaying “the health exchange because my unemployment was higher than my planned income in November 2019,” McCreary said. “That was a complete surprise to me.”

McCreary, 36, is a special education teacher. He was working as a replacement when the pandemic closed due to the pandemic last March. Since he was a substitute teacher, he was not on the school district’s insurance plan. He had taken out insurance through the health insurance company and said he had even tried to overestimate his 2020 income so as not to pay a fine later, but he was unemployed for most of the year.

As an asthmatic, McCreary already has huge health bills. He was also careful returning to the classroom until he was vaccinated. His grandmother died of Covid-19 in July.

“The pandemic really changed my life from top to bottom,” said McCreary. “I don’t have $ 3,500 to just give back to the government. I almost wish they had paid me less to start with. “

McCreary filed his taxes last month and started a payment plan with the IRS. He will likely have to file an amended statement when Congress passes the stimulus bill that waives the money he owes for the health grant.

For the unemployed, this is another turn in a tough year. Health experts say they just hope the stimulus will go away soon and people will realize they can refill.