Here are all the articles I've written about Accounting. Enjoy!

July 20th, 2016

“What’s Up, Doc?” Blog Series Part 7: The Doctor is in! Now What?!

Look at you, friend of The Insurance Mom!  You’ve learned so much from our first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth parts of our series, “What’s Up, Doc?” Don’t you feel well-informed and powerful!?
Here’s the next revelation, “The Doctor is In!  Now What?”

 

  1. Remind Doc Hollywood of any important medical history.   Do NOT assume they remember everything about you.  If you’re seeing this doctor for the first time give a brief summary of important medical history.
  2. As I mentioned in the second part of our series, always have a current copy of your medical records.   Before seeing a new doc for the first time, email a copy of your chart FIRST.    Hopefully, this will get your new doc up to speed before you get there.
  3. If you’re there for a physical (aka check-up, aka preventive care), remind the doctor that’s the ONLY purpose for your visit.    I want YOU to give explicit permission to the doc if she’s going to do additional tests or treatments that are NOT included in your free physical.  The Insurance Mom also recommends referencing this website which lists all of the stuff that has to  be covered by your insurance (it’s part of the Affordable Care Act!)… so you know your rights!
  4. Ask LOTS of FAQs.   There is always another question to ask!   So ASKAsk for clarification if you need it.  Ask the doctor WHY she is recommending this particular course of treatment or prescription.  Ask about side-effects.  Ask about likely outcomes.    Ask what alternative options may be available.   Just because a doctor makes a suggestion, doesn’t mean it’s a recommendation… or the best recommendation.

Thanks for following along to our virtual tour of the doctor’s office!  Now, talk to me.  Share your funny / interesting …

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April 1st, 2016

Are you a Vital, Smart Shopper? I think you will be soon . . .

Our lovely client, Jeff, heard something helpful on NPR and shared it with us.

 

There’s a cool company called VitalSmartShopper which helps compare the cost of medical treatments & services within a 20 mile radius of your home zip code.  If you choose the cheapest place, you get a check for $25.   Say WHAT!?

 

It’s for real.   You can either generate a login here OR call 800-824-9127 to talk to a human.

 

As always, The Insurance Mom thinks it’s a good idea to shop around for the best prices on EVERYTHING… and that INCLUDES medical services!

 

Here’s the full story if you’d like to hear it for yourself.…

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March 18th, 2016

PART FOUR: The Insurance Mom’s Guide to Better Living Through (Cheaper) Chemistry

Here’s PART FOUR in our series we call . . .

“The Insurance Mom’s Guide to Better Living

Through (Cheaper) Chemistry”

 

Aren’t you loving our series on prescription drugs?

 

By now, I hope you’re feeling empowered and smart.  (Because you are!)  If you’re just now joining us, click these links to our previous posts for PART ONE, PART TWO, and PART THREE to get caught up.  This series walks through money saving tips from the moment the doctor writes the script to the moment you pick it up at the pharmacy.

 

Now that we all have our Prescription Decoder Rings, here’s the next tip!

 

PART FOUR: WORK THE INTERNET!

 

Research It!  Use GoodRX.com to find the cheapest place to buy drugs in your ‘hood.  Try HealthWarehouse.com for cheaper prices.  Yes, sometimes drugs are cheaper at different pharmacies even within the same zip code.

 

Clip Coupons!  Sometimes using your insurance is a more expensive option.  Look online for coupons – they’re everywhere!

 

Discount Program It!  Sometimes using a discount program is cheaper than going through insurance.  Watertree Health has one and so does GoodRx (click the hyperlinks.)  Ask your pharmacist to help you compare the cost thru insurance vs. discount program.…

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August 17th, 2015

Big changes are coming for small business owners….

CALLING ALL SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS!!!

Are you aware of the big health insurance changes coming in 2016??  The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) will create a tsunami that may really change your health insurance benefits.

Small Groups used to be classified as 2-50 employees.  In 2016, it will change to 1-100 employees.

This major shift will be hardest on companies in the awkward midsize range — 50-100 employees.  Here’s why . . .

Before 2016, these groups with over 50 employees qualified for rates based on age bands (e.g., 30-39), not the employees’ actual ages — this is called Community Rating — which saved the employer AND employees some money.

BUT in 2016 these 50-100 employers will be REQUIRED to have Composite Rating just like smaller employers.  Composite rates are based on the employee’s actual age rather than age bands.  The employee’s family members’ rates will also be based on their individual ages.

Composite Rating will cost more for the employer and employees.    Groups of 50-100 employees may struggle with the new age-based system required by the ACA.

Not only do you have other uncertainties besides insurance to worry about when you’re growing your business, but enrollments are really a headache!   That’s why it’s good to have a trusted broker help you with your policy [ahem!!].

Aside from that, you need a good advocate to PLAN PLAN PLAN to get ready for some serious rate changes in 2016!    If you do plan, you’ll grow up big and strong and healthy!  The Insurance Mom is by your side to help you through your growth spurt.

 …

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August 13th, 2015

You Can’t Take it With You — Life Insurance That Is!

Got life insurance at work?   Great!

Leaving the job for something bigger and better?  Congrats!

Retiring from the daily grind?   Have fun!

But… heads-up!   You can’t take your cheap, affordable term life insurance with you.   I bet you didn’t know that, right?    You can only keep your cheap, affordable term life insurance if you change it to the more expensive permanent sort of life insurance (aka “whole life”).

What, Insurance Mom?   Tell me what to do!!   Take a deep breath and give The Insurance Mom a call.   Let’s chat about what type of life insurance you should have, and how much life insurance you really need.   We want your family to have choices, not expenses, right?   Right!!

The Insurance Mom’s got you covered… phew!…

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July 9th, 2014

Long-Term Care Clarity!

Does Medicare cover long-term care expenses?  The answer may surprise you!

 

There was a neat article this week in the LA Times about Long-Term Care Insurance which spelled it out very nicely.

 

If you haven’t given much thought to how you’d pay for long term care expenses, you’re not alone.    Most of us haven’t.   But, the BIG question is:   Would you be able to afford it?

 

In California, the average annual cost for long term care – today — is about $82,000 a year.  Wow, that hurts!   If you cover your ass(ets) and get long-term care insurance, you’ll significantly reduce your costs.

 

So . . . DOES Medicare cover LTC?  No!     Does your health insurance cover LTC?   No!

 

Not a happy prospect.   We are all about protecting your money over here, so it may be time for you to start thinking about it, too.  Remember: the younger you are when you plan ahead the more you save.  The ‘Mom’ only wants what’s best for her little kiddies!

 

Educate yourself on the details of the ins and outs with the article here and contact The Insurance Mom for a chat about your future.  Mind your P’s and Q’s and you’ll be taken care of . . . long-term.…

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August 2nd, 2010

It Never Hurts To Ask!

The Insurance Mom says that everything is negotiable… including the cost of your medical care.   You wouldn’t think twice about negotiating with an car dealer or a CraigsList vendor, right?  Well, you can — and should — do the same with your doctors, labs and hospitals.  Saving money is a good thing!  The Insurance Mom wants you to fight for your money!

As the accompanying article from the Los Angeles Times suggests, “do your homework and negotiate upfront… ”  The article, authored by Lisa Zamosky, offers some great tips, including:

1.  Understand treatments.  The best way to save money is to avoid care you don’t need.   If a doctor wants to order tests you’ve already had done by a different doctor, be sure to have the results forwarded and don’t let the second doctor duplicate the tests (and the costs!).     The Insurance Mom wants you to always have a copy of your current medical chart and tests results in your own files!  Yes, of course the doctor’s office will give you a copy of your chart (but sometimes for a small fee.)

2.  Find the best price.  Ask your provider up front how much a service will cost.   Did you know that prices vary greatly from one provider to another?  Yes they do!   When you can, plan and shop around.   Did you also know that the government’s “stealth” care reform law will do absolutely nothing to reduce the cost of medical care?   And it will not force doctors, labs or hospitals to reveal their costs to you.  So ask!   And then negotiate.   And get it in writing!

3.  Cash is king.   Many providers will give huge discounts for paying cash — sometimes the discounts are even better than what your insurance company has negotiated.

4.  Location, location, location.   The …

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January 15th, 2010

Is The IRS Driving You Crazy?

Since so many of you are freelancing these days, The Insurance Mom wants you to be fully aware of how to manage your self-employment income and expenses, especially those handy little tax-deductible expenses.  But watch out, the IRS is reducing your tax-deductible business mileage.  So, drive carefully and now, drive less!…

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January 6th, 2010

Taxing News

Just a quick heads-up about your taxes.    The Insurance Mom wants you to act like a grown-up (even if you don’t feel like one!) and be a responsible money manager.

1.  If you are self-employed and paying quarterly estimated taxes, your 2009 4th quarter taxes are due 1/15/10.

2.  1099s must be issued no later than 1/31/10 so they are received by 2/1/10.

3.  If you are an employer, your 2009 4th quarter Payroll Reports are due by 2/1/10. And last but not least…

4.  If you are an employee, your boss must give you your 2009 W-2 no later than 2/1/10.

Now, wasn’t that fun?!


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