Finding Low Cost Health Insurance – Options And Ideas

Why are there so many Americans who are uninsured? Because it costs too much. It's really that simple. Independent contractors and small business owners often forego getting their own health insurance plans, hoping nothing happens that could ruin their business and put them in the poorhouse. And, the growing number of Americans living before the poverty line could not afford health insurance if they wanted to.

There are some ways to get low-cost health insurance if you need to. We can all stand to save a couple bucks, but for some of us it's a necessity. Here are some ideas to help you get low cost health insurance.

Individual Health Insurance Plans

Everybody knows that you can save with group insurance plans, but not everyone knows that the average cost of individual plans is dropping. This is because more and more people are choosing individual plans because of the flexibility they offer, and that is forcing health insurance companies to be more competitive.

Go With An HMO

An HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization [], is a way to get insurance on a fixed budget. Think of it as a health insurance package deal. The HMO has a network of doctors that you can choose from. If you need to see a specialist or go to the hospital, they can refer you to one that is also under the same HMO plan.

HMOs are usually affordable, and they offer you a fixed price, so you do not have to worry about premiums changing. They also handle all the claims and paperwork for you, so they make the whole process easier.

The disadvantage of HMOs is the lack of flexibility. You have to go to the same doctor, and any doctor or hospital visits outside of your HMO will not be covered.

More Alphabet Soup – PPOs

A PPO is a Preferred Provider Organization. PPOs work just like HMOs but with a little added flexibility. For an extra cost, PPOs allow you to visit healthcare professionals outside of your chosen doctor when necessary. These plans are becoming more popular than HMOs in recent years because of the choices offered to carriers.

Fill Your Insurance Gaps With COBRA

COBRA is a program designed to allow those who have recently lost their insurance to stay on it until they find something new. It is ideal for those who have left their jobs, or who were covered under their spouse's insurance but were recently divorced or widowed. With COBRA, you can maintain your current plan for up to 18 months until you get a new health insurance plan.

Let The Big Guys Lend A Hand

There's no shame in seeking government assistance when you are in a tight spot. Think of you and your family's well-being. When you're really scrabbling bottom, there are a variety of low cost health care programs such as Medicare available. While these programs do not offer the same high quality coverage as a good health insurance plan, they will help cut down your medical expenses when you need them.

Health insurance is expensive but necessary. The number of Americans with no coverage at all is shocking. Do not be
intimidated by the high price; there are always ways to find low cost health insurance.

Term Life Insurance – The Different Kinds

It has always been known that there are actually two different kinds of life insurance programs -term life and whole life.

It probably sounds, but with term life, a person is normally just insured for a specific time period – ten, fifteen, twenty, or 30 years. Not many people know this, but there are actually different types of term life insurance programs.

Level Term

This is easily the most popular term life program. With this, you typically pay the same premium throughout the term. It may not accumulate any cash value, however, this remains to be popular because it is cheap.

The prices for term life have even gone down more because of the Internet – people can readily access life insurance quotes and compare prices; sometimes, in a little as under two minutes.

Many people get surprised over the fact that they can be covered for a huge amount of money for as little as $ 20 month, even when they're already in their 40's (provided that they're in good health).

Annual Renewable Term

If you go for this type of insurance, you are only covered for one year. You will have to renew your policy at the end of the year. Expect increases in your premium as you renew your policy from year to year.

No-Exam Term Life

If you find the requisite medical exams in life insurance programs too much of a hassle, there are other, albeit more expensive, life insurance programs on the market that do not require any exam. With a no-exam term life insurance, you are only required to fill out a questionnaire. (It does not pay to lie on the questionnaire because it can have your policy revoked.)

A no-exam policy usually has a ceiling of $ 250,000, but your policy can be issued in days or even hours, unlike in other insurance programs where the issue of a policy can take weeks or months.

ROP Term Life

If you go for this time of term life insurance, you will normally have to pay more, but at the end of the term, all the premiums you paid will be returned to you. That is, if you are still alive at the end of the term.

Home Vegetable Garden – Basics of Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening is a method of gardening invented by best-selling author Mel Bartholomew in 1976 and updated in his book All New Square Foot Gardening published in 2006. The key principle of Square Foot Gardening is the elimination of single row gardens in favor of gardening in wider, raised garden beds, the surface of which have been marked off with one foot “planting squares”. Planting instructions are based on references to the planting squares.

Square Foot Gardening offers many benefits for vegetable gardens:

  • Larger gardens can be grown in smaller spaces
  • Gardens require much less weeding as the entire surface of the garden bed is used for planting, leaving little room for weeds to take root
  • Since the surface of the garden bed is not walked upon, the soil remains healthier due to lack of compaction
  • Gardens require less fertilizer and water and are better suited for organic gardening techniques

The raised garden beds sit above the ground, generally six to twelve inches high depending on the style of garden bed you select. One of the key advantages of raised garden beds is that you do not need to worry about the quality of the soil beneath the surface of the bed. Instead, you simply turn over any existing sod so that the grass faces downward into the ground. Then you place the raised garden bed on the overturned sod and fill the bed with high quality planting soil.

Before the surge in popularity in Square Foot Gardening, gardeners had little choice but to make their own raised garden beds. Nowadays, there are very cost-effective options for purchasing raised garden bed systems, including trellises and small animal barriers.

Square Foot Gardening does require conversion of the standard planting instructions provided on the back of seed packs into instructions suitable for Square Foot Gardening. Find the “thin to” to spacing on the back of the seed pack, and convert using the following formula:

  • 1 plant per 9 squares: “thin to” specification of 24 inches or greater
  • 1 plant per 2 squares: “thin to” specification of at least 12 inches, but less than 24 inches
  • 1 plant per square: “thin to” specification of at least 6 inches, but less than 12 inches
  • 4 plants per square: “thin to” specification of at least 4 inches, but less than 6 inches
  • 9 plants per square: “thin to” specification of at least 3 inches, but less than 4 inches
  • 16 plants per square: “thin to” specification of less than 3 inches

Be careful not to overcrowd your vegetables. Vegetables are susceptible to a wide range of diseases caused by insufficient airflow from overcrowding. In addition, bees and other pollinators have a more difficult time in an overcrowded garden, resulting in loss of harvest due to lack of pollination.

5 Tips To A Better Family Budget

A budget is a plan that allows you to manage your money in order to achieve your financial goals. It also allows you to track, monitored and makes decision as to how you used your money.

Starting a budget, you will need to define fixed monthly expenses like car payments, mortgages, insurance, rentals, etc. Then you need to have an idea of ‚Äč‚Äčliving expenses and the best way to do this is to record down these expenses for a month or so.

So with these information, you can then start to set up the family budget. Below are five tips to help you make your budget better.

1) Do allow for in your budget a certain amount for the unexpected cost. These are things like home repairs, car repairs or anything that may come up. Usually, most people left out the unexpected cost in their budgets but it is important to make allowance for it.

2) Having a good attitude is important. Know that once you plan your budget and understand that you need to make compromises. This involves a lot of sacrifice so as to reduce your expenses and have more money for savings. If you stick to it, soon you will begin to see the benefits and rewards.

3) Have a record book with your earnings recorded on one side and your expenses on the other side. Good record keeping is an important criterion to any good budget.

4) Learn how differentiates what are luxuries and necessities. Learning this is very important. Start by making a list of what you think are luxuries such as expensive restaurants, branded shoes, the sleek looking flat televisions, etc. Then refer back to this list whenever you are tempted to buy and spend items in the list. So it served as a reminder for you as to what items items considered luxuries.

5) Practice frugality but not to the point of being extreme. You can have fun with little or no spending at all. For example, instead of shopping, play with your kids at the park or meet a friend for a walk on the beach. The important point is that there are many things you can do that do not cost you any thing. In fact you may even enjoy more.

Budgeting should be a part and parcel of your daily life but it should not be too rigid that it dampened the effort and make you moody all day long. Instead it should be flexible but not too flexible. This means that you can review and improve on it without sacrificing the real objectives of achieving your family financial goals.