Health insurance in the United States is a large financial burden on families and individuals. With the number of costs that go into securing and utilizing a health insurance program, it can come as quite a shock that health facilities often send surprise bills after treatment or hospital stays. Surprise bills occur when patients unknowingly receive care from an out-of-network provider and are charged out-of-network costs. Research shows that 1 in 5 emergency room visits results in surprise billing and that up to 16% of non-emergency care results in the same. This issue has been at the forefront of Americans' minds for a long time with numerous attempts from healthcare activists to overturn this ability, and finally-a bill is here. As of January 1, 2022, the federal government signed into law the No Surprises Act, protecting Americans from unexpected payments.
We are currently facing the most significant wave of inflation in close to 40 years. This March experienced 8.5% higher prices compared to the year prior, making it the biggest price increase since the 1980s. These rising costs are affecting every aspect of the American economy, from its manufacturing, distribution, laborers, and consumers. As the cost of goods goes up, so does the cost to insure them. Many people are concerned with the steady rise in costs and wonder, how will this affect my insurance plan? Can I still afford to protect my home, business, and other vulnerable assets? Inflation is caused by a variety of factors, but it's likely going to remain or increase over the next year or two. Understanding how inflation is affecting the insurance marketplace is key to being prepared for years ahead.
Though there is no shortage of restaurants and food services, this type of business is a rather niche sector in the insurance marketplace. There are so many aspects that come into play when putting together a program for restaurants. With some teams handling food, some handling people and communications, and others handling equipment-even the employee positions alone call for multiple types of coverage. In the past few years, we’ve seen a huge shift in the industry that introduced new styles of dining. From delivery, takeout, and outdoor dining-all of these exciting expansions bring with them a whole new set of liabilities.
This past year a record number of Americans quit their jobs. This labor phenomenon referred to as The Great Resignation involves more than 47 million workers quitting their jobs voluntarily, with more expected to continue the trend. Though reasons for leaving differed, most workers reported their main driving factor for quitting was low pay, poor benefits, and poor company culture. What many don’t consider when leaving a job is the health insurance they may be leaving behind. If you lose the health insurance that was being supplied through your company, there are a few options to purchase your own plan. Understanding your options for health insurance can help you avoid marketplace confusion or risking having no coverage.
While the delivery economy has been on a steady uptick for many years, with companies like Uber, Amazon, and PostMates leading the industry, it’s no secret that the Covid-19 Pandemic has brought the economy to an entirely new level. Many restaurants that were forced to close down opted for delivery instead of totally shutting down shop. What started as a trial period to make up for the intense restrictions across cities and states, turned into a permanent and very successful business strategy for many.
In his recent State of the Union Address, Biden revealed his plan to improve mental health care and drug treatment in the United States. The President said he is seeking to close the gap in coverage for the millions of Americans struggling to get the care they need, and his plan would call upon insurers to include more coverage and doctors visits for no additional cost to patients. His plan will additionally seek to remove discrimination and increase affordable healthcare networks for the general public. If Biden’s plan is successful, health insurance will have new regulations and guidelines.
Many factors influence the rate of car insurance that's given to an individual or business. An individual's age, driving history, location, make and model of vehicle, and the purpose of the vehicle can all affect the insurance costs. Though these have been the standard factors for decades, as the world adapts to new ways of operating, the insurance industry is seeking ways to keep up with modernized operations.
The severe conflict between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in high-level cyber attacks and threats of imminent shutdowns reaching the west. Though the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military escalated over this past weekend, the tension between the two territories has been steadily increasing over the past several weeks. Leading up to the invasion, Russian hackers have been shutting down Ukrainian websites, including important government and bank sites. These sophisticated cyber-attacks have cut off access to crucial resources for the Ukrainian people. Experts are going so far as to name these events the start of a true cyberwar. As more and more countries get involved in the conflict to aid the Ukrainian people, Russia continues to warn of consequences. The clear threat of more cyber hacks now has the potential to hit the US, and businesses are preparing for how to respond in the event that they are targeted.
The green movement is a product of our collective concern for the earth, global warming, and the future of our planet. Though the movement has been strong for decades, with the environmental protection act rolling out in the ’70s, it wasn't until recently that the need for change became obviously critical. At the same time, manufacturing, energy companies, and what some would now call “bio-hazardous” industries have grown exponentially. For the insurance industry, the energy sector has been a strong market and held a large capacity for growth. Now with social and economic pressures facing the energy sector and its insurers, the landscape of the market has changed significantly. While some may assume that The Green Movement is a threat to the insurance industry, there is quite a bit of opportunity within it as well. As the energy industry adjusts to the needs of society, the insurance industry will also adapt accordingly, and create new policies that represent new needs.
With vaccinations up and cases mostly on a downward trend, one might think the threat of Covid is coming to an end. While in some ways it is, in others ways-its holding strong. The pandemic has introduced a precarious situation of having to put the blame for a spreading infection onto a specific party as people seek financial compensation for losses incurred due to Covid-19. And as businesses continue to face fines and legal obligations into 2022, it's important to be aware of professional responsibility in regards to the pandemic, as well steps one can take to protect themselves and their employees.