Insurance is awful by design

Insurance is almost certainly one of the most hated areas of business in the country. Think about it. People pay a lot of money and rarely get anything back. Even when they use it, they often have to fight with the insurance companies to get what they ought to get without any issue. It’s an ugly business model, even if it’s a necessary one.

This is true across the board with insurance. Whether it’s medical, auto, dental, home, or anything else, insurance companies make money by keeping fees as high as they a raise them and paying out as little as they possibly can. In the modern business climate which has to show constant, hyper-growth, that can mean insurance even goes beyond the legal and starts working in bad faith with its customers, paying less than it legally has to.

It doesn’t have to go that far for insurance to be a pretty horrible business though. Who hasn’t encountered a headache at the expense of their insurance company?

A car accident can mean months of phone calls, demands for absurd amounts of documentation, and then higher rates just to get a payout, and that’s when the insurance company’s client wasn’t at fault.

With medicine, it is even worse because medicine is so necessary to everyone and everyone needs insurance from time to time. There, it can also be long phone calls, documentation, complaints to get the insurance to pay for crucial medical care. Some have even died because insurance companies couldn’t decide whether to pay for surgery or not.

The flaw is in the system itself. Insurance only kicks in when people really need it. Insurance companies are massive bureaucracies that drag their feet in order to get the best deal they can on everything. So, when something important comes up, like surgery, the difficulties before, during, and after can add massive unneeded stress.

Unfortunately, there are few workable solutions, at least across the board. For medicine, other countries have gone to government-run healthcare and turned insurance companies into luxury parts of medicine. For instance, giving birth in Great Britain may mean sharing a room with other women. This would be free and insurance free. A family can choose to buy insurance, however, and if the woman gets pregnant, she would then be able to get a private room through her insurance discounts.

That option may solve the problem of health insurance, but what about all the other forms? Insurance is vast and various and used to protect everything from possessions to homes to businesses to investments. The government could not and should not be in charge of ensuring all those objects.

Which means, it all likelihood the awful insurance process will continue forever. Hopefully, some increased oversight can be introduced to speed things up and keep things more honest, but even then, the overall pain in the neck element will still be present, even if less prevalent.

The wide world of craft beers

In nearly all industries, the scene revolves around men, both those working and those consuming. The beer industry, and by extension, the craft beer industry, is no exception to this. Women are used in this scene as “promotion” and nearly nothing else. This overt sexualization of women draws men to drink their products. However, the growing number of women brewers are making a name for themselves as they begin to finally emerge from the shadows, changing the scene. Unfortunately, stereotypes and harassment are taking their time in catching up with the times. 

According to The The Guardian, craft beer has made a grand entrance in the beer industry, and more and more brewers and businesspeople are finding great new opportunities. Many of the up-and-coming brewers and owners are women, and they’re letting people know they’re here. Many beer companies that have long since established themselves are finally coming around to the idea that female beer drinkers exist and are just as enthusiastic as their male consumers. Women drinkers and brewers already made up a large portion of beer enthusiasts, and that number is growing. However, men in the industry are finding it difficult to overcome deep-set perception and stereotypes. Pia Poynton discusses this prejudice on her girl+beer blog, as she has been a part of the industry for more than ten years. She says she cannot go to any events without facing this prejudice and is often stereotyped as a promo girl simply for her presence. People assume she doesn’t know anything and will begin to ask her questions, abruptly stop, and then go ask others those same questions. For her, these interactions are both irritating and frustrating, and she knows there is a stigma. Instead of feeling like she really knew what she was talking about, men instead criticize her and tell her that she was lecturing them. 

There are some companies that are directly fighting this kind of stigma. The Sparkke Change company is one of these, and they package beers in simple, white cans that have large, conversation-starting print that addresses issues like sexism and assault. The company is headed by nine women, and one of their many drinks has this statement: “consent can’t come after you do.” For them, beer and wine have always led to a great conversation, and they are using their platform to ensure that the estimated 25% percentage of craft beer drinkers that are women know that someone has their back. Unfortunately, some female owners and operators do not support these opinions. One of the co-owners of Two Birds Brewing, Danielle Allen, says that people are often surprised to know that two women run the company, but she says “I have not had any negative instances or thoughts and feelings because of the fact I’m a female. We knew we had the right to be in the industry and we owned that.”

This recognition of women in male-dominated industries, especially in those with such histories of sexism like the beer industry, is very necessary. Companies like Growler Chill are working to ensure that people can continue to enjoy them as long as possible.

Important Matters Relating to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

America’s working group is one of the reasons why this nation is a major economic force. Thus, to make sure that they will not suffer from poverty upon their retirement, the federal government passed the Social Security Act in 1935.

This Act first served as a form of social insurance and was originally intended as a financial source for retiring employees, many of whom suffered from poverty during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Now known as the Social Security Administration (SSA), two large federal programs aimed at providing financial assistance to people with disabilities have been created through it: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which SSA introduced in 1956, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which SSA created in 1974.

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was specifically designed to pay cash benefits to Social Security members with total permanent disabilities and pensions to retired members aged 65 or above.

There are criteria that should be met in order for one to be eligible to receive cash disability benefits, though.  The most basic of these requirements include:

  • Having worked in a job covered by Social Security or by being self-employed; and,
  • Having earned the required number of credits required by SSA. An employee can earn four credits within a year. These credits are earned through payment of Social Security taxes (employees’ pay slips usually identify SS tax payments as “FICA,” short for Federal Insurance Contributions Act).

While members usually need 40 credits (earned after 10 years of work) to be considered eligible for disability benefits, employees who have only been a few years in work and, therefore, have earned fewer credits can also qualify. One very important thing any employee will have to know, however, is that even if they are eligible now to receive disability benefits (if they get permanently disabled), if they stop working under a Social Security-covered job and so stop earning credits (for a certain length of time), then they may no longer be considered eligible in the future.

Another important requirement for eligibility is, of course, total permanent disability. SSDI does not cover partial or short-term disability. Employees who sustain this type of disability can file their claim with their state’s Workers’ Compensation office if cause of the disability is work-related or with their personal health insurance provider.

Disability, as defined by the SSA (at least for SSDI purposes), means:

  • A condition that will render a person unable to perform the work that he/she did before being disabled;
  • The disability renders a person unable to perform any other type of work; and,
  • The disability may either last for at least a year or result in death.

Once an employee starts receiving the cash benefits, payment of benefit will only stop if:

  • He/She works at a level that the SSA considers as “substantial”;
  • If the SSA decides that his/her medical condition has improved to the point that he/she is no longer disabled; or,
  • If he/she turns 65 – if this is the case, recipient of the disability benefit will continue receiving the same amount of payment, only this time, it will be called “pension,” and no longer disability benefit.

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program provides financial support to those have become disabled by an injury or illness, and have met the required work credits. Additionally, children and spouses of deceased workers are often able to get disability benefits through this program. Unfortunately, though, it can be difficult to successfully go through the process of applying for and receiving this assistance on your own, a concern a highly-skilled Social Security Disability Insurance attorney may be able to help you with.


Abuse and Neglect in the Nursing Home

Putting a loved one in a nursing home can be a very emotional event. But you know that it is for the benefit of your loved one, as a nursing home is a place for care and nourishment. A nursing home has the qualified health personnel and proper medical facilities to ensure the dignified treatment for your loved one.

But there are instances where a nursing home can be place for abuse and neglect. Your loved one may sustain physical injuries, emotional issues, and psychological damages because of abusive and neglectful behaviors on the part of the nursing home staff.

As the adult, you should be the one responsible to ensure that your loved one is in a safe environment. If you get a loved one hurt in a nursing home, you might even blame yourself. The best way to avoid nursing home abuse and neglect is to know their signs.

Abuse can come in many forms, but they can generally be classified as physical and sexual. Signs of physical abuse include unexplained injuries and bloody or torn clothing. Signs of sexual abuse include reproductive or pelvic injuries and unwarranted sexually transmitted diseases.

The abuse can also have emotional and psychological effects, such as anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, and intense fear, especially in the presence of a particular nursing home staff.

Neglect can also be considered a form of abuse. The most common forms of neglect are dehydration and malnutrition. Be wary of signs of dehydration and malnutrition, such as dried lips and skin and weight loss. Hygiene is another aspect that is often neglected. Be wary of hygiene problems, such as soiled clothing.

There are also instances where those who need specific medical care are neglected. If your loved one has a medical condition, make sure that he or she is receiving the right medication on time and that his or her condition is not worsening by receiving adequate treatment.

Possible Causes of Pool Leak

While sunlight, humidity and wind intensity can make your pool lose more water, the average mount of water swimming pools lose every day is about a quarter of an inch (or about 2 inches in a week).

On average, swimming pools lose about a quarter of an inch of water each day through evaporation, yet variations in wind intensity, humidity and sunlight can drastically change water loss rates; so too will backwash wastewater, excessive splash-out during use of pool, and geographic and environmental factors besides those mentioned above.

Leak is maybe the top reason why your pool is losing more water than it should. Many sources of leaks have been located at the threaded connections, which connect the pool pump to the piping system. Repairing this will prevent further damage, as well as save you money on cost of repair, equipment replacement, and down time.

Aside from the threaded connections, a swimming pool leak can also be located in its plumbing system of shell. Pool shells are built watertight. These are constructed with a very strong concrete over a steel-reinforced cage and then coated with plaster (which is made from cement and marble dust aggregate or crushed limestone) which is expected to hold water. However, like any other material, plaster and all naturally wear and tear, subjecting your pool to risk of cracks.

Because swimming pools are considered as top amenities, these also require a lot of care, maintenance and preventive repairs. Pool owners should realize that a leak will not only eventually damage their pool, but cost them big as well in water bill and repair if the damage has become worse.

There are various ways that will help you determine if your pool, indeed, has a leak. You can do it yourself using the bucket test or you can call in experts who should be able to do the job faster and neater.

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