How Do I Get Insurance if My Employer Does Not Offer it?

For employees who work at a company, where health insurance is not offered as a benefit, there are still ways to purchase private health insurance for you and your family. First off, deciding on the level of coverage you need, depending on the health you are in, any risks you may have (due to family history of illness), and the overall health that the members of your family are in, will help you determine the level of coverage you need. The next thing to consider is looking for the right health insurance companies. There are both nationwide coverage policies, as well as small local family owned health insurance companies. So, choosing the policies, getting quotes, and seeing what levels of coverage each offers, depending on the level of coverage you are seeking, will help you determine which company to go with.

You also have to consider the coverage, what doctors are covered, what hospitals are covered, medications, prescriptions, and all other aspects related to the health insurance policy, when you are choosing a plan. For the most part, smaller companies might be a bit cheaper, but they do not cover the large network of doctors, nor do they offer discounts on medication. So, it may pay off for you to consider a larger, nationwide company, that does cover all doctors, in order for you to have the coverage you need, and still save. Also, when looking at the co pay, it might be beneficial for you to pay a higher co pay, when you do go in to the doctor, in order to find a cheaper policy for your insurance package. Another thing to consider is working with the right health insurance agent. The larger, nationwide companies, are usually going to offer you an agent to help you choose a policy. This will ensure that you are going to get the coverage you need, for the lowest price to you on a monthly basis.

It is possible to find an affordable health insurance policy, for you and your family, even if your employer does not offer coverage. The more willing a purchaser is to do the research, to contact insurance companies, and to take the time to compare rates, the more likely it is that they are going to find that affordable coverage. So, even though it might not be as cheap as if you purchased from a group plan with your employer, it is still very possible to find a plan that you can afford, and which offers you the coverage you need and are looking for, when you are choosing which insurance company to go with, for your health insurance needs, and for those needs of your family.

Banks vs. Credit Unions

Before starting a savings account, making investments, and making your own financial plan, you have one choice to make. Should you put your trust in a bank or a credit union? From the outside, the two financial institutions appear the same. What you do not know, however, could be the difference between becoming a member of a local bank or the local credit union.

Charles Funk, president and chief executive officer of MidWestOne Bank in Iowa City, Iowa delves into the subject.

“From the outside, banks and credit unions look basically the same,” Funk says of the two financial institutions. However, there is one distinct difference. Credit unions were created with the goal and mission to serve the under served. Taking a quick look at how credit unions have grown into a large brand shows how the original goal has been strayed from.

Banks have common stock and shareholders, whereas credit unions have members instead of shareholders. This also means that, unlike banks, credit unions do not pay income taxes. This allows them to use more of the money the collect for profit.

Banks and credit unions both offer similar services, from checking to savings accounts but how they operate on the inside is not as similar as the outside appears.

When it comes down to it, the choice between using a bank or credit union is up to the student. The thing to remember is to check all available options and find the one that works best for you.

Holiday Shopping: The Season Comes Around Again!

It’s that time of the year again, a time when all is good cheer and free spending. It is, of course, a time that retailers look forward to, and for possibly slightly different reasons, shoppers as well. Spending and general expenditure goes up considerably during the holiday period, and the inevitable January slump is almost typically predictable as disposable incomes have had a bite taken out of them by that point.

Holiday Gifts

The question we are attempting to answer, is, what makes for reasonable spending during the holidays? What would be the wise thing to do with regards to one’s budget and finances, while at the same time ensuring that one gets to enjoy the holiday as well?

Before letting the bewildering frenzy of advertising, sales and seemingly amazing store deals get you into buying what you did not necessarily need in the first place, take stock on your situation and think through it carefully. Certain aspects need to be examined:

1. What do you really need, in the medium and long term? You will usually have a list of these items anyway. Are they part of the current sales promotions? Then getting them at discounted prices may be worthwhile.

2. What will actually be needed for the holiday season? Certain items, like gifts and food and drink are a no-brainer, as are decorations (or the children will never forgive you!) but these should be itemized specifically in an itemized list, to avoid impulse spending.

3. What can wait till after the holiday season? There are a number of obvious reasons for this perspective. One is that it will free-up some cash flow so that the sending that is necessary is actually done for the holidays. Another is the inevitable sizable discount process that happens in retail outlets across the country after the holidays are over. It certainly makes budgeting sense to wait until prices sky-dive before deciding to spend on that wide-screen TV you had been hankering after.

4. What can be bought in bulk? A lot of bulk sales actually go on during the holiday season, and these, as well as coupon sales, are often ignored or overshadowed by the retail sales blitz. Soft drinks, clothes, dry food items as well as fresh foods that require cold storage can easily be found at really competitive prices if one bothers to look carefully. And after the last two years, one lesson learnt is that it does pay to be careful with your money.

5. More importantly, holiday requirements rarely change drastically. A plan where you controlled or managed your spending from last year will, with a few alterations, fit into what you have this year, assuming of course, that your income has not fluctuated drastically. Thus, a good spending plan is like a good habit. If it worked the last time round, pull it out, dust it off and give it another go. That will have you actually looking forward to the traditionally lean periods after the holidays.

Most importantly, be wise with your spending, as cautious with your money as you have been all year. The holidays are simply no excuse to let your guard down.

Happy holidays!

What Is Proof of Ownership

There are few things in this world that someone does not own. When I say things I am referring to property, that includes both real property and personal property. Real property is land, water, and the things located on them. Personal property is tangible items that one possess that can be carried about or items that are not related to the land nor sea, or restricted to being used only in a particular location. All real property located in the developed areas of this country has some form of documented ownership by someone or some entity. Some personal property requires documented ownership.

The document that shows proof of ownership for real property is call a deed, or in some cases when the land is used as collateral to secure a loan it will have a deed of trust to show the ownership to the loan holders, and those paying the loan. Personal property that require or offer documentation of ownership is noted by a title.

Real property is either owned by individuals, corporations, or the government, either local, state, or federal. Records are kept in the local court houses that show ownership of land. The owner of the land should also be in possession of a copy of the deed to any land they own. These records are public, and not private.

Personal property that require a title to it is also owned by individuals, corporations, or the government, be it local, state, or federal. Since most personal property that require titles are vehicles, mobile homes, or trailers, the title for this property is located in the local Division of Motor Vehicles. If personal property is used to secure a loan the title will have listed on it that their is a lien against it. Once the lien is satisfied, the lien will be removed and the title will show no liens. The title to personal property is held by a public entity, but is not made accessible to the public as easily, and as readily as a deed is. If one desire to find out about a title, in some case a freedom of information act request may have to be submitted and approved. Of course the police departments have easy access to this information, and sometimes they will share it with individuals they deem to have a need to know.

There are two ways to obtain a deed and a title. The first way to obtain a deed is by homestead, that is done by claiming land that has never been deeded to anyone. The second way to obtain a deed is by transfer, that is to receive it from a previous owner. The first way to obtain a title is by being the original owner to possess a brand new car, trailer, mobile home or the like. The title will indicate that you are the original owner. The second way to obtain a title is by transfer from a previous owner. So by title or deed, one is designated as the owner of property.