New Survey Shows 81 Percent of Americans Trust Their Primary Financial Institution, Despite Current Economy
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) March 9, 2009
Global market research firm Synovate today released results showing that while Americans’ economic fears continue, there are some institutions they still trust, particularly their own primary bank, credit unions and community banks.
To gauge how Americans are feeling about their money in the current economy, Synovate asked 1,000 people about their attitudes towards their personal financial situation; their biggest financial fears; which financial activities they plan to start or stop in the next six months; and where they get their financial information.
More than half (57%) of respondents believe the economy will continue to get worse before it gets better while one-third think the economy has already hit rock bottom but that recovery will take more than a year. Even though the Dow Jones Industrial Index closed at a low 7,366 on the day of the survey (February 23), respondents predicted that the Dow will be even lower – their answers averaged 6,922 – six months from now. Their predictions have already come true, with the Dow closing at 6,626 on March 6.
“When 90% of the US population believes it will take at least a year for things to turn around, a short term solution to our economic woes does not look like it’s anywhere on the horizon,” said Claire Braverman, Senior Vice President and head of Synovate’s Financial Services Group in North America. “If consumers are that negative about the future, there is little chance they will voluntarily take the necessary steps to jump start the economy by spending. They will need incentives to do so.”
Not surprisingly, consumers have little faith in financial institutions, particularly mortgage lenders and brokerage / investment firms. Around three quarters of the survey respondents said that they have little or no trust in these types of companies.
And yet, there is a bright spot. At the micro level, consumers do overwhelmingly trust their own primary bank, regardless of the type of institution it is (81%). They also trust credit unions (71%) and community banks (68%).
“Financial institutions that can maintain trust and loyalty through this economic crisis will be the ones still standing when the economy recovers,” said Elliot Savitzky, Vice President of Synovate’s Financial Services Group. “Consumers don’t even trust professional advisors to give them advice on their investments – 64% say they have little or no trust in them – and more people say they prefer to turn to a family member, friend or colleague (32%) versus a professional (25%) for financial advice.”
When asked what individual Americans can do, if anything, to help the economy get back on track, respondents said ‘buy American made products’ (47%) and ‘cut spending and increase savings’ (29%). A more gloomy one-third (32%) said there’s nothing individuals can do – that it’s up to the government or Corporate America to get the economy back on track.
People are obviously fearful about their own personal economic situations. Interestingly, the number one concern (59%) is that they will not have enough money for an emergency, followed by losing money on their investments (38%), losing their jobs (37%) and not being able to pay the rent or mortgage (35%).
Fifty-one percent also say they’re worse off financially than they were a year ago while only 14% say they’re doing better financially now.
In order to address their fears, over the next six months people are planning to hedge their bets by either looking for another / better job (31%) or cutting their spending. Additionally:
19% say they will increase their emergency cash reserves
18% will close a credit card account
17% expect to pull from their emergency cash reserves
16% plan to switch to safer investments
“Some individuals are risking the security of their future for short term savings,” said Savitzky. “They’re cutting their retirement contributions, taking money out of retirement savings, or stopping payment on their life insurance premiums and long term care insurance. They think these things are ‘nice to haves’ rather than ‘need to haves’ at this critical juncture and are adjusting their budgets accordingly.”
About one quarter of consumers (24%) don’t know what to do with their finances or feel paralyzed by the crisis so they don’t plan to do anything differently over the next six months.
The survey was conducted by Synovate’s Financial Services Group via the company’s Omnibus service with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults ages 18+ in the US on February 23, 2009.
Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 6,000 staff across 62 countries.
For more information on Synovate visit http://www.synovate.com.
Snoqualmie, WA (PRWEB) March 10, 2009
The foundation of Quick Medical’s success can be attributed to their knowledgeable sales staff and aggressive marketing campaigns. In a time when companies are cutting back on sales staff and reducing marketing efforts, Quick Medical continues to fund aggressive sales and marketing promotions.
“In good or bad economic times, our focus at Quick Medical has been to expand our product lines, increase our marketing and co-marketing effort, build long-term customer relationships, and sell outside of our comfort zone,” said Scott Hanna, CEO at Quick Medical. “When the economy began to stumble, we increased our sales and marketing efforts to our premier customers and made extra efforts to reach medical facilities, universities and government entities. We have always been proactive versus reactive to the economic environment.”
Quick Medical prides itself in having a strong and knowledgeable sales force that recognizes the contribution they are making and what they can do to improve a customer’s quality of life. Sales representatives spend most of their business day processing internet orders, consulting with new customers, hospital personnel, physicians, health-care executives, clinics, and focusing on increasing the visibility of Quick Medical’s products, services, and purchasing opportunities. With all the new technology and advances in medical products and devices, the sales representatives have an ongoing job of educating and informing customers.
“From the very beginning, our marketing department was tasked with finding out what products and services the customer needs right now and why having us immediately fill that need saves them money,” said Mr. Hanna. “Finally, our employees understand that we need to work harder and longer during this economic slowdown if we want to continue to grow the company and remain profitable well into the future.” Mr. Hanna went on to say, “For a company to grow it must consistently produce highly qualified (sales) prospects without relying on outside sources. During an economic slowdown companies can’t afford to waste time and money on questionable customers. What’s needed are the simple sales and marketing activities that a dedicated staff can use to produce revenue; it’s all about creating customer value.”
As a national distributor of medical supplies and medical equipment since 1993, Quick Medical has been experiencing strong sales growth. By adding a number of new product lines such as Smart Caregiver PDI in 2008, Quick Medical provides added value to their existing services while meeting ongoing customer requests for new products that will increase distribution channels and reduce cost.
“Although the medical industry continues to remain strong with the constant and increasing need for health-care goods and services, the number of new on-line medical supply companies continues to grow. Profit margins are lower and the cost of providing top quality customer care is on the rise,” said Bobby Beaulieu, IT Director at Quick Medical. “We made the decision a number of years ago that we would aggressively pursue new business opportunities and build a satisfied but more importantly loyal customer following”. Mr. Beaulieu concluded, “I believe that through our past hard work, an aggressive web marketing campaign, and by adhering to fundamental sales and marketing concepts, Quick Medical will continue to grow and make it through this economic storm.”
About Quick Medical:
Quick Medical is a Medical Supply Store offering a large selection of medical equipment and medical supplies. Established in 1993, they currently offer over fifteen thousand medical products. In addition, Quick Medical offers a large selection of medical equipment and medical supplies. They are an authorized distributor forTanita scales, Detecto, Health O Meter, Brewer Medical equipment, Clinton Industries, Burton Medical Lighting, and many others. They also provide the widest variety of medical scales available on the Internet. Quick Medical has a large selection of health and fitness products, medical furniture, medical cabinets, medical casework, medical exam tables, medical lighting, x-ray equipment, and physical therapy products.
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GI Solutions Group Extends Print and Communications Solutions for Central and Local Government, Health Services, Education, Emergency Services and Other Public Service Sectors
London, UK (PRWEB) March 14, 2009
The drive for efficiency in the public services continues to mount. However, in some areas of the public sector quick and easy wins for organisations looking to save money are being ignored. In order to help public service organisations take advantage of cost saving processes, communications specialist GI Solutions Group (http://www.gi-solutionsgroup.com) has extended its portfolio of services for the public sector to help achieve substantial efficiencies in the area of print, mail and electoral services.
Spend on printed output – forms, advice leaflets, statutory letters, annual reports committee papers etc. – can easily be reduced by re-engineering printed documents and re-organising mail output.
Patrick Headley, Sales Director, comments: “This efficiency gain comes from two main sources. First, centralisation of print in an industrial strength facility has a major impact on cost-per-print. The second factor comprises an expert audit and redesign of what is printed, when, and how. The natural instinct of most organisations is not to plan output sufficiently in advance. Yet at least 70% of documentation output can be planned well ahead of its actual usage. In addition, the balance between bulk pre-printing and print-on-demand is also an area that can yield very substantial dividends by reducing wastage of out of date materials.”
Mail consolidation and discounting
The vast majority of mail coming out of the public sector is ad hoc post, which is sent without attracting the kind of postal discounts obtainable with bulk mail. Unity, a virtual mail system, can save public sector and not-for-profit organisations up to 70% on the cost of sending their communications by post, enabling savings to be reinvested into front line services. The system allows companies to send their post via the internet directly to the Unity production facility in Leicester, where the mail is digitally printed, folded and stuffed into envelopes and then sorted, before being transported ‘down stream’ to Royal Mail.
High security electoral services
Finally, GI Solutions Group (http://www.gi-solutionsgroup.com) is in a position to offer any electoral process the double assurance of tried and tested print and mail facilities, in combination with a long track record in electoral services.
Security is always the key factor. In a secure ISO 27001 environment, with the most advanced closed loop integrity controlled by 2D barcode technology, GI Solutions Group produces time critical, high volume ballot papers for presidential, parliamentary, local and postal elections.
Notes for Editors:
About GI Direct
From short run digital printing to high volume direct mail work, GI Direct delivers personalised mail and direct marketing communications that stand out on a crowded doormat. Our work is designed and executed to deliver maximum impact on the doormat, build brands and improve response rates and bottom line performance.
Our in-house manufacturing capabilities include digital, continuous and inline scitex personalisation. GI Direct can control every part of the production process, from concept to design and pre-press through to printing and enclosing.
The company, whose clients include blue chip companies (particularly in the financial and retail sectors and 34 of the top 100 mailers in the UK) is the first choice for socially responsible printing and is committed to reducing the impact of our activities on the local community and wider environment. Our Carbon Neutral status works in conjunction with our ISO 14001 and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditations to demonstrate commitment to making a difference in terms of our impact on the global environment.
GI Direct is part of the GI Solutions Group, a leading integrated direct marketing and multi-channel customer communications provider, employing 165 highly skilled people and generating sales of
Worcester, UK (PRWEB) March 15, 2009
Npower has commissioned a new white paper which reveals that businesses that make emissions reduction a board level priority can reap the rewards of a low carbon Britain.
The newly published white paper, UK Climate Policy for Business, was commissioned by npower (http://www.npower.com/businessenergy ) from the London School of Economics.
The white paper comes on the back of research from npower (http://www.npower.com ), which revealed that many businesses are concerned that Government regulation to reduce carbon emissions will make the UK uncompetitive and add more cost than benefits.
To address this concern and to stress the potential financial reward of emission reduction, the white paper (http://www.npower.com/businessenergy ) provides a guide to the UK’s emission reduction regulations and gives advice on the actions businesses need to undertake to succeed in a low carbon Britain. It also underlines that early adopters will be in the driving seat to make the most of a smaller carbon footprint.
The white paper (http://www.npower.com/businessenergy ) stresses that the new regulatory instruments will not be without their complexities and that firms will have to learn new skills to ensure compliance with the rules, but that those that can do this early will be best placed to take advantage of the opportunities that might arise. It states carbon policy is specifically designed to reward firms that spot opportunities to reduce emissions, cut costs and adopt low-carbon processes.
“Reducing a firm’s carbon footprint can be a challenge, but the measures needed are often cash-flow positive, with investments recouped in a short period of time,” says Dr Samuel Fankhauser, author of the paper, principal research fellow at the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and a member of the Committee on Climate Change.
“Reducing a carbon footprint is all about sound management and success will be determined by the priority businesses attach to emission reduction. Research has shown that well-managed firms tend to use less energy per unit of output than less well-run firms and are therefore better placed to succeed,” he adds.
David Titterton head of business development within energy services at npower adds: “Our aim in commissioning the white paper is to help businesses understand the current regulatory framework and point to the benefits firms can enjoy if they position emission reduction as central to their business goals. By doing so, we hope to ease the concerns that businesses clearly have.
“We understand that these are challenging times for businesses and many are focused on cost saving. Putting in place an energy management programme to reduce consumption can help manage costs, while also reducing emissions. Businesses doing this will be better placed to operate under the UK’s climate change policies and succeed in a Low Carbon Economy.”
The White Paper, UK Climate Policy for Business, can be downloaded at http://www.npower.com/businessenergy
npower is one of the top energy suppliers to the UK business market, serving over 230,000 small to medium sized enterprise sites and around 15,000 industrial and commercial customers, with over 100,000 sites.
npower is dedicated to helping UK businesses use energy more efficiently and therefore spend less money on their bills. We aim to have a positive impact on the communities we serve and reduce our customers’ carbon footprint whilst always improving our service to our customers.
npower specialises in risk management solutions, including market-leading flexible energy purchasing, energy efficiency, and broader energy management functions, tailored to every size of business.
npower customers include BT, Wembley Stadium plc, AstraZeneca and Sainsbury’s
01905 340 876
Chantilly, VA (PRWEB) March 16, 2009
Today PC Recycler, a nationally-recognized data destruction and computer recycling firm for government and businesses, announced its award of contract by the General Services Administration (GSA), the procurement arm of the United States Federal government. The contract was granted under a multiple award schedule 36 to cover offsite and onsite hard drive shredding, tape, disk and cell phone shredding, and degaussing services for the Federal Government. Under schedule 36 SIN 51 507, $ 5.7 million dollars were spent in budget year 2008.
PC Recycler’s data destruction services have become the best solution for sensitive information because the chain of custody is eliminated and detailed documentation is provided. Using a 4000lb dual-shaft shredder, PC Recycler has the capacity of shredding 1000lbs of metal or 500 standard hard drives per hour. The shredder was retrofitted into a 26-foot box truck with its own power supply making it fast, quiet and unobtrusive to the environment where the work is being done. The destruction process can also include degaussing services to ensure a customer’s complete compliancy with all government regulations for destroying classified and top secret data according to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), NSA (National Security Agency) and DoD (Department of Defense) standards.
Along with a state of the art destruction process, PC Recycler has developed a proprietary method for recording all auditable information from the data storage devices before they are destroyed. Data security may require agencies and businesses to retain verifiable proof that these services were performed. Each storage device has serial number information and certain specifications. PC Recycler has the ability to capture each unit’s information using portable data collectors. This information is used to generate a detailed inventory and documentation that an agency can use in a future audit situation.
Every year, the Federal government spends billions of dollars on information technology infrastructure and even more is spent trying to protect that infrastructure. As IT assets are refreshed, very little time, resources or money is used to properly deal with and dispose of the old ones. Some agencies may resort to just storing the old devices because of the lack of service providers.
Jeremy Farber, President of PC Recycler, Inc., remarks, “This is yet another major milestone for our company as it solidifies our position as a leading data destruction service provider in the government marketplace. We continue to be on the cutting edge of destruction technology. Our customers have asked us to become experts in data destruction and now we can provide them with the absolute best solutions. This contract from the federal government exemplifies the knowledge and technology that frame our capabilities.”
About PC Recycler
Based in Chantilly, Va., PC Recycler has provided computer recycling and data destruction services to corporations, government agencies and private institutions for eight years. We maintain a 100% zero export policy and our data destruction services meet the standards of NIST, NSA, DOD, and other applicable laws. http://www.pcrecycler.net
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Framingham, MA (PRWEB) March 17, 2009
In today’s challenging economic climate, more and more companies are being pressed to find ways to reduce costs and maximize staff efficiencies. With telecom costs topping the list of corporate expenses, many executives are turning to telecom cost reduction strategies to find immediate ways to drive down costs. As a result, AnchorPoint, the leading provider of integrated Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solutions, has seen an increase in customer requests for telecom audit services as part of their overall telecom cost reduction initiatives.
AnchorPoint’s Audit Services offer several options for kick-starting cost containment, including a one-time historical audit of telecom vendor bills and several contract negotiation services. In addition to recovering money from prior vendor billing errors and identifying competitive rates for services, AnchorPoint’s consultants also use the AnchorPoint award-winning software to identify and isolate cost avoidance opportunities that go beyond vendor billing errors.
AnchorPoint’s Audit Services programs are designed to maximize past and future savings and offer the foundation for on-going TEM lifecycle management. They guarantee that clients maximize their savings by understanding their current services and billings and ensuring they are paying the most competitive rates for only the services they need.
“Many companies find that the immediate savings from a telecom audit is the first step in a comprehensive spend management strategy,” said John Venditti, Vice President, Consulting Practice. “Generally initial savings are found through incorrect vendor billings, but by going beyond that low hanging fruit and analyzing services and spend trends, a company can reduce or eliminate unnecessary forward looking expenses as well as recovery past billing errors. A typical telecom audit of voice, data, and wireless services can generate 5 to 15 percent savings in just a few months.”
John continued, “Let’s consider a company with five million dollars in annual telecom spend. Through an audit, that company can realize $ 250,000 to $ 750,000 in real savings. These real dollars immediately improve the bottom line and can help protect an already reduced budget from other cost cutting measures.”
AnchorPoint’s Quick Wins & Sustained SavingsSM programs offer Audit and TEM Services to help identify immediate savings opportunities as well as options for long-term expense management strategies. AnchorPoint is a division of MTS – Mer Telemanagement Solutions Ltd. (Nasdaq: MTSL), a global provider of Telecom Expense management solutions and customer care & billing (CC&B) solutions.
AnchorPoint audit engagements can be contracted as a standalone service or as part of a comprehensive TEM engagement that also includes automating the ongoing management of telecom costs. For more on AnchorPoint Quick Wins & Sustained SavingsSM programs please visit AnchorPoint Quick Wins.
AnchorPoint (http://www.AnchorPoint.com) is a leading provider of Telecom Expense Management Solutions that enable enterprises to gain visibility and control of strategic assets that drive key business processes and crucial competitive advantage. The company’s award-winning software, consulting and managed services solutions – including integrated Invoice, Asset, and Usage Management and Business Analytics tools — provide professionals at every level of the organization with rapid access to concise, actionable data. Armed with this knowledge, they can make smart operational and financial decisions that maximize the performance of core assets and services. From reducing costs and optimizing resources for superior ROI; from allocating budgets to ensuring regulatory compliance; from purchasing to payment; and everything in between, global leaders rely on AnchorPoint for absolute control over bottom line results.
AnchorPoint is a division of MTS – Mer Telemanagement Solutions Ltd. (Nasdaq: MTSL), a global provider of Telecom Expense Management (TEM) for comprehensive telecommunication management and Customer Care & Billing (CC&B) solutions. Headquartered in Israel, MTS markets its solutions through wholly owned subsidiaries in the United States, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, and Brazil, as well as through OEM partnerships with NEC, Siemens, Phillips and other vendors. MTS shares are traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market (symbol MTSL). For more information please visit the MTS web site: http://www.mtsint.com.
Certain matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, risks in product development plans and schedules, rapid technological change, changes and delays in product approval and introduction, customer acceptance of new products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, market acceptance, the lengthy sales cycle, proprietary rights of the Company and its competitors, risk of operations in Israel, government regulations, dependence on third parties to manufacture products, general economic conditions and other risk factors detailed in the Company’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Sonya Dakar Announces Launch of Beauty Boot Camp Supplement Collection Where Beauty Always Starts From The Inside
Los Angeles (PRWEB) March 23, 2009
Sonya Dakar’s Beauty Boot Camp Collection will be launching May 2009. The exclusive, FDA approved line of supplements will achieve full body health, vitality and harmony. The collection has extraordinary and proven standout results compared to others. These benefits include HIGH bio-availability, allowing the body to absorb nutrients immediately, as well as superior quality and purity control. The four breakthrough formulas offer the best effectiveness and nutritional support inside and out.
Sonya Dakar, creator and founder of Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic in Beverly Hills, has always taught her philosophy that beautiful skin starts with a healthy body. She is pleased to finally be offering her long time and new clients a way to achieve beautiful skin inside and out. For years clients have found essential nutrients in her signature skin products such as Omega 3 Repair Complex – great for anti-aging and Vitamin A in her Retinol Renewal helping reduce fine lines, discoloration and acne.
The Beauty Boot Camp Vitamin Collection are so pure that they are FDA approved in the Unites States, Canada and Australia. This is something that most supplement companies do not do, because this industry is not regulated by the FDA. “I was shocked to find out that the government does not regulate an industry that is so crucial to our health and well being.its scary to think that we all trust the integrity and quality of supplement just because thy are sitting on our health food store shelves,” says Dakar. Her Beauty Boot Camp supplement collection is made up of the purest and safest ingredients that have proven benefits. Spending over $ 1,000,000 annually to make sure customers get what they are paying for has been paramount to Sonya Dakar. Each formula undergoes extensive review by experts to ensure that they reflect the latest in nutritional science by both internal and third-party studies.
“Our manufacturing facility is certified for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) by the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA) and NSF International. Very few companies apply for these certifications or meet the rigorous guidelines that ensure uncompromising quality in the nutritional products you buy. We conduct extra testing on products with ingredients that are especially sensitive or perishable,” said Sonya Dakar.
The Sonya Dakar Beauty Boot Camp Collection Includes:
Ideal to benefit age-control and breakouts, and overall health
A four pack formula that contains: Omega 3, Vitamin E, Multi Vitamin- magnesium, b-vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, anti oxidants and minerals. Which support energy levels, healthy hormone balance and metabolism to help maintain a positive mood, promote cardiovascular health, maintain healthy bone density and provides a healthy immune system. $ 98 one month supply of am and pm vitamins.
Herndon, VA (PRWEB) March 24, 2009
VISTA Technology Services, Inc. (VISTAtsi) announced today that it has been named as a finalist in the 2009 Helios HR Apollo Awards. The Apollo Awards, presented by Helios HR, recognizes Washington-area organizations that promote employee development.
“We had a tremendous increase in nominations this year, ” said Kathy Albarado, President & CEO of Helios HR. “This growth illustrates that even during these tough economic times companies remain dedicated to creating an environment where employees are given the opportunity to learn and develop. We congratulate all of the finalists on their achievement.”
This award honors organizations of all sizes that show marked success in developing an ongoing culture of employee support and development. This includes creating development opportunities for employees, providing the resources for managers and employees to participate in a robust performance management program as well as the quantifiable impact of their employee development initiatives on the organization.
“We are humbled and grateful that Helios HR recognized us as a finalist for the 2009 Apollo Awards,” remarked President & CEO, David B. Baxa. “At VISTAtsi, we remain dedicated to the development of our employees. It is our commitment to continually foster a learning environment that provides each employee the opportunity to continuously grow beyond their current capabilities. It is not only our obligation to our employees- it’s also our commitment to our customers. Our customers have come to expect professional excellence as a hallmark of the VISTAtsi brand. We view it as critical to our continued success as a vibrant growing organization.”
Award finalists and winners will be recognized at a breakfast ceremony on June 5, 2009 from 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, Virginia. Best practices in employee development will also be shared at the event. Program sponsors include: Jackson Lewis, The Potomac Companies, Foster, Soltoff & Love, Albo & Oblon, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), Market Connections, Hinge, CSI, SpeakerBox, the Washington chapter of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), NOVA SHRM, Dulles SHRM and Human Resource Association of the National Capital Area.
A complete list of finalists may be viewed at http://www.helioshr.com/Apollo-Awards.php.
VISTAtsi is an employee-owned real property and asset management consultancy specializing in decision support analytics.
Executives use VISTAtsi for information technology, management consulting, decision support systems and services. Our focus on real property helps our clients gain the greatest value from money they spend on buildings, land and infrastructure. We collect and analyze massive volumes of data. The result is high quality financial performance information that makes it easier to plan and implement effective policy, management, resource stewardship, and budget choices.
VISTAtsi builds better decision support. We help customers evolve best practices, consistent reporting and performance measures, all related to the best use of assets while managing costs.
For more than 25 years, VISTAtsi’s solutions have helped government run better – cutting costs, eliminating waste and improving performance.
Results matter. Expect more. Choose VISTAtsi.
To learn more, visit http://www.vistatsi.com.
About Helios HR
Helios HR provides outsourced HR services that optimize your workforce and HR operations. With Helios, you’ll gain a strategic business partner focused on your company’s culture, growth, strategy and budget. For more information visit us at http://www.helioshr.com.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) March 26, 2009
With new COBRA legislation passed and unemployment numbers continuing to rise, consumers are searching for answers about COBRA benefits and the new stimulus package. The new COBRA subsidy, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), seeks to temporarily alleviate the high cost of maintaining an employer-provided health insurance plan through COBRA. For a period of nine months, the COBRA subsidy will cover 65% of a consumer’s COBRA premium costs, with only 35% coming out-of-pocket for a consumer. This recent change has prompted Americans to search for information and answers around the legislation, COBRA and what the best health insurance options are for individual and family needs.
A new website, COBRA-Answers.com, provides consumers a resource into the changes of COBRA’s continuation of health coverage. COBRA-Answers.com offers consumers an overview of the history on COBRA as well as up-to-the-minute news and research on the recent legislation. The website currently offers a free download of an in-depth consumer guide to COBRA, including the recent COBRA legislation and what it means for Americans without health coverage. COBRA-Answers.com gives consumers a clear look at COBRA costs versus those of private health insurance plans and ultimately helps them decide which healthcare solution is best for them. The site is updated frequently with the most recent COBRA news, research, and consumer responses to the changing COBRA landscape.
Consumers Searching for Key COBRA Information in an Accessible Format
Unemployment rates have continued to skyrocket as the United States sinks further into recession. According to the United States Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in the United States increased by 851,000 in February 2009 to reach a total of 12.5 million. During the past year the unemployment rate has grown by 5 million, rising a total of 3.3% to the current unemployment rate of 8.1%. With the recent legislature passed affecting COBRA and continuing health insurance, it can be difficult to find a simple, clear explanation of COBRA and how it affects the lives of Americans. With so many individuals struggling with losing their jobs and worrying about maintaining their health care, having a clear-cut understanding of health insurance options is crucial.
COBRA-Answers.com seeks to provide answers to the most commonly asked questions about COBRA’s continuation of health insurance. The website offers consumers helpful and detailed charts outlining price comparison of COBRA versus traditional purchased health insurance plans. It will offer helpful tips for consumers trying to save money in the current economy and gives a clear scope of the unemployment situation and statistics in the United States.
Changes in COBRA Affecting Consumer Insurance Decisions
The ARRA was passed in February 2009 by the Obama administration and made significant changes in COBRA’s continuation of health insurance coverage. It is vital for consumers to understand how this new legislature affects their health insurance choices. The ARRA will cover 65% of COBRA costs for the recently unemployed for 9 months. This 65% is first paid by an individual’s former employer, who is then reimbursed by the government. This coverage only applies to those who were terminated involuntarily, so those who quit their jobs would not be eligible. Terminated employees who previously declined COBRA coverage back to September 1, 2008, can reconsider and take advantage of this new subsidy.
COBRA May Be Unrealistic and Expensive for Consumers
Is this new legislature enough to make COBRA affordable for the recently unemployed? According to a report released in January by the non-profit group Families USA, the average unemployment income for both an individual and a family is $ 1,278 per month. The cost of one month’s COBRA premium for a family is $ 1,069. This indicates that 83.6% of a family’s unemployment check is being spent on continuing health insurance, leaving little left for other expenditures such as a mortgage or rent, food and other bills. An individual spends less per month on a COBRA premium, averaging $ 388, or 30.4% of their monthly unemployment income. This new COBRA subsidy would help reduce costs for families and individuals by cutting costs up to 1/3, but for less than a year. While this subsidy may help in the interim, securing a job in the 9-month time frame might not be realistic given the struggling economy and rising unemployment . Many privately purchased health insurance plans can average around $ 218 a month, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. This is less than one would be paying with the subsidy for COBRA coverage, and the cost of the premium wouldn’t skyrocket after a 9-month period. COBRA’s new subsidy might appear attractive, but if consumers are interested in protecting themselves and their family for the long run, it is important to consider all available options.
COBRA-Answers.com is a new website whose goal is to provide consumers with continuously updated information on COBRA health insurance options and alternatives. Consumers seeking COBRA information and health insurance quotes can enter their information and within minutes have an accurate quote provided based on their health history and profile. The site provides accurate and easily understood information about the recent changes on COBRA legislation, enabling consumers to feel confident in making informed decisions about their health insurance options. COBRA-Answers.com offers heavily researched statistics and trends for both COBRA continuation of health coverage and private health insurance plans, effectively establishing itself as a one-stop-shop for information about COBRA and COBRA alternatives.
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New Delhi, India (PRWEB) March 28, 2009 –
Love Humanity International (LHI) and Pentagon Press (PP) together launched the book, Common Sense Parenting, in English nationally and in Hindi nationally and internationally from Nehru Memorial Museum & Library – Teen Murti House on March 26th. Other CSP course materials in both languages were also launched by other distinguished guests.
Chief Guest, Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Director of Aditya Birla Group, launched the Hindi book ‘Lalan Palan Samanya Bodh’ authored by Ray Burke, Ph.D. and Ron Herron from the USA and translated to Hindi by Mr. Valji Bagda.
Birla said, “Common Sense Parenting comes at an opportune time. It is heartening to find that it relies heavily on emotional bonding between parents and children, on working with a warm heart, a cool head, a strong sense of values and a firm hand on discipline, which is defined as teaching. It is a blue print for parenting and cuts across cultures and geographies. The techniques, even as they are simple, contain much wisdom. I am sure following this book will help create for today’s children a better tomorrow, on a foundation of happy families.”
Louise Anita Williams, Founder and Managing Trustee of LHI, gave the history of CSP of how it was developed by Girls and Boys Town in Omaha Nebraska in the USA and spoke about the skills taught in the course patterned after the book.
The launch began with the reading by Mr. D. R. Kaarthikeyan of a message from Anandmurti Gurumaa where she said, “Every parent should be trained, well-equipped to live their life in a better and balanced manner. The mother has to learn to be a mother; the father has to learn to be a fatherBeing a parent can become wondrous, when you are already happy with yourself, when you are not seeking something from anyone, when you are fully settled in your own being or have begun your journey towards thatI sincerely hope that through the medium of Common Sense Parenting the above is achieved and an effort in this direction is initiated.”
President of Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Panna Choudhury, while launching the CSP book in English emphasized that a parenting course is the need of the hour in India.
Dr. A.K. Gulati, a child specialist in New Delhi, launched the CSP training manual in English and then stated, “Parents generally do not spend more than 8 minutes at a time in a pediatrician’s office and 70% of the questions are related to parenting. Therefore this childcare course is a basic need for a family, resulting in a better society.”
Director of Pediatrics of Max Institute of Pediatrics, New Delhi, Dr. Anurag Krishna, launched the Hindi Training Manual ‘Lalan Palan Samaya Bodh’ and said, “Today I see a birth of a subspecialty in Pediatrics from this course. I take this opportunity for the Institute that I represent of getting into a partnership with LHI where we use this resource material to initiate the larger body of pediatricians to this subspecialty so that they become beacons for disseminating the message of parenting to their colleagues and also to enhance the virtues of parenting to the parents of their clients.”
The English training film was launched by, Dr. Jagannath Pati, Deputy Director, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. He spoke saying, “I have gone through the course and we at CARA have seen children’s homes very closely and we find that this kind of course is needed and I am going to strongly recommend the book and course to our social workers and other stakeholders.”
Mr. Sonykutty George, Project Officer, Child Protection Section, UNICEF, launched the Hindi training film after which he said, “I am most concerned about what is happening to the children in India today and it is now time for a second freedom struggle. The values of non-violence and the values of assertive behavior can make tangible changes in the lives of childrenI now commit myself and UNICEF for the second struggle of freedom where children are free of fear from parents, teachers and childcare providers.”
At the end of launching the books and course materials, Mr. Valji Bagda, Trustee and Managing Director, LHI, was felicitated by Birla for his outstanding work in translating the book and other course materials.
Bagda said, “I have committed myself to LHI due to the dedication, commitment and selfless service of Williams for the children in India.” Bagda further shared there is a huge need for training materials to bring positive change in the prevailing situation of child abuse in India.
Vote of Thanks was given by Mr. Rajan Arya, Managing Director, PP.
Love Humanity International, a charitable trust, has a mission to strengthen families and to empower children so they may grow up to be self-reliant and effect positive change in India and the world. LHI works with adults as well as children and now appeals to the people of India to come forward and participate together to achieve this goal for a better future of India and the world.
Louise Anita Williams
Founder, Managing Trustee
Love Humanity International