Monday, January 29, 2018

In the (Financial) News

It's been a busy day in financial news...

  • I read this story about Aetna Insurance Company refusing to pay a woman's ER visit bill because her visit wasn't for a serious enough reason however she had no idea if the pain she was feeling was serious (potentially deadly if it had been a ruptured appendix) or not that serious (which is what it turned out to be).  Guess people will now have to guess if their condition is serious or not before deciding to go to the ER  :(
  • Most people (myself included) believe that preventative medical care saves on overall health costs.  Apparently that isn't true.  "In 2009, as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Synthesis Project, Sarah Goodell, Joshua Cohen and Peter Neumann exhaustively explored the evidence. They examined more than 500 peer-reviewed studies that looked at primary (stopping something from happening in the first place) or secondary (stopping something from getting worse) prevention. Of all the interventions they looked at, only two were truly cost-saving: childhood immunizations (a no-brainer) and the counseling of adults on the use of low-dose aspirin. An additional 15 preventive services were cost-effective, meaning that they cost less than $50,000 to $100,000 per quality adjusted life-year gained."  Who knew? 
  • Bank of America is no longer offering free checking.  Years ago, most banks offered free checking but sadly over the years, the number of banks that provide this service has dwindled.  All of our bank accounts are still free (two at credit unions we have used for years and another at a commercial bank which gave us a free checking account because we have our mortgage through them) but this sort of thing can really have a negative impact on poorer people.
  • In weird news today...there is a bill in the California legislature that would fine restaurants $1000 for providing customers straws if they don't ask for one.  Yeesh.
  • I am a big fan of passive income.  Letting the money roll in while you are sleeping is a great concept IMHO.  Here is an article that showed up on my feed reader today on 15 ways to earn passive income.
  • Finally, as I get ready to file our taxes, I came across this tax prep checklist which, if you are new to filing taxes, gives you a checklist of all of the documents you need to gather before sitting down to do your taxes.

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