Browsing Category: "Financial Press Release"

People with Disabilities Awaiting Medicare Coverage Need to Know Health Options, Allsup Says

Thursday, September 25th, 2008 | Financial Press Release

With Medicare more than 24 months away, individuals need to secure interim healthcare support ranging from COBRA to drug assistance programs

Belleville, Ill. (Vocus/PRWEB ) September 17, 2008 -- About 46 million Americans went without health insurance coverage some time during 2007. The impact of not having healthcare coverage can be even more pronounced for the millions of individuals with disabilities.

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However, according to Allsup, a leading provider of Social Security disability, financial and healthcare-related services to people with disabilities, there are options if individuals understand the Social Security disability process and know where to look for support.

People awarded Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits eventually do become eligible for healthcare coverage under Medicare. However, Medicare is available to most individuals only 24 months after qualifying for SSDI benefits. In reality, the time frame is even longer because SSDI benefits are not available until five full months after the onset of disability.

During the interim years, a number of medical services may be required to treat an individual's disability and ensure he and his dependents are receiving necessary care. Additionally, simply getting through the SSDI application process requires furnishing the Social Security Administration with up-to-date medical records based on recent medical examinations.

"If you have a chronic disability that has forced you to stop working, you cannot afford to be without resources to help you minimize your healthcare costs and ensure your access to needed healthcare services," said Paul Gada, Allsup's personal financial planning director.

There are a number of options for people awaiting Medicare eligibility, and details are available through Allsup's free Financial Matters personal finance portal. In particular, Gada notes COBRA or other private insurance; drug assistance programs or switching to generic drugs; and learning to negotiate healthcare costs.

Weighing COBRA Costs and Benefits

Someone who has lost a job because of a permanent disability can elect to continue using their former employer's group health plan through COBRA coverage. Employers who sponsor a group health plan with 20 or more employees are subject to COBRA, which allows former employees, their spouses and children to maintain coverage under the employer's health plan for 18 months of continuation coverage after they leave the organization. This can be extended for 11 additional months if the former employee is determined by the Social Security Administration to be disabled within the first 60 days of COBRA continuation coverage.

The downside of COBRA coverage is cost. Former employees' premiums are not offset by the employer as they often are for existing employees. This means that the premium for the first 18 months of COBRA can cost up to 102 percent of the plan cost for those still employed. The rate also can rise as high as 150 percent for the 11-month disability extension period.

Even so, COBRA coverage generally is less expensive than getting comparable individual private health coverage. In addition, if a person is continuing coverage when taking COBRA, he does not have to fear that pre-existing conditions won't be covered.

"If at all possible, you do not want to go without health insurance," said Gada, adding that if COBRA or private health insurance is not possible, individuals should investigate government programs, such as Medicaid, veterans assistance benefits, or state and local health services that provide health insurance coverage on a needs basis.

Learning about Drug Assistance Programs and Generic Drugs

People who can't afford their medications may lower their doses or simply stop taking the medications. However, many drug companies and many states have programs that offer lower income individuals help in covering drug costs. Eligibility varies by manufacturer and from state to state. Allsup's Financial Matters offers links to resources for identifying specific drug assistance programs and state pharmaceutical assistance programs.

Switching to generic drugs also is worth investigating and can provide a 50 to 70 percent savings, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While generic drugs have the same active ingredients as their brand-name counterparts, the inactive ingredients can differ. Therefore, it's important for individuals to ask their doctor first if using a generic drug is an option.

Negotiating Healthcare Costs

Most individuals are reluctant to ask about medical costs - let alone try to get a healthcare provider to reduce the cost. Yet, this can yield results. Keep in mind that most providers are not getting paid their established fees by insurance companies. They are being reimbursed at a lower rate.

Gada encourages people to do their homework: know how much is going to be charged and then ask for a better price. Consumers should ask providers about reduced rates for procedures, and the availability of free financing or extended payment options. They also may want to shop around. For example, is there another hospital where they can get the same level of care at a lower cost?

Many health providers also honor health discount programs, which can offer 10 to 50 percent savings on various health services and healthcare-related products.

"It doesn't cost anything to ask, but it can cost a lot if you don't ask," said Gada. "When you have high healthcare costs and limited income, which is often the case for individuals with disabilities awaiting Medicare, you're really cheating yourself by keeping quiet."

About Allsup

Allsup, Belleville, Ill., is a leading nationwide provider of financial and healthcare-related services to people with disabilities. Founded in 1984, Allsup has helped more than 100,000 people receive their entitled Social Security Disability Insurance or Medicare benefits. Allsup employs about 500 professionals who deliver services directly to consumers and their families, or through their employers and long-term disability insurance carriers. For more information, visit www.Allsup.com.

Contact:
Mary Jung         
(773) 429-0940      
mtjung @ msn.com      

Dan Allsup
(800) 854-1418 ext 5760
djallsup @ allsupinc.com

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New Book Offers Distressed Homeowners Advice for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams

Thursday, September 25th, 2008 | Financial Press Release

Veteran housing counselors offer consumers information about how to overcome foreclosure, work with lenders, avoid foreclosure scams and more in the new book The American Nightmare. Free downloadable excerpts are now available at http://www.nahrep.org/american_nightmare/foreclosure-options.html.

Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) September 17, 2008 -- The American Nightmare is a new book by veteran housing counselors Sylvia Alvarez and Walter Walker Jr. that offers distressed homeowners tips and strategies that can help them avoid, survive and overcome foreclosure. Published in partnership with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), free downloadable excerpts of The American Nightmare are available in English and Spanish at www.NAHREP.org and include pointers that will help desperate homeowners from becoming the target of short sale and foreclosure scams.

A link is also provided to purchase the book for $14.95.

Strategies Preventing, Surviving and Overcoming Foreclosure
The American Nightmare Book: Strategies Preventing, Surviving and Overcoming Foreclosure

Unsuspecting homeowners that are frantic for a quick fix to avoid foreclosure are becoming the victims of foreclosure scams that promise to save them from the loss of their homes. Many are paying thousands to thieves disguised as well meaning professionals that offer to repay their mortgage in exchange for the transfer of their deeds. The authors were inspired to write the book after being deluged at the housing agency where they work by people who have fallen prey to these mortgage scams and others. In addition to practical advice about how to avoid foreclosure, negotiate loan modifications or short sales and more, the book educates readers about the clever ways predators are bilking consumers.

FREE downloadable excerpts of the book offer homeowners information about:

- Common predatory lending scams
- Short sale and "flip for profit" scams;
- Equity skimming scams that leave homeowners with more debt and no house;
- Phony counseling agencies;
- How to file a complaint and report mortgage fraud;
- Plus options that homeowners can pursue if they are already in mortgage default.

"Too many panicked homeowners that are looking for ways to save their homes are falling prey to unscrupulous people and foreclosure scams," said Rebecca Gallardo-Serrano, Chairman of NAHREP. "Knowledge is power. The American Nightmare offers homeowners important information about the types of scams out there and how they can protect themselves from predators."

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, a non-profit 501c6 trade association, is dedicated to increasing the homeownership rate among Latinos by educating and empowering the real estate professionals that serve them. Based in Washington D.C., NAHREP is the premier trade organization for Hispanics and has more than 15,500 members in 48 states and 62 affiliate chapters.

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Washington Square Financial, LLC Announces Name Change to Imperial Structured Settlements, LLC

Thursday, September 25th, 2008 | Financial Press Release

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Business Wire EON/PRWEB ) September 18, 2008 --
Washington Square Financial, LLC, a leader in the advance funding
of structured
settlement
payment rights and assignable
annuities
, announces a name change to Imperial
Structured Settlements, LLC
. Along with the name change there are
exciting developments within the company that will be announced over the
upcoming months.

This change was brought along in order to
unify corporate branding, said Antony
Mitchell, CEO. We know that Imperial
Structured Settlements
will rapidly move to the forefront of the
industry, just as Imperials premium finance
division has. Our aim is to provide the best service in the marketplace.

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The company has been using the name Washington Square Financial since
its inception in September of 2007. Imperial Structured Settlements
will still provide the same services but will now fall under the
umbrella of Imperial
Finance & Trading, LLC
. For more information regarding Imperial
Finance & Trading
, please visit the corporate website at www.imprl.com.

The address, all phone numbers, and fax numbers will remain the same;
however the new website for Imperial Structured Settlements is www.ImperialStructuredSettlements.com.

About Imperial Structured Settlements, LLC

Imperial
Structured Settlements, LLC
is a specialty finance company that
purchases structured settlement payment rights and certain annuities
from individuals. People who settle a personal injury, wrongful
death,
or medical malpractice claim often receive their
payments from an insurance company over a predetermined period of time.
Imperial Structured Settlements, LLC is based in Boca Raton, Florida.
For further information, please visit our web site at www.ImperialStructuredSettlements.com.

For further information contact Darcy Sullivan at dsullivan@imprl.com
or (561) 995-4350.

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