What Are Your Options If You Don’t Have Insurance

I don’t have health insurance, now what?

According to the Henry Kaiser Foundation, by the end of 2016 the number of uninsured nonelderly Americans was 28 million. Under the current administration the number of uninsured has risen to a three year high. While the Obama Administration made strides under ACA with a public health insurance plan, many of the uninsured population in the United States lacked health insurance due to the high cost of health coverage. Many Americans are lucky enough to have health coverage, but many Americans lack health insurance for a variety of reasons. Some people may not have health insurance due to a pre-existing condition, while others may be uninsured due to an accident or recent job loss. Luckily you do not have to sacrifice your health due to being uninsured. Here are ten options to consider if you don’t have insurance:

  1. Have an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses The first source is always YOU. Having money saved will go a long way if you are uninsured. Depending on the services or products you need, sometimes you may be required to pay the costs in full or at least a percentage. You will have some peace of mind if you have your own money set aside.

  2. Ask for uninsured discounts When you are receiving medical services or products, most times they will give you a discount if you pay in cash or by check.

  3. Ask for a payment plan Some medical offices, especially if you are a regular customer, will allow you to start a payment plan. They will provide you with the services you need now and allow you to spread the cost over the next few weeks or months. You may be required to pay at least five to ten percent of the total balance when services are rendered.

  4. Use Groupon Most times you will find that a dental office, medical office, massage therapist, or chiropractor will offer affordable deals that you may not receive elsewhere.

  5. Ask for new customer prices Most times you can get services and products for free or receive a large discount as a new customer. Sometimes those deals may not be offered or advertised.

  6. Contact local Dental Schools If the work you need is not very serious or complicated, you will find that utilizing the services provided at dental schools are much cheaper. If they are unable to do the work you need, they may have a connection with a company who can provide you with the service at an affordable price.

  7. Ask friends and Family You would be surprised who the people in your life are connected to. Someone always knows someone, who knows someone else. Someone may know of a company who could provide services at a low cost. Everyone loves referrals.

  8. Contact local churches, community centers, and nonprofit organizations They may have connections with local companies or programs that can provide products and services for those who are uninsured and unable to cover the cost themselves.

  9. Try an Urgent Care before the Hospital Emergency Room Unless you have a serious life threatening issue, I would suggest getting services from a local Urgent Care. The emergency room can sometimes have longer wait times and are more expensive.

If you or someone you know is uninsured, these tips will provide a head start with navigating through the experience. Although the results may vary depending on your location and situation, I can guarantee that at least one if not all of these tips will be helpful for someone who is uninsured. The big take away is start with having money saved and be proactive with asking anyone and everyone questions about discounts and other affordable options in your area.

How to Transition your Work Wardrobe from Summer to Fall

Fall is finally here, and you know what that means? The weather is changing and so is your wardrobe! Whether you’re working from home or the office, dressing appropriately for your career is imperative. Seasonal changes can make getting dressed somewhat challenging and a little costly. Pour a cup of coffee and continue reading to learn How to Transition your Work Wardrobe from Summer to Fall (on a Budget) for both business professional and casual work environments.

Fall is such a transitional season. It may feel like fall in the morning, summer by lunch and like an autumn night as the sun begins to set. So how in the world do you dress for two different temperatures in one day? Layering! It’s time to pull out those cozy cardigans and opaque tights for that chilly morning commute.

Dresses are one of my favorites. They’re versatile, super easy and perfect for any type of weather. By simply adding the right pieces, this simple look can keep you feeling comfortable throughout any climate change.

Business casual:

  • Layer a basic, fitted tee underneath your sleeveless, midi dress
  • Pointed or round toe flats are comfy for running around the office
  • Add a fun, statement necklace to bring the look together

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Business professional:

  • Layer a simple white button-down shirt underneath your sleeveless summer, midi dress
  • Throw on your favorite block heels which are chic but work appropriate
  • Add a gold or silver watch to always keep track of time in between meetings

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The power suit is the best way to look well dressed effortlessly. Whether it’s a pantsuit or a skirt suit, you’ll always be work ready in a matter of seconds.

Business casual:

  • Pair your blazer with dark washed denim jeans
  • Layer a clean tee shirt or printed blouse underneath
  • An appropriately sized hoop earring will add just the right touch

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Business professional:

  • Wear your entire suit with a solid or printed shell underneath
  • A simple necklace is perfect for this look
  • A pointed toe pump will bring this look together

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Skirts can be tricky. It all depends on your height and body shape when deciding which style of skirt to wear to work. Some skirts may deemed inappropriate while others are considered just right. We use the fingertip test to determine if our skirt is appropriate for work. If you’re still having trouble deciding, just think, “knee length”.

Business casual:

  • Rock your favorite pencil skirt with a simple sleeveless tee
  • Pull out your favorite leather jacket to layer over top
  • Throw on a bootie for some added height and flare

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Business professional:

  • A pencil skirt is also the ultimate work wear piece
  • A simple shell or blouse can be worn tucked in
  • A tailored blazer and a waist belt will bring this look together

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Now that wasn’t that bad, was it? Transitioning your wardrobe into the next season should be fairly easy if you have all the right pieces. For those of you whose work attire is business casual, remember that “business” comes first. If you have to question your outfit, it’s probably not appropriate. For those business professionals, don’t be afraid to add some textures and colors. It’s okay to take a little bit of summer with you into the fall.

Look out for our next post where we’ll discuss fall 2017 trends and where you can find them on a budget!

 

Written + styled by:

Christen Johnson

Founder of SophisticatedChic Brand, LLC.

4 Warning Signs That You Might Be Getting Scammed

This post was sponsored by CreditRepair.com.

You work hard for your money and the last thing you want to do is lose it in a scam. Millions of people fall prey to scams every year. They affect people of all education levels and societal classes. Thieves and fraudsters are evolving with technology and it’s important to identify the signs of a scam as early as possible to avoid costly effects that could take months, even years to erase.

Here are four warning signs that you might be getting scammed:

They Approach You

For most of us, when we want something we conduct research and then contact the preferred vendors or businesses. Unsolicited calls with exceptionally good news are usually a sign of a scam, especially if you haven’t received a written notice from the company before. If you receive a phone call that seems suspicious DO NOT provide any information before asking and receiving the following.

● The employee's name, ID and a call back number with their direct extension if necessary.

● The website of the company they are calling from.

● Information regarding how they obtained your information.

Once you receive this information look up the company online to find out if any search yields information pertaining to scams. If it is legitimate then you can call the employee back at the number and direct extension they provided to you.

The same goes for home improvement scams. According to CreditRepair.com “if someone knocks on your door or calls you and you haven't been investigating any home improvements, beware.”

They Invite You to Check Their Better Business Bureau Rating

Back in 2010 it was uncovered that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) was essentially a pay to play organization. If a company had money to pay the BBB, they’d receive a grade A regardless of customer complaints or customer experiences.

Scammers use the platform as a way to”legitimize” their business. Rather than referring to the BBB check out Yelp for customer reviews or ask friends and neighbors for referrals.

They Request That You Pay Up Front

While some business interactions require a deposit or payments at regular intervals, beware of claims that state that you have won a lottery, prize, or can invest in a great opportunity, if you pay a small fee in advance. According to the FBI, often times these scams require their clients to sign contracts where they agree to pay the fee. Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the nonrefundable finders fee according to the contract.

You shouldn’t have to give money to receive your prize money in return.

They Ask For Private Information Without Previous Interaction

Your private information is just that, private. A company that you have no previous relationship with should not request personal information such as bank account information, birthdate, or social security number without providing you ample notice such as a mailing, that they will need this information and that they will be contacting you.

This is not to say that something is automatically a scam if it contains any of the aforementioned warning signs, but it does mean that you should conduct extensive research on the company to determine its legitimacy.

For more information on identifying loan scams in particular visit CreditRepair.com’s Resource Center.

Baby on the Way! Financially Preparing for Maternity Leave

Thinking about having a child? Or maybe you’ve recently found out you’re pregnant! Congratulations!

A range of emotions may have hit you – excitement, bewilderment, surprise, and anxiety – but after some time, your rational mind kicks in and asks,

“Wait, can I even afford to have a child?”

“How much should I save?”

“Does my job offer paid maternity leave?”

These are the questions my wife and I had when we first started to think about having our first child. There’s so much involved with bringing new life into the world, we really didn’t want to add financial stress to the list.Read More

10 Ways to Reduce Monthly Expenses without Much Effort

Whether you make $45,000 a year or $250,000 a year, finding ways to reduce your cost of living is vital for long-term financial stability.

We know what needs to be done, but many of us struggle with how. We’re already strapped for time, and adding one more thing to our “to do” list is not appealing; no matter how much money we’ll save. So, I put together a list of things that are easy to implement into our daily, weekly, and monthly routines AND help to reduce monthly expenses over time.Read More

What Is a Credit Union & How Do They Differ From Traditional Banks?

In 2013 I decided it was time to bank smarter. I closed my Bank of America account and opened an account with Navy Federal Credit Union. I chose to bank with a credit union because I saw the benefits first hand during my time as a car saleswoman in college. Since then I have opened additional bank accounts to support my personal and business goals, but my everyday banking needs are still met by my credit union.Read More

8 Awesome tips to slash pet care costs

A pet (whether a dog or a cat) can be your best friend and bring happiness in your life. But, being a pet owner can cost you between $640 (for a cat) to $1,500 (for a large dog) annually. These costs typically include pet supplies, food, and veterinarian visits. If you’re considering getting a pet keep in mind that pet care expenses can get heavy on your pocket if you have a limited budget. If you currently have a pet, here are a few tips to help you reduce pet care costs.Read More

The Truth About Car Ownership + How To Save Money on Car Expenses

This post was created in partnership with AutoGravity.

Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way we travel, but for most people owning a car is still a necessity. This is especially true if you live in a city that doesn’t have a comprehensive public transportation system.

But owning a car, new or used, can be expensive. Similar to homeownership, car ownership isn’t just a monthly car payment and your auto insurance. It is important to take the following additional costs into consideration while calculating the potential costs of ownership. Read More

Here is Why Debt Elimination Can Be Difficult PLUS A Helpful Debt Repayment Tool

This blog post is part of the Pay Down My Debt (PDMD) blog tour, sponsored by US Equity Advantage. PDMD is a solution that accelerates debt payoff and helps consumers monitor their credit and make smarter purchasing decisions. If you’re looking to pay off debt, find out how they can help.

Human beings are pack animals and have an innate desire to belong . For many the desire to belong leads to debt. This phenomena is often referred to as “keeping up with the Joneses.” This English language phrase refers to individuals that live beyond their means to achieve or maintain their social status. Keeping up with the Joneses  and debt have become a way of American life.  According to CNBC, in 2015  8 out of 10 Americans had some form of debt.Read More

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Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.
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