Renters Insurance: What It Covers and How Much You Need

Whether you’re renting an apartment or a home, chances are you may not have thought about renters insurance.

Sure, insuring a home you buy makes sense — but you’re renting. Isn’t insurance your landlord’s responsibility? Not entirely. While your landlord will maintain and insure the property, it’s up to you to insure the belongings inside it.

That’s where renters insurance comes in. For a pretty inexpensive monthly premium (on average, about $15/month), you can have peace of mind that your possessions are financially protected if vandalism or disaster strikes.

Over your lifetime, you may have several different homes. Each time you move, it’s essential that you protect your things with the best renters insurance you can find so any damages can be repaired and losses replaced.

What is renters insurance?

A renters insurance policy, also known as an HO-4, covers your losses in case of theft, fire or other damage. If plumbing breaks in your apartment and damages belongings in the apartment beneath yours, renters insurance could help pay for repairs and replacements.

It also offers liability coverage, which means your insurance company will pay legal fees and court awards in case of injury or damage due to negligence. For example, if someone gets injured in your rental home and sues, renters insurance could help cover those legal costs.

Standard policies also offer additional living expenses for situations where the rental property gets damaged and becomes uninhabitable, displacing you from your home.

Renters insurance is not legally required, but some landlords might require it if you want to rent from them. However, even if it’s not required and the chances of these things happening are slim, it’s still best to prepare for the worst so you can have peace of mind.

What does my renters insurance policy cover?

Policies can differ slightly from state to state, and offerings vary between insurance companies. But overall, renters insurance policies are pretty standard.

This is what most renters insurance policies include.

Personal belongings

Standard HO-4 policies protect your things against damage from the following listed disasters and incidents, called named perils.

  1. Fire or lightning
  2. Windstorm or hail
  3. Explosion
  4. Riot or civil commotion
  5. Damage caused by aircrafts
  6. Damage caused by vehicles
  7. Smoke
  8. Vandalism
  9. Theft
  10. Volcanic eruption
  11. Falling objects
  12. Weight of ice, snow or sleet
  13. Water damage caused by steam, heating, AC, sprinklers or an appliance
  14. Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of a hot water heating system, AC or sprinkler system
  15. Freezing of plumbing, AC, sprinkler system or appliance
  16. Damage caused by short-circuiting

Liability

Most policies offer personal liability protection — meaning the policy would help cover the legal costs and court payouts (up to the policy limit) should someone sue you or your family members for bodily harm or property damage.

Liability policy limits typically start at about $100,000. You are able to buy coverage with a higher liability limit. For example, a policy with $60,000 in property coverage, $300,000 liability protection and a $1,000 deductible costs an average of $266 each year.

On the other hand, raising your deductible $1,000 can save you $10 on your premium each month.

Liability protection can also pay for damage caused by your pet. Ask your agent about this.

Additional living expenses

Should damage make your home uninhabitable, your policy can help cover the costs of living elsewhere. Policies can cover hotel bills or temporary rental costs, meals and other expenses while you’re away from your home.

Miscellaneous

Most policies protect from some losses that you may have not given much thought to, but should still ask your agent about.

These other types of coverage can include:

  • Medical payments to others should they get hurt in your home.
  • Credit card and bank forgery in the event that someone breaks into your home and tries to use your stolen credit card or checks.
  • Other peoples’ property should their items get damaged or stolen while in your home.

What doesn’t renters insurance cover?

Like most standard property insurance policies, renters insurance doesn’t cover some types of damage.

Flooding, earthquakes and sinkholes

These natural disasters aren’t covered by renters insurance. For areas where these events often occur (if you live near a fault line or your rental is in a flood zone), think about taking out additional coverage. Ask your agent about the weather events common to your area, and plan accordingly.

Maintenance damage

Home insurance companies rule that it’s the policyholder’s responsibility to take precautionary steps to protect the rental from damage. So, policies will not cover incidents due to lack of maintenance or infestations like mold or termites.

Big-ticket valuables

Expensive belongings like art, jewelry and antiques may not be covered due to policy limits. All policies come with a coverage limit — some may be as low as $5,000. You can take out supplementary policies (called riders) to cover those valuables.

How much renters insurance coverage do I need?

To answer this question, you’ll need to make a list. Take out that pen and paper or find a list-making app and take an inventory of everything you own and every item’s value.

Take a picture or video of your rental and your most important belongings. Include any serial numbers for things like electronics and instruments. Also, think through the big-ticket items you’ll need additional coverage for. This is the time to insure that beautiful engagement ring.

Now, tally all of that up. If you can’t get a precise number, at least ballpark it. Your agent will need to know that number.

The valuation of your items will also impact whether you should go with an actual cash value policy (ACV) or a replacement cost value policy (RCV).

  • ACV: Under this type of policy, insurers will pay out the depreciated value of an item. The payout will likely be less than market value and it could cost you more money to replace the item. ACV policies often have lower premiums.
  • RCV: This type of policy pays to replace your lost or damaged belongings with a similar item at the current market value. The payout would be enough to replace your item.

What will my deductible be?

The cost of your deductible depends on the policy you choose.

A renters insurance deductible is the amount you will have to pay if you file a claim. The higher the deductible, the lower the monthly premium — but the more you’ll have to pay should the worst case scenario occur.

The most common amounts for a deductible are either $500 or $1,000, but some companies will let you choose a lower or higher deductible.

Think through your budget and your risk comfort level. How much of a monthly premium can you afford? Are you able to pay out of pocket if theft or damage actually happens?

The bottom line

Don’t wait to own a house before you insure your belongings. For a small premium, you can have peace of mind that your belongings are covered, you have liability protection and you have a safety net if accident or disaster makes your home uninhabitable.

Your landlord’s insurance only goes so far. Take steps to protect what you and your family value most.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does renters insurance cover moving?

No. Your renters insurance policy is designed to protect one property and the belongings inside of it. Most coverage is restricted to a single address, but some companies will allow you to purchase special insurance for your move.

What happens to renters insurance if you move?

When you move, you need to inform your insurance company so they can update your account. Your policy will be updated to reflect your new address, so your premium could be affected, going up or down depending on where you live. Your renters insurance policy will not likely cover your move, so you may need to purchase additional coverage to protect the actual transport of your belongings.

How do I update my renters insurance?

Most of the best renters insurance companies make it easy to update your renters insurance. Companies like Geico have excellent mobile tools, allowing you to change your address either through the app or on the website. USAA, on the other hand, requires that you call customer service at 1-800-531-USAA to change the address on your policy. You can only change your mailing address online.

How can I save on renters insurance?

One  reliable way to save would be to bundle your renters insurance with your auto insurance. Contact your auto insurance provider and see if there’s a discount!

But don’t just stop there. Shop around. You may be able to find cheap renters insurance from a different company than you’d first considered.

Whether you want to hire a broker to do the leg work for you or you feel internet savvy enough to do it yourself, get multiple renters insurance quotes. You have the power and the ability to find the best deal.

Source: Renters Insurance: What it Covers and How Much You Need | MYMOVE

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Critics:

By: Sarah Schlichter

NerdWallet compared rates across the U.S. to determine the average cost of renters insurance in every state. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page.

However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here’s how we make money. The average renters insurance cost in the U.S. is $168 per year, or about $14 per month, according to NerdWallet’s latest rate analysis.

This estimate is based on a policy for a hypothetical 30-year-old tenant with $30,000 in personal property coverage, $100,000 in liability coverage and a $500 deductible.While the nationwide average is a useful baseline, renters insurance rates vary based on where you live and how much coverage you need.

These are the five most expensive states for renters insurance:

  • Louisiana: $262 per year, or $22 per month, on average.

  • Georgia: $243 per year, or $20 per month, on average.

  • Mississippi: $228 per year, or $19 per month, on average.

  • Kansas: $225 per year, or $19 per month, on average.

  • Alabama: $222 per year, or $19 per month, on average.

Meanwhile, these are the five cheapest states for renters insurance:

  • Wyoming: $101 per year, or $8 per month, on average.

  • Iowa and Vermont (tie): $110 per year, or $9 per month, on average.

  • North Dakota and Pennsylvania (tie): $116 per year, or $10 per month, on average.

If you live in one of the country’s 25 largest metropolitan areas, you can find the average cost of renters insurance in your city below. Atlanta is the most expensive at $269 per year on average (about $22 per month), while Columbus is the most affordable at $137, or about $11 per month, on average…

More contents:

The Best Home Insurance Companies of 2021

Best Renters Insurance
What You Need to Know About Home Insurance
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Life Settlements: A Hidden Source Of Cash For Seniors

From a financial perspective, this is an interesting time for seniors, many of whom are retired. Equity markets have delivered historically strong returns for the past several years, which has boosted savings. However, between low fixed-income yields and rising inflation, many are wondering whether their assets will provide all the cash flow they need to maintain their lifestyles.

These factors are forcing many seniors, who are often solely dependent on cash flow from their investments and social security payments, to seek out additional sources of cash. Most do not know that something called “life settlements” may be the solution they need.

What Is A Life Settlement?

A life settlement is the sale of a life insurance policy to a third party. In a life settlement transaction, policyholders will sell their life insurance for more than the cash value, if any, and less than the death benefit.

Policyholders (also referred to in this post as owners) who sell their life insurance achieve two sought-after goals: (1) they stop the cash outflow needed for future insurance premiums that keep the policy in force; and (2) they provide cash from the sale of the policy. In almost every instance, selling the policy will result in more cash than simply letting it lapse.

Of course, when selling a policy, the beneficiaries will no longer receive the death benefit. Rather, the buyer of the life insurance policy, who will also pay the policy’s premiums, will receive the death benefit.

Many seniors own life insurance policies they no longer need or can no longer afford. For example, they may be in a situation where the need for the policy has changed, such as when a mortgage is paid off or when beneficiaries no longer need financial support.

Unfortunately, most people are not even aware that there may be an option to sell a policy. With a few exceptions, insurance carriers, which benefit from lapses in life insurance policies, don’t inform policy holders of the life settlement option.Best Practices For Selling A Policy

Before selling a policy, policyholders need to consider whether it makes sense to do so. In doing so, a policyholder should answer these questions:

1. To what extent do my beneficiaries need the death benefit from the policy?

2. Are the policy’s premium payments affordable?

3. Is there cash value in the policy that I could use to make the premium payments?

4. If the premium payments are not affordable, do my beneficiaries want to pay the premiums so that they can keep the death benefit?

How Much Is The Policy Worth?

There are many factors that determine what a buyer will pay for a policy. These factors include:

·  The death benefit

·  The age and health of the insured (in general, life settlements buyers are interested in buying policies where the insured’s life expectancy is less than 15 years)

·  The premium payments

·  The amount of loans taken out under the policy, if any

Selling an insurance policy may give rise to taxable income, which would reduce the net proceeds to the policyholder.

How To Sell A Policy

There are different types of buyers of life settlements ranging from individual investors to institutions. In general, a policyholder can sell a policy to these investors directly or via a life settlement broker.

Life settlement brokers have a fiduciary responsibility to get the best price for the policy owner. However, life settlement brokers take a percentage of the selling price (up to 30%) or a percentage of the death benefit (between 6% and 8%).

Some life settlement investors will buy policies directly from policyholders. While this may eliminate the broker’s fee, these investors do not have a responsibility to ensure that the policy is sold at the best price.

It’s a good idea for policyholders to speak with more than one broker or investor to ensure they’re getting a top dollar for their policy. Keep in mind that “online calculators”and estimates provided by brokers or investors are, at best, a rough guess as to what the policy is worth and are not to be relied upon.

A life insurance salesperson can be of assistance in selling a policy as well. Note that some life insurance salespeople are more familiar with life settlements than others.

Note that some states regulate life settlements and those states’ department of insurance may provide important additional information that sellers should know.

The life settlement process can take two to five months during which period the policy must be kept in-force. Also, the life settlement process requires the policyholder to provide information about the policy and access to the insured’s medical records.

When Is A Life Settlement The Right Option?

On the one hand, a life settlement improves cash flow by providing a lump sum payment and eliminating future premium payments. On the other hand, selling an insurance policy means that the beneficiaries will not receive the death benefit.

As the baby boomer population has been going into retirement and the awareness of life settlements has increased over the past few years, tens of thousands of policy holders have sold their policies. The decision to sell a life insurance policy is typically a difficult one. However, with the knowledge of life settlements, policyholders have an additional option to consider to help meet cash needs.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Rob Levin is the Managing Member of the Oasis Strategy Group, a company specializing in life settlements. Read Rob Levin’s full executive profile here.

Source: Life Settlements: A Hidden Source Of Cash For Seniors

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More contents:

Can Health Insurance Companies Charge the Unvaccinated Higher Premiums? What About Life Insurers? 5 Questions Answered

Given the average cost of a COVID-19 hospitalization in 2020 ran about US$42,200 per patient, will the unvaccinated be asked to bear more of the cost of treatment, in terms of insurance, as well?

We asked economists Kosali Simon and Sharon Tennyson to explain the rules governing how health and life insurers can discriminate among customers based on vaccination status and other health-related reasons.

1. Can insurers charge the unvaccinated more?

This is a really interesting question and depends on the type of insurance.

Life insurance companies have the freedom to charge different premiums based on risk factors that predict mortality. Purchasing a life insurance policy often entails a health status check or medical exam, and asking for vaccination status is not banned.

Health insurers are a different story. A slew of state and federal regulations in the last three decades have heavily restricted their ability to use health factors in issuing or pricing polices. In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act began prohibiting the use of health status in any group health insurance policy. And the Affordable Care Act, passed in 2014, prevents insurers from pricing plans according to health – with one exception: smoking status.

2. Are premiums or coverage being affected yet?

Fortune recently reported that while several of the biggest U.S. life insurance companies aren’t yet asking customers for their vaccination status, a few insurers told the magazine they are doing so for people at high risk. It wasn’t clear from the article whether this is affecting premiums.

A recent study comparing life insurance policies from 2014 through February 2021 found that premiums and coverage didn’t change a lot during the pandemic. The study did find some evidence that policy terms for the oldest individuals and those with high-risk health conditions did worsen.

The authors of the study suggested that the rapid development of vaccines may be why life insurance markets haven’t yet shown a dramatic response to COVID-19, but their work does not distinguish the vaccinated from the unvaccinated.

It’s important to note that no matter what, premiums and coverage on existing life insurance plans won’t change, so a death due to COVID-19 will definitely be covered. In general, denial of life insurance claims is rare and occurs only for specific documented reasons.

3. So smokers may pay higher premiums?

In life insurance, smokers definitely pay higher premiums, as do people who are obese.

ValuePenguin, a unit of LendingTree that provides research and analysis, found that smokers typically pay over three times more for life insurance than non-smokers.

The site also found that obesity increases premiums by about 150% – or more if the person also has medical conditions associated with being overweight.

As for health insurance pricing, the Affordable Care Act allows insurers to increase premiums by up to 50% for smokers. The difference between what smokers and non-smokers pay may actually be higher because the former can’t use a key government subsidy to pay for the smoker surcharge.

The ACA makes no similar exception for obesity.

4. How about discounts for the vaccinated?

There is a tool health insurers – including self-insured employers – have to lower premiums to those who are vaccinated: wellness incentives.

Just as insurers and companies offer discounts for things like trying to lose weight or stop smoking, they are also permitted to reduce the health insurance premiums that vaccinated employees pay.

In 2019, the average maximum incentive offered by employers for workers to participate in wellness activities was $783 per year.

Some employers are already incentivizing COVID-19 vaccinations this way. For example, Missouri State University offers a $20-a-month discount on health insurance premiums for employees who got a COVID-19 jab. Others are considering similar discounts.

And so, even though insurers can’t charge the unvaccinated higher premiums, people who refuse to get a shot can end up paying more than their vaccinated colleagues.

5. Do insurers consider other vaccine or flu shots in rates?

To the best of our knowledge, insurers haven’t specifically used vaccination status or getting a flu shot in setting premiums.

As part of having access to your medical records, life insurers might get to know whether you received vaccinations, but there are no systems in place to verify each year whether you got your flu shot. Health insurers can’t ask about vaccine status for the reasons listed above.

Employers can offer incentives to get a flu shot through their wellness programs.

[Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter.]The Conversation

Kosali Simon, Professor of Health Economics, Indiana University and Sharon Tennyson, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Cornell University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

By:

Source: Can Health Insurance Companies Charge the Unvaccinated Higher Premiums? What About Life Insurers? 5 Questions Answered – HealthyWomen

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Does Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine Affect Your Life Insurance Policy

You can’t always believe what you read on social media, especially when it comes to medical information amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A May 2021 Instagram post went viral claiming that a user’s family was denied a life insurance benefit because the deceased had gotten the “experimental” COVID-19 vaccine. But the vaccines made by Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have all received emergency use authorizations. The post has been flagged as a false claim, and it shows no supporting evidence.

In fact, life insurers cannot deny a death benefit because the deceased is vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). “The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim. Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them,” Paul Graham, ACLI senior vice president said.

People who are hesitant to get vaccinated because they don’t want to lose insurance benefits can rest assured that the COVID-19 vaccine won’t have an effect on death benefit payouts.

In fact, now is a good time to take a look at your life insurance coverage to make sure your loved ones will be taken care of in the event of your death. You can compare life insurance policies on Credible to make sure you’re getting a fair quote for a comprehensive plan.

“The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim. Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them.”

– Paul Graham, ACLI senior vice president

WANT CHEAP LIFE INSURANCE? CONSIDER THESE STRATEGIES

3 legitimate reasons why insurers can deny a death benefit claim

While life insurers can’t deny a death benefit because of your vaccination status, there are reasons why a death claim can be rightfully denied.

  1. The deceased died within 2 years of taking out the policy. In most states, the insurance company can investigate the policyholder’s medical records to see if there were any misrepresentations on their policy.
  2. The deceased had an Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) policy. This type of life insurance policy doesn’t cover medical-related deaths or deaths by suicide.
  3. The deceased was not paying premiums. The insurance company may not be obligated to pay out the death benefit if the policyholder was not paying their premiums and the policy was terminated.

It’s important to understand the specifics of your life insurance policy so that your beneficiaries aren’t caught off-guard in the event of your death. Check your policy agreement to learn more. If you’re not satisfied with your level of coverage, you can shop for a new life insurance policy on Credible.

1

If you die from COVID-19 complications, will your beneficiaries get a death benefit?

Yes, insurance companies will pay out for deaths from coronavirus-related circumstances. However, the insurer may not pay the death benefit if the policy premiums were in nonpayment, as mentioned above.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is an effective way to protect yourself from the adverse health effects stemming from COVID-19, including death.

DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE?

Will getting a COVID-19 vaccine make you ineligible for life insurance?

We already know that being vaccinated against COVID-19 isn’t a reason for a life insurance company to deny a death benefit. Insurers also cannot prevent you from taking out a policy because you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine.

In a statement released March 15, 2021, the Life Insurance Council of New York confirmed that “receiving a COVID-19 vaccination has absolutely no bearing on a life insurer’s decision to pay a claim or issue new coverage.”

Regardless of your vaccination status, you can shop for life insurance on Credible’s online marketplace.

CONSIDERING BUYING TERM LIFE INSURANCE? 4 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

Source: Does getting the COVID-19 vaccine affect your life insurance policy? | Fox Business

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Critics:

Life insurance (or life assurance, especially in the Commonwealth of Nations) is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer or assurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of an insured person (often the policy holder). Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness or critical illness can also trigger payment. The policy holder typically pays a premium, either regularly or as one lump sum. The benefits may include other expenses, such as funeral expenses.

Life policies are legal contracts and the terms of each contract describe the limitations of the insured events. Often, specific exclusions written into the contract limit the liability of the insurer; common examples include claims relating to suicide, fraud, war, riot, and civil commotion. Difficulties may arise where an event is not clearly defined, for example: the insured knowingly incurred a risk by consenting to an experimental medical procedure or by taking medication resulting in injury or death.

Life-based contracts tend to fall into two major categories:

  • Protection policies: designed to provide a benefit, typically a lump-sum payment, in the event of a specified occurrence. A common form—more common in years past[when?]—of a protection-policy design is term insurance.
  • Investment policies: the main objective of these policies is to facilitate the growth of capital by regular or single premiums. Common forms (in the United States) are whole life, universal life, and variable life policies.

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Is Patient Financing Right for Your Health Practice?

In these times of post-pandemic financial uncertainty, additional return on investment for medical providers is more welcome than ever. Patient financing — which for the purposes of this article means partnering with an external lender to provide service and procedure payments — can produce not just steady income for a practice, but help ensure that patients won’t have to put off procedures or, worse yet, abandon them altogether.

For example, Toronto Plastic Surgeons provides this facility to its patients through Medicard Patient Financing. There are also veterinary financing services for pets available through Medicard Patient Financing. What are some reasons practitioners might have employed in deciding upon this option?

No More Delays

There are, unfortunately, economic disparities when it comes to accessing healthcare services. Too often, the high-income and privileged have more access to healthcare resources than the medium- and low-income populations. Patient financing can help in reducing this imbalance, because the simple and daunting truth is that many medical problems don’t come announced, and it’s often impossible to plan for their associated expenses. With financing, patients don’t need to wait to get their accounts in order before opting for procedures — the result is, ideally, prompt and less stressful treatment.

Related: Fintech fuelling growth in Healthcare Financial Industry

Increased Patient Satisfaction

Since clients can often better manage their expenses via patient financing, they tend to be more satisfied on the whole. In part this is because they are not stressed and burdened with sudden financial decisions associated with urgent medical procedures. Better yet, they are more likely to stay loyal to a practice if they don’t have to worry as much. Compared to other practices that don’t offer this option, they are more likely to choose the former, which can mean increased business through word of mouth.

Reduced Collection Costs

When you partner with a patient financer, you receive payments on time. It also means that your team won’t spend needless hours and energy trying to collect payments.

Steady Cash Flow and Less Bad Debt

In setting up a conventional payment plan for a patient, your team is taking the responsibility of keeping tabs on payments and collecting them on time. It’s essentially extending a loan to a patient, typically without any interest. However, expenses like bills, payroll and lease/rent go on as usual. This can lead to tied up in , which will easily and quickly impact a budget. But when you opt for association with a patient financing company, the latter bears the cost of collections, including giving you the option of getting payment upfront.

Related: Healthcare is in Turmoil, But Technology Can Save Businesses Billions

Better Marketing

Association with a financing company with its own marketing arm can help promote a business — making your clinic stand out in comparison to competitors.

Which to Choose?

When it comes to financing models, three predominate. In the first, Self-Funding, you as the healthcare provider are responsible for receivables. From creating a payment schedule to collecting funds to following up with the patient, your team carries out all the tasks. In the Recourse Lending model, you work with a patient financier/lender, which will approve a patient’s loan after the business/practice passes qualifying criteria.

If the patient doesn’t pay, the lending/financing company will recover the losses from you. Among the drawbacks here is that the practice will have to bear the losses and lender’s fees. Lastly, there is the Non-Recourse Lending model. Similar to the second, you work with a lending company. Key differences are that it is the patient who has to pass the underwriting criteria (if the lender doesn’t approve the patient, no funding is provided by them), and that losses are borne by the lender. One disadvantage of this method is that the lenders charge interest from patients; when rates are high, patients might not be interested. Also, patients with a weak credit history might be rejected during the underwriting evaluation.

By : Chris Porteous / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor – High Performance Growth Marketer

Source: Is Patient Financing Right for Your Health Practice?

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Critics:

Publicly funded healthcare is a form of health care financing designed to meet the cost of all or most healthcare needs from a publicly managed fund. Usually this is under some form of democratic accountability, the right of access to which are set down in rules applying to the whole population contributing to the fund or receiving benefits from it.

The fund may be a not-for-profit trust that pays out for healthcare according to common rules established by the members or by some other democratic form. In some countries, the fund is controlled directly by the government or by an agency of the government for the benefit of the entire population. That distinguishes it from other forms of private medical insurance, the rights of access to which are subject to contractual obligations between an insured person (or their sponsor) and an insurance company, which seeks to make a profit by managing the flow of funds between funders and providers of health care services.

When taxation is the primary means of financing health care and sometimes with compulsory insurance, all eligible people receive the same level of cover regardless of their financial circumstances or risk factors.

Most developed countries have partially or fully publicly funded health systems. Most western industrial countries have a system of social insurance based on the principle of social solidarity that covers eligible people from bearing the direct burden of most health care expenditure, funded by taxation during their working life.

Among countries with significant public funding of healthcare there are many different approaches to the funding and provision of medical services. Systems may be funded from general government revenues (as in Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil and India) or through a government social security system (as in Australia, France, Belgium, Japan and Germany) with a separate budget and hypothecated taxes or contributions.

The proportion of the cost of care covered also differs: in Canada, all hospital care is paid for by the government, while in Japan, patients must pay 10 to 30% of the cost of a hospital stay. Services provided by public systems vary. For example, the Belgian government pays the bulk of the fees for dental and eye care, while the Australian government covers eye care but not dental care.

Publicly funded medicine may be administered and provided by the government, as in the Nordic countries, Portugal, Spain, and Italy; in some systems, though, medicine is publicly funded but most hospital providers are private entities, as in Canada. The organization providing public health insurance is not necessarily a public administration, and its budget may be isolated from the main state budget. Some systems do not provide universal healthcare or restrict coverage to public health facilities. Some countries, such as Germany, have multiple public insurance organizations linked by a common legal framework. Some, such as the Netherlands and Switzerland, allow private for-profit insurers to participate.

See also

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