Student Health Insurance is Meant to Be Affordable

Student health insurance is meant to be affordable. Health insurance coverage is vitally important while a student is in college!

Insurance health coverage is mandatory for all eligible college students . During the time you are registered at the University, you are required to enroll in the U-SHIP Basic or Prescription Advantage coverage , or waive enrollment by providing evidence that you have health insurance coverage that is comparable.

Student health insurance is billed annually at the beginning of the academic year and appears on your first statement for tuition and fees.   Student Health Services is an ambulatory clinic only, and does not provide major hospitalization or treatment outside of the clinic. Student health insurance coverage is only one of the options available to provide for your medical needs and protect you in the case of an emergency until you graduate. In addition to the student health coverage plan offered by your school, you may be able to remain on your parents’ group health plan. Students enrolling (or already enrolled) must request the graduation extension which will expire one year from the student?s graduation date. Please keep in mind that there can be no break in coverage from the original plan and the extension. Students wishing to be enrolled by the College in the Student Insurance Plan should verify the charge on your student account.

Students who provide proof of continuous enrollment in an alternative U.S.-based health insurance plan with comparable benefits are able to waive out of the SHIP coverage each semester. Students enrolled in SHIP are eligible to purchase coverage for their spouse and/or for any dependent children under the age of 19 who reside with the student.

Students with limited out of area coverage or otherwise inadequate coverage are urged to carefully review their options before waiving the SHC sponsored insurance plan. Deadlines to waive the insurance are prior to the first 14 days of the semester. Students will still be free to choose alternative insurance so long as their plan’s coverage meets or exceeds the minimum requirements listed at the bottom of this page. In order to use alternate insurance, students must complete and submit the Student Health Insurance Waiver form no later than the 20th day of classes each semester.

Health coverage for students is generally considered to have the advantages of a large group plan without the usual high cost large group insurance requires. Student health insurance is a way to ensure you can get medical care when you need it, at a price that is affordable. Health insurance for students is typically less expensive than a traditional individual health care plan and is tailored to the needs of the typical college student. Student health coverage is also required for all commuter international students, student-athletes, and Nursing and Physical Therapy students. Marymount University allows F-1 International Visa students as well as Nursing and Physical Therapy program students to opt out of the University’s health insurance plan by showing proof of existing coverage and completing a waiver form.

Student health coverage is generally considered to have the advantages of a large group plan without the usual high cost large group insurance requires. Student health insurance is a way to ensure you can get medical care when you need it, at a price that is affordable. Health coverage for students is typically less expensive than a traditional individual health care plan and is tailored to the needs of the typical college student. Student health coverage is also required for all commuter international students, student-athletes, and Nursing and Physical Therapy students.

Advantages Of Hiring Business Development Consultants

People looking to start a new business have a lot to consider. They need to develop a good marketing strategy, start attracting clients, and put together a host of other things. This is where a business development consultant can help immensely. These consultants can help a business get off the ground and flourish. There are many benefits to hiring business development consultants.

What is a Business Development Consultant?

This type of business consultant specializes in aiding new business owners. They help in a variety of ways including client development and business start-up. As a consultant, these individuals can also formulate a good marketing strategy and help to market a business’s brand.

Overview of a Consultant’s Services

New businesses have a lot of challenges they must overcome. Development consultants can guide these businesses to success by formulating plans that cater to their specific needs.

Getting new clients can be very difficult for a new business. Consultants can help a business create an effective marketing strategy to bring in a lot of new clients.

Increasing Professionalism

Businesses that utilize websites or that have any sort of printed materials can benefit from the guidance of a consultant. The consultant can look over the writing on the website and fix mistakes or make changes to it that will increase the professionalism of the writing. Error-free, proper writing helps attract clients because they are more likely to trust a business that’s professional and capable.

Lead Generation

Business consultants are able to fulfill the needs of any type of business. For instance, a business that sells products needs to be able to effectively generate leads. A business development consultant can generate leads and also show employees how to do the same. Under the guidance of a consultant, any type of business can flourish.

Closing Deals

Another way a consultant can help a business is by teaching its employees the valuable skill of closing a deal with a client. Many employees may already have one good strategy to help close a deal, but business consultants can reveal several ways to do it effectively. Every client is different, so a strategy that works for one client may not work for another; business consultants have several strategies that will work for most clients, and they can teach businesses all about each one.

Branding Assistance

Another great way business consultants can be an asset to a company is by helping them with branding. Some businesses make the mistake of changing their slogans or logos. This is a bad idea because it can confuse clients. A consultant will help a business avoid these potentially costly mistakes.

Consultants also help people decide upon a logo or slogan that will let potential clients immediately recognize the services they are offering. A good slogan and logo can make all the difference, and consultants will help businesses create the best ones possible.

Consultants can even help a business decide upon a good name. A business name needs to stand out and catch people’s attention without being confusing. Business consultants are very creative and have a lot of experience, so they can be a fantastic asset to any company that needs help deciding upon a name, too.

With so much experience and knowledge, business development consultants can help any business flourish and also avoid costly mistakes.

Reasons Why Travel Franchise Is a Good Bet for Your Future

So, you have always wanted to be your own boss and do your own thing, but you never had the experience, the skill or the courage to open your own business? Well, a travel – franchisee could be what you are looking for. Here are just some reasons on why owning a travel franchisee is a good bet for wannabe entrepreneurs:

The travel industry is booming

According to the recent report of World Travel and Tourism Council, the travel industry provided jobs to more than 235 people in the year 2009 and to more than 350 million people in 2010. That just goes to show the growth of the industry and the immense potential that the industry has. Even while the other industries were reeling under economic recession, jobs in the travel industry were aplenty. And if there are that many jobs, there has got to be good business. A reason for a travel -franchisees to be a very profitable option indeed.

Dynamism

If you are the sorts who easily gets bored of routine and constantly wants change, travel industry is the place to you. Travel industry is one of the most competitive industries around and owning a travel franchise would give you a chance to be a part of that competitive environment and meet a new challenge every day. Of course, having a travel franchise has the added benefit of getting the best deals for exotic destinations, fantastic properties and so on.

The travel industry drives growth globally

Perplexed? You shouldn’t be. It’s a fact. When Malaysia builds the tallest tower in the world, it becomes a sightseeing attraction for the rest of the world. And with it the demand in the travel industry for that particular country increases, which in turn pushes growth in that destination. So you see, owning a travel -franchise means to be a part of an ever-growing industry that all pushes growth globally.

Training

Now, after reading all that, you would wonder- why have a travel – franchise? Why not open a new travel house altogether? Well, for those of you who don’t have experience doing business, travel – franchise is the best bet, since, even if you don’t have knowledge, you are guided by experts in the field who tell you what to and what not to do in order to succeed. Thus, by having a travel – franchise, there is a minimal risk of your failure and the maximum for your success.

7 Reasons Why You Should Start a Health Network Marketing Business

More and more people are looking into starting a home based business. The unstable economy, low job satisfaction and the high cost of living are some of the many factors driving people to explore ways to create additional income. Even network marketing doesn’t seem to have the stigma it used to as people are starting MLM businesses more than ever.

If this describes you then I congratulate your entrepreneurial spirit! I admire people who seek ways to improve their lives and those of their families. I also encourage you to do your due diligence before leaping into just any MLM company if that’s what you’re considering. I’ve been in many network marketing companies and I learned what to look for (and what to avoid) in MLM companies through painful trial and error.

There are a huge variety of multi-level marketing companies out there offering almost any product or service you can imagine including travel services, legal services, nutritional and health products, weight loss products and many more. But I personally recommend you seriously consider starting a health network marketing business rather than any other. And I have seven really good reasons which you’ll never forget because they form the word healthy.

Here we go!

Huge market. When you start your health network marketing business you’ll automatically have the largest market possible–everyone! Everyone either wants to improve their health or maintain their good health. You won’t find anyone who will say, “Nah, I’m not interested in being healthy.”

With some other network marketing companies, however, the market can be very limited. Not everyone needs a cell phone plan or dental insurance or legal services, for instance. These aren’t bad companies but their markets are obviously smaller than that of health MLMs.

Everyone wants more money. The primary appeal of network marketing is the potential for additional income. This is another place where health network marketing outshines other forms of network marketing. With other types of MLMs, getting people excited in the products or services can be a “tough sell” which means making money is harder. Many health and nutrition MLMs, on the other hand, offer products that create visible and dramatic results with their customers, creating instant excitement. If you’ve had dramatic results with your own health products, even better! Sales are easy when people are excited and want to get the same results you had.

Before and after photos are common sales tools in health MLMs, usually showing improvement with skin problems or significant weight loss. These photos are visual evidence that customers are getting great results. Great results create an emotional attachment between the customer and the products. This translates into more repeat sales, better customer retention, increased word of mouth advertising and referrals for you.

This is in contrast with other network marketing companies which may have great products or services but are less likely to create dramatic physical results, emotional attachment from their customers and repeat sales. I’ve been in other types of MLMs myself and I can tell you from personal experience that the income potential in a health network marketing company is significantly higher.

Alternative health industry is booming. Health network marketing products generally fall into the alternative health category versus more traditional forms of Western medicine such as surgeries and pharmaceutical drugs. This is a good thing because there’s a growing trend of people preferring alternative health options such as high-density nutritional products; vitamins, antioxidants and other supplements; natural weight loss solutions; etc.

Think of the “buy organic” trend and the popularity of Whole Foods and other similar stores. When it comes to picking a good business, it’s like picking a good stock: “The trend is your friend.” Ask yourself if the other network marketing companies you may be looking at are part of a booming trend like alternative health or if they just have run-of-the-mill products and services that could have been offered 20 years ago.

Lowers your grocery costs. Many health network marketing companies offer a wide variety of nutritional products including meal replacements, vitamins, protein bars and energy drinks–all of which can replace equivalent products that you and your customers probably already buy at the grocery store.

If you’re a distributor, you’re getting your company’s products at wholesale prices which in many cases will be about the same price or lower than what you’d pay at a regular store. Not to mention your products are probably much better for you! Plus, if you factor in the advantage of deducting you autoshipped products from your taxes (check with your CPA) your food costs are even lower.

Take advantage of massive income potential. With health network marketing companies, your chances of getting large initial and ongoing purchases are very good as customers stock up on their favorite products for themselves and their families. This means higher commissions for you–and more business volume from your team members.

With other types of MLMs, though, it’s much harder to get large orders on a regular basis. For instance, it’s not likely that a customer will order several hundred dollars worth of household cleaning supplies or greeting cards on a monthly basis. But this is common practice for many customers with families in health network marketing companies. That’s why there’s so much more potential for huge income in a health network marketing business.

Health professionals are seeking additional income streams. With the uncertainty in the economy, the questionable future of health care (at least in the US) and rising costs of running a health practice, health professionals are looking into health network marketing businesses like never before. Normally, health professionals need to get past one or more “hurdles” before they’ll join a health MLM, though.

These hurdles include believing that alternative health products must be inferior to Western medicine counterparts and the concern that selling products to their patients may be “unethical”. Once they see proof that alternative health products can benefit their patients, many health professionals will take a serious look at the products and company behind them. Then, once they see that sales of these health products can create a significant income stream, even surpassing their income as a health professional (like the millionaire chiropractor I know), stepping over their earlier hurdles becomes much easier.

Of course, the benefits of having a health professional on your team can be huge. Few people have more authority or bigger personal networks than health professionals. I’ll write another article about attracting health professionals to your business soon.

You get to help others transform their lives. The best reason of all for starting a health network marketing business, though, is you are able to impact people’s health and improve their lives like no other type of network marketing company. I’ve personally helped people lose hundreds of pounds total, improve their energy and probably extend their lives through my business. I get incredible personal satisfaction knowing how much I’m helping people lose weight and improve their health.

In other network marketing companies, you can certainly help people save money with helpful products and services. They’ll probably be grateful to you for introducing it to them. But if these aren’t health products, are you really transforming their lives? You can only really do that with a health network marketing business offering highly effective products.

And those are the 7 healthy reasons why you should start a health network marketing business!

Don’t Get Me Wrong

I know it sounds like I’m bashing other types of network marketing companies and saying a health network marketing business is the only type of MLM you should consider if you want to be successful. I’m not bashing other types of companies, though. There are lots of great companies out there.

But I’ve been in this industry for many years and I’ve seen other companies from the inside. And it’s my strong and obviously biased opinion that if you want to improve your chances for outrageous success in network marketing, a health network marketing business is the way to go for the 7 HEALTHY reasons above.

The Three Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses Make And How To Overcome Them

If you’ve been looking for simple, proven and tested, step-by-step methods for generating more leads for your small business, then this article may just have the answer. Firstly, I want you to stop for a moment and think about all the advertising you’ve seen over the past week.

How many of those actual ads can you name? Researchers estimate that over the past seven days, you have been exposed to as many as 117,000 ads based on national averages. So out of 117,000 ads, how many can you name?

If you’re fairly attentive, you may be able to come up with 3 or 4 specific ads… but I’ll bet that’s because you probably see those ads over and over… week in and week out. Let’s face the facts… repetition works. When you see any advertisement multiple times every day you’re bound to eventually begin to recall the ad. But now answer this question.

What few ads you do remember, how many of their products or services have you bought? Because I have a passion for marketing I tend to go online and research for well accepted ads. Take for example a series of ads from online trading company E*Trade which uses babies to promote their products. These have a massive audience on both TV and YouTube. They even had one during the Superbowl. I think they’re a scream. But… I don’t have an E*Trade account. Never have, never will. Why should I?

What benefits do they offer me as a potential buyer of online trading services that any of the hundreds of other stock trading services offer? See my point? Does a smart-aleck, wise-cracking baby have any relevance to online stock trading whatsoever? Of course not. So why does E*Trade continue to make these commercials? Believe it or not, there is a reason… and by the end of this short presentation, you’ll fully understand what that reason is.

Businesses today are led to believe that all they have to do to build a successful business is create some type of attention-grabbing form of marketing and they will generate leads at will. Nothing could be further from the truth. And that’s just in the area of marketing. What about generating fast cash flow? EVERY small business needs to generate fast cash flow. So how do you do that as a small business owner? What about generating profits? Generating more cash flow is great… but not if you don’t get to put any of it in your pocket at the end of the day. How would you like the answers to all of these problems?

In this article I am going to reveal to you the three biggest lead generation mistakes small business owners make… and outline how you can overcome them.

Here are the three mistakes. Mistake #1… they fail to get professional help. Mistake #2… they don’t know the fundamentals required to successfully market their business and attract as many new clients as their business can handle. And mistake #3… they have no idea how to use their marketing to generate immediate cash flow. Let’s explore these three in depth, and show you how you can easily and systematically overcome each one of them.

Mistake #1… small business owners fail to get professional help. Can you name me just one professional athlete who does NOT have a coach? There aren’t any. Tiger Woods actually has a total of 9 coaches guiding him in everything from his golf game to his financial investments. But do small business owners really need professional help? Remember the TV ads we previously discussed? Those ads are created by “professionals.” Unfortunately, those professionals have no clue what they’re doing. Everything they’re doing in marketing and advertising today is wrong! But let me prove that to you right now.

If you currently use any form of marketing such as a print ad, brochure, postcard, flyer… or for that matter… your company website, take it out and look at it carefully. And if you don’t have any form of marketing right now, take out a sheet of paper and sketch out what you think would make for an effective ad for your business. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or fancy… just create a basic outline of the ad and where you would locate the various elements on the page.

Now that you have your ad… or a mock up of your ad sitting in front of you, let me provide you with the little known secrets that produce more leads than your business can handle. 99% of all marketing professionals DON’T know the lead generation secrets I’m about to reveal to you. This information is so powerful and compelling, it will position you in the top 1% of all lead generation professionals today. This example will show you why every small business owner should acquire our step-by-step roadmap as they start to generate leads for their business.

Here’s what a true marketing professional will know… and help you implement into your marketing. It’s known as the “marketing equation.” This marketing equation will let you quit competing on price… and let you start selling your product or service for what it’s really worth. You will drive in more leads and increase your advertising response by 10 to more than 100 times. You will convert a higher percentage of those leads and dramatically increase your number of sales. You will get a bigger bang for your marketing buck. The bottom line is this you will literally create a profit faucet that you will have TOTAL control over.

First, you MUST understand what marketing is supposed to do. Its purpose is actually three fold. Its first job is to capture the attention of your target market. Second, it must give them the hope that reading or listening to your marketing will give them enough information to help them make the best decision possible when buying whatever you sell. In other words, train and teach them how to recognize the true value of your product or service… and conclude that you… and you alone… offer the best value versus your competition. Marketing’s third job is to lower the risk of taking the next step in the buying process… and if necessary… continue to educate the prospect regarding the value you offer.

Marketing that accomplishes these three objectives will result in your prospects and customers coming to one single conclusion, that they would have to be an absolute fool to do business with anyone else but you, regardless of price. It’s estimated that as many as 96% of all small businesses fail within their first 5 years. The main reason for this tremendously high failure rate has to do with the lack of expertise when it comes to generating leads and making the phone ring.

Most small businesses don’t know anything about those three things that marketing is supposed to do. But there’s also an additional problem to consider. Most small business owners use a tactical marketing approach instead of a strategic approach. Let me explain.

Running an ad in the local newspaper… sending out an email or direct mail letter… airing a radio or TV ad on a local media station are all examples of tactical marketing. Now don’t get me wrong… the newspaper, radio or direct mail can be successful marketing channels… If your marketing message is powerful and compelling. But that’s the problem… the message is the strategic side of marketing… and yet, it’s the most neglected.

This distinction between strategic and tactical marketing is huge and one you need to be acutely aware of anytime you start talking about generating more leads. Many companies mistakenly assume that when you talk about lead generation, you’re automatically talking about tactical lead generation… placing ads, sending out mailers, joining a networking group, attending tradeshows, implementing a prospect follow up system and so on.

They fail to realize that the strategic side of the coin, what you say in your marketing and how you say it is almost always more important than the marketing medium where you say it. If you fail to make this distinction, then you risk becoming jaded towards certain forms of marketing and advertising that should be a part of your tactical plan, but you eliminate them from consideration because they haven’t worked for you in the past.

When lead generation results are less than optimal, small business owners tend to almost always blame the marketing medium… like the newspaper the ad ran in or the postcards they sent out. They blame the tactical part of the plan… without any regard for how good or how bad the strategic messaging in that marketing piece was. People often say things like, “we tried radio and it doesn’t work for our kind of business,” or “we sent out 50,000 pieces of direct mail and only generated 3 orders. It just doesn’t work.”

Just because it didn’t work, don’t assume that it won’t work. Most people don’t have the evaluation skills or the know-how to judge whether poor marketing results from poor strategy or poor tactical execution. This is where our step-by-step roadmap can generate more leads than your business can handle.

For example, most small business owners rely heavily on platitudes in their marketing. They say things like – we have the lowest prices… the best service… we’re family owned and operated… we offer convenient hours… the best value… not to mention that we’ve been in business since 1431 B.C. Look at your own marketing that I asked you to acquire or create earlier. How many platitudes did you use in your own marketing?

By the way, this is NOT your fault. Small business owners have been conditioned to think this is the proper way to market their businesses… since most advertising follows this same pathetic marketing formula… including the Fortune 500 types.

As human beings, we’re all after just one thing when we buy something… the best deal! Unfortunately, when you use platitudes in your marketing, there’s absolutely no way to tell who is actually offering the best deal. Everyone says they have the lowest prices, the highest quality and the best rates. So who do you believe? There’s only one way to know… and that’s to research every single business that offers what you want to buy. How many of us have the time or patience to do that?

So most of us just automatically assume that everyone is pretty much the same, and therefore we default to calling on the business that offers us the lowest price. When you can’t communicate the true value your business offers, you’re doomed to forever compete on price. Our marketing equation will change all of that for you forever. It’s going to be the backbone of your strategic marketing plan. It’s the foundation on which everything else we build for you is based. Let me give you a quick overview and then spend some time going through it with you in detail.

A proper marketing equation has four main components. First, it must interrupt your prospects. It must get your qualified prospect to pay attention to your lead generation marketing. Simple enough to say, but a lot more difficult to pull off in real life unless you understand what you’re about to learn here. The interrupt is done through your headline if your marketing is in print… or it’s the first thing you say if your marketing through radio or TV. The second component is engage. Once your prospect is interrupted, it’s critical you give your reader the promise that information is forthcoming that will help the prospect make the best buying decision possible. In other words, it must help facilitate their decision to pick you over anyone else. This is the job of our subheadline.

The interrupt is our headline that highlights a specific problem that your prospects are looking for a solution to… and the engage is our subheadline that promises them that you offer a solution to the problem we mentioned in our headline.

The third component you need to include is ‘educate’. Once you have interrupted and engaged your prospect, you have to give information that allows them to logically understand how and why you solve the problem they’re facing. This is accomplished by giving detailed, quantifiable, specific and revealing information. This is typically done in the body copy of your ad. When you educate, you need to reveal to your prospects the important and relevant information they need to know when making a good decision, and that your business… and yours alone… provides it to them. The interrupt and engage hit the prospects emotional hot buttons. Educate is the logic they need to justify picking up the phone and calling you.

The fourth and final component of the marketing equation is your offer. Now that you have interrupted your prospect based on problems that are important to them… engaged by a promise of the solution… and they’ve examined the educational information that makes your solution real and believable… the last step you need to take is to give them a low risk way to take the next step in your sales process. You do this by offering a free marketing tool, such as a report, brochure, seminar, audio, video or something that will continue to educate them. Your offer will allow your prospect to feel in control of their final decision to call and buy from you.

So your marketing equation is interrupt, engage, educate and offer and together they equal market domination. Now here’s the problem. Most marketing today only contains two of these components. They interrupt by throwing something at you that’s either familiar like Tiger Woods… or unusual like a monkey or talking pets. Sometimes they like to use both, as in the case of the E*Trade baby. Then once they grab your attention, they make you some type of offer such as “call now for whatever.” They have left out the engage and the educate, and marketing seldom succeeds when that happens.

In fact, the only time this type of marketing does succeed is when you can afford to run the ad over and over nonstop for an extended period of time. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz… melts in your mouth, not in your hand… and the burgers are better at… have literally been rammed down our throats by Fortune 500 types. After hearing these slogans thousands of times, of course we’re going to remember them. But how can a small business owner like you that doesn’t have a billion dollar marketing budget successfully market your business. The answer… you can’t… UNLESS you follow the entire marketing equation.

And finally the third biggest mistake small business owners make is that they have no idea how to use their marketing to generate immediate cash flow. When you follow this marketing equation in every form of marketing you do… from your business cards to your company website, the financial results are instantaneous and immediate.

So in conclusion, the three biggest lead generation mistakes small businesses make are #1… they fail to get professional help. #2… they don’t know the fundamentals required to successfully market their business and attract as many new clients as their business can handle. And #3… they have no idea how to use their marketing to generate immediate cash flow.

The above marketing equation contains the fundamental components for instantly making your phone ring and positioning your business as the dominant force in your market. It provides the marketing foundation that will enable you to generate immediate cash flow. And small businesses can use this information as a minimum standard when seeking out professional help for their business.

Annual Travel Insurance – Things to Consider Before Arranging Coverage

If you think annual travel insurance is a waste of money, think again. Nowadays, most of the people in the UK have been travelling for a lot of times, inside and outside of Europe. Yet, despite this kind of frequency in travelling, some people still have to bother about searching for the cheapest travel coverage that they could get each and every time that they are looking forward to a new trip. The aim of looking around and comparing prices of travel insurance in order to find the cheapest one seems pretty obvious – to save money. This kind of move is the most convenient one to take but only to certain types of travelers and not to every kind of traveler. Getting one travel insurance for one trip would work best only for those who travel for about once a year, in which those travel were already planned in detail ahead of time. However, for those who have a lot of travelling to do which could also be spontaneous for most of time, doing such isn’t good for them; they should afford to get an annual travel insurance. The frequency of your travels is the first thing that you have to consider before you arrange for a travel insurance policy.

Annual travel insurance can also be referred to as annual travel cover, yearly holiday insurance, annual trip insurance, and annual multi-trip. This kind of policy is very well suited for individuals, couples, and families, who do a lot of travelling throughout the year. By getting this kind of insurance, one can be assured that he can travel in and out of Europe for the next 12 months without bothering about getting a new insurance policy each time he travels. Usually, insurance policies of this kind have travel coverage of even up to 120 days. The next thing to consider is the age. People of age 66 to 70 have a maximum of 60 days, and those with age 71 to 74 (the maximum age that can be covered) has coverage of about 31 days at most. In this kind of insurance policy, you can choose a variety of items which can be covered by your insurance. These could include a cover for any hazardous activities, cover for baggage and other personal belongings, cover for your golfing activities, excess waivers, and even an unexpected cancellation of events that you were supposed to attend. When it comes to duration, there is also an even wider policy than that of annual travel insurance: comprehensive travel insurance. If you happen to be continuously travelling outside the UK for up to 15 months at a time, then this type of travel insurance is best for you. You could even extend this policy for even up to 18 months when you subject it to no claims on medical problems. This could also have the same options as that of an annual trip insurance policy.

Union Organizing in the Health Care Industry – New Unions and Alliances Among Rivals

Though our nation’s economy has recently lost millions of jobs, the health care industry has continued to add them. Not surprisingly, unions are eager to sign up health care workers. In the last 10 years, the rate of union wins in the health care industry has grown faster than the national average. Unions are uniting to lobby for labor-friendly legislation to promote increased union membership in the health care sector.

In addition to traditional organizing, health care union organizers are using more radical corporate campaigns that target hospital donors, shareholders, community groups, and even patients. The unions push these target groups to put pressure on hospital owners to allow unions to organize their employees. Many critics have argued that some of these agreements with employers have greatly limited workers’ power and emphasized the union’s cooperation with management.

The following article provides an overview of the major unions involved in the health care industry, as well as strategies to ensure your organization is prepared and remains successful.

Service Employees International Union
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) began in 1921 primarily as a janitor’s union and branched out to include government, security, and health care workers. By 2000, it was the largest, fastest-growing union in the United States, with much of that growth stemming from a series of strategic mergers with smaller unions. In June 2005, the SEIU and six other unions left the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) to form the Change to Win coalition. Citing the need for a renewed effort to organize workers, Change to Win purports to be focused on achieving fair wages, health care benefits, and secure retirement for all employees. The coalition also encourages workers to unionize on an industry-wide basis, consolidating smaller unions within larger unions.

SEIU Healthcare
In 2007, the SEIU announced plans to launch a new health care union to serve approximately one million members, such as nurses and service workers at hospitals and nursing homes. SEIU Healthcare combined financial and personnel resources from the 38 local SEIU Healthcare unions. Of the SEIU’s 1.9 million members, 900,000 work in health care. In September 2008, the SEIU reported it would begin several high-profile projects to bring business leaders, health care providers, community organizations, and elected officials together to work on the nation’s health care system. SEIU leaders were part of a May meeting held by President Obama to discuss a health care overhaul. More recently, SEIU members attended town hall meetings to speak out in support of the proposed health care reform. In August, the SEIU was part of a group-largely funded by the pharmaceutical industry’s lobby-that launched $12 million in television advertisements to support Obama’s health care proposal. This group, the Americans for Stable Quality Care, could spend tens of millions more this fall.

SEIU and NUHW
The SEIU attempted to consolidate three local units representing home health care workers into one unit last December, taking authority away from the local units. The SEIU accused the local unit officials of financial misconduct, and in response, the leaders of the local units criticized the SEIU’s practice of centralizing power at its Washington headquarters and making corrupt deals with employers. In January, a 150,000-member SEIU local unit in Oakland was put under trusteeship by the SEIU, and the local officials of that unit were dismissed. The ousted officials formed a new union, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

The NUHW announced the first workers had cast votes in favor of representation by the new union in March. A majority of 350 union-represented workers at four nursing homes in northern California managed by North American Health Care wanted to end their labor relationship with SEIU and join the NUHW. The day after this announcement, the SEIU filed unfair labor practice charges against the four nursing homes, charging that administrators of the facilities had illegally withdrawn union recognition and colluded with a competing labor union. In that same month, a National Labor Relations Board regional director ruled against the NUHW, saying that the contract between the SEIU and the hospital chain prevented the effort by a new labor union to represent 14,000 Catholic Healthcare West workers. Despite the ruling, the founding convention to formally launch the NUHW took place in April 2009. According to the NUHW, approximately 91,000 California health care workers have signed petitions filed at the labor board, stating they would like be members of the new union.

The NUHW also claims that, in response to these decertification drives, the SEIU has resorted to harassment and intimidation and tactics similar to union prevention. The SEIU argues that the new group has unfairly restrained and coerced workers, as well as complained to the National Labor Relations Board. A decisive battle between the two unions will come in 2010, when the SEIU-UHW contract with Kaiser Permanente expires and the opportunity for decertification elections reopens. Kaiser, the largest health care provider in California, has 50,000 workers that could potentially become members of NUHW.

California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
The California Nurses Association (CNA) began as a state chapter of the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 1903. The ANA has a federated structure: Nurses do not typically join the organization directly, but instead join their respective state organization, which has membership in the ANA. After several years of believing the ANA was not providing them adequate financial support to increase collective bargaining activity in California, the CNA broke ties with the ANA in 1995 and formed its own union, becoming the first state organization to secede from the ANA. Since its break from the ANA, the CNA has acquired a reputation as one of the most aggressive labor unions in the country. In 2004, the CNA began establishing itself in other states under the name National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC). The CNA voted to seek affiliation in the AFL-CIO in 2007. CNA membership has doubled over the last seven years and represents 80,000 members from all 50 states.

UAN-NNOC
In February, CNA/NNOC, United American Nurses (UAN), and the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) announced the formation of another new union: the United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee (UAN-NNOC). With a combined membership of more than 150,000 affiliates in 19 states, it is the largest nursing union in the history of the United States.

National Federation of Nurses
The National Federation of Nurses (NFN) was officially launched in April at an event in Portland, Oregon. The NFN represents more than 70,000 nurses in six state nurses’ associations, including New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Based on a federated model (much like the ANA), the NFN recognizes the independence of each member organization. Membership is open to state nurses’ associations and other labor organizations that represent RNs. The NFN is tied to the ANA, which outlines standards for nursing practices, but has historically opposed nurse unionism and includes managers in its leadership. Since nurse union leaders expect many of the 15 unions with nurse memberships to flood hospitals with authorization cards if the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) passes, they want to establish their own national union to ensure nurses are organized by nurses.

SEIU and CNA: From Violent Disputes to Cooperative Agreements
The SEIU signed a neutrality agreement in March 2008 with an Ohio Catholic hospital to organize 8,000 workers. The day before voting was scheduled to begin, members of the CNA distributed leaflets to discourage workers from joining the SEIU. After the workers received the leaflets attacking SEIU and its arrangement with management for an election, SEIU called off the vote. Then at an April 2008 conference in Detroit, SEIU staff and members protested at a banquet of CNA members, resulting in violence. The two unions have also launched raids and counter-raids across the country, and both have sent mailings to thousands of nurses (including nurses in other unions, as well as nurses whose unions are currently trying to organize) attacking each other.

After more than a year of fighting, the SEIU and CNA signed a cooperation agreement in March. They will work together to bring union representation to all non-union RNs and other health care employees, as well as improve patient care standards. The unions have also agreed to refrain from raiding each other’s members and will work together toward common goals, including lobbying for congressional passage of the EFCA. SEIU and CNA will coordinate campaigns at the largest health care systems and launch an intensive national organizing campaign. Catholic hospital chains will likely be among the first targets.

In June, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the nation’s largest unions (including the SEIU and the AFL-CIO) signed an agreement describing how union organizing will be conducted at Catholic health care facilities. (The document is similar to the one Catholic Healthcare Partners and Community Mercy Health Partners created last year with the SEIU before the CNA protest canceled the vote.) This agreement is significant because Catholic health care providers represent the largest employers and providers of services in many communities. The agreement provides seven guidelines for management at Catholic health care facilities and unions, making it easier organize health care workers at these facilities.

What This Means for Your Organization
Many experts agree that expanded unionization, along with the passage of the EFCA, will negatively impact our health care system. Both health care providers and industry analysts fear that unionization could mean higher costs and more restrictive work rules, adding to the soaring cost of delivering health care. Hospital and health care facilities need to be aware of these issues and how they can educate their supervisors and workers about the threat of unionization.

Communication with your employees is a critical first step. Many issues are involved in the possible unionization of a health care facility (economic factors, working conditions, quality of patient care, employee satisfaction, etc.). To prepare for possible union activity, identify issues that are relevant to your facility and address those needs publicly. Train leadership and include information about your union-free policy in the employee hiring and orientation procedures. Assess your wage and benefit structure, and be sure to promote what you offer.

You can use brochures, meetings, video, webinars, e-mail, Web sites, or eLearning tools to reach your employees. The most effective efforts include an employee feedback system that encourages two-way communication.

Starting With the Right Legal Business Type, Sole Proprietorship

When starting your business, one of the things you will need to figure out is the legal form you should register your business as, in order to ensure that you are operating with the correct business profile and level of financial protection to suit your precise needs.

Though not a lawyer, having worked in several countries, across 3 continents, I have picked up a few things that I suspect will prove helpful in your decision making process, and would suggest that you consider some of the following issues carefully.

To start with, in all the countries I have worked, it was clear that there were usually a combination of 3 or 4 legal business types used to legally conduct business. And for the most part the similarities were significant.

The most common of these business types is a Sole Proprietorship. And though these may known by different names, in different countries, they are essentially subject to the same rules, regulations, financial protection and taxation.

So, when considering this business type it is good to be aware of essentially three key features that typically govern this type of legal business form.

1. You are personally liable for the debts of the business

With this type of legal business type, you are the business. This means that the bank can take your house in lieu of a debt incurred to conduct business. If you get sued for something you did wrong in your business, you also stand to loose your personal assets, including your house and car as they are all on the line.

From an operational perspective it means that bank accounts will be in your personal name, as if you had no business. Notably in most countries it would be possible to register a trading name, which you could attach to your bank account in order to receive checks in the name of your business, however it is still you that are on the hook.

One thing to keep in mind though is that even though operating your business as this type of entity exposes you to personal liability, in most countries where this is a serious risk, you are able to insure against liability from suits. And when it comes to debt, the upside is that you can use your personal credit history to conduct business cheaper, which if managed well, should never really prove to be an issue. Just pay your bills and all will be fine.

2. Your business is taxed as if it is you.

Simply put the profits from your business are treated as personal income, and you would declare it as such. You are also able to deduct most of your personal expenses, that relate to your business, from your taxable income, which might mean that if you work from home, a part of your living expenses could potentially be deductible. Essentially the business is you, and for the most part the expenses you incur to earn a living are treated as tax deductible expenses.

3. You are unable to sell the business, you can only sell the assets.

Though for the most part this will not prove a significant issue, it is important to realize that since you are the business, you cannot sell the business. You are able to sell the assets of the business, which may include trading names, stock, customer databases etc. however you have to be aware that to transfer the debts and liabilities of the business, you have to specifically contract that into the sale. And even then it does not necessarily resolve all the issues that may potentially arise, even after the sale of the business.

Here are some of the benefits of this type of business:

1. It usually costs nothing or very little to set up or register.

2. Business operating costs are considerably lower than the other available legal business forms, e.g. your accountant and lawyer will likely cost you significantly less, because things are just simpler.

3. It is easy to setup, and you can start operating your business very quickly.

4. As mentioned above you can rely on your personal credit history for conducting business so this will, initially at least, make things a little easier.

5. It is easy to close down as you simply stop doing business. There is usually little or no cost to shutting down this type of business, except of course for liquidating the assets and paying off debts and liabilities.

In a nutshell, if you are looking to operate a small business with little risk of someone suing you, and you are fine with putting your house up as collateral for your business debt, then this might be the one for you.

And though personally I do not prefer this type of business, either way I would suggest that you do take the time to discuss this with your accountant and lawyer before making a decision.

The Travel Health and Safety Mistake That Could Cost Your Company Thousands

Workplace health and safety has become commonplace for most companies globally. However, the same basic standards and compliance are conspicuously absent for those whose workplace includes travel. If you want to know more about this mistake that could cost your business thousands if not rectified, then read on. In this article we will look at workplace health and safety, travel hazard identification, travel health and safety in conjunction with the potential business losses. By the end of this article you will have the four basic steps to evaluate your risk and the correction steps to save your business from significant loss.

Workplace Health and Safety

All developed countries have very mature workplace, site or project health and safety regulations, many with stiff penalties for noncompliance. While the overarching legislation provides compliance and standards guidelines, companies are able to apply their own evaluation and measurement of foreseeable threats, following a standardized methodology. This enables companies to benchmark their final results and permits replicatable processes.

Due to this common approach and process maturity, many companies have ventured even further by creating self imposed higher standards such as “no harm”, “zero loss”, “100% safe” and other similar internal campaigns to reduce or eliminate any-and-all injury in the workplace, site or project.

Workplace health and safety is not just practiced in the country of origin but also applied to all their various projects and worksites around the world as a global health and safety standard.

Construction companies have taken this philosophy to the nth degree by displaying at the point of entry to their project, all incidents, days lost, days since last safety event and so on.

Why is none of this applied to travel health and safety?

Travel Hazard Identification

Following on from the workplace health and safety model, activity and location risk registers are typically made before commencement of works and maintained throughout the life of the work activity. When was the last time you saw a travel health and safety risk register or hazard identification register that used a standardized methodology?

If you already have a workplace risk register, documenting the foreseeable threats, naked threat levels, treatment solutions, control measures and residual risk level following all modifier actions, why don’t you have the same documentation for travel health and safety?

If you don’t apply the same process, maintain the same documentation and conduct the same degree of education and communication to reduce the risk, for travel health and safety then you don’t a travel safety program at all. This mistake will not only cost you from a productivity and efficiency perspective but expose you to legal recourse should it be proven you have failed to mitigate the travel health and safety threats of your extended workplace and travel activity.

Travel Health and Safety

Travel health and safety is not an unachievable task. All the steps have been exhibited above. The only reason it has not already been applied to any company travel management program is due to ignorance, laziness, lack of education, lack of resources, over confidence and avoidance. None of which are defensible for companies that suffer loss of life, reduction in people capital, decreased productivity and financial loss.

Due to the amount or time consumed in business travel, travel may actually constitute a majority component of your overall “workplace”. This is particularly acute for companies with high people capital business models, that sees a lot of consultants, academics, professionals or contractors traveling to the client’s physical business site/s from their respective city/country of residence.

Business Loss

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Travel health and safety should be measured for loss to the business ranging from productivity to direct financial losses. The problem is that because the cumulative losses are rarely identified in a single cost centre or business unit and more likely spread across multiple functions and business units, businesses fail to identify or acknowledge these overall travel health and safety losses.

Tangible losses are one issue whereas the intangible losses are another matter entirely. Reputation, legal, market share, new business, training and development are all plausible losses from foreseeable risk.

Failure to implement a travel health and safety strategy will in time be discovered as a grave mistake and cost the company/business unit thousands of dollars (or more) in losses.

Conclusion

There is no requirement to do anything new, simply extend the current workplace health and safety methodologies to encompass “all likely places of work” which would include travel.

The four basic steps to correct this mistake are: 1. Identify the hazards; 2. Assess the risk; 3. Apply control measures; and 4. Manage the residual risk.

You should now be able to identify the significant void between workplace health and safety and that of travel health and safety, in particular hazard identification, regulatory compliance and the potential business losses.

Review your real status now. Identify the areas for improvement immediately, implement positive changes and enjoy the benefits that contribute to your business travel productivity, efficiency and safety. The information contained in this article will save you thousands in potential losses should you not consider travel a foreseeable risk to your business travellers or not consider travel an extension of your overall workplace.

 generated significant value to clients and companies by enabling business growth, maximizing variance on return for assets, expanding market share and cost efficiencies. Hundreds of companies and departments have benefited from the direction and input provided by Tony. Business leaders and managers have been empowered to make informed decisions when developing or implementing strategy or responding to tactile issues, small and large. Those that have benefited from Tony’s influence and solutions enjoy greater business resilience for the environments in which they operation and profit from dynamic business decision-making.
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Speech Recognition Technology and Medical Transcription Services

:An Overview:

Speech is now not confined solely to the human race, or even living beings on a broader perspective. It has extended to the World of Technology; specifically Computers and Software. Speech Recognition Technology [SRT], little known until recent times, is an area that has been constantly growing over the years. SRT has opened new windows of panoramic dimensions to human kind.

Speech Recognition Technology – Defined:

A technology wherein a machine or program identifies spoken words and phrases and converts them to readable format. In more simpler terms, voice/speech is converted to text format.

The Beginning:

Speech Recognition Technology, as we know it today, did not just bloom overnight. It is the work of over 30 years. The very first implementation of Speech Recognition was designed and displayed by IBM during the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It was called the IBM Shoebox; and typically sized too. This device only recognized spoken digits from 0 to 9. Over the years, Software companies have delved upon the benefits and the profits that can be reaped from developing SRT, and they have come a long way since. Now many noted companies have come up with different versions of this technology, offering various features.
While Speech Recognition has progressed vastly, the downside is that it has been a long and laborious road this far. It calls for training and updating of Software to work flawlessly; and it is currently far from perfect. There is so much more to go before it can be said that SRT is without any imperfections.

Speech Recognition Technology – In Health Care and Medical Transcription:

An area where this technology has caught on to a great extent is the Medical Transcription Industry. Speech Recognition is of two types: Front End and Back End.

  • Front End: As the doctor dictates into the machine, the words are automatically generated and displayed. This text can be edited directly, the report finalized, and signed by the doctor immediately. But there are few Front end users due to time constraints faced by doctors and practitioners.
  • Back End: Also called Delayed or Deferred Speech Recognition. The written draft is generated by the Software and sent to the Medical Transcriptionists for editing and proof reading. This is more convenient for doctors as it requires less time spent reading the proofs.
  • EMR: Speech Recognition can be applied in Electronic Medical Record systems of hospitals, clinics, etc. Searches, queries, and even filling up of forms can be made simpler and faster with voice rather than using the keyboard.

Advantages:

Speech Recognition Technology can be advantageous to both Medical Transcriptionists as well as doctors in a number of ways. A few advantages are:

  • There is not much typing involved as the first draft is generated by the software
  • Requires only editing of the machine-generated text
  • Faster turnaround of reports
  • Saves time in completion of reports
  • Stat reports can be completed and returned quicker than by using the conventional method of typing

Drawbacks:

Being a technology that has not entirely been perfected, SRT has a few drawbacks.

  • It cannot fully distinguish words spoken with heavy accents
  • Homophones (words which sound the same but may have different spellings and meanings) can cause spelling errors
  • Incorrect grammar is bound to occur in the generated texts
  • Punctuation rules are not likely to be followed at all times
  • Multiple speakers cannot be clearly differentiated
  • Background noise and disturbances may cause misspellings

Question of the Hour:

A niggling thought in the minds of many Medical Transcriptionists is whether Speech Recognition Technology poses a threat to their livelihood. This is a baseless fear, keeping in mind the drawbacks of SRT. No report will be complete until a human eye has scanned it. Machine-generated documents can only be 60%-70% error-free. It demands well-trained and professional Medical Transcriptionists to read through and edit the reports. A mistake, even a tiny one, can result in unpleasant situations for many. And one cannot rely on mere machines to do the job 100% without errors. In conclusion, Speech Recognition Technology is certainly one of a kind. While it has not yet reached the peak of perfection, it is still quite an aid to the healthcare industry, specifically Medical Transcription. And there is certainly no danger of software or machines or even technology entirely taking over man’s work; technology is just merely helping out!