WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2016
by Caitlin Bronson | Jan 07, 2016, Insurance Business America.
Insurance companies have a crisis of faith on their hands.
According to a new poll from Morning Consult, American ire over rising healthcare costs is increasingly focused on their carriers, even more so than on the federal government or pharmaceutical companies.
A full 31% of poll respondents hold health insurance companies responsible for the last 10 years of risig healthcare costs, compared to 25% who blame the government and 13% who think pharmaceutical companies are causing the rise.
The scrutiny is particularly strong as the Department of Justice is continuing to review the proposed mergers of four of the nation’s largest insurers. The House and Senate Judiciary Committees have also held hearings on the proposals, and Hillary Clinton has included rhetoric in her campaign that target insurers in her healthcare plan.
That public anger, which eclipses public anger against pharmaceutical companies, makes sense, says Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“Public opinion of both industries is relatively low right now,” Levitt told Morning Consult. “But, people generally have a conflicted view of drug companies. People are worried about high drug prices, but they also recognize that pharmaceutical companies make products that keep people healthy and in some cases save their lives.
“So, people are possibly more likely to blame insurers for rising health costs.”
Additionally, insurance is increasingly falling short in shielding policyholders from financial difficulty. According to another recent survey from Kaiser and The New York Times, one in five working-age Americans with health insurance reported having problems paying medical bills in the past year that cause serious financial challenges and changes in employment and lifestyle.
Specifically, insured Americans who face problem medical bills reported delaying vacations or major household purchases (77%), spending less on food and clothing (75%), using up most or all of their savings (63%), taking an extra job or working more hours (42%), increasing their credit card debt (38%), borrowing money from family or friends (37%) and even changing their living situation (14%).
While those statistics make the frustration against insurance companies understandable, however, the shifting of blame is not entirely fair. The causes of rising healthcare costs are diffuse and may actually be led by hospitals and doctors, said Levitt.
“Drug costs are the fastest rising part of the health system right now, but over the last decade hospitals and physicians have contributed much more to the rising health costs than drug companies,” Levitt said.
The results of the poll come on the heels of another survey from Kaiser and The New York Times that suggests even those with insurance coverage struggle to afford medical bills.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2015
How to Drive in Winter Weather
Blowing snow. Low visibility. Icy conditions. Winter calls on drivers to use skills that just aren’t needed throughout the rest of the year. So, brush up on yours with these tactics and tips. Because, even if you're an expert winter driver, plenty of other people out there are not.
- Don’t just jump in the car and go. First things first, make sure you and your car are ready for the conditions ahead. You should be well-rested and focused. Your car (preferably front-wheel or four-wheel drive) should have a full tank of gas, working windshield wipers, the right tires and the necessary emergency supplies. Completely clean off and defrost the windshield and windows, turn on your lights for visibility and buckle up.
- Do start, stop and steer steadily. Flooring it, slamming on the brakes and jerking the steering wheel wildly can all lead to trouble. Instead, do everything gradually. Accelerate slowly so your wheels don’t spin out. Brake early and gently to maintain control of the vehicle. Finally, make slow, moderate adjustments to the steering wheel when you need to change lanes or make a turn.
- Don’t use the cruise control. Even if your car is skidding, your cruise control may attempt to maintain a constant speed, potentially accelerating the vehicle and spinning the wheels as you’re trying to regain control. Hitting the brakes to deactivate the cruise control could cause further harm.
- Do let off the accelerator if your car starts to skid. We know it’s easy to panic, but try to remain calm and, once you feel your tires regain traction, slowly turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the front of your vehicle to go. Be prepared to counter-steer and stay off both the gas and the brake until you have control of the vehicle again.
- Don’t follow too closely. Increase the space you leave between you and other vehicles both when following another car and pulling over in front of one after passing it, especially snowplows or large trucks. You also need more lead time when pulling out in front of a car.
- Do consider the terrain. When driving in winter weather, certain areas signal the need for greater caution. These include bridges and overpasses, which can freeze over before other parts of the road, freeway on- and off-ramps that snowplows may have skipped and any area that doesn’t receive direct sunlight and may have black ice.
Above all, remember the most basic tenet of driving in any type of inclement weather: Give yourself ample time to respond. So, slow down. Or, just stay home, if you can. Because, even with careful driving and these tips, something could still happen. And, staying home sure beats being stuck in a snowy ditch!
Your Car Insurance Helps Protect You in All Types of Weather
Having the auto insurance coverage you want can help keep you on solid ground, even in slippery conditions. So, regularly review your policy with your independent insurance agent to ensure you’re happy with your deductible, your coverage levels and your options, such as roadside assistance. Feel free to contact us here at PMA Insurance Services at (703) 449-1327 so we can assist you and to get started building your auto policy.
MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014
If you are already a customer of PMA Insurance Services in Chantilly, VA, then you know that our independent insurance agency is dedicated to serving you and your neighbors throughout the Northern Virginia and Washington Metropolitan area and offering you access to more than thirty auto and home insurance companies that can serve your needs.
You should also know that we care about you and your family and want you to make the best choices when it comes to matters of safety. Did you know that The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 16 to 19 year olds are involved in more automobile accidents than any other age group? The good news is that you can do something about that. The most important thing you can do to assure your teen’s safety while driving is to make sure he or she gets driver education.
Looking to purchase that first car for your teenager? Then here are a few tips on choosing a safe car.
- Make sure the vehicle is equipped with Electronic Stability Control which will prevent it from spinning out.
- Look for a vehicle that features an Automatic Braking System.
- Buy a vehicle that has airbags that work.
- Make sure the tires are good and check them regularly to avoid any problems.
Of course it is also important to make sure that your teen has proper auto insurance too. Our friendly and experienced agents are great at helping you choose the best carrier for your needs. We offer policies from reputable companies including Travelers, Safeco, GMAC, Kemper Preferred, Dairyland, Hartford, Progressive, Allied, Metlife and many more. Why not contact us today and get a quote? You can reach us at (703) 449-1327.
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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2013
Granted, when most people think of deer season, they think about hunters roaming the woods, wearing day-glo orange vests and trying to bag a buck with the largest rack of antlers possible. However, for other people, it means paying a lot more attention to what is in the road in front of them. That’s because deer, especially during mating season, have a tendency to not pay attention to roads, cars, trucks or anything else.
More deer are hit by a vehicle during mating season than at any other time because of the additional activity and hitting a deer, even with a transfer truck, can literally destroy a vehicle.
Here are a few tips to help prevent having a deer for a hood ornament during mating season:
1. Be especially cautious at night. Deer are very active during mating season and dusk to dark is a very active time for them.
2. Install headlights that give you a wider perspective. The wider view you have off of each side of the road may give you that split second advantage if a deer is preparing to cross.
3. Slow down at Deer Crossing signs. If there’s a sign there, it’s there for a reason.
4. If you see one deer, there’ll be two. While this isn’t always the case, more often than not, it is. If one deer crosses in front of you, slow down even more since a second one will probably be crossing as well.
Even with great eyesight, plenty of lead time and all the tips in the world, things still happen. That’s when having great car insurance with an agency like PMA Insurance Services, LLC can help Northern Virginia area drivers stay on the road. If you’re concerned about what your car insurance covers and whether you have enough insurance to fiscally protect you, give us a call today. We can be reached at (703) 449-1327.