Payment Amount – Flight 93 http://flight93.org/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 19:50:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://flight93.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-5-150x150.png Payment Amount – Flight 93 http://flight93.org/ 32 32 The No Surprises law prevented 9 million surprise bills https://flight93.org/the-no-surprises-law-prevented-9-million-surprise-bills/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 19:48:10 +0000 https://flight93.org/the-no-surprises-law-prevented-9-million-surprise-bills/ Photo: Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty Images Up to 9 million surprise medical bills have been avoided since January due to the impact of the No Surprise Act, according to new data released by AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). These claims by health care facilities and providers were subject to the protections of the law, […]]]>

Photo: Mongkhonkhamsao/Getty Images

Up to 9 million surprise medical bills have been avoided since January due to the impact of the No Surprise Act, according to new data released by AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).

These claims by health care facilities and providers were subject to the protections of the law, which limit out-of-pocket payments to consumers. The number of such claims disputed by providers or facilities far exceeded the federal government’s initial prediction, according to the survey.

The law with no surprises was signed into law on December 27, 2020. Most provisions of the law took effect in early 2022, applying to those enrolled in commercial health insurance coverage or renewed group health plans. January 1 or later.

By law, when a person covered by private health insurance is treated for emergency services or at an in-network facility by an out-of-network provider, the health care provider or facility is prohibited from , such as a hospital, to charge a patient above their in-network cost-sharing amount. The law establishes a process for resolving disagreements about what the health plan will pay the out-of-network provider or facility, culminating in Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR).

WHAT IS THE IMPACT

A key question for policy makers, legislators, healthcare stakeholders and consumers leading into this first year of implementation was how much the IDR process would be used by providers and facilities. In October 2021, when the first rules for the federal IDR process were established, the agencies overseeing the process predicted about 17,000 disputes initiated each year.

The government recently announced that over 90,000 disputes had been initiated as of September 30, 2022. AHIP and BCBSA estimate that the number of disputed off-grid claims submitted to the IDR was 275,000 for those 90,000 disputes, which which indicates substantial use of batch processing and a result. many vendors send dozens of claims to IDR at once, causing significant delays in the system.

A single dispute, as reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, could represent a clustered dispute of many claims or a cluster of multiple claims for a single visit. Certified IDR entities must review each claim individually, which means that a high volume of claims in many disputes increases the burden on IDR entities and results in higher healthcare costs due to associated fees.

The large number of disputes initiated, including thousands of bulk claims and many of which have been found to be ineligible, indicates that many healthcare providers who were previously able to balance patient bills can now use the federal IDR process. to collect higher than market reimbursement amounts. If this trend continues, according to the survey, health care costs could increase unnecessarily.

In the first three quarters of 2022, there were approximately 9 million NSA-eligible claims, or approximately 0.5% of all commercial claims. Of these, 275,000 were submitted to the IDR for dispute resolution. Health plans received a total of 110,000 IDR batches.

THE GREAT TREND

Three groups of physicians are support a second trial filed by the Texas Medical Association against federal departments responsible for implementing the No Surprises Act.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists, American College of Emergency Physicians, and American College of Radiology filed a joint amicus brief in Texas federal court on October 19 in support of a lawsuit brought by the Texas Medical Association.

The group said it supports protecting patients from surprise medical bills, but implementing the law without surprises has created serious problems for doctors and other healthcare providers.

In December 2021, the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and other for follow-up the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies on the implementation of the law without surprises.

The groups were not against the legislation, they said in the lawsuit, but took issue with how HHS implemented the IDR process to resolve payment rates between provider and payer. The interim final rule stated that the arbitrator should select the offer closest to the eligible payment amount, which is set by the insurer.

In August, the US Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury issued final rules to clarify the arbitration process.

The three medical groups argue that the implementation continues to favor insurers and that the IDR process still does not comply with the statutory text of the law unsurprisingly.

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the author: Jeff.Lagasse@himssmedia.com

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Is $20,000 student debt forgiveness still going to happen? https://flight93.org/is-20000-student-debt-forgiveness-still-going-to-happen/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 17:00:49 +0000 https://flight93.org/is-20000-student-debt-forgiveness-still-going-to-happen/ (NerdWallet) – No one knows for sure when – or if – the student loan forgiveness is coming. Going forward, you should plan to resume payments on your federal student loans in January 2023, especially if you were counting on debt cancellation to wipe out your balance entirely. Why? A Texas federal judge has struck […]]]>

(NerdWallet) – No one knows for sure when – or if – the student loan forgiveness is coming.

Going forward, you should plan to resume payments on your federal student loans in January 2023, especially if you were counting on debt cancellation to wipe out your balance entirely.

Why? A Texas federal judge has struck down the Biden administration’s plan to write off up to $20,000 per borrower. The plan is also subject to an injunction arising from another lawsuit, and several other lawsuits are pending in court. Any of them could also derail debt relief.

As the Department for Education seeks to overturn court rulings, there is no guarantee that these roadblocks will be lifted before January – or ever.

Unless the president orders a further extension of abstention, the countdown begins again in January. Loans will start earning interest again, and missed payments will eventually leave a big dent in your credit history.

Will student loan forbearance be extended?

We do not know. The White House has not yet committed to suspending payments beyond the January 1, 2023 deadline. It is possible, however, as the forbearance has been extended several times since 2020. In the appeal of administration, Department of Education Undersecretary James Kvaal is calling for an extension of the abstention as a potential consequence of upholding the Texas judge’s ruling.

Student borrowing activists are pressuring the Biden administration to immediately extend forbearance.

“The Biden administration cannot resume payments on January 1,” Student Borrower Protection Center deputy executive director and counsel Persis Yu said in a press release. “He must use all his tools to fight to ensure borrowers receive the debt relief they need.”

But Scott Buchanan, executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance, which represents companies that service federal student loan accounts, says student loan servicers are moving forward as if payments start again in January.

Are the prosecutions likely to succeed?

We do not know. It is not clear if any of the lawsuits to prevent student loan cancellation will succeed in the end.

However, the two most difficult trials led to a complete shutdown of the program. In one case, a judge ruled the plan illegal. The Biden administration quickly appealed the decision, but getting a final answer while the case is in court will likely take months. In another, an appeals court left an injunction in place preventing any debt relief while the case progresses through the system.

Borrowers should make plans based on the current situation, Buchanan says. That is, the cancellation of the student loan is blocked and payments resume in January.

“You have these big programs and big decisions using authority that hasn’t been tested in court,” Buchanan says. “It can cause a lot of delays or it could mean it doesn’t happen.”

It stings for those watching from the sidelines.

“It makes me incredibly frustrated,” says Dave Christensen, a borrower from Wisconsin who has paid off his loans during the pandemic and is waiting for a refund that he fears he will have to pay back with interest. “We tend to drag things out for so long trying to achieve victory for our program and our policies, we lose sight of how it actually affects people.”

Can I still request a debt cancellation?

No. For now, the Ministry of Education has closed new requests for help until the prosecution takes place. The White House says 26 million borrowers have applied, with 16 million already processed and ready to roll.

Under current guidelines, you must apply by December 31, 2023.

Do I need to return my refunded payments?

Yes, but not all at once. If you were looking for a reimbursement of payments made during the pandemic, your new payment amount in January will reflect a larger balance, which will include the refund.

If you haven’t asked for a refund, it might be best to wait for the debt cancellation lawsuit to unfold. If the cancellation still occurs and you have paid your loan balance below the cancellation amount to which you are entitled, your refund will be automatic.

If you still want to make a manual refund request, you have until the end of 2023 to do so.

What if I can’t afford to make payments?

Act now, urges Dwayne Kwaysee Wright, professor of higher education administration at George Washington University.

“It’s going to take a while,” Wright said. “Take a day, take a lunch break, maybe take an extra hour, call your lender right now and talk about January 1st.” He says borrowers should be clear about the amount of their upcoming payments and ask service agents about options that could lower their bills.

A income-based repayment plan caps your payments to a certain portion of your total income, potentially lowering your monthly bills while extending the term of the loan. Payouts can be as low as $0.

If you are already enrolled in an IDR plan, you will not have to recertify your earnings until July 2023.

If you have lost your job, a report of unemployment can allow you to skip payments altogether until you start earning money again.

What about other debt relief components?

“The administration is fighting on a whole bunch of other fronts,” says Mike Pierce, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center. “None of these policies are directly affected by any of these losses.” These policies include:

  • Changes to Loan Forgiveness Programs that greatly simplify the process for borrowers in the public service, teachers whose schools have been closed and those whose schools have defrauded or misled them.
  • A waiver of reimbursement based on income this expands past payments – including partial or late payments, or time spent in certain types of forbearance or postponement – which counts towards the 240 to 300 needed for forgiveness.
  • A “New start» program allowing borrowers with defaulted loans to resume repayment in good standing, without penalties or catch-up payments.

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Lancaster Colony Inc (NASDAQ:LANC) raises its dividend to $0.85 https://flight93.org/lancaster-colony-inc-nasdaqlanc-raises-its-dividend-to-0-85/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 10:41:22 +0000 https://flight93.org/lancaster-colony-inc-nasdaqlanc-raises-its-dividend-to-0-85/ Lancaster Colony Society (NASDAQ: LANC) announced that it will increase its periodic dividend on December 30 to $0.85, which will be 6.3% higher than the comparable payout amount of $0.80 last year. Although the dividend is now higher, the yield is only 1.5%, which is below the industry average. While dividend yield is important for […]]]>

Lancaster Colony Society (NASDAQ: LANC) announced that it will increase its periodic dividend on December 30 to $0.85, which will be 6.3% higher than the comparable payout amount of $0.80 last year. Although the dividend is now higher, the yield is only 1.5%, which is below the industry average.

While dividend yield is important for income-oriented investors, it’s also important to account for any large changes in stock price, as this will generally outweigh any gains from distributions. Investors will be pleased to see that Lancaster Colony’s share price is up 41% in the past 3 months, which is good for shareholders and may also explain a lower dividend yield.

Our analysis indicates that LANC is potentially overrated!

Lancaster Colony revenue easily covers distributions

While yield is important, another factor to consider regarding a company’s dividend is whether current payout levels are achievable. Prior to this announcement, Lancaster Colony’s dividend made up a very large portion of earnings and perhaps more worryingly was that it made up 320% of cash flow. Paying out such a high proportion of cash flow may expose the company to having to cut the dividend if the company runs into difficulties.

Over the next year, EPS is expected to increase by 33.3%. Assuming the dividend continues on recent trends, our estimates indicate that the payout ratio could be as high as 75% – on the high side, but we wouldn’t necessarily say that’s not sustainable.

NasdaqGS: LANC Historic Dividend November 17, 2022

Lancaster Colony has a strong track record

The company has a steady history of paying dividends with very little fluctuation. Since 2012, the dividend has gone from $1.44 total annually to $3.20. This implies that the company has increased its distributions at an annual rate of approximately 8.3% over this period. Dividends have been growing at a reasonable pace over this period, and without any major reduction in payout over time, we think this is an attractive combination as it gives yields a good boost for shareholders.

Dividend growth can be hard to achieve

Investors who have held shares of the company for the past few years will be pleased with the dividend income they have received. Let’s not jump to conclusions, because things might not be as good as they seem on the surface. Over the past five years, Lancaster Colony’s earnings per share have declined approximately 2.9% per year. If the company earns less over time, it naturally follows that it will also have to pay fewer dividends. Earnings are expected to grow over the next year, but we will remain cautious until a track record of earnings growth is established.

Dividend could prove unreliable

In summary, while it’s always good to see the dividend increase, we don’t think Lancaster Colony’s payouts are strong. In the past, payouts have been steady, but we think the company is paying too much to keep that going over the long term. We would be a bit cautious to rely on this stock primarily for dividend income.

Companies with a stable dividend policy are likely to enjoy greater investor interest than those that suffer from a more inconsistent approach. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payouts, these are not the only factors our readers should be aware of when evaluating a company. Example: we have identified 4 warning signs for Lancaster Colony (1 of which is potentially serious!) that you should know about. If you are a dividend investor, you can also consult our curated list of high yielding dividend stocks.

Valuation is complex, but we help make it simple.

Find out if Lancaster Colony is potentially overvalued or undervalued by viewing our full analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider trading and financial health.

See the free analysis

This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell stocks and does not take into account your objectives or financial situation. Our goal is to bring you targeted long-term analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price-sensitive companies or qualitative materials. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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The 2022 evolution of the law without surprise | Saul Ewing LLP https://flight93.org/the-2022-evolution-of-the-law-without-surprise-saul-ewing-llp/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 23:15:22 +0000 https://flight93.org/the-2022-evolution-of-the-law-without-surprise-saul-ewing-llp/ The No Surprises Act (“NSA”) is a federal law that came into force on January 1, 2022. The NSA statute was enacted under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and was implemented by three provisional rules announced jointly by the Office of Personnel Management within the Department of Treasury, Department of Labor and Department of Health […]]]>

The No Surprises Act (“NSA”) is a federal law that came into force on January 1, 2022. The NSA statute was enacted under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and was implemented by three provisional rules announced jointly by the Office of Personnel Management within the Department of Treasury, Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services in 2021 [1]. The primary goal of the NSA is to eliminate surprise medical bills for people enrolled in group health plans or group or individual health insurance coverage offered by a health insurance issuer. The NSA prohibits surprise billings in situations where services are provided by out-of-network facilities in emergency situations, for services provided when a patient is treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility, and for pay bills issued by out-of-network air ambulances by limiting the amount that can be billed to patients.

What do you want to know:

  • The primary goal of the NSA is to eliminate surprise medical bills for people enrolled in group health plans or group or individual health insurance coverage offered by a health insurance issuer.
  • The NSA prohibits surprise billings in situations where services are provided by out-of-network facilities in emergency situations, for services provided when a patient is treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility, and for pay bills issued by out-of-network air ambulances by limiting the amount that can be billed to patients.

Parts of the NSA have since been released due to legal challenges. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has released additional guidance and Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) documents throughout 2022 to address these challenges. This article covers both legal challenges and ongoing CMS tips and FAQs.

Legal challenges

In February 2022, the arbitration process established in the NSA was overturned by a federal judge in Texas in Texas Med. Association v. United States Department of Health and Human Services.[2] The NSA has included guidance for Independent Dispute Resolution (“IDR”) processes to resolve disputes between out-of-network providers and health insurers regarding appropriate reimbursement amounts. IDR is used when negotiations fail and a certified federal IDR entity [3] is required to review the details of the case and the items or services received and render a final judgment. The NSA has detailed a process by which the arbitrator decides the appropriate rate considering various factors, including how close the offer is to the eligible payment (“QPA”) amount. The judge determined that the government failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act by not following NSA text or adhering to proper notice and comment requirements when asking arbitrators to select the most appropriate amount. closer to the median rate of the network in the settlement of payment disputes. between insurers and some out-of-network healthcare providers.

In July 2022, another part of the NSA was released by the same Texas federal judge in Lifenet, Inc., c. United States Department of Health and Human Services. [4] This time, an interim final rule applicable to air ambulance service providers has been rescinded. The judge applied the same reasoning in Texas Med. declaring the provision to be unlawful, declaring the provision created a presumption of QPA by requiring the arbitrator to select the QPA unless credible information clearly demonstrates that it was materially different from that of an appropriate out-of-network tariff .

CMS Guidance

Aside from legal challenges from the NSA, many useful guidance documents have been issued by CMS to clarify the provisions of the NSA. Generally, CMS guidance is an informal summary of legal standards – it is not a formal law, regulation or policy. Its purpose is to answer questions and provide more information to better enable vendors to comply with the NSA. In February 2022, CMS published an FAQ [5] answering nearly 50 questions about Independent Dispute Resolution under the NSA with a chart [6] to help determine whether the federal IDR process, state law, or the Model All Payers Agreement applies to determine out-of-network rates.

In April 2022, CMS released more FAQs. A two-part FAQ [7] focused on the Good Faith Estimates (“GFEs”) that providers must provide to uninsured and self-paying patients. This FAQ included answers to what encompasses a GFE, when a GFE must be provided, and other requirements for a GFE. Part two of this two-part FAQ details the vendor’s NSA compliance guidelines, covering topics such as who is exempt and who falls under NSA requirements, signature requirements, and IDR fees.

In June 2022, in response to continued provider confusion regarding NSA applicability and patient notification and consent requirements, CMS released more FAQs [8] clarify which providers must comply with NSA rules, answer questions about notifying a patient, and obtain patient consent to waive balance billing and cost-sharing protections.

In August 2022, in addition to CMS publishing additional FAQs [9] Aiming to clarify the application of NSA billing provisions, the Office of Personnel Management, Department of Treasury, Department of Labor, and Department of Health and Human Services jointly issued a rule finalizing certain interim rules from 2021 and further clarifying the IDR process for health insurance providers and issuers. The Final Rule (“Final Rule”) [10] addressed portions of the NSA overruled by court rulings; and amended provisions for consideration of information when a certified IDR entity makes a payment decision. The final rule includes requirements for explanations of IDR entity determinations and the underlying rationale; including the factors an IDR entity must consider when determining a payout and the requirements for a written decision. The final rule directs the IDR entity to select the offer that the IDR entity believes best represents the value of the item or service at issue. The final rule also addresses disclosure requirements by plans and issuers regarding QPA. The terms of the final rule went into effect on October 25, 2022.

In September 2022, an RFI to inform rulemaking on requirements related to Advanced Explanation of Benefits and GFE for Covered Individuals was issued [11]. Saul Ewing’s attorneys will follow any rules promulgated as a result of the request for information and will issue an update as appropriate.
__________________

[1] The provisional rules parts 1, 2 and 3 can be viewed at:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/07/13/2021-14379/requirements-related-to-surprise-billing-part-i
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/10/07/2021-21441/requirements-related-to-surprise-billing-part-ii
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/23/2021-25183/prescription-drug-and-health-care-spending
[2] ED Tex., No. 6.21-cv-425 (February 23, 2022).
[3] A list of federal IDR-certified entities can be found here.
[4] ED Tex., No. 6:22-cv-162 (July 26, 2022).
[5] https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/Guidance-FAQs-Federal-Independent-Dispute-Resolution-Process.pdf
[6] https://www.cms.gov/files/document/caa-federal-idr-applicability-chart.pdf
[7] https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/Guidance-Good-Faith-Estimates-FAQ.pdf
[8] https://www.cms.gov/files/document/cciio-nsa-faqs.pdf
[9] https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/EBSA/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/faqs/aca-part-55.pdf
[10] https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/08/26/2022-18202/requirements-related-to-surprise-billing
[11] https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/09/16/2022-19798/request-for-information-advanced-explanation-of-benefits-and-good-faith-estimate-for-covered
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Everything you need to know about mortgages and government guaranteed loans https://flight93.org/everything-you-need-to-know-about-mortgages-and-government-guaranteed-loans/ Sat, 12 Nov 2022 09:25:31 +0000 https://flight93.org/everything-you-need-to-know-about-mortgages-and-government-guaranteed-loans/ November 11, 2022 03:00 Josh Patoka – Forbes Advisor Job : November 11, 2022 03:00 Updated: November 12, 2022 04:45 Getty Government-backed mortgages may be easier to obtain than conventional loans. This may make it a good choice if you have a lower income, don’t have perfect credit, or can’t afford a large down payment. […]]]>
Getty

Government-backed mortgages may be easier to obtain than conventional loans. This may make it a good choice if you have a lower income, don’t have perfect credit, or can’t afford a large down payment. Some borrowers might also benefit from a lower interest rate on a government-backed loan than they would get with a conventional mortgage.

There are several government programs to consider if you’re looking for a mortgage, so it’s important to understand how each works when comparing your options. Here’s what you need to know about government-backed mortgages and loans.

What are government loans?

Government home loans are mortgages issued by mortgage lenders and provided by the federal government. Several government agencies offer mortgage programs, including the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Since the federal government guarantees these loans, there is less risk to the lender if a borrower defaults. This is why government guaranteed loans come with more lenient requirements than conventional mortgages. For example, you might qualify with a:

  • Small deposit: Depending on the type of loan you are applying for, down payment requirements can be as low as 0% to 10% of your loan amount. This is much less than the traditional 20% required for a conventional loan to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI).
  • Lower credit score: You will generally need a credit score of at least 620 to get approved for a conventional mortgage. Government guaranteed loans, on the other hand, usually have lower credit score requirements. For example, you might qualify for an FHA loan with a credit score as low as 500, although having a score that low may require a higher down payment. USDA and VA loans do not have a specific minimum, although lenders often set their own minimums.
  • Higher debt-to-income ratio (DTI): Your DTI report is the amount you owe in monthly debt payments relative to your income. Many mortgage lenders require your DTI ratio to not exceed 43%, but others allow more leeway. For example, government-backed loans typically allow a maximum DTI of 41% for VA loans and 43% for FHA and USDA loans. But you could still qualify for an FHA loan with a DTI ratio as high as 57%, although this is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Also keep in mind that government guaranteed loans are considered non-conforming loans, meaning they operate outside the standards set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for conventional mortgages. Also, although Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both government-sponsored businesses, they are not a source of government-backed loans. Instead, these entities are privately owned and purchase mortgages from lenders so that those lenders have more funds to continue issuing mortgages, which ultimately supports the nation’s residential mortgage system.

How do government backed mortgages work?

The process of obtaining a government guaranteed mortgage is similar to applying for a classic loan— you will always work directly with a mortgage lender who will fund the loan if you are approved. However, unlike conventional mortgages where the lender is at risk if a borrower defaults, government guaranteed loans are insured by a federal agency, which protects the lender.

Although government-backed mortgages are generally easier to obtain, you will still need to meet the credit, income, and financing requirements set by the lender as well as the government agency guaranteeing the loan. It is also common for government programs to restrict eligibility to certain backgrounds. For example, VA loans are only available to military households, and USDA loans require you to live in a rural area.

Types of Government Backed Mortgages

There are a few main types of government-backed mortgages, including:

FHA Loans

FHA Loans are designed to help low-to-middle income borrowers qualify for home financing. They also come with a lower credit score and down payment. It is possible to qualify with a median FICO score as low as 500, although most FHA Lenders require a score of at least 580.

Another important advantage of FHA loans is the low down payment requirement. The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is generally only 3.5% of the loan amount if you have a credit score of 580 or higher. If you have a score lower than this, you will probably need to deposit at least 10%.

Keep in mind that all FHA loans require you to pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP). However, if you put at least 10% down payment, you will only have to pay it for the first 11 years of your loan; otherwise, you will pay it for the duration of your refund. Note that mortgage insurance on an FHA loan includes an initial MIP of 1.75% of your total loan amount, plus an annual MIP of 0.45% to 1.05% of the loan amount, depending on the amount of your loan, repayment term and loan-to-value ratio (LTV).

Related: FHA Loan Calculator

USDA Loans

USDA Loans are available to low- and middle-income borrowers who live in rural areas, which the USDA defines as small communities with populations under 35,000. To qualify for a USDA-guaranteed loan, i.e. it is financed by a private lender, your income cannot exceed 115% of the median household income in the area. Direct loan limits funded by the USDA itself can be as low as 50% of median income in some areas.

Although USDA loans do not have a specific minimum credit score requirement set by the USDA, you will need a score of at least 640 to qualify for most loans. USDA mortgage lenders. These loans also do not require a down payment.

Note that you will need to purchase two types of mortgage insurance for a USDA loan, which will cover your payments in case you lose your job and cannot pay. These include 1% of your loan amount due at closing as well as 0.35% of your original loan amount per year for the life of the loan.

Related: USDA Mortgage Calculator

VA Loans

AV loans are available to military service members, veterans and their surviving spouses. Like USDA loans, VA loans do not require a down payment and do not have a specific minimum credit score, although some VA Mortgage Lenders may require a score of at least 580.

You also won’t have to worry about mortgage insurance with a VA loan, no matter how big your down payment is. However, a one-time VA financing fee is due at closing and depends on your down payment amount. While this fee may be waived in limited cases, such as for veterans with service-related disabilities, you can expect to pay:

  • 2.3% ($2,300 per $100,000 borrowed) for down payments less than 5%
  • 1.65% ($1,650 for every $100,000 borrowed) for a down payment of 5% to 10%
  • 1.4% ($1,400 for every $100,000 borrowed) for down payments greater than 10%

Note that these fees will increase if you subscribe additional VA loans.

To participate in the VA loan program, you must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) of the VA. You can apply for it online or by mail, or your VA lender can apply for it for you.

Related: FHA vs. Conventional Loans Vs. VA Loan

Native American Direct Loans (NADL)

The VA also oversees the NADL program, which sponsors loans to help buy, build or improve homes on federal trust land. You may qualify for this type of loan if you are a Native American veteran or a non-Native American veteran who is married to a Native American. You will also need to provide a COE and meet other VA loan requirements.

As with other VA mortgage programs, you will pay a one-time financing fee at closing. This is 1.25% for purchase loans and 0.5% for mortgage refinances.

More on Forbes Advisor

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Bonus payout for select Fort Smith Public School teachers will arrive Dec. 15 https://flight93.org/bonus-payout-for-select-fort-smith-public-school-teachers-will-arrive-dec-15/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 22:53:31 +0000 https://flight93.org/bonus-payout-for-select-fort-smith-public-school-teachers-will-arrive-dec-15/ Some veteran Fort Smith public school teachers will receive a one-time bonus payment that was approved in May with the teacher increase and salary schedule update on Dec. 15, according to an administration memo. FSPS. A payment of $1,500, which the administration calls a one-time retention payment, to be paid with federal ESSER (Elementary and […]]]>

Some veteran Fort Smith public school teachers will receive a one-time bonus payment that was approved in May with the teacher increase and salary schedule update on Dec. 15, according to an administration memo. FSPS.

A payment of $1,500, which the administration calls a one-time retention payment, to be paid with federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Assistance) funds during the 2022-23 school year was school board approved to supplement approved 2022-23. restructured the certified pay scale, the memo says.

The Fort Smith School Board on May 9 approved a new salary scale for certified employees that provided teachers with an average salary increase of 5.89% for the 2022-23 contract year. With the largest increases given to the base salary of new teachers, many veteran teachers have seen very little change in their salary.

The average salary increase for teachers in the new schedule in percentage terms is still well below the most recent increase given to District Superintendent Dr. Terry Morawski. When Morawski’s superintendent contract was extended, his salary was set at 14.47% higher than his salary approved on December 30, 2020. Compensation for certified personnel had increased on average by 1.11% during the same period.

The Approved Certified Salary Schedule for Certified Personnel added $5,500 to the Base Certified Salary Schedule (CSS) and leveled the current “step” increases from Step 2 to Step 22. It increased the base salary by $38,500 to $44,000 for the 2022-2023 school year. The new step schedule increased teacher salaries by an average of $3,471.81 in the new contract year (5.89%), with salary increases ranging from $800 to $6,300 (1, 16% to 16.04%).

Charles Warren, chief financial officer of the FSPS, said Oct. 31 that the one-time retention payment had been approved by ADE, but the administration did not know when the checks would be distributed to staff. On Friday (November 4), he emailed staff saying payments would be released on December 15, with qualified staff in Stages 16-22 receiving payments.

“Qualified personnel include homeroom teachers and other department-level certified personnel, including, but not limited to, interventionists, instructional specialists, special education coordinators and adult education teachers. School-level administrators (such as principals and vice-principals) will also be eligible. District-level administrators (such as department directors) will not be eligible for payment,” the email reads. “Nurses, police officers, professional support staff, PT/OT assistants and SLP assistants have separate salary grids and will not be eligible for payment.”

At the time the step-by-step salary change for certified employees was approved, Warren said veteran teachers would receive a smaller increase than new teachers, but explained that was because the old salary scale was skewed so that veteran teachers already earned more than most districts in the Fort Smith metro area while beginning teachers earned significantly less. He said the new schedule was a “market correction”.

The certified pay scale restructuring resulted in a cost to the district of $4.5 million. In order to counter the fact that not all certified staff members have received equal salary increases through the new salary scale, the administration has proposed a “certified retention plan that targets the salaries of veteran teachers who may not not benefit as much as new staff in this proposal,” Morawski said. at the time.

Retention payments were not included in the $4.5 million.

The district has submitted a proposal for review and approval by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to use a portion of ESSER dollars to fund this fixed payment amount. Arkansas received $1.25 billion in ESSER funds. Arkansas ESSER funds are used to support and provide interventions that address student learning loss, summer enrichment programs, and comprehensive after-school programs with 90% of Arkansas funds under- subsidized to school districts and community organizations.

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How much would you get after taxes if you won? https://flight93.org/how-much-would-you-get-after-taxes-if-you-won/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 14:40:45 +0000 https://flight93.org/how-much-would-you-get-after-taxes-if-you-won/ Powerball jackpot is $1.2 billion The fourth-biggest lottery jackpot in US history could grow to the biggest ever if no one wins the top prize in Wednesday night’s Powerball draw. ORLANDO, Florida. – The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday’s draw is $1.2 billion – yes, we said BILLION! If anyone wins the jackpot – a cash […]]]>

The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday’s draw is $1.2 billion – yes, we said BILLION! If anyone wins the jackpot – a cash value of $596.7 million – it will be the second-biggest jackpot in Powerball history and the biggest Powerball prize in more than six years.

While you’re daydreaming about what you’d do with all that money — like buying a new house, a new car, or maybe an island — how much do you really get after taxes?

With such a high jackpot, it’s safe to say that no matter how much tax was taken, you’d still be sitting on a nice sum of change at the end. But in case you want to start calculating your potential winnings now, we’ve found online lottery payout calculators for you to play with.

When it comes to Powerball, your payout will vary depending on certain factors, including whether or not you have to pay state taxes. Of course, the accuracy of online calculators may not entirely match what you actually get. So if you win, experts say you should consult a financial advisor.

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Now, your earnings depend on whether you decide to take the lump sum payment or the annuity payment. According to Powerball website“jackpot winners can choose their prize as either an annuity or a lump sum payment. If the annuity option is selected, the winner is guaranteed to receive 30 payments over 29 years. Annual payments increase by 5% until 30 and final payment. The 30 payments added together correspond to the value of the annuity.”

For Wednesday’s jackpot, the cash option (or lump sum payout) would be $596.7 million. According annuity.org, federal taxes immediately reduce lottery winnings. But winners who take annuity payments may be closer to getting the actual jackpot amount than lump sum takers.

LOTTO PAYOUT CALCULATORS

Omni Calculator Breaks down your payment amount for the lump sum payment option and the annuity option, based on the state you reside in and your filing status.

  • Lump sum payment (after taxes): $529,235,928
  • Annuity payment (after taxes): $757,077,837

AfterLotto.com You chose your state, enter the estimated jackpot value and lets you see the payout amount for the lump sum payout option and the annuity option. For example, if you live in Florida, where there is no state tax, the tool calculates what you would take home:

  • Lump sum payment (after taxes): $437,418,000
  • Annuity payment (after taxes): $912,000,000

LotteryCritic.com came up with slightly different calculations for Floridians when it comes to how much to take away from the cash option.

  • Lump sum payment (after taxes): $556,320,000
  • Annuity payment (after taxes): $912,000,000

LotteryUSA.com allows you to choose your filing status and state to try to determine the net amount. For a Florida resident declaring single:

  • Lump sum payment (after taxes): $453,492,000
  • Annuity payment (after taxes): $912,000,001

The overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 24.9 and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292.2 million. But if you still want to try your luck, the next draw will take place on Wednesday, November 2 at 10:59 p.m. ET.

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Social Security Questions: Ask Rusty – Octogenarian asks about wife’s spousal and survivor benefits – The Coastland Times https://flight93.org/social-security-questions-ask-rusty-octogenarian-asks-about-wifes-spousal-and-survivor-benefits-the-coastland-times/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 20:25:42 +0000 https://flight93.org/social-security-questions-ask-rusty-octogenarian-asks-about-wifes-spousal-and-survivor-benefits-the-coastland-times/ Social Security Questions: Ask Rusty – The octogenarian asks about his wife’s spousal and survivor benefits Posted at 4:16 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, 2022 By Russell Gloor, AMAC Certified Social Security Advisor, Association of Mature American Citizens Dear Rusty: I am now 80 and my wife is 76, and we both took early Social […]]]>

Social Security Questions: Ask Rusty – The octogenarian asks about his wife’s spousal and survivor benefits

Posted at 4:16 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, 2022

By Russell Gloor, AMAC Certified Social Security Advisor, Association of Mature American Citizens

Dear Rusty: I am now 80 and my wife is 76, and we both took early Social Security benefits at age 62. When my wife took her social security, it was much smaller than mine, so they took part of mine and added it to hers. How it works? Also, when I die, will my wife get all of mine or just a percentage? Signed: Curious Senior

Dear Curious: The standard Social Security process is to pay a beneficiary’s personally earned retirement benefits first, then add an additional amount if necessary to bring the payment up to what they are entitled to as a spouse or surviving spouse. So in your wife’s case, she now receives (while you both live) her own social security benefit plus a “spouse boost” to make her payment equal to what she’s owed in as your spouse. Your wife’s spousal support was not deducted from your benefit payment – you still receive your own retirement benefit – but her spousal support amount was calculated by comparing the amount she was entitled to full retirement age (FRA) at 50% of your FRA benefit and then reducing the amount of spousal support because she applied at age 62 (all Social Security benefits except disability benefits, taken before the FRA are reduced).

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As for your wife’s benefits as a survivor, since her own Social Security retirement benefit is smaller, if you die first, the additional amount of “spouse boost” than your wife now receiving will cease and be replaced by a higher supplement that brings her total payment to what she is entitled to as a surviving widow.

As a spouse during your lifetime, your spouse could have received a maximum of 50% of the benefit amount to which you were entitled at full retirement age (FRA) of 66, but she receives less than that because which she claimed at the age of 62. However, if you die, your spouse will receive a higher total amount made up of her 62-year benefit that she personally earned, plus an additional amount to make her payment equal to 100% of the amount you received on your death. In fact, the amount of its death benefit may even be greater than what you receive on your death, as it will receive at least 82.5% of your “primary insurance amount” or “PIA”, which is the benefit that was due to you at age 66 (your FRA).

Think of it this way – as a surviving spouse, the total amount of benefits paid to your spouse will be either 100% of the benefit you were receiving when you died, or 82.5% of the benefit you were entitled to. 66, whichever is greater. . And that will replace the smaller amount your wife now receives as a spouse while you both live. Of course, your spouse will need to notify Social Security of your death and do so in a timely manner to get the higher benefit she is entitled to as a surviving spouse.

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Residents express concern over highway | News, Sports, Jobs https://flight93.org/residents-express-concern-over-highway-news-sports-jobs/ Sat, 22 Oct 2022 05:19:20 +0000 https://flight93.org/residents-express-concern-over-highway-news-sports-jobs/ Sentinel photo by CONNER GOETZCenter County residents review proposed construction on Route 322 during a PennDOT meeting at Mount Nittany Middle School on Wednesday. BOALSBURG — Center County residents have expressed concern about potential environmental impact, right-of-way purchases, and a Route 45 connector proposal at PennDOT Community Meetings on the State […]]]>

Sentinel photo by CONNER GOETZ
Center County residents review proposed construction on Route 322 during a PennDOT meeting at Mount Nittany Middle School on Wednesday.

BOALSBURG — Center County residents have expressed concern about potential environmental impact, right-of-way purchases, and a Route 45 connector proposal at PennDOT Community Meetings on the State College Area Connector Program.

The meeting, which allowed residents to review the proposed planning and environmental liaison study for the SCAC project, was held Wednesday and Thursday at Mount Nittany Middle School. The project aims to improve transportation safety and efficiency in southern Center County.

PEL studies are a preliminary step that identifies the general objectives of the project and considers which action plan best meets community, economic and environmental objectives. The results of PEL studies are refined into more detailed Preliminary Engineering/Environmental Studies (NEPA), which assess the specific impacts of the project.

PennDOT District 2 officials presented nine potential alternatives for improving traffic flow along Route 322 and outlined the pros and cons of each proposal.

The end goal is to make Route 322 a four-lane highway that would stretch from Lewistown to the start of the Mount Nittany Highway; currently the highway is still a two-lane from Potters Mills to Boalsburg.

At the meeting, PennDOT said it remains on track to begin construction in 2028.

Three recommended alternatives were highlighted: 322-1OEX, an improvement to the existing roadway, 322-1S, a newly constructed partial section south of the 322, and 332-5, a larger section built farther south than the 322. 322-1S.

After a brief presentation by Kevin James, Associate Vice President of Michael Baker International, an engineering consulting firm, highlighting the findings of the preliminary PEL studies, PennDOT officials conducted a question and answer session with attendees. .

John Collins, a Center Hall resident, asked if it was possible to include accommodations for multimodal transportation, such as electric vehicle charging stations and bus stops, in the final plans.

“With any project we do, especially on a new route, we have to look at all modes of transport,” PennDOT District 2 Manager Tom Zurat said. “Commitment to … multimodal is part of the process, and we will definitely look at that.”

One of the main points of contention during the session was the potential Route 45 connector, which could be built to divert some traffic from Route 322 during the construction process.

“At this point, we just don’t know” Zurat said, “We need to take a closer look at what our traffic pattern will become as we move forward, and does that affect security or not, does that alignment connector need to be there.”

While the fate of the Route 45 connector is still up in the air, another attendee, Janine Page, said she wanted to see further study before a final decision is made.

“I saw the chart where you talked about all the analysis of environmental impacts on birds, wetlands and all those things… I want to make sure that all of this is used to assess whether or not we need of this connector”, said Page.

Resident Keith McElheny inquired about potential right-of-way purchases along the new alignment.

“Every route goes through or through my house, so my fear would be that you would destroy my family by paying me the lowest price my house is worth to get into a recession,” McElheny said.

Currently, PennDOT evaluators evaluate “just compensation” for right-of-way purchases based on local real estate trends, comparable property values ​​and estimated damages, with no specific payment amount.

“We understand that this is not an easy process for anyone, we have a right of way process that we will follow and will work out for anyone who may be affected by the study,” Dean Ball, deputy district manager of PennDOT, said.

Although no date has yet been set, the next public meeting to discuss the results of the NEPA study will take place in winter 2023 or spring 2024.




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Cold temperatures could cause a shock to the heating bill of some https://flight93.org/cold-temperatures-could-cause-a-shock-to-the-heating-bill-of-some/ Wed, 19 Oct 2022 12:36:56 +0000 https://flight93.org/cold-temperatures-could-cause-a-shock-to-the-heating-bill-of-some/ ExploreHome heating costs will rise for the second straight winter Even with the impending price increases, there are steps people can take in their home or apartment to lower their bills. Letting the sun heat a home by opening curtains and blinds, cleaning heating systems and air vents of dust, and sealing air duct leaks […]]]>
ExploreHome heating costs will rise for the second straight winter

Even with the impending price increases, there are steps people can take in their home or apartment to lower their bills.

Letting the sun heat a home by opening curtains and blinds, cleaning heating systems and air vents of dust, and sealing air duct leaks are ways to cut heating bills, said the US Department of Energy.

“Lower the temperature at night. Although you want the house to be comfortable during the day, adding an extra blanket to your bed can allow you to lower the thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees, reducing heating costs by up to 10% per year,” said the federal agency.

Programmable thermostats and home humidifiers are investments that can be made now and could pay for themselves quickly, said Nick Lamb, owner of Butler Heating and Air Conditioning.

“Some people who have older systems that are considering replacing them anyway due to age or repair issues, are really curious about the new power-saving features built into some of the newer equipment. “, Lamb said.

Customers have shared their concerns about the expected increase in heating costs for their homes this year, he said, but even though the cold weather has started to surface, there is still time to make improvements and take advantage of potential savings.

“The most cost effective or cheapest solution would be a programmable thermostat so you can program the temperature to be higher while you’re there and lower while you’re away,” Lamb said, adding that there are now technology that can detect if a person is home by connecting to a person’s phone and will adjust the temperature accordingly.

Checking and replacing old filters is also a good way to cut costs, Lamb said.

ExploreFree Legal Aid on Probate Matters Now Available at County Court

CenterPoint Energy’s Ohio distributes natural gas to approximately 330,000 customers in this region. The company is offering a number of payment assistance options to help customers who will be affected by the increase, the company said.

“Given the volatility of the natural gas market, customers can choose a fixed price that will not fluctuate during the winter months. Given that natural gas accounts for nearly half of customer bills during the winter months, now would be a good time to explore the best supplier pricing options for your needs,” said Ashley Babcock of CenterPoint Energy. , which is not a natural gas supplier. .

The company said heating with natural gas is still the cheapest way to heat a home. Those who used gasoline paid about $1,000 less than those who used propane and between $50 and $650 than those who used electricity, the company said.

“We recognize the financial challenges our customers may be facing this heating season, and want to encourage them to contact us for options to help them manage costs ahead of their first high bill of the heating season,” Babcock said. . “In addition, clients in need of additional financial assistance can apply for programs available through our local community action agencies and local nonprofit organizations.”

Staff reporter Eric Schwartzberg contributed to this report


Heating costs in winter

Below is a list of tools provided by CenterPoint Energy to help reduce costs or make them more affordable this winter.

  • Choice of program: Through CenterPoint Energy’s Natural Gas Choice program, customers can choose a natural gas supplier that’s right for them. Competing providers offer consumers more pricing options, such as locking in a fixed rate, allowing them to compare energy as they do other products and services. Customers who do not choose a third-party provider are served by one of the five default providers in the standard choice offer at a variable rate. Visit http://www.centerpointenergy.com/choice for an up-to-date list of suppliers and prices.
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP): Federal and state utility assistance dollars are available to income-eligible customers. Households must fall at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines to apply. Visit www.development.ohio.gov or call (800) 282-0880 to learn more.
  • HEAP Winter Crisis Program: The HEAP Winter Crisis program provides assistance once per heating season to eligible households that are disconnected or at risk of disconnection. Households must fall at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines to apply. Visit www.development.ohio.gov or call (800) 282-0880 to learn more.
  • Payment Plan Income Percentage Plus (PIPP Plus): PIPP Plus asks a qualified household to pay 5% of their monthly income for gas service throughout the year. To be eligible for the PIPP Plus program, a customer must receive their primary or secondary heat source from a company regulated by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission, must have a total household income equal to or less than 175% of the federal poverty. and must apply for all energy assistance programs for which he is eligible.
  • Extension of due date and payment arrangement: These are two free offers that are available to customers who temporarily need a special payment plan to keep service connected and manage energy costs.
  • Energy Efficiency Resources: CenterPoint Energy offers energy efficiency tips, appliance rebates and energy-saving tools to help customers lower their natural gas bills. All Ohio residential and small commercial natural gas customers are eligible. Visit www.centerpointenergy.com/smartsavings or call 1-800-227-1376 for a list of rebates, eligible appliances and energy efficiency tips.
  • Budget Bill: Under this billing plan, a customer’s estimated costs for a year of gas service are broken down into equal monthly bill amounts for the year. This leveling of monthly bill amounts reduces the need to pay the full amount in the winter and spreads some of those higher bill charges over the non-heating months. Amounts are adjusted each summer based on actual costs, and the customer’s credit or amount owed is rolled into the next budget bill payment for the following 12-month period. Customers can register for free at www.centerpointenergy.com or by calling 1-800-227-1376.
  • Weatherization of the house: CenterPoint Energy’s Home Weatherization Program helps eligible Ohio customers implement energy efficiency upgrades to their homes free of charge. Households must be within 300% of the federal poverty guidelines to apply. Visit www.miamivalleycap.org to learn more.

Source: CenterPoint Energy

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