The denial of the insurers proposal marks the first time the state has turned down health premium increases.
Jay McQuaide, vice president of the state’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield released this statement,
“We share the concern about rising health costs, but we don’t think government price controls will solve the problem”
Insurance Commissioner Joseph G. Murphy found that most of the base rates proposed by state health plans were “unreasonable relative to the benefits provided,” according to a statement issued by the agency.
Further information on this story can be found in the original article in the Boston Globe.
The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal aid will be available to those affected by the severe storms. This federal aid will supplement state and local recovery efforts.
The aid will provide federal funding to affected individuals in Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester counties.
The severe storms and flooding that have occurred in Massachusetts recently have been classified by the government as federal disaster areas. The counties of Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester fall under this classification.
Taxpayers in the counties listed will not be required to do anything to receive this extension. The IRS computer system will automatically recognize the affected areas and extend the deadlines for those individuals.
So far, sic insurance companies have agreed to refund premiums, Liberty Mutual, Quincy Mutual, Safety Insurance, Pilgrim Insurance (including its Plymouth Rock affiliate) and Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance (aka MetLife). While these companies are the only ones currently named, Amie Breton a spokeswoman for Coakley’s office told Wicked Localthat as many as 50,000 motorcyclists could be affected.
Unfortunately, there is no set date that refund checks will be mailed with the exception of Liberty Mutual who has already worked with Coakley’s office to clear up the matter. Checks for Liberty Mutual policy holders will be mailed in May.
It has been a long debated question on whether elderly drivers should be allowed to drive at certain ages. Now that the baby boomers are beginning to reach these ages, this question is getting more attention. With more then 20 million drivers 70 and older on the road across the nation in 2007, more people are raising the question on whether the elderly should continue to drive.
Safe elderly drivers require the complex coordination of many different skills. The physical and mental changes that accompany aging can diminish the abilities of elderly drivers. These include: a slowdown in response time; a loss of clarity in vision and hearing; a loss of muscle strength and flexibility; drowsiness due to medications; and a reduction in the ability to focus or concentrate.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also found elderly drivers tend to be “over-involved” in particular types of collisions. To be specific, the most common error they found was collisions caused due to failure to yield the right of way.
The IIHS also looked at insurance claims and found that both collision and property damage claims begin increasing after “about age 65 meaning that seniors more often are involved in crashes.”
For further detail into this report of elderly driving, visit the article Westport News.
Auto insurance can be complicated but it is very important that you know all the details. A recent article published by MSN money breaks down the basics of auto insurance.
If you have good credit, you’ll pay less
Your car model affects your premium
Pay in full to avoid installment fees
Personal property within your vehicle is not covered
Bad driving leads to higher rates
If you lend your car out and something happens, you’ll be the one to pay
The value of your “totaled” car may surprise you
Check into “diminished value”
Taxes can still be owed on a replacement car
Wait to add your teenager to your policy until he or she is licensed
Officially cancel your insurance policy when you switch insurers
When shopping around make sure to keep these points in mind because they may end up saving you money annually. MassDrive would like to help you in your efforts! MassDrive is excited about the competition that deregulation has created and we would like to pass on the savings to you. Our licensed professionals can compare policies from multiple carriers and give you a better understanding of the benefits of each plan!
The increase would cause the inspection charge for a passenger car to rise $6.
State Republican Paul Donato realeased a statement on the matter,
“It was something the commission felt would have a better impace on the communities by allowing them to have the opportunity to have police training.”
Under the new bill, municipalities would be able to e-billing programs and offer employee benefits already available to state workers, such as health care spending accounts and larger optional life insurance maximums.
An interesting new approach the bill proposes is cooperative purchasing agreements and mutual aid agreements with other cities and towns to save money on services, equipment and staffing.
Whether the bill will pass is unknown but it is under review by the House Ways and Means Committee.
With the current problem of roads deteriorating and state funds continuing to decline, something must be done. Nothing is set in stone, but Massachusetts is looking into a mileage tax programthat is currently being tested in Oregon. The concept is credited to Intelligent Transportation Systems in Washington DC. Scott Belcher, the CEO of the company believes their new technology is the solution to the country’s transportation problems.
The program would provide a way to tax drivers based on the amount 0f mileage driven versus increasing gas tax. If the gas tax is increased, individuals who drive gas efficient vehicles will be affected less, and those who drive standard vehicles will make up for the savings of the gas efficient cars.
The proposed program would require that all vehicles install a GPS chip that would track distance traveled. All gas stations would be fitted with wireless electronic readers to record mileage. When filling up, the electronic reader would calculate the tax and apply it to the gas bill.
Senator Brown has already spoke up against this new form of taxation but only time will tell if there is a future for mileage tax in Massachusetts.
For the second week in a row, gas prices drop in Massachusetts! AAAof Southern New England reported monday that the price of self-serve, unleaded regular at Ocean State stations was $2.72 per gallon. This is a 3 cent drop from last weeks prices.
This may be the cause of the 8.2 percent price drop of oil in January. The first month-to-month decline since July and the biggest decrease since December 2008, Bloomberg News reported.
This is great news for Massachusetts drivers, so get out there and fill up while the prices are low!