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Other topics include working with governmental agencies, business planning for farms, basic financial documents for farms, crop insurance basics, marketing basics for selling crops and livestock, leasing farmland, and estate planning, including information on wills and trusts.



Mutual of Omaha Expands Medicare Supplement Plan Portfolio

OMAHA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mutual of Omaha has introduced two new plans to its Medicare supplement insurance portfolio to provide additional coverage options for customers. High Deductible Plan F and Plan N are fully underwritten and offer lower premiums due to their cost-sharing features.

Policyholders enrolled in High Deductible Plan F pay their Medicare-covered costs - including deductibles, coinsurance and copayments - up to the policy's deductible amount of $2,180 in 2016.

Plan N requires up to a $20 copayment for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits.

"Customers deserve a wide range of options when it comes to selecting their Medicare supplement coverage," said Amber Rinehart, vice president and actuary. "We hope our High Deductible Plan F and Plan N can help Medicare beneficiaries who prefer the lower premiums associated with these cost-sharing policies."

Both of Mutual's new plans provide immediate coverage and allow the customer to choose his or her health care providers and facilities.

Mutual of Omaha is celebrating its 50th year of providing Medicare supplement coverage. For more information about the company's Medicare supplement plans, visit mutualofomaha.com/medicare-supplement-insurance/basics.php.

Founded in 1909, Mutual of Omaha is a full-service, multi-line organization providing insurance, banking and financial products for individuals, businesses and groups throughout the United States. For more information about Mutual of Omaha, visit www.mutualofomaha.com.



Why More Employers Are Focusing on Employees' Overall Financial Well-Being

For many of us, the holiday season has come and gone, and, unfortunately, for some shoppers, the consumerism of the holidays took over your wallet and now that the credit card bills are trickling in, you realize maybe you spent more than you should have.

Its no surprise, financial stress ranks high among todays workers. In fact, recent surveys show the number one cause of stress globally is, indeed, money. According to the American Psychological Association, nearly three-quarters of Americans experience financial stress at least some of the time, and nearly a quarter of us are experiencing extreme financial stress. Thats calculated to a $300 billion dollar yearly cost in lost productivity and absenteeism, reports the World Health Organization.

Another whammy, student loan debt has surpassed personal debt. Day-to-day financial concerns continue to pervade peoples lives, taking its toll on the lives of individuals and their families.

You dont need to be a rocket scientist to make the connection that any type of stress will impact a persons ability to focus on the job, and financial worries certainly add to the distractions. Nearly half of American full-time workers say they worry about personal finances during work hours, while 29 percent say they deal with personal financial issues on the job -- often for two to three hours a week. Coming out of the Great Recession, many employers began to take this connection more seriously, especially as they were placed in the situation of having to often add to this stress by freezing or cutting wages, suspending employer retirement matching contributions, and reducing or eliminating other rewards programs.

As employer-sponsored benefits programs shift greater responsibility onto workers, and organizations require individuals to make more decisions around complex issues, employers can play an important role in helping their employees feel more financially secure by offering financial well-being benefits. Aon Hewitt found that a growing number of employers realize basic money management plays a critical role in an individuals financial well-being. Helping a workforce improve their money management skills can, also, raise organizational productivity. A study by Towers Watson found that when companies focus on both employee health AND financial well-being, it results in increased productivity, a competitive edge in the marketplace, and an improved ability to attract and retain talent.

Just as many employers offer traditional wellness programs today that focus on nutrition, exercise, and other health-related activities, there clearly are linkages that show the impact financial worries can have on ones physical and emotional health. According to the 2015 WorldatWork survey, Total Rewards and Employee Well-Being Practices, only 28 percent of surveyed employers offer financial wellness programs, outside of retirement-specific education. Therefore, there is lots of room for growth in this area. Every employer can customize their programs to meet the unique needs of their workforce, their organizational culture, and budgetary resources. Employers should begin with basic financial education, such as employee education around establishing a budget, reducing debt, understanding employee benefits and developing financial goals. Make sure senior leadership is on board and provides ultimate support.

Employers may wish to conduct an assessment similar to a health-risk assessment, providing employees with a financial wellness score that shows them how they may fare, relative to specific financial risks. In addition, some organizations have begun to offer wellness dollars as contributions into individual health savings accounts for the completion of specific health-related tasks as part of an employers overall wellness program. This same concept might be applicable for the completion of certain financial wellness activities, such as attending a budgeting class, or viewing a webinar or e-learning on cash flow management, insurance basics, investments, or some other financial topic.

Helping employees to better manage their personal finances is a win-win value proposition for both organizations and their employees. With the many financial challenges inherent in the shifting of more retirement funding to employees in the face of stagnant wages and increased out-of-pocket health-care costs, financial well-being programs offer employers an opportunity to assist their employees with learning effective money management skills that they can use to increase their financial security.

Wouldnt it be great if certain components of a financial wellness programs were a required part of the school curriculum?

This post is part of an editorial series produced by The Huffington Post as part of our monthlong Work Well initiative, which focuses on thriving in the workplace. The goal of the series -- which will feature blogs, reported features, videos, and more -- is to present creative solutions you can use to take care of yourself as you take care of business. The effort is also part of The Huffington Posts Whats Working solutions-oriented journalism initiative. To see all the content in the Work Well series, visit here.



Open Enrollment Deadline Approaching Soon

RICHARDSON, Texas, Jan. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --January 31st marks the end of the third annual enrollment period through the Health Insurance Marketplace. With this deadline quickly approaching, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is actively providing Texans with health insurance information and enrollment opportunities.

BCBSTX offers health insurance in all 254 counties in Texas and is the only health insurance provider offering individuals access to health insurance through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace in 58 of those counties.

BCBSTX remains committed to providing all Texans with sustainable health plan options that meet the varying needs of the states population and contribute to the states overall health. Blue Cross commitment to expand access to quality health care remains as it has over the last 80 years, and it encourages those without health insurance to enroll before the January 31 deadline.

BCBSTX provides a wide range of services and online tools to help renewing members make informed health decisions, for example:

  • Provider Finder: Members can select the best network provider for their needs based on location, as well as view industry-respected third party quality indicators, costs and patient-submitted reviews on an easy-to-navigate website.
  • Blue Access for MembersSM: Members can access information on their policy, including status of claims, alerts, temporary ID cards and more. This also includes Blue Access MobileSM, which allows members to find a doctor, hospital or urgent care facility in addition to benefit information.
  • 24/7 Nurseline: Members can speak with registered nurses about health concerns, common health information and tips and advice on where to go to receive necessary care.

For more information, visit BCBSTXs Insurance Basics page.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and healthcare practitioners, and 500 hospitals to serve more than 5 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the countrys largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall.Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

BCBSTX.com | Twitter.com/BCBSTX | Facebook.com/BlueCrossBlueShieldOfTexas | YouTube.com/BCBSTX

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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas



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