Archives for August 2012

How to focus and increase your business by 40%

Is it Time to Try the Distraction Diet?

Are you feeling lethargic?  Pulled in too many directions?  Are you unable to complete the tasks you used to handle so easily?  Feeling weighed down and uninspired?  Lacking energy and focus?

If so, it may be time for what I call the “distraction diet.”

I work with real estate agents with varied backgrounds and varied businesses in various parts of the country.  But here’s what I can tell you most of them have in common: a problem managing distractions.

Feed the engine

Think of your real estate business as an engine that must be fed.  An engine that isn’t fed the right fuel will sputter and eventually stop running (perhaps stranding you in the middle of nowhere).

If the car analogy leaves you cold, how about comparing your business to the human body?  Prior to doing an activity — let’s say, playing in a soccer match — do you eat three candy bars and hoist a shot of tequila?  Not if you want to have a great game, you don’t.

Yet many real estate agents feed the same sort of temporarily satisfying but absolutely non-nourishing “work calories” to their hungry business.

So, let’s look at the word “distraction.”  It’s defined as: a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else; a diversion or recreation.

I think this definition perfectly encapsulates the problem with distractions.  Sure, they can be fun (otherwise they would just be work, and we would be distracted from them by something else).  Distractions draw us in because they either add pleasure to our lives or remove pain from our lives.  It’s that simple.  Distractions allow us to take the easy route — the pleasure route.  At least for the moment, we avoid the pain.  But you and I both know that a distraction is just a temporary turnoff on the road to a successful business!

The lie you tell yourself

Do you (or did you) have a teenager in your life?  Do you remember the battles about turning down the music, or turning off the TV, so they could do a better job with their homework ¦ and how they would try to convince you that they actually got more done with the noise?

You tell yourself that same lie if you are allowing distractions in your work life.

What gets you off track?  Depending in your personality style, your distractions will vary.  It could be friends calling or stopping by, social media, nice weather, or surfing the Internet.  Think about what it is for you.

Staying on track

Try keeping track of your distractions for a week, and see if there are any commonalities.  Understanding what’s getting you off track is the best way to start keeping on track.

Also look at what you’re being distracted from.  What is it that is so unappealing or painful to you that you want to divert your attention elsewhere?  Then spend some time trying to figure out why the activity is so repellent.  It may well be that it’s something you could have someone else handle for you in your business.

I’ve spoken before about my “hour of power” — that hour that I dedicate at the beginning of each day with no phones, no email and no interruptions from family or friends.  That hour of power ensures that I have a big block of time to get work done each day and helps make up for potential distractions later on.  It is the #1 thing that I’ve built in to my business which has created success for me.  If you’re not doing an hour of power, try it!  You’ll be amazed by how much you can get done.

But of course, you need to be focused for more than just an hour a day.  Here are some suggestions for providing an overall structure to make that easier:

1. Set core priorities.  What must get done in your business each week?  Lead generation?  Follow-up?  Market research?  Previewing properties?  Make your list, and figure out the frequencies for these activities.

2. Determine what keeps you from doing these “musts” in other words, your distractions..

3. Start building a series of small good habits and patterns.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and habits are hard to change.  But pretty quickly, small habits become easy-to-manage-routines for productivity.

4. Have goals in your business.  Framing up your daily or weekly activities in this perspective helps you realize that not spending three hours per day on Facebook isn’t going to mean the end of your social life and may actually help you achieve your business goals.

5. Create bite-sized bits of work.  A three-hour lead generation project too daunting?  How about doing it in 30-minute bits instead?

6. Track your results!  When you can look back to accomplishments that occurred as a result of the distraction diet it’s a whole lot easier to stay motivated when the next one occurs.

7. Build in rewards.  Only you will know what’s best and most motivating, of course.

8. Block out time.  Not just for work — but for fun, too!

9. Ask friends and family for help.  Sharing your goals with those close to you accomplishes two things: It allows them to support you by reminding you to keep on-task; and if they are the distraction it can help them understand why you may sometimes need to say “no” to them.

10. Finally, remove distractions as best you can.

Like all diets, the distraction diet requires effort — but boy, will it ever yield rewards!

Why not make today the day you start making good “work calorie” choices for long-term, sustainable results?

 

By: Denise Lones, www.realtown.com

If You Had Only Three Minutes in Front of a Group of Realtors

I was surfing a message board that I frequent with high performing loan officers.  One of them has an opportunity to present to a group of Realtors next week, and he was told that he has a whole three minutes to do a presentation.  Hm-m-m, three minutes.  The post started by asking what would other loan officers do with this opportunity.  It got me thinking about opportunities that I’ve had like this and how I approached them.  Here was my response:

If I had only three minutes to “talk” to a group of Realtors, I would let them talk first.  Ask them what their biggest frustrations are, ask them what they are not getting from their current lender relationships, ask them what they would like to see from a relationship.

I would spend the first two minutes finding out what their issues (“pain”) happen to be, and then I would spend one minute explaining how I could help ease that pain or resolve some of their issues.

If you talk to them they won’t listen.  If you listen to them and then address their concerns I think you would get a much higher interest level.

There are two important preparation points here:

1. Be prepared for no one to speak.  I’m sure that, in the current market, this won’t happen, but you should be prepared with stories or pains that other Realtors have shared and then ask them if they are experiencing any of the same things.  You will certainly get a response when you hit some hot buttons.  Understand which of those issues the audience seems to respond to, and focus on those.

2. The reality, of course, is that you already know what they are going to say and what their issues are.  This is not the point.  Anyone can “show up and throw up” and “tell” the Realtors what he or she can do for them.  But you really want to engage them and let them know that what they feel is important.  Prepare your presentation, and then mentally put each of your USP items or points that you want to make into categories that you can then use to help solve their pain.

This way you can get your points across and focus those points on what is most important to your audience.

Also remember that you can’t tell them everything, so don’t try.  Pick the top three key items that you want to convey — the things that will create the most business for your Realtor partners, the things that will save them the most time, make them the most money, relieve the most frustration, help them build their business and get continued referrals, etc.

I would be surprised if, when you try this approach, the following doesn’t happen:

1. You get more than three minutes.

2. You get multiple questions.

3. You have the opportunity to set up appointments with individual agents to go into further detail with them in a more intimate setting.

Touch on their concerns and offer to follow up with each of them, if they wish.  Get business cards and contact info (biz cards).

Maybe pick one or two products to highlight.  Any more than that won’t fit in that timeframe.

Bring printed materials with your contact info and logo on it.  Make sure it is very valuable information.

Show them some other printed info you have, and whet their appetite.  Offer to send it via email and even offer to personalize it with their information on it (next to yours, of course).  I would bet that you would get a lot of takers.

Remember, it’s just three minutes, and that’s not a lot of time to get anything across — let alone everything — so don’t even try.

My approach would be: Ask, Answer, Tease.

That’s what I would do.  By the way, this is in fact what I actually do — and it works!

So, get out there, and start seeing more Realtors!  It’ll make a big difference in your business.

 

By: Jason Klaskin, www.topofmind.com

Why the Fed is Powerless to Clean up Housing Mess

Federal Reserve Board policymakers face a terrible dilemma.  They can’t do what needs to be done to stimulate a near moribund economy.  And what they can do won’t help very much.

The dilemma stems from the core problems facing the economy, which slowed to 1.5 percent in the second quarter.  First and foremost is the continued economic drag from government budget cuts, which has cost over 600,000 state and local public employees their jobs over the past 18 months and over 50,000 federal employees their jobs in the past year.  Without those job losses, unemployment in the U.S. would be a half to a full percentage point less than what it is today, economists say.

The second major headwind facing the economy comes from Europe, where budget austerity and bond market turmoil have triggered deep recessions along the eurozone’s southern tier.  That’s depressed U.S. exports, reduced the overseas earnings of U.S.-based corporations and created a worldwide  climate of economic uncertainty that impedes spending and investment.

The Fed can encourage its European counterparts to take action.  But it can’t pull the trigger.

The final and perhaps biggest headwind is the continuing near depression in the U.S. housing market, which is still operating at half to three-quarters of its pre-Great Recession peak.  New housing starts in June totaled an annual rate of 760,000 units, about half the 1.5 million units registered in the mid-2000s.  Sales of new and existing homes are running at about 4.7 million units a year, well below the 6 million units a year considered normal.

You would think the Fed has real power to intervene on the housing front, primarily through its ability to buy mortgage-backed securities and lower interest rates to stimulate the market.  But, as we’ll see in a moment, there are financial sector roadblocks to wielding that power in an effective manner.

Fed chairman Bernanke directly addressed the fiscal issue in his testimony before both houses of Congress in July.  He repeatedly implored legislators on both sides of the aisle to adopt a sustainable fiscal policy that would combine a short-term stimulus to get the economy moving again with a long-term plan that would bring the nation’s yawning budget deficits under control.

Instead, Congress kicked the can down the road and left businesses and the American public with the gnawing fear that renewed stalemate after the election will result in the government running the economy off a fiscal cliff — a combination of large tax increases and budget cuts looms, which would inevitably lead to renewed recession.

How about the housing market?  The Fed’s chief tool to provide help there would be a third round of quantitative easing that would achieve lower long-term interest rates by increasing the Fed’s purchases of mortgage-backed securities.

An aggressive move by the Fed on that front could succeed in lowering mortgage rates to 2.5 to 2.75 percent, a full percentage point below current levels and the lowest rates of the modern era.  In theory, that should cause a rush of new home buyers to scoop up houses that are now selling for inflation-adjusted prices that in most parts of the country are about where they were in the late 1990s.

But high unemployment, stagnant incomes, especially for younger families, and fear that home prices could fall farther continues to depress new and existing home sales.  And as events in other precincts of Washington on Tuesday showed, there are structural reasons why lower rates might not work in clearing up the twin plagues of the post-bubble era: foreclosures and underwater mortgages.

While foreclosures have gotten most of the attention, the single biggest deadweight dragging down housing activity is the 11.1 million American homeowners who are stuck with mortgages worth more than the value of their homes — so-called underwater mortgages.  Fully 80 percent of these homeowners are not deadbeats.  They make their payments every month — often at rates far above what is available in the current marketplace since they were acquired near the height of the housing bubble when first mortgages were close to 6 percent and second mortgages could be 7 percent or higher.

But when these responsible borrowers show up at the bank to refinance, they get turned away.  They can’t get a loan because the appraised value of their homes is below the mortgage value.  Often it is far below.  A report issued Tuesday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said more than half of its underwater mortgages, and those two agencies back about 41 percent of the 11.1 million underwater loans, had loan-to-value ratios above 115 percent.

Some Congressmen are pushing FHMA to use leftover funds from the Toxic Asset Relief Program — the bank bailout bill passed in October 2008 — to write down the principle of mortgages where homeowners have remained current in their payments.  But FHMA acting director Edward DeMarco recently rejected that idea.

“Given our multiple responsibilities to conserve the assets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, maximize assistance to homeowners to avoid foreclosures, and minimize the expense of such assistance to taxpayers, FHFA concluded that principle reduction did not clearly improve foreclosure avoidance while reducing costs to taxpayers relative to the approaches in place today,” he said.

Clearly, the overseer of Fannie and Freddie is no different than the private banks and bondholders who own mortgage-backed securities.  While they face some risk that underwater homeowners will walk away from their loans, 80 percent don’t.  That means the lenders continue to benefit from the high cash flow from overpriced mortgages taken out at the peak of the housing bubble.

If these same homeowners could refinance at current rates — about 3.5 percent — it would save an estimated $500 to $750 per month per household in lower interest costs, according to a spokesman for Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who has sponsored an alternative approach to the problem.  His bill would replicate a depression-era housing refinance corporation that could sell federally-backed bonds (now costing about 2 percent a year) to raise cash to purchase the old loan.  Charging the homeowners about 4 percent on the new loans would be sufficient to create a fund for anticipated losses while insuring that the program didn’t cost taxpayers anything.

Given the likelihood that the current Congress won’t act on his innovative proposal, Merkley pressed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at a hearing on the Libor scandal to experiment with a pilot project for underwater homeowners.  It will take a new Congress actually open to solving some of the nation’s pressing economic problems to get movement on the Hill.

“It would help reduce the remaining pressures that housing is putting on the economy as a whole,” Geithner agreed.  “We’d be very supportive of progress in that area.”

“Underwater mortgage debt is strongly linked with weak consumption, high unemployment, and sluggish wage growth,” said Mike Konczal, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.  “The blockage of prepayment has created a windfall for creditors in a weak economy with low interest rates.”

Congress and the White House could, of course, wait until home values return to pre-recession levels — in essence, letting the market clear on its own.  Or they could devise a program that actually helps underwater homeowners — something previous programs have failed to do.

One thing is certain.  One more round of the Fed lowering interest rates through quantitative easing isn’t going to get the job done.

By: Merrill Goozner, www.thefiscaltimes.com

8 Email Mistakes to Avoid

These blunders are more than just productivity killers; they will also make you look pretty foolish.

Knowing your way around your email inbox is, of course, crucial if you want to get anything done. But it’s also necessary to avoid making a fool of yourself with silly (and unfortunately all too common) communication mistakes. Here’s a list of the most common email blunders to avoid:

1. Not including the email thread in your reply.

Think about how many emails you receive every day. When you’re communicating with dozens of people a day, sometimes you forget where you were in a particular conversation or what the conversation was even about, right? So it’s nice to be able to skim through the previous emails to refresh yourself before responding. Do your recipients a favor and include the whole thread when responding. Although deleting the thread declutters the email and makes it appear less lengthy, in the end, it just creates confusion for the recipient.

 

2. Not using a professional account.

Syncing your professional account with your personal account is convenient. But when you have this feature set up, always double-check which account you are sending your mail from. Accidentally firing off a message from hottstuff09@yahoo.com will not only raise some eyebrows, it will mean the message will probably wind up directly in your recipient’s Spam folder.

 

3. Not replying to all.

This one is so easy to forget. If the idea is to keep a number of people in the loop, then do exactly that and use the Reply All button. Enough said.

 

4. Cc’ing the world.

Yes, you need to reply to all, but before cc’ing someone into an email conversation, ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Spare that person the gratuitous email if you can.

5. Forgetting the bcc field.

The bcc function is great for when you want to keep someone in the loop but it is not necessary for him or her to be part of the conversation. For example, after someone introduces you to a contact via email, move that person to the bcc field. Also, be mindful of people’s privacy when sending out group emails to various recipients. Not everyone wants his or her email address exposed to a large group of people he or she doesn’t know.

6. Rambling.

Emails should be short and to the point. If it’s something you can’t say in just a few sentences, or you find yourself in a nonstop, back-and-forth conversation, pick up the phone! Overly long emails may end up in the recipients’ TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) pile.

 

7. Writing unprofessionally.

Always keep a professional tone. That means ensuring emails have proper grammar and are free of slang. Save the “abbrevs” for Twitter.

 

8. Creating unnecessary back-and-forth.

When you’re sending a quick email to set up a meeting, provide all necessary information in the first email. Otherwise, it becomes a back-and-forth conversation that could have been taken care of in one response from each side. For example, if you are requesting a meeting with someone, offer your availability. If you are scheduling a call, provide your phone number.

Which email mistakes do you see people making?

as found on: http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/8-email-mistakes-to-avoid.html

Pinterest

Pinterest had an estimated 3.3 million unique visitors in the month of October. While there’s no mechanism for potential customers to buy your products directly from the site, consider the marketing potential: Popular images (with links back to the original source) can get repinned on hundreds of other users’ boards.

 

1. Spend the time
Like any social network, and maybe even more with this demographic, Pinterest.com requires an investment in time. Jason White, who owns Quality Woven Labels, says one key is to build relationships with those who are known for quality “pins” at the site. He says, once these movers and shakers get to know you and your business, they will be more likely to post about your product. White says to focus on the users who get the most likes and repins.

“All of these repins and likes share a common interest, making it easier to take the conversation to Twitter or Facebook to nurture the relationship,” he says. “Like everything else, be real and show your true self. Authenticity is hugely important.”

2. Keep it simple
The main appeal of Pinterest is that the site is exceptionally easy to use. Everyone has a “board” where they pin images that are all the same size. Hana Abaza, the co-founder and CEO of Wedding Republic, says it’s best to mimic Pinterest’s uncluttered aesthetic, so she creates boards that are clean and elegant looking. Each pinned photo includes one link back to her site (you click once to see the pin page, and again to see the source site). Abaza says Pinterest dramatically boosted page views. Through her social media efforts she saw a 75 percent increase in traffic, with Pinterest generating most of that.

3. Connect your physical presence with your online presence
It’s important to connect the dots between a physical location and your Pinterest page. Becca Bijoch does public relations for the Minneapolis store Creative Kidstuff. Often the physical store will feature online ads and Pinterest promotions. Soon the company website will feature Pinterest buttons. So far, the campaign has yielded about 150 extra page views directly from Pinterest and two direct sales. Not astounding, but that’s only after using the site for about 30 days.

4. Make sure your business is a match
This tip might seem obvious, but Pinterest caters to those looking for recipes, room décor, and do-it-yourself crafts. If your company sells power sanders, you might not be a good fit. Quality Woven Labels, which makes tags for custom clothing, has been able to use Pinterest to connect with the perfect demographic: independent fashion designers.

5. Use other social nets to feed Pinterest
The new kid on the block may be getting all of the hype, but existing social networks have one advantage: a vast number of users. Justin Palmer, the online awareness director at Sevenly, a custom T-Shirt shop, says to get the most number of eyeballs his company uses Tumblr and Facebook to point people to Pinterest.

6. Launch a daily pin theme
Sevenly has created a daily pin to promote its brand. The idea is to come up with a catchy slogan that is tied to the organization’s charity work and memorable enough so that the images get re-pinned. The daily themed pins usually lead to repeat visitors. Sevenly also posts a weekly custom-designed t-shirt, which is often re-pinned by other Pinterest users. Bonus: They come back often looking for the new one.

7. Promote more than products
The temptation for any business is to post pins only for products you sell. Giselle Gonzalez is a promoter for Cakestyle, a company that makes wardrobe suggestions for women, and says one key is to post interesting news tidbits, tips, and products from other companies. She says Pinterest users are savvy in spotting a board that is too self-serving and only posts product photos.

8. Follow the big hitters
One of the best ways to raise awareness about your company is to start following the big names on Pinterest. This is the proven method on Twitter: When you follow popular figures, and they follow you back, other Twitter users get the message and follow the leader. Sevenly’s Palmer says it’s important to find out who is “pinning” your products and to follow them to see if they follow you back. Most do, he says.

9. Selective curating
Pinterest caters to those who love to “curate” or weed out the good from the bad. Presenza, a custom clothing designer, finds unique products beyond their own offering and pins them. The company also uses key phrases on their board like “made in the USA” and “defining confidence” to help define the brand.

1. Use it as a Virtual Store

 

By pinning its products on boards organized by upcoming holidays and popular categories,Michaels has created a simple, visual way for customers to browse and shop on Pinterest. Better yet, every single page on michaels.com has a “pin it” button, so customers can easily pin items or ideas they see on Michaels’ website to their own boards.

If you don’t have a physical product, try pinning the services you offer or the articles you’ve published, with a link back to your website. And always make sure the page you pin has a photo on it!

2. Give an Insider View of Your Company

Take a look at The Frisky’s Everyday Style Pinterest page—how cool is it that we get a sneak peek into what their employees wear to work each day? Here’s what’s even cooler: Those outfits get put out there in the Pinterverse, and pinned all over with a link back to The Frisky. Get customers and pinners excited about your company by sticking up photos of your employees, the fun company events or parties you throw, or your amazing office space—and aim to show off your brand and what you stand for while you’re at it.

3. Hold a Contest

 

Homes.com recently launched a contest by asking their followers to create a “Pin it if You Love It” board with at least 10 of their favorite homes pinned from homes.com. Once a user created her board, she was entered to win one of five home improvement gift certificates for $250. Contests are a great way to get users engaged and participating, which can quickly have a ripple effect across the Pinterest network as people share their contest submissions with all their followers.

Tip: If you hold your own contest, create a special hashtag for people to add to their pins so that you can easily track who’s entered.

 

4. Showcase Your Portfolio

If you’re a photographer, artist, graphic designer, or in any other highly visual field, this one’s a no-brainer: Use Pinterest to show off your work samples or your portfolio. You’ll attract potential customers or clients, plus inspire others in your field.

 

5. Get Customer Feedback

 

Daily Grommet has created a board where anyone can pin a product he or she likes, with the possibility that the product will be featured on the Daily Grommet website in the future. Doing this, Daily Grommet gives itself a head start on predicting upcoming trends, seeing what sort of products its customers are looking for, and tailoring its future offerings accordingly. After all, when it comes to asking someone what they want, a picture often says 1,000 words.

 

Ready to start pinning? Remember one thing: it’s called social media for a reason. Take the time to pin a couple of times a day, so you continuously show up on your followers’ feeds. Also make a real effort to interact with your community, balancing your own pins with repinning, liking, and commenting on other users’ posts as well. Take Etsy, for example. While it has a few boards promoting various products sold on Etsy.com, it also has boards that are simply for its followers’ enjoyment—no sales act required.

 

With the right strategy, your products or services will be front and center in the screens, and the minds, of your audience. Happy pinning!

 

Need to score an invite? Let us know in the comments—it’s a much faster process if you receive an invite versus self-applying And tell us—what successes have you had using Pinterest to help promote your business?

 

 

Health Care Tips

Saving Money on Individual Health Care Policies

In today’s economy, many people are forced to enroll in an individual health insurance policy due to being unemployed or being employed by a company that is unable to provide health insurance to its employees.  You should consider yourself fortunate if you receive health coverage from your employer.  Individual health coverage can be extremely expensive if you do not choose carefully.  While you are more likely to pay higher out-of-pocket costs with an individual policy than with an employer-funded group plan, there are some effective ways to lower your costs.  Here is a look at how you can save money when enrolling in an individual health insurance policy.

Shop Around

Just like with any other purchase, when purchasing health insurance you will want to shop around and compare various policies with a fine-tooth comb.  Individual health insurance policies have different features and vary quite broadly from one another.  In order to find the individual health insurance policy that best fits your needs, comparison shop and you can quickly see which health insurance policy is right for you.

HMO vs. PPO

The type of plan you choose could mean the difference between saving money and shelling out a lot more than you intended.  There are several different types of individual health insurance policies available on the market.  Just two of the options are PPO (Preferred Provider Organization), and HMO (Health Maintenance Organization).  A PPO policy allows you greater flexibility with the doctors and hospitals you visit.  However, you can expect to pay a higher out-of-pocket cost in terms of deductibles and premiums.

Alternatively, HMO policies frequently have a lower out-of pocket cost.  However, with HMO policies, you will not have the same flexibility that a PPO plan would allow and it may only allow you to visit specific healthcare providers.

Higher Premium Often Means Lower Co-Payments

A common method of determining premiums of health insurance is if you pay a higher premium, your out-of-pocket costs, such as copays and deductibles, will be less.  This is where you will need to weigh your options very carefully.  If the consumer is in good health, he or she may want to consider a plan that has a low premium, since he or she does not to have many medical expenses throughout the contract year.  However, if the consumer expects to have a considerable amount of medical costs throughout the year, he or she may want to consider a plan that offers a higher level of benefits.

Keep Your Eye Out for Additional Perks

Some individual policies have added benefits, such as prescription coverage programs to enhance a healthy lifestyle or dental coverage.  Not all individual policies are created equal.  When you are shopping around, don’t just look at the basic services that the plan covers.  Call the insurance carrier and ask if there are any added bonuses to enrolling with them as opposed to a competitor.  You may be surprised by how much one insurance carrier offers vs. another.

Look Out for Age Branding and Pre-Existing Condition Clauses

Enrolling in an individual policy is much different than signing up for health coverage with an employer.  Many individual policies are subject to age banding and pre-existing condition clauses that can cause plans to skyrocket.  Prior to enrolling, ask a representative at the insurance company about these items.

Age banding is a method that insurance companies use to determine premium rates.  As patients age, their need for health insurance becomes greater than it was when they were young adults.  Due to this fact, some insurance companies charge a higher rate for aging subscribers.

Additionally, if you have a pre-existing condition, your health insurance carrier can employ a clause stating that it does not have to pay for charges related to pre-existing conditions for a specific amount of time.  Play it safe, and get all of your information upfront about these costly features.

Beware of Hidden Costs

There can be other hidden costs with health insurance, such as co-insurance.  Co-insurance is a percentage of the total bill that is the patient liability.  Typically, there is a coinsurance limit or out-of-pocket maximum clause on most individual policies.  However, if there is no maximum, patient costs can skyrocket.  Be sure that you understand your health insurance policy before signing on the dotted lines.  Most health insurance carriers will give potential subscribers a breakdown of patient liability should they need to seek medical care.  Don’t let your medical policy catch you off guard, review the information at great length before making a decision.

The Bottom Line

Enrolling in an individual health insurance policy can be quite expensive if you do not tread carefully.  You can protect your wallet when enrolling in an individual health insurance policy by carefully comparing the features and prices of each individual policy and then selecting the one that best meets the needs of your family.

 

By: Amanda C. Haury, www.investopedia.com

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