written by Jane Edwards
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As the result of the (Civil) War, corporations have been enthroned. … An era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people… until wealth is aggregated in a few hands… and the Republic is destroyed.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1864
Neighborhood Services is dedicated to serving the residents of Asheville because involved, connected neighborhoods are essential for a strong and healthy community.
A nonprofit, nonpartisan, non-advocacy organization headquartered in the heart of ‘Climate City’ Asheville, North Carolina
The Collider is an innovation center focused on catalyzing market-driven climate solutions.
Equal Pay Day 2017 is Tuesday, April 4, marking how far into the year that women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Women make up almost half of the workforce, are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of American families with children, and are graduating from college at higher rates than men. Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. In 2015, women working full-time, year-round made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent.
A message from the ACLU of North Carolina. Rather than cleanly repeal House Bill 2 March 30th, the North Carolina General Assembly passed and Governor Roy Cooper signed a new law — HB 142 — that keeps in place many of the most harmful parts of HB 2. It is not a real repeal, and it doesn’t leave North Carolina the way it was before HB 2 was rushed into law last year.
Because we believe that viable non-profit programs are essential to a healthy community, SheVille.org offers in-kind media sponsorship for your major fundraising event.
- (4-part class) Tuesdays and Thursdays, April 18, 20, 25 & 27 from 5:30 to 8:30pm
Businesses and economies eager for growth may be overlooking the potential of women seeking an equal financial footing with men.
Sociologists and economists have long pondered ways to close the gender gap—the unequal representation of women in everything from financial markets to salaries to corporate leadership.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has released their annual report documenting the number of hate groups in the U.S. in 2016, showing near historic numbers.
Supporting rural Southern women as human rights leaders to end poverty
Women uniting for change ~ Women combating sexism, racism, classism ~ Women tackling inequality
The work is guided by the belief that to truly empower women and end poverty we must build a political culture in the U.S. that promotes and protects human rights. Visit Turn South: Southern Women for Change
The #GrabYourWallet boycott on Twitter is one example of an anti-Trump protest that appears to have had significant results. Founded last fall by Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio, Grab Your Wallet seeks to convince companies to stop selling Trump-branded products through organized boycotts.
Written by Jane Edwards
Yes, here’s the thing, the BIG THING. House Bill 2, called “the bathroom bill” deals with quite a few things that are utterly unrelated to bathroom privileges and which negatively impact citizens in our state more than public bathroom privileges.
IWPR’s new The Status of Women in the South is the first report to provide a comprehensive portrait of the status of women, particularly the status of women of color, in the southern states, grading each state on six different topic areas related to women’s economic, political, health, and social status.
Securing Your Legacy: Mind, Body – From Starks Financial – a series to promote financial literacy for women
Securing Your Legacy: Mind, Body and Self
January 17th, 2017:
MIND: This three part series will kick off with college planning. Laura Misner of the College Foundation of North Carolina will show you how to survive paying for your own, your children or your grandchildren’s college tuition and not go broke.
March 21st, 2017:
BODY: Come learn how to protect yourself and your finances at the March event. We believe in a holistic approach not only to financial planning, but life in general. That is why we have invited local experts to come teach self-defense techniques and we’ll end with tips on defending your finances.
September 26th, 2017:
SELF: In September, come learn the ins and outs of investing and feel confident in your ability to navigate this ever-changing financial landscape! Women now make up almost half of the entire U.S. workforce, and 40% of women are their family’s primary breadwinner. This is important because women are becoming and will continue to become more prevalent in the investment planning process given their position in the world today.
Why are we doing this? Well, as a firm that is predominately made up of women, we have a long track record of promoting financial literacy among women. We know how hard you work every day and now it’s our turn to give back!
To join Savvy Women, check us out at www.starksfinancial.com or call for more information: 828/285-8777. Or visit us at 440 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Laura Misner or the College Foundation of North Carolina.
Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC
WASHINGTON, DC – Jonathan Gold, Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the following statement on 2017 North Carolina health insurance rate changes.
“Consumers in North Carolina will continue to have affordable Marketplace options next year. Among Marketplace consumers, most will be able to select a plan for less than $75 per month. Headline rate changes do not reflect what these consumers actually pay because tax credits reduce the cost of coverage below the sticker price and shopping helps consumers find the best deal. Meanwhile, for people in North Carolina with employer coverage, premiums have grown at some of the slowest rates on record since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. All North Carolina consumers, no matter where they get their coverage, are benefiting from ACA protections like no more exclusions for preexisting conditions, no annual limits on coverage, and no cost sharing for preventive services.”
Since the Affordable Care Act became law, health care prices have risen at the lowest rate in 50 years. Premiums for the 150 million Americans with employer-sponsored insurance have grown at some of theslowest rates on record. And, a recent analysis finds that 82% of Marketplace consumers in North Carolina would be able to purchase coverage for less than $75 per month, even if all rates went up double digits.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is designed for affordability. Two important features of the Marketplace protect North Carolina consumers from the impact of rate increases.
Tax credits go up along with premiums. Tax credits are designed to protect consumers from rate increases and keep coverage affordable, increasing by whatever amount the cost of the second-lowest-cost silver, or benchmark plan increases. So if all premiums in North Carolina go up by similar amounts, 91 percent of consumers will not necessarily have to pay more, since tax credits will increase in parallel. Last year, despite headlines projecting double-digit rate increases, the average premium increased just $4 per month for HealthCare.gov consumers with tax credits, and 7 out of 10 Marketplace consumers could purchase 2016 coverage for less than $75 per month. Even if premiums and tax credits rise, the overall cost of the ACA is still below CBO’s original projections. CBO’s recent projections estimate that for 2019 coverage, ACA coverage will cost $49 billion less than originally predicted.
Consumers can shop around to find the best plan. In 2016, consumers could choose among an average of 10 plans per issuer. Variations in provider network and drug formulary makeup from plan to plan can offer consumers meaningful choice. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, it was almost impossible to shop around for health insurance. Not only were many Americans barred from coverage due to pre-existing conditions, but those who did have insurance through the individual market were often trapped in a plan, since people with even small health problems could be denied coverage or charged an exorbitant price if they tried to switch plans. Today, any Marketplace consumer can purchase any plan during open enrollment, and Marketplaces let consumers compare prices, plan designs, and networks to find the best choice for them. Last year, 43 percent of returning North Carolina HealthCare.gov consumers switched plans. They saved an average of $48 per month.Current Marketplace rates are well below initial Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections.
- Independent researchers recently calculated that 2016 Marketplace rates are anywhere between12 percent and 20 percent below what CBO initially predicted.
- 2017 Marketplace rate increases are subject to a number of predictable upward pressures that will dissipate next year.
- The end of the ACA’s temporary reinsurance program in 2016 puts upward pressure on 2017 rate increases that won’t exist for 2018 and beyond.
- Evidence suggests that some issuers priced below cost for 2014, reflecting the uncertainties of a new market and a desire to offer strongly competitive initial rates. With two full years of experience, many issuers are making one-time adjustments this year to bring premiums in line with observed costs.
- CBO’s projections show that the law is working to cover the uninsured, while costing less than expected. Recent estimates find that the law’s coverage provisions will cost 28 percent less in 2019 than in CBO’s original projections.
Medicaid expansion lowers Marketplace premiums by 7 percent.
- In addition to limiting access to coverage for millions of Americans, the decision not to expand Medicaid also has costs for Marketplace consumers, who pay significantly higher premiums than they would if the coverage provisions of the ACA were working together in their state as intended.
- Economic analysis finds that Medicaid expansion brings down Marketplace rates by 7 percent, even after controlling for differences across states in demographic characteristics, pre-ACA uninsured rates, health care costs, and state policy decisions.
Marketplace and non-Marketplace consumers are benefiting from slow health care cost growth since the enactment of the ACA.
- Since 2010, per-enrollee costs in both public and private health insurance have grown moreslowly than in previous decades – contributing to lower-than-expected costs in the Marketplace.
- Ten times as many people are covered by employers as purchase insurance in the Marketplace and the average premium for families with employer-sponsored health plans grew just 3.4 percent in 2016, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust survey, extending a period of unusually slow growth since 2010.
- The White House Council of Economic Advisers calculates that the average family premium in North Carolina was $2,400 lower in 2015 than if premiums had grown at the same rate as the pre-ACA decade.
- Part of the progress in slowing cost growth is the Administration’s work to develop new,innovative ways of paying for care that align payment with improved outcomes which can help sustain and build on the slowdown in health care costs
- This benefits Marketplace consumers as well. CBO has consistently predicted that Marketplace rates would grow faster than employer premiums for the first few years, but then grow at the same pace as employer coverage.
- That means Marketplace consumers will also benefit if slow health care cost growth can be sustained and the Marketplace advances in its stability and reaches a steady state.
The Marketplace is providing 545,354 North Carolina consumers with coverage they value, because it improves their access to care and financial security.
- Nearly 4 out of 5 Marketplace consumers are very or somewhat satisfied with their health insurance. Importantly, they are just as satisfied with their coverage as people with employer plans.
- Marketplace consumers are accessing primary, specialist, and other care they need at rates similar to people with employer coverage and far higher than the uninsured, thanks in part tomoderate cost sharing.
- The share of families struggling to pay medical bills fell for all income groups between 2013 and 2015, and fell the most for the moderate-income families most likely to have gained coverage through the Marketplace.
- ·Only 11.2 percent of people in North Carolina went uninsured in 2015, new Census data show, down from 16.8 percent in 2010. That dramatic drop means 552,000 more North Carolinians had coverage in 2015.
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During my time as a Financial Counselor at Ontrack Financial Education and Counseling, I worked with a very kind and intelligent older woman. I still think of her often. She was distraught and trying to piece her life back together when she came to see me. Several months before she had unwittingly fallen victim to a “Sweetheart Scam” and realized a little too late what had happened.
Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-awaited final rule on raising the salary threshold under which working people can earn overtime pay. The final rule will double the current salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476, directly benefiting 12.5 million workers, according to estimates from the Economic Policy Institute. The rule is undoubtedly major progress for workers struggling to support their families at a decent standard of living, and especially for working women in the United States. Continue reading
If you’ve been paying attention to the political news in the past couple of years, you know that the U.S. stands virtually alone in not mandating paid leave of any type for its workers.
It’s hard to miss; the topic has become a top talking point for Democratic politicians. Hillary Clinton is advocating for stronger paid-leave policies on the campaign trail. In her Monday economic address, Clinton called for paid family leave as a way of helping women stay in the workforce. Sen. Bernie Sanders, her closest rival for the Democratic nomination, has advocated both paid vacation and paid maternity leave on the campaign trail. In addition, some cities and states have started instituting their own sick leave policies. Continue reading
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