Written: February 20, 2014
Stephanie Hughes is a junior at Tualatin High School, where she is an excellent student, and a robotics team leader. The National Center for Women & Information Technology recently selected Stephanie as an Affiliate Award Winner of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. She was selected by a panel of 2,000 judges from colleges and tech industry to receive this year’s award.
Stephanie is one of the top 25 technically oriented high school aged women in our region selected from over 350 high schools throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Last year, Stephanie was an active member of the Tualatin Robotics First Tech Challenge team that was undefeated and ranked #1 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Regional Competition and her team advanced to the State Championship.
This year, Stephanie served as team leader for Tualatin Robotics team #6733, who won the Finalist Alliance & Rockwell Collins Innovate Awards.
Stephanie participates in the Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth (SESEY) program at Oregon State University where high school girls with an aptitude for math and science learn about careers in engineering fields as they prepare for college. Stephanie plans to attend the OSU College of Engineering.
Her other interests include music, dance, art, Young Life and family activities.
Written: April 10, 2013
By: Ryan T. Miller, CIC
Oregon has been a role model for well managed workers compensation. Oregon employers enjoy some of the most stable work comp costs in the country and that gives Oregon a unique advantage. However, there is a national change coming that will affect every employer. To what degree depends on how well you manage your employee injuries.
Most employers have seen their Experience Modification Factor, at one time or another and understand that it can positively or negatively impact the cost of your workers compensation insurance. Companies that have more than a 1.0 Experience Mod pay more than average, while those who have less than 1.0 pay less than the average. If your company pays $100,000 per year for workers compensation, the experience mod can impact your costs plus or minus $25,000 to $50,000 each year. Over a three year average this becomes big money.
As of January 1, 2013 Oregon, and several other States, are updating the formulas which create your Experience Modification Factor. If you are above 1.0 your overall cost will be rising, if it is under 1.0 you will most likely see a decrease.
Are you prepared for this change and ready to capitalize on it?
Do you know what your lowest possible Experience Mod Factor is, and do you have a plan to get there?
If you want to know more about why the Experience Mod is important or how to effectively manage it give us a call.
For a deep look into theses changes Read More .
Seven months from the opening day of the Oregon State Exchange: The participating Carriers have been announced:
Written: April 3, 2013
By Leslie A. Thomas, CBWA
Whether you are an individual, self-employed, or small business owner, healthcare reform has already affected you in some way. Do you know enough about your opportunities and responsibilities come October 2013? Are you prepared? Can you make heads or tails from what is being printed in periodicals or discussed within the media? Ten months goes by quickly, let’s all make the effort to be as educated as possible.
Cover Oregon has announced today their approved carriers for the January 2014 HealthCare State Exchange. This list is available for your review: www.coveroregon.com. As I peruse the list of 22, I imagine many wondering where did these companies come from. I am taken back by the large number of dental carriers involved, but then realize this is going to be a great growth opportunity for dental insurance.
I am also intrigued by the 2 CO-OP’s that are on the list, as well. CO-OP’s are a new concept to our industry and Oregon is currently the only State in which 2 Federal startup grants were awarded $57 – $59 million. Funding for CO-OP’s derived as a backup plan to the Affordable Care Act when the public option of the original bill did not receive the support needed.
“CO-OP”: Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan. Under the Health Care Reform Act, and the Department of Health and Human Services, they are described as; “Private nonprofit health insurers whose boards of directors are made up of the customers of the CO-OP.”
My optimistic side says; “Yea, Health Insurance utopia!” It all sounds so warm and fuzzy.
My skeptical side says;
I will meet in the middle and finish by saying; I welcome the addition of 2 health insurance resources for Oregonians. I am hopeful they will accomplish profitability, repay the Federal Loan with interest as stated in the agreement, and provide desperately needed jobs to our local economy.
Written: February 6, 2013
When assisting clients with property
A recent article in The Oregonian provides a substantial amount of information and a sobering dose of reality. There are a number of things that we simply will not have control of (i.e. how long power will be down, will I be able to buy food, when will a claim adjuster be available to me). These are risks that can be identified and provide us with a great opportunity to better prepare. This is what we at Miller Insurance call “TRIO” – Turning Risk Into Opportunity.
As the article states, “When, not if, the magnitude-9.0 quake strikes — let alone an accompanying tsunami — Oregon will face the greatest challenge in its history.” The report continues by saying, “Buildings will be so severely damaged that restoring full utility service will take three months to a year in western valleys and far longer on the coast.” This statement dwarfs the standard emergency preparedness doctrine of preparing to be self sufficient for 72 hours during a disaster.
“We cannot avoid the future earthquake,” the report said, “but we can choose either a future in which the earthquake results in grim damage and losses and a society diminished for a generation, or a future in which the earthquake is a manageable disaster without lasting impact.”
So with this we encourage you to take time to truly analyze your potential risk, and how you will protect yourself, your family, and your business. Be prepared! If you need help on how to get started, useful links can be accessed on our website at http://millersince1886.com/be-prepared or call us and we’ll be happy to share with you what we have been sharing with others.
Click here to read The Oregonian’s article in its entirety: Cascadia earthquake, tsunami could cost Oregon economy $32 billion
Written: January 26, 2013
It’s no surprise that many consumers are afraid to submit a claim as most insurance carriers will either increase their premiums or simply decide to stop offering coverage.
The reason a claim may affect your future premiums and/or coverage is that every claim you have increases the probability of another claim and therefore, another loss to the insurance company.
Most consumers may feel that a claim should be filed for any loss that occurs however, here is a list of items you may want to consider before submitting a claim:
1. Cost of Repairs
Although a high deductible will obviously mean greater out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a loss, the lower policy premiums may mean long-term savings.
2. Impact to Future Premiums and/or Coverage
Should you lose your existing coverage or decide to switch companies, you won’t start with a clean slate. Every time you file a claim, it goes into an industry database called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE. Insurers use it a lot like potential lenders use your credit score – to evaluate how much risk you represent.
As with your credit file, CLUE tracks your history for seven years, and you can pull it free once per year. You can visit LexisNexis for a free annual CLUE report. (You can get a similar report for auto claims too.)
The Insurance Consumer Advocate Network (ICAN) recommends filing no more than two claims in three years, but your agent should be able to provide advice regarding the risk of a rising premium or being dropped in the event of a claim.
3. Read Your Policy
Your state’s insurance department may also be able to help, especially when it comes to the law and your rights. Some states maintain consumer hotlines or even publish insurance guides to help.
Hopefully you also have a home inventory. If not, now’s the time to get started. We recommend taking a video of the interior of your home, including all closets, cupboards and drawers.
If you have any additional questions or would like to know how we can help with your insurance needs, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Written: January 2, 2013
The Worklaw® Network firm of Pilchak Cohen has put together this quick reminder about upcoming changes.
WHAT OBAMACARE MEANS FOR EMPLOYERS IN 2013 AND BEYOND
With over 1,000 pages of text, 10,000 pages of regulations and thousands more on the way, I can’t help but think that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is going to be significantly more costly for employers than we already thought it would be. Whether you are a small business, a large business or something in between, Obama Care will have a financial impact on your business and your bottom line. The biggest changes will take hold in 2014, but some will occur this year. During a recent webinar conducted by the NFIB, 2013 was identified as the year of planning. I could not agree more.
There are several changes that kick in during 2013:
2014 will bring the most significant and costly changes:
As you can imagine there will be a lot of sorting out to do. We will keep you informed as we learn even more.