Could an Employment Law Solicitor Help You?

Most of us are lucky enough to go about our working lives without requiring the services of an employment law solicitor. But it’s worth being aware of what employment law solicitors are actually concerned with, so that if problems were to arise in the workplace you’d know if they could help you and how.Employment law solicitors can help with any legal dispute with your employer, or former employer if you act quickly enough. They can represent you at tribunals with professional bodies, as well as at appeals against their decisions, ensuring that your voice and your side of the story is heard and taken into account.As well as their role in tribunals, employment law solicitors can help you come to Compromise Agreements. These are legal agreements which aim to resolve dispute between an employee and their current or past employer when the employee leaves their job with an employment tribunal claim such as unfair dismissal. These agreements aim to help both parties: the employee is given a cash settlement and reference from the employer, whilst the employee relinquishes their legal right to make any claim. Due to the fact that such agreements involve the potential claimant giving up any legal right to claim, employment law solicitors should always be consulted during this process.One other well known aspect of employment law, and thus of employment law solicitors’ work, is discrimination. Both indirect and direct discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation or religious belief are illegal and in cases where an individual believes themselves to be the victim of discrimination a solicitor should be consulted. There also exist laws to protect a complainant from being victimised following a complaint of discrimination. However, the employee also has the responsibility to raise the issue in writing with their employer and signal their intention to bring their claim to a tribunal within three months. This, coupled with the fact that discrimination tribunals are frequently long and drawn out, requiring the presence of numerous witnesses, demonstrates the importance of consulting an employment law solicitor in such cases.Behind discrimination, inequality in pay for men and women is perhaps the most common employee grievance. Under the Equal Pay Act 1970, any employee who can prove that a member of the opposite sex “who does the same job, does work rated the same under a job evaluation scheme and does work of equal value, for the same employer, but is paid more,” has the right to bring the matter to an employment tribunal. The wording of this Act is in parts subjective and open to interpretation, so it is important to consult a solicitor who will be able to advise on whether you have a case.

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Barack Obama’s Health Care Plan

Barack Obama’s ambitious health care plan is fairly simple and straightforward. His plan seeks to dramatically and swiftly increase the number of people that have medical insurance. He insists that this plan will save the typical American family approximately $2500 in annual costs. Since the average Ohio premium is less than most other states, savings to Ohio residents may average less than $2500.The plan is designed to give the federal government more control over medical decisions and dollars, a major difference from the current decentralized system of employer-based insurance and state-based insurance regulation. Here in Ohio, insurers have been effectively held in check by the Ohio Department of Insurance. This, however, is not the case in many other states.The Obama PlanMany parts of the Obama plan resemble initiatives from the Clinton health plan of 1994 and the Kerry Health plan of 2004.Essentially, Obama’s plan is divided into three sections:1. Modernizing the US system to lower costs and improve quality2. Promoting prevention and strengthening public health3. Quality, portable and affordable health coverage for every personThe “Savings”The $2500 in savings will come from health care reform, using some of the following initiatives:*Making medical insurance universal, which may reduce spending on uncompensated care.*Improving management and prevention of chronic conditions.*Increasing insurance industry competition and reducing underwriting costs and profits.*Providing reinsurance for catastrophic coverage, which will reduce insurance premiums.Shifting Cost BurdenWhile all of these ideas are feasible, the underlying theme seems to be simply shifting some of the cost burden from the private sector to the government. And of course, much more control of our dollars and decisions would come from Washington D.C and not Anthem or UnitedHealthCare.The plan will actually compete directly with Ohio private insurance companies in a “National Health Insurance Exchange.” The federal government (not health insurance carriers) would determine the quality of benefits that Americans would receive. And these new rules would apply to both the new national health plan and all participating private health plans.Preventative Coverage Would Be EmphasizedObama’s health care plan will encourage “healthy lifestyles” with specific emphasis on wellness. Employer wellness programs will be increased, and cafeterias and vending machines in the workplace may see healthier food.School-based screening programs may increase along with increased support for physical education.For Ohio individuals and families, the Obama plan would require preventative services on many federally-supported programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP. One benefit may be possible discounts to on insurance premiums for enrollment in wellness and prevention programs.Currently, some Ohio individual health insurance policies offer a similar discount, such as Anthem’s Lumenos Health Incentive Account (HIA).Ohio Group Health InsuranceEmployer-based health insurance would radically change under the Obama plan. Here in Ohio, both small and large employers are able to choose among many different plans for their employees. The Obama plan would force employers to offer a specific level of health benefits to their employees or pay a tax to finance a national health program. Currently, the amount of provided health benefits and the size of the tax have not been specifically discussed.Perhaps the best and most economical plan for Ohio residents would be a concept already in place… HSAs (Health Savings Accounts). Thus, instead of imposing a top-down change on the health care system, it would seem to be prudent to transfer direct control of medical dollars to individuals and families. This would allow Americans to choose their own health plans and benefits, while making companies compete directly for consumer’s dollars by providing a real value to patients.All of this could be accomplished by specific tax and regulatory changes designed to utilize the power of free-market competition. Health care spending could be reduced, preventative treatment could be emphasized and portability could be promoted. Reforming the tax treatment of health insurance and aiding employers that help their employees buy health insurance would help quite a bit.For now, Ohio health insurance rates are remarkably low compared to many other states. There are many reputable insurance companies that offer a wide array of policies, including Health Savings Accounts. That shouldn’t change much for the next two years. In 2011, things might change… hopefully, for the better.

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Denied Individual Health Insurance Coverage? Reasons For Health Insurance Coverage to Be Denied

What should you do if you have been denied health insurance coverage? What options do you have if you have been denied individual health insurance coverage? What are some of the common reasons that health insurance coverage can be denied?In a nutshell, if you have been rejected individual health insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions then you should first of all shop around and compare rates from multiple companies. After all, different health insurance companies have different underwriting guidelines and just because you have been denied coverage with one company does not necessarily mean that the next company will do the same. Having the services of an experienced independent health insurance agent at a time like this is a definite plus.If for any reason you are rejected from receiving health insurance by a company, you may also want to try to look for companies that don’t require you to answer questionnaires, or even better go for some that can give you at least a little coverage for a low-cost – this is a last option though as almost all individual plans that do not have medical underwriting are really just discount plans in disguise and will not give the coverage that a true major medical comprehensive health insurance plan will.Some states (29 to be exact) have what are called high risk pools. These were created to serve those people that are considered medically uninsurable or those that are described as a “high risk” for the insurance companies. What these pools do is give those people that have been turned down an opportunity of having health insurance. With a high risk pool you will never be turned down for any reason and the best part is that it will help you pay for large medical costs.There are however, a bunch of things that might be viewed as disadvantages to the customer deciding whether or not to consider a high risk pool. Some of the disadvantages include that the state can terminate your coverage if there is legislation against it, there are usually long waiting lists, the cost is much higher than private health insurance plans and you can lose eligibility if you move or if you start receiving Medicare and Medicaid. If you want to know if your state is one of the 29 that offer “high risk” pools or for more contact information to enroll in one of them then you should speak with a health insurance broker local to your state. Again, keep in mind that a high risk pool should be one of the last options that you consider.With the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) passed in the year 1996, new doors were opened for the people that weren’t able to qualify for private individual health insurance. Within this act a law was passed that states that a person cannot be denied health insurance for any reason if they decide to join a group health plan. This means that if you have a job with an employer that offers group health insurance coverage, more than likely you won’t be denied coverage. The only way in which coverage wont be given to a person in the even that they seek group health insurance, is in the event that you do not meet the eligibility requirements of your employer.Some of those eligibility requirements could be the total number of hours you work per week and whether you have a salaried or an hour employee. It is of note to highlight that group health plans may refuse to cover a person with pre-existing conditions; however if you have at least 12 months of continuous creditable coverage, a group plan will not be able to deny you insurance due to pre-existing conditions.This doesn’t mean that if you have had health insurance in the past and you have a pre-existing condition you are covered. If you have had a break in coverage (lapse in coverage) and you apply for group coverage you will be given an exclusion period. During this exclusion period the insurer will not pay for any treatment or doctor visits related to your pre-existing conditions, instead you will be responsible for all unrelated treatment.The HIPAA laws also dictate that individual health insurance coverage must be issued on a guaranteed issue basis (everyone is approved) and all pre-existing conditions are covered if someone meets 6 criteria. These 6 HIPAA health insurance requirements are an important part of the HIPAA laws to understand if you have major pre-existing conditions and have been denied for regular individual health insurance coverage.

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