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Beware of the latest Medicare Scam

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud is warning seniors of an identity-theft scam targeting Medicare recipients.

Starting this month, Medicare will be mailing new cards with random characters – instead of Social Security numbers – to nearly 60 million seniors. The new cards are a security measure to prevent medical and financial ID theft by scammers who steal seniors’ Social Security numbers from the cards, according to the coalition.

Tax Day

April 17th is right around the corner and that is when we submit our tax filings to our state and federal government. Tax deductions can help you cut down your 2017 tax bill.

Here are 11 deductions that you might have overlooked courtesy of CNN Money:

Traditional IRA contributions - you have till April 17th to make a tax-deductible contribution to your traditional IRA for 2017.  You can contribute $5,500, or $6,500 if you're over 50.

April is Stress Awareness Month

Since 1992, April has been designated as Stress Awareness Month.  According to the American Institute of Stress, about 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related disorders, ranging from stomach trouble to heart disease.  Job related stress costs American businesses about $150 billion a year.

AmeriHealth has put together an entire Stress Awareness Employer Toolkit that you can use to coordinate employee sessions on how to handle stress.  Among the items are quiz, fact sheets, flyers, and resources

Data Breach at Orbitz

Do you use Orbitz to book your travel?  If so, you might be one of over 880,000 payment card number and related information exposed to a data breach.  These were two breaches which occurred:

  • January 1, 2016 and June 22, 2016
  • January 1, 2016 and December 22, 2016

If you booked travel via Orbitz, you might be a victim of identity theft and aren't aware that you data has been compromised due to the late release of this information by Orbitz.

Ladder Safety

Every year more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the US are caused by falls from ladders.  Since March is Ladder Safety Month, here are some Basic Ladder Safety Tips from The American Ladder Institute which can help prevent serious injuries.

Daylight Savings Time Arrives Sunday, March 11th

Be prepared to lose an hour on Sunday when you should advance your clocks by one hour.  The debate is on to eliminate this long-held practice and individual states are discussing the pros and cons of maintaining DST.  Daylight Savings Time is also a good time to change batteries in your smoke detectors and weather radios.  

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Every day over 2,000 Americans suffer from an eye injury.  This means that almost one million Americans have experienced some vision loss due to eye injury which results in more than $300 million in lost work time, medical expenses and workman's compensation according to YourSightMatters.com. 

The most common eye problem is computer vision syndrome. 

Malicious Cyber Activity Costs US Up to $109 billion in 2016

Malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, the White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated in a report on Friday.

The report quoted the U.S. intelligence community as saying the main foreign culprits responsible for much cyber activity against U.S. targets are Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

But it also said malicious cyber activity is not limited to foreign actors. Corporate competitors, activists seeking to advance a political agenda and organized crime are also responsible, it said.

February is Insurance Career Month

Have you considered a career in insurance?  It's more than a job, it's more than "selling" -- it's about working with a client to provide them with the very best insurance coverage to meet their needs and mitigate their risks. It's a rewarding career.  

If you are interested in helping others to protect themselves from catastrophic loss, then we want to share our client experiences with you to see if the insurance industry is a good fit for you.

It's all about caring.

Winter Flooding and Its Effect

Throughout the coldest months of the year, winter flooding is a country-wide risk. 

What causes winter flooding?

Coastal flooding, ice jams, and rapid snowmelt cause water damage.  High winds cause wide-spread tidal flooding and severe beach erosion.  Strong winds cause water levels to rise and create storm surges. 

Long cold periods cause surface rivers to freeze, causing ice jams.  As these large junks of ice beak apart, they create severe flooding by significantly raising the water levels in a short period of time.

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