Ending surprise hospital bills

Here are three of the week’s top pieces of financial advice, gathered from around the web:

Ending surprise hospital bills
A bipartisan effort in Congress is aimed at protecting Americans who get “surprise” medical bills, said Paige Winfield Cunningham at The Washington Post. The legislation is the culmination of two efforts last fall to “ban insurers from charging patients higher costs” for seeing out-of-network providers for emergency care. It would also establish a billing standard for insurers and doctors.

While the bill won’t protect patients who “electively” choose to visit an out-of-network hospital or clinic, it “reflects a growing recognition” regarding unexpected and sizable charges that often seem out of the patient’s control. A Yale study found that even in emergency-department visits at in-network facilities, “22 percent involved out-of-network doctors.” Recently, a man in Texas was billed $108,951 “for a four-day stay at an out-of-network hospital following a heart attack.”

Second-home tax apps
Apps can help taxpayers with second homes prove where they spend most of their time, said Daniel Akst at The Wall Street Journal. One iPhone app called Monaeo tracks your whereabouts using GPS and Wi-Fi. This is helpful for a person with homes in multiple states where taxes vary. Nevada, for instance, has no income tax, while neighboring California has the highest marginal state tax rate at 13.3 percent. TaxDay — at $10 a month, less expensive than Monaeo — knows the “maximum number of days a person can spend” in one state before being taxed as a resident and will alert users “when they are running out of days allowed.” For an extra fee, Monaeo will also gather “digital evidence of location for a taxpayer undergoing an audit.”

Tax-free health-care savings
One way to reduce your tax bill is by contributing to a health savings account, said Ann Carrns at The New York Times. If you have a health plan with a deductible of at least $1,350 for an individual or $2,700 for a family, you can deposit up to $3,450 (or $6,900 for a family) in the HSA. You can still put money in a 2018 HSA until tax day in April. Deposits are tax-deductible and, unlike with an IRA, you also don’t pay taxes on withdrawals. The accounts “are particularly useful for saving for health needs in retirement,” because they don’t have any deadline for withdrawing funds before they get taxed. They are often …read more

Source:: The Week – Business


One of the world’s most luxurious hotels has hired ‘Jet Lag Gurus’ to help guests recover from long flights

Jet Lag Guru.PNG

The Waldorf Astoria is introducing “Jet Lag Gurus” to its hotels.
The gurus will advise guests on how best to recover from post-travel fatigue so they can enjoy their trip.
Suggested treatments naturally include massages, detox lunches, spa treatments, and baths with essential oils.

Isn’t it the worst when you check into a five-star hotel but you’re so jet lagged you can’t even enjoy the Champagne, fluffy robes, in-suite massages, or fine dining?

It’s truly a travesty many of us face on a regular basis.

Fortunately, one luxury hotel chain has now come up with a solution to the problem: a “Jet Lag Guru.”

The Waldorf Astoria is hiring Jet Lag Gurus at its hotels around the world “to help guests recover from long flights and time zone differences, so that they can get on and enjoy their holiday.”

Read more: The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas is offering a $450,000 package complete with a private jet, butler, and cake adorned with a diamond necklace

And just what will said guru do?

Well, they’ll offer personal consultations with exhausted travellers, giving advice on how to treat the symptoms of long-haul travel.

Funnily enough, most of the example suggestions are hotel treatments, such as:

The ‘Jet Lag Cure’ treatment by Aromatherapy Associates at Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri
A ‘restore your energy’ detox lunch
A Spa Guerlain Deep Muscular massage at Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace Versailles to soothe aching muscles
A ‘night time tea’ and a bath drawn by the Bath Master at Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah.
A Neom Tranquillity Bath at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah “to help relax and prepare you for sleep with a blend of nineteen pure essential oils, including English lavender, sweet basil, and jasmine”

If you’d rather get out and explore your new destination, some people swear by a process called “grounding” to cure jet lag, and it’s surprisingly simple.

According to Dave Asprey, a self-proclaimed “biohacker” who founded the health food diet Bulletproof, all you have to do is walk barefoot on the ground, ideally in mud, sand, or earth, and this is enough to reset your body clock after flying.

But even if grounding does work for you, that’s not to say you couldn’t also treat yourself to a massage, just to make sure.

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Source:: Business Insider