Attention SSPA Members with Individual Medical Policies - By Michael McGuire, ACBA, CES – Aflac.

This is a call to action!  If you have an individual medical policy and want to change, you need to make a decision by November 1st

The Blue Cross individual policies go away December 31st, with the exception of Blue Print policies from Blue Plus.    Blue Cross is withdrawing from the individual policy market.  103,000 Minnesota customers have to find a new carrier.  There is very limited capacity with the other carriers.

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Did you get covered at a better rate? Do you just grin and bear the renewal? Have you decided to just take your chances?

by Michael J. McGuire

Open Enrollment for health insurance this year has been challenging to say the least. Non grandfathered poliies have had a renewal increase of 60 to 65 %. There are some opportunities out there to maintain or reduce your rate. It helps if you know where to look.

Last week I moved a restaurant server from $ 500 a month to $ 200 per month. At first, she was told that she didn’t qualify for a subsidy. She had no interest in shopping. Just for fun we ran the process to compare results. The first broker she worked with incorrectly filled the financial questions on the MNsure new account set up. From a search standpoint, there actually were other policies which were a better fit at a better rate.

The reality is that the MNsure site can be confusing even for a broker. You should seek the help of a certified MNsure broker who has ample experience, represents multiple health insurance carriers, and has advanced credentials (RHU, CBC, ACBC etc.). MNsure brokers have annual extensive training, exams, Navigators take a 4 hour class. They specialize in qualifying for subsides and public health programs. They have no training in health insurance.

Today I reduced a physical therapists insurance rate by 30 %. Surprisingly, I placed him with the same carrier with the same deductible. It is all about the math that works differently on newly launched policies. It’s worth the look because you often find surprises.

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Good Summer Read for Salon Professionals

Success in Beauty, The Secrets to Effortless Fulfillment and Happiness is a revolutionary book written by a variety of women about how to be happy and fulfilled with little or no effort at all!

This book has no shortage of vital information about how you as a woman can enhance yourself your life and your business.

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Live Excellence and Professionalism Every Day

It has been one year since my friend and boss, Horst Rechelbacher, passed away. We took a chance working together for the first time in 1989 when he hired me to be his business assistant. That position lasted exactly one month when he asked me to step into his new adventure, the Aveda Esthetique, his signature retail shop.

365 products later, Aveda Esthetique, launched on Madison Avenue in New York. Horst once again changed the world of beauty. All of the products he created throughout his life changed the world of beauty over and over again. "Eco-chic" was his favorite catch phrase. He created the natural category in the beauty industry that carries into today.

Flash forward 26 years . . .

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Why it was my goal to become a licensed Instructor. . . It could be yours too!

Looking at the ever changing nature of the beauty industry will be a great way to help answer that question. Having lived by the credo “change is good”, the beauty industry has been a great choice allowing me to not only change but to grow, try new things and truly experience all avenues of the business. 

When SSPA sent out an email that they were now offering the 38 Hour Instructor Licensure Course, I had recently been laid off from my job with Horst Rechelbacher after his death. Having worked with Horst for many years, I knew he believed in the credo “you are on your path” and I have tried to live my life in the same way. Believing everything happens for a reason, I jumped at the chance to learn a new skill and ultimately become more employable as I seek a new position.

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What does Health Insurance Open Enrollment Mean to You?

From November 15th through February 15th 2015, you have the opportunity to get health insurance.  This is also the time to shop for a better plan if you have one already.    If you don’t have compliant health insurance in 2015, you could face a fine of $325 per adult or 2 % of your income. If you do not make enough to pay taxes, you get an exemption.  You might find that you now can qualify for a federal tax subsidy which will reduce your cost of coverage.  They may also help pay your deductible.  If you live in a state that has expanded Medicaid, such as Minnesota, you may find that you can now qualify to get a state Basic Health Plan.   

All of the qualification calculations for subsidies changed on November 15th. Because rates have gone up, and with the loss of Preferred One on the exchange, it will be easier to qualify.  The subsidies will be greater.  It may be time for a new look to make sure that you are not paying too much.   If you are a chair renter, you definitely should look into this program. Chair renters should use their net income after rent, materials other direct business expenses when using a subsidy calculator.  You can find this calculator on the MNsure web site under “calculate your costs”.  A premium subsidy calculator can tell you in minutes if you can qualify.   There is no longer any means test, so if you are a salon owner you will not be turned down automatically because you have assets. 

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Welcome to the SSPA Beauty Blog Live!

My name is Deborah Otten and I have taken on the role of blogger for the Salon & Spa Professional Association team. While I am excited for this new responsibility, I am also a little nervous. Those of you reading this post please send me feedback (positive or negative, I am a big girl… really) and maybe an idea or two for future postings.

In my tenure in the salon industry in Minnesota, I have had many people ask why I belong to a professional organization…

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