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  • Young Person's Guide to Healthcare | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    the law You Can Get the Same Benefits as Members of Congress Through new state based competitive health insurance marketplaces millions of individuals and small businesses will pool their buying power and negotiate better deals with insurers just like Congress and federal employees do today New Tax Credits for Coverage If you re having trouble affording coverage and earn less than about 44 000 a year as a single person 88 000 for a family of four you will get a tax credit to help you pay the cost of coverage in the new competitive marketplaces Citizens and lawfully admitted immigrants earning less than about 14 000 a year for a single person will be automatically eligible for very low cost coverage through the Medicaid program But You ll Have to Do Your Part To keep health insurance premiums low it helps if everyone pulls his or her weight and gets covered Otherwise only the sicker more expensive individuals seek insurance and this raises costs for everyone with coverage So in 2014 all who can afford it must buy coverage People under 30 can purchase a lower cost less comprehensive plan For a complete timeline and outline of changes under the new law go to www healthcare gov law timeline index html THE BASICS OF HEALTH INSURANCE If you get sick or are injured in an accident the costs of treatment can quickly exceed most Americans ability to pay A single visit to the emergency room for an unexpected health situation can run into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars So for decades Americans have bought health insurance policies that ensure they can get health care when they need it without paying for everything out of pocket Every month individuals and in many cases their employers too pay a certain amount of money to an insurance company to purchase coverage also called a health insurance plan or policy That coverage means that in the event of an illness the insurer agrees to cover some or most of the expenses Types of Coverage Group Coverage Health insurance plans provided by a company government agency or union Rather than covering one person or one family these plans cover large groups of people Group coverage tends to be less expensive and provide more coverage than separate individual coverage In most cases employers pay a portion of the cost of the premium for group coverage Individual Coverage This is coverage bought by the individual not the employer for him or herself and his or her family It tends to be more expensive and provide less coverage than group plans Paying for It Premium The amount charged to keep you on your insurance plan usually quoted as a monthly price For employer provided insurance the premium is usually shared between the employer and the employee Cost Sharing In addition to premiums almost all plans use other ways to share costs for medical expenses between the insurance company and the patient There are three types of cost sharing co insurance deductibles and co pays Co Pay or co payment A flat amount that a patient must pay at the time of receiving medical services For example a consumer may have to pay 10 for a visit to a primary care doctor and 20 for prescriptions Co Insurance This cost sharing method requires a patient to pick up a certain percentage of the cost of a medical service while the plan covers the rest For example a plan with 80 20 hospital coinsurance will cover 80 of the cost of your hospital stay 20 of the costs will be your responsibility Deductible The amount of costs which you must pay yourself before your insurance pays anything For example a plan with a 1 000 deductible would require you to pay 1 000 before the insurance company would pay any money Generally plans with higher deductibles have lower premiums but require you to pay more every time you see a doctor or need medical care And if catastrophe strikes you ll be on the hook for the whole deductible Low deductible plans avoid these unexpected costs but tend to have higher premiums Existing Health Care Programs Medicaid A government health care program paid for with state and federal money Each state has its own Medicaid program with rules for who is eligible for benefits Medicare A federal government program that provides health insurance to people over the age of 65 and to some disabled people Other Insurance Terms Open Enrollment A period during the year usually one to four weeks when people in group plans are permitted to change their coverage Primary Care Doctor Your main doctor who practices general medicine Some health insurance plans require you to select a primary care doctor who has the responsibility of recommending and approving any visits to specialist doctors e g cardiologist neurologist etc Out of Network Costs Most health plans have a two tiered payment structure If you use doctors and hospitals in your insurer s network the costs are lower than if you use non network doctors or hospitals The difference in costs may be substantial and some plans do not cover out of network providers at all Your insurance company will give you a list of which doctors and hospitals are in your network Pre Existing Condition A medical condition such as asthma diabetes pneumonia or an anxiety disorder that you have at the time you apply for health insurance Additional Coverage Options College Plans Between 1 500 and 2 000 institutions of higher education offer health insurance plans to their students and those plans provide coverage to as many as one in every 13 college students Generally these plans are available only to students but some allow students taking time off from school to maintain their coverage or they permit graduates to keep their coverage for a limited period of time The premiums for these plans tend to be very affordable But when considering enrolling

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/blogs/nj/young-persons-guide-healthcare (2016-04-29)
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  • Guide to Financial Aid | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    FAFSA if you want to apply for federal and state financial aid Many colleges and universities especially public institutions also require the FAFSA You must submit the FAFSA every year that you want aid Visit www fafsa ed gov to get started You can also call 1 800 4 FED AID to request a form To apply for state based grants and loans contact your state Department of Education Keep in mind that each state has a different FAFSA submission deadline If you submit your FAFSA by March 1 you will be in time for all state deadlines other than Michigan s If you miss the deadline you will be ineligible to receive state aid for the entire academic year For an excellent overall site to understanding all types of aid available as well as what might suit your needs the best visit www finaid org Tracking and Checking Up on Your Financial Aid Package It s important to stay informed about your loan and aid package to make sure you are aware of your loan amounts and to make sure there are no mistakes in your records Find Out How Much You ve Borrowed To find out how much you ve borrowed check your promissory note s You can also go to the National Student Loan Data System at www nslds ed gov go to Financial Aid Review Here you can find out what federal aid you have received including all student loans and grants The site requires a PIN that you already have or that you can get or change on the site This site details all government issued loans including direct loans FFEL loans Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized loans Perkins loans and PLUS loans You can access a description of how to use the National Student Loan Data System at www edfund org pdfs Accessibility A i 43 pdf If you have a private label loan you must contact the private bank or lending institution directly Find Your Loan and Your Lending Institution s www studentclearinghouse org secure area loan locator asp Check Parental Loan Amounts You can only check the loans that are your responsibility If your parents have taken out a PLUS loan for your college degree then they can check it on the National Student Loan Data System with their own PIN number at www nslds ed gov Managing Student Debt Now that you are out of college you must begin to pay back your loans Check your promissory note for the details Calculate Your Payback Amount and Payback Period Visit the CNN and Money Magazine College Calculator at cgi money cnn com tools The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid also has a set of useful calculators at www finaid org Consider Loan Consolidation Consolidating more than one loan into just one loan thereby managing one simple monthly payment can be an effective way to manage your student debt Depending on your student loan consolidation could help you get a lower interest rate

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/blogs/nj/guide-financial-aid (2016-04-29)
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  • New Laws, Free Books and Textbook Rentals Could Help Curb Rising Costs This Fall | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    is that colleges must provide the list of assigned textbooks for each course during registration which means that students will now have months rather than weeks or days to save up and shop around for the best deals The law also limits bundling a notorious practice used by publishers to drive up costs Read more about the law here http www studentpirgs org textbooks heoa Open Source Textbooks Another exciting development is that affordable alternatives are on the rise Open source textbooks which are commonly hailed as the next step will be used in hundreds of new classrooms starting this fall including two of White s courses Open textbooks are college texts offered online under a license that allows free digital access and low cost printing Unlike conventional e books which can be expensive and highly restrictive open textbooks are free online and hard copies are affordable 20 40 in most cases White estimates that his switch to open textbooks will save his students more than 11 000 The Open College Textbook Act which was introduced in Congress by Senator Dick Durbin D IL would establish a federally funded competitive grant program to create more open textbooks Read more about open textbooks here http www studentpirgs org open textbooks Rental Textbooks Although prices continue to skyrocket students have gained new ways to escape paying full fare Textbook rental programs are at the top of the list having spread like wildfire over the summer to colleges across the country Starting this fall students at literally thousands of colleges could save hundreds by renting their books either on campus or online through websites like Chegg com or BookRenter com Read our tips to save on textbooks here http www studentpirgs org textbooks tips Although these new developments will not cause textbook prices

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/news/new-laws-free-books-and-textbook-rentals-could-help-curb-rising-costs-fall (2016-04-29)
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  • New Federal Law Will Curb Skyrocketing Textbook Costs | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    the marketing process A study by the Student PIRGs found that such details were often left out 77 of the professors surveyed said publishers rarely or never offered textbook prices unasked Professors share students concern about cost and generally would prefer to assign less expensive books said Dr D Steven White Professor of Marketing International Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth The new law empowers professors to readily identify lower cost options that suit their instructional needs 2 Publishers must offer unbundled versions of textbooks Bundling or the practice of packing textbooks with CDs pass codes and other ancillaries that often go unused can increase costs 10 50 according to PIRG research From now on students will have the option to purchase only the items they need 3 Colleges must include the list of assigned textbooks during course registration With advance notice students can plan ahead for the full cost of their next term and they have time to shop around for the best deals on their books More cost saving options are available now than ever before Students can save hundreds by shopping for discounts online renting and trading used books with other students said Nicole Allen Textbooks Advocate for the Student PIRGs The next step is to make sure textbooks are affordable in the first place Another theme that emerged was that open source textbooks would play a prominent role in future efforts to reduce costs Open textbooks are digital books that unlike conventional e books are licensed to be free online and affordable to purchase in print While currently available for a limited number of courses budding efforts to create open textbooks including publishing company Flat World Knowledge and Durbin s legislation promise greater availability in coming years White is one of thousands of professors nationwide

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/news/new-federal-law-will-curb-skyrocketing-textbook-costs (2016-04-29)
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  • Subpriming Our Students | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    of that debt is in safe lower interest federal loans a significant amount is in private loans that can carry interest rates of over 18 percent In fact due to aggressive marketing nearly 3 million American students took out private loans last year up from less than 1 million just four years before Since federal loans are lower interest and have more borrower protections taking out unnecessary private loans for college is like putting tuition on a high interest credit card that students can t pay off for years And like credit cards private loans carry costly penalties and fees and are marketed heavily to students regardless of need resulting in unnecessary and damaging levels of expensive debt Unfortunately unlike with credit cards there has been no Credit Card Holder s Bill of Rights for student loans to reign in the worst abuses in the private loan market This absence of basic consumer protections is why American students need a new consumer watchdog About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments How is NJPIRG funded Local Chapters Rutgers Camden Rutgers New Brunswick Rutgers Newark Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/reports/subpriming-our-students (2016-04-29)
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  • A Snapshot of Student Opinions on High Tech Textbooks | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    population the study is designed to provide a useful snapshot of today s students Survey Findings Kindle e readers attractive except for concerns about cost 40 of the students who were at least somewhat familiar with e readers said that they were likely or very likely to switch from print textbooks to e readers based on what they knew In follow up focus groups students generally became less interested in switching to e readers upon learning the cost of the devices iPod iPhone textbooks would be convenient More than a third 38 of the students said that they would use a textbook on their iPod iPhone or similar device frequently or all the time if the option was available 77 of the students said that they would use it at least a few times Print is still preferred over digital but students like both 70 said they prefer to read textbooks in print rather than on a computer if cost is not a factor 30 of the students said that they would pay extra to have both print and digital versions of their textbooks Given students widely different budgets and learning styles we should seek a system where students can choose between high tech options and traditional print formats Furthermore new technologies are only a solution insofar as students can afford to use them Textbook publishers must look for models that do not rely on excessive prices or heavy restrictions on digital copies such as open textbooks Resource file download Download the report About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments How is NJPIRG funded Local Chapters Rutgers Camden Rutgers New Brunswick Rutgers Newark Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on Campus Campaigns Don t Get Ripped Off Don t Frack

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/resources/snapshot-student-opinions-high-tech-textbooks (2016-04-29)
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  • Volunteer: Register Voters at Concerts this Summer | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    Jacket Phish Wilco Dave Mathews Band Neko Case The Roots and more It should be a ton of fun NJPIRGs New Voters Project is a non partisan campaign to mobilize young voters and turn them out to the polls By registering and voting we can make politicians pay attention to young people and the issues we care about like protecting our environment making college affordable and jobs If you want to help register voters AND get to see an awesome show in your area sign up here and we ll be in touch with more info New Voters Project Democracy About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments How is NJPIRG funded Local Chapters Rutgers Camden Rutgers New Brunswick Rutgers Newark Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on Campus Campaigns Don t Get Ripped Off Don t Frack the Delaware Energy Service Corps Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project Stop Citizens United No Bees No Food Save ABX Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get Info Students

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/blogs/latest-news/nj/volunteer-register-voters-concerts-summer (2016-04-29)
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  • There is no 'A' for effort | NJPIRG Student Chapters
    to their home states and say I tried should be reminded that there is no A for effort This debate is not about partisan gamesmanship in Washington but about a potential post graduation debt increase of 1 000 for every year a subsidized Stafford loan borrower is in school Average student debt is 25 000 and rising a crushing burden made worse by an uncertain job market This month students and their families are receiving financial aid award letters warning of the interest rate increase and causing nervous tension over the uncertainty With the political votes behind them we urge Senators who are truly concerned about students and the rising cost of higher education to find a bipartisan solution before the July 1 deadline Higher Ed About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments How is NJPIRG funded Local Chapters Rutgers Camden Rutgers New Brunswick Rutgers Newark Get Involved Action Center Campaign Resources Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campus Internships Volunteer on Campus Campaigns Don t Get Ripped Off Don t Frack the Delaware Energy Service Corps Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project Stop Citizens United No Bees No Food Save ABX Newsroom Latest Updates Blog

    Original URL path: http://njpirgstudents.org/blogs/latest-news/sp/there-no-effort (2016-04-29)
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