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Killexams : 3COM Specialist plan - BingNews Search results Killexams : 3COM Specialist plan - BingNews Killexams : 3Com Future Unclear

— -- Senior 3Com Corp. executives are waiting for the full terms of a US$2.2 billion acquisition bid to be made public, as several important details affecting the company's future remain unclear.

Bain Capital Partners LLC and Shenzhen Huawei Investment & Holding Co. Ltd. announced an offer to buy 3Com on Sept. 28 for $5.30 per share, a 44 percent premium over 3Com's closing stock price on the previous day.

"It's clearly a win for shareholders. When you can get a 44 percent return on your investment overnight, you take it," Jay Zager, 3Com's chief financial officer, said in an interview in Singapore on Monday.

But Bain and Huawei, which is an affiliate of Chinese networking vendor Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., offered little insight into their future plans for 3Com, including whether the company's senior management will be retained and how ownership of the company will be structured.

In particular, Huawei's role and the size of its stake in 3Com if the acquisition goes through remain uncertain. The information is not revealed in any of the documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Zager said his discussions related to the bid have so far involved only Bain executives, despite several meetings that took place in China.

These questions should be resolved soon. Full details of the acquisition bid will be disclosed in a proxy statement that Zager expects to be filed during the last week of October.

The deal is likely to face some regulatory hurdles as Huawei, which is a private company, retains close ties with the Chinese government. If reaction to Lenovo Group Ltd.'s bid for IBM Corp.'s former PC division is any guide, there are may well be calls to examine national-security implications for the U.S. arising from the acquisition of 3Com.

On the other hand, Huawei and 3Com have previously worked together. In 2003, the two companies established a joint venture, called Huawei-3Com Co. Ltd. (H3C), in which 3Com held a 49 percent stake. Two years later, 3Com increased its stake to 51 percent as the company became an important provider to Huawei.

3Com bought out the remaining 49 percent of H3C from Huawei in March for $840 million, implying a valuation at that time for the joint venture of approximately $1.7 billion.

The former joint venture is the largest source of revenue for 3Com and is currently the only one of its business units that is profitable, earning an operating profit of $27 million on sales of $187 million during the quarter ended on Aug. 31. And 30 percent of H3C's revenue comes from Huawei, which signed an 18-month non-compete agreement when it sold its stake to 3Com.

Huawei's role in the acquisition bid should put to rest fears it will re-enter the market for enterprise switching network gear on its own. "The H3C-Huawei relationship, as best as we can tell, should more than likely continue far beyond the 18 months," Zager said.

Of course there's more to 3Com than H3C. The company's Data Voice Business Unit, its second-largest source of revenue after H3C, reported an operating loss of $4.7 million on sales of $140 million during the most accurate quarter. And then there is TippingPoint, a security company that 3Com acquired in 2005 for $430 million, which reported an operating loss of $553,000 on sales of $25.5 million.

Earlier this year, 3Com announced plans to spin off TippingPoint in an initial public offering early next year, saying its products were not a tight fit with networking gear produced by other units. That IPO is still likely to happen, but the decision to proceed will ultimately be Bain's and Huawei's to make if the 3Com acquisition goes through, Zager said.

The value of these individual units, as indicated by their previous valuations, has some investors questioning whether the bid for 3Com reflects the company's true value. But Zager notes that 3Com's market value is reflected in the company's current stock price, not valuations done at an earlier time.

"You can argue philosophically, how did 3Com get to a valuation on the street of $1.4 billion or $1.5 billion when the individual pieces add up to more than that, and my guess is that gets down to expectations, execution, etc.," he said.

Wed, 10 Oct 2007 00:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Best Prepaid Phone Plans in 2022

While most Americans subscribe to services directly from AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon, a number of smaller providers can get you solid service for a cheaper rate. Whereas the main carriers now focus primarily on unlimited plans, these smaller carriers still offer a variety of plans with set allotments of data -- or even a better price on unlimited data.   

There are a ton of providers, but for the purposes of this story I'm going to focus on just a few: Boost Mobile, Cricket, Mint, Google Fi, Tracfone, Metro by T-Mobile, Total by Verizon, Verizon Prepaid and AT&T Prepaid. Since these carriers also have so many different plan options, I'm also going to focus on the best options for under 5GB of data, under 10GB of data and unlimited plans

Read more: Cheap Phone Plans Compared

What exactly is a prepaid phone plan?

There are two main types of ways to pay for phone service: postpaid, where you pay at the end of the month, and prepaid, where you buy service before you use your phone. The advertisements you see for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are almost always for postpaid plans, while the plans and carriers we're talking about here are all prepaid plans. 

You're buying the data and access in advance of using it. Prepaid plan providers let you purchase in various increments -- 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, six months or even a full year -- with prices often varying depending on how long you're willing to commit to. 

In this story, I'm comparing single-year prepaid cell phone plans. 

Will your area get good cell coverage?

As I noted when covering the best unlimited plans, to get the most out of your deal you need to make sure you have the coverage you need. This makes it hard to supply a blanket recommendation of any one carrier: T-Mobile's service in New York may be excellent, but if you're in, say, rural Iowa, Verizon is more reliable. 

Prepaid providers almost always use someone else's service. Before you sign up for one, it's worth checking what the underlying network is. Each offers some version of 5G and I've broken this all down here, but to recap: 

  • Boost Mobile uses AT&T and T-Mobile for now (it's switching to a combination of AT&T, T-Mobile and parent Dish's own network in the future)
  • Mint uses T-Mobile
  • Cricket uses AT&T
  • Google Fi uses T-Mobile and US Cellular
  • Metro uses T-Mobile
  • Tracfone uses Verizon
  • Verizon Prepaid is on Verizon
  • Total uses Verizon
  • AT&T Prepaid is on AT&T

If you have any friends or family in your area who already use the prepaid carrier you're considering, ask about their experience. You could also go to a major carrier's store and see if it offers any free ways to try out the service before switching over, such as T-Mobile's Test Drive.

Boost Mobile, AT&T and T-Mobile logos on phone screens

Boost Mobile will use a combination of AT&T, T-Mobile and its own network. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Know the prepaid phone plan promos and deals

As with the main carriers, there are periods of time when the prepaid players offer deals. Boost Mobile used to run a promo for new customers that let you get three lines with unlimited talk, text and data for $90 per month ($30 per line) after "your first payment of $100." It has since added a new unlimited plan that is $25 per month for new users, though each line has to be separate and cannot be grouped together on a family plan. 

Some prepaid providers will even supply discounts on buying a new device, though unlike the main carriers don't expect the same big promotions offering a free new iPhone 14 or Galaxy S22. Those deals are often tied to 24- or 36-month installment plans, which prepaid by its nature does not really offer. 

Best prepaid phone plans

Sarah Tew/CNET

Boost Mobile has added an unlimited plan for new users that offers unlimited talk, text and data for $25 per month with taxes and fees included. Unlike Mint Mobile's 12-month plan, our previous pick in this slot, Boost's plan isn't tied to 12-month increments. You do, however, need to be a new Boost customer to get the offer. 

The plan includes 5G access and 30GB per month of high-speed data (if you blow through that your data will slow until your next billing month starts). Hotspot is included as well, with that data pulling from your high-speed allotment. One thing worth noting: You do need to set up automatic payments to get the $25-per-month rate. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Ryan Reynolds' phone company has made a name for itself with its quirky advertising, but it also has one of the better offers for unlimited data that we've seen. For 12 months, you can get unlimited talk, text and data for $30 per month per line. Running on T-Mobile's networks, you get 35GB of high-speed data on 5G and 4G LTE per month, though if you do blow through that before your 30-day period resets, your speeds will slow to "3G speeds."

There's also 5GB of high-speed hotspot data and free international calls to Mexico and Canada. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

As with all plans, the value will change depending on your specific needs and if that particular network works well in your area. Google has updated the unlimited plans on its Fi cell phone service that not only lowers the monthly price, but also adds in a few useful features. While its $50 pricing for one line is way higher than Mint's, if you have three lines or more you can save a bit. 

Called Simply Unlimited, the plan runs $25 per line per month with three lines and drops to $20 per month if you have four or more lines. It now includes 35GB of high-speed data plus talk, text and data in Canada and Mexico. The plan also now offers 5GB of hotspot data, though that is a "hard" cap where the hotspot feature stops after 5GB is used, as opposed to the data slowing. 

One thing to note: Google Fi still does not offer 5G connectivity for iPhones. 

Other options: Metro and Cricket each offer a similar option that's $30 per line if you have three lines, but if you have four or five lines the price per line would drop to $25 per line per month ($100 a month for four lines, $125 for five lines). Both are still pricier than Fi's updated offering and neither offer mobile hotspot data with these plans. 

Cricket says it "may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy," whereas Google says it will slow data if you exceed 35GB in a month. Metro speeds will similarly slow if you use over 35GB in a month, and T-Mobile will prioritize its own users over those on Metro plans. 

Tracfone does not offer a traditional unlimited data plan. Verizon and AT&T's prepaid options start at $50 a month with automatic payments ($65 without). Verizon's deal also requires you to commit to 10 or more months.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Cricket and Metro also offer perks with their top unlimited plans -- in the case of Cricket you get a subscription to HBO Max with ads, while Metro offers a subscription to Amazon Prime, one year of ViX Plus and 100GB of Google One storage. But those prices are higher per line if you were only looking for one, two or three lines. 

If you're looking for four or more lines, the top Metro unlimited plan could be worth considering. A promotion has that down to $30 a month per line, so if that's your budget you may want to look at that deal, as for the same price per line you may as well get the perks like Amazon Prime and Google One alongside the service. 

Verizon's new Total by Verizon service includes Disney Plus with its top plan, but at $60 per month for a single line and $165 per month for four lines it's probably not worth it. 

If price is the biggest factor for you, look at Google Fi's Simply Unlimited plan we mentioned above. 

Anything less than four lines, however, and Metro is a lot pricier than Mint. One phone line with this top unlimited plan runs $60 a month, two lines are $90 a month and three lines are $120.

It is worth mentioning that Metro -- like AT&T, Verizon and Boost -- works with the government's Affordable Connectivity Program. If you qualify for that program, Metro's $40 per month unlimited plan could be had for $10 per month (and the one with perks could be $30 per month instead of its regular $60 monthly). 

Sarah Tew/CNET

When it comes to data under 10GB, Mint once again has the best value if T-Mobile's network is solid in your area. Whereas Metro and Cricket charge $40 per month for one line and Boost has a $35 plan for 10GB of data, Mint beats them all on price. 

Getting 10GB of 4G LTE/5G monthly data is $20 per month at Mint when purchased in 12-month increments for new users. After that, you can buy three more months at $35 per month ($105 total), six months at $25 per month ($150 total) or another year at $20 per month ($240 total). 

Other options: Google Fi has a "bill protection" feature designed to refund you for data you don't use, but with a maximum monthly charge of $80 per month for one line and 6GB of data and unlimited talk/text, I think you're better off looking elsewhere instead of having to calculate how much data you're using. 

AT&T has an online offer of 16GB per month plan if you prepay the $300 for a full year (equating to $25 per month). 

Tracfone doesn't have a 10GB plan but has two other options directly above and below it. The first is an 8GB-per-month plan that runs $35 per month if you enable auto-refill, or $40 per month regularly. The provider does have a 24GB plan for one year that runs $199, though that 24GB is all the data you get for the year. 

The perk with the AT&T and Tracfone plans is that any unused data carries over to the next month. For the latter, if you're looking for a prepaid provider on Verizon it's hard to top what amounts to a monthly rate of $16.58.

Sarah Tew/CNET

At $15 per month for 4GB of data Mint Mobile has a new customer deal that beats out Boost Mobile's offer of $15 for 2GB of data and Cricket's $30-per-month rate for the same amount of data. Tracfone has a 4GB data plan but that runs $25 when on auto-refill ($30 without). 

Boost, however, has a $100 deal that offers 1GB of data per month for a full year for new customers. That breaks down to $8.33 per month. If you don't have Boost, find yourself largely on Wi-Fi and price is the biggest driver for you, this is the go-to pick if looking for a new service.

If you need a little more data, Mint is the way to go. 

Verizon Prepaid has a 5GB plan that it lists as running $25 per month so long as you're willing to commit to at least 10 months, but the math here can be tricky. The plan is normally $40 per month but that price will drop to $35 per month starting in the second month assuming you have automatic payments enabled. It will then fall to $30 per month if you keep the service for three months, before dropping another $5 down to $25 if you stick with the carrier past the ninth month.

T-Mobile has a few T-Mobile Connect deals including a $25 per month option with unlimited talk/text and 6GB of data (with an extra 500MB of data added to your plan every year). The carrier also has a $10 per month Connect option that includes 1,000 domestic minutes for talk, 1,000 domestic and 1GB of data. 

As we said at the top, the best deal is the one that works best for you. But when it comes to price, assuming T-Mobile's network works well in your area, it's hard to top what Mint charges.

Now playing: Watch this: Best Budget Phone Plans in 2022 (and the Fine Print)


Read more: How to Buy a New iPhone or Android Phone in 2022

Sat, 30 Jun 2018 02:48:00 -0500 See full bio en text/html
Killexams : Best Roadside Assistance Plans

Good Sam Roadside Assistance

Good Sam takes our top spot for RV users. These plans were created specifically with RVs in mind, so they supply you all the coverage you need for your long-haul travels.

  • Unlimited covered towing miles

  • Covers your other vehicles, too

  • Plan applies to the whole family

  • Covers all of North America

When you’re traveling in your RV, the thought of your home on wheels going out of commission can be terrifying. Thankfully, Good Sam offers roadside assistance plans that will keep you protected anywhere in North America. Our top choice for RVs, Good Sam will tow you as far as it takes to get you to the nearest RV repair shop.

Since 1984, Good Sam has exceeded standards in roadside assistance. Unlike other plans, all of Good Sam’s offerings cover the entire family, so you won’t pay more to get your spouse and kids under 25 on your plan. The company also provides unlimited towing to the nearest service center that can fix your RV, even if it’s 500 miles away. Customer service is available 24/7.

The Standard plan starts at $64.95 the first year and covers your cars, pick-ups, boat trailers, and motorcycles, as well as coverage for your travel trailers, toy haulers, and pop-up campers. The price increases to $129.95 when you renew.

If you have a motorized RV, fifth wheel, or travel trailer, and you also want your leased, rented, or borrowed vehicles covered, go for the Platinum plan. You’ll also have access to a certified RV technician for assistance on this plan. Some extra benefits include home lockout service and discounts on hotels and rental cars. This plan is $79.95 the first year, then $159.95 yearly.

Finally, if you’re looking for even more perks, the Platinum Complete plan is for you. The replacement cost of your tires and wheels is covered at this level. You’ll also be eligible for important benefits like emergency medical assistance and having your vehicle or RV returned to you if you have a medical event far from home. Platinum Complete is regularly $239.95 yearly, but you can get it for $119.95 for your first year.

Thu, 15 Apr 2021 06:30:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Best 529 Plans Of 2022

Despite their advantages, only 29% of college-saving parents use 529 plans, according to Sallie Mae’s 2018 report “How America Saves for College.” In many cases, parents could end up with more money saved by using a 529 plan rather than, or in addition to, a general savings account.

But since there are many 529 plans to choose from, the decision can be complex. First, take note of whether your state offers a tax break for choosing the local plan. Then calculate how much it could be worth to you based on your expected 529 plan contributions, income and filing status. Vanguard, Fidelity and other sources offer online 529 state tax benefit calculators. If you’re not getting meaningful savings—or another state’s plan offers substantially lower fees or broader investment choices—you’re not bound to using your own state’s plan.

When you’re comparing 529 plans and underlying investments, also check the total annual fee you’ll be charged, including not only management and state fees but the costs of the investment portfolios themselves. Some 529 plan websites make that easy to do, while others may not; be sure to ask if the plan costs aren’t clear. Fees can reduce your investment earnings, and while some fees are inevitable, understanding how much they add up to will help you compare plan options.

Some states offer two types of 529 plans: one sold by the state directly to consumers and one sold by financial advisors only. In each case where a state offered both types, the direct-sold plan was higher-rated based on’s analysis. As a result, we’ve included only direct-sold plans on our list.

Some 529 plans also provide useful consumer-friendly features that might be important to you, like an online platform where friends and family can make a contribution to your child’s plan. Look into the perks and extras available from your state’s plan.

Sat, 08 Oct 2022 20:12:00 -0500 Brianna McGurran en-US text/html
Killexams : 529 Plan Contribution Limits in 2022

What Is a 529 Savings Plan?

Families need to save as much as possible, as early as possible to get ahead of rising education costs. According to a research report from, the average cost of attending a public four-year college, including tuition and fees, in the 2022 school year is $10,740 for an in-state student and $27,560 for out-of-state students. A year at a private college averages even more: $38,070.

Named after the section of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code that established them, 529 savings plans are one of the nation’s best ways to save for higher education expenses. These qualified tuition plans allow federal tax-free withdrawal of earnings and the potential for tax deductions, which can help families afford the rapidly increasing cost of college.

A primary benefit of 529 plans is the high contribution limit. Each state operates its own 529 plan and makes its own rules for the plan, so maximum contribution levels vary across states. Fortunately, 529 limits are usually high enough that most will never have to worry about hitting the ceiling, although anyone who considers attending a private university could need to save a significant amount of money.

Key Takeaways

  • A 529 plan allows you to save and grow tax-free money for someone’s education, including your own.
  • Beneficiaries must spend the money on qualified education expenses for the withdrawal to be considered tax-free.
  • There are two types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans and savings plans.
  • Maximum plan contribution limits vary by state, but such limits generally do not apply across states.

How a 529 Plan Works

A 529 plan allows investors to save and grow money on behalf of a beneficiary, such as a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or even for themselves. The money grows tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free, provided it is used for qualified higher education expenses (QHEE). These include tuition and fees; certain electronics, such as a computer; books and classroom equipment; and some room and board costs.

Plan distributions that are used to pay for items that are not QHEE are subject to state and federal income taxes and an additional 10% federal penalty on earnings, with exceptions made for certain circumstances, such as death and disability. Moreover, you will be subject to income taxation on those non-qualified withdrawals.

There are two main types of 529 plans: prepaid tuition plans, in which the plan holder pays in advance for the beneficiary’s tuition and fees at a specific school, and savings plans, which are tax-advantaged investment vehicles similar to individual retirement accounts (IRAs). 

How Are 529 Contribution Limits Determined?

To qualify as a 529 plan under federal rules, plan balances cannot exceed the expected cost of a beneficiary’s QHEE. The generally accepted guideline is that this limit constitutes five years of tuition, room, and board at the most expensive college in the United States.

This guideline makes investment contribution limits quite large, although every state is allowed to individually interpret what five years of qualified education costs means. Potential contributors can check their states’ 529 limits to determine specific investment maximums.

Although originally structured to fund post-secondary education, 529 plans can now also be used to fund private K-12 education and apprenticeship programs registered and certified with the U.S. Secretary of Labor.

State-Specific 529 Contribution Limits

Every state’s 529 plan allows for maximum contributions of at least $235,000 per beneficiary. Georgia and Mississippi have the lowest maximum balance limits at $235,000, followed by North Dakota at $269,000.

On the high end, states such as Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, have maximum limits of $500,000. Pennsylvania’s limit is $511,758, South Carolina’s and New York’s are both $520,000, and California’s is $529,000. Once the limit is reached, any contributions made to the account are not accepted and will be returned to the investor.

These contribution limits apply to each beneficiary. For example, in Georgia, which has a $235,000 maximum contribution limit, if parents contribute $200,000 for a beneficiary, grandparents cannot also contribute $200,000 for the same beneficiary.

However, contribution maximums generally do not apply across states. An investor hitting the maximum in one state would likely be eligible to contribute more money in another state’s plan. To be safe, individuals should check with plan administrators first to make sure this is allowed.

$464 billion

The amount of assets invested in 529 plans, as of June 2021, according to the Federal Reserve. 

Limit for Repaying Student Loans

Under the SECURE Act of 2019, you can also use a 529 plan to pay off up to $10,000 of your existing student loan debt. Note that this $10,000 limit is a cumulative lifetime limit.

Gift Tax Considerations

Normally, annual contributions to any individual above a certain threshold ($15,000 in 2021 and $16,000 in 2022) would count against your $12.06 million (or $24.12 million for married couples) lifetime gift tax exemption.

However, there is an exception made for contributions within a 529 plan. In 2022, for example, grandparent can supply an $80,000 one-time lump-sum contribution to a 529 plan with the understanding that it would cover five years’ worth of gifts. As long as that person doesn’t contribute again in the next five years, there are no tax consequences.

Your taxable income is not reduced by contributing to a 529 plan. However, more than 30 states supply out tax deductions or credits for contributions made to one, according to the informational website

Who Can Contribute to a 529 Plan?

Anyone can contribute to a 529 plan account and name anyone as a beneficiary. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, stepparents, spouses, and friends are all allowed to contribute on behalf of a beneficiary.

How Much Can I Contribute to My 529 Plan Per Year?

You can contribute as much as you like each year, provided you don't surpass the maximum contribution limit set by the state in which the 529 plan is registered. It's worth noting, however, that 529 contributions are treated by the IRS as gifts and thus may be subject to taxation when totaling more than $16,000 in a year or $80,000 over five years.

Do 529s Have a Maximum Contribution Limit?

Yes, there is a maximum contribution limit for each beneficiary. These limits depend on the state and range from $235,000 to $529,000.

Sun, 26 Dec 2021 12:47:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : What Is Medicare Plan F And How Does It Work?
Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

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Medicare can be a complicated subject—especially when you dive into all its variations. “A lot of people hear ‘Part A,’ ‘Part B,’ ‘Plan F’ and all these different letters flying around, and they definitely get a little confused,” says Sterling Price, a senior research analyst at ValuePenguin who specializes in health and life insurance.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for older U.S. adults, available starting at age 65. It consists of two main plan options: Medicare Part A covers hospitalization without a premium, and Medicare Part B covers doctor and outpatient care for a monthly premium.

Meanwhile, Medicare Plan F is an example of Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap). As its name suggests, Medigap helps fill the gaps that Medicare doesn’t cover.

“When you go to the doctor, Medicare pays 80% of the approved amount,” says Casey Schwarz, senior counsel for education and federal policy at the Medicare Rights Center. “If you didn’t have a Medigap, you would pay 20%. But if you buy a Medigap plan, it pays that 20%.”

Despite its popularity, Medicare Plan F is no longer available to anyone signing up for Medicare for the first time. Here’s what that means for you.

What Is Medicare Plan F?

Historically, Medicare Plan F provided the most benefits of all the Medicare Supplement plans, says Price. It addresses some of the coverage gaps in Medicare Part A and Part B, which is why many people thought it was worth the extra premium, he notes.

The main benefit of Plan F, which sets it apart from other Medigap plans, is that it covers the
Medicare Part B annual deductible.

“Plan F was the best plan available,” says Price. “That’s why people were so interested in it. It was so popular, it was just automatically like, ‘OK, I’m signing up for Plan F. I’m not going to look at anything else.’”

What Does Medicare Plan F Cover?

Regardless of which insurance provider you choose, Plan F provides the following benefits:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
  • Part A deductible
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges (if a provider is permitted to charge more than Medicare’s approved amount and does so)
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Blood transfusion (first three pints)
  • Foreign travel emergency coverage (maximum of $50,000, after hitting a $250 deductible)

Plan F was designed to cover most charges that are not covered by Original Medicare. However, Plan F does not cover every medical cost or concern. 

What Is Not Covered by Medicare Supplement Plan F?

Plan F’s coverage is robust, but it still has gaps. For instance, Plan F does not cover:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Hearing health
  • Dental care
  • Vision care 
  • Surgeries that are deemed “cosmetic”

If you’re counting on coverage for any of those benefits, you’ll need to purchase additional coverage.

How Much Does Medicare Plan F Cost?

This figure depends on a multitude of factors. Plan F premiums hinge heavily on where you reside, but gender, age and tobacco use all come into play as well as insurance providers determine their rates. Sometimes discounts are available for non-smokers, women or married people who have multiple policies. Meanwhile, companies that use medical underwriting might set higher premium rates depending on your health status. 

People who are eligible for Plan F enrollment can expect to pay a monthly premium between $150 and $400 , with the average hovering around $230. Again, that number could vary significantly depending on the provider you pick and the personal factors mentioned above.

If you choose a high-deductible Plan F option, the annual deductible is $2,490.

Who Is Still Eligible for Medicare Plan F?

Those who were eligible for Medicare on or before January 1, 2020 can still sign up for Medicare Plan F. People who already had or were covered by Medicare Plan F before January 1, 2020 are also able to keep their plan.

Eligible people can purchase Medicare Plan F from private health insurance companies, such as Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Kaiser Permanente, says Price.

Medicare Plan F Alternatives

People newly eligible for Medicare can’t sign up for Plan F, but they still have options when it comes to other Medigap plans. Here’s a look at what some experts say are the two best alternatives to Plan F.

Medicare Plan G

Medicare Supplement Plan G is generally the best option for people who are no longer eligible for Plan F, says Price. “It’s very similar to Plan F,” he notes.

Plan G features almost the exact same benefits of Plan F, with one main difference: It doesn’t cover the Part B deductible. “It’s basically Plan F without the deductible—kind of a modern-day Plan F,” says Price.

The premium for Medicare Part G varies based on the company from which you purchase your plan. You can choose from a normal plan with no deductible or a high-deductible version of the plan.

Some of the things that Medicare Plan G covers include:

  • Medicare Part A deductible, coinsurance, hospital costs and hospice coinsurance or copay
  • Skilled nursing coinsurance
  • The first three pints of blood
  • 80% of foreign travel emergencies

“They’re as covered as they can be,” says Price, referring to people who sign up for Plan G. “They won’t see unexpected medical bills or stuff like that, and they’re willing to fork over a little bit more money to have that peace of mind.”

Medicare Plan N

Plan N can be a solid alternative to Plan F, and it’s typically less expensive than Plan G, says Price. Like Plan G, it doesn’t cover the Part B deductible.

One of the main differences between Part G and Part N is Part N doesn’t cover the excess charges related to Part B, which occur when a doctor charges more than a Medicare-approved amount. Plan G does cover those excess charges.

Review Your Personalized Medicare Options With A Dedicated Advisor

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What Is a Medicare Supplement Plan?

Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, help fill coverage gaps left by Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. To purchase a Medicare Supplement plan, you must first enroll in Original Medicare Part A and Part B.

Medicare Supplement plans can be purchased from private insurance companies. Every Medigap plan is required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide the same set of standardized benefits. However, premiums vary from provider to provider and can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, such as where you live, your gender and tobacco use. All Medicare Supplement plans and policies provide individual coverage.

How to Choose a Medicare Supplement Plan

Now that Medicare Plan F is only available to a certain subset of the population, those who are just signing up may struggle with their coverage decisions. Is a Medigap Supplement plan necessary? And is Plan G the best option?

Price recommends doing online research and speaking with an insurance agent who can guide you through the process. also has a tool that helps people find and compare supplement plans.

“Really focus on the things that matter to you most—whether that be getting the maximum amount of coverage or saving some money,” says Price, regarding the research process.

And don’t stress too much about the phaseout of Plan F. “We haven’t seen this be a big problem,” says Schwarz. “It’s just not that significant because these other plans are available.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between Medicare Plan F and Plan G?

Plan G features almost the exact same benefits as Plan F, with one key difference: It doesn’t cover the Part B annual deductible.

Why is Medicare Plan F being discontinued?

Medigap Plan F is being phased out as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which prohibits the sale of Medicare Supplement plans that cover Medicare Part B’s annual deductible in full. By discontinuing these plans, all Medicare beneficiaries can expect some degree of out-of-pocket spending when using health care services.

What are the benefits of Medicare Plan F?

According to, Plan F covers:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
  • Part A deductible
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges (if a provider is permitted to charge more than Medicare’s approved amount and does so)
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Blood transfusion (first three pints)
  • Foreign travel emergency coverage (maximum of $50,000, after hitting a $250 deductible)

Should I switch from Medicare Plan F to Plan G?

Medicare Supplement Plan G is generally the best option for people who aren’t eligible for Plan F, according to Sterling Price, a senior research analyst at ValuePenguin who specializes in health and life insurance.

Medicare Plan G coverage includes:

  • Medicare Part A deductible, coinsurance, hospital costs and hospice coinsurance or copay
  • Skilled nursing coinsurance
  • The first three pints of blood
  • 80% of foreign travel emergencies

“They’re as covered as they can be,” says Price, referring to people who sign up for Plan G.

Wed, 28 Sep 2022 19:30:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : What Plan Sponsors Should Expect From a Retirement Plan Adviser

Many plan sponsors are evaluating their relationships with plan advisers as they look for more guidance on managing their benefits, according to retirement industry veterans who spoke during a accurate edition of the 2022 Plan Progress webinar series.

The Great Resignation has only complicated matters, said Jim Scheinberg, founder and managing partner at North Pier Fiduciary Management, as firms are seeing both high turnover and a reduction of staff across the board. While most human resources and finance teams used to comprise four to five team members, now there may be fewer people with the same volume of work spread among them, he said.

“We’re also seeing that reflected on the service provider side, with recordkeepers or administrators, where their service teams are being stretched a lot thinner,” Scheinberg said. “You’re seeing that reflected in response times, hold times, getting resolution to various items that may be normal in the course of governing your plan, or maybe one-off items.”

As a result, many with such heightened responsibilities are looking for more help with understanding how they should proceed as they review certain tasks, Scheinberg said. As plan sponsors look to their adviser for help, many are beginning to see the difference, and it can become an issue when the adviser fails to deliver for their client.

Many plan sponsors are struggling to locate experienced talent and are seeking out advice from their adviser more often than ever, because they lack the in-house expertise in reviewing plan documents or plan audits, said Robert Massa, managing director at Qualified Plan Advisors. In his view, advisers must be able to understand more than just retirement—they also have to understand where and how retirement fits into the whole benefits scheme.

Scheinberg noted that, as plan sponsors look to reevaluate their relationships with their retirement plan adviser, they may simply be validating the original reason for working with an adviser, or they could be looking for a change. Mergers and acquisitions may also prompt reevaluation, as there has recently been a “tremendous” amount of consolidation in the adviser space and sponsors may want to vet the service structure or culture of the new organization, he said.

“Where we see the most of our search work is when the committee chair itself or a very senior staff person has a very heavy hand on the management of the plan,” Scheinberg said. “When that role has changed, the new person comes in and gets settled for the first six months or so, and then they want to start looking around and making sure that, ultimately, they like the team they’re with—or possibly want to consider something new.”

As plan sponsors evaluate their relationships, they should be prepared to ask “culturally uncomfortable” questions that are generally acceptable in the financial services industry, said David Morehead, vice president at OneDigital. Questions like “how much are you getting paid?” or “what is your compensation for this plan?” are straightforward, important questions to ask, because fiduciaries should be aware of an adviser’s or service provider’s pricing model, he said.

When vetting to fill an adviser role, plan sponsors should expect advisers to be able to answer their questions about most general retirement issues on the spot, Massa said.

“I think this is part of the interview process. Am I dealing with a competent professional or am I dealing with someone who doesn’t deal with this every day?” Massa said. “I would take some time to try to come up with a few of those questions. Some may affect your company, some may not … but it tells you a lot about their knowledge of ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act], their knowledge of the IRS tax code and whether they are a professional in retirement or just an investment professional.”

It’s also important for advisers to explain exactly what they are going to do when it comes to how they handle things such as managed account investments, or how exactly they plan to supply participants advice, Massa said.

“You want to make sure that they’re going to spend time with that employee, they’re going to actually educate them and they’re not just going to hand them off to a computer program … to me, that’s not advice,” Massa said. “You really need to ask a lot of questions about that adviser to ultimately get them to disclose whether they’re in this for you or for them—because they’re supposed to work for you. That’s their job.”

Mon, 26 Sep 2022 09:04:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Best family cell phone plan in 2022

Picking the best family cell phone plan could become a pressing concern over the next few months, as phone makers roll out new devices and tie in some of the best cell phone deals to a long-term commitment to one of their various plans. But is that plan you're about to sign up for really the best one for you and your family?

If it's among the choices, we've listed below, it probably is, as we've put in the research to find the best family cell phone plan for different needs and budgets. And even if you're not about to buy a new phone, checking out what's available from different carriers just might help you save money on your cell phone bill. You can see which plans cost less than what you're paying now and which ones deliver better value with more perks.

The best family cell phone plans at a glance

1. Best overall family plan: T-Mobile (opens in new tab)
2. Best for coverage and speeds: Verizon (opens in new tab)
3. Best plan for bargain hunters: Mint (opens in new tab)
4. Best plan for small families: Xfinity Mobile (opens in new tab)

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 06:37:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Half Season Plans


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Mon, 22 Aug 2022 05:37:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Chinese Skin-Care Specialist Giant Biogene Advances Plans for Hong Kong IPO

By Ben Otto

Chinese skin-care company Giant Biogene Holding Co. is advancing plans for an initial public offering in Hong Kong to raise funds to boost research and manufacturing capacity, among others.

The Xi'an-based cosmetics specialist said in an updated draft prospectus Sunday that it plans to expand online sales channels and advance research and development for a pipeline of more than 100 products, including in skin care, medical dressings and immune system-boosting foods.

It didn't specify a timeline for the offering nor the amount it seeks to raise. The company filed an earlier draft prospectus with the Hong Kong exchange in May.

Giant Biogene develops skin-treatment products including flagship brands Collgene and Comfy that make use of recombinant collagen as the key bioactive ingredient. It held 1.1% of China's skin-care and treatment market by retail sales in 2021, according to consultancy Frost & Sullivan, it said.

Giant Biogene posted revenue of 1.55 billion yuan ($217.8 million) in 2021, up from CNY1.19 billion in 2020. Net profit over the same span edged up to CNY828.1 million from CNY826.5 million.

The company has raised more than CNY7 billion from investors including a unit of China-focused private-equity firm Hillhouse Capital since late 2021.

Goldman Sachs and China International Capital Corp. are advising on the proposed offering.

Write to Ben Otto at

Sun, 09 Oct 2022 16:12:00 -0500 en-US text/html
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