Proud mom, Michelle Resendez, shared a photo of her son, Matthew, with a very generous tip he received after a customer saw him do something extremely kind.

“Proud mom moment! Matthew worked this evening and a homeless gentlemen walked in the restaurant with 50 cents and asked if there was anything on the menu he could buy. Matthew asked him what he would order if he could and the man said anything would help his hunger pains. So Matthew rung him up for a hearty meal and then used his own debit card to pay for the man’s meal. He handed him the receipt and told him to relax and take a seat. The story could end there and it would be a happy ending, but apparently a woman watched my son during his random act of kindness. Not only did she write the company to let them know about the caring employee they had working for them, she also rewarded my son with a very generous tip! So proud to be his mom and I can pat myself on the back knowing that I’ve played a part in raising this big hearted young man.” Kindness pays!

Why our kids need to learn about residential schools

How would you feel, if this happened in your kid’s class? Last fall, a grade 6 social studies class outside of Edmonton was learning about residential schools. A student put up her hand and said, “I don’t have anything against Indigenous people, but my grandpa told me we had to put the Indians in residential schools because they were killing each other and we had to civilize them.”
Her words hung in the air for a moment. And then her teacher responded, “Well, I don’t have anything against your grandpa, but people who are your grandpa’s age and your parents’ age and even my age didn’t have the opportunity to learn the truth. So, we have a responsibility, because we’re learning the truth now.”
For generations, the full history of Canada’s residential schools, which existed for more than a century and housed 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit kids with the flat-out mission of assimilation into white society, was suppressed and ignored. If you’re non-Indigenous, you may have had some hazy idea of “Indian schools,” but the kind of nightmarish abuse, bullying, deprivation and death that went on? It was rarely acknowledged and never discussed. I can remember first hearing about the schools only about 10 years ago in one of those free-ranging discussions that go on at noisy book club meetings, and thinking, “I have a history degree…how is it even possible I’ve never heard of residential schools?”
RELATED: 11 books to teach kids about residential schools
Today, however, Canadians—kids, adults, everybody—have that opportunity to learn that really difficult truth. And we have a responsibility to acknowledge the truth and fight untruths, just like that teacher told her class.
Two years ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued 94 calls to action to address the legacy of residential schools and move toward reconciliation. I still can’t quite figure out what reconciliation could or should look like in everyday life; it’s one of those slippery words that can mean a thousand different things to a thousand different people. Maybe, then, we should pay attention to the truth part first. As Pamala Agawa, a curriculum coordinator for First Nation, Métis and Inuit education (FNMI) at York Region District School Board in Ontario, told me, we need to figure out the truth for ourselves: “What biases do we carry; what learning do we need to do to better understand the true history of the country?”
Chances are, your own kids are learning about residential schools in class this year. In the TRC’s calls to action, points 62 and 63 specifically call on schools to deliver age-appropriate curriculum about residential schools, as well as Indigenous culture and treaty education, to students in kindergarten to grade 12. It’s not a quick and easy item on a to-do list. How do we talk about Canada’s cultural genocide with our kids? How do we tell them about what our country did to families? Our world still has racist grandpas and internet trolls and prejudices that have built up over decades. We owe it to our kids to learn more and do better.
Growing up with the truth
As parents, we worry about our kids learning scary information. Sexual and physical abuse went on at some residential schools—what age should kids learn about that? We may ask, is my kid going to feel guilty now? Or, how could our church have been involved in that? I know I stuttered out a garbled explanation when my seven-year-old asked why kids had to go away to school when it made them and their families so sad. Still, I’m glad she asked me, even if I didn’t have a polished answer. Talking honestly about hard things in a way kids can understand helps open a door to the empathy that’s part of being a decent human being.
For some Indigenous parents, there may be added worry about classroom lessons. Will their child feel singled out? Will they be anxious they’ll be taken away, too? For others, the lessons are welcome. Julie Mallon of Port Dover, Ont., who is Anishinaabe and the daughter of a residential school survivor, says she didn’t have any concerns. “I absolutely think it’s important for kids to learn it in school. It’s been a hidden part of our history,” she says. “For this to be taught is just another layer of becoming more emotionally aware and learning how to deal with their feelings.” While Mallon’s mom rarely talked about her experiences when Mallon was a kid, she didn’t want it to be a taboo subject with her own kids.
historic photo of indigenous residential school children in Canada
Charlene Bearhead, the former education lead for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, has thought about those parent-kid conversations a lot. “Our children are going to grow up with this truth, whether we’re ready or not,” she says. “The best thing we can do as parents is find the courage, and know that it’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be things that we want to hear. But it’s things that we need to hear, and we can learn with our children.”
Our kids are going to be paying attention to how we talk about this, too. “There’s nothing in the calls to action that calls on parents, and yet parents are among the most important people in a child’s life. They are their children’s first teachers,” she says. “When a child goes home from school and talks to a parent, their response is really going to have a major influence on how that child moves forward with what they’ve learned.”
Teaching the teachers
That can feel daunting as parents, but we’re all in this learning curve together—teachers, board trustees and superintendents are learning this along with the kids. “Educators have to relearn what they think they know about Canada,” says Melissa Wilson, coordinator of Indigenous education at the Peel District School Board in Ontario. “For instance, we talk about what it means to be Canadian: We’re multicultural, everyone is welcome to this country, we believe in spreading human rights around the world. It’s not that that story is incorrect; the problem is that story is very incomplete. It doesn’t speak to the story of how Indigenous peoples have been treated in Canada.” At the Peel board, Wilson and her colleagues offer teachers two years of Indigenous education training. They learn from Indigenous educators, elders and knowledge keepers, tour a former residential school and meet with school survivors. Teachers then pass on what they’ve learned to teachers and students in their own schools.
There’s no national standard for curriculum, and quality and content vary a great deal. It’s vital that Indigenous educators take a lead role in both developing curriculum and visiting schools. One Indigenous educator who’s deeply involved in creating curriculum is Rachel Mishenene, who is Ojibway from Eabametoong First Nation, and works as an executive at the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. She’s excited about the possibilities of expanding FNMI curriculum. “I want to make sure we highlight the positive and innovative contributions Indigenous peoples have made or continue to make in arts, music, sports, science, anthropology, media, and as storytellers,” she says. “Residential schools made their mark, and teaching that history is important. We also need to share stories of strength, resilience and excellence.” Parents can play a key role here, too—Bearhead encourages parents to talk to teachers and principals about the curriculum and what else can be added.
Helping kids get it
Talking about resilience is really powerful—and it’s something that kids can identify with. Janet Porter, a reconciliation education consultant in the Nova Scotia department of education, which works with the education group Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, says Mi’kmaw community members were very clear they wanted any representation of residential schools to be combined with the idea of resilience. In one of the school programs, for example, kids make their own dolls after learning how Magit Poulette, now an elder, secretly created a doll with rags and sticks after her baby doll was taken from her when she arrived at Shubenacadie Residential School as a four-year-old.
It’s essential, too, to deal with the tough stuff in age-appropriate ways. “If a child’s primary reaction to a book or video or illustration is one of upset or fear, then those emotions may become a barrier to learning,” explains Porter. To that end, in the younger grades, teachers introduce the topic through books and stories, and then ask kids about something special to them and how they’d feel if it was taken from them, using phrases that kids can understand, like “not right” and “not fair.” (In older grades, students talk more in depth about the devastating ripple effect that the abuse and loss of culture has on Indigenous communities.)
By making stories about residential schools relatable, kids can understand in their hearts, as well as their brains. “It’s overwhelming when you hear that 150,000 kids were taken from their families, so it was really important to us to connect the students with one child,” says Gail Stromquist, assistant director of Aboriginal education at the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. Along with her sister, Janet Stromquist, who’s also a teacher, Gail created the e-book and teaching module Gladys We Never Knew, about the life of their aunt Gladys Chapman, who fell ill with tuberculosis while at residential school and died in 1931 at the age of 12. Jean Moir, a grade 4/5 teacher in Langley, BC, who helped develop the lessons and piloted the project with her class two years ago, says that learning about a child who lived fairly close by made Gladys real to her students. “They cared what happened to her and absolutely ‘got’ how horribly she and so many others were treated.”
‘We learned about those really mean schools they used to have, mom’
On a cool fall day, her grade 4/5 class got on a school bus and went on a field trip to Spuzzum, B.C. to visit the territory of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, where Gladys grew up and was buried. Danny Ferguson went with his son Joe on the field trip and saw how the kids reacted after they decorated the mossy headstone with handmade hearts and flowers. “It’s not just about the information; there’s definitely a teaching to the heart there,” he says. “Even today, Joe really connects with Gladys’ story. He still talks about it and gets a bit emotional. Gladys is basically a hero to those kids.
Another personal story that resonates with kids is about Phyllis Webstad—and it sparked the national movement of Orange Shirt Day, held annually on September 30. In 1973, six-year-old Phyllis was excited about going away to school and she picked out a new orange shirt. When she arrived at school, all her clothes, including her orange shirt, were taken from her. “The colour orange has always reminded me of that and how my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and how I felt like I was worth nothing,” explains Webstad. Orange Shirt Day’s message is that every child matters.
My daughter Jane, who’s in grade 2, is fully on board with theme days of any sort and picked out orange hair elastics to go with her shirt when the note about Orange Shirt Day at her school here in Thunder Bay, Ont., came home in her backpack this past fall. I don’t remember her telling us about her day at dinner—I’m pretty sure she was in a hurry to go trampolining at the neighbours. But more than two months later, we were at her school for an event and I spotted the mini-essays she and her classmates had written on Orange Shirt Day, still taped up in the foyer. As we walked over to the display, she matter-of-factly told me all about it. “We learned about those really mean schools they used to have, mom,” she said. “It was real, you know, not just in a book. And there was this girl who had an orange shirt she really liked and they took it away and she never got it back, so that’s why we wear orange shirts, to remember those kids who had to go away to school.”
When Bearhead told me about that grade 6 student repeating her grandpa’s comment, I flinched, thinking my daughter could hear something that casually cruel in her classroom, too. The legacy of residential schools—those strained and broken threads of relationships and culture and identity—is like a widening tear in a piece of fabric. If we have any hope of patching it, we’ve got to listen, really listen, to Indigenous stories and experiences, and then talk to our kids. “The biggest measure of success for me is about how families are talking about reconciliation at the dinner table, when no one else is listening,” says Bearhead. “When we see that shift happening there, that’s when I believe we’ll be on the road to reconciliation as a country.”

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

There’s just no way around it: Car insurance is something you need. Your state car insurance regulations probably require you to have some sort of insurance coverage. Your car financing or leasing company also probably requires coverage, and let’s face it, you probably don’t want to have to come up with thousands of dollars for vehicle repairs, property repairs, or medical costs in the event of an accident.
In brief, you buy an insurance policy from an auto insurance company. You pay annual premiums, and if you have an accident, you make a claim that covers your financial losses that occurred because of the accident. Read How Car Insurance Works and How Much Car Insurance Do I Need for more information.
Getting a good deal on car insurance is all about finding the balance between the coverage you want and rates that fit your budget. We took a look at car insurance rates across a variety of driver profiles to help you find the cheapest car insurance companies among the major insurers. Note that the “study rates” presented below are a simple average across a wide variety of driver profiles. The rates available to you may be higher or lower.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
USAA offers the lowest car insurance rates in the country, according to our analysis. This insurer has a low representative rate of just $885 per year, which is nearly $300 less than the next cheapest insurance company in our study. USAA has the lowest study premiums for nearly every driver profile we analyzed, and even when it wasn’t the absolute cheapest, it wasn’t much more expensive than its cheaper rival.
Geico takes the No. 2 spot, with a study rate of $1,168 annually. That’s quite a bit more expensive than USAA’s representative rate, but it’s still around 17% cheaper than the national average in our analysis. Geico offers some of the lowest study rates for nearly every driver profile, except the one with a DUI. This insurance company really stands out from its competitors when we look at our 25-year-old driver profiles. Geico’s representative rates for these profiles are hundreds of dollars cheaper than what nearly every other insurer offers.
State Farm is the next cheapest car insurance company in our study. With an annual representative rate of $1,234, State Farm is still cheaper than the national average. According to our analysis, this insurer is a great option for representative profiles with less-than-stellar driving records. State Farm’s study rates are well-below the national average for the profiles with a speeding ticket or an accident. This insurer was the cheapest of all for the profile with a DUI.
Travelers comes next in our ranking of the cheapest car insurers. It’s still within striking distance of State Farm and Geico, however, with a representative premium of $1,267 per year. Across the range of our driver profiles, regardless of age, gender, credit score, or driving history, Travelers had study rates that were a bit below average.
Progressive falls right in the middle of the list of nine insurers we studied. Its representative rate is still a bit below the average among all the companies, with a study premium of $1,373. The same is true across most of our driver profiles, with Progressive’s rates hovering close to or just below the average. Progressive is a great option for the driver profile with a DUI, with a study rate much lower than average. However, it is among the most expensive for the profile with an accident.
American Family is in sixth place, with a study premium of $1,391. This is the last auto insurance company with a representative rate that is lower than the national average. LIke Progressive, American Family stayed right around the average among the nine insurers for most of our driver profiles, but it strayed toward the cheaper end for the profiles with poor driving histories.
Farmers may be the next in line, but its study rate of $1,682 annually is about 20% higher than American Family’s representative premium. It’s also a couple hundred dollars more expensive than the national average. Farmers’ study rates are consistently on the expensive side for all of our driver profiles (though it is never the most expensive).
Nationwide’s annual study rate of $1,864 is about $200 more expensive than Farmers’ representative rate, and more than $400 higher than the national average. More damningly: Nationwide is more than twice as expensive as USAA. This car insurance company is particularly expensive for our 25-year-old driver profiles, as well as those with poor driving histories. For the profile with a DUI, Nationwide has a study rate of more than $4,000 per year, or nearly $350 per month.
Allstate takes the last spot in our ranking of the cheapest car insurance companies, though just by a hair. This company’s study rate of $1,880 only costs about $1 more per month than Nationwide’s. Still, Allstate ultimately takes the dubious crown as the most expensive auto insurer in our analysis, with especially high rates for our 35- and 60-year-old driver profiles. Allstate also heavily penalizes driver profiles with fair or poor credit.
It’s important to note that our data may not include all states in which each of these companies operate. Study rates for Allstate, Geico, and State Farm are based on data reported in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, while USAA is based on data from 48 states, Progressive on data from 47 states, Nationwide on data from 43, Farmers on data from 31, Travelers on data from 24, and American Family on data from 19.
How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our ranking in other fields, like healthcare, civic areas, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Cheapest Car Insurance Rankings.
Our Study Rates
For this study, U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. Quadrant obtained rate data provided by car insurers to state regulators, based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include 2015 and 2018 models of the Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, and Ford-F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations.
To get the study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers ages 24, 35, and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year, have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates on our site.
How Much Is Car Insurance?
According to our study, the national average representative rate among the nine largest car insurance companies in the country is $1,416. That being said, it’s not possible to say exactly what it will cost you since insurers set rates using a wide range of personalized data.
To demonstrate how much car insurance rates can fluctuate, we’ll look at how age or gender can affect the premiums in our study. The 25-year-old male driver profile had the highest average study rate, at $1,669, followed closely by the profile of a 25-year-old female, which had an average of $1,593. The lowest representative premium we found was for the 60-year-old female profile ($1,229), and then the 60-year-old male profile ($1,267). The rates for the 35-year-old profiles were right around $1,370 for both males and females.

Are Colleges and Universities Meeting the Online Learning Challenge?

Online learners deserve the same engaging experience as traditional learners — and colleges have good reason to make it happen.

As we all know, a college education isn’t cheap. For institutions of higher learning, there is a massive opportunity to expand potential enrollment to students who might not have the time or financial resources to attend brick-and-mortar institutions on a full- or even part-time basis. There is also the benefit of enabling students to extend their digital lives into their education.

Unfortunately, however, many colleges and universities are squandering this opportunity. For the past several years, many of these institutions have somewhat begrudgingly embraced the idea of rolling out online education programs, mainly because they must in order to survive and meet the expectations of students today.

Statistics indicate the global online education market is expected to top more than $130 billion in the next few years. Meanwhile, on-campus enrollment is dropping, and the number of students turning to online education is steadily growing. But there is more to these trends than meets the eye.

While colleges and universities are investing in and offering online programs, they are not taking them as seriously as they could. This may stem from a lingering misconception that online curricula are not as rigorous as their face-to-face counterparts. Even when universities do create something innovative, such programs are often buried so deep in the organization that almost nobody knows about them, including the students.

This must change if colleges and universities hope to compete for students and deliver the kind of education they desire and deserve.

When we look at the changing demographics of incoming students today, it’s clear why:

  • 28 percent of students now have children
  • 62 percent of students must work
  • 40 percent of students are 25 or older
  • 33 percent of students come from families earning less than $20,000 per year
  • 28 percent of students are taking some or all of their classes online

Today, students are not sold on the value of taking on $200,000 in student loans for a degree. Moody’s Investors Service reports that net tuition growth continues to fall. According to Moody’s, 25 percent of private colleges operated with deficits in 2017, and research indicates expenses are outpacing revenues by 2 percent at state-run colleges nationwide. Unless institutions of higher learning make meaningful investments in online learning now — even when faced with budget and time constraints — their future viability will be in doubt. They’re going to be left in the dust by universities that do go down this path.

How to Deliver Superior Online Learning 

Colleges and universities have two basic options when it comes to online learning. First, they can opt to build the online practice themselves, committing staff and resources to developing these new products, implementing marketing strategies to identify and recruit students, and adapting infrastructure (online registration, payments, financial aid, student records) as they plan for more online students.

The second option is to outsource the entire operation. There are online program managers that are happy to offer this service — if they believe your specific degree will be marketable. But they will take a sizable portion of the revenue generated for the course, requiring your college to keep online tuition rates just as high as in-person classes. As other institutions launch their own online programs, and the battle of supply versus demand prompts them to lower tuition rates, institutions that rely on OPMs will not be in a strong position to compete.

Regardless of the model chosen, it’s important to embrace pedagogies that leverage synchronous (live) instruction. Merely depositing reading assignments and an occasional video lecture in a learning management system treats online learning as second-class education compared with the types of active debates and discussions you get with in-person or synchronous online instruction.

Online learning should be treated as another business or school within the institution to provide best-in-class modeling for academic departments and faculty, as well as delivering operational efficiencies for the college to thrive in recruiting and supporting students. Many institutions remain unable to make that migration, and most still have their asynchronous content buried in an LMS.

But there are examples of universities and institutions that are getting it right. At Arizona State University, for example, online learning isn’t viewed as substandard to traditional education; it’s just different from it. The university actually has an entire organization dedicated to building innovation into its online education offerings. Indeed, the EdPlus program has its own CEO, a former ASU dean, as well as a team for designing and scaling effective digital learning models. From 2012 to 2018, the university reported that the number of its students graduating with online degrees increased nearly 600 percent to more than 7,000 annually, and the number of programs scaled from 33 to more than 170.

Key to those results is ensuring that online students don’t slip through the cracks. ASU assigns every online student a “success coach,” and the university staffs over 60 of these coaches to support 30,000 students. In fact, EdPlus has several hundred employees. But that journey began with a commitment, a modest investment and a top-down desire to innovate. ASU hired the right people, who may or may not have come from traditional higher education backgrounds, and then empowered them to make the changes necessary to thrive. While decades ago, other colleges may have looked down at online learning and the efforts ASU was exerting, the proof is in the results. Today, you’d be hard pressed to find any institution out there that doesn’t wish it could have the same type of online results that ASU is delivering.

So, one might ask, why aren’t other universities doing this?

Online Learning Must Be Engaging and Interesting

One of the reasons is that the type of technology needed to enable truly meaningful online education hasn’t been there. But I think a more likely reason is that, perhaps, we’ve become too comfortable as educators. Many of us believe that students are willing to accept substandard learning modes, so when we deploy online learning tools, we just do what we’ve always done. We give them books to read, videos to watch and some generic set of activities and pretend it’s all quite sufficient.

In reality, it’s not adequate at all. Just as you had rock star professors in colleges drawing big crowds because they were informative, compelling and entertaining, you also need those fundamentals in online education. Web-based learning must be interesting, engaging and give students the ability to learn their materials in a hands-on and interesting manner.

The technology is being created to make that happen, blending physical and digital components such as augmented and virtual reality, HD cameras, and even 3D printing. But even if you have the greatest technology in the world, it still won’t be enough if your institution doesn’t also accept the idea that online learning is here to stay. It must be a part of your culture. It should be at the forefront of everything you do.

During tough times, the organizations that make the difficult decisions and focus on strategic growth will ultimately have the best chance for future success. Those that choose to do the minimum when it comes to online learning programs are setting themselves up for failure. Those who get innovative and creative with web-based learning, on the other hand, stand to earn a reputation as flexible, modern educators.

How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?

Hearing that you have to have a root canal is probably one of the scariest things you can hear when you visit the dentist. A root canal is an endodontic treatment that requires the medical repair of a diseased or injured tooth. According to the American Association of Endodontists, there are 15 million root canals performed each year.1 Stigma about the pain of a root canal is one part of the dread you may face when hearing you need the procedure, but the second thing most people worry about is the cost.
Whether your dentist refers you to a specialist or they do the procedure themselves, there are certain costs that depend on the damage to your tooth. Based on if you have dental insurance or not, here is what you can expect to pay, along with the basic information to know about getting a root canal.
How Much Does a Root Canal Cost?
On average, expect the cost of a root canal without insurance to be around $1,000.2 It is very difficult to estimate the cost without the specifics of your situation, but this info can help. Root Canal treatment usually involves several steps. These factors determine the cost of your root canal:
Your choice of dentist or specialist
Consultation & X-ray fees
Anesthesia and medication to prevent or treat infections
Root Canal location: Front teeth are less expensive than back teeth due to the number of roots or canals.
Extent of damage

Finding a Good Price for a Root Canal

The price ranges above can be confusing if you want to know exactly how much a root canal will cost you. According to FAIR Health, a non-profit organization, a reasonable cost for a root canal will average:3
Front tooth: $762
Bicuspid: $879
Molar: $1,111
How Much Will Insurance Pay For a Root Canal?
Dental insurance that covers root canals may have waiting periods, limits, co-pays, or deductibles. Here’s how it works:
For example, your root canal will be $1000. If your limit for the year is $1500 and you have already used up $500 for other dental work, you have $1000 available for your root canal. It doesn’t mean you will get $1000.
Find out if there is a deductible or co-pay.
Your insurance may only cover up to a percentage of the cost of the root canal; on average, this could be 35%- 50% of the cost; the best dental plans may pay more.4 Call your insurer to find out how your insurance plan works.
If the dental insurance covers 50% of the $1000 cost of the root canal with no deductible, then your insurance would pay $500 for the root canal, and you would have to pay the remaining $500 out of pocket.
If the cost of your root canal exceeds the limit you had available; then you would have to pay anything over the limit out of your own pocket.
Getting Financing for a Root Canal
There are many options to get dental cost financing like a using a medical credit card, or getting a dental loan.
You may also consider the benefits of using an HSA or FSA.
7 Tips to Save Money on Root Canal Cost
There are a few strategies you can use to save money on the cost of the root canal.
Use a dental discount plan
Find out if you get a discount by paying in cash or one payment
Look for an organization in your state that can help with dental costs.
For example, Dental Lifeline provides free dental care to qualified individuals.5
Check pricing with several dentists or endodontists
Negotiate the cost
Strategically use your dental insurance
Check if you can claim part of the costs through coordination of benefits on a domestic partner or spouse’s insurance
Look into when the limits on your dental insurance reset
Consider the timing to get the most from your insurance
Look into dental schools or endodontic schools to do the procedure
Will Medicare or Medicaid Pay for a Root Canal?
Medicare will not pay for most dental care, including a root canal6
Medicaid covers dental services in some states7
Some Medicare Advantage plans may pay
Where to Get a Root Canal: Dentist vs. Endodontist
An endodontist is a specialist, where a dentist is a generalist. You don’t have to go to an endodontist to get a root canal, of the 15 million root canal procedures done, general dentists did 72%, and endodontists did 28%.1 However, consider that endodontists have years of advanced training and are experts in pain management.
Removing a Tooth to Save Money vs. Doing a Root Canal
A root canal may seem really expensive and you may be tempted to save money by removing the tooth instead.
Never remove a tooth instead of getting a root canal to save money. The costs of tooth removal may be more than root canals when you consider the cost of dentures, bridges or implants, plus the extraction.
If it is suggested to remove the tooth as opposed to doing a root canal, ask for a referral to an endodontist or get a second opinion to make the right choice.8
With all this information, you should have a better idea of the cost of a root canal as well as the tips you need to save money on root canal therapy to get the treatment you need as soon as possible.



Basics to Help You Understand How Insurance Works

Image result for insurance

Understanding insurance can be tricky, so it’s crucial to have a working understanding of your coverage and what you need. This can make a major difference in the price you will pay, as allow you to understand how your choice of insurance will protect your lifestyle, assets, and personal property.
Insurance Is About Financial Security and Protecting Your Independence
It may seem like you need to study volumes of books and information to understand insurance, but at its core, the principle of insurance is very basic:

When you have something to lose, and you know that you could not afford to pay for a loss yourself, insurance provides a way for you to protect your investment, lifestyle, and assets by paying a small amount of money every month in exchange for the assurance that if something goes wrong, the insurance company will have your back in the form of financial compensation.
What Is Personal Insurance?
Personal insurance lines are types of insurance you buy to protect you from risks that could create financial losses that you would not be able to afford to cover on your own. Personal insurance relates to risks that you as an individual may face, due to accidents, illnesses, death, or damage to property you own.
How Does Insurance Work?
When you buy insurance, you normally will pay an agreed-upon amount — the premium — to the insurance company in exchange for protection from listed risks. In exchange for the premium you pay, they agree to compensate you for losses, should one occur. Personal Insurance is based on the principle that spreading risk of an economic loss (such as a fire or theft, for example) among many people makes the risk manageable for all.
Many people pay into the protection from the loss via their insurance policy premium. The premium is collected by the insurance company and when it comes time to pay a claim, they take money from that “collection” to compensate the policy holder.
Does Everyone Have to Buy Insurance?
Everyone does not have to buy insurance, but it is a good idea to buy insurance when you have a lot of financial risk or investment on the line.
Depending on the type of insurance, some insurance is optional while other insurance like car insurance, may have minimum requirements set out by law.
Why Does the Bank Require Insurance?
Although some insurance may not be a legal requirement, it may be a requirement of a lender or bank or mortgage company.
Depending on the type of insurance, you may “have” to buy insurance in order to get a loan. Insurance is often a requirement of obtaining financing for large purchases like homes because the lenders want to make sure that you are covered against risks that may cause the value of the investment to disappear before you have paid it off.
Getting a Better Price on Insurance
The premium is the amount of money you will be charged by an insurance company (usually on a monthly basis) in exchange for the financial protection provided to you by your insurance policy.
To lower your premium, the best thing you can do when choosing insurance is to shop around with different companies, or use an insurance broker who can do the shopping for you and see which insurance company can give you the best rate for your insurance. Based on the claims experience and underwriting of the insurance company, the rates will vary.
Some insurance companies may have discounts geared at attracting their profile of client. How well your profile fits the insurer’s profile will determine how good your rate will be.
For example, if an insurer is interested in attracting younger clients, they may create programs that offer discounts for recent graduates, or young families. In comparison, other insurers may create programs that give bigger discounts to seniors, or members of a professional order or the military. There is no way to know without shopping around and comparing options.
When Should You Buy Insurance?
You should buy insurance for circumstances where a financial loss is beyond what you could afford to pay or recover from easily.
Understanding 5 Basic Types of Personal Insurance
When most people think about personal insurance, they are generally thinking about one of these 5 major categories, among others:
Residential insurance, such as home insurance, condo or coop insurance, renter insurance.
Car insurance, and other vehicle insurance such as snowmobiles, motorcycles, and mopeds.
Boat insurance, which can be covered under home insurance in some circumstances, and stand alone boat insurance for vessels of a certain speed or length that are not covered under home insurance.
Health Insurance, Life Insurance, and Disability Insurance
Liability Insurance
Although all these categories cover what you might consider your personal insurance, you can not usually get them all from one person. Insurance requires licensing and is divided into categories. This means that before someone is authorized to sell you insurance, or provide you with insurance advice on your insurance needs, they must be licensed by the state to represent the type of insurance you are buying.
For example, your home insurance broker or agent may tell you that they can not personally offer you life insurance or disability, but may refer you to a colleague with the proper licensing, such as a Financial Planner or Advisor.
What Do the Different Types of Insurance Cover?
Home insurance covers the buildings on your property, including your main residence, and any additional structures on premises. It also covers your contents — movable property usually kept on your residence premises — as well as additional living expenses and liability.
Renters Insurance covers your personal property regularly kept in your rental unit as well as additional living expenses, and personal liability on premises and worldwide.
Condo or Co-op Insurance is similar to renters insurance, however in addition to your personal property, additional living expenses and personal liability worldwide, it also covers some things that are very specific to the ownership of a unit, or shares in a building.
Car Insurance, Boat Insurance, and Other Vehicle Insurance
Car, Boat and other vehicle insurance offer various options in coverage. The most basic being liability insurance, covering your liability for your ownership or operation of the vehicle or vessel. Then there are optional coverages you may purchase, such as coverage for physical damage to the vehicle or vessel itself, and its components. Options for medical payments to others, and death benefits due to death or injury resulting from the operation of the vehicle may also be included as optional or mandatory depending on state financial responsibility laws or minimum car insurance requirements.
Health, Life and Disability Insurance
Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance and Coverages like Long Term Care Insurance all provide coverage for financial compensation or reimbursement for health, illness or death related events.
Health insurance includes many different types of policies, from basic health benefits, to supplemental health policies like Dental Insurance or Long Term Care Insurance. There is a vast range of insurance coverage available to suit your needs depending on what kind of financial protection you need, you can read more about finding affordable health insurance tips here.
Understanding the Small Print in Insurance Policies
Your insurance declaration page lists the basic limits of coverage that you have purchased in the policy, however it is in the policy wording that you uncover how your insurance works in a claim. Most people do not read the small print in their insurance policy which is why people are often confused and frustrated in the claims process.
7 Definitions to Understand Insurance Policy Terms and Conditions
The following are some key areas that are in the small print, with explanations to help you understand why they may be important to you.
The deductible is the amount of money you will pay in a claim. He higher your deductible, the more risk you take on personally, and therefore the less you will pay in premium. Some people use the deducible as a strategy to save money.
Exclusions are things that are not covered as part of your insurance policy. It is really important to ask about the exclusions on any policy you purchase so that the small print doesn’t surprise you in a claim.
Type of Policy: Insurance companies often offer various levels of coverage. If you get a really low price on an insurance quote, you might want to ask what type of policy you have or what the limits of coverage are and compare these details to those in other quotes you have.
Special Limits: Insurance policies all contain certain sections that list limits of amounts payable. This becomes very important when you are making a claim. This applies to all kind of policies from health insurance to car insurance. Ask about what coverages re limited and what the limits are. You can often ask for a different type of policy which will offer you higher limits if the limits in the policy concern you.
Waiting Periods and Special Clauses: Some types of insurance have waiting periods before the coverage takes effect. For example, in dental insurance you may have a waiting period, and in life insurance you may be subject to a suicide clause. These are just two small examples, but you always want to ask when coverage begins and if there are any waiting periods or special clauses that could affect your coverage when you buy a new policy.
Endorsements are add-ons to a policy to get more coverage or in some cases endorsements may amend a policy to reduce or limit coverage. Learn more about endorsements here.
Basis of Claims Settlement represents the terms under which the claim will be paid. In home insurance, for example, you could have a replacement cost, or actual cash value policy. The basis of claims settlement makes a significant difference on how much you get paid. It is important to always ask how claims are paid and what the claims process will be.
How Do Insurance Companies Pay Claims?
The money collected from premiums by an insurance company allow the insurance company to build assets from all premiums collected so that when a policy holder or individuals has a loss, there is enough money to cover the claim.
Do You Get Your Money Back If You Don’t Make an Insurance Claim?
When you pay into insurance for many years, you may start to wonder why you’ve been paying so much when you have never had a claim. Some people may even feel like they should get their money back when they haven’t had a claim, however that’s not how insurance works. Insurance companies collect your money and put it aside to pay out when there is a claim.
Example of Premium vs. Claims Payments
Imagine you pay $500 a year to insure your $200,000 home. 10 years of paying insurance and you’ve made no claims. That’s $500 times 10 years, and you’ve paid $5,000 to the insurance company. You start to wonder why you are paying so much for nothing. In the 11th year, you have a major claim. The insurance company pays you $50,000.
If the insurance company gave everyone back their money when there was no claim, they would never build up enough assets to pay out on claims. Even the $5,000 you paid them over 10 years doesn’t cover your $50,000 loss. One loss, and you become unprofitable to the insurance company, but thankfully because insurance is based on spreading the risk among many people, it is the accumulated money of all people paying insurance premiums together that allows the insurance company to build assets and cover claims when they happen.
What Makes Insurance Company Rates Go Up or Down?
Insurance is a business, and although it would be nice for insurance companies to just leave rates at the same level all the time, the reality is that as a business they have a responsibility to make enough money to make sure they have the money to cover all the potential claims their policy holders may make.
When an insurance company tallies up how much they paid in claims at the end of the year, vs. how much they collected in premiums, they must revise their rates to remain profitable. Underwriting changes and rate increases or sometimes even decreases are a result of the actual results the insurance company had in the previous years.
Agents, Captive Agents, and Insurance Brokers
The front line individuals you deal with when you purchase your insurance are the agents and brokers who represent the insurance company. They will represent you to the insurance company as well as explain the coverages and products they have available.
Depending on what insurance company you purchase insurance from, you may be dealing with a captive agent or an insurance representative that is able to represent several insurance companies.
What Is the Difference Between a Captive Agent in Insurance and a Broker or Independent or Non-Captive Agent?
The captive agent is an insurance representative that only represents one insurance company. They a familiar with that insurance company’s products or offerings, but can not speak towards other insurance company policies, pricing or product offerings.
An Insurance Broker, Independent or non-captive agent may deal with several insurance companies on your behalf. They will have access to more than one insurance company and must be familiar with the range of products offered from the various companies they represent.
How to Decide What Insurance Coverage You Need
There are a few key questions you can ask yourself that might help you decide what kind of insurance coverage you need.
How much risk or financial loss can you assume on your own?
Do you have the money to cover your costs or debts if you have an accident or if your home or car is destroyed?
Do you have the savings to cover you if you can’t work due to an accident or illness?
Can you afford higher deductibles in order to reduce your insurance costs?
Do you have special needs or considerations in your personal life that you might want to ensure you have financial protection for?
What are you most worried about? Insurance policies can be tailored to your needs and identify what you are most worried about protecting, which may help you narrow down the kind of insurance you need and reduce your costs.
Choosing Insurance Based on Your Current Lifestyle and Life-Stage
The insurance you need will vary depending on where you are at in your life, what kind of assets you have, and what your long term goals and responsibilities are. That’s why it is important to take the time to discuss what you want out of insurance with your representative. Finding the right insurance products form a good part of a strong financial strategy that will protect you and help you remain financially independent even when you have a financial loss.

U.S. Bank to cut thousands of branch workers in digital push

U.S. Bancorp is eliminating thousands of branch workers as it adjusts to changing customer preferences, according to a person briefed on the decision.

The cuts will be in the low thousands, the person said, asking not to be identified because the number isn’t public. In a memo seen by Bloomberg, Chief Executive Andy Cecere said U.S. Bancorp “made the difficult decision to eliminate their jobs because customer behaviors have changed.” The total represents less than 2% of the bank’s workforce, according to spokeswoman Molly Snyder. The company had 74,000 workers as of Oct. 16.

Reductions are being made across the firm. Some job categories, including teller coordinator and assistant branch manager, are being eliminated or will have headcount greatly reduced. None of U.S. Bank’s roughly 3,700 branches will be closed as part of the moves, according to Snyder, who confirmed the contents of Cecere’s memo and declined to comment on the number of cuts.

The Minneapolis-based firm will also create some new customer-focused positions and launch a training program so existing employees can widen their skill sets, the memo said. Snyder said the firm will begin hiring client-relationship consultants and business-banking development consultants among other new roles to work in the branches.
Banks have for years been reassessing the role of branches in their strategies as customers increasingly handle their finances online. U.S. Bancorp has said it plans to lean heavily on digital offerings and enter new markets with a “branch-light concept.” Earlier this year, the firm hired Derek White from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA as chief digital officer to boost innovation.
A McKinsey & Co. study released Monday said banks are heading “into an arms race on technology” as new competitors like fintech startups try to take market share. Financial services incumbents need to take dramatic action to fund innovation, or risk being left behind, the report says. Banks allocate just 35% of their information technology budgets to innovation, while fintechs spend more than 70%, McKinsey said.

The Stock Market and Bank Risk-Taking


The Stock Market and Bank Risk-Taking

by Antonio Falato and David ScharfsteinIt is clear that risk-taking by financial institutions is one of the main causes of financial crises and severe recessions. Yet we know relatively little about what gives rise to such risk-taking in the first place. This paper presents evidence that a focus on short-term stock prices induces publicly-traded banks to increase risk relative to privately-held banks. The findings provide support for the view that compensation schemes should require management to hold stock for longer periods to mitigate their incentives to pump up short-term earnings and the short-term stock price.

Author Abstract
We present evidence that pressure to maximize short-term stock prices and earnings leads banks to increase risk. We start by showing that banks increase risk when they transition from private to public ownership through a public listing or an acquisition. The increase in risk is greater than for a control group of banks that intended but failed to transition from private to public ownership, a result that is robust to using a plausibly exogenous instrument for failed transitions. The increase in risk is also greater than for a control group of banks that were acquired but did not change their listing status. We establish that pressure to maximize short-term stock prices helps to explain these findings by showing that the increase in risk is larger for newly public banks that are more focused on short-term stock prices and performance.

Paper Information
Full Working Paper Text
Working Paper Publication Date: September 2016
HBS Working Paper Number: NBER Working Paper Series, No. 22689
Faculty Unit(s): Finance

The Economic Effects of Private Equity Buyouts

Private equity buyouts are a major financial enterprise that critics see as dominated by rent-seeking activities with little in the way of societal benefits. This study of 6,000 US buyouts between 1980 and 2013 finds that the real side effects of buyouts on target firms and their workers vary greatly by deal type and market conditions.

Author Abstract

We examine thousands of US private equity (PE) buyouts from 1980 to 2013, a period that saw huge swings in credit market tightness and GDP growth. Our results show striking, systematic differences in the real-side effects of PE buyouts, depending on buyout type and external conditions. Employment at target firms shrinks 13% over two years in buyouts of publicly listed firms but expands 13% in buyouts of privately held firms, both relative to contemporaneous outcomes at control firms. Labor productivity rises 8% at targets over two years post buyout (again, relative to controls), with large gains for both public-to-private and private-to-private buyouts. Target productivity gains are larger yet for deals executed amidst tight credit conditions. A post-buyout widening of credit spreads or slowdown in GDP growth lowers employment growth at targets and sharply curtails productivity gains in public-to-private and divisional buyouts. Average earnings per worker fall by 1.7% at target firms after buyouts, largely erasing a pre-buyout wage premium relative to controls. Wage effects are also heterogeneous. In these and other respects, the economic effects of private equity vary greatly by buyout type and with external conditions.

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