Navigating Obamacare with the Help of Independent Agents

The Affordable Care Act is a very complex, multi-dimensional healthcare reform initiative that is here to stay and the facts and myths around this program have been bouncing around for several years now. It is interesting how little the uninsured actually knows about the Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as Obamacare. Given that polling shows the act remains unpopular even as many of its component parts are very popular. So here is a refresher on some of the most significant policies and consequences of the law.

  1. By the year 2022, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obamacare will have extended its coverage to 33 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured.
  2. Families that make less than 133% of the poverty line will be covered through Medicaid. Between 133% and 400% of the poverty line, families will receive tax credits on a sliding scale to help pay for private insurance.
  3. Families that make less than 400% of the poverty line have capped premiums. Between 150% and 200% of the poverty line, for example, families will not have to pay over 6.3% of their income in coverage premiums.
  4. Once the individual mandate is phased-in, those who can afford coverage but opt to forgo it will have to pay either $695 or 2.5% of the annual income, whichever is greater in penalties.
  5. In the small business marketplace, those that hired less than 10 employees, with average wages below $25,000 and give insurance for their workers will receive a 50% tax credit on their contribution.
  6. Insurance companies cannot discriminat based on preexisting conditions. They can evaluate candidates using age, family composition, tobacco use and premium rating for the geographical region.
  7. Obamacare mandates that insurers spend between 80% and 85% of every premium dollar on medicale care. If insurers exceed this threshold, they need to rebate the excess to their consumers. This year, insurers are expected to get rebates totaling $1.1 billion.
  8. Recently, health care costs have dramatically decreased. A large part of which is because the recession has cause less people to seek procedures, and a small part is because of less diagnostic tests have been ordered. There is also evidence that the law has accelerated changes in the way the medical systems delivers care.
  9. The long-term success of Obamacare at controlling costs will likely hinge on its efforts to change the way healthcare is delivered, most of which have gotten very little attention.

Listed above are just some of the most important things you need to know about this law. For more information, contact the best health insurance companies in your area. You can also look for an Obama healthcare expert in Philadelphia to properly orient you of this law.

Step Down Transformers Are Used For Voltage Reduction

A step down transformer is a transformer with a secondary voltage that is less than its main voltage. Its primary purpose is to decrease the voltage from the primary winding to the secondary winding. This type of transformer converts low-current, high-voltage power to high-current, low-voltage power. The wire used in the secondary winding is important because of the current increase, and is made with a larger gauge. The primary winding can be made of smaller-gauge wire, since it won’t conduct much current. Read on and learn how to wire a step down transformer.

First, you need to determine what the schematic will look like before you start working with any materials. At the transformer’s lower side is the terminal connection box cover; remove this because only those with high amperages require such enclosure. Next, make sure that you are familiar with the termination identification of step down transformers. H1, H2, H3 and H4 refer to the transformer’s power feed end. This applies to any transformer size.

Cut the wires to length and terminate the feed power wires. With large wire lugs, make sure that you consider the length of the lug as well as the amount of wire that can be installed into the female crimp area. After this, strip the outer insulation of the wires using wire strippers. Place an eye ring over the bare copper wire and crimp the connection device permanently to the wire, using the right-size crimper.

Terminate the high-voltage, high-side of the step down transformer. If you see that the high side terminals are bolts, ensure that you follow any torque requirements listed on the owner’s manual. Do the same with the low-voltage, low-side of the transformer. Remember that these terminals will be identified as X1, X2, X3 and X4. Once again, follow the individual directions stated in the manual for that particular type of transformer you are using.

Also terminate the small control transformer for X1 and X2. X1 will make its way to the control circuit after it passes through a small fuse within the circuit. X2 should only be terminated to the neutral side of the control unit and grounded for safety. In other words, the X2 side of the small control transformer has to be attached to the electrical unit’s grounding system.

Change all covers on the transformer, along with any enclosures that will provide protection from electrical damage. Switch on the feeder power circuit to put the high voltage to the transformer, and turn on the low side safety circuit control. Test for the appropriate voltage you are trying to achieve using a volt meter. Make sure that it matches the voltage indicated on the specifications tag provided by the transformer manufacturer.

Step down transformers are usually medium voltage transformers that convert 220 volt electricity to the 110 volts standard in North American. For more information and tips, contact an expert on step down or 3 phase transformer equipment to help you choose the right transformer and set it up on how you intend to use it.

Kitchen Design Blogs That Have Good Value

Kitchen design blogs come in handy for those who are looking to improve their kitchens. From DIY projects to decorating tips on how to give your home a fabulous new look, these independent and commercial design blogs have it all. Read on and learn more about these informative and innovative blogs.

Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly

Written by designers Grace and Ken Kelly. This blog is a great source on many different categories of kitchen design. Their wide knowledge of kitchen design is highlighted in the blog, along with redesigning on a budget. Their “Wacky Wednesday” collection focuses on out of the box ways to improve your home.

Kitchen & Residential Designs

Run by Paul Anater from St. Petersburg, Florida, this blog offers ideas for DIYers who are looking to redesign their kitchen. Aside from covering the latest design trends for kitchens, there are also routine showcases of new products intended to make your life easier while improving your kitchen aesthetics.

Kelly’s Kitchen Sync

Kelly Morisseau’s personal blog contains great insight from someone who has had over two decades of industry experience. Her posts give a unique look at the kitchen remodeling process from a designer’s perspective, writing articles on specialized interior design topics and kitchen remodel tips.

Kitchen Design Think Tank

Endorsed by the Kitchen and Bath Business magazine, this blog focusses on the newest design trends for kitchens. The designs shown are very innovative and can be described as borderline art. If you are looking for inspiration for a modern kitchen design, this is your stop for tips.

Bay Cities Construction

This is a kitchen and bath remodeling company that offers property maintenance for its southern California customers. This design blog focuses on presenting posts from the point of view of a contractor with years of experience. The posts feature tips that only a contractor would know.


Modenus is an online networking forum and resource catalog for everything related to kitchen design. Its kitchen design section is a great source for the newest styles, trends and new ideas for your next kitchen project. New appliances are usually highlighted to keep you updated on kitchen technology.

Snaidero USA

The mission of this site is to give Americans the best Italian furniture designs. Its emphasis on European design has led to many great contemporary ideas. This blog highlights great new trends in kitchen design that are usually not exposed in America, making it one of the most stylish and innovative blogs today.

Kitchen Design Concepts

A Dallas-based remodeling company with a great blog, this blog usually highlights simple additions or changes that you can make to your kitchen. A recent blog post highlighting wood elements in the kitchen features great ideas on how to add a personal, rustic touch to your kitchen.

Visit any of the blogs and get kitchen lighting ideas and furniture suggestions for your next remodel. Or, you might also want to consider hiring a professional kitchen designer who uses kitchen design software to do the job for you.

Why Winter is the Best Time for Laser Hair Removal

In just a matter of weeks, the cold and snowy winter will be upon us. Depending on who you are, this is either very good or very bad news. One thing is for sure as temperatures turn colder, we spend much less time outdoors in our bathing suits and therefore a perfect time of the year for laser hair removal! While you can get your hair removed any time of the year, during the winter months, your skin is much less exposed to the elements and others that might be checking you out. Here are some of the best reasons why you should get that laser hair removal treatment today.

Reason #1: Your Skin is Paler

Laser hair removal works best on dark hair and pale skin. During the summer time, where your skin gets more sun, the contrast between hair color and skin color is less obvious. The esthetician performing the treatments will have a much easier time identifying the unwanted hair when it is visually more apparent.

Reason #2: Less Interruptions

During winter, your will hopefully have more time to devote to your laser hair removal sessions. Your kids are in school so you are not forced to be at their heels every day. Summer holidays and family barbeques have concluded for the year so you are less likely to attend cookouts and be doing vacation travel. This is a good time of the year to get into a routine that you can really stick to.

Reason #3: Perfect Prep for Bikini Season

We all want to be smooth in time for summertime. So why not get your laser hair removal sessions during a season when no one will be privy of your progress? It would be much easier to keep things under wraps during the winter. Newer unprotected skin is also more likely to burn after your laser treatments and the winter provides your skin time to recover.

Reason #4: Virtually Painless

The laser hair removal process is virtually painless when done at anytime but there can be a reddening of the treated area and the younger skin does need time to heal. In fact, many patients liken the feeling of getting the treatment to a light pinching or snapping. Patients who get the treatment are generally comfortable and calm, compared to the agonizing process of tweezing, waxing and shaving.

Reason #5: Saves You Money

Speaking of traditional hair removal practices, consider the costs of tweezers, wax strips, razors, shaving cream and the like. You constantly have to replace them, so the whole hair removal process is a costly, ongoing practice. So how long does laser hair removal last? Once you have gone through the right number of laser hair removal sessions, regrowth is minimal and you can now do away with buying any of the mentioned items.

If you are considering getting Brazilian laser hair removal or any kind of laser hair removal treatment, talk to your doctor or local spa to get an idea of the preparation required. You can ask how much is laser hair removal, including the considerations, process and risks involved.