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Explaining Obamacare Get Ready for the Health Exchanges
Category: GENERAL
Tags: obamacare healthcare exchange medical changes insurance taxes

A Quickie Guide to Obamacare: Four Big Changes You Need to Understand


Afraid of  — or just confused about — the changes that Obamacare may bring? Not to worry:  Here's a truly quick, bottom-line guide to what's happening when, including what you need to do and what you don't need to worry about. All the big changes you need to know about will happen in January 2014, and while that may seem a long time from now, you'll start hearing about the changes this summer and possibly earlier, depending on where you live.

Why Everyone Under 26 Should Thank Obamacare

Big Change: Most Americans will be required to have health insurance.

What It Means for You: Under the ACA, most people who can afford it will have to have basic health coverage through their employer or through insurance marketplaces in their state — or pay a penalty if they don’t. Subsidies will be available for many people who meet financial criteria.

Do I Need to Do Anything? Not yet. Every state will open an information call center on July 1 (don’t worry; you won’t miss it – the centers will be heavily advertised). You can start signing up for insurance starting on October 1, and your coverage should begin on January 1, 2014.

More Info: Many people, including individuals earning about $45,00 and families earning close to $90,000, may be eligible for tax credits and cost-sharing for premiums, co-pays, and other health expenses. Find out more at

So You Think Obamacare is Radical? Take a Look at China


Big Change: You can’t be discriminated against because you have a pre-existing condition.

What It Means for You: Insurance companies can no longer refuse to sell coverage or renew policies because of an individual’s pre-existing medical conditions, from asthma to cancer.

Do I Need to Do Anything? Not yet. Starting on October 1 you can sign up for coverage through a health insurance marketplace or your employer.

For More Info: Check out this fact-sheet at that’s specifically for people with pre-existing conditions.

Affordable Care Act Won't End Disparities


Big Change: There are no more limits on lifetime benefit or on annual coverage.

What It Means For You: Obamacare now prohibits new plans and existing group plans from imposing a limit on the amount of health insurance coverage an individual may receive in a year or over a lifetime.

Do I Need to Do Anything? Nope. Starting on October 1 you can sign up for coverage through a health insurance marketplace or your employer.

For More Info: Check out this fact-sheet at that’s specifically about annual and lifetime limits.

Confused About Healthcare Reform? A New Guide Helps You Make Sense of It


Big Change: If you join a clinical trial you can’t have your insurance cut off.

What It Means for You: Insurers will now be prohibited from dropping or limiting coverage because an individual chooses to participate in a clinical trial. The new rule applies to all clinical trials that treat cancer or other life-threatening diseases.

Do I Need to Do Anything? No.

For More Info: The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network has a fact sheet on clinical trials and the ACA.


The best way to think about the switchover to the Affordable Care Act is — sorry — to think of it as you think about your taxes: Take some time to study the information, figure out what your particular situation is (your health, your current coverage, what you’re looking for in an insurance provider, etc.) and then, if you need it, ask for help.

You can also watch this fun, short animated video from the Minnesota Health Insurance Exchange to get a handle on the broad strokes of the law. (It’s aimed at Minnesotans, but much of the information is applicable no matter what state you live in.)

China Welcomes the New Year!!!
Category: GENERAL
Tags: china new year culture taboos

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese welcomed the arrival of the Year of the Snake with raucous celebrations on Saturday, setting off a cacophony of firecrackers in the streets and sending fireworks blazing into the sky to bring good fortune.

Celebrations will carry on into the early hours of Sunday, officially the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Residents of Beijing braved freezing temperatures to let off brightly colored fireworks, with clouds of smoke in the air, red wrappings from firecrackers covering streets and explosions rattling windows.

A plea by the government to set off fewer fireworks to help deal with Beijing's notorious air pollution seemed to fall on deaf ears.

"Every year we set off fireworks and this year will be no different," said Lao Guo, 45, a convenience store worker.

"People won't not set them off because of pollution. It's the custom."

Firecrackers are believed to scare off evil spirits and entice the god of wealth to people's doorsteps once New Year's Day arrives.

China's cosmopolitan business hub, Shanghai, saw similar scenes, though not everyone had reason for cheer.

"Business now is very weak. It's related to the financial crisis," said Chen Yongliang, who used to run a street stall. "The U.S. and other major countries have seen their economies slide and we've gone with them."

Maintaining a tradition of leaders visiting ordinary folk at this time of year, Communist Party chief Xi Jinping, who takes over as president in March from Hu Jintao, met subway construction workers in Beijing ahead of the week-long holiday.

"Migrant workers have been the labor force behind China's reform and opening up ... so we must look after you properly," Xi said in comments carried on state television.

"I hope the construction firm has organized some new year entertainment for you so you can have a happy holiday," added Xi, who has tried to cultivate an easy-going, man-of-the-people image since becoming party boss in November.

People born in the year of the snake, including Xi, are believed to be thoughtful and stylish yet complex characters.

Practitioners of the ancient art of feng shui say the year ahead will see financial markets slither higher as optimism grows, though the risk of disasters and territorial disputes in Asia also looms.

The lunar new year is marked by the largest annual mass migration on earth, as hundreds of millions of migrant workers pack trains, buses, aircraft and boats to spend the festival with their families.

For many Chinese people, this is their only holiday of the year.

Almost half of Beijing's population of 20 million have left the city for the holiday, according to state media.

Taboos abound over this period. Crying on New Year's Day means you will cry for the rest of the year, and washing your hair signifies washing away good luck.

Woe betide those who clean on new year's day, for you will be sweeping away good fortune in the year ahead.

(Additional reporting by Sally Huang and Beijing newsroom, and John Ruwitch in SHANGHAI; Editing by Robert Birsel)


It's time to remove the superwoman cape
Category: GENERAL
Tags: felicia leaders trust leadership superwoman


I am so priviledged to be connected with some great people.







Wouldn't it be nice to have someone in your life that you trust completely enough to let your guard down and tell them what's really going on -- especially during the times when you're struggling or feeling anxiety about something that you need to get done?  Or even better yet -- what if you had someone who is so jazzed up about what you're doing and where you're going that they're introducing you to others -- even when you're not around. Wouldn't that be oh so grand....

I attended a meeting this morning hosted by my friend and colleague Dr. Joel Martin. She hosts a monthly forum called Conversation on Leadership (COL) which is an intimate gathering of community leaders making their mark in their own way. I am very selective on the networking meetings that I attend because I place a premium on my time and I can only afford to spend time where I can add value and/or receive value - this is true for me both personally and professionally. Personally, if I'm not having fun or feeling a true connection, I try to add more of what I want but if the connection still isn't there, I move on. Life is too short to operate any other way.


What I really love about COL is that it's different. It's designed to be our time to focus on us and what we can do to take our work to the next level. There is absolutely no room for ego or titles to get in the way of us disarming, learning and getting the support we need from our learning partners. Today's session was facilitated by Dr. Robin Postel and she did an awesome job leading us through a change process that allowed us to get unhooked from a challenge in order to move forward powerfully with our work. I learned a lot and as usual, left our meeting feeling whole, complete and fully embraced by a group of like-minded leaders who place a premium on sowing seeds into their own development knowing that it is the ONLY way that we can do this work and have it be life-shifting. I'm also excited that Dr. Joel is one of many thought-leaders who will be leading an upcoming discussion with the members of The Emerge Leaders' Circle.



After leaving our meeting, I immediately thought about a book that I read a few years ago by Keith Ferrazzi called Who's Got Your BackIt's a fabulous book that teaches the concept of building lifeline relationships. These are the people with whom you can really count on, open up to and share your fears and your failures while asking for help without worrying about being judged. These are also the very same people with whom you can share your goals and dreams with and they will be your guideposts, helping to lift you up and watch your back as you make your way over the top. 

I especially love the book because it helps to disarm you just enough to realize that even as an expert in your domain of excellence, Superwoman is a myth and you do not or will not have all the answers. At some point, you'll have to realize that the best of you comes from a co-creation of the wisdom, guidance and tough love that your lifeline partners give you. The problem is that some people seldom get to a place where we ask for help - the support that we need to move forward. Why? Fear...fear of being seen as weak, incompetent, unable to play at the same level or simply not meeting the expectations of those who are expecting big things from you. This has such a crippling effect that we become immobilized, stuck and often paralyzed by our own actions or lack thereof. 

The book suggest four reasons why lifeline relationships are necessary:

1. To help us get in agreement with ourselves about how we define success on an 'individual' level.
2. To develop a plan to get us there with strategies that are inclusive of both lifeline and strategic partners. 
3. To identify and make a commitment on what we will stop doing and say no to in order to move forward. 
4. To surround ourselves with people who have our best interest at heart. These are the people who are going to give it to us real, raw and relevant so that we can transform our lives from great to remarkable! 

The first month of 2013 is behind us and now is the perfect time to start developing your own lifeline relationships. You need to know who's got your back and who's back you will have. If you haven't already, figure out who you want in this innermost circle of your life, have a direct conversation about your intention, develop some specific actions that will guide your newfound partnerships (this is also the what signals to you that it's working) and get busy creating the environment for the magic to unfold!   

Until next time...

Be remarkable!


P.S. I would love for you to join me in The Emerge Leaders' Circle. It's the perfect next step in my work where you sow a seed into your own development and it's guaranteed to reap an ROI well above your financial investment. Our first Masterclass is next Wednesday and the topic is Maximizing Your Leadership Style for Optimum Results. Go here for details and feel free to shoot me an email with questions.  



Felicia Davis International

Phoenix, AZ

Tel: (888) 369-3304





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