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        a home based business onlinehome business ideas


            A Home-Based Business Online


           Issue 131 : April 29, 2017

           Sent to 12,720 Opt-In Subscribers

            Editor: Elena Fawkner
            Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
           Home Based Business Opportunities
          Contact By Email



          IN THIS ISSUE

        1.     Welcome and Update from Elena
        2.     Feature Article - Health Insurance for the Self-
          Employed - Protecting Your Business's Greatest Asset
        3.     Surveys and Trends
        4.     Success Quotes of the Week
        6.     Subscription Management
        8.     Contact Information


        1.     Welcome and Update from Elena

        Hello again and a warm welcome to all the new subscribers
        who have joined us since the last issue.

        A few recommendations for you this week:

        => Mail Washer 

        For the past three or four weeks I've been using a (free)
        software program called Mail Washer.  You install it onto your
        desktop and use it to call up the headers of email that's
        sitting on your mail server waiting to be downloaded.
        Because it only downloads the headers of the mail, it's
        lightning fast. 

        The beauty of the program is that it allows you to delete
        spam at the server level so it never gets downloaded to
        your computer.  (If you're not sure a message is spam, you
        can double click on it and see the body of the message.) 
        So, for those of you paying by the minute or byte for
        internet access, Mail Washer allows you to do away with
        paying for the privilege of downloading garbage.  You're
        also deleting those pesky virus emails at the server level
        too so they never get the chance to infect your computer. 

        Just as nifty, the software has a feature that allows you
        to create what appears to be a bona fide bounce message
        that the software will automatically email back to the
        spammer.   Of course if, as most spammers are, yours
        is using a bogus email address in the first place, your fake
        bounce message bounces back to you so the utility of what,
        on the face of it, is a great idea, is limited.  All in all, though,
        the program's a real time and money saver. 

        Download at http://www.mailwasher.net/ .  Although it's free,
        donations to the webmaster are welcome.  (No, I have no
        affiliation.)  Details at the site.

        => Virus Protection Now!

        You do use virus protection software, right?  If not, get to
        it NOW.  (I use Norton AntiVirus for those of you interested in
        such things.)  See http://www.symantec.com for critical
        information on the particularly nasty W32.Klez.gen@mm
        mass-mailing worm that includes a virus that will destroy
        all files on your hard drive on specified days of the year.

        According to Symantec: "The worm exploits a vulnerability in
        Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express in an attempt to execute
        itself when you open or even preview the message. Information
        and a patch for the vulnerability can be found at

        I've deleted many email messages containing this virus (and
        others) at the server level using Mail Washer and Norton
        AntiVirus.  Many of these infected messages are coming
        from AHBBO ezine subscribers.  If you're not that familiar with
        the Internet and email and how to protect yourself with
        antivirus software, you may have unknowingly allowed the
        virus to infect your computer. 
        You can download a removal tool from the Symantec website
        at http://www.symantec.com .

        => WebSponsors

        This recommendation is for those of you with web sites. 
        WebSponsors is a CPA (cost per action) advertising network
        that pays you a set amount for every visitor you refer to the
        advertiser and who takes the desired action.

        For example, I have two campaigns running on my home page
        (AHBBO) right now - they're the Home Business
        Magazine banner ad and the text link "Free Information On How
        You Can Start Your Own Home-Based Business".  Every time a
        visitor clicks on one of those links and takes the desired action
        (signs up for the free Home Business magazine or requests free
        home-business information, respectively), I get paid. 

        I just started with this program this month and have already
        generated over $100 (for a part-month).  Not bad for doing
        nothing but putting the links on my site.  I'm not doing *any*
        other promotion for these campaigns. 

        There are a multitude of categories of ads at WebSponsors so
        you're sure to find campaigns that fit with your site. 

        Finally, this week's article is in response to numerous requests
        from readers for information about health insurance options for
        the self-employed.  You asked for it, you got it!  "Health
        Insurance for the Self-Employed - Protecting Your Business's
        Greatest Asset" is at segment 2.

        As always, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week's

        Remember, AHBBO is for YOU!  If you have comments or
        suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed, or
        would just like to share your experiences with other
        subscribers, I want to hear from you.  Please send
        comments, questions and stories to Contact By Email .


        Access to a computer?
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        2.     Feature Article:  Health Insurance for the Self-Employed
           - Protecting Your Business's Greatest Asset

        © 2017 Elena Fawkner

        "I've been considering quitting my full-time job and getting a
        part-time job that would pay the bills [so I can start a home
        business] ... The one biggie my full-time job provides me now
        is health insurance. If I was to get a part-time job, I'd probably
        have to pay for my own health insurance and I know that can
        be expensive."

        Like Jason, who sent me the above email this week, many a
        dissatisfied employee would chuck in their full-time J.O.B.
        (just over broke) for their part-time home-based business in
        a heartbeat if not for one thing.  Employer-provided health
        benefits.  It's a biggie, no doubt about it.

        Undeniably, employer-paid or -subsidized health benefits
        are one of the few real perks of working for someone else. 
        In fact, surveys have shown that, for employees (especially
        those with families), paid benefits are hands down the most
        important element of their compensation packages.

        And there's no shortage of people already running their
        own home businesses with no health or disability coverage
        at all.  Scary.  After all, if you're dependent upon your
        home business as your sole source of income and you
        lose your health, you lose your livelihood as well.

        Bottom line?  If you run a home-based business you can't
        afford not to have health coverage of one form or another. 
        Here's how to make it happen, whatever your


        You have three basic options when it comes to health and
        disability insurance.

        => Spouse Coverage

        If your spouse has health coverage from his or her employer,
        as a general rule, use that.  It probably provides better and
        less expensive coverage than you could get on your own.

        => Group Health Insurance

        The main advantage of group health insurance plans is that
        they can't turn you away because of health problems.  The
        good news for the solo entrepreneur is that an increasing
        number of companies are offering group health plans for
        "groups" of one.  This varies by state though so you'll need
        to do your homework to find one.

        => Individual Health Insurance

        These plans are fine if you don't have any pre-existing
        medical conditions.  (If you do, try your best to find a group
        plan that will cover a group of one.)  They're subject to
        medical underwriting so your state of health will be a factor
        the insurance company takes into account in determining
        whether to accept your application.

        Of course, the mere fact that you're able to get into a good
        plan is one thing.  Doing so affordably is quite another.


        There are several ways of minimizing the cost of health
        insurance.  Your tolerance for risk will determine which,
        if any, you are comfortable with.

        => Reduce the Level of Coverage

        Do you really need to have every doctor's visit and
        prescription covered?   If you only go to the doctor once
        a year for an annual examination, have no health
        conditions, don't need regular expensive prescription
        medications and are generally healthy, consider cutting out
        coverage for office visits and prescriptions.

        => Higher Deductible

        Similarly, if you're reasonably healthy, don't visit the doctor
        very often and don't need to use expensive medications,
        consider switching to a higher deductible to save on
        premium costs.  By increasing your deductible from $100
        to $2,000, you can cut your premium payment in half.

        => Annual Premium Payments

        If you can afford to do so, pay your premiums annually
        rather than monthly or quarterly to avoid service fees and
        to take advantage of prepayment discounts where

        => Join Associations

        Just because you're going it alone in your business
        doesn't mean you can't take advantage of the group
        buying power that being a member of an association
        offers.  Check out your local chamber of commerce,
        various trade and professional groups and small and
        home business associations for member benefits.  Many
        offer access to discounted health insurance.

        Here are a few small/home business association links
        to get you started (you'll need to cut and paste some
        of these links if they wrap to the next line):

        National Business Association

        Don't forget to check out local associations in your area
        or associations relevant to your particular profession.

        => Shop Online

        Being able to offer insurance products online means insurance
        companies save on broker and agent fees.  Often, this
        translates into premium savings for policies purchased over
        the Internet.  So, when your fingers do the walking, make
        sure they do so on a keyboard and not the Yellow Pages.

        => Medical Savings Accounts

        Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability
        Act (HIPAA), if you're self-employed you may be eligible to
        use a medical savings account, or MSA.

        MSAs work in conjunction with higher deductible health
        insurance policies to reduce premiums and allow you to use
        pre-tax dollars to pay for your medical expenses up to the
        limit of the deductible on your insurance policy. 

        Basically, you reduce your premium by replacing a low-
        deductible policy with high-deductible policy and use the
        premium saving to make fully tax-deductible contributions
        to your MSA.  You can contribute up to 65% of the deductible
        each year into your MSA (75% for families).  The money goes
        into a tax-deferred account or trust and you pay your medical
        expenses (until you reach the deductible) by drawing from the
        account.  Once you hit the deductible, of course, the
        insurance policy kicks in.

        If you spend less than you contributed, the surplus stays
        in the account and earns interest.  Not only that, the funds
        can be invested in high-return vehicles such as mutual funds
        and stocks. 

        As the balance can be carried forward, an MSA can be used to
        accumulate a pretty healthy nest egg for retirement.  In fact,
        a Journal of Financial Planning analysis calculated that if you
        contribute $1,500 per year into an MSA for 25 years, assuming
        a 12% rate of return, you'll end up with almost $1.5 million. 
        That's assuming you don't draw from it to pay for medical
        costs, of course.

        There are some limitations though.  First, the range of
        deductibles is limited to $1,500 - $2,250 for individuals and
        $3,000 - $4,500 for a family.  Second, as we saw above, you
        can contribute only 65% of the deductible as an individual or
        75% for a family.

        So, if you're an individual and you choose a policy with a
        $2,000 deductible, you'll be able to contribute 1,300 pre-tax
        dollars into an MSA each year.  In other words, Uncle Sam
        pays for part of your health insurance/retirement fund.  How

        The money in the MSA can be used to pay any medical
        expenses incurred before the deductible is reached, as well
        as other eligible costs such as contact lenses and dental
        work.  If you use the money for anything else, you must not
        only pay tax on the amount withdrawn, but a 15% penalty
        on the top.  (If you're over 65 when you make the
        withdrawal the penalty is not applied but you'll still have to
        pay the tax.)

        (By the way, MSAs are also available to you if you work for
        a business with fewer than 50 employees.)

        In short then, MSAs offer a very tax-effective and potentially
        lucrative way to self-fund part of your health care costs while
        dramatically reducing your premiums.  If luck is on your side
        and you remain healthy, by the time you reach retirement
        age, your MSA could well fund your retirement.

        Pretty neat.

        => Self-Employed Health Insurance Deduction

        Finally, the self-employed can write off 70% of their health
        insurance premiums in 2017.  This increases to 100% in 2003. 
        That's only so long as the total doesn't exceed the net profit
        from your Schedule C minus deductions for one half of the self-
        employment tax and Keogh, SEP and Simple contributions

        Also, the deduction can only be claimed for months when
        you weren't eligible to participate in a subsidized health plan
        from another employer (including your spouse's employer).

        Self-employed workers who qualify for both the self-employed
        health deduction and the itemized medical deduction can
        write off the other 30% this year on Schedule A.  (Medical
        expenses are deductible on Schedule A only to the extent
        they exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income.)


        The foregoing is all well and good if you're able to get health
        insurance in the first place.  But what if you have a pre-
        existing condition that disqualifies you from an individual
        health plan and you can't get into a group plan?  In other
        words, you can't get insurance at any price. 

        => HIPAA

        Although beyond the scope of this article, the Health
        Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) may
        offer you some protections.  For more information about how
        HIPAA may help you obtain health insurance even if you
        have a pre-existing condition, visit
        => Risk Pools

        High-risk health insurance plans, also known as risk pools,
        are state-funded plans and are an important safety net for
        individuals who are denied health insurance because of a
        medical condition.  They're available only in 29 states though.

        To be eligible, you must be a resident of the state from
        which you seek coverage (unless there's reciprocity
        between that state and the state you reside in) and
        you must be able to prove at least one of the following:

        1.  that you've been rejected for similar health insurance
        coverage by at least one insurer; or

        2.  you're presently insured with a higher premium; or

        3.  you're presently insured with a rider or rated policy.

        You will not be eligible for participation in a risk pool if:

        1.  you're not a resident of the state from which you seek
        coverage (again subject to reciprocity between states);

        2.  you're eligible for Medicare or Medicaid; or

        3.  you've terminated previous coverage in the plan
        unless at least 132 months have since elapsed; or

        4.  you're an inmate of a public institution.

        For more information on risk pools in your state, contact
        your state health insurance department, the national
        association "Communicating for Agriculture and the Self-
        Employed" (1-800-432-3276) or visit
        Coverage via the safety-net protections of the HIPAA may
        end up being "risk-pool" coverage.

        => Healthcare Savings Programs

        Healthcare savings programs are patient advocacy programs
        that minimize out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

        They're not insurance policies but rather programs that allow
        you to access networks of healthcare providers for the same
        negotiated rates that large insurance companies enjoy.
        Savings range from 20% to 50%.

        Not ideal but better than nothing.  Also, since they're not
        insurance policies, all pre-existing conditions are accepted.

        A modest monthly fee is usually required to participate.
        See, for example, Care Entree at http://www.careentree.com
        for $20 per month.

        Although health insurance may seem like a luxury you just
        can't afford if your finances are already stretched to breaking
        point thanks to your home-based business, you never know
        what's around the corner.  Quite simply, you and your business
        can't afford not to have health (and disability) insurance. 

        You are your business's greatest asset.  Protect it.


        include the following resource box; and (2) you only mail to


        practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the
        work-from-home entrepreneur. 
        Home Business Online
        Also, visit Elena's newest site, Put Your Computer To Work


        Free Email Course "How to Write A Book On Anything in 14
        Days or Less" by Steve Manning
        Fiction or Non, get an agent in 36 hours, blueprint your entire
        book in 2-hours, create 'technologies' no one else has, buy a
        best-selling plot for 75 cents, create a non-stop client magnet,
        create demand for your book without ever leaving home, get
        an editor free, and much more!


        3.     Surveys and Trends

        © 2017 Ryanna's Hope


        The influential Baby Boomers, currently 77 million strong in
        the United States, are the most lucrative segment in the
        nation. These individuals, between 34 and 52 years of age,
        are known for changing every institution they encounter.

        Members of this well-educated, sophisticated, demanding,
        individualistic, independent, and self-indulgent group have
        less leisure time than their parents did. Older individuals in
        this segment are just beginning the battle against aging.
        Sales of skin cream, suntan lotions, hair coloring, cosmetics,
        vitamins and nutritional supplements are surging. Spirituality
        is seeing a rebirth as maturing Boomers search for the
        meaning of life.

        Advertising Time Line...

        1841 - Volney B. Palmer opens the first American advertising
        agency, in Philadelphia

        1852 - First advertisement for Smith Brothers' Cough Candy
        (drops) appears in a Poughkeepsie, New York paper - the
        two brothers in the illustration are named "Trade" and "Mark."



        Most ISPs aren't all that reliable. According to a survey of
        14,000 Netizens conducted last fall by the National Regulatory
        Research Institute and Bigresearch, 47 percent of all users
        reported problems with their ISPs. The biggest problems:
        service outages and interruptions.

        Smaller ISPs fared slightly better: users reported about 10
        percent fewer problems than customers of the Big Three
        did.  Still, survey respondents awarded the industry an overall
        grade of C+, not exactly a ringing endorsement. (Source:

        While cable and DSL fees consistently range from $40 to $50
        a month, dial-up charges are all over the map. For example,
        AOL recently upped its fees: you now have to pay $24 a
        month for unlimited access, while most other major ISPs
        charge around $22.  Meanwhile, Silicon Valley North charges
        its 2,000 dial-up customers $15 a month and hasn't raised its
        prices in five years. And there are literally hundreds of ISPs
        who offer access plans for $10 a month or less.

        Should you shop based on price? Well, yes and no. If you find
        two ISPs that are equally good in all aspects--reliability,
        support, access, the whole nine yards--then it only makes
        sense to go with the cheaper option.

        According to In-Stat's report, the largest ISP, in terms of
        access revenues for 2017, was WorldCom/UUNet. The second
        largest ISP, in terms of revenue, was AT&T. Other ISPs with
        significant market share were -- PSINet, Cable & Wireless,
        Sprint, Genuity, InterNap, XO Communications, Verio and


        If your Web site uses or will soon use SQL databases, CGI
        scripts, or FrontPage 2017 extensions (not just basic
        FrontPage HTML generation), you'll need a hosting plan that
        supports these extras--likewise with PHP and Active Server
        Pages. These sorts of higher-end development tools don't
        usually come standard.


        Many reviews reveal Tripod is the best place to build and
        host your Web site. Its interface is easiest, its URLs are
        shortest, and its predesigned templates are the prettiest
        we've seen. It offers 50MB of free space--the most you'll
        find anywhere and much more than its closest competitor,
        GeoCities (which offers only 15MB).


        E-commerce site owners take notice: online shoppers demand
        honesty and respect from retailers ?more than the highest-
        quality merchandise or the lowest prices, according to Cap
        Gemini Ernst & Young (CGE&Y).

        The results of interviews with 6,000 consumers in nine
        European countries revealed the most important values to the
        global e-shopper: honesty, respect and reliability. The
        respondents indicated that human values are more vital to
        a satisfactory business transaction than traditional notions
        of product and service. European respondents identified the
        same top five factors related to shopping as did their
        counterparts in the U.S..

        => TRUSTING WEB SITES . . LESS THAN 1/3!

        The findings of a Consumer WebWatch telephone survey of
        1,500 U.S. Internet users conducted by Princeton Survey
        Research Associates revealed that less than one-third trust
        Web sites that sell products or services.

        Only 29 percent say they trust e-commerce sites either
        "just about always" or "most of the time" while 64 percent
        trust them "only some of the time" or "never". Internet users
        show a similar degree of skepticism towards consumer advice
        sites ?only 33 percent trust them and 59 percent express
        low levels of trust.

        Comparatively, 68 percent say they trust small businesses;
        58 percent trust newspapers and television news; and 55
        percent trust financial companies such as banks, insurance
        companies and stockbrokers. A total of 54 percent trust
        charities and other nonprofit organizations, while 47 percent
        say they trust the federal government at least most of the


        4.     Success Quote of the Week

        To go fast, row slowly.
          -- Norman Vincent Peale

        8. Contact Information

        Elena Fawkner, Editor
        A Home-Based Business Online
        Contact By Email


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