Alpacas – An Industry That Changes Your Lifestyle

We have heard it said over and over again that ever since September 11th people are looking into different ways of living their lives. Many of us have re-evaluated our lifestyles and realize that what is most important to us, family, has taken a back seat to our stressful, time consuming careers. Alpaca ranching can help bring the family values back and relieve some of the stresses we face daily working in this fast paced world.
Alpaca ranching is not a get rich scheme. You must work hard just like in any career in which you want to succeed. However, since it is your own ranch that you will most likely be marketing the work itself is so much more rewarding. Just like all animals simply observing alpacas can relieve most stresses you have during the day.
Well if most animals will relieve stress than why choose alpacas over let’s say cattle ranching? Here are some reasons to consider alpacas:

In the 1980′s the first alpacas were imported into the United States. ARI, Alpaca Registry, Inc., registers all alpacas. The high dollar request for this livestock demands accurate records of pedigrees and lineages. Since record keeping was not a priority in the South American countries, origin of alpacas, the registry closed to undocumented alpacas in 1998. Today the industry has grown to over 85,000 registered alpacas. According to AOBA, Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, as of April 2006 over 3900 members have registered with inquiries coming in monthly.
The price of alpacas has not gone down since the 1980′s. Alpacas are a high dollar livestock where males can average between $1000-$50,000 and females from $15,000- $35,000. Of course it all depends on the animal’s quality.
Alpacas are environmentally friendly. They have pads on their feet much like dogs that will not harm your pasture. Alpacas have a communal dung pile. Unlike horses and cows they will create one or two areas to go to the bathroom, therefore the pasture will not burn from their feces. Alpacas cut the grass when they eat. They do not pull the grass out by its roots like other livestock. Since alpacas only have teeth on the bottom of their mouth and a palate at the top they are not considered biting animals. Alpacas are considered to be child friendly.
Their fiber has been called “the fiber of the gods” due to its strength, luster, staple length, water resistance, and elastic characteristics. Alpaca products are considered a luxury item and can be sold for high dollar prices.
There are tax benefits for owning an alpaca ranch. Consult with your accountant for more information.
Whether it is huacaya or suri alpacas these animals are very easy to fall in love with. The alpaca rancher community is very friendly and willing to share their knowledge. Almost all alpaca ranches welcome visitors. So, if you are looking at spending more quality time with your family and want a job that can bring enjoyment to you all then perhaps alpacas is the industry you want to join.

The Affordable Care Act Means Health Care Rebate Checks for You in 2012

Yes it’s true, starting next year rebate checks will be in the mail. Federal regulations issued on Nov. 22 2010 called the “Affordable care act” required health insurance companies to prove that they spent at least 80% of their collected dollars on medical care and improvement efforts.These regulations force the health insurance marketplace to become more accountable and require that they spend more of their dollars on higher end care. This means that Americans are going to get a better value for all of their hard earned money spent on health care insurance.Basically what these companies are doing with a large part of our consumer dollars is spending it on marketing, exec salaries, overhead and essentially just putting it their pocket. With the Affordable Care Act insurance companies will be required to spend 80 to 85% on actual medical care and quality health care improvement, instead of “administrative costs.”If they fail to comply, these insurance companies will have to provide a rebate check starting in 2012. These new rules will protect millions of Americans and some estimates are projecting that almost 9 million Americans will be eligible for rebate checks in 2012 with a value of almost 1.4 million dollars. The average rebate check will be around $164.This federal regulation is requiring that insurance companies must publicly report how much they are spending on premium medical care, which is great information for all those consumers left in the dark for all these years. After years of input from the different states, public and stakeholders the decision has been made to make health insurance more of a fair process for consumers.This act also requires the (NAIC) National Association of Insurance Commissioners to create uniform procedures and policies in calculating their medical loss ratio’s, which is essentially how much is spent where and what part is being spent on quality medical care for the consumer and if it’s not 80-85% the insurance companies will have to issue a rebate check for the difference.Insurance companies in every state will now be responsible and held financially accountable in protecting the interests of the general public, policy holders and enrolled participants in their respective states.It’s outrageous that in some markets insurance companies spend as little as 60% on direct medical care and health care improvement. As much as 40 cents out of every dollar goes to the “administrative costs” of the health care insurance provider. So where does all this money really go you may wonder?Timothy Jost who is a law professor at Washington and Lee University in VA says he estimates that these insurance companies spend 12% of every dollar that they get on pharmaceuticals and 31% for doctor’s care, and 31% on administrative costs.Hopefully this new regulation will force insurance companies to become more efficient and not raise premiums more than absolutely necessary and if they do then 80-85% of every dollar needs to be on actual care and not into the endless coffers of the insurance companies.