Wednesday, March 6, 2019

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business insider

The 14 most common work-from-home jobs in America, and how much money you can make doing them - Business Insider

Posted: 05 Mar 2019 09:39 AM PST

More than 4 million Americans worked from home for at least half of the workweek last year, according to the most recent data, and that number is only going up.

To meet the growing demand, companies are offering remote jobs in a growing number of fields, from tech to finance and even medicine.

Careers site FlexJobs recently took a look at the most common remote jobs in America, and there are some surprising entrants on the list. We arranged the jobs by average annual pay, according to data from PayScale — one of the remote jobs makes just under $90,000 a year.

Check out the 14 most common remote jobs in the country, and how much you can make doing them.

Travel trip: Check electric kettle to gauge hotel room's cleanliness - Business Insider

Posted: 05 Mar 2019 01:00 PM PST

Travel long enough and you develop strange habits.

Hotel rooms are notoriously unclean places. One recent study found that 81% of hotel surfaces sampled contained at least some amount of fecal bacteria.

I'm by no means a germaphobe, but I do avoid certain parts of a hotel room. I say goodbye to the throw pillows, forget about sitting on the armchair or ottoman, wipe down the TV remote, and walk around in socks or flip-flops.

As I've traveled over the past year, I've experienced hotels and Airbnbs with varying standards of upkeep, maintenance, and cleanliness, regardless of how many stars it has; a five-star hotel in one country does not necessarily mean the same thing as a five-star hotel in another.

A five-star hotel in one country may not mean the same thing as a five-star hotel in another country.
Annie Zheng/Business Insider

But over those nearly 300 nights I've spent in hotels and Airbnbs, I have found that consistently the best barometer of cleanliness is the coffeemaker or electric kettle. Almost every hotel room has one and it can tell you a lot about how detail-oriented the housekeeping is.

Because coffeemakers and electric kettles constantly have water or moisture in them, they can be a haven for bacteria, rust, and mold. If they aren't cleaned regularly — and I mean with vinegar, not rinsed with hot water — they quickly become gross. As such a small item and a tedious one to clean, I've found that coffeemakers and electric kettles are frequently overlooked by less diligent hotels.

Even if the kettle is cleaned regularly, with frequent use, some amount of rust is unavoidable. But that's frequently a signal that a room or rental needs some sprucing up.

When I get to a new hotel room, I pop open the top to the appliance. If I see mold or rust, which happens often, I ask for a new room or shorten my stay to one night and move on to a different place.

If they're leaving a rusted kettle in the room, it's a signal to me that no one is keeping a close eye on the room's long-term upkeep. If there's mold in the coffeemaker or kettle, what else hasn't gotten a thorough cleaning?

Clover Health 2018 financial results Medicare Advantage - Business Insider

Posted: 05 Mar 2019 09:05 AM PST

Healthcare startup Clover Health deepened its net losses in 2018 as it worked to expand its plans into more markets.

Clover lost $40.9 million for the full year of 2018 in New Jersey, the company's main market, according to a state insurance filing reviewed by Business Insider. The losses were deeper than in 2017, when Clover posted $22 million in losses. The company, which is based in San Francisco, offers private health insurance plans for seniors, a product called Medicare Advantage.

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Clover sells Medicare Advantage health insurance plans. When seniors in the US turn 65, they can choose to be part of either traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage, which is operated through private insurers like Clover. The hope for San Francisco-based Clover and other technology-based health insurers is to use data to improve patients' health.

"Tech alone can't crack the Medicare code," said John Gorman, the retired founder of healthcare consultancy Gorman Health Group. "It's really about getting doctors to do what you need them to do."

The insurer in 2018 operated in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Georgia, and is expanding into three more states for 2019: South Carolina, Arizona, and Tennessee. Business Insider reviewed 2018 filings from New Jersey, which makes up the vast majority of Clover's business. Filings from the other states weren't available.

Read more: We got a look at $3.2 billion startup Oscar Health's latest enrollment numbers, and they show why the company is pursuing a new strategy for growth

Here are some other key figures:

  • Clover's revenue in New Jersey was $290 million in 2018. Clover's financials are affected by a reinsurance agreement, in which the company passes along some of its premium revenue, a spokesman for Clover told Business Insider. When factoring that in, Clover made $357 million in revenue. Clover told Bloomberg News in March 2018 that it expected revenue of about $330 million.
  • The company paid out $274.8 million in medical expenses for its customers over the year, or about 95% of the premium revenue it took in from its members.
  • Clover had 32,425 Medicare Advantage members by the end of 2018, up from 27,752 the year before.
  • As of February 2019, Clover plans have enrolled 39,341 individuals, the majority of which are in New Jersey, according to federal data.

A spokesman for Clover declined to comment on the health insurer's financial results.

A growing, competitive market

In January, Clover raised an additional $500 million in a round led by Greenoaks Capital, bringing its total funding to $925 million. The company was valued at $1.2 billion before the latest funding round, according to PitchBook.

"This new round of funding isn't just a strong vote of confidence in Clover Health," CEO Vivek Garipalli wrote in a blog post announcing the funding. "It also demonstrates our commitment to New Jersey residents and the innovation economy in the Garden State."

Clover's funding comes on the heels of a massive fundraising year for insurance startups, particularly those operating in the Medicare Advantage space or those planning to enter the market. Four startups raised a combined $1.3 billion the course of five months.

In August, Oscar Health raised $375 million from Alphabet as it gears up to get into the Medicare Advantage market in 2020. Oscar now mainly sells insurance on the individual exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act, and took in $1.2 billion in gross premium revenue in 2018. The company's financial losses narrowed to $57 million, from $131 million in 2017, according to state financial filings, Business Insider reported last week.

Devoted Health in October raised $300 million ahead of launching its first Medicare Advantage plans in Florida this year.

Bright Health, a Minneapolis-based startup that provides individual and Medicare Advantage plans, in November raised $200 million as it expands into additional markets around the US.

The startups are competing with big, entrenched insurers like Humana, UnitedHealth Group, and CVS Health.

Sam's Club files patent for new scanning technology - Business Insider

Posted: 05 Mar 2019 06:25 AM PST

This is an excerpt from a story delivered exclusively to Business Insider Intelligence E-Commerce Briefing subscribers. To receive the full story plus other insights each morning, click here.

Sam's Club announced that it'll be testing new technology this spring that uses computer vision to scan and identify items without needing to see the barcodes. According to a test conducted by Sam's Club, the new tech cuts the time required to scan an item — such as a pack of bottled water — from around 9.3 seconds to as low as 3.4 seconds, a whopping 63% time savings.

Business Insider Intelligence

The technology — designed for Sam's Club's "Scan & Go" service, which enables customers to scan their items with a smartphone, pay through an app, and skip the checkout line — will be available via smartphone app, and Sam's Club also anticipates adding it to the tools store associates use.

The tech will be tested first in the retailer's Sam's Club Now store but is planned to eventually roll out to the rest of Sam's Club's locations, according to Business Insider.

Scan & Go was shuttered at Walmart, but still works at Sam's Club for a few reasons:

  • Items are larger and easier to keep track of at Sam's Club. Because of Sam's Club's bulk warehouse style, products are naturally larger and there are no loose items. This makes it harder for customers to walk out without paying for items. As Sam's Club works on its new scanning tech, it may also help the software distinguish between items and make it easier for customers to target the item they're intending to scan.
  • Sam's Club locations are laid out with one entrance and greeters checking receipts. This layout means that a Sam's Club employee will always be able to double-check customers' carts, a measure that can drastically help with theft. Greeters finding items that customers forgot to scan is a phenomenon that "happens all the time," Sam's Club CEO John Furner told Business Insider. A reduced risk of theft — either accidental or intentional — means that Sam's Club can encourage customers to adopt Scan & Go without having to worry about increased rates of retail shrink.

The enhanced scanning technology can make it much easier to use Scan & Go at Sam's Club locations. The bulkier items at Sam's Club mean that having to hunt down and scan a barcode is a larger challenge for customers trying to use their smartphones to scan items for Scan & Go checkout.

The new tech may therefore help spur greater adoption of Scan & Go upon its release by removing this step and the labor that comes with it. Scan & Go is already seeing regular use increases of around 40% even without the new scanning tech, suggesting that further improvements could push Scan & Go's popularity to a point where demand for cashiers starts to fall. Sam's Club can then save money on labor and reassign associates to help with other tasks around the store.

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Don't buy a foldable smartphone in 2019 - INSIDER

Posted: 05 Mar 2019 07:58 AM PST

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Don't buy a foldable smartphone in 2019  INSIDER

You might be tempted to take a chance on a foldable phone. But you shouldn't do it.

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