Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. Reports Significant Earnings Performance

Press Release – updated: Oct 22, 2017 12:02 EDT

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., October 22, 2017 (Newswire.com) – ​Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. (the “Company”) (OTC: CCNB), parent of Coastal Carolina National Bank (“CCNB”), reported net income of $1,112,736 or $.25 diluted earnings per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, compared to $373,312, or $.15 diluted earnings per share, for the same period ending September 30, 2016, an increase of 198%.
Net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, was $428,314, an increase of 8% compared to the net income of $397,731 from the previous quarter ended June 30, 2017.
Financial Highlights YTD
Total Assets grew 12% to $322 million at September 30, 2017, compared to $288 million at December 31, 2016.
Total Deposits grew 9% to $277 million at September 30, 2017, compared to $254 million at December 31, 2016.
Total Loans grew 12.5% to $243 million at September 30, 2017, compared to $216 million at December 31, 2016.
Net interest margin improved to 3.90% at September 30, 2017, which is a 22 basis point increase for the year.
Equity decreased to $43.4 million in the third quarter from $44.0 million as a result of posting the one-time expenses from the 2017 private placement capital raise. Tangible book value at September 30, 2017, is $7.11 per share.
“We are very pleased with the continued growth of our company and our strong financial performance. Though deposits grew by $5.2 million in the third quarter, we did not see corresponding asset growth in the third quarter due to paying off borrowings of $4.5 million during the quarter. During the first nine months of 2017, our lending team continued to produce quality loan relationships, which resulted in a 37% increase in overall loan production when compared to the same period in 2016. Our asset quality also continues to be very strong as our nonperforming assets to total assets ratio is just .05%,” said Laurence S. Bolchoz, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and the Bank. “Our new Greenville Loan Production office closed more than $7 million in commercial loans in their first quarter of operation, and we are excited about the positive impact they will have on our bank. The recent hiring of W. David Keller as our Midlands Market Executive will provide excellent leadership and significant growth potential in that market. The vibrant markets in South Carolina in which we operate continue to experience economic recovery which is a positive for our community bank as we focus on helping our customers achieve financial success,” Bolchoz said.

Coastal Carolina Bancshares, IncSelected Financial Highlights(unaudited)

September 30, 2017

June 30, 2017

March 31, 2017

December 31, 2016

September 30, 2016

Balance Sheet (In Thousands)

Total Assets
$322,268

$322,145

$300,944

$287,753

$198,783

Investment Securities
24,925

23,437

19,353

18,532

20,380

Loans, net of unearned income (total loans)
242,854

235,985

226,447

216,303

138,903

Deposits
276,566

271,389

267,228

254,346

174,669

Shareholders’ Equity
43,386

44,016

26,990

26,617

18,201

Total Shares Outstanding
5,590,117

5,590,117

3,282,426

3,282,426

2,192,655

Book Value per Share
$7.76

$7.87

$8.22

$8.11

$8.30

Tangible Book Value Per Share
$7.11

$7.21

$7.09

$7.14

$8.21

Selected % Increases
3rd Qtr 2017

2nd Qtr 2017

1st Qtr 2017

Year To Date

For the last 12 months

Total Assets
0%

7%

5%

12%

62%

Total Loans
3%

4%

5%

12%

75%

Total Deposits
2%

2%

5%

9%

58%

For the Three Months Ended September 30, 2017

For the Three Months Ended June 30, 2017

For the Three Months Ended March 31, 2017

For the Three Months Ended September 30, 2017

For the Three Months Ended September 30, 2016

Earnings Breakdown (In Thousands)

Total Interest Income
$3,335

$3,253

$3,017

$9,605

$5,348

Total Interest Expense
545

517

487

1,548

789

Net Interest Income
2,790

2,736

2,531

8,057

4,559

Total Noninterest Income
405

376

323

1,103

925

Total Noninterest Expense
2,394

2,361

2,285

7,039

4,781

Provision for Loan Losses
156

201

111

468

98

Income Before Taxes
645

550

458

1,653

605

Taxes
217

152

171

540

232

Net Income
428

398

287

1,113

373

Selected Performance Ratios

Return on Average Assets (ROAA)
0.54%

0.53%

0.39%

0.49%

0.26%

Return on Average Equity (ROAE)
3.93%

4.94%

3.68%

4.35%

2.72%

Diluted Earnings Per Share
$0.07

$0.11

$0.12

$0.25

$0.15

Weighted Average Diluted Shares Outstanding
5,970,450

3,688,118

2,486,147

4,448,895

2,486,147

September 30, 2017

June 30, 2017

March 31, 2017

December 31, 2016

September 30, 2016

Selected Bank Ratios

Loan Loss Reserve to Total Loans
0.75%

0.72%

0.69%

0.68%

1.00%

Non-Performing Assets to Total Assets
0.05%

0.05%

0.29%

0.38%

0.41%

Net Charge-Offs to Total Loans
0.04%

0.05%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Net Interest Margin (year to date)
3.90%

3.97%

3.89%

3.68%

3.58%

About Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. is the bank holding company of Coastal Carolina National Bank, a Myrtle Beach-based community bank serving Horry, Georgetown, Aiken, Richland, Greenville, and Brunswick (NC) counties. Coastal Carolina National Bank is a locally operated financial institution focused on providing personalized service and offers a full range of banking services designed to meet the specific needs of individuals and small and medium-sized businesses. Headquartered in Myrtle Beach, SC, the Bank also has branches in Garden City, North Myrtle Beach, Conway, Aiken, and Columbia, as well as a Loan Production Office in Greenville, South Carolina. Through the substantial experience of our local management and Board of Directors, Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. seeks to enhance value for our shareholders, build lasting customer relationships, benefit our communities and give our employees a meaningful career opportunity. To learn more about the Company and its subsidiary bank, please visit our website at www.myccnb.com.
Forward-Looking Statements Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, without limitation: the effects of future economic conditions; governmental fiscal and monetary policies; legislative and regulatory changes; the risks of changes in interest rates; successful merger integration; management of growth; fluctuations in our financial results; reliance on key personnel; our ability to compete effectively; privacy, security and other risks associated with our business. Coastal Carolina Bancshares, Inc. assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
# # #
Source: Coastal Carolina National Bank

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How Much Will My Social Security Be In 2018?

Millions of retired American workers rely on Social Security as a significant source of retirement income. While Social Security doesn’t increase every year, it will be increasing in 2018.
The amount that you’ll receive in Social Security will depend on many factors, but everyone will get the same boost to benefits next year. Here’s how much money you can expect to get from Social Security in 2018, and how a little-known rule could end up taking a big bite out of your increase.
A bit of background
As a refresher, Social Security provides a valuable financial safety net in retirement. The amount you receive in Social Security benefits depends on how many years you work, what your average income is over your career, and when you begin receiving your benefits.

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To qualify for Social Security, you need to accumulate 40 work credits. Most workers collect this many credits if they work 10 years at a job that’s subject to payroll taxes.
To calculate your exact benefit amount in retirement, Social Security adjusts your average monthly income over your highest 35 income-earning years for inflation. If you’ve worked fewer than 35 years, zeros are used in the calculation, which reduces your payment.
Once they’ve calculated your average monthly inflation-adjusted income, Social Security uses multipliers at specific bend points to reduce the size of your Social Security benefit. The resulting figure is the amount of your benefit at your full retirement age, which, for people born in 1960 or later, is age 67.
If you decide to begin receiving your benefits sooner than full retirement age, your Social Security will be reduced by a fixed percentage for every month that you claim early. The earliest age you can begin receiving your benefits is age 62, and if you claim at that age and your full retirement age is 67, you’ll net 70% of your full retirement age benefit.
Alternatively, you can increase your full retirement age benefit by waiting to collect Social Security. Social Security pays delayed retirement credits for every month you delay taking benefits, up until age 70. These credits work out to about an 8% annual increase, so a person with a full retirement age of 67 who begins taking benefits at age 70 will receive 124% of their full-retirement-age benefit.
What will Social Security benefits be in 2018?
Social Security evaluates inflation every year to decide whether or not to increase benefits to recipients. It does this by averaging a common inflation measure, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), for the third quarter and then comparing it to the average inflation figure from the most recent third quarter that resulted in benefits increasing. Because Social Security inched up 0.3% in 2017, this year’s third quarter is being compared to last year’s third quarter.
The good news is that year-over-year inflation will increase Social Security benefits by 2% in 2018. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s the biggest increase in Social Security benefits since 2011.
The bad news is that a 2% increase doesn’t really increase the size of your Social Security check very much. The average person receiving Social Security in 2017 is getting $1,377 per month, so a 2% increase boosts the average monthly payment by only $27.54. For convenience, the following table shows how the increase will impact people receiving benefits of various amounts.
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Social Security Payments in 2018

 
 
 
 

2017 benefit

$1,000

$1,377

$1,500

$1,750

$2,000

$2,250

Cola increase

2.00%

2.00%

2.00%

2.00%

2.00%

2.00%

Increase amount

$20

$27.54

$30

$35

$40

$45

2018 benefit

$1,020

$1,405

$1,530

$1,785

$2,040

$2,295

But here’s the kicker
The increase in Social Security will happen automatically, so you don’t need to do anything to get it. However, don’t be surprised if you don’t see the entire amount of your increase show up in your monthly checks.
Why? Because rising Medicare Part B premiums might end up eating up a big chunk of your newfound income. Last year, a hold-harmless rule kept Medicare Part B premiums from increasing by the amount they were supposed to increase. In 2018, most people will no longer be protected by it.
The hold-harmless provision caps annual Medicare Part B premium increases to whatever Social Security increases annually. Because Part B premiums have been growing more quickly than Social Security, many people on these programs are paying less per month in Part B premiums than people who recently enrolled. 
In 2017, recipients protected by the hold-harmless rule are paying about $109 per month for Part B premiums, and new recipients are paying $134. Medicare hasn’t announced official Part B premiums for 2018, but they’re expected to remain the same as 2017. If they do, then many recipients will see their Part B premium increase by $25, which represents a pretty big proportion of the planned Social Security increase.
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GOP Tax Plan Will Have Fourth Bracket for Top Earners, Could Lower Retirement Deductions

GOP Tax Plan Will Have Fourth Bracket for Top Earners, Could Lower Retirement Deductions
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Two significant insights into Republicans’ evolving tax-reform plan emerged Friday.
First, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that an additional top income tax bracket would be proposed to make it easier to maintain high tax rates on the very highest-income Americans. And second, proposals are being floated that would dramatically reduce the amount of retirement contributions that can be deducted from an individuals’ taxable income.
Ryan’s comments came in an appearance on CBS This Morning. He said a fourth tax bracket would be added to the plan “so that high income earners do not see a big rate cut, and that those resources go to the middle class.”
Previous versions of the Republican plan had only three tax brackets, down from the current seven, though the additional fourth bracket was mentioned as a possibility.
Without a fourth bracket, those with annual incomes above $418,400 could have seen a tax cut of nearly 5% from their current top rate of 39.6%. Ryan’s comments to CBS suggest they may still see a smaller reduction. He also said the plan would seek to eliminate “loopholes and carve-outs that disproportionately benefit the very high income people, the very well-connected businesses.”
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However, another potential plank in the tax reform plan would be much less beneficial for middle-income Americans. According to the Wall Street Journal, a proposal circulating around Washington would reduce the amount of retirement contributions that can be deducted from an individuals’ taxable income from $18,000 a year for most workers to as little as $2,400.
That reduction would be in line with the GOP plan’s broader attack on various individual deductions. That includes the state and local income tax deduction, which the Senate voted to eliminate on Thursday, and the mortgage interest deduction.
The Trump plan replaces those with higher standard deductions, but experts still say changing the mortgage deduction could reduce homeownership. Similarly, according to the Journal’s analysis, reducing the retirement contribution exemption would make saving more expensive, putting negative pressure on retirement savings rates, which are already distressingly low nationwide.

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Here's How Much the Average 50-Something American Has Saved for Retirement

Your 50s are a pivotal time not just in your career, but on the road to retirement. By the time your 50s roll around, you’ll have conceivably been working for a good 30 years, which means your earnings will likely have peaked. It also means you might finally be done with college tuition, especially if you had children earlier on.
But no matter what life happens to look like for you by the time you hit your 50s, it’s critical to do a serious evaluation of your retirement savings and take steps to either keep up the good work or strive to do better. That’s because retirement may be just a mere decade away, assuming you plan to leave the workforce around the same time that most older Americans call it quits.

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So just how much money should you have saved in your 50s? Fidelity insists that by age 55, you need the equivalent of seven times your salary socked away, and that’s a pretty good benchmark to follow. Since the typical American earns roughly $50,000 during his or her mid-50s, that means that ideally, you should have about $350,000 tucked away for the future by that point. And unfortunately, the average 50-something American is nowhere close to being on track.
The average 50-something American’s savings level
So how much does the typical worker in his or her 50s have saved for retirement? The Economic Policy Institute reports that for households between 50 and 55, the average savings balance is $124,831. For those between 56 and 61, that number comes in a bit higher, at $163,577.
But these figures don’t tell the whole story. Because a select pool of strong savers can bring up the average and compensate for poor savers, it’s often more helpful to look at the median savings amount for these age groups. For households between 50 and 55, the median retirement account balance is just $8,000. For those between 56 and 61, it’s $17,000 — not much better. And when you have a situation where the median is considerably lower than the average, it means that most 50-somethings have less than average.
In other words, the average American in his or her 50s has a lot of catching up to do on retirement savings. And if you’re one of them, let this be your wakeup call.
Why we’re not saving more
It’s easy to make excuses for not saving at any age. For many adults in their 50s, the reason boils down to mounting expenses and high levels of debt. Case in point: The typical mid-50s household has a credit card balance of $8,158 to $9,096, and that’s the sort of debt that could easily thwart one’s savings efforts. Throw in the fact that many 50-somethings are paying off student loans on behalf of their children, and it’s no wonder retirement falls by the wayside.
Then there’s Social Security, which, for retirement purposes, can be both a blessing and a curse. Countless Americans somehow believe that Social Security will cover their living expenses in retirement, and that it’s therefore OK to neglect their savings. But in reality, those benefits won’t even come close. The typical recipient today collects just $16,320 a year in benefits. Given that healthcare in retirement will cost the average healthy older American roughly $10,000 a year over a 20-year period, that doesn’t leave much leeway for paying the bills.
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No matter your reason for not doing a better job of saving, if your nest egg is looking bleak, it’s time to make changes and start prioritizing your future. Otherwise, you’re bound to come up short in retirement or, worse yet, find yourself unable to retire at all.
Making up for lost time
While you may not have many working years ahead of you by the time you’re in your 50s, if you’re behind on savings, it’s crucial that you make the most of them. That means cutting back on expenses, taking a second job, or doing whatever else is necessary to free up more money for your nest egg.
The good news is that if your employer offers a 401(k), the annual contribution limit is pretty generous for folks in their 50s. It’s currently $24,000. If you don’t have a 401(k), you can try maxing out your IRA at $6,500 a year, and putting additional funds into other vehicles such as annuities.
Either way, if you work on putting aside as much money as you can, and investing it wisely, you’ll do a good job of compensating for your previous lack of savings. In fact, here’s how much you might add to your next egg over a 10-year period, depending on how much you’re able to sock away each month:

Monthly Savings Amount

Total Accumulated Over 10 Years (Assumes a 6% Average Annual Return)

$500

$79,000

$750

$118,000

$1,000

$158,000

$1,500

$237,000

$2,000

$316,000

TABLE AND CALCULATIONS BY AUTHOR.
As you can see, maxing out your 401(k) for 10 years will leave you with a decent chunk of cash for retirement, and that assumes a somewhat conservative 6% average annual return on investment. Furthermore, the above table assumes a 10-year savings window, but if you’re willing to extend your career another three years, and you manage to sock away $2,000 a month during that period, you’ll have $453,000 to your name. And that, combined with your previous savings and Social Security income, could be enough to salvage your retirement and even eke out a reasonably comfortable lifestyle.
Even if you’ve managed to save between $124,831 and $163,577 like the average 50-something American, your work is far from over. The next decade of your life could set the stage for a financially secure retirement, or one that’s laden with money-related anxiety. Make the right call, and you’ll get to enjoy the former when the time comes.
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5 Halloween hazards and how insurance can help

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Santa Ana, California, ranked at the top. Time

10 smart gadgets that will keep your kids and home safe on Halloween(Photo: Reviewed.com)

When ghosts and goblins run amok, only people with the right insurance will be in luck. Find out which policies pay when Halloween pranks are more trick than treat — or when something more serious happens.
1. Your car gets egged
Last year, insurance claims related to car vandalism increased on Halloween and the days before and after, says Kevin Quinn, vice president of claims at Mercury Insurance. Raw eggs, pumpkins and rocks are all common projectiles.
How insurance can help: If your car can’t be cleaned or suffers serious damage, such as a broken window, it’s usually covered by comprehensive car insurance.
2. Goblins toilet-paper your yard
It’s not uncommon for little goblins to damage trees or landscaping while “TP’ing” a yard.
How insurance can help: Homeowners insurance generally will cover you. If you’re making a claim, call your insurer for an inspection before cleaning up. An adjuster needs to document the damage.

3. Yard decorations disappear
Whether it’s your vintage lawn gnome or a lifesize animatronic zombie, yard decor is vulnerable to Halloween thieves.
How insurance can help: Standard homeowners, condo and renters insurance often provides coverage if outdoor decorations disappear. Just be sure you’ve saved the receipts and made a police report.
4. The jack-o’-lantern starts a fire
As with vehicle vandalism, residential fires are more common around Halloween, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. The biggest causes are cooking and heating, but carelessness, open flames, electrical malfunctions and intentional acts can also be to blame.
How insurance can help: Fire damage is covered by homeowners insurance, including living expenses if you have to stay elsewhere during repairs. Rented property typically is covered by the landlord’s policy, but you’ll need renters insurance to get reimbursed for personal belongings.

5. Pedestrians act unpredictably
Besides New Year’s, Halloween sees a higher number of pedestrian deaths than any other night of the year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Sadly, many victims are children.
Costumed kids can be hard to see, often roaming without their parents and more likely to dart into the street, says Nicole Mahrt-Ganley, senior director of public affairs at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
She says adults who are distracted by their mobile devices or intoxicated can also be unpredictable pedestrians.
How insurance can help: Your auto liability insurance covers injuries you cause while driving.

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Americans are going to spend $9 billion on Halloween this year, according to a new survey. Elizabeth Keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more. Buzz60

Halloween insurance tips
►Prevent problems: Park cars in the garage or a well-lit area, use battery-operated candles or glow sticks in your pumpkin and be cautious when driving on trick-or-treat night.
►Don’t make small claims: If damaged or stolen items are worth less than your deductible, it’s not worth making an insurance claim.
MORE: Find the best homeowners insurance
MORE: Understanding collision and comprehensive insurance
MORE: Personal injury protection and no-fault insurance
Beth Buczynski is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: bbuczynski@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @bethbuczynski.
NerdWallet is a USA TODAY content partner providing general news, commentary and coverage from around the Web. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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Detroit isn’t the only city with outsized insurance rates

Now, insurers can charge vastly different rates depending solely on ZIP code or census tract — and they do. Some, including State Sen. Coleman A. Young II, now running against Mayor Mike Duggan to lead Detroit, called the territorial rates “the definition of redlining.”
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, a longtime adversary of Detroiters, said territorial rating that makes Detroit motorists charge more than his county’s drivers for the same vehicle is “classic redlining” and should be outlawed.
“The insurance companies have bitched about the costs, but they’re the ones running them up and trying to offset some of the cost in urban areas,” Patterson said in an interview. “They can’t have it both ways.”
Patterson, a longtime defender of Michigan’s unlimited medical benefits, said he favors getting rid of all non-driving factors in setting auto insurance rates.
“Oh, hell yes. That’s unfair,” Patterson said. “Then we do judge based on driving record and not how far you went in school and what’s your ZIP code. I don’t know how you can define redlining any better than what they’ve done in Detroit.”
After all other factors are used — a driver’s record, the value of their car, their age, gender, credit history, insurers then apply a geographic “factor.”
If the base cost for insurance equals $1,000 after all other discounts and premiums, the insurer applies that factor. If it’s 2 — most of Detroit is above 2 — the final cost is $2,000. If the factor were 0.37, as it is in eastern Grand Rapids, it’d be $370.
Insurers have successfully argued that traffic patterns and congestion, varying medical costs and the differing likelihood of lawsuits required different costs.
For a leader at one of the groups at the center of the current reform debate, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, the geographic rates for insurance are puzzling.
Chris Mitchell, senior vice president of the MHHA, which is monitoring reform efforts and resisting talk of setting fee rates for accident victims, said health care professionals don’t price their services based on where people live.
“In the hospital setting, when somebody comes in for an auto accident, we don’t ask them where they live and their pricing doesn’t change whether they’re from East Lansing or they’re from the city of Detroit, Livonia or wherever you live,” he said. “They’re the only people in this whole equation who ask where individuals live.”
Mike Wilkinson is staff writer for Bridge Magazine.

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Number of Nebraskans with health insurance declined in 2016, but expert says it could be a blip

The number of Nebraskans without health insurance rose slightly last year for the first time since the Affordable Care Act became law, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
After three years of decline, Nebraska’s uninsured rate grew in 2016, from an estimated 8.2 percent in 2015 to 8.6 percent last year, the Census Bureau said. That increase amounted to about 6,800 more uninsured people in the state, the bureau indicated. In the three years since the Affordable Care Act became law, only South Dakota in 2015 and Washington, D.C., in 2016 saw their rates increase in any year.
The numbers come from a survey of a sampling of the population, and a local census expert cautioned that the shift is too small to be statistically significant.

Still, the data suggest certain groups are having a harder time getting insurance in Nebraska: young adults, middle-class individuals and people with disabilities.
All three groups tend to fall into what some call “the Medicaid gap” — meaning they might earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to receive federal subsidies in the health insurance marketplace.
According to Amy Behnke, CEO of the Health Center Association of Nebraska, a nonprofit association of federally qualified community health centers, the problem may have been compounded by Nebraska’s decision not to expand Medicaid.
“(It) could be the ones who remain uninsured are difficult to insure,” Behnke said. “Maybe they fall into the gap because we haven’t expanded Medicaid and there isn’t a way to insure them in the current system we have.”
While 32 states have expanded Medicaid since the ACA went into effect, proposals to do so in Nebraska have been rejected by the Legislature, and many Republicans remain opposed.
“Medicaid expansion would preference able-bodied individuals over our most vulnerable citizens in our existing Medicaid program, and it would also expose our state budget and Nebraska taxpayers to great, long-term financial risks,” Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a statement.
The rising cost of health insurance continues to be an issue.
“I would tell you that this is a trend that we’ve seen coming ever since the Affordable Care Act was passed,” said State Sen. Mark Kolterman of Seward, a former insurance agency owner.
“I think the reality is that health insurance is unaffordable.”
According to Raina Gulbrandson, a social worker at Easterseals Nebraska, there are many gaps in information regarding health insurance programs, and many people never find the programs they qualify for.
“People who might be eligible or at least should be evaluated for the program are often not even referred to the right personnel,” Gulbrandson said.

Said Brad Meurrens, policy director at Disability Rights Nebraska: “For a lot of people I know with disabilities, it’s not easy for them in terms of insurance.”
David Drozd, research coordinator for the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Center for Public Affairs Research, urged caution in interpreting the survey numbers. He noted that the state’s uninsured rate had fallen by significant margins every year since the ACA became law, dropping from 11.3 percent in 2013 to 8.2 percent in 2015.
The 2016 uptick in uninsured could be more of a blip, Drozd said, than an indication of significant growth in the state’s uninsured population.
There are signs that the uninsured rate could continue to rise. Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and ends on Dec. 15, more than a month earlier than the previous deadline of Jan. 31.
Besides the shorter enrollment period, Nebraska’s lone health insurer, Medica, plans average premium increases of 31 percent.
And the Trump administration has moved to halt payments to insurers that offset the cost of covering lower-income people.
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14 Kentucky Organizations Earn KEMI Safety Award

Lexington, KY, October 22, 2017 –(PR.com)– Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) is honoring fourteen Kentucky organizations as KEMI Destiny Award winners for their commitment and success in maintaining a safe workplace.The Destiny Awards are presented annually by KEMI to policyholders that best exemplify KEMI’s motto, “Control your own destiny.” The awards symbolize what can be accomplished when organizations work together to improve workplace safety. Policyholders who earn the KEMI Destiny Award effectively demonstrate to KEMI their ability to manage a formal safety program, provide on-site training and regular safety meetings for employees, and display an ongoing commitment to safety from all levels throughout their organizations.The following policyholders were selected after meeting a stringent set of criteria set forth by KEMI:Ale 8 One Bottling CompanyBig Rivers Electric CorporationBrandenburg Telephone CompanyBrighton CenterCampbellsville UniversityCity of MadisonvilleEdmonson County Board of EducationExecutive TransportationFrankfort Plant BoardGlenwood ElectricHibbs ElectromechanicalKentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance CompanyNorthern Kentucky Water DistrictUtility Management Group“The 2017 Destiny Award winners embrace a commitment to safety that demonstrates how much they care for the health and well-being of their employees,” said Jon Stewart, President & CEO of KEMI. “Safe workplaces don’t happen by accident. The organizations who earned this honor understand the value of investing in safety and partnering with KEMI to control their workers’ compensation costs, but at the end of the day what matters most is sending each employee home safely to their loved ones.”

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What Will Happen to WWE’s Streaming Network Business?

World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) has hit a wall with its streaming network. The project is a success in some ways, but not as successful as the company once hoped it would be.
In fact, back in December 2014, when the network had been live for about nine months, WWE CFO George Barrios predicted 3-4 million subscribers. That number was tossed around a lot in the early days of the network, though it was never set as an official goal by the company. The reality, however, is that WWE Network faces a tough road to get to even 2 million subscribers, and it may take a catastrophic event to the overall health of the company for that to happen.

WWE Wrestler Seth Rollins holds up a title belt.
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WWE has seen slow, but steady growth from its streaming network. Image source: WWE.
Where does the network stand now?
WWE Network has been steadily growing, but its growth has been slow, and subscriptions are a bit volatile because the company does not require a commitment from subscribers. In Q2 the network averaged more than 1.63 million average, an 8% increase from the second quarter 2016. 
That number is good, but it will likely represent the peak for the year — Wrestlemania, the WWE Super Bowl, took place during the quarter. The company projects that average paid subscribers will fall to 1.54 million in Q3.
On the positive side, the company has grown its television rights and network revenues beyond where they stood in Q3 2014 — the second where the network was in operation during the full quarter. In that period the company’s Media Division, which included television rights, network revenue, and pay-per-view (PPV) revenue came in at $76.9 million.
In Q2 2017 WWE operates under a different reporting structure. It separates TV rights from network revenues, but the combined number shows there has been growth. For the quarter the company reported $66.2 million in television revenue and $54.9 million in network revenue. At $121.1 million combined, that’s a very solid jump, albeit costs are much higher due to the expenses of running the network.
What’s next for the WWE network?
With the streaming service being available in most of the world, it’s possible to see how a major spike in growth numbers could continue to inch up year-by-year as more people become comfortable with streaming services, but the 3-4 million number only seems possible if disaster strikes and WWE can’t make a deal for a major cable network to carry its flagship Raw and Smackdown shows.
WWE currently makes about $160 million per year in the U.S. from its deal with Comcast’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) USA Network. When that deal ends in 2019, it’s hard to predict what kind of deal will be out there for WWE. Without wrestling, USA takes a big plunge in its overall ratings, but a potentially tighter markets for sports rights overall could impact WWE.
It’s also worth noting that wrestling has not traditionally drawn ad rates that equal its ratings, nor has it generally served as a good platform for launching other hit shows. Of course, it only takes two bidders who want the shows for WWE to see a higher offer, but it’s also possible that no good deal would exist. If that happens, WWE could take Raw and Smackdown to its network.
What would a streaming-only WWE look like?
Raw, the most-watched WWE show, got about 2.7 million viewers for the October 16 edition, down due to competition from the NFL and playoff baseball. It’s fair to say the show averages about 3 million viewers a week, and many of those watching are hardcore fans who would pay to watch the program on WWE Network if they had to.
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Of course, you have to assume many Raw watchers already get the network. But since Raw has roughly double the audience WWE expects will pay for the network in Q3 2017, you can assume losing its TV deal will cause a spike in subscriptions.
The problem is that $160 million a year is a hard number to make up. While the numbers vary, let’s assume WWE takes in 80% of the revenue each subscription generates (the actual number depends on how you sign up). That means that for every 100,000 people paying $9.99 a month WWE takes in $799,200 a month, or $9.6 million a year.
Even if 1 million more customers signed up for WWE network in that doomsday scenario, that would still only equal $95.9 million a year. That means to make up for a lost TV deal, the company would need to add just-under 1.7 million new subscribers. That’s not impossible, but it is implausible if the company no longer has cable television as a marketing platform.
What is WWE’s long-term plan?
The network is a hedge against the company not being able to get the cable deal it hopes for, but it’s not quite ready for that to happen. Expect the company to make a deal, either to stay with Comcast or go to a similar platform, even if it takes a rights fees cut.
WWE still needs cable in order to reach the kind of wider audience that will push network growth. If that spigot gets turned off in 2019 then the network will post big gains, but its ceiling will be lower. The network is the future of WWE, but it’s not ready to be its present, and what it will be going forward depends on the company keeping its exposure on cable for at least a few more years.

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Daniel B. Kline owns shares of World Wrestling Entertainment. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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