Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:
How to negotiate salary
"Whether you're considering a new job offer or discussing a raise with your current employer, you should always be negotiating," said Brian Liou at Business Insider. "Even if they act otherwise, companies expect negotiation as part of the process." It's a business relationship — you're offering your skills and experience and should be compensated accordingly. Many applicants think employers will assume "you're not passionate about the work if you negotiate compensation." That's a myth. Go ahead and "ask for more than you're offered." If you're applying for a new job, aim for at least 15 percent higher than your current salary. Having a counteroffer handy is helpful but shouldn't be shared initially — "even if the company asks." Let them set their terms based on your value to their company, then "use counter-offers as a last resort."
New co-pays for COVID treatment
COVID treatment is no longer fully covered by most health insurance companies, said Christopher Rowland at The Washington Post. "Last year, 88 percent of people covered by private insurance had their co-pays and deductibles for COVID treatment waived." But it is a different story in 2021. Those without insurance still get their treatment expenses covered by the federal government, and Vermont and New Mexico still require private insurance to foot the bill on COVID costs. But millions of other people with private or employer-sponsored plans are facing "business-as-usual medical billing." The bill for one woman after her monthlong stay at an intensive care unit totaled $5,500. Even patients with Medicare "could face out-of-pocket costs if they do not have supplemental insurance."
PayPal tries to be a 'super-app'
Copying the dominant all-in-one apps in China and elsewhere, PayPal has taken the first step from "being largely a payments utility that's tacked on other offerings here and there, to being a more fully fleshed-out finance app," said Sarah Perez at Tech Crunch. Its new "super app" offers an enhanced bill-paying feature that tracks bills from 17,000 different companies, "including utilities, TV and internet, insurance, credit cards, phone, and more." It also adds savings accounts and direct-paycheck deposits through banking partners, as well as a stream of deals and discounts. One near-term goal: "To enter the investment space" and compete with mobile-investing apps, such as Robinhood.
This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.