Have you considered adding voluntary benefits to your benefit plan? Voluntary benefits are additional insurance coverage offerings including vision, dental, and disability insurance. Some of the most common reasons for disability leave are cancer, childbirth, heart attacks, strokes, and nervous/bone/muscle system disorders. Voluntary insurance is a great option for many employers to offer their employees to prepare for these unexpected events at no additional cost. Continue Reading Here.
How often do you exercise? What types of physical activity do you engage in? Do you swim, bike, run, or walk? According to the Kaiser Health News Daily Report, these are the questions hospitals are now asking patients to answer before being recorded on their medical charts. Kaiser began developing the push for doctors in Southern California to ask patients these questions a few years ago and now about 9 million patients are asked at every visit. Continue Reading Here.
It’s 12pm and you are sitting at your desk when your stomach starts to grumble. The lunchtime hunger kicks in and you have a few options: you can drive through McDonald’s, you can enjoy a rather expensive $10-$15 sit down meal with a coworker, or you can heat up your lean cuisine in the freezer. However, the truth is that none of these options sound very appetizing and are not very healthy for you. The McDonald’s meal may be inexpensive but it is loaded with carbs and sodium while the expensive sit down meal may be higher in calories since the portion sizes tend to be bigger. Lastly, that lean cuisine you intended to eat at work will ultimately fail to satisfy your stomach cravings for the rest of the day so you’ll find yourself binging on that snickers bar taunting you from the vending machine. Continue Reading Here.
As the new year begins and the workload increases, going to the gym at the end of the day is most likely the last thing on anyone’s mind. People spend all day in the office sitting and slouching in a desk chair, rarely getting up and stretching his or her body. Furthermore, a survey in 2009 performed by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health revealed that nearly 50% of adults in the United States do not engage in the suggested 30 minutes of activity five days a week. Continue Reading Here.
As 2013 begins, many individuals are concerned about the individual mandate in the new health reform law taking effect January 1, 2014. This mandate does not force anyone to purchase insurance, however, it does implement a tax on individuals and families choosing to remain uninsured. There will be a penalty of no more than $285 per family or 1% of income and an increase to $975 or 2% of income a year later. By 2016, the penalty will increase to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income. These increases will encourage the consumer to purchase health care rather than pay a penalty fee each year they choose to abstain from receiving coverage. Continue Reading Here.
Each year, 50% of Americans set a new year’s resolution for themselves. 88% of the people creating new year’s resolutions fail each year at accomplishing their goal according to a study by researcher Richard Wiseman. A recent article written by blogger Leo Widrich breaks down the research on failed new year’s resolutions and gives a scientific explanation for the low success rate. He explains that resolutions and goals involve willpower which is operated in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for handling short term memory which is why it simply cannot handle long-term goals. Instead of making abstract, long term resolutions, people will be 50% more likely to achieve their goals by initiating lifestyle habits. Continue Reading Here.
As health care reform begins going into effect, many states are initiating their discussion of future plans for health exchanges. According to the new reform provisions, small group and individual health plans both participating and not participating in the exchange must offer essential health benefits beginning January 2014. The Health and Human Services department recommends that states choose a specific coverage plan as a benchmark for providing essential health benefits. States have the option to choose from one of the four plans provided by HHS to use as their benchmark, however, if states choose not to use a benchmark, the default will be the small group plan with the largest enrollment in the state.
Due to the recent California budget cuts, the Healthy Families may be seeing an untimely end. Cuts to the program will force more than 850,000 kids into HMOs that participate in Medi-Cal according to the LA Times. Currently, Healthy Families provides coverage to families who are not eligible for Medi-Cal and cannot afford the expenses of private coverage. Medi-Cal is offered to families living below the federal poverty line earning $19,000 for a family of three. Healthy Families program is more expensive to fund for the state because it offers doctors, hospitals, and dentists much higher rates than Medi-Cal. Continue Reading Here.
Covered California, California’s health plan exchange, will take full effect beginning January 2014. The Health Benefit Exchange Board has about 1 year to complete their exchange plans before open enrollment begins October 2013. Covered California will primarily serve individuals and small businesses in hopes to expand and provide affordable coverage. The Board has estimated that 4.4 million Californians will be using the exchange by January 2016. The goal is to create an exchange similar to Amazon where people can search, compare, and purchase plans through a navigable website. Continue Reading Here.
The autumn leaves fall to the ground along with many diet routines of the American population. Fall and winter brings leftover halloween candy, roasted turkey smothered in gravy at Thanksgiving, and Grandma’s Christmas cookies stuffed with chocolate chunks. Needless to say, it’s hard to stay healthy around the holidays. However, with more of the American population being affected by diabetes and obesity, it is important to control our cravings this time of year. Continue Reading Here.
When choosing the right insurance plan, it is important to identify the “must haves”. An individual needs to understand what is important to them in their medical coverage and be able to anticipate any future events that could change their need for coverage like future family planning. Under the Affordable Health Care Act, an individual supplier must cover more than two dozen preventative services for men, women, and children. Research what those preventative services are and see what is covered under your potential future policy. Continue Reading Here.
Beginning on January 1, 2014, large group businesses with 50 full time employees or full time equivalent part time employees will be penalized if they fail to provide proper health care coverage. The employee headcount will be made in 2013 and will determine whether the employer is subject to any penalties. The employer will not be penalized if the company has 50 full time employees or equivalent for less than 120 days during the calendar year or seasonal employees that work less than 120 days in the calendar year. Continue Reading Here.
Ever wonder why everywhere you go this month you see men with some of the most bizarre mustaches? These men are known as Mo Bros who grow out their stache this month of November in an effort to raise money for prostate cancer and testicular cancer. They sacrifice their self-image this month to increase awareness and raise funds for men’s health, which tends to be a neglected subject. Continue Reading Here.
On Monday October 8, 2012, the Nobel Prize for medicine was presented to John Gurdon of the University of Cambridge in England and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan. They have been awarded for their deep insights and revolutionary discoveries in stem cell research. Their half-century studies on this topic have proven their dedication and commitment to this field of medicine. Continue Reading Here.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of this month, I dedicate this post to the survivors and those dealing with the challenges of breast cancer in order to do my part in increasing awareness. During this month many medical associations and government organizations work together to promote breast cancer awareness as well. They share different treatment options, prevention tips, and ways to schedule early detection screenings. Continue Reading Here.