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Posts Tagged ‘Health Insurance’

Helpful Plans to Choose a Health Insurance

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

1. Check for grandfather exemptions. If your employer makes no substantial changes to your insurance plan, it may be “grandfathered in” and not subject to certain required provisions in the health reform law. These include free coverage (with no copay) for preventive services like blood pressure or depression screening, smoking cessation programs, and immunizations. Plan materials will indicate whether or not the plan is grandfathered, along with the benefits it provides.
2. Decide which plan type best meets your needs. There are generally three types of plans: health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO) and point-of-service plans (POS). An HMO requires that you use physicians within a specific network, giving you less flexibility but a more affordable cost. A PPO allows you to stay in-network or go out of network for a heftier fee; out-of-pocket costs are usually higher for PPO’s than for HMO’s. POS plans combine elements of HMO’s and PPO’s. They give you the option to pay more for venturing out of network, but usually require you to choose a primary care physician within the network and get a referral from that physician before seeing any specialist.

3. Identify changes before re-enrolling. That could save you from dealing with unexpected costs if your benefits have changed. Coverage for a particular service such as chiropractic care may have disappeared, or the cost of covering your spouse may have increased. So it could pay to change plans. More likely, your monthly premiums have gone up, due to rising healthcare costs.

4. Make adjustments to your current plan or consider switching. Take into account whether your needs have changed. If you’re planning a family, you might need maternity coverage, for example, or perhaps you’d like to add an adult child back onto your insurance. All plans are now required to cover children up to age 26, though grandfathered plans may exclude these young adults if they have access to health benefits through an employer. Adult children, like those under 18, can no longer be rejected for having pre-existing conditions like asthma or cancer.

5. Factor in your favorite doctors. Before electing a different plan, check to see that your primary care physician and specialists are in its provider network. Women in non-grandfathered plans now have the freedom to see an obstetrician-gynecologist without a referral, but they still need to make sure any doctor they choose participates in their plan’s network if they have an HMO or don’t want to face extra fees if their plan is a POS.

6. Size up the cost. Compare the total cost of various plans using an online calculator, a tool offered by many employers. If you are young and healthy, you may want to trade pricey monthly premiums for a higher deductible (paying more out-of-pocket before coverage starts). Be sure to factor in copays (the physicians’ fees) and coinsurance (your share of the cost for prescriptions or hospitalization).

7. Don’t get lured by those new freebies. While new plans now require you to pay nothing for certain routine preventive care, you might not need to switch off your old plan to reap this benefit. Many plans were already offering preventive services at minimal or even no cost prior to the passage of health reform, says Randall Abbott, a senior healthcare consultant with Towers Watson, a global consulting firm based in New York.

The Benefits of Yoga

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Since the beginning of the new millennium, yoga has really taken off in terms of popularity in the United States. Many people are turning to this alternative exercise routine because of its’ benefits when it comes to overall lifestyle health. Although yoga is becoming more and more popular, people are still using life fitness elliptical machines and other types of life fitness equipment. Listed below are some of the health benefits of yoga, which is explains what this practice is a compliment to normal work out routines done at a gym or on gym type machines:

1. A yoga practice involves making sure the body is calm at almost all times of the day. People who like to do any kind of martial arts have begun to do a yoga practice to keep their bodies calm during combat with classmates or while performing their forms. Yoga is especially helpful to those in the martial arts who are getting ready to do their form in front of masters to receive their next rank or next belt, depending on the type of martial art.

2. Yoga helps strengthen muscles in all different parts of the body. This will help any athlete who wants to do better in any sport because most athletes are always looking to improve or at least maintain the strength they have in their muscles. This part of yoga is also great for anyone who wants to turn fat into muscle because yoga can also help with that also.

3. Another part of yoga is the endurance component. Yoga really helps build endurance to become better at not only yoga, but other forms of exercise as well. For example, more runners are practicing yoga in their spare time to help with improve their times. Runners especially turn to yoga as part of a marathon-training program to increase their endurance.

Because of the three main health benefits it offers, yoga is a great compliment to any kind of exercise routine or training method for those involved with martial arts, athletes, or those who just want to make their lives a little healthier. Gyms and work out equipment will not cease to exist because yoga is becoming more popular, but rather they may in fact do better now that yoga is around because not only does yoga help those who are already go to a gym, it may get more people to come to the gym. People who begin to exercise through yoga may decide to come to a gym to improve their yoga technique. Yoga is a great low-impact exercise routine that has benefits for just about everyone, especially those who have a lot of stress in their lives.