crisp dollar bill in front of white brick wall

Understanding Your Out of Pocket Expenses 101

There’s no doubt that the world of health insurance is challenging. Whether you’re researching new coverage or trying to understand your current coverage, you may feel overwhelmed with the laundry list of options, features, and expenses. It’s likely that you depend on your agent’s guidance and expertise to help you select the coverage that fits your health realities and your lifestyle.

It’s a good idea to have an agent you can trust, but it’s also a good idea to have an understanding of out of pocket expenses before choosing an agent. This will help you understand how a policy will impact your wallet and help you identify which questions to ask your agent before making a final decision.

Let’s take a look at some of these expenses and consider how those they relate to two popular coverage options: short-term medical and health benefit insurance plans.

Deductible

This refers to the amount you pay for yourself before your insurance carrier pays benefits.

If you’re concerned about the cost of deductibles when facing common illnesses such as a cold, an ear infection, pink eye, or strep throat, you may be interested in coverage that includes a telemedicine as a feature.

Telemedicine meets you where you are by allowing you to connect with doctors via phone, video, smartphone, or computer and reducing travel time, anxiety, and time away from family and responsibilities. This feature is available with many short-term medical and health benefit insurance plans as well as traditional healthcare coverage plans.

Copay

This refers to the amount you pay to your providers at the time of service. The amount may vary depending on the type of service you receive and typically does not count toward your deductible.

Affordability is undoubtedly one of your primary concerns when choosing healthcare coverage. Many short-term medical plans offer low out of pocket copays for doctor’s office visits and wellness care. However, the benefits may be more restricted as well since these plans do not need to meet the 10 essential health benefits. They also do not cover preexisting conditions.

If you need another type of coverage and/or if you are considering supplementing your major medical coverage, you may benefit from health benefit insurance, as this type of policy may be cost effective and provides cash benefits to pay for a variety of expenses, including copays. Keep in mind that there may be limitations and/or restrictions, so be sure to fully review the circumstances under which payment can be received.

Coinsurance

This refers to the amount you pay to your provider for services rendered after you pay your deductible and after your carrier covers its portion. This amount is a form of cost sharing and is in addition to the copay that is paid at the time of the visit.

Short-term medical plans offer a variety of coinsurance options, including a 100%/0% option. This can allow you to circumvent a coinsurance payment and would task your carrier with paying 100% of the fees. Keep in mind that short term insurance plans do not cover preexisting conditions and are not required to cover 10 essential health benefits, including maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse disorder services. Check any plan details carefully to understand what is covered.

Health benefit insurance plans do not offer coinsurance options, as they provide fixed cash benefits for specific covered expenses.

 

Note: It is important to keep in mind, that while short-term and health benefit insurance coverage can provide valuable benefits benefits, neither one is intended to be a replacement nor an alternative to ACA or other major medical plans. These types of coverage do not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and will not help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance.

 

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doctor holding prosthetic kidney

March Spotlights Spring Health Cleaning with National Kidney Month

Spring cleaning season is upon us, a fitting time to learn more about kidney health. March is National Kidney Month, and the National Kidney Foundation is using the month to encourage us all to visit our healthcare professionals for a checkup. Take the time during this particular health observance to learn more about your kidney health as well as ways you can protect it.

Let’s take a look at why the kidneys are so imperative to our health1:
  • They filter waste out of 200 liters of blood each day
  • They regulate of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • They remove drugs from the body
  • They balance the body’s fluids
  • They release hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • They produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
  • They control the production of red blood cells
Talk to your healthcare professional about these alarming statistics1:
  • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country
  • More than 30 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it
  • There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants
  • More than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the US today
So what can you do to protect the health of your kidneys? Consider these recommendations:
  • Eat a whole food, plant-based diet2. You can learn about meals focusing on veggies, fruits, whole grains, lentils, etc and more plant-based options herehere, and here.
  • Eat meals that include plant protein, as research shows they reduce mortality in chronic kidney disease3.
  • Know what healthy kidneys do and how to recognize symptoms of chronic kidney disease4. You can click here to take an online assessment to rate your risk.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, stay active, and monitor your blood sugar level5.
  • Stop smoking6. You can click here for tips to help you stop.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

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Sources:

1: “Focus on the Kidneys During National Kidney Month in March.” National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/news/monthly/Focus_KidneyMonth

2: “Can a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet Help to Preserve Kidney Health?” T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.  https://nutritionstudies.org/can-whole-food-plant-based-diet-help-preserve-kidney-health/

3: “Plant Protein Reduces Mortality in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients.” National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/news/plant-protein-reduces-mortality-chronic-kidney-disease-patients

4: “Six-Step Guide to Protecting Kidney Health.” National Kidney Foundation. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/sixstepshealthprimer

5: “8 Golden Rules: What Can You Do for Your Kidneys?” World Kidney Day. http://www.worldkidneyday.org/faqs/take-care-of-your-kidneys/8-golden-rules/

6: “What Effects Does Smoking Have on the Kidneys?” LiveStrong.comhttps://www.livestrong.com/article/266870-what-effects-does-smoking-have-on-the-kidneys/

 

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runner jogging down paved road

Spring Training Tips: It’s Time to Reclaim Your Fitness

Spring is in the air – or certainly will be soon for those who live in colder locales. With the flip of the seasonal switch often comes the interest to get outside, get moving, and get in shape. If you’re ready to come out of your fitness hibernation or if you’re looking for ways to spring clean your fitness routine, check out the following ideas for inspiration to get in the spring swing of things!

  1. Nourish your body with plant-based whole foods.

Add more plant-based, unprocessed food to your diet to give your body the wholesome fuel it needs to help you meet your fitness and wellness goals. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tempeh, lentils, and beans are all examples of simple, clean foods that give you the protein, vitamins, and minerals needed to treat your body well. Learn more about spring cleaning your diet here and here.

  1. Make fitness fun.

Ask a buddy to talk walks with you around your office building each day. Check out that new park in town and mix up your workout with some sightseeing. Join a step challenge on FitBit (you can download the app for free and use it to track steps or join challenges and communities without buying the fitness tracker). Get creative in the kitchen by trying new veggies or new combinations of food. If you make your fitness journey enjoyable, you’re more likely to stick with it.

  1. Get active every day.

It’s easy to say “I don’t have time to work out today,” but it can also be easy to find a physical activity you love and focus on it for just a few moments each day. Like to take a break and get outside during the workday? Take a quick stroll around the building. Want to try some exercises with weights without joining a gym? Try an at-home workout with water jugs. The idea is to get your body moving on a consistent basis and learn to get into the routine of making fitness a priority.

  1. Set achievable goals.

Whether you’re getting back into fitness after this winter or you’re new to fitness, it’s important to pace yourself. If you like to walk/jog/run, start off this spring with a 20 minute walk every other day. Increase it each week by 5-10 minutes and/or gradually increase your speed. If you like to include weights in your training, start off with low weights/high reps and gradually increase the weight each week. If you want to join a gym but aren’t sure you’re ready to commit to it, establish a workout routine at home and add new exercises each week.

  1. Learn to say no.

Your coworker may come in with donuts for the team while you’re working hard to establish new, healthier habits. Your significant other may suggest going out to that one restaurant with that one menu item you love the most when you’ve already prepped your meals. Your best friend may text you to see if you’d like for her to pick you up your favorite latte topped with chocolate and whipped cream. While it’s certainly acceptable to treat yourself now and then, your fitness goals may involve you saying no to frequent indulgences. Discipline and willpower will go a long way in helping you realize your goals both with food and with fitness level.

  1. Stretch.

This activity of lengthening your muscles gives your body time to warm up and decreases your risk of soreness as well as injury. It also promotes flexibility, which is important to your overall fitness performance. Start by holding stretches for 15 seconds and gradually increase to at least 30 seconds per move. Breathe freely with each stretch, and be sure to incorporate stretching in the beginning and in the end of your workouts.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

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doctor holding a phone and charting

Telemedicine Rouses Patient Satisfaction, Positions Consumer Value at the Forefront

As healthcare’s unsustainable costs continue to pose challenges1, it’s easy to understand the importance of finding ways to not only cut your costs but also enhance value. Digital health services such as telemedicine are packaging value, convenience, and competitive pricing so well that they are becoming “part of [consumers] normal process in terms of getting healthcare”2.

Let’s look at what telemedicine offers.

Today’s technological advancements in health and medicine have transformed the way health professionals are able to help consumers like yourself all over the globe. With the help of phone, video, and wireless capabilities, you have the advantage of 24/7/365 access to highly qualified doctors to discuss health concerns you have for yourself or for your loved ones.

This digital health service can be a powerful tool3:

  • Approximately more than 70% of urgent illness conditions can be taken care of with the help of telemedicine such as pharyngitis, sinusitis and upper respiratory illnesses.
  • It eliminates any chances of transmitting infectious diseases from a patient to the health care professional.
  • It allows health professionals to cater to the needs of the patients from any place at any given time.
Let’s look at the benefits of telemedicine.

Lower costs: A recent study found that use of telemedicine can reduce your out-of-pocket costs as well as costs for the hospital system4.

Increased patient satisfaction: Hospitals are keenly aware how patient satisfaction is tied to federal reimbursement benchmarks that assess the quality of the care they provide. In a recent study, 98% of respondents who received care via telemedicine noted they would be interested in similar visits in the future and 99% would recommend telemedicine to others4.

Increased access: Telemedicine isn’t the new innovation on the block; it’s been providing access to healthcare to remotely-located patients for over 40 years5. The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center reports that it increases access6 to remotely located patients who need clinical services as well as remotely located hospitals, allowing them to provide emergency and intensive care services.

Let’s look at the future of telemedicine.

A quick search of recent headlines on telemedicine proves that the service is only just beginning to see its full potential. From diagnosing widespread flu2 to coordinating the ability to perform telestenting via robotic technologyto expanding access of health services to patients in rural areas8, the power of telemedicine is set to continue to revolutionize how and where healthcare meets you when you are in need of care.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

Sources:

1: “Editorial: Rising Healthcare Costs a Cancer, Not a Tapeworm.” Merrill Goozner. ModernHealthcare.comhttp://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180131/NEWS/180139978

2: “In-Depth: Surging Flu in a Proving Ground for Digital Health, Telemedicine.” Dave Muoio. MobiHealthNews.comhttp://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/depth-surging-flu-proving-ground-digital-health-telemedicine

3: “The Importance and Value of Telemedicine.” Karandeep Virdi. ElectronicHealthReporter.comhttp://electronichealthreporter.com/importance-value-telemedicine/

4: “Telemedicine Can Lower Costs for Health Systems by $24 a Patient, Study Finds.” Jeff Lagasse. HealthcareFinance.comhttp://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/telemedicine-can-lower-costs-health-systems-24-patient-study-finds

5: “Telemedicine poised for exponential growth.” Robert Ryan. BizJournals.com http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2016/09/27/telemedicine-poised-for-exponential-growth.html

6: California Telehealth Resource Center. “Why are Telemedicine and Telehealth so Important in Our Healthcare System?” http://www.caltrc.org/telehealth/why-are-telemedicine-and-telehealth-so-important-in-our-healthcare-system/

7: “Mayo Clinic to Explore the Use of Telemedicine for Stent Surgeries.” Etic Wicklund. mHealthIntelligence.com https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/mayo-clinic-to-explore-the-use-of-telemedicine-for-stent-surgeries

8: “Health IT Infrastructure Supports Successful Telemedicine Programs.” Elizabeth O’Dowd. HITInfrastructure.comhttps://hitinfrastructure.com/news/health-it-infrastructure-supports-successful-telemedicine-programs

 

doctor holding a patient's hand with a teal overlay

Advocate for Cervical Health Awareness This Month

2018 is upon us; with it comes opportunities to improve our health and to learn about health concerns our loved ones may face. One approach to do so is to recognize annual health awareness observances such as January as Cervical Health Awareness Month.

Promoting awareness resources about specific and often preventable health concerns throughout the year is an active step we can all take to advocate for more discussions, more questions, more media coverage, and most importantly more knowledge about diseases that impact millions.

Resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), and the American Cancer Society (ACS) show us how pervasive HPV and cervical cancer are:

  • At any time, there are approximately 79 million people in the United States with HPV1.
  • There are 14 million new HPV infections in the United States each year1.
  • HPV is so common that most people get it at some time in their lives and usually causes no symptoms2.
  • If HPV does not go away on its own, there is a chance that over time it may cause cervical cancer2.
  • While the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50% thanks to the increased use of the Pap test, nearly 13,000 new cases of invasive cervical cancer are estimated to have been diagnosed in 20173.

What can you do? 

  • Talk to your doctor about your health as well as the health of loved ones.  Vaccines can help prevent infection from both high risk and low risk HPV and are recommended for all boys and girls at the age of 11 until the age of 261.
  • Know the risk factors. The CDC notes that smoking, using birth control pills, giving birth to 3 or more children, and having several sexual partners are all risks for cervical cancer2.
  • Get tested. Schedule a cervical cancer screening and/or a Pap test. A Pap test can find cell changes to the cervix caused by HPV. HPV tests find the virus and help healthcare providers know which women are at highest risk for cervical cancer1.
  • Understand the options. There is no treatment for HPV, but there are options to treat diseases caused by the virus.
  • Advocate for the importance of early detection. Talk to your loved ones about this disease and make sure they know it’s preventable. Ask your local media to cover Cervical Health Awareness Month. Ask your local legislators to publicly recognize this important health observance.
  • Consider finding support. Reach out to online communities at Inspire.com, a website that specializes in connecting patients, partners, and caregivers to resources they may need.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

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Sources:

1: “Ten Things to Know About HPV and Cervical Cancer.” National Cervical Cancer Coalition. http://www.nccc-online.org/images/pdfs/10ThingsHPV_CCAM.pdf

2: “What Are the Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer?” Centers for Disease Control. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/risk_factors.htm

3: “What Are the Key Statistics About Cervical Cancer?” American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cervical-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

 

 

 

 

Holiday safety with construction hat

Protect the Children in Your Family this Holiday Season with Safe Toys and Gifts

As you prepare to hit the stores this holiday season, Prevent Blindness America, encourages you to consider your choice of gifts. This non-profit group is dedicated to advocating for healthy vision and has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month to help adults make smart purchase decisions.

Consider these stats:

  • Hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 265,000 toy-related injuries in 2012 throughout the United States1.
  • 72% were people less than 15 years of age1.
  • Close to 90,000 were people less than 5 years of age1.
  • Each year, thousands of children aged 14 and younger suffer from eye injuries and even blindness from toys2.

Understandably, you are likely excited to indulge your children as well as children in your family.

However, Prevent Blindness America urges you to keep important safety guidelines in mind as well as the age range for toys you purchase:

  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
  • Consider if the toy is appropriate for your child’s ability and age.
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
  • Check the lenses and frames of your children’s sunglasses; many can break and cause injuries.
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
  • Look for the letters “ASTM.” This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by ASTM International.
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
  • Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction.
  • Fix or throw away broken toys.
  • Keep your young children away from toys meant for older children.
  • Make sure your children store toys properly after play to avoid risks or falls.
  • Supervise your children’s craft projects (scissors and glue can be extremely dangerous to a child’s eyesight).
  • Have your children wear the right eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets, eyeguards).

Make recommendations to your family and loved ones this holiday season when it comes to toys and gifts you feel are safe and appropriate for your children. It may feel as if your concern is gratuitous, but taking extra precautions may help prevent an injury and will help you enjoy the holidays in your home, not in your local urgent care center or emergency room.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

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Sources:

1: “Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.” Prevent Blindness America. https://www.preventblindness.org/safe-toys-and-gifts-awareness-month

2: “Safe Toy Checklist.” Prevent Blindness America. https://www.preventblindness.org/safe-toy-checklist

This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide any purchasing recommendations. Before making any purchasing decisions, review any policy exclusions, limitations, benefits, and costs. We encourage you to speak with a licensed insurance professional regarding your specific needs.

Butt Out for the Great American Smokeout

Each year on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society invites smokers to participate in the Great American Smokeout, an event focused on preventing disease and death caused by cigarettes and tobacco.

Smokers are encouraged to:
  • Give up the use of cigarettes/tobacco for the day;
  • Use the day to make a plan to quit; or
  • Quit smoking that very day

According to the American Cancer Society1, “by quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.” While quitting smoking can be difficult, it has both immediate and long-term benefits to your health as well as the health of loved ones who smoke2:

  • After 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop
  • After 12 hours, your carbon monoxide levels return to normal
  • After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease
  • After 1 year, your excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes
  • After 5 years, your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half
  • After 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of those who don’t smoke
  • After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is that of those who don’t smoke

With the consistent rises in costs for medical care and insurance, it’s likely that you are worried about potential financial battles you’ll face or your loved ones will face whether you smoke or not. Quitting smoking is a lifestyle change you or your loved ones can make to prevent and/or lower risk of the conditions noted above as well as to lower the risk of diabetes and to extend life expectancy2.

When considering quitting or talking to loved ones you’d like to see quit, visit these resources from the American Cancer Society. Quitting isn’t easy, but when smokers know how to do it and know where to go for help, it’s more likely the lifestyle change sticks. Smoking is lifestyle choice that is among the largest preventable causes of disease and premature death1, and you and/or your loved ones who smoke deserve the support to be to make a different choice.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

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Sources

1: “The Great American Smokeout.” American Cancer Society.

https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html

2: “Great American Smokeout: Free help for those who want to quit smoking.” Dr. Janna Kroiss. http://www.htrnews.com/story/life/2017/11/06/great-american-smokeout-free-help-available-those-who-want-quit-smoking-cigarettes-ask-doctor/836503001/

Family sitting by fire during Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is Coming to Town: Holidays and Your Loved Ones’ Health

The holiday season and Open Enrollment have arrived, and so have opportunities to spend time with your loved ones. Food, laughs, and gifts are likely on your agenda, but something else – something more important – may be as well: protecting the health of your loved ones.

Maybe you’re catching up with Aunt Linda who is facing an illness after losing her job. Maybe you’re hanging out with your roommate Ruben who has a pre-existing condition and can’t afford major medical coverage. No matter who you’re talking to, the topic of healthcare is likely to arise . What do you know about your available coverage options? Let’s take a look at some of the features you and your loved ones can take advantage of:

Limited Medical Coverage

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are anticipating rising medical expenses, are unable to afford major medical, are not eligible for short-term medical, and/or are looking for supplemental coverage to major medical plans
  • Guaranteed issue coverage if eligibility is met and available in state
  • Premiums often lower than major medical
  • Benefits such as $50-$100 paid toward doctor and specialist visits available
  • Not required to use a network of doctors – freedom to see any doctor or visit any facility of your choice (*Note: you may still exceed eligible benefit)
  • Preventive care available for as low as $50
  • Next day coverage available or little to no waiting periods for accidental injuries or sickness
  • 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions (limitations and exclusions may apply)
  • Does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as sole medical coverage

Short-Term Medical Coverage

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are facing life-altering transition periods such as pre-Medicare retirement, change in employment status, rolling off parental or student insurance, bridging a gap in major medical coverage or if you missed Open Enrollment (This coverage is designed solely to provide healthcare coverage during unexpected coverage gaps)
  • Flexibility in coverage length and cost (coverage duration varies by state and is non-renewable)
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options for in-network benefits
  • Limited preventive care available
  • Ability to cancel at any time without penalty (benefits may be limited and subject to exclusions and restrictions)
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions
  • Coverage is not guaranteed
  • Not intended to be a replacement or alternative to ACA or other major medical plans and does not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required; may result in a tax penalty.

ACA Coverage

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are seeking major medical but may not be able to afford it, have a pre-existing condition, and/or need a broad array of health benefits
  • Option to change plan every year and to stay on policy as long as needed
  • Renews annually
  • Provides coverage for pre-existing conditions; you can’t be rejected based on health
  • Provides preventive care
  • Provides the option for subsidies to lower costs
  • Provides minimum essential health benefits
  • Must enroll during the Open Enrollment period, the Special Enrollment period, or when a qualifying life event occurs

Critical Illness Coverage 

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are seeking an added layer of financial protection in the face of critical health concerns
  • Pays benefits directly to you or your designee(s)
  • Benefits can be used to pay living expenses such as mortgage, rent, and car payments as well as prescriptions, copays, medical bills, and a myriad of other costs
  • Benefits available up to $50,000
  • Limitations and exclusions may apply
  • Little to no waiting period

Talk to your loved ones this holiday season about Open Enrollment, their health concerns, and their current coverage. You’re already adding extra layers of clothes to stay warm; now may be a good time for you and your loved ones to consider adding extra layers of coverage to stay protected from potentially costly health events.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

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hands holding pink ribbon during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Mammogram 101

Approximately 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point, the second most common kind of cancer in women2. The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about steps women can take to decrease their risk and to detect this disease, including having a mammogram.

If you are a woman who is age 40 through 49, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises1 that you talk with your doctor about a plan for your breast health, including when to get a mammogram.

If you are a woman who is age 50 to 74, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises1that you get mammograms every 2 years. You may also choose to get them more often.

Here are some questions to help you start the conversation with your doctor about mammograms:
  • Do I have risk factors for breast cancer?
  • Based on my risk factors, what are my chances of getting breast cancer?
  • What will happen when I go to get mammograms?
  • How long will it take to get the results of my mammograms?
  • If I don’t hear back about the results of my mammograms, does that mean everything is okay?
If you are under age 50, you might want to ask:
  • Should I start getting regular mammograms? If so, how often?
  • What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms before age 50?
If you are between ages 50 and 74, you might want to ask:
  • How often should I get mammograms?
  • What are the pros and cons of getting mammograms every 2 years instead of every year?

While most women can survive breast cancer if it’s detected and treated early 1, there are several lifestyle factors that your clients should consider when assessing risk, including:

  • Consuming dairy (with risk of death increasing for those who continue to consumer dairy after diagnosis)3
  • Being overweight or obese4
  • Not being physically active4
  • Regularly drinking alcohol5
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy5
  • Taking hormonal birth control4

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

Sources:

1: “Mammograms: Questions for the Doctor.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/doctor-visits/talking-with-the-doctor/mammograms-questions-for-the-doctor

2: “October: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/OctoberToolkit.aspx

3: “High – and Low-Fat Dairy Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality After Breast Cancer Diagnosis.” Candyce H. Kroenke Marilyn L. Kwan Carol Sweeney Adrienne Castillo Bette J. Caanhttps://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/105/9/616/986948/High-and-Low-Fat-Dairy-Intake-Recurrence-and

4: “Lifestyle-Related Breast Cancer Risk Factors.” American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/risk-and-prevention/lifestyle-related-breast-cancer-risk-factors.html

5: “Lifestyle: How Our Lifestyle and Choices Affect Breast Cancer Risk.” Breast Cancer Now. http://breastcancernow.org/about-breast-cancer/what-can-cause-breast-cancer/lifestyle

 

 

 

stethoscope during Open Enrollment

Prepare for Your 2018 Healthcare Coverage Needs

Open Enrollment is just around the corner, and it’s the ideal time to evaluate your healthcare coverage needs in the coming year. Consider the following:

  • Do you anticipate seeing your provider more frequently?
  • Are you facing an illness?
  • Will you need to need to see a specialist?
  • Does your current plan meet your budget needs?
  • What changes to your healthcare budget are you considering?
  • Has your family size changed?
  • What coverage changes do you need to make to account for family members?

With the confusion surrounding healthcare legislation, it’s more important now than ever to seek the expertise of those well versed in coverage options and updates.

If you’re considering ACA coverage, here are some important dates to remember:

November 1, 2017

Open Enrollment Period begins

December 15, 2017

Open Enrollment Period ends

January 1, 2018

Plans sold during Open Enrollment become effective

If you’re considering other options, short-term medical coverage may be an appropriate fit for your needs. This type of coverage addresses the needs of those who are:

  • Graduating from college and/or in need of replacing their student insurance
  • Transitioning between jobs
  • Waiting for employer insurance to begin
  • Rolling off parents’ coverage
  • Retiring soon and waiting for Medicare coverage to become effective

Additionally, if you miss the Open Enrollment period, short-term medical coverage may help you face your healthcare needs. You can enroll in that type of coverage at any time!

It’s important to understand that short-term medical coverage plans are limited in duration to a maximum 3-month term. After the plan expires, you will no longer receive benefits under it. You must reapply to receive coverage after the plan expires. Additionally, there may be limits on how many times you can renew short-term medical coverage.

Short-term medical plans can provide features such as:

  • Flexibility in timing of enrollment – there is no special enrollment period enrollment period
  • Preventive care for you and for your family
  • Lower rates than other types of plans
  • Access to providers of your choice
  • Convenience of filing a claim in your provider’s office with an additional option to submit your own claims for reimbursement

Short-term medical coverage is not a replacement for major medical insurance or ACA plans. It does not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and it won’t help avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance.

Additionally, there are restrictions and limitations of short-term medical plans. For example, pre-existing conditions are often not covered. Before you make a decision to purchase a short-term medical plan, fully review the benefits, limitations, restrictions, and costs associated with the plan.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

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