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Need to Know More About Types of Health Insurance Plans

Individual, families, groups, and businesses need customized health insurance plans to ensure that they have to spend minimum out-of-the-pocket money for their healthcare needs. With the implementation of healthcare reforms, the options for buying health insurance are widened.

With the advent of internet technology, the concept of transparency of price is gaining momentum. Insurers in Florida health insurance are facing a compelling need of price transparency when they offer health insurance quotes to their clients. At the same time, application time and waiting time for health insurance has reduced significantly as compared to earlier times.

Types of health insurance plans offered in Florida
Apart from State and Federal governments’ sponsored program including Medicare, Medicaid, etc., there is an option of buying health insurance from private companies. Like many other states, health insurance plans in Florida are offered to the residents in traditional format. These could be classified as:

1. Individual health coverage
2. Family health coverage
3. Group insurance
4. Student health coverage
5. Dental health insurance
6. Low cost insurance
7. Low-income families insurance
8. Short-term insurance
9. Small business insurance

Companies offering health insurance Florida
Below is the list of health insurance companies offering health insurance to the residents of Florida:
• Aetna
• AMS
• Assurant
• Avalon Healthcare
• AvMed Health Plans
• Blue Cross and Blue Shield
• Celtic
• Cigna
• Coventry
• Golden Rule
• Humana One
• IAC
• Solera Dental
• Vista

Types of health plans offered in Florida

A lot of consumer end up having discount coupons, which sometimes are termed as health plans; however, it needs to be understood that these discount coupons are not insurance. To buy affordable health plans in Florida, consumers need to equip themselves with proper knowledge about the same.

Traditional categorization of health coverage in Florida offers indemnity and managed care health plans. Indemnity health plans have the insured file claims for reimbursement. While managed care health plans allow the providers to file claims for the insured person.

Managed care health plans are further categorized as HMO, PPO, and POS.

Impact of the Affordable Care Act on insurance in Florida
• 290,000 small businesses in Florida will be offered tax credits for offering health coverage to their employees.
• Medicare beneficiaries in Florida will be automatically mailed a check of $250 to defray the cost of their prescription drugs.
• Early retirees will be offered reinsurance options.
• Uninsured Floridians with pre-existing condition will have a huge boost with $351 million federal dollars made available to Florida starting July 1 to provide coverage.
• Like many other states, for the first time ever, Florida will have the option of Federal Medicaid funding for coverage for all low-income populations, irrespective of age, disability, or family status.
• 8.8 million Floridians will no longer have to worry about lifetime limits on the coverage.
• Around 1.1 million individuals will not have to worry about getting dropped from coverage when they get sick.
• Children in Florida will be able to stay with their family insurance policy till the age of 26 years.

Costs involved in a health coverage plan in Florida

It is important to understand types of costs involved in a health coverage plan to make sure that Floridians have assessed everything before they finalize a health plan. We talk about the types of costs involved in a health coverage plan:

Premium-premium is the amount of money to be paid on monthly basis. Premium is the main cost that a health plan constitutes. It could vary from person to person and in plan to plan. It mainly depends on the age, gender, and health status of a consumer applying to get health coverage.

Deductible-deductible is the second major cost involved in a health plan. It is the amount of money that a consumer pays before the insurer actually begins to pay for the coverage. With higher deductibles, premium costs are reduced.

Coinsurance – coinsurance, as the name explains itself, is the amount of money that the consumer agrees to pay in percentage of the total cost of medical service after the deductible has been paid. Generally, it is usually 80/20 of the total value where 80% of the cost is paid by the insurance companies while the 20% is by the consumer.

Copay – copay is like coinsurance but it is not represented in percentage but in real value. Moreover, there is no consideration of deductibles in copays. Supposing a consumer needs to pay $70 per visit for the doctor: with copay, consumer will be paying $40 and the remaining $30 will be paid by the insurer. However, this copay facility will have some impact on the premium costs.

Understanding Mental Health

To see sense changes in their lives, it is important to feel hope for the future and believe that change for the better is possible. Autonomy – self-determination Autonomy is to cope with everyday life, have power over themselves and be able to make their own decisions and to have the ability to like and believe in themselves.

Health is closely linked to personal development and achieved towards a set goal, so it is important to manage to arouse the desire to set and work toward goals in life. This is an essential element of the concept of health and can be experienced as a feeling enhanced by opportunities to influence their situation. Abilities and timing is essential for health

We often talk about health or mental health, but what is it? Health is often considered to be the same as the absence of disease, but it is an oversimplification of the concept of health. The ability to influence and change according to their own values?

In society and personal life is built up with the help of that person’s autonomy and is respected in the social interaction between people.

People are inherently creative and make their choices based on what is perceived as meaningful, therefore strengthening the motivation of participation to be able to formulate their own goals in life.

Community in a social context: To be able to experience the health, it is essential to feel equal, meaningful and free. To be autonomous is to be a self independent person and make their own decisions and take responsibility for them.

Health as a concept has been discussed since the 1700s, but at the time was perceived body and mind as separate from each other and health was seen as a state free from disease.

Health is a positive concept that deals with social and personal resources, and physical ability.To have hope, freedom, independence and participation are respected strengthens the will, confidence and responsibility as well as the individual’s ability to influence the situation.

A person may experience health even at a diagnosed disease and good health has a positive effect on both the resistance to disease and the ability to recover and recover from injury and disease.

Being together, enjoy fellowship and love is central to experience health. Similarly, the confirmation of one’s own value, in dialogue with other people, a vital contribution to the experience of health.

Another important factor for health is timing, because an unhealthy activity at one time usually does not affect health, while a long-term unhealthy behavior can lead to ill health and ultimately to serious illness. The concept of health comes from the word “health” which means a state of being healthy and whole.

Many people who have chronic illnesses or physical limitations, even those experiencing health by finding strategies to cope with or overcome their difficulties. The concept of health means to perceive himself as a positive and independent individual in development, to feel hope and meaning in life and fellowship with others.

All parts are important for health to be achieved, developed and preserved. It is impossible to clearly distinguish the boundaries between these key components of the concept of health.

The World Health Organization says that every person’s opportunities to health includes both physical and mental health and must be seen in context of personal development through life. The risk with these rather broad and universal definitions is that they are perceived as unattainable ideal state.

To enjoy, appreciate and see the positive in their situation, and to have positive experiences of past changes is the basis to set and implement goals in life. Health can be seen as a resource for everyday life, not as the goal of life.

An important definition of health that many scientists are describing is that man has the ability to realize or achieve vital goals. An important prerequisite for knowing health is to have autonomy. Autonomy means self-determination and the right to self-determination over their lives. Autonomy and independence are fundamental and health adversely affected if options are missing.

These abilities can be cognitive, such as to solve problems, to perceive emotions and impressions, and interpersonal skills (the ability to socialize with other people). A deficiency in any of these abilities affect the person’s health.

Health Insurance and Health Reform

The most significant changes implemented by health care reform legislation will come into force on January 1st of 2014. These changes will have at least some impact on all individual and family policy holders and will also effect grandfathered policies that were effective on or before March 23, 2010. The positive changes will be for those who have been rated up or declined for health insurance in the past, for those who are currently or plan to become pregnant, and those whose income is less than 400% of the federal poverty level (I will be developing a worksheet to help you determine whether you are eligible for a subsidy). The negative changes will be for those who have an average or better than average health rating and for those on the younger end of the health insurance spectrum (20s-30s).

If You’ve Been Declined or Rated Up

If you have pre-existing conditions, you are now in the sweet spot of health care reform. Starting in October of 2013, health insurance companies will be able to begin accepting applications for policies with a January 1st, 2014 effective date. These policies will not use health status or pre-existing conditions to determine benefits, to decline or charge higher rates. Moving forward, the only factors that will contribute to your health insurance premium is the plan you choose, your age, and tobacco usage. I am not yet aware of how currently effective policies will transition, whether your rating will simply be removed from your existing policy or whether you will need to apply for a new policy to get rid of your rating. I will know more as we get closer to the open enrollment period starting in October 2013.

Maternity Coverage

If you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy, starting on January 1st, 2014, all new health insurance policies will cover maternity automatically. It has not been made explicitly clear whether women who are currently pregnant will be covered. However, given the language of new policies regarding pre-existing conditions, I am comfortable in speculating that there will not be a waiting period for women who are currently pregnant and whose due date falls in 2014 and beyond. I will give updates as I become aware of definite regulations.

Health Insurance Subsidies

Health insurance policies sold through the NC exchange on or after October 2013, with January 1st effective dates, will be eligible for the subsidy. The subsidy amount will be based on your income and you will be eligible if your income is less than 400% of the federal poverty level. Based on income brackets, the premium you owe for your health insurance policy will be calculated as a percentage of your annual income. As previously stated, I will be creating a calculator to help you predict what percentage of your monthly income a health insurance policy will cost you. Health insurance agents will have the ability to assist you in purchasing a policy through the exchange.

Young and/or Favorable Health Rating

If you are young and/or have a favorable health insurance rating, in almost all cases, you can expect rate increases in 2014. This rate increase is due to required pre-existing coverage and to rate variance shrinking from young to old subscribers. The purpose of coverage penalties for currently uninsured individuals is an attempt to bring in healthy policy holders and temper this increase. There will be high deductible plans available to those who want to satisfy the health insurance mandate while minimizing monthly premium expenses.

There is a danger however, that individuals with low health care expenses will be driven to companies that have high complaint ratios, but offer coverage that fulfills the mandate, because those with poor health are likely to gravitate towards the health insurance companies that most reliably pay claims. If a scenario like this occurs, the reliable health insurance company’s premiums will be driven very high, which may even cause them to go bankrupt if they are unable to attract healthy subscribers. The tragedy of this type of scenario would be that the bargain basement health insurance company would come out on top for the very fact that they don’t do a good job of paying claims.

Grandfathered Versus Non-Grandfathered

If your health insurance policy was effective on or before March 23, 2010, and you have not made changes to your benefit level since then, you have a grandfathered plan. Grandfathered plans are not subject to many of the health care reform requirements, so if you are one of those who expects to see rate increases due to coming changes, it makes sense for you to stick with your current plan for now. If you are in your 20s or 30s, and/or have a very good health rating with your current plan then you probably fall in this category. However, in several years, up to 40% taxes will be applied to grandfathered plans that will cause them to lose their appeal. When these taxes are applied, then in almost all cases it will make sense to roll into a non-grandfathered plan.

When to Enroll (Open Enrollment)

Starting in October of 2013, you will be eligible to begin applying for a policy that falls under the new health care regulations. The initial open enrollment period will last for 6 months. After this time, there will be an annual open enrollment period at the end of each year (October 15th-December 7th) in which you may switch your benefit level or apply for a policy with a new company. Outside of open enrollment periods, you may change your policy during special enrollment periods created by certain life events such as moving your residence, losing group coverage, getting married, or having a baby.

How to Enroll

The enrollment process for policies sold outside the exchange likely remain much the same as they are today with two major exceptions. Medical underwriting will no longer be a part of applications and enrollment periods will be restricted as described above. Policies sold inside the exchange will have the same type of applications as outside except there will be required proof of income if you are eligible for a subsidized policy. It is not yet clear what specific documentation or tax form will be required to substantiate claims of income.

Current Policies

If you currently have a health insurance policy that you are happy with and plan to keep your policy beyond the open enrollment period, your policy will likely transition on January 1st of 2014 and be automatically modified to accommodate the new regulations coming into force. As previously stated, I am not aware of how ratings on current policies will be handled. They might stay on, in which case you would need to apply for a new policy without a rating to shed your old health rating. The more likely scenario is that non-grandfathered policies will automatically shed their health rating and transition into the new rating pool for that specific policy.

What Should You Do?!

There’s nothing to do immediately. As October moves closer and the NC health insurance exchange is up and running, I will be able to provide more specific details and directions in navigating the coming changes. I wish you well and invite you to contact me with questions or concerns.

5 Principles of Health for a Happy Life

We are very excited to impart to you the seven principles of health. We are looking at what can allow you to live a vibrant, happy, fulfilling, and healthy life. Of course, any of the information we will share with you is purely information, not medical advice. You are however, most welcome to go and seek your own medical advice, specifically from your own health professional. But this information tells about proven methods against the test of time.

So you’ve heard a lot of talk about my health and living as well as the seven principles of health. There are a lot of different thoughts about these principles. In general, we are talking about the health principles that really matter. Sure, there might be a couple which you could apply in your life, but these are certainly the most essential ones, those that you should definitely have to include in your lifestyle. In fact, the whole aim of this article is so that you can get a good appreciation of them, so that you too can live a healthy life for yourself.

We don’t want people to be sick, and we certainly don’t want people to be taking mostly prescription drugs when they don’t have to. Now, is there any reason why we think that way? Because there are a lot of natural health measures that you can do to prevent ailments in the first place. You can certainly take alternative health measures. For instance, you can take a look at your diet, consider what you really partake of everyday. Is it really toxic to your body, or is it good for you? Are you, unknowingly building things, or destroying things in your body? These are what the seven principles of health really build upon. It really gives you an idea that you can move forward in a positive way for your body, not in a negative way. If you stifle your own growth and the cleansing processes of your body that’s naturally set up, then you’re really preventing yourself from being healthy. We’re only going to touch the surface, only looking the concept in a general point of view because there is a vast information available out there for this topic, and there’s only so much that we could share. But we’re certainly excited to talk about these things, which you can apply in your everyday life. That’s the beauty of it. Helping you take care of yourself everyday using health principles.

WHOLE FOODS

Now let’s have a look at the first one, Whole Foods. These include natural whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, herbs, and other things which are naturally-grown and unprocessed. You can just literally grab them off the tray or consume them without any preparation at all. So how is it that for several millennia, people have looked after themselves and have not gotten themselves into the same troubles that we are into now? It seems like we’ve gotten a lot sicker and a lot more frail. That is because of the processed foods that we have been consuming nowadays. We’ve upset our balance of the natural foods that we should be partaking. If you take a look at the Western diet of today, we can see that we’re having way too much sugar, saturated fats, and we substitute water for sodas or colas. It’s just not right because our whole body is being thrown out of what it’s used to. Our bodies are expecting some sort of natural foods or sustenance to build and repair itself, and it’s not getting it most of the time. So if our bodies are getting something different from whole foods, we would be expecting different results of course. That is why people get a lot sicker nowadays, as opposed to those who lived many centuries ago. The processed food revolution of the last hundred years have really changed our health and brought it downhill. If we go back and embrace the principle of natural health food the way they used to do many, many years ago, where the people did not experience the health problems that we are experiencing today because they haven’t been laden with chemicals or impurities in their bodies, we could look at whole foods as real eye-openers. This is one of the basic principles of good health. Just like in taking fruits alone, with its healing properties and its ability to provide energy and vitality to our bodies. It is just a matter of taking in fruits, which will really help boost our energy to keep us healthy and stable. We won’t have to worry that much about viruses, bacteria, and other harmful agents that will enter our body, because they will be removed fairly quickly. Vegetables are also good food sources for they will strengthen our bodies and keep us strong and healthy. That’s especially true if you consume the ones with low GI, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, beet roots, carrots, and the like. They will really help strengthen our bodies.

You know, it’s funny talking about whole foods, herbs, and spices. Take a look at the ancient methods that the Chinese used, or the old civilizations that used herbs to heal and help cure things. These are the reasons why they work. Certain herbs target specific parts of the body and there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate them into your diet as well. Any sort of research or understanding on Chinese medicine and the old ancient ways might reveal some of these herbs to you. It is most exciting that you can apply these in your life today, just as they did thousands of years ago, to treat the ailments that they had. Nuts and seeds, and other berries are really, really good for you. You can include them in your diets as whole foods to allow you to move forward as a healthy being.

Another of these which are really mentioned quite a lot is milk. There’s nothing wrong with milk. If it’s raw milk, it’s got all the nutrients which will be really good for your body. It’s full of protein, essential fats, and gives you strength.

The other food which I would like to mention is natural, raw honey. It is full of enzymes which can really boost immunity and it is antibacterial as well. It really stands out in giving good health and vitality, and you can even apply it to your external wound. If you ever get a cut or a lesion, honey is very good in healing the wound and keeping it clean as well. So, as you have read, there are heaps of natural and whole foods which can help you to build and maintain a healthy state. And, as they say, it is never too late to introduce them into your diet as well. That is, if you have been lacking them in the past. There’s no reason why you can’t introduce them now to help boost and change your lifestyle, allow it to be a healthy one instead.

WATER

Another principle of health is Water. Now as you know, we are all made up of more than 70% percent water, which is applied a lot in the building of new cells in our bodies. Water is an essential part of us and we should allow it to work with us. By not drinking water, you are allowing yourself a disservice and depriving your body of its proper health and nutrition. On a cellular level, you’ve got to consider that each cell needs the delivery as well as removal of certain nutrients. If you look at one cell, it might have a building block, which may need a certain nutrient to complete its function. However, it can only get there with enough water in the system. Now, electrically-charged water is certainly good for us because we are electrically-loaded beings. We survive on the electricity that’s running through our bodies. There are pulses inside us that run here and there in order to send electrical signals to and from the brain and the other parts of our bodies, such as cells, muscle groups, and others. So, in order for this to happen, water has to be an essential part of this process. Salted water is also very good. If you have the right amount of salt in your diet, then the delivery of nutrients and energy between the cells will be easier because you have the right charge.

Now, the secret to any good weight-loss or fitness program is that you drink sufficient amounts of water. The reason for this is because water can remove and flush out toxins and excess fat cells that are not needed by the body. Without the sufficient amount of water, your body won’t be able to carry out this process properly. So, as you can see, water is an essential part of the body’s system. Let’s maintain it and work towards building it up in the future. And we should drink at least eight glasses of water per day. If you’re a larger person carrying excess weight, however, then you might have to increase that to, say, 10-12 glasses per day. It depends on your body’s structure too. If you feel thirsty, your body is already starved of water, it’s already dehydrated. The idea, then, is to keep your water levels at a sufficient amount. A good indicator of this is the amount of sweat you produce and urine color. If your urine color is cloudy yellow, drink more water so it would be clearer and lighter in color. It’s a matter of maintaining that as well. So, water is an essential part.

AIR

Next is Air. It is very important to us, for the obvious reason that we need it when we breathe. But as you know, every cell in our bodies survive on oxygen, and we need to allow our bodies to breathe, every cell has to breathe. So with insufficient oxygen flowing through us, we will slowly get asphyxiated, and toxins won’t be released. So breathing sufficiently is very important. If you go outside, you can get electrically-charged air as well. It is very important. If you ever go to the beach, or if you’re around lightning strikes, you might find some ozone in the air. You can actually smell the ozone, especially if the lightning cracks around you. It is the same sort of smell when you go to the beach; it’s the ocean’s smell. That is extremely good for you, that is O3. It basically gives life and vitality, heightens your senses and energy levels, and it’s just really good for you. In fact, if you take five deep breaths for multiple times per day, it will allow your whole body to get rejuvenated. Deep breathing is great because it opens up your airways and it brings your oxygen levels up.

SUNSHINE

Next on the principles of health is Sunshine. Getting enough sunshine is crucial for health and vitality. Now I’m not saying that you should go get sunburned. What I’m saying is that you should spend about 20 to 30 minutes out in the sun every day. Now you should do that during the “safe-sun” hours, which is usually before ten in the morning and after two in the afternoon, if possible, because the sunlight between ten in the morning and two in the afternoon will probably get you burned a bit easier. So getting enough sunlight is very important. If you allow the sunshine to penetrate or to be absorbed more by your body, and expose more of your skin to the sun, then you will get energy a lot quicker.

Now we all know that we get Vitamin D from the sun, and it is very important for your health and the recognition of your nutrients to break down and be accepted into your body. It’s almost like a gateway, wherein Vitamin D allows your minerals to be absorbed properly into your body. So if you don’t have Vitamin D, then this process can’t work properly. You will find that you’ve got a lot of deficiencies as well. You might also be worried about skin cancer. Well, we’ve got different thoughts on that. I don’t believe we could get skin cancer from the sun itself, I believe it’s more on the toxins and the impurities in your skin which are actually burned and which turn against you. So, how come we haven’t got problems on melanoma and skin cancer before, and then all of a sudden, within the last 50 years, we’re now having melanomas? Does that mean that the sun has changed? Or is it because we, and our diets, have changed? I would think it’s probably more so because of the latter. Our diets have certainly changed. The amount of chemicals and radiation inside of our bodies are the problem. The sunlight actually reacts to these chemicals and impurities in the body, under the skin, which actually turned against us. So, a little bit of sunlight every day, in the safe-sun periods, away from being sunburned, will actually do more good than harm. It is very important that everyone will recognize that sunshine is a vital part of health.

If you’re not feeling very well, if you’re feeling ill and off-color, well, go for a walk in the sun. Expose your body to the sun and get 20-30 minutes of sunshine. You will feel the energy levels radiating out of you, you’ll feel a lot better afterwards, and it is amazing to see that it actually does you good. If it can make plants grow, make living things flourish, then it is bound to do you good as well. So, don’t just listen to those who are saying that the sun will do you a lot of damage, when it can actually do you a lot of good. It is a matter of managing and doing it properly. Sunlight is very important for health.

EXERCISE and MOVEMENT

Another principle is exercise and movement. This is number five out of the seven principles. You need to move; you need to exercise. When I say exercise, I’m not saying you need to be running a marathon. I’m saying you can get out and do some walking, some stretching of your body, and doing some general movements through your whole body. This will do you more good than harm. In fact, we’ve got these things called lymph nodes right through our whole body, and they are not circulated from the heart. The lymph nodes’ fluids are not circulated because they are being pumped by the heart. Instead, they are circulated because of your movements and exercise, as well as through massage. So it is very important that you keep this happening always. Otherwise, they’ll build up, which will cause problems in your lymph glands. It is also important that you keep flushing them and moving them about because they will be stagnant and clogged with toxins.

I’m sure everyone can move, walk around, do some stretching, and just generally get up and about. This means that you could get out for 20-30 minutes each day, and it will be a lot easier if you’ve got a routine related to this. If you haven’t got one, well, anytime you get out, you could stretch and move your whole body. It will do you a lot good. So, once again, if you’re feeling under the weather, it’s important that you actually do move. It is important that you do stretch and get the fluids within your body moving so you will be cleansed and the toxins will be removed from your body. Some areas of your body need movement to flush the toxins out and if you’re not moving, they’ll be just sitting there and become stagnant. If you see people with a lot of fluid in their legs, especially elderly people, they’re just sitting there, the fluid builds up in their legs. Now if you want to keep your body parts vital and alive, it’s important that you move about certain parts so that new blood can circulate through your body and through the parts that aren’t moving much. So, to flush out the toxins in your body, movement and exercise is very important.

Understanding Health Insurance

Health insurance remains one of the most talked about topics when it comes to products that are indispensable for residents of Virginia. With continued increase in healthcare costs, the importance of health insurance plans keeps increasing.

It goes without saying that residents of Virginia without insurance coverage are at a greater risk of experiencing financial insecurity during illness or injury. No doubt health insurance plans involve costs but affordable health policies are easily available and with the implementation of healthcare reforms, lots of options will be available to the Virginians.

Traditional indemnity insurance plans in Virginia

Traditionally, indemnity health insurance plans in Virginia offer reimbursement against the claims made by an insured person. The level of coverage provided by these plans could vary from basic to comprehensive depending upon the needs of the insured person. Accordingly, the costs of the health plans vary-premiums, deductibles, copays and coinsurance, etc.

Managed health care plans in Virginia

Unlike indemnity health plans, managed care health insurance plans involve a group of medical providers that offer comprehensive medical services. They are called preferred or participating providers.

There are basically three managed care options:

• Health Maintenance Organization or HMO

HMOs allow the insured person to select a primary care physician from the plan’s list of medical service providers. If it is necessary, the primary care physician will refer the insured person to a specialist.

• Preferred Provider Organization or PPO

PPOs allow the members to avail large medical care network. At a slightly higher cost, a PPO generally allows its members to receive care outside its network of providers

• Point of Service feature or POS

POS medical plans are special types of HMOs that allow the members to select a non-network provider at a slightly higher cost.

Impact of the Affordable Care Act of health insurance in Virginia

• Around 109,000 small businesses in Virginia will be helped with tax credit.

• Medicare beneficiaries will be mailed a check automatically to defray the costs of their prescription drugs.

• Early retirees would be provided options for reinsurance.

• $113 million federal dollars will be made available to Virginia starting July 1 to provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

• With the new Act, Virginia enjoys the option of Federal Medicaid funding for coverage for all low-income populations, irrespective of age, disability, or family status, for the very first time.

• 4.7 million people in Virginia with private insurance won’t have to worry about lifetime limits on the coverage.

• 344,000 individuals will not have to worry about to get dropped from insurance policies when they get sick.

• Children would be able to stay in their family health insurance policy till the age of 26 years.

What to look for while buying affordable health plans in Virginia

• Virginians should note what is the maximum coverage level offered in the health insurance plan. This should be the prime deciding factor.

• The second point should be the costs involved in a health plan. This could include premiums, deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Consumers can adjust these costs as per their budget.

• Virginians should make sure, if needed, that the health insurance plan offers prescription drug coverage, doctor visits and hospitalization benefits. There is no need to buy a health plan if it does not offer such coverage benefits given that consumers need them.

• A High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA) is a very good option to make sure that consumers get affordable health plans. Virginians should check about this.

• Virginians, who need to see a specialist, should make sure that the health insurance plan does not require them to get referrals.

• An affordable health insurance plan should have an easy reimbursement procedure. Virginians should make sure that they do not buy from such companies whose reimbursement process is too much complicated. Such plans could actually waste a lot of money and time.

Reviews About health

HEALTH AND DISEASE

The concept of Health is somewhat difficult to understand. When we say a person is healthy, it means to the lay man that the person is normally doing his activities and does not outwardly show any signs of any disease in him. However, for the medical man it denotes the conformity to certain standards like physical measurements, biochemical norms and rates, physiological standards, etc. Even these standards vary with race, rest, exercise, food, habits, starvation, climate, altitude, latitude, etc. It has been extremely difficult for scientists concerned with human biology to lay definite criteria for health and define the term Health in a specific manner.

From the history of medicine we know that there have been various systems of medicine or healing arts evolved in different parts of the world during different civilizations. But in no system has there been a clear-cut definition of health.

In the oxford dictionary health means the state of being free from sickness, injury or disease, bodily conditions; something indicating good bodily condition. A few decades ago this meaning was conveyed in the definition of health but recently the World Health Organization have considered it necessary to give a direction towards the achievement of a robust and happy and active bodily and mental condition capable of continuous productive ability and, therefore, have defined health as follows:

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.” (WHO—1948) it will be seen that even after having this definition it will be difficult to conceptualise and standardise positive health with specific clear-cut attributes and criteria for measurement. A person may be enjoying mental equanimity and enthusiasm for doing anything. He may also be physically able to do any amount of work, but he may be having some minor dysfunction or deficiency or even a mild infection causing a very minor disturbance which however does not upset his normal activities.

For example, Hyper pigmentation on the skin or lack of pigmentation on the skin; angular stomatitis due to B complex deficiency; a ring-worm patch on the skin, etc. In these conditions strictly speaking the person cannot be called ‘health’ but for outward purpose he will appear healthy and he will also be fully active. Similarly, under the mental component there are ever so many stresses and strains that an individual is exposed to and depending on his own mental make-up he is either able to overcome the strain or suffers from worry and depression. If in spite of his worry he is able to function normally others may take him to be healthy, whereas the worry may normally be making him mentally unsound.

Social well-being is very much related to the mental adjustment of the individual to others around him in the family or in the community. Sometimes it may so happen that a person may find it had to adjust with his group and may, therefore, be under a mental strain. But he may be doing his work normally from which others would judge him to be healthy. It is only if he reaches a break-point and behaves either in a withdrawn manner or becomes aggressive that his mental condition will become manifest to be seen and experienced by others.

We have, therefore, to understand that the term health is not an abstract thing but a relative concept. In it we see a continuum of freedom from sickness to better health and positive health. When we say positive health we refer to a condition in which the body has sufficient reserve nutrition and resistant factors to prevent the invasion of the body by any micro-organism or by the deprivation of any nutritional factors causing a deficiency pathology and, therefore, completely free from disease.

Disease is a little less difficult to define than Health. It denotes the condition of the human body in which something has gone wrong and has upset the Norman functions of the body including the mind. As in health there is also a continuum from a predisposition or premonition of illness which may or may not be experienced or noticed even by the individual concerned, to a definite condition of illness manifested by signs or symptoms and impairment of body functions.

This continuum may further extend from mild sickness to severe sickness and death or recovery from sickness back to a debilitated condition and later to a normal condition.

As has been pointed out in the previous paragraphs the normally of health of person may shift towards positive health depending on the improvement of health by wholesome food, wholesome water proper living conditions, proper work atmosphere, good personal hygiene, etc., or the deterioration of health due to faulty or inadequate food, infection through food, water or air, skin or due to external injuries, accident etc.

For maintenance of good health the following things are essential:

1. Adequate quantities of proper nutrition
2. Adequate quantities of safe drinking water
3. Proper shelter with adequate ventilation and lighting
4. Proper clothing
5. Proper work, exercise and rest and recreation
6. Proper social conditions for a harmonious existence and work
7. Proper security from fear of any kind
8. Proper sexual behavior
9. Personal hygiene
10. Provision and utilization of health services.

Disease can be due to say one or more of the following causes:

1. Genetic traits
2. Congenital deformity or malformation
3. Cancer
4. Malnutrition
5. Poisons

The above are the direct causes.

The science of epidemiology employs various methods and approaches to explore, investigate, identify and establish the cause of disease as against maintenance of health in the individual, in the community and in a geographical area. Modern epidemiology has revealed a multiple causation theory for most of the diseases. The direct or immediate causes may be congenital, traumatic, infection or cancerous growth, etc. But besides these direct causes, many indirect and predisposing causes have been described,

For example, tuberculosis is caused by the tubercule bacilli, called myco bacterium tuberculosis, this is the direct cause. The other causes which predispose a person to the infection by tubercule bacillus may be overcrowding, poor nutrition, bad ventilation, heavy work, fatigue, etc. It may be appreciated that these causes are socio-economic causes. The economic factors arising out of poor means of livelihood, inadequate food, etc., are also inter-related with human and social factors like bad ways of living, customs, habits, beliefs, superstitions, etc. Taking another example, malnutrition may be due to either lack of availability of nutritious food in adequate quantities or the wrong practices of preparation of food in which nutrients may be wasted. The economic factors may be the cause for non-accessibility and the social factors may be the cause of wastage of nutrition even after the food stuffs are available or on the contrary over eating and addiction to alcohol, etc., causing metabolic disorder. In the rural countryside we have a lot of locally available food resources but the habits may be such that the people do not know what can be eaten and how, for deriving nutrition.

The human and social factors are very predominant determinants in any society or community. In affluent countries many of the metabolic diseases like obesity, heart diseases, diseases due to air pollution, etc., are on the increase due to social customs. In the poor countries the large number of communicable diseases and nutritional deficiencies are due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene and low and faulty intake of food. These are again in turn due to economic and social factors.

Study of human behavior is extremely important in public health and in any community oriented programme. The mere opening and establishment of hospitals or clinics or treatment centers by any government or voluntary agencies does not immediately ensure that all the people will use the facilities whenever they fall sick. For a person to seek treatment for a particular illness from a doctor or an institution the following stages of human behavior are expected to take place.

Social psychology has a very prominent place as a diagnostic tool in the beginning of the programme and also as a tool of evaluation where the programme is under progress or at its termination. For example, in the control of Cholera or any gastro enteric infection, it will be futile to introduce any sanitation programme unless the people know the causative factor and the mode of transmission of infection. There may be need to improve the water supply, provide proper excreta disposal, food hygiene and personal hygiene. All these things involve a scientific awareness of the reasoning behind each measure or practice and a change of behavior accordingly.

Aetna Health Insurance

Aetna Health Insurance announced they are leaving the California marketplace for individual and family plans. The end date of all their plans is December 31, 2013. All 49,000 Aetna clients still have six months to figure out what health plan they should move to. In this article we’ll give you a simple mapping that recommends which plans you should move to based upon the Aetna health plan you currently have, a “gotcha” to watch out for, and a couple of silver linings to feel good about.

The simplest way to replace your Aetna Health Insurance is to simply look for an alternative plan with the same (or similar) deductible amount. The recommendations below will make that easy to do. With just a little more effort, you could re-think what you need in yearly medical benefits and pick a plan the is a better fit for your current needs. Either way, you should be able to find a good solution listed below.

Aetna Health Insurance Underwriting Is More Lenient

This will be the gotcha for some people. Aetna has always been more willing to accept people with some health conditions. I know a number of my clients are in Aetna plans because they had specific health conditions that the other carriers either would not accept, or would “rate” much higher than Aetna. So this is something you have to be aware of and be careful about.

If you have existing health conditions, or are “too short” (okay… a little over-weight), or have a rated plan with Aetna, then you should definitely talk to a broker before you apply with another health insurance company. You’ll want to have the broker do Pre-Screen Requests for you to see how the other insurance companies will treat your application.

It’s important to do the pre-screen step first, because if you just pick a health plan, apply for it, and then get declined or rated even higher, it will be very hard to get other insurance companies to consider your application.

Let’s start mapping replacement plans…

Aetna Open Access MC Value Plan Alternatives

The Aetna Open Access Value plans are Aetna’s low-cost option. The Value plans offer a number of different deductibles, $8,000, $5,000, $2,500, and provide 3 office visits for a simple copay, and coverage for Generic prescriptions.

This plan description matches very closely to what is offered in the Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense plans. If you only need two office visits rather than three, then the best choices are the Health Net PPO Advantage plans and the ClearProtection plan from Anthem Blue Cross.

If cost of the plan is one of your major factors, then here is how the alternative plans above should be used.

  1. Health Net PPO Advantage 3500 – offers the best overall value (cost vs benefits)
  2. Health Net PPO Advantage 6500 – is usually the lowest cost option
  3. Anthem Blue Cross ClearProtection 3300 – Anthem’s lowest cost solution
  4. Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense 6000 – closest match to Aetna’s Open Access Value 8000, but lower cost
  5. Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense 3500, 2000, 1000 – if you feel more comfortable with lower deductibles

In the majority of cases, the alternative plans from Anthem and Health Net will be lower cost than the comparable Aetna Value plans. You’ll need to review health insurance quotes to see how the pricing looks for your location in California.

Aetna alternative plans from all major health insurance companies in California. The best plans!

Aetna Open Access MC Plan Alternatives

The Open Access plans are Aetna’s high-end offerings. These plans offered unlimited office visits for just a copay, provided both Generic and Brand name prescription coverage, and offered deductibles of 5,000, 3,500, 2,750, and 1,750.

The best mappings of the Open Access plans are the following:

  1. Cigna Open Access Value plans – Cigna’s entry plans, but very similar to the Aetna plans but without brand name prescription coverage
  2. Anthem Blue Cross Premier plans – these plans are the top of the line from Anthem
  3. Cigna Open Access plans – the high-end Cigna plans
  4. Blue Shield Shield Secure Plus plans – Blue Shield’s top end plans

Health Net does not have any plans that provide unlimited office visits and coverage of brand name prescriptions, so there are no options listed.

Aetna Open Access MC High Deductible Plan (HSA Compatible) Alternatives

These are Aetna’s entry in the Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible market. Like all HSA plans, they provide no benefits except zero-cost preventive care until after you reach the deductible. The plans come with two deductibles, either 5,500 or $3,500.

The mappings for these HSA plans is the following:

  1. Health Net CFB HSA 4500 plan – this is the best value HSA plan in the market
  2. Health Net CFB HSA 6000 plan – this is the overall lowest cost HSA plan
  3. Blue Shield Saver HSA plans – these are lower cost than the other non-Health Net HSA plans
  4. Cigna Health Savings 4900 plan – good general purpose plan
  5. Anthem Blue Cross Lumenos 5950 plan – Anthem’s last remaining HSA plan

Are You Looking For Lower Out Of Pocket Risk?

Some shoppers may be looking to lower premiums AND lower the OOPM’s they have had in the past. If this is your wish, then here are a couple of options you should explore:

  1. Health Net CFB PPO Standard plans – the OOPM in these plans is equal to the deductible, and 2 office visits for a copay
  2. Cigna Open Access Value 5000/100% – the OOPM is the same as the deductible, and the plan offers unlimited office visits

These alternative plans will cost a little more than the direct replacement options listed in the sections above. However, the attractiveness of having lower risk if an accident or a medical condition starts is very compelling.

Silver Linings In The California Aetna Health Insurance Decision

I believe that Aetna is just the first in a line of large and small health insurance companies that will leave the California individual and family health insurance marketplace over the next 3-5 years. Aetna had a very small market share, and would have a hard time competing with the insurance companies that dominate the California market. So having Aetna leave now will reduce the turbulence we see during the Health Care Reform roll-out later this fall.

The first silver lining in all of this is that Aetna plans tend to have very high Out-Of-Pocket Maximums (OOPM). As an example, for a family, the Open Access Value 8000 plan has an OOPM of $25,000, while the Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense 6000 plan and the ealth Net PPO Advantage 6500 have a $19,000 OOPM.

This is one of the reasons people have stayed away from new Aetna plans unless no other health insurance company would accept them. There are plenty of plans from Health Net, Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna, and Blue Shield that will have lower OOPM’s than the Aetna plans.

The last silver lining of this change at Aetna, is that Aetna plans have not been very competitive the last couple of years. So changing to comparable plans will give you a reduction in premiums. With the information we’ve given you above, you should be able to find a good Aetna replacement plan, now go forth and prosper.

Health Habits and How to Stop

We commonly hear about “yo-yo” dieting, but in fact people are tempted to approach many other health habits in that up and down style. What is yo-yoing? When you try dieting or getting healthy in an all or nothing fashion, then you’re yo-yoing. These health habits feel great when you’re on the upswing, successfully performing all the rules that you’ve set in place. Once you run out of motivation to practice health habits at such a stringent level, then you enter the yucky downswing of this practice. All the progress you made can seem to vanish overnight. How do you break this vicious cycle?

Yo-yo habits place a burden on your body by not letting health settle into a steady rhythm. With so many ups and downs, the body doesn’t feel rested or truly taken care of. The habits are also intertwined with mental-emotional ups and downs. To break the cycle, this style of healthiness has to be recognized for what it really is—a diversion rather than true self care. When you decide to go from nothing to everything, from total neglect to constantly pressuring your mind and body to do one thing, real health habits don’t get a chance to develop.

Which health habits are you used to yo-yoing? Are they related to diet, exercise, sleep, or something else? Think about why you approach your health habits in this manner. Sometimes fear can infiltrate a natural urge to get healthy and make you feel like if you’re not doing everything, then it’s not worth the effort. This mindset can make you feel more deficient than it does provide you with effective motivation, support, and momentum toward health. Feelings of fear and deficiency then become the foundation for new health habits, and they don’t offer a very steady foundation at that.

This pendulum mindset obviously tells you that putting in smaller amounts of effort more consistently is not good enough. But does that make sense? When you watch an athlete practicing a sport, someone who goes all or nothing doesn’t get a chance to regularly practice good habits for performance. Your health is the same way. Consistent habits, even if they’re on a smaller scale will go a lot farther than large efforts that only last a few days to a week. When you focus on quality over quantity in health, you’re taking a more realistic approach and one that your body will welcome more openly and sustain over a longer period of time.

Take a look at your health habits and figure out whether they’re in danger of the chaotic yo-yo experience or whether they’re actually sustainable. Think about which of your habits have never lasted past the short-term and why that may be. If you notice some yo-yoing going on, brainstorm on how you can re-frame these habits into more lasting and quality expressions of health.

As you resist the urge to yo-yo and you settle into more realistic and consistent health care routines, you’ll be amazed at how much farther your efforts take you. The fears will be easier to face when you’re not riding a health roller coaster, and feelings of deficiency will be less frequent and instead be replaced with more natural confidence and motivation surrounding your health.

Your Health and Your Inner Master

When you travel the halls of your memory, who do you remember as your most influential teachers? How did these teachers influence your life and change it for the better? Great teachers spark more than math, literature, or science in your life. They spark something else as well, something deeper and long-lasting that stays with you. As an individual living your life, you have another teacher you may not have touched on in your memory. That teacher is you! When you’re trying to get healthy and support your body and mind better, your inner teacher is key toward achieving what you want.

Health involves learning. You learn about your body and which lifestyle habits foster balanced health, versus which habits derail health. But you also learn something else. You learn about yourself as a person, how you face challenges, and which obstacles are blocking your road to health. The journey toward health involves more than regimens for diet, exercise, and sleep. The journey is unique to who you are and where you’re at in life too.

Bringing out your inner teacher to learn about your health isn’t always easy. Everyone wants to believe they are perfectly healthy, and sometimes facing the reality that your health needs more support can be challenging. It means admitting that you’re not perfect and that you still have more to learn. It takes knowing that supplements, medications, or doctor’s visits alone can’t keep you healthy. You as a person are an essential part of your health, and acknowledging this fact takes honesty and courage.

When you call forth your inner teacher in an open and honest way, you can explore your physical and mental-emotional health through a unique lens. You can ask yourself if there are societal and personal expectations that are burdening you and blocking your health. You can explore whether some part of your past unfairly has a hold on your health and who you are today. You can explore your relationships with yourself and other people to see whether they are supporting or hindering health. You can also notice how you manage stress and emotions and whether your current approach could use some adjustment for better health.

Good teachers both challenge you out of your comfort zone and patiently support you through the discomfort that can result. Getting healthier can feel strange and uncomfortable at times. The body and mind are used to doing what they always do—in other words, homeostasis or equilibrium. They will maintain states of health, but they also maintain states of unbalanced health. To get healthy, your inner teacher has to push you beyond comfortably unhealthy habits. On the other hand, your inner teacher also has to patiently help you through these potentially awkward transition periods and regularly remind you: “I can do this!”

What steps have you taken lately to bring out your inner teacher on the road to better health? If you feel that it’s been a while since you’ve listened to your inner teacher, that’s okay. He or she is always there and you can turn to that side of yourself when your health feels neglected or stuck. Remember to give your inner teacher the same respect that you would any other great teacher in your life.

As you head into the autumn season, a period of time that is infused with transition in the air around you, encourage your inner teacher by asking yourself the following questions:

1) What are current strengths in my health?

2) What are some weaker points of my health that require more attention and learning?

3) Without focusing too much on the past or the future, what steps can I take today toward better health?

4) What are my obstacles to health in the present moment?

5) How can I create space in my life for my inner teacher to express itself and help me with health?

As you ask yourself these questions, you’ll find that your body and mind naturally know which direction to go in—if you listen to them. By paying attention to your inner teacher, you’ll learn new things about your health and how better to support it. And you’ll enter your own hall of fame of great teachers.

Affordable Health Explained

Telemedicine is an important component of the robust and technology driven Affordable Care Act system (Obama care) and provides avenues for reducing costs in the new healthcare structure, because it offers options in how to access healthcare services.

The Affordable Care Act is the most comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s health care system in decades and it’s implementation and sign-ups will all be processed through marketplace exchanges.

What is the Meaning of Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical health care without a traditional face-to face consultation. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to supplementary medical services for people with:

  • Basic or No Insurance
  • High Deductible (HDHP) Insurance
  • Traditional Insurance

Tele-health Vs Telemedicine

‘Tele-health’ is an older, broader term for services such as health education and is not limited to clinical services, while ‘Telemedicine’ narrowly focuses on the actual curative aspect between the patient and healthcare professional. Examples of Tele-health are health professionals discussing a case over the telephone or conducting robotic surgery between facilities at different ends of the world.

Tele-Health has a broader scope than telemedicine and is sometimes called e-health, e-medicine, or telemedicine. Health care professional use tools like e-mails, e-visits, e-prescribing, after-hours care, e-reminders, health assessments, self-management tools, health coaching etc.

The State of the Market

The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) opens on Oct 1st, 2013. and goes into operation on Jan 1st, 2014. The Obama Care exchanges, are State, Federal or joint-run online marketplaces for health insurance. Americans can use their State’s “Affordable” Insurance Exchange marketplace to get coverage from competing private health care providers.

Steps to Sign up for Health Care Plans

  • Participants enter personal information into a web portal
  • Learn their eligibility for subsidies based on income, state-determined criteria or employer-based options.
  • Use a price calculator to shop, compare and choose a best benefit health plan.

Several major health companies have programs like TelaDoc in Aetna, KP-OnCall in Kaiser etc, trying to set up footholds in a market that is widely expected to grow rapidly. All participants have to do is research for telemedicine benefits through their health insurance plans or sign up for independent programs.

How Health Care Professionals Administer Telemedicine

Doctors can treat most everyday health needs by phone or a scheduled video consultation. A study by the American Medical Association shows that 4 out of 5 visits to a primary care doctor could have been treated over the phone instead. After each consultation, patients will receive a clinical report which can be emailed to a primary care physician.