7. April 2019 22:44
by Harry
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3 Reasons You Should Sign up for Health Insurance

7. April 2019 22:44 by Harry | 0 Comments



Early this year, a spike in flu cases was seen across the country. According to the CDC, 104 children died across the country during the 2016-2017 flu season. The CDC doesn’t track how many adults die from influenza each year. To prevent yourself and members of your family from falling ill, being hospitalized, and missing work and school, be sure to get a flu shot. The CDC recommendations for 2017 include getting vaccinated before the end of October. If you’re wondering whether health insurance will cover the injection, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) says your health insurance company is required to cover flu shots without charging a co-payment, but you may need to visit a specific facility.

“Some insurance plans only cover vaccines given by your doctor or at a limited set of locations,” says the HHS.

Here are three more reasons to sign up for health insurance during the 2017 Open Enrollment period.

Accidents Happen

If you get into an accident while driving to or from work, and you don’t have health insurance, you could wind up having to pay a few thousand dollars for an emergency room visit or tens of thousands of dollars for long-term care.

Heath care plans vary, but all of them at least partially cover the following:

  • Emergency room visits
  • Outpatient care
  • Inpatient care
  • Lab tests
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitation services, such as physical therapy and psychiatrist appointments
  • Dental and vision care
  • Pre- and postnatal care
  • Substance abuse rehab
  • Preventive services, such as screenings and vaccinations

In case you’re still on the fence about whether you want to part with a monthly payment, more than half of consumers who signed up for 2016 Affordable Care Act coverage selected a plan with a monthly premium of $100 or less after tax credits. That $100 per month is a lot less than you’ll spend if you’re hospitalized after a car accident and, unfortunately, odds aren’t in your favor. According to the Department of Transportation, someone was injured in an accident every two minutes and eight seconds in 2016. Additionally, the US lost 35,092 people in traffic crashes in 2015, ending a 5-decade trend of declining fatalities with a 7.2% increase in deaths from 2014.

Some Colleges Require Health Insurance

Not only may the federal government charge a penalty for not having health insurance, some universities require students to have their own plan or remain enrolled on their parents’ policy. If you’ll be attending college this year, contact the admissions department to see how this affects you.

It’s the Law

The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance. If you don’t, you may pay a penalty come tax time.

Should You Sign up During the 2017/2018 Open Enrollment Period?

Health insurance is a wise investment, but if you can’t afford any of the plans on the Health Care marketplace, contact Freeway. Our friendly, knowledgeable representatives will help you find a plan that fits your budget. 

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14. March 2019 22:16
by Ammelia
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HEALTHY FOOD GUIDE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

14. March 2019 22:16 by Ammelia | 0 Comments

                 

 

If you are pregnant your eating plan needs to change because you have nutritional needs that you do not have when you are not expecting. Remember everything you eat, drink and are exposed to also affect your baby. Your unborn child gets all of its nutrients from the things you eat and if you do not have enough of a nutrient, your body may begin to supply it from its reserves. Enjoy reading our healthy food guide for pregnant women.

One example of this is calcium. If you do not consume enough calcium in your diet or through supplements, your body will supply it to your unborn child from the reserves in your body. This can make your bones and teeth weak as well as affect your nails and skin. Get the nutrients you and your unborn baby need through a diet plan that is formulated especially for pregnant women.

IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS FOR PREGNANT WOMAN

Vitamins A and E, iron, potassium and folic acid are all essential for pregnant women. While your prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor give you an extra boost of essential vitamins and minerals, you can not rely on them to give you complete nutrition. Nothing replaces a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein sources and whole grains. Take your prenatal vitamins, but also eat a balanced healthy diet to give you and your baby the nutrition you both need to be healthy.

Two of the most important nutrients for pregnant women are folic acid and iron. Folic acidhas been proven to help prevent neural tube defects. These are defects in your baby’s spinal cord and brain. Folic acid also helps prevent cleft lip and congenital heart disease. Iron protects you from developing anemia, a lack of red blood cells.
Iron also helps increase the oxygen transference in your bloodstream and builds red blood cells for the increased amount of blood you need in your body. Your baby also needs to store red blood cells to be used in the first few months of life.

Do not take large amounts of vitamins and minerals thinking more is better. Too much Vitamin A can cause birth defects, and be wary of herbal supplements. Herbal supplements have not been studied for their effects on unborn babies so don’t take chances. Take your prenatal vitamins as prescribed by your doctor. If you find they upset your stomach, try taking them at night or with meals.

DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

When you are pregnant you will give your baby a good start by eating a healthy and balanced diet. Some of the foods to include in your diet include the following which are high in the vitamins and minerals you and your baby need:

  1. Fortified cereals and fortified whole wheat bread and pasta
  2. Wheat germ
  3. Orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin
  4. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collards, beet greens and turnip greens
  5. Winter squash
  6. Tomatoes and tomato sauces
  7. Sweet red peppers
  8. Melons like cantaloupe and honeydew
  9. Citrus fruits and juices such as oranges and red or pink grapefruit
  10. Orange fruits like mangoes and apricots
  11. Bananas
  12. Avocado
  13. Fat-free dairy products
  14. Dried beans and peas are excellent sources of protein. When served with a carbohydrate like rice they form a complete protein
  15. Lean beef, pork and chicken
  16. Shrimp, oysters, crab and clams
  17. Halibut, rainbow trout, cod, herring, rockfish, sardines and yellow fin tuna

Foods to avoid include excess sugar, caffeinated coffee and tea, soda, diet soda, alcohol and foods high in fat and cholesterol. Drink plenty of water to keep your system clean and aid in digestion and bowel movements. If you experience indigestion, consult with your doctor about the use of antacids, or try a cup of peppermint tea to settle your stomach.

PORTION CONTROL

Your doctor will more than likely tell you not to gain much weight during your pregnancy. This can be hard because you may feel hungry most of the time. Snack on healthy foods like carrot sticks and some ranch dressing, celery and peanut butter, or an apple with cream cheese or peanut butter. Pay close attention to the serving sizes of your meals. One half cup is generally the serving size of starchy vegetables and high sugar fruits. Three ounces of meat is a usually a serving, but your doctor will give you guidance about your particular caloric allowance.

Although you want to eat healthy, don’t deprive yourself of a treat now and then. A piece of cake or pie is fine as long as you stop at one piece. Many times you can have up to 300 extra calories per day. This means you can have a treat once in a while so you don’t feel like you are missing out on your favorite treats.

Eat healthy, get plenty of rest and take your prenatal vitamins and you can give your baby a healthy start to life.

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22. January 2019 21:33
by Ammelia
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13 TIPS FOR GROWING LONG AND HEALTHY HAIR

22. January 2019 21:33 by Ammelia | 0 Comments

Last week I promised I’d share some of my “secrets” (they’re not secrets) as to how I keep my hair long and healthy. It’s something I get asked about a lot and sometimes I just want to say “IT’S EASY TO HAVE LONG HAIR, JUST STOP CUTTING IT” but there *is* slightly more to it than just ditching the scissors.

                            Top tips for long healthy hair

People will inevitably offer different advice when it comes to this sort of thing (“Get your hair cut every six weeks! No, get it cut once every six years! Condition it before washing! But not before you’ve made a mask out of avocados, honey and wishes!” Etc) but I can only speak from my experience of what works for me.

I’m not a hairdresser (although I have had the privilege of working with some of the best in the business) and my main experience of long hair is just, errr, having it. But I’ve had long hair for over a decade and I BLOODY LOVE LONG HAIR so hopefully a few of the tips below will be vaguely helpful.

I know that some of the points below will be non-negotiable for some women (avoiding coloring and avoiding heat especially!) so if you have to do these things then just be aware that they are inevitably damaging. You can, of course, have long healthy colored hair, but if you don’t want to ditch the bleach you’ll need to up the ante with conditioning treatments and so on. 

Here’s what I do…

1. Rarely use heat styling.

There are lots of heat protecting products you can buy these days but the protection they offer doesn’t compare to avoiding heat styling altogether. I straighten my hair perhaps twice a month at the most and when I do straighten it I make sure it’s completely dry before starting so I’m not “steaming” my hair.

I try to avoid drying my hair in general and whilst I may rough dry my hair once every ten days or so, I’ll rarely sit under the hair-dryer til it’s bone dry. Generally, after a shower, I just tie my hair up (wet) into a loose bun and let it dry naturally. (I am aware that for some people this would result in epic frizz!).

If you blow dry your hair every day then to cut back would probably feel really drastic, but if you can change when you wash your hair (at night rather than before work, for example) you may find it easier.

And of course, *always* use heat protectors on your hair before stepping near hairdryers, wands, curlers and straighteners! I really adore this Bumble & Bumble one (£20.50).

2. Only use thick fabric hair ties.

Hair elastics can put an enormous amount of stress on the hair, leading to breakage and even hair loss if you tie really tight. I only use thick fabric hair ties to put my hair up and I’ve noticed *such* a difference in breakage since I discovered them a couple of years ago. They don’t have any metal so individual hairs can’t get trapped and the thicker size means they’re much more forgiving on each delicate strand.

I pick them up wherever I see them and most recently have bought in Accessorize but they don’t seem to have them online. Claire's sold them in various colors though and on Amazon, they are ridiculously cheap. (£1.32 for 12 with free delivery!).

3. Only brush with a Tangle Teezer.

I assumed Tangle Teezers was a Dragons’ Den gimmick item until one was used on my hair in a salon six or so years ago. I bought one there and then and haven’t looked back. In fact, when I forgot mine on honeymoon (A MISTAKE I HAD NEVER MADE BEFORE NOR SINCE) I genuinely contacted local suppliers to see if there was *anyone* who could get a Tangle Teezer to Mauritius before I shaved my head in a comb-induced rage.

You have to try a Tangle Teezer to appreciate how gentle they are but if you have a lot of hair – be it because your hair is thick or long – then trust me when I say a Tangle Teezer will prevent your hair from going through a lot of unnecessary damage and breakage.

4. Brush hair in sections STARTING WITH THE BOTTOM.

Regardless of what you use to brush, it really makes a huge difference to your hair if you brush it in sections, starting from the bottom and only working your way up once any tangles at the mid-lengths and ends have already been dealt with. Brushing top down from the get-go will only make your hair more tangled and damaged.

5. Don’t bleach or color your hair.

I have regularly wanted to colour my hair and have had consultations about it only to be told that I will have to sacrifice the length if I want a new colour. Bleaching is not good for your hair – that’s just a fact – and whilst you do see blonde girls with long luscious locks, it’s not an easy thing to achieve. If you want to hit the bottle you need to be aware of just how much more care and attention your hair will need.

It can of course be done, but if you have fine hair then a drastic change of colour – especially if you’re going lighter – will require a lot of TLC to maintain. Don’t be fooled by celeb pics of long and healthy bleached hair (or at least be aware that they probably have a live-in hairdresser!).

6. Protect your hair from the sun.

It’s really easy to forget to protect your hair from the sun but if you’ve ever felt your hair whilst sunbathing on holiday, then you’ll know how incredibly hot it can get. I *always* protect my hair with a UV product in the summer and I haven’t yet found a product I like more than label.m’s Protein Spray. 

Yep, I’ve mentioned Protein Spray approx 100 times before in videos and on the blog but it really is a fantastic product for protecting from heat and the elements. Oh and it smells like HEAVEN.

Of course in the midday sun you should really protect your hair (and face!) with a wide brimmed hat, but I am not ready to morph into my mother and tell you that just yet.

7. Either trim regularly or be prepared to take off a decent amount when you do get a haircut.

There are two camps when it comes to growing hair – those who say you need to trim regularly for your hair to grow and those who say just leave it for as long as possible. I fall into the latter and I don’t get my hair trimmed regularly,  but I did have about six inches off.

I can “get away” with leaving my hair for a longer time between cuts because of the fact I do all the other things in this list, but you’ll be able to tell when your hair is looking scraggy or you need a cut simply to bring some shape back into your style again.

Once your hair *does* look like it needs a cut, don’t delay it or split ends can lead to breakages which is the opposite of what you want for long healthy hair. And always take off at least the minimum amount your hairdresser advises, there’s no point only asking for half an inch off and expecting it to be healthy.

8. Use decent products to wash your hair.

Perhaps this goes without saying, but find the right hair products for you and *your* hair. Everyone is different, (If you don’t want to watch the video just read the text in the video description for a list).

9. Treat yourself to hair masks.

I’d like to say I use a mask every week but it’s probably more like once every ten days. Yep they smell heavenly and leave your hair superbly soft, but the long lasting effects are important too and a decent mask really will make a noticeable difference to your hair’s overall condition.

10. Protect hair when swimming.

If you swim in chlorinated water, you *need* to protect your hair. Swimming caps aren’t for protecting your hair, they’re for keeping hair off your face and making your stroke more streamlined. Before putting your swimming cap on you need to saturate your hair with freshwater as this will help prevent your hair from absorbing as much chlorine, then at this point you can also put in a protection creme or a leave-in conditioner.

I rarely bother putting a special product in to be honest, but I *always* make sure my hair is really wet with fresh water from the showers before I step foot in the pool.

11. Don’t wash hair everyday.

If you do a lot of sweaty exercise then I can see why this wouldn’t be an option, but as somebody who obviously doesn’t spend much time working up a sweat (lol) I only wash my hair a couple of times a week. When I do wash it I always shampoo twice to make sure my scalp is super clean. I also only use warm water rather than searingly hot water. A healthy scalp is important for healthy hair.

12. Don’t be tempted by extensions.

I’ve never had hair extensions, but I know enough people who have had them and seen enough dodgy disasters to know that they’re a bad idea if you want to grow your own hair.

If you really can’t grow your own hair then I can see why extensions would be alluring, but just remember that shortcuts nearly always come with pitfalls. It’s no different to nail extensions or eyelash extensions, inevitably some damage will occur to what’s naturally there to allow the extensions to stay in place.

13. Make sure you’re in good health and getting the right nutrients.

If your hair is thinning or breaking more than what’s normal for you, it’s always worth investigating with a doctor in case something else is going on. All sorts of things can cause problems for your hair, from thyroid issues to anaemia to fungal infections.

I take omega 3 supplements because I’m vegetarian and I’m always very aware that I miss out on the fatty goodness that most people can get by eating fish.

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11. September 2017 17:53
by Harry
0 Comments

Corporate Health Insurance Trends You Need to Know

11. September 2017 17:53 by Harry | 0 Comments

The ever-rising cost of corporate health care is expected to increase by 4.4 percent this year. Couple that with rising pressure from hard-fought efforts to maintain compliance with the federal government’s Affordable Care Act, and some employers have chosen to waive benefits, placing more responsibility onto their employees, who pay more both in premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

According to a survey released yesterday, workers are paying roughly $100 more per month in medical costs than they were three years ago, and can expect to pay 37 percent of the expenses acquired from company health plans this year. That’s an increase from the 34 percent in 2011.

A higher price tag isn’t the only change employees will have to deal with in the near future. The study suggests that employees also will be required to shoulder more of the costs for covering their spouses and dependents. Although today, roughly 70 percent of employers believe offering subsidized insurance for spouses is important, more than half believe it will not be important in 2015 and beyond.

Get fit for $50

Employers are looking to make proactive changes, too. Incentive health programs is a method many companies are implementing in order to improve the overall health of their workers, and therefore, decrease visits to the doctor’s office, clinic or hospital.

In increasing numbers, companies are offering an array of wellness activities to the workforce, such as boot camps and weight-loss competitions. Oftentimes, cash is the ultimate prize; on average, employees who complete all available programs could be $50 richer.

Retired and uninsured

Another serious issue facing employees – especially those considering retiring before age 65 – is the possibility that they may not have insurance coverage upon retirement. Public exchanges may become the sole option for pre-65 retirees as a reported 66 percent of companies are likely to eliminate access to coverage.

Where do we go from here?

According to the survey, only 25 percent of companies were confident they’d be providing current benefits to workers by 2024. Employers and employees need to start planning now for what’s to come. With rapid change taking place on a daily basis, “later” could mean “tomorrow,” so action planning should start today. For employees, perhaps that just means educating yourself on these trends and options, while for employers, it could mean a reconfiguration of your benefits strategy.

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