5 Ways to Save Money on Health Insurance

(NewsUSA) – The overwhelming mass of uninsured Americans is firsthand evidence that health insurance is too expensive — as if we didn’t already know.On average, middle-income families with individual coverage spend 22 percent of their income on health care. Others pay up to 50 percent of their household income on health coverage, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.To avoid paying more for less quality coverage, it’s essential to compare insurance options and gather as many quotes as possible. There are, however, some other ways to save money on health insurance, too.Check out five tricks and tips to save on health coverage:1. If you get a call from an insurance provider as part of an application process, do not divulge any additional details. Since these calls are usually recorded, disclosing extra info could come back to bite you as a higher premium.2. Know your insurance policy well, and review it when needed. You should know precisely what services and costs are and are not covered. Visiting in-network doctors, for example, can save a lot of money. In the event of complex surgeries or assessments, ask both the doctor and insurance provider explicitly what is covered before undergoing a procedure.3. Exhaust group insurance options before buying an individual policy. Group insurance is always cheaper, but if your employer doesn’t offer health insurance, or if you’re self-employed, consider other group options. Groups like labor unions, fraternal and business organizations, student associations and other special-interest groups may offer coverage.4. Consider reputable discount opportunities. Several states offer discount programs, and the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and the Together Rx Access Card both save money on medication costs. Also, a new consumer-driven movement called All Our Power emerged recently that provides group buying power for individuals. As more people join the movement at www.allourpower.com, AOP negotiates with top insurance companies to secure lower rates for its members.5. Regardless of your coverage, ask physicians and hospitals about paying for services in cash. Many hospitals offer huge discounts for patients paying in cash, but your insurance provider likely won’t be forthcoming about that tidbit.

Can Chiropractic Care Help Treat Obesity?

Are we overlooking potential help for those struggling with obesity?

With the epidemic now estimated to be costing the nation $147 billion annually, it’s a question that’s very much on the minds of health experts. And many, including lifestyle guru Shea Vaughn, are citing chiropractic care as a crucial part of overall wellness programs.

“Chiropractic care helps patients with many physical ailments. It also represents a proactive approach helping to prevent injury and relieve stress, while providing a positive influence on any individual’s mind, body and heart,” says the much-quoted author of “Breakthrough: The 5 Living Principles to Defeat Stress, Look Great & Find Total Well-Being.”

Targeting Obesity

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Are we overlooking potential help for those struggling with obesity?
With the epidemic now estimated to be costing the nation $147 billion annually, it’s a question that’s very much on the minds of health experts. And many, including lifestyle guru Shea Vaughn, are citing chiropractic care as a crucial part of overall wellness programs.
“Chiropractic care helps patients with many physical ailments. It also represents a proactive approach helping to prevent injury and relieve stress, while providing a positive influence on any individual’s mind, body and heart,” says the much-quoted author of “Breakthrough: The 5 Living Principles to Defeat Stress, Look Great & Find Total Well-Being.”
What’s more, doctors of chiropractic can also counsel patients on their diets — what to emphasize (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans) and what to reduce (processed foods, sugar, soda, fats). “The key is to make consistent, small positive changes,” says the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ Gerard W. Clum, DC.
With 149.3 million Americans aged 20 and older considered overweight or obese, check out yes2chiropractic.org for more info.

Reap Health Benefits 48 Hours After Quitting Smoking

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – “Within 48 hours of quitting smoking, health benefits begin,” said Dr. Steven Leers, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery. “Blood pressure decreases. Pulse rate drops. The body temperature of hands and feet increases. Carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal. The chance of a heart attack decreases. Nerve endings regrow. There’s an increase in the ability to taste and smell.”
Dr. Leers is an advocate for not smoking. Research has linked smoking to cancer, vascular disease, stroke and lung disease.
“As a vascular surgeon, I’ve seen the damage done to veins and arteries from tobacco use,” said Dr. Leers. “Nicotine speeds up the heart and causes the body to release fat and cholesterol into the blood. All of these are related to vascular disease.”
In addition, smoking accelerates the hardening and narrowing of arteries. Smokers are two to four times more likely to develop blood clots.
Nearly 6 million people die every year from tobacco use according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Of these, more than 600,000 persons die from secondhand smoke.
In the U.S., the 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report “Tobacco Use: Targeting the Nation’s Leading Killer” indicates that smoking leads to 443,000 premature deaths annually from tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke. On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than non-smokers.
“Nicotine in cigarettes raises blood pressure and constricts arteries,” said Dr. Leers.
Narrowed arteries can result in:
* blood clots
* heart attacks (narrowed coronary artery)
* stroke (narrowed brain or neck artery)
* peripheral arterial disease (PAD) leading to gangrene and amputation (narrowed leg artery)
* erectile dysfunction for men in their 30s and 40s (narrowed artery to the penis).
“Smokers are more likely to develop aneurysms (ballooning of an artery due to a weakness in the blood vessel wall) than non-smokers,” said Dr. Leers. For information on smoking and vascular disease, log onto www.VascularWeb.org.

Knowing the Risks When Faced With a Hospital Stay

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Even with incredible medical advances over the past decades, patients still face very real threats from hospitalization. Knowing the common hospital risks and the appropriate questions to ask about your care just might save your life.
“Infections contracted during hospital stays are the fourth largest killer in America,” explains Bruce Smeaton, a spokesperson for the global infection control company Medizone International (medizoneint.com). “They add an estimated $33 billion to hospital and health care costs each year.”
Other experts — like the chief patient safety officer of the Joint Commission in Illinois, Dr. Peter Angood — say patients are simply too passive and don’t ask the right questions.
Familiarizing yourself with these three hospital risks may help you during your next hospital stay:
1. Medication errors. The Institute of Medicine estimates that patients endure 450,000 injuries resulting from medication errors each year. To reduce this risk, make sure each surgeon, doctor and nurse knows of every medicine you’re taking. Ask what medicines are being prescribed and why, and what side effects to expect. If you’re nervous, speak up.
2. Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Superbugs like MRSA
— which is resistant to most antibiotics and only growing stronger
— VRE and E. coli cause 1.7 million infections in hospitals every year. Since this is a widespread issue, don’t shy away from the tough questions: What methods or technologies are being used to prevent HAIs?
“HAIs kill more people than AIDS, breast cancer and car accidents combined. That’s why the recent emergence of a super-disinfection system, like Medizone International’s AsepticSure technology, has been so embraced by the hospital and health care industry,” says Smeaton. “It’s more than 10,000 times as effective at killing superbugs — including tuberculosis — than any other cleaning technology being used by hospitals in North America today.”
Experts also advise patients undergoing surgery to ask everyone to wash their hands before touching them, hospital staff included.
3. Pneumonia. After wounds and urinary tract infections, pneumonia is the most common HAI, especially for patients recovering from surgery. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a 33 percent mortality rate for hospital pneumonia. The easiest way to avoid this risk is to focus on deep breathing.
Doctors recommend 10 to 15 deep breaths hourly. At the very least, smokers must stop smoking for a week or two before surgery if they can’t quit altogether.

New Discoveries Help People With Major Depressive Disorder

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – While there are many therapies to treat depression, a large government study found that only one-third of people with depression will reach remission with their first antidepressant.
Psychiatrist Pat Rabjohn, MD, Ph.D., CEO of the Rabjohn Behavioral Institute, answers common questions about depression and new discoveries helping improve the prospects of individuals with this disorder.
“Depression must be treated as aggressively as we treat cancer,” says Dr. Rabjohn. “Our goal is the absence of symptoms.”
Q: What is major depressive disorder?
Dr. Rabjohn: Depression is characterized by low mood, decreased energy, lack of interests and feelings of hopelessness. Depression is currently listed by the World Health Organization as the leading cause of disability worldwide. The successful treatment of depression remains elusive for many individuals.
Q: Why do so few patients achieve remission?
Dr. Rabjohn: Researchers have identified a genetic link associated with the risk of depression and reduces the effectiveness of antidepressants. Up to 70 percent of patients with depression may have this defect. This defect affects levels of L-methylfolate.
Adequate levels of L-methylfolate are required by the brain to regulate serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine; important chemicals associated with mood. If the brain has inadequate quantities of L-methylfolate, the likelihood of antidepressant drugs working effectively may be diminished.
Q: Can adding L-methylfolate help?
Dr. Rabjohn: The good news is that recent studies have shown a significant benefit when Deplin® (L-methylfolate 15mg), a prescription medical food indicated for the dietary management of metabolic imbalances associated with depression, is added to antidepressants. In a retrospective study conducted by Red Oak Psychiatry Associates, PA Baylor Health Care System supported by Pamlab, LLC, individuals diagnosed with depression received either antidepressant therapy (called SSRIs or SNRIs) or one of these antidepressants and L-methylfolate. After sixty days, significantly more patients in the L-methylfolate group achieved a major reduction in depressive symptoms with less discontinuation due to adverse events compared to the antidepressant alone group.
In a double-blind study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital supported by Pamlab, LLC, individuals who were inadequately responding to their antidepressant (an SSRI) received either placebo or L-methylfolate along with their antidepressant. Significantly more (twice as many) individuals in the L-methylfolate group responded to their antidepressant therapy in 30 days, and discontinuation rates due to adverse events were no different in either group.
Deplin® (L-methylfolate 15mg) should only be used under a doctor’s supervision.

Diagnosis Is First Step in Improving Quality of Life for Those With Common Bleeding Disorder

As a little girl, Kristin Prior came to view what others may have seen as out of the ordinary as normal: The slightest tap or bump would result in a severe bruise, and nosebleeds came often and without warning. As a teenager and into adulthood, Kristin’s menstrual periods would be long, heavy and burdensome. Often, these symptoms kept her from taking part in activities with friends and family or left her worried about what she might encounter when she did.

Fresh Mussels Make 2012 Wellness Goals Taste Great

Every January, our focus turns to kicking off the year with a renewed commitment to healthy eating. We join gyms and invest in the latest protein powders and high-fiber shakes in pursuit of a healthier life. But did you know there’s a delicious powerhouse food that’s easy to make and won’t break your wallet just waiting to help us meet our goals?

Fresh mussels are packed with important health benefits. They are rich in nutrients without adding significant calories or fat to meals,” says registered dietitian Lois Ferguson, as he explains the benefits of fresh PEI mussels compared to other proteins like meat and poultry. “This makes them the perfect food for people who aim to live a life of fitness and health.”

NACo Prescription Discount Card: Easy, Valuable and Free

Evelyn Webster of Brazos County, Texas, was devastated when she learned that her sister had been diagnosed with stomach cancer. As a result of the radiation and chemotherapy treatments, her big sister, Deborah Bryant, was unable to work and lost her health insurance.

“So therein lies the problem: no insurance, no medication, no money to buy the medication,” Webster told CBS affiliate KBTX-TV in Bryan/College Station, Texas.

The family learned of a free prescription discount card\ available through Brazos County, where Webster works in the District Clerk’s office.

Avocado Oil Is Picking Up Steam in the Kitchen

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Watch out olive oil, chefs of all varieties have a new oil option under their apron that’s as pleasing to people’s health as it is to their taste buds — avocado oil.
“My favorite at the moment is that wonderful New Zealand invention, avocado oil. It has a delectable bright green color and a delicious avocado flavor and is incredibly good for your health,” says Ray McVinne, a celebrity chef and author.
Avocado oil packs a Superman-like punch with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. Plus, it can be infused with other savory flavors like Lemon and Rosemary to add real variety to your meals.
Avocado oil is a rich source of antioxidants, folate, fiber and vitamins E and C. Avocados are virtually the only fruit with monounsaturated fats, which are the good fats recommended by the American Heart Association. Recent studies from the Nutrition Institute uncovered even more health benefits in avocado oil.
An extra-virgin avocado oil from a New Zealand company called Olivado was found to be the best source of a much sought-after vitamin-like substance, CoQ10. Olivado avocado oil contains more CoQ10, also called “ubiquinone,” than anything, even meat.
Other international chefs, like Peter Gordon and Jamie Oliver, call avocado oil the next big ingredient. Experiment with it at home using this recipe from www.Olivado.com:
Butterflied Leg of Lamb
125 grams almonds (roasted, chopped)
3 cloves garlic (peeled)
1 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons cumin and coriander seeds (roasted)
1/2 teaspoon chopped dried chilli
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup Olivado Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
Grated rind/juice of one lemon
Combine the first seven ingredients in food processor till texture is even, fairly fine. Add avocado oil, lemon rind and juice. Evenly rub the mixture over both sides of the prepared leg, then roast (don’t sear the lamb prior to cooking).
Place the rubbed leg cut side up, on a rack over a roasting tray. Fan-bake in pre-heated oven at 190 degrees C for 15 minutes. Turn lamb over, continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes or till cooked to your liking. Rest in a warm place for 10-15 minutes before carving.