WHAT ACA MEANS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
The Affordable Care Act is complicated for entrepreneurs and you may not know which regulations you need to pay attention to. It’s time to start watching closely, if you haven’t already. You may be asking yourself a lot of questions: Am I suddenly going to have to shell out a lot of money for my employees’ health insurance? Will my premiums go up? Will I be able to afford it? How do I know whether I can use the healthcare marketplace and whether I’m eligible for subsidies as a sole entrepreneur? If you are a small business owner or self-employed, the Affordable Care Act probably has you scratching your head.
HEALTH CARE REFORM AND PERSONALIZATION: WILL HEALTHCARE SERVICES CHANGE?
What does health care reform mean to you? It might be better coverage if you can’t afford healthcare; It might mean higher deductibles and prices if you already have health insurance; Perhaps it means complicated changes to existing healthcare plans, insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and the confusion and delays of the Healthcare Marketplace to find a plan that works for you and that you can afford. One thing that it could mean for all of us is the personalization of healthcare. When you go into a retail store to purchase something but you don’t know exactly where to look or what the right choice is, who do you ask? Generally people ask the retail sales associate. The expectation is that they will know not only where the product is in the store, but the best purpose for it and how to use it. Unfortunately, according to a recent survey, the “Retail Buying Experience”, we are more often than not disappointed. 2 out of 5 consumers become frustrated because the sales associate doesn’t have the expertise to guide them toward the right product for their specific needs.
HEALTHCARE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN: DO YOU QUALIFY FOR CHIP PERINATAL?
Are you aware of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)? It provides medical care at little or no cost to children whose families cannot afford health insurance and medical care. Every state offers CHIP coverage and works closely with the state Medicaid program. If your family makes too much to qualify for Medicare, your children may be eligible for CHIP. The Affordable Care Act has improved the process of applying by creating a simple streamlined system of affordable coverage between Medicaid, CHIP and the Affordable Insurance Exchanges, making it easier to determine whether your children qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.
HEALTH CARE SHARING MINISTRIES: AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE HEALTHCARE MARKETPLACE
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has people and health insurance companies worried that their healthcare costs will go up. Historically, health insurance companies have been able to screen out those with pre-existing conditions or drop others who are costing them too much. With the ACA in place, they won’t be able to do that, so those paying for health insurance may pay more to cover sicker people who are now covered.
This mindset about sharing healthcare costs grates against some but is wholeheartedly accepted by others. An alternative to purchasing individual health insurance, if you aren’t already covered through work, Medicare, the Indian Health Service or several other government programs, may be a “health care sharing ministry”. These are not health insurance plans. They operate more like co-ops and are based on the Christian philosophy that we should care for each other rather than depending on a large, faceless corporation.
WHICH HEALTHCARE SERVICES DO YOU REALLY NEED?
Watching your health can be complicated. With the Individual Health Insurance Mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) kicking in you will have to think through your options. If you already have insurance, or are signing up with the Health Insurance Marketplace, some preventive services will be covered with no copay. But what do you really need to do to watch your health and catch big health issues?
If you opt out of mandatory health insurance or are deciding to go for catastrophic, high-deductible or “consumer-driven” care which provides only minimal visits per year and carries high deductibles, here are some tests you should try to squeeze into your healthcare budget:
IF YOU ARE HEALTHY, DO YOU REALLY NEED HEALTH INSURANCE?
The Health Insurance Marketplace is coming soon! Are you ready to go shopping? The mandate requiring most individuals to purchase health insurance goes into effect on January 1, 2014 and the Marketplace will be up and running on October 1, 2013. After March 31, 2014 those who haven’t purchased health insurance will have to wait until the enrollment period for the following year.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has already provided benefits such as no more limitations on pre-existing conditions, free services such as vaccinations for children and birth control, and allowing young people to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until the age of 26.
But what if you are under 30 and healthy?
HEALTHCARE REFORM – WHAT WILL IT MEAN TO YOU?
Have you been tracking the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) closely? If you haven’t been, you should be paying attention because you may be affected. If you have been tracking the changes in our healthcare system, you may have noticed that while many changes have gone through as planned, the administration is running into some delays. Some consumers are already seeing basic services included in their current health care such as free immunizations, wellness check-ups, children up to the age of 26 able to remain on their parents insurance plan, free mammograms and cancer screenings, among others. The next big step in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also called ObamaCare by some, is the requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance coverage.
ALLERGIES, SENSITIVITIES AND INTOLERANCES: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Did you know that only 4-5% of the adult US population has true allergies? Although many people suspect they are allergic to something, it is more likely that what they are suffering from is an intolerance or a sensitivity. The distinction may not seem important, but knowing the difference, especially for severe reactions, can be critical. True food allergies can be life-threatening, while feeling unwell, bloated and having digestive problems as much as a day after you have eaten something that your body can’t tolerate could be preventing you from losing weight or having the energy you would like to have, but will not send you to the emergency room.
TEENS AND PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE ABUSE: ARE YOU INFORMED?
What types of drugs do you think teens are into now? Marijuana or cocaine? They’re still easy to get, right? Yes, these are still out there and readily available but there are drugs that are even easier to get and you probably have some of them in your medicine cabinet. Deaths due to drug overdose are on the rise and those medications in your cabinet are part of the reason. In fact, unintentional drug overdose is the highest leading cause of accidental death and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the number of these deaths have more than tripled since 1990. According to The Medicine Abuse Project, one in six teens has used a prescription drug that was not prescribed for them and one in ten has used a prescription pain medication without a prescription. These are the most abused drugs by 12 and 13 year olds and the majority of them are taken from their home or a friend’s home, not bought on the street or from a dealer on the internet.
VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY: IT’S REAL!
Vitamin D deficiency has been researched, discussed, refuted, and ultimately, recognized as a true health issue in the United States. A staggering number of Americans do not get enough vitamin D. According to a study conducted by Dr. Michael Melamed at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine published in the Journal of Pediatrics in August of 2009, over 70% of American children are not getting enough vitamin D and the number is higher for older Americans. A long-term deficiency of vitamin D can lead to numerous serious health problems.
TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH WITH BASELINE TESTING AND MONITORING
Do you make your health a priority? Get up a little earlier to workout and search out healthy recipes? If you do, you get a pat on the back! Are you also tracking what you are doing so you know if you’re staying the course? Deciding to improve your health and prevent disease is an admirable goal, but to reach it you need to be tracking the steps you are taking. If you don’t know if you’ve gotten there or where you are on the path toward your goals, you won’t get the satisfaction of knowing you have arrived.
HOW ALLERGIES CAN REALLY MAKE YOU SICK
How many times have you heard, “I’m not sick, I just have allergies”? Although it’s true that when you are suffering from allergies or an allergic reaction, you don’t have a “disease” and you aren’t contagious, but you are sick. Your body is making you ill and you are suffering as much as anyone who has a cold or the flu but you’re expected to soldier on. Although it isn’t completely clear why more people suffer from allergies now than they have in the past, the chronic allergy sufferer may be damaging their bodies without realizing it.
ALLERGY TESTING: HAVE YOU BEEN AVOIDING IT?
If you have seasonal allergies then you know that spring has arrived. It’s time to start dosing yourself, or your child, with nasal sprays, eye drops and antihistamines. The good news is that the products on the market today, both over-the-counter and prescription medications are more effective at treating your symptoms. The bad news is that your symptoms start earlier in the season and may last longer. Research on seasonal allergies has shown that due to global warming, the allergy season has gotten longer. In addition, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has grown, which in turn has made more of us sensitive to the pollens in the air during the spring growing season, especially ragweed. More of us are suffering than ever before and one in ten Americans has a ragweed allergy.
DO YOU MAKE CARING FOR YOUR HEART A PRIORITY?
We live in a very busy world. Many of us are rushing from task to task and activity to activity. Trying to squeeze so many things into our days might make it difficult to focus on taking care of ourselves and making the right choices for our health, specifically our heart health. We are also bombarded with information about what we “should” be doing. How do we choose the most important thing to focus on: exercising, eating well, reducing stress, taking the right medications and supplements?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE VOLUNTARY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PATERNITY
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) over one in three children in this country is born out-of-wedlock, an astonishing 41%! This is a sharp increase from the percentage of births to unwed mothers in 2002 (34%) and an even larger increase from 1980 (18.4%). These births place a huge financial burden on the US taxpayer, costing $2.2 billion in welfare and food stamps each year.
SPICE, MARIJUANA’S EVIL STEPCHILD
There is a legal drug on the streets and teenagers are at risk! The drug looks like marijuana and mimics its effects but is much more dangerous. Spice, K2, Serenity, Genie…these are just a few of the names that this marijuana imitator is called. It’s available in head shops, gas stations and tobacco stores and is sold as “incense.” There are usually disclaimers on the packaging stating that it is meant to be used as incense and is not for human consumption; but that is exactly what people are doing: smoking it.
WHY CAN’T AMERICAN’S STOP THE RISE OF DIABETES?
Despite the ambitious goals of the American Diabetes Association to curb the increase of this disease in the United States, including dubbing November, Diabetes Awareness Month, the number of cases continues to rise rapidly. Type 2 diabetes has become a very expensive illness, costing $174 billion to treat in 2007 alone. Without major changes to the typical American lifestyle, over one third of Americans will develop type 2 diabetes by the year 2050. Our love of fatty, sugary foods has caused phenomenal weight increases and it appears no end is in sight. Over 57 million people have pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome with a high risk of developing the disease and over 24 million children and adults live with the type 1 diabetes.
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