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Arizona Health Insurance Blog Page 2

The latest news on health insurance in Arizona. Topics include Obamacare, Medicare Supplements, individual insurance and industry news.

Healthcare.gov defines open enrollment as "The yearly period when people can enroll in a health insurance plan." This time period typically runs from November to January. Learn what this enrollment period means for you and what you can do if you still need coverage today.

When someone is looking for a new job or is negotiating salary and benefits, one of the most important things they’ll try to negotiate or obtain is health insurance. Buying Arizona health insurance on your own can get expensive and is sometimes difficult, and working for a large company or business likely means more coverage or your employer will foot the bill for your health care costs.

It is sad to think about how many more people would be able to start their own business and create new jobs in this country if they didn’t have to worry about the cost of individual health insurance. Many people want to dive head first into creating their own business, but themselves and their families can’t afford to go without healthcare.

Individual health insurance for self-employed individuals is often cost-prohibitive because it is so expensive. Especially for people who have a pre-existing health condition, or those who need to find insurance for their entire family, getting medical insurance without the benefits from a big company is sometimes unrealistic. Fortunately, entrepreneurs are able to get some relief in the form of a tax deduction, making health care for people who are self-employed obtainable.

Medical emergencies are a strain for people. Whether it’s straining emotionally, financially or it’s just a big inconvenience, medical emergencies can cause problems at work, with families and in the future. Preparing for a medical emergency goes deeper than teaching children a plan if mom and dad are hurt or knowing how to escape the house if there’s a fire - the financial burden of a medical emergency can destroy a family’s future. Although you should always put your own and others’ health first when there is an emergency, there are also ways to lessen the financial burden on yourself or family when you do have a medical emergency. By being financially prepared for something bad to happen, you’re actually going to make that emergency less of a problem for your family and allow yourself and loved ones to concentrate more on getting better, supporting one another and keeping a regular lifestyle in the future.

Buying a health care plan for the first time can be overwhelming. When you’re new to the insurance market, it is difficult to know if you’re making the right choices.

There are so many types of plans, a ton of new words that most people probably don’t know or understand and you only have a small timeframe to choose an insurer and coverage that is right for you. For most people, they end up having to choose between a Health Maintenance Organization plan (HMO) and a Preferred Provider Organization plan (PPO).

What are the advantages and risks associated with each plan? Heck, what does each plan do for me in the first place?

Before making a final decision, it’s important to clear up any confusion you may have about the choices a Tucson health insurance broker may offer you, so that you fully understand the Arizona health insurance market and can feel confident that you’re investing in health care coverage that you need.

When buying insurance, oftentimes it makes sense to get a plan that covers preventative care rather than picking a plan with a huge premium.

In fact, if you tend to be quite healthy, getting a plan that doesn’t require a co-pay for preventative care can help you to avoid illness or even improve your health, so other services aren’t regularly necessary.

The problem is, it’s hard to define on your own what is considered preventative care. For example, if you get bloodwork because you’re at a new doctor and they want a better idea of your health history, that could be considered preventative, but if you have an illness and the blood work is to diagnose it, that isn’t preventative because you’re visiting the doctor while already ill.

If you don’t ask prior to your appointment and just assume something is preventative, you could end up leaving with a big bill you didn’t expect.

open enrollment healthcare"Why does health insurance have to be so complicated?" one might ask, particularly in this season of health exchanges, health savings accounts and broken healthcare web sites. Hey, at least it's not as difficult as the U.S. Tax Code, but just give it time. Health insurance is just one of those things that people don't want to learn about; until they need it, that is. Most of us have had company benefits explained to us time and time again, only to need a refresher course every time open enrollment rolls around. Well, get ready, because if you think it was complicated before you may be blindsided by what's on the horizon.

hsa investmentAs healthcare costs rise, many insurance providers have started offering flexible plans to meet every budget. Instead of limiting members to a choice between PPO, HMO and Short-Term health coverage, they started offering high-deductible health plans (HDHPs.) While these plans certainly addressed the hefty monthly premiums, they made it difficult for members to reap the benefits without paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. Enter the "Health Savings Account," otherwise known as the HSA.

part_d_plan_arizonaA lot has been written about the changes to Medicare, and proposed changes yet to come, so it's no surprise that so many Arizona seniors are confused about their choices. One of the most common questions in this state is, "How do I choose a Part D plan?" According to a recent article from the Tucson Citizen, "Medicare Part D: So many choices!" (October 16, 2012), a study by Health Affairs revealed that seniors overspend on prescription drug plans by more than $368 per year. The reason for this is that they pay for more coverage than they need. In fact, only 5.2 percent of seniors chose the most economical Medicare Part D plan available for them.

high_protein_foodsHigh protein diets may have changed over the years – starting with liquid protein in the 80’s, followed by the Atkins Diet and South Beach.  While some people still claim that low-fat diets are better than low-carbs, high protein foods are more effective at satisfying hunger.  When the overall goal is to reduce calorie intake; it’s usually better to stick with foods that fill keep hunger at bay, but not all high-protein foods are created equal.

Gluten_free_dietIf you’ve heard the claims of gluten-free diet fanatics, it may sound a little too good to be true.  The dietary side effects of wheat gluten have been blamed for everything from obesity to heart disease and A.D.D., so it’s no surprise there would be some skeptics who find it hard to believe.  The truth is that gluten sensitivity itself is considered a disease; one which results in a wide variety of symptoms including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other bone and joint pain symptoms.  Does this mean that everyone who consumes too much gluten will develop arthritis?  Probably not, but a gluten-free diet has been shown to ease the pain for many arthritis sufferers.

According to the popular book, “Wheat Belly” by cardiologist William Davis, arthritis is one of many illnesses that have been all but “cured” by avoiding gluten, but it’s important to understand that there are many systemic causes for painful and swollen joints.  While both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be irritated by food intolerances such as celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, it is important to understand the differences between the two main types of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of joint cartilage, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that results in painful swelling and inflammation of the joints.  Both diseases may have similar symptoms, but each of them is treated differently and each patient will have a unique response to dietary changes.

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