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Archive for the ‘Blog Entries’ Category
The Internal Revenue Service released a final rule on January 30th 2013 in regards to the premium tax credit provision of the Affordable Care Act, clarifying an issue from the more comprehensive final rule that it published in May 2012. According to the regulation, an eligible employer-sponsored plan is considered affordable for “related individuals” if the portion of the annual premium the employee must pay for self-only coverage (the required contribution percentage) does not exceed 9.5 percent of the employee’s household income. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the IRS on Jan. 30 each released proposed rules that explain the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and lay out the eligibility rules for receiving exemptions, as well as the process by which individuals can receive certificates of exemption. The proposed rule also cites five exemptions that exchanges may grant to individuals, as well as the process for receiving an exemption. These situations include incarceration, religious conscience, membership in a health care sharing ministry, membership in an Indian tribe and hardship. HHS also clarified in the new rules that short gaps in coverage won't trigger the coverage requirement, which means that temporarily employed individuals won’t be fined for losing their health coverage between jobs. The proposed rules also expand the definition of minimum essential coverage, which now includes the following:
Are you looking for guidance with how healthcare reform will affect you in buying a Texas Health Insurance plan? In less than a year away all US cititzens will be forced to purchase a health insurance plan or pay a tax penalty. People without health insurance will be forced to purchase plans in an open enrollment period from October 1st through December 15th. There are many factors that affect you purchasing decision moving into 2014. Contact one of our agents for guidance on healthcare reform at 512-246-9955 or online at www.txhal.com.
~Please Call Texas Health & Life for the Most Affordable Texas Heath Insurance ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance & Texas Medicare Supplement~ As of January 1, 2013, all Aetna Advantage Plans will contain coverage for women's health services. Aetna added this benefit for new policies effective August 1, 2012. Starting January 1, 2013, existing members will begin receiving these benefits as well. The women's health services benefits will apply to existing members upon their policy renewal on or after January 1, 2013. Members will be notified by mail throughout the month of October with the exception of Missouri members covered under grandfathered plans. A grandfathered plan has an effective date prior to March 23, 2010. Women's health services are considered preventive and therefore generally covered at no cost share, when provided in-network.
Women's preventive health benefits
- Well-woman visits like annual routine physical, annual routine GYN exam and prenatal visits
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing
- Screening for gestational diabetes
- Counseling for sexually transmitted infections
- Counseling and screening for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence
- Breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling
- Contraceptive methods and counseling
~Please Call Texas Health & Life for the Most Affordable Texas Heath Insurance ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance & Texas Medicare Supplement~ Many parents find themselves drawn to the idea that with just a bit more parental elbow grease, we might turn out children with great talents and assured futures. This raises the question: Is there anything wrong with over parenting? Decades of studies have found that the optimal parent is one who is responsive ,involved, who sets high expectations and respects child’s autonomy. These parents appear to hit the sweet spot of parental involvement and generally raise children who do better academically, psychologically and socially than children whose parents are less involved, permissive , or controlling and more involved. Authoritative parents actually help cultivate motivation in their children. Authoritative parents raise more motivated, and thus more successful, children. In a typical experiment, young children are put into a room and asked to solve a simple puzzle. Most do so with little difficulty. Then some of the children are told how very bright and capable they are. As it turns out, the children who are not told they’re smart are more motivated to tackle increasingly difficult puzzles. They also exhibit higher levels of confidence and show greater overall progress in puzzle-solving. Praising children’s abilities and talents seems to rattle their confidence. The child who receives the praise may think tackling more difficult puzzles carries the risk of losing one’s status as “smart” and deprives kids of the thrill of choosing to work regardless of outcomes. Reasonably supporting a child’s autonomy and limiting interference results in better academic and emotional outcomes. The most successful happiest children have parents who do not do for them what they are capable of doing, or almost capable of doing; and their parents do not do things for them that satisfy their own needs rather than the needs of the child. If you treat your walking toddler as if she can’t walk, you diminish her confidence and distort reality. Ditto nightly “reviews” of homework, repetitive phone calls to checking in and writing or editing your child’s college application essay. Once your child is capable of doing something, congratulate yourself on a job well done and move on letting the child do for themselves. Continued, unnecessary intervention makes your child feel bad about himself or angry at you and in the long run can cripple them latter in adulthood having a mentality of someone else should do it for me or a lazy mind set. Think back to when your toddler learned to walk. The child would take a step or two then collapse and immediately look to you for your reaction. You were in thrall to those early attempts and would do everything possible to encourage for your child to get up again. You certainly didn’t chastise your child for failing or utter dire predictions about flipping burgers for the rest of his or her life if she fell again. You were present, alert and available to guide if necessary. But you didn’t pick your child up every time. You knew that your child had to get it wrong many times before he or she could get it right. One of the greatest challenges of parenting is hanging back and allowing children to make mistakes. It’s easier when they’re young. The potential mistakes carry greater risks, and part of being a parent is minimizing risk for our children. If there’s a predator loose in the neighborhood, your child doesn’t get to go to the mall. But under normal circumstances an 11-year-old girl is quite capable of taking care of themselves for a few hours in the company of friends. She may forget a package, overpay for an item or forget that she was supposed to call home at noon. Mastery of the world is an expanding geography for our kids and is where growth takes place. In this gray area of just beyond the comfortable is where resilience is born. The small challenges that start in infancy present the opportunity for “successful failures,” that is, failures your child can live with and grow from. To rush in too quickly, to shield them, to deprive them of those challenges is to deprive them of the tools they will need to handle the inevitable, difficult, challenging and sometimes devastating demands of life. While doing things for your child unnecessarily or prematurely can reduce motivation and increase dependency that is permanent it also forces them to circumvent the most critical task of childhood: to develop a self identity. It is psychological control that damages a child’s developing identity. If pushing, direction, motivation and reward always come from the outside, the child never has the opportunity to craft an inside. Having tutors prep your anxious 3-year-old for a preschool interview because all your friends’ children are going to this particular school or pushing your exhausted child to take one more advanced-placement course because it will ensure her spot as class valedictorian is not involved parenting but toxic overparenting aimed at meeting the parents’ need for status or affirmation and not the child’s needs. We must remember as parents that children thrive best in an environment that is reliable, available, consistent and noninterfering. A loving parent is warm, willing to set limits and unwilling to breach a child’s psychological boundaries by invoking shame or guilt. Parents must acknowledge their own anxiety. Your job is to know your child well enough to make a good call about whether he can manage a particular situation. The child’s job is to grow, yours is to control your anxiety so it doesn’t get in the way of his reasonable moves toward autonomy. Parents also have to be clear about their own values because Children watch us closely. If you want your children to be able to stand up for their values, you have to do the same. Parents also have to make sure their own lives are fulfilling. There is no parent more vulnerable to the excesses of overparenting than an unhappy parent. One of the most important things we do for our children is to present them with a version of adult life that is appealing and worth striving for. Looking for the best information and the best rates on Texas Health Insurance Quotes ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance Quotes ~ www.texashealthandlife.com give us a call at or 512-246-9955
~Please Call Texas Health & Life for the Most Affordable Texas Heath Insurance ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance & Texas Medicare Supplement~ By law, states are required to implement Democratic President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Health officials in 24 Republican-controlled states are working behind the scenes to set up insurance exchanges that provide a market for individuals and small businesses to shop for affordable health coverage. Nov. 16 is the deadline for states to show they can do it, or the federal government steps in and does it for them. Huge opposition is coming from republican governors and legislators who want states to do nothing until the national election on Nov. 6, hoping the party wins enough votes to repeal the law. Conservatives believe that if the federal government is forced to set up many of the exchanges, the system would likely fail which would make the law easier to repeal if Republican nominee Mitt Romney defeats President Barack Obama in the election. Insurance officials want a better contingency plan in case the Republicans lose, as the 10-day window between the election and the exchange deadline will not give them enough time to prepare an exchange. The health care reform law passed in 2010 calls for health insurance exchanges to be in full operation by January 2014, helping to extend care to up to 16 million uninsured Americans. 13 mostly Democratic states have committed to establishing their own insurance exchanges, while a handful of others have said they would probably do it or agreed to form a partnership with the federal government. 7 states have outright refused. In the remaining 24 states with Republican majorities in either legislative house, heated opposition means work on exchanges occurs haphazardly, behind the scenes and with fewer funds. Half a dozen Republican state health officials interviewed by Reuters said they prefer to plan for exchanges now, rather than accept blame down the road for a federally run exchange that leaves voters worse off than their neighbors. At least 15 others are also preparing for some kind of exchange, according to state planning documents, news articles and the Kaiser Family Foundation, which tracks states' actions. Even setting up health exchanges is not easy and many states need new laws to create and fund an exchange; they have to study local needs through dozens of meetings, hire staff and find contractors to set up the technology. Many insurers, such as Aetna, Wellpoint Inc, or United Healthcare would also prefer the states to control local insurance markets rather than submit to federal regulation. Republicans working on exchanges have been accused of party disloyalty, and that opposition has intensified after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in late June. Romney is unlikely to repeal exchanges if he is elected, even if he gets rid of other parts of the health law, since the system would be too complicated to dismantle, or he may not have enough votes in Congress. Romney suggested as much during a recent interview with NBC's “Meet the Press,” saying he would keep some parts of Obamacare if he becomes president – though he did not mention exchanges specifically. Looking for the best information and the best rates on Texas Health Insurance Quotes ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance Quotes ~ www.texashealthandlife.com give us a call at or 512-246-9955
Texas Home Insurance Quotes ~ visit www.texashealthandlife.com or give us a call at or 512-246-9955
~Please Call Texas Health & Life for the Most Affordable Texas Heath Insurance ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance & Texas Medicare Supplement~ National Prostate Cancer Awareness month is September. American Cancer Society has reported over 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to keep your prostate healthy as you age. Eat more fruits and vegetables like watermelons, tomatoes, pink grapefruits, guava and papaya contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts, and also are good choices. Eat more selenium-rich foods such as tuna, wheat germ, herring and other seafood and shellfish, kidney, beef liver, eggs, sunflower and sesame seeds, mushrooms, cashews,garlic and onions. Selenium reduces risk of prostate cancer. Include more soy in your diet from sources such as tofu, soy nuts or soy flour or powders. Exercise regularly and keep a healthy weight. Let your doctor know if you have a family history of prostate cancer because this more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease. Do not smoke. Beginning at age 50, Get a PSA and/ or full lab work and rectal exam annually. Men at high risk, such as African American men or men with a strong family history of prostate cancer should begin testing at age 45. The prostate is a small organ about the size of a walnut. It is found below the bladder (where urine is stored) and surrounds the tube that carries urine away from the bladder (urethra). Prostate problems are common in men ages 50 and older. Doctors who are experts in diseases of the urinary tract (urologists) diagnose and treat prostate problems. Signs of Prostate Problems Frequent urge to urinate, Difficulty in urinating, Painful or burning urination, Difficulty in having an erection/ Painful ejaculation, Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, hips, or upper thighs If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away to find out if you need treatment. If you don’t have one feel free to contact our Family Medicine group today. Looking for the best information and the best rates on Texas Health Insurance Quotes ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance Quotes ~ www.texashealthandlife.com give us a call at or 512-246-9955
~Please Call Texas Health & Life for the Most Affordable Texas Heath Insurance ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance & Texas Medicare Supplement~ Whether you go to the hospital for an emergency or routine procedure, there are steps you can take to help avoid legal and medical complications down the road.
- Make sure your name and identifying information such as Insurance Information ID & Social is completely accurate during hospital check in. Some problems involving hospital care begin as clerical errors. A seemingly small error can create major issues. Reduce the chance of error by carefully reviewing your hospital admissions paperwork and checking your hospital wristband for errors. Even checking again on the back end with insurance company to make sure claims are being submitted and correctly filed.
- Have an up-to-date Medical Power of Attorney or a Living Will. This will entrust decisions about your care to a person you designate in the event you cannot make medical decisions yourself. Advise your family of your designation so that person is notified when decisions have to be made.
- Understand your health insurance coverage. It is important that you understand your deductible & coinsurance amounts. Make sure that all claims are filed through your insurance carrier for the discounts to be applied and credited to your deductible. Your policy may require you to obtain preauthorization for medical procedures. Review your health coverage now. It is too late to make critical changes after you get sick.
- Save any documents you receive regarding your care or billing. Retain all of your hospital and Insurance documentation in the event of a fee dispute, insurance dispute or medical malpractice claim. For every bill you receive; you should also receive a corresponding explanation of benefits from your carrier verifying that amount. Documents can be easily misplaced in the confusion of care and recovery. Ask someone you trust to help you keep your documentation organized.
- Ask for a second opinion if you are unsure about your diagnosis or treatment. You have the right to speak with another doctor or caregiver if you are uncomfortable with the diagnosis or treatment recommendations being made.
- Advocate for quality care. It is important to speak up for yourself in the hospital. If you have a concern about the quality of care you receive, speak to a doctor or nursing supervisor. If you are unable to advocate for yourself due to the nature of your illness, medications or treatments, have a friend or family member speak for you and stay with you if possible. Many hospitals have a designated advocate on staff. If you feel your concerns are not addressed ask to speak with a patient advocate.
~Please Call Texas Health & Life for the Most Affordable Texas Heath Insurance ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance & Texas Medicare Supplement~ What if your hands and your finders could discover early signs of dangerous diseases you didn't yet know you had? It used to be common for doctors to look at the hands for important clues to overall health. Hands can tell you a great deal about circulation, hormones, and thyroid function. Here are 7 important clues your hands can reveal about your overall health.
Palmar erythema, liver disease, can be a sign of your palms remain reddened over a long period of time One exception is if you're pregnant, red palms are normal, because increased blood flow causes redness in more than half of expecting women. Inflammation of the liver begins to loose function and is no longer able to flush waste out of the body as efficiently. The result is an excess of hormones and causes the blood vessels in the hands and feet to dilate which makes them visible through the skin. Other symptoms of liver disease include prominent veins on the upper torso and abdomen, swollen legs and abdomen, and fatigue. The most common tests for liver function are a liver enzyme count and bilirubin count. Comparative finger length can tell the likelihood of having certain conditions. Men's ring fingers tend to be longer than their index fingers, while in women it's the opposite. Women with ring fingers longer than their index fingers are twice as likely to suffer from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the knees to be more common in both men and women with longer ring fingers and most pronounced in women. Longer index fingers are associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer in men and woman have a higher risk of breast cancer. A study found that men whose index fingers were noticeably longer than their ring fingers were 33 % less likely to develop prostate cancer. Scientists aren't sure yet as to the reason why, but they believe finger length is affected by exposure to varying amounts of the hormones estrogen and testosterone in the womb. Longer index fingers suggest higher estrogen exposure and Longer ring fingers indicate greater prenatal exposure to testosterone. Breast cancer is estrogen fueled, longer index fingers correlate with higher breast cancer. In men, more testosterone is linked to a higher incidence of prostate cancer. As for the osteoarthritis, scientists don't have a definite explanation yet but think it may have something to do with the way hormones affect early bone growth. Women who have longer ring fingers may want to watch out for weak or sore joints, particularly knees, and get injuries or soreness evaluated. Men who are at higher risk for prostate cancer should be proactive about PSA testing. Women should have regular mammograms for breast cancer screening. Swollen fingers can happen for the simplest of reasons: Outside temperatures, its a woman's monthly menstruation period, or you just consumed something salty. But if your fingers feel swollen & stiff and your rings still won't fit after several days of drinking plenty of fluids and cutting back on salt , the swelling could suggest hypothyroidism. A underactive thyroid is underactive produces less of the important hormones that regulate metabolism and keep your body functioning properly. When metabolism slows, the result is typically water accumulation and weight gain. Ask your doctor for a routine thyroid check, which is a blood test that measures the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Make sure your doctor is aware of new screening guidelines, which state that TSH level should be between 0.3 and 3.0. Under normal circumstances, if you press gently on your fingernails they turn white, and then when you release the pressure they turn pink again. If your nails stay white more than a minute after you press on them or look pale all the time, this can be a sign of anemia. Anemia is iron deficiency and causes pale nails when there aren't enough red blood cells circulating in the bloodstream. Severe iron deficiency can also cause the nails to have a slightly concave shape. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue or heart problems, so you'll want to alert your doctor. You can try treating iron defienciency by increasing intake of iron-rich foods, like red meat, spinach/ dark greens, nuts, and taking an iron supplement. If iron typically cause digestive issues so take a nonconstipating formula such as Slow-Fe.Remember to take vitamin C at the same time, as it helps iron absorption. splinter hemorrhages look like tiny red or brownish splinters under the nails, and are tiny areas of bleeding that can signal infection in the heart or blood. They run in the direction of nail growth, they resemble splinters that got stuck under the nail. Splinter hemorrhages happen when tiny blood clots block blood flow in the capillaries beneath the nails and toe nails. They occur with an infection of the heart valves called subacute bacterial endocarditis. This condition typically occurs in someone with a heart murmur or underlying infection. If you just have a few red spots under the nails and have never been diagnosed with a heart problem it is most likely that these are from some other cause, probably injuries to the hands. Bacterial endocarditis is typically accompanied by a low-grade fever. Get heart checked if concerned about these symptoms. Your doctor will run a series of tests to evaluate blood flow through the heart. If your heart's been given a clean bill of health, then heart valve infection is an unlikely cause and you can wait to see if the red spots clear up on their own. Thickened fingertips that angle out above the last knuckle like miniature clubs can be a sign of heart or lung disease. You may also notice the nail rounding, so your fingers curve downward like the inside of a spoon. If the circulatory systems of the heart or lungs are impaired oxygen levels in the blood are likely to drop. Over time, this causes the soft tissues of the fingertip pads to grow, so fingertips and the ends of toes appear to bulge outward. If your fingers and toes are thickening other symptoms might be shortness of breath or chronic cough. Club Thickening also occurs with aortic valve disease causing fatigue and chest pain. See your doctor for a full heart and lung evaluation. Raynaud's disease or Raynaud's syndrome is a Fingertips circulatory disorder that is indicated by gray- or blue-tinged or feel numb. Raynaud's syndrome causes sudden temporary spasms in the blood vessels and arteries. Narrowed arteries constrict blood flow to the hands and fingers decreasing circulation. Symptoms include cold hands and numb fingertips. Between 5 and 10% of people have this condition. Raynaud's is more common in women than men, and it gets worse in cold weather and can be brought on by increased stress. Sudden changes in temperature can bring on a Raynaud's attack. Wear gloves when you go outside in cold weather, since cold is one of the major triggers for Raynaud's. Temperatures below 60 degrees are a problem for many Raynaud's sufferers. Raynaud's attacks can restrict circulation and overtime cause tissue damage. Some lifestyle changes to keep your circulation healthy and keep from having attacks. Smoking and caffeine both constrict blood vessels, so quit smoking and cut down on tea,coffee, and cola. Boost your aerobic exercise to raise your heart rate and get your blood pumping. Some people suffer from "secondary" Raynaud's, brought on by another underlying condition. In this case, treating the underlying condition is the key to preventing Raynaud's attacks. Looking for the best information and the best rates on Texas Health Insurance Quotes ~ Texas Home Auto Insurance Quotes ~ www.texashealthandlife.com give us a call at or 512-246-9955
“I sell life insurance. Other sales people are limited. They sell just furniture, appliances, cars or shoes. I sell these things, too. And, I sell many things more. I sell meat, bread, and milk for the table of a family deprived of a father or mother. I sell cancelled mortgages to that mother or father and the children can live comfortably. I sell college educations to give youngsters better opportunities in life. I sell the little extras – Ice cream cones, roller blades, movie tickets, and a dress for prom. I make life worth living – I sell time with grandchildren, golf clubs, fishing tackle, exciting trips, retirement income, and self respect for later years. I sell all the necessities and good things of life, because life insurance is for the living. Yes, I sell life insurance, and pardon me if my pride is showing.” Although the author of this quote is unknown, we do know it was written by a life insurance sales person. Who else would have such insight into the miracle of life insurance? September is life insurance awareness month. As a life insurance professional, I am proud of what I provide families. My office offers service like no other. Our office offers affordable life insurance for you and your family. Call us at 512-246-9955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for life insurance quotes. If you don’t have life insurance, there is no better time to start a policy for your family. Looking for the best information and the best rates on Texas Life Insurance Quotes ~ visit www.texashealthandlife.com or give us a call at or 512-246-9955