At Bankers Fidelity, we believe that World Health Day is one of the best days to discuss and learn about a variety of different health-related concerns. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get a lot of press in the media. If you missed out on World Health Day this year, don’t worry we have some ideas on how you can celebrate next year. At Bankers Fidelity we believe we're more than just your average cancer care insurance and Medicare insurance company; we like to invest in our customers just like they invest in our company! We want to provide you with the resources you need to live a long and healthy life.
Every year, the World Health Organization chooses one specific subject of major importance to global health and dedicates April 7th to raising awareness about it to the masses. This past year, the WHO selected diabetes as the condition that they would focus their efforts on.
While we’re proud to be experts when it comes to Medicare supplemental health insurance, that isn’t the only thing Bankers Fidelity is concerned about. A majority (57%) of Americans over the age of 65 make time for regular vacations, but you don’t have to go anywhere to join World Health Day efforts. Here are a couple fun activities people participated in worldwide this year to battle diabetes.
Stay Super Posters: One of the things WHO did to get people excited and interested in this year’s World Health Day was their “Stay Super. Beat Diabetes” poster campaign. Basically, the organization created several different posters with superhero themes doing things to “fight” diabetes. One featured a group of children dressed in superhero attire around a dinner table filled with fruits and vegetables, another showed them outside kicking a soccer ball, and still another showed the finger of a hero being pricked by a needle with the tagline “If in doubt, check!”
Get creative and come up with your own superhero, or a poster with an entirely new theme that you can display at home or in the office to help raise awareness.
Write a Letter: It might sound old-fashioned, but there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to write a letter to the editor or some other type of outlet to proliferate your views and ideas on such a serious matter. This is a great route of expression for the not-so-artistically inclined.
Host/Participate in a Charity Event: Whether it’s a 5k run/walk, sporting event like softball or dodgeball, virtually any type of game can be turned into a charity event for diabetes simply by raising money for a quality organization that supports the cause. These are great things to do on the weekend, when the majority of Americans report being happier on average, or to lift you from a mid-week slump while also highlighting an important issue that affects many in our society.
Approximately 83% of Americans 65 or older report to having grandchildren and all of them want to see their kids grow up happy and healthy. At Bankers Fidelity, we consider ourselves more than just a Medicare insurance company. Raising awareness around World Health Day is just one way we believe can help families directly and indirectly.
Even if you live an extremely healthy lifestyle, you may still have to visit the doctor once or twice a year. Most people seek medical help more frequently than that, though, and those costs can add up quickly. According to The Commonwealth Fund, about one in five Americans paid out-of-pocket health care expenses upwards of $2,000 in 2014. That is money that, with the right health insurance and a few smart strategies, you shouldn’t have to pay.
Four Tips for Managing Health Care Expenses
1) Select the right health insurance policy for your needs
Bronze plans look good from afar because of their low monthly premiums, but what you may not think about right away is the inconvenience of these plans’ high deductibles, coinsurance, and copays on top of the overall lower level of coverage. This type of plan might be ideal for someone who rarely visits the doctor (and therefore deals with fewer copays), but if you have a medical condition or must purchase monthly prescriptions, you may want to choose a plan with better coverage and lower copays. Basically, it is important that you read through the plans carefully and choose the one that is best for you.
This can be especially important for seniors. While Medicare provides a great deal of benefits, a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy may also need to be added depending on your needs.
2) Make sure your doctors are in network
Health insurance plans change from year to year, which means that they don’t always cover the same physicians and medical facilities. Always review your plan for changes and check with your doctor ahead of time to make sure that they accept your specific insurance plan.
3) Stick to generic drugs
Speaking of prescriptions, remember that there is usually more than one choice when it comes to most drugs. Brand-name prescriptions will often cost more than generic brands, so shop around and compare prices. Talk to your doctor about prescribing brands with lower costs.
4) Take advantage of free services
ACA-compliant health insurance plans offer a number of important screenings with no copay, and you can always find medical facilities in your community that offer free tests for conditions like diabetes, HIV, and other STDs. By law, insurance companies must cover preventative care, so get your free flu and shingles shots.
These are just a few of the many ways you can save money on health care this year. Do you have any other tips or suggestions? Feel free to post in the comments section below.
If you’re looking for life insurance in Virginia (aka life insurance VA), Bankers Fidelity offers a variety of plans to fit your particular needs and situation. At Bankers Fidelity, we don’t think of ourselves as merely sellers in the insurance world though. We want to help our customers live better, healthier, and longer lives. That’s why we’re proud and excited to offer potentially valuable information and news that may help people do just that. May is National Stroke Awareness Month. In honor of this annual event here is a little information followed by a few tips for avoiding a stroke and possibly causing your family to make use of your life insurance a lot sooner than you would have ever hoped.
What is a Stroke and How Common are They?
When blood flow to the brain is cut off for some reason, a stroke results. A stroke is an attack on a person’s brain that can, unfortunately, happen at any time to virtually any person. When the brain is deprived of blood, it is also deprived of the oxygen it contains, which causes the brain cells to die or become damaged. The reason why many stroke sufferers will temporarily or permanently be affected by things like memory loss or ability impairment to certain areas of the body correlates to what specific areas of the brain were damaged.
The severity of a stroke can range from minor, temporary pain and weakness in an arm or leg, to permanent paralysis or death. It is possible to recover fully from a stroke with no long-term effects, but two-thirds of survivors will be left with some sort of disability. Overall, approximately 800,000 people suffer a stroke every year and it is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.
Improve Overall Health: Perhaps not the most revolutionary piece of advice, but the best way to prevent a stroke starts with improving your health overall. Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is one of the most important factors, but regular exercise and losing weight can play big roles as well. This doesn’t mean you have to turn yourself into a gym rat, but try to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise/activity every day. Something as simple as a walk around the block every morning can pay huge dividends when it comes to living a healthy life.
Drink in Moderation: Surprising as it may be for some, drinking alcohol can actually help you prevent a stroke. Before you make a run to your local liquor store in the name of stroke prevention, keep in mind that experts say drinking in moderation is key to reaping the benefits here. That means one, maybe two drinks a night, according to Harvard Medical School.
“Studies show that if you have about one drink per day, your risk may be lower,” said Dr. Natalia Rost, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and associate director of the Acute Stroke Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. “Once you start drinking more than two drinks per day, your risk goes up very sharply.” To really maximize your efforts make it a glass of red wine as studies have shown it can have positive effects on the brain and heart.
Quit Smoking: Again, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone paying attention, but smoking cigarettes is one of the worst habits for your body and can often be a direct factor in premature usage of life insurance VA and around the world. When it comes to strokes, smoking thickens the blood, which can accelerate clot formations resulting in strokes.
Treat Conditions That Put You At-Risk: Conditions such as diabetes and atrial fibrillation can easily lead to a stroke if left untreated. These are serious conditions in their own right that should be taken care of in and of themselves, but allowing them to fester can result in a stroke compounding the situation.
Know the Warning Signs: The National Stroke Association has long promoted the acronym FAST when it comes to identifying and treating a possible stroke: Face, Arms, Speech, and Time. Weakness on one side of the body, numbness in the face, loss of vision and slurred speech are all crucial warning signs that indicate you should seek medical attention immediately.
Even if you have a life insurance VA policy doesn’t mean you should be eager to use it. Follow these tips to preventing a stroke and lead a better, healthier life overall.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important from the time you first learn to feed yourself until your last years on earth. No matter what your financial situation may be, where you're living, or how big your family is, you will always need to focus on your health.
As you grow older, however, your health becomes the single most important aspect of your entire life, and you should treat it as such. Not only do you need to do everything you can to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle, but you need quality health insurance policies and life insurance policies as well.
Here are some tips to maintain that happy lifestyle well into your old age.
It is recommended that you consume at least one and a half to two servings of fruit a day and two to two and a half cups of vegetables every day. If you want to live a strong and healthy life in your elderly years, you're going to have to get serious about your diet. Not only do you need to eat a healthy dosage of good foods, but you also need to completely cut out unhealthy foods from your diet. Just because you eat the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies doesn't mean you're allowed to stuff your face with cake, candy, and fast food all day. Develop a healthy and realistic diet and stick to it, no matter what, because your health depends on it.
Get Rid of All Your Bad Habits
If you're still smoking, it's time to stop. You know how dangerous it is and even this late in life, if you fully quit smoking, you'll feel more energized than ever and much healthier. In addition to quitting smoking, try your hardest to change any other unhealthy habit that you've developed over the last few years. If you spend all day sitting on the couch in front of the TV, consider getting outside a bit more.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Your body needs to regenerate each night and getting enough sleep is essential in doing so. If you really want to stay healthy, you have to do everything together. You can't just exercise, sleep right, and eat right but still smoke a pack a day. You have to get a decent amount of rest each night, stop smoking and doing all your bad habits, and eat right every single day to ensure a happy and healthy lifestyle.
It's so easy to let the feelings of laziness overcome you as you grow older. You have to give yourself a fighting chance to have a happy and healthy life for as long as you possibly can. Don't think for a second that just because you're not as young as you used to be that you can't improve your health. Talk to a professional and determine and individualized diet that you'll be able to stick to, put an end to all your unhealthy habits, and get plenty of sleep. You're going to need all that rest, too -- you have a lot of life left to live.
Do you know what your health insurance plan covers? There may be some obvious services that you already know about, but here are a few of the lesser-known health care expenses that are totally covered under the Affordable Care Act. Make sure you take advantage of these so you can live a happy, healthy lifestyle.
The Affordable Care Act eliminates out-of-pocket expenses for preventative care services, including routine immunizations. The flu shot is offered at most clinics and pharmacies.
Autism can be hard to diagnose, particularly because it affects patients at such a young age. Fortunately, these screenings are now covered by law.
Under the Affordable Care Act, Americans can now receive counseling to help them kick their smoking habit. Roughly 40 million adults in the U.S. currently smoke tobacco despite the many health risks, and counseling can certainly make quitting a lot easier.
Though controversial, the U.S. government recently stated that contraception must be covered under the Affordable Care Act. Not all of the 18 FDA-approved methods are covered under every plan, so check with your health care provider to find out which are available at no cost to you.
Mental health counseling
One in seven baby boomers (14%) is currently being treated for depression, which is a higher rate than among any other generation of American adults. In fact, depression affects nearly 7% of the entire adult population each year. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, you can now receive mental health counseling at no cost, so that you are free to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Pediatric dental services
Learning the importance of good oral health at a young age is extremely important. That is why the U.S. government requires insurance companies to cover pediatric dental care. There is no reason not to make regular dentist appointments for your little one.
Support for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding isn’t always as easy as it looks, especially for first-time moms. Counseling, supplies, and other services are now covered by health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
These services are all free of charge, but only if you are enrolled in a qualified health plan. Health insurance isn’t just essential for your wellbeing; it is required by law. Enroll in a health care plan today.
For seniors, you will also want to see what is covered under your Medicare policy and look into a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy to see what else you can get covered for.
Even though we often associate beauty with youth, a recent Gallup survey indicates that we may have it backwards. According to Gallup, 66% of Americans aged 65 and older agreed that they always feel good about their physical appearance. But when it came to younger adults, only 61% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 could say the same thing (1).
Today, when people are not satisfied with their physical appearance or the signs of aging, they often have the technology and resources available to make a change. Over the past decade, the number of cosmetic surgeries performed on women increased by over 538%. Among men, that number increased by 325%. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, men and women spent a combined $13.5 billion on plastic surgery in 2015 (2). Where is this money coming from?
Insurance is intended to cover the health care expenses of essential medical procedures, but health insurance policies can vary in terms of what they choose to cover. Nonetheless, most insurance providers adhere to a set of guidelines and definitions when deciding which procedures are considered necessary and which are considered elective. Typically, cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery are elective, but there are exceptions.
The same thing goes for Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance. While it may not seem like a large audience, the Gallup poll shows that there are those seniors who do not feel good about their appearance. There are also those seniors who need reconstructive surgery as a result of an accident or deformity. This makes it important to know what kind of procedures Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance will cover.
Health insurance companies and Medicare Supplement Insurance policies are more likely to cover reconstructive procedures than cosmetic ones. In other words, they will determine if the surgery is essential to bodily function or quality of life.
The American Medical Association’s (AMA) definition of reconstructive surgery is “surgery performed on abnormal structures caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors, or disease.”
The AMA defines cosmetic surgery as “the reshaping of normal structures on the body to improve the self-esteem or appearance of a patient.”
Most insurance providers do not cover the health care expenses associated with cosmetic surgery because, by its very nature, this type of procedure is optional and is not necessary for normal bodily function.
Examples of cosmetic procedures that are not routinely covered include liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgeries, or facelifts.
Some procedures that are typically performed for cosmetic purposes may be covered if the individual’s health is affected by a particular issue. Examples include:
”Nose job” – Some people get plastic surgery to change the shape of their nose simply because they don’t like the way it looks. Others alter their nose because the natural shape makes it hard to breathe. In this case, the surgery becomes necessary rather than cosmetic and may be covered by insurance.
Breast surgery – If a woman’s breasts are causing her pain or discomfort because of their size, her insurance company may consider covering the health care expenses of a reduction surgery.
Abdominal surgery – Though liposuction and tummy tucks are not usually covered by insurance, they may be considered if the issue is causing certain health problems like sores, rashes, or back pain.
Before any kind of surgery, you should always check with your health insurance company to make sure your health care expenses will be covered. Contact your insurance provider directly and get the details of your coverage in writing so that there are no surprises when your bill arrives.
Protect Your Medicare Information Online
Understanding Medicare Supplement
Neither Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company® nor its Medicare Supplement policies are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government, the federal Medicare program, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is a solicitation of Medicare Supplement insurance and an independent agent may call on you. The Medicare Supplement products issued by the Company are insurance policies. Policy form series B 21092 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company®, Atlanta, GA; policy form series B 21492 is issued by Bankers Fidelity Assurance CompanyTM, Atlanta, GA. Limitations and exclusions apply; actual policy provisions control. Rates subject to change on a class basis. Individually underwritten; application to determine eligibility required.
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