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Health Department

What If We Had Universal Health Care?

With roughly 40 million Americans without health care insurance, and the current political debate of Healthcare Reform, one has to ask themselves what if we had universal health care in this country? While the number seems extremely large, many of those are young healthy Americans who see no need in purchasing insurance. Others who are not insured are denied because of preexisting conditions, financially incapable of purchasing insurance, or are between jobs. With these individuals who are uninsured, many seek medical care in emergency rooms, driving up the health cost for individuals who are insured. Many people believe the U.S. health system is second rate to other countries health operations.
What If We Had Universal Health Care?
Any person seeking basic medical care would be able to access hospitals, doctors, and clinics with a universal health care system. Just to note, I’m not specifying how much would actually be funded by the government, that still remains a political issue. Other wealthy countries have a system of this sort in place, but there are other models that are possible as well. In 2006 the city of San Francisco implemented universal health care. Although many individuals complained of the policy, because they felt it hindered the city by not enticing new businesses in choosing San Francisco as a location. Employers with 20 or more workers have to contribute a dollar per hour to help offset the nearly 200 million price tag. Employers with more than 100 workers are required to pay a $1.60 an hour, and up to $180 monthly maximum per worker. Yes it does seem rather steep, but it does seem like a moral obligation to each other.
The problem that may arise from universal care is the simple supply and demand model. If health care becomes easily obtainable, the demand for it will have a sharp increase resulting in abuse of the system. To exaggerate a little, the country just might become hypochondriacs. Not only that the number of people actually insured is going to decrease as well. People will no longer see a need for obtaining insurance if the government is going to cover basic health needs. When individuals and families begin to take advantage of the universal care the burden on physicians and clinics are going to increase, resulting in long waits and delays. For instance people with health insurance with low or zero deductibles use health services more frequently than those with high deductibles. In contrast universal care is like having a zero deductible resulting in over use of health care facilities. Which would result in a demand for health care workers, which would provide jobs that the economy could use at this moment. My question for you all to ponder is this, how would physicians adjust if universal health care became a reality in the United States?…

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Health Food

5 Foods That Will Put Your Testosterone On Overdrive!

Testosterone is an essential hormone to have if you intend to build a lot of lean muscle. Numerous males suffer from low levels of testosterone and high levels of estrogen due to smoking, stress and most importantly, a poor diet. This is especially true for men who are older because not only do they have a lifetime of bad habits, but their age diminishes the testosterone levels in their body.
The result of a decrease in testosterone isn’t just a loss of mass; it includes a loss of muscle strength, erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, depression, and weight gain. It’s tremendously important to eat foods that are higher in zinc and B vitamins and below I will show you 5 foods that will rev up your testosterone levels to unbelievable highs.
Eggs
Eggs are rich in protein and cholesterol. Now I know most of you reading this believe that cholesterol is a bad thing; however, testosterone is synthesized from cholesterol and thus is essential to build high levels of this muscle-building hormone. In addition, eggs provide you with a rich source of protein and vitamins B5 and B6. Some people will take out the yolk and eat just the egg whites; however, eating the yolk is essential in ensuring that you get all of the nutrients in the egg.
Raw Oysters
Oysters contain an insane amount of protein, magnesium and importantly, zinc. They are so full of zinc that only six oysters will give you seven times the recommended daily amount. The raise in testosterone will, not only, help with the increase of muscle strength and mass building, but it will also increase your libido and sperm count.
Red Meat
Along with oysters, red meat also contains very high levels of zinc and protein. However, not only are the zinc and proteins levels high but, they come in a form that is much faster and easier to absorb by the body. It should also be noted that red meat is also high in saturated fat, therefore, it is good to have it a few times a week but it should not be eaten every day.
Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, which has been proven to increase a man’s testosterone production. The really good thing about Brazil nuts is that you only have to have 1 or 2 in order to boost your selenium levels and thus increase testosterone levels. However, it is also important to note that the concentration of selenium found in Brazil nuts varies depending on what type of soil they were grown in. If the soil itself was rich in selenium the Brazil nuts will also be rich in the trace mineral. For example, nuts that grow in Manaus – Belem will have, approximately, selenium levels which are ten times higher than those that are grown in Acre – Rondia.
Garlic
Garlic contains allicin which is a compound that has been found to enhance testosterone levels. The research supporting this theory suggests that garlic stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone, which increases the circulation of testosterone.…

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Health Facts

Do Dust Mites Bite

Do dust mites really result in bites?

Dust mites feast upon dead skin cells and they colonize areas like bedrooms, carpeting and rugs and couches where they’ve got use of skin flakes. An average person may well shed approximately 1.5 grams of skin in one day. The dust mites feast upon these types of dead flakes. However their eating components cannot execute that which you know as a ‘bite’. They do not have teeth. Their dental aperture is a simple opening which takes the deceased components of skin and taking advantage of a digestive molecule they disintegrate the pieces and reassemble them. They absorb the food and pass it out for a pellet through the anus. Their waste materials contain a sure protein which in turn causes an allergy-like reply in us by evoking our immune system. So, dust bites cannot bite but provide an allergen that causes a response which makes us feel that we’ve been ‘bitten’. But devoid of the traditional teeth, these creatures are incapable of chewing or biting.

Common symptoms of a dust mite ‘bite’

Why people today mistake the dust mite pests symptoms to generally be just like a ‘bite’ is because it is extremely similar to what is felt whenever we get bitten by the insect or a mosquito. When the dust mites protein allergen comes in touch with your body, our immunity mechanism reacts towards the international matter by making allergens, just like the reaction of our body to microorganisms like a microbial or virus. This causes skin soreness and inflammation as a direct consequence of marring, causing us to suspect that individuals happen to be bitten. Dust mites can trigger other allergic reaction too like running nose with sneezing, asthma, irritation or tickling feeling in the nose passage, watery and reddening of eyes, etc. As time passes with daily exposure this could even be responsible for problems like eczema or dermatitis. Needless to say, this is simply not true for those who don’t have hypersensitivity.

Ways to reduce these mites?

Dust mites don’t bite but could cause aversions and if you want to prevent the allergen hypersensitivity brought on because of their profile you can also take a few precautions. You should hold all home bedding and bed as clear as possible. Rinse and wash your bed once every two weeks with hot water and air your pillows as often as you can. Because dust mites favor hot and moist weather, home air-conditioning would certainly succeed containing them. Regular vacuuming and cleaning of your carpeting and rugs, covers and drapes also will help in protecting against the accumulation of dust mites.

Since you now are clear about ‘Do dust mites bite?’ you need not be worried about being bitten. However, you need to take safeguards to find out they don’t populate and trigger asthma attacks in you or any member of the family. Being exposed to dust mites for long may lead to more serious disorders so it is preferable to manage them and keep your house clean.…

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Health Facts

Denied Health Insurance – What to Do If You Are Denied

You never think about it until it happens to you. You apply for health care coverage fully expecting that you will be covered. Instead, you get a letter or an email informing you that you have been denied health insurance. There are a number of reasons why an insurance provider would deny you coverage. Possibly the top reason is because of a preexisting condition. However, other reasons, such as being overweight and even poor credit, can cause a provider to reject your application. Being denied insurance is not the end of the world. You have several recourses available to you that can help you get the insurance you need.
Talk to the health insurance provider to see why they rejected your application for insurance. Generally, the insurance carrier will tell you why you were denied health insurance. If it is something you can fix, such as being overweight then work on correcting the issue. However, if it due to a preexisting condition, then you will need to take other action. Ask the insurance company if they will insure you based on a contingency, such as a waiting period before they cover the medical bills for your condition.
Another option is to check with other health insurance providers. Each insurance company has their own guidelines when it comes to underwriting a policy. Even though one company may have rejected your application does not mean you will be denied health insurance at all of them. A good way to find out who is willing to extend coverage to you is to visit a website that allows you to get quotes from multiple insurance companies at the same time. Instead of wasting time filling out several applications, you will only have to enter information once and the insurance companies will advise you of their answer. This will save you a lot of time.
If you are still having trouble getting standard insurance from carrier, see if you will qualify under a different type of plan. There are several types of insurance plans you can sign up for including HMO, PPO, Point of Sale, Fee for Service, High Deductible Health Plans, and Catastrophic insurance. You may not get the exact coverage you need but having some coverage is better than being completely uninsured. Lastly, if you continue to be denied health insurance from private insurers, contact your local government assistance office to see if you qualify for a government funded program.
If you need assistance in locating particular coverages at a pre-determined price, we can help you find a reduce health insurance premium today.…

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Health Food

Vitamin D: Check Your Levels, Avoid Illness

All summer long as sun hits our skin, our body transforms the sunlight into vitamin D. Our body stores much of that vitamin D, but as we stay holed up in the winter or face the cold outside in hats, scarves, and mittens, our vitamin D levels decline. Low levels of vitamin D may wreak havoc on our brains and we may develop depression. Low vitamin D may play a role in cancer as well.
Should you take a vitamin D supplement to avoid disease?
As with all nutrients, our vitamin D status is individualized. You may not need vitamin D at all and supplementation may cause a vitamin D overload. If you have lighter skin, you tend to make more. If you have more sun exposure, you make more. If you are obese, you need more. If you do not eat foods high in it or fortified with it, you need more. The surest way to know if you are low in vitamin D is to test for it.
Check Your Vitamin D LevelsIt has not always been possible to get a clinical test of your vitamin D status. Doctors had to rely on your body signs of deficiency which is a blunt measure at best. Today’s technology allows us to get a reading of our vitamin D levels. In fact, such tests are easily ordered from the Internet and administered right in our own homes by putting a spot of our blood on the test kit paper. We send in the test kit for a vitamin D reading and receive our results in the mail. We can use that reading to determine, first, if we are deficient and would benefit from supplementation and, second, to track our progress after we have begun a supplementation regimen.
Baseline Vitamin D TestYou will receive your baseline vitamin D results with some basic information about what vitamin D levels are “normal.” There is actually a great deal of controversy over what a “normal” level is. Typically the labs that administer the vitamin D tests are on the aggressive side. Many doctors will be on the more conservative side suggesting that a low test result is actually a “normal” one.
As consumers, it is difficult to know which interpretation to follow, but history appears to be supporting the side of more aggressive supplementation. Government recommendations on daily intake of vitamin D is going up, not down.
In any case, follow the recommendations from your lab report and make sure you stay out of the “low” end of the spectrum.
Track Your LevelsAfter your initial test, you want to continue tracking your vitamin D levels, every three months to start, then every six months to one year. You track your levels to make sure your supplementation regime is effective and also to ensure that you do not take too much vitamin D.
Vitamin D in large doses is toxic. During the summer months, in particular, if you are in the sun a lot, you could end up with vitamin D overload if you continue your supplementation. When sunshine hits your skin, you body produces vitamin D. You cannot overdose on vitamin D from sunshine — your body will make enough for your current needs and store some for the winter time. If you are taking a supplement on top of sun bathing, you could end up with too much. Do track your vitamin D status to avoid any future problems.…

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Health Food

Health Care Reform For Small Business – Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) To the Rescue

Professional Employer Organizations offer a one-stop solution for companies averaging 5 to 100 employees. They provide HR consulting, employee benefits, payroll, workers comp insurance, and many other employer-related services. As more regulations are created, and managing them becomes more difficult for employers, the PEO value proposition become more attractive.
2010
A� Small business tax credit – This tax credit is applicable for businesses with less than 25 full-time employees with an average wage below $50,000. The maximum credit equals 35 percent of the employer’s contribution to health insurance premiums, but it is unlikely the maximum credit will be applied. Calculating exactly what an employer qualifies for is an extremely sensitive process.
How PEOs help:
PEOs proactively consider whether their clients qualify for the credit and pass the total amount directly to the client. Since most PEOs manage their clients’ payroll and insurance plans, calculating the credit amount is much easier.
2011
A� W-2 provision – Employers must report the aggregate cost of employer-provided coverage on employees’ W-2s for informational purposes.
How PEOs help:
PEOs manage all aspects of their clients; payroll and benefits, so complying with this provision is synergistically efficient – the amount will be shown on all PEO work-site employees’ paychecks.
A� Wellness Grants are available for businesses with fewer than 100 employees to assist in implementing employee wellness programs. There is $200 million dollars that will be distributed over a five year period.
How PEOs help:
Since many PEOs partially self-insure their health insurance policies, they have always had a vested interest in proving their clients’ employee easy access to wellness programs. Most PEOs have long offered robust wellness programs that help employees live healthier lives, and consequently, make less medical claims – which is cheaper for everyone.
In 2013
A� FSA limits – all employee contributions to the FSA or Flexible Spending Account are limited to $2,500 per year. The penalty for using Flexible Spending Accounts incorrectly will be an increase from 10 percent to 20 percent.
How PEOs help:
PEOs manage all aspects of FSA administration for their clients – all FSAs offered to client employees will be adjusted seamlessly to comply with this provision.
A� Tax increases – Medicare payroll tax increase of 0.9% on self-employed individuals and employees with respect to earnings and wages received during the year above $200,000 for individuals above $250,000 for joint filers will go into effect. The new tax does not change the employer’s tax obligations, but self-employed individuals are not permitted to deduct any portion of the additional tax. In addition, there will be a new 3.8% Medicare contribution on certain unearned income from individuals with AGI over $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers).
How PEOs help:
Professional Employer Organizations are responsible for deducting and filing all payroll taxes to the appropriate governing body. Unlike a payroll service, PEOs are often responsible and liable for calculating and deducting the proper amounts.
A� Notices & Fines
1. Plan sponsors must supply participants at enrollment or re-enrollment a new form of plan summary that must include information on benefits, exclusions, and cost-sharing requirements. Those that do not comply with this provision are subject to a noncompliance fee of $1,000 for each failure.
2. Employers must provide a written notice regarding the existence of the Insurance Exchange and that the employee might qualify for subsidies by March 1, 2013.
3. Plan sponsors will be required to provide an annual statement to the government and covered individuals reflecting the months during the calendar year for which the individual had “minimum essential coverage”. Those that do not comply with this are subjected to a noncompliance penalty of $50 for each missed statement to an employee to a maximum of $100,000.
How PEOs help:
PEOs are often the plan sponsor for all their clients’ healthcare, unless they “carve out” benefits, which would mean they are not the plan sponsor, and the client maintains their own health insurance. Should a client be receiving healthcare through a PEO sponsored plan, each of these mandates falls squarely on the shoulders of the PEO. Notice the trend, due to co-employment, many of the additional requirements put forth by health care reform are burdens for the PEO.
2014
A� State-based insurance exchanges open – State-based insurance exchanges are planned to pool employers together into one large group much like PEOs have done for years in order to reduce overall premiums. However the exchange program has been attempted in other states and has not had the same success that PEOs have had. As with many public programs, cost-efficiency and timely service is inferior to that offered by private entities. We don’t foresee this principle changing.
How PEOs help:
PEOs have long pooled employers together for cooperative purchases of many items including health insurance, the result is lower cost. There is …

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General Article

Everyone Should Learn More About Vitamins And Minerals

Your body needs vitamin and mineral supplementation to perform properly. Your body is fueled by carbohydrates, but vitamins keep your systems functioning. Both the food you eat and the supplements you take are important for proper nutrition. Keep reading to learn some more about eating right.

Vitamins are essential in helping you get the most from your exercise plan. You’ll feel better, look better, and burn fat at higher rates.

Do your best to consume a balanced, nutritious diet to make sure that you receive the vitamins and minerals you need. Fruits and vegetables are the best things to add to your diet. If this is not possible for you, mineral supplements and vitamins may be for you.

Calcium helps build and maintain strong bones. You need to have lots of vitamin D to absorb calcium, though. You can give yourself vitamin D through foods, supplementation and direct exposure to sunlight. Any one of these helps you get more calcium into your system.

Iron is a key component for building red blood cells. These cells transport oxygen to areas of your body. Women generally need more iron than men, which is why there are some iron supplements that are just for women. You may be iron deficient if you feel exhausted or have trouble breathing.

At a time when health care is expensive, promoting good health is important and adding daily vitamins is a good start. The addition of vitamins to an already healthy diet maximizes health for less money than a visit to a physician.

Vitamin A is crucial for your body. It keeps your immune system healthy, helps out your eyes, keeps you looking younger and cuts back on your chances of heart disease. It may be toxic if too much is taken, so stay within the daily dosage that is recommended. That amount is 2300 IU, or International Units. Carrots are one of the best sources for Vitamin A.

Today, it is very important to add a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement to your daily health routine. Processed foods just don’t offer us what we need. You can, however, make up for what is lacking in your food by taking a multivitamin tablet.

If you are in menopause, it is not a good idea to consume prenatal vitamins. Sometimes, women will take these vitamins to help make their nails and hair grow longer. This is not a great idea for postmenopausal women because they are typically too high in iron.

There are many places to find Vitamin C, including tomatoes and citrus fruits. For those whose diets are vitamin deficient, supplements are great. Vitamin C can help with skin infections, stomach ulcers, acne, colds, and gum disease. It can also help anyone who has ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.

In conclusion, in order for the body to function each day, it needs minerals and vitamins. It is important not only for children, but adults too. Remember the helpful tips shared here and keep your body healthy.…