Thursday, May 22, 2014

health insurance

Health Insurance Benefits
What do health insurance benefits actually do for you? You probably hear about it all the time, whether on television, in magazines, and assorted other media. Health insurance is an extremely helpful part of life if you can set yourself up with a plan that will benefit you and yours for minimal cost. It's meant to protect your financial assets, as well as promote wellness and health. There are an assortment of different perks and downfalls to each kind of health insurance plan, and it’s important to know what will help you and what won’t.

Defining Health Insurance Benefits
The benefits of health insurance can be summarized as the services you receive from your health insurance company. Every company has an assortment of different plans that may or may not work for you. Most companies are also willing to work with you to determine your needs. You can have certain areas of your health insurance plans cover certain types of injuries or illnesses more specifically, so that you pay less for recurring things like office visits and medicine, or you can spread out your coverage as a more general purpose plan.
Single person plans have a smaller array of benefits and can be more tailored to the person they cover. A person that needs more extensive eye care coverage might eliminate some other options in order to afford a vision plan. These plans also cost less than family plans simply because there is only one person to cover.
You can also have family plans that will cover all the people in your family equally. These family plans are usually cheaper than having multiple single-person plans, and also have higher coverage rates that are shared among everyone in the family. Family plans can be customized in the way single-person can, but usually not as specific as a single person plan. So you need to consider, overall, if your family has a lot of office visits or not.

The way health benefits work is you get the bill, submit it to your insurance provider, (or have it automatically submitted to the insurance provider) and they will pay a certain percentage, or up to a certain amount that is dependent on plan. With most plans you will have to pay a deductible before the insurance will do anything. Frequently you will pay a co-pay at each office visit which is indicated up front. It is generally higher for a visit to a specialist than to your primary care physician. After that, the insurance will split the cost of the bill with you, typically with the insurance company paying the majority.

Tips For Finding the Best Health Insurance Benefits
Health insurance’s main goal is to make it so that you don’t pay an extreme amount whenever you get sick or injured. Health insurance can help pay for things like hospital bills and regular doctor visits. Your health insurance plan really depends upon your personal lifestyle. Comprehensive, catastrophic, basic and supplemental plans are all available.
The most important thing to do before taking steps to find health insurance is to take into account your personal needs. Past accidents or injuries may play a part in what kind of plan you get. Your risk of injury on the job can also be a major factor into your choice of benefits. Your family’s needs, should you have one, will also be an important consideration for your health insurance.

What Do Health Insurance Benefits Cover?
There are three popular types of health insurance: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Point of Service (POS) plans, and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO). An HMO is a monthly premium plan that states you must go to specific providers of health care on a list to have your insurance cover it. A POS is a plan where there is a network of doctors; however, if one refers you to another doctor in or outside the network, the insurance will cover it. You can refer yourself to care outside the networks, but you’ll have to pay coinsurance. A PPO is similar to an HMO, but like a POS plan you can go outside the list given to you, with much less coverage. Granted, should you go to one on your list, you will retain your full coverage.
Your exact benefits will differ plan to plan. Most insurance companies have tiers of coverage. The more coverage you get, the higher your premium goes. As mentioned above, there are a multitude of factors that can affect what plan you choose, because they will raise and lower your premiums. There are other factors that can lower premiums as well, such as having a long record of good health, no life-affecting diseases, broken bones, or an array of other things. It’s important to ask your service provider about these factors.
Health insurance is important to have, as it lowers the out of pocket amount you have to pay for health care. It also ensures that you will be well taken care of when you are sick or injured. You can use the tool above to see what companies have policies that interest you, so you can get excellent coverage for as little as possible. Get started comparing free health insurance quotes right now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

health care medicine

Health and medicine

The medical world can be a confusing place. Patients and their families might feeloverwhelmed by the large vocabularies and complicated explanations they get from their health care providers. Students entering health care also struggle to grasp the complexity of health sciences, and are forced to memorize huge amounts of information. We hope to make understanding the medical world a bit easier. Look around! These videos do not provide medical advice and are for informational purposes only. The videos are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen in any Khan Academy video.

Circulatory system
Your heart sits in the middle of your chest and pumps blood from about 4 weeks after conception until the day that you die. It never stops, and over your lifetime it will pump ~175 million liters of blood. To visualize that, imagine the amount of water that falls over Niagara falls in a few minutes. Remarkable! This little pump is the size of your clenched fist and in an adult can weigh about 300 grams. Watch these videos to learn more about how the heart works, blood flow in arteries and veins, blood pressure, and lymphatics.

Circulatory system diseases

With the heart pumping 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it’s absolutely vital to make sure things are flowing smoothly (pun intended!). Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and different parts of the circulatory system can cause problems: your heart, your blood vessels, and even the fluid in your tissues and blood itself can be the issue. To further complicate things, the underlying reasons for circulatory system problems vary from your genes (nature) to your lifestyle habits (nurture). An understanding of how different diseases can affect your circulatory system is important to combat this growing problem in the world.

Respiratory system

Place your hand on your ribs and inhale deeply. You’ll notice that your chest expands and your back straightens. As this occurs, air is rushing through your windpipe and branches off to either your left or right lung. After 20 to 30 more branch points, oxygen in the air ends up in the alveoli where it diffuses into the liquid that surrounds the alveoli, and slips into the blood. This microscopicgas exchange occurs rapidly, oxygen is taken into the body and carbon dioxide is removed from the body, and then you exhale. Learn more about the intricate and fascinating respiratory system in these videos!

Respiratory system diseases
Our lungs are composed of a bronchial tree (think of an upside down tree with millions of leaves), blood vessels bringing blood in and out, and a protein-rich fluid that forms a matrix holding everything together! If any part of this well-balanced organ isn’t working properly, a person can be left feeling short of breath. The lungs are also exposed to the outside environment, making them prone to infections. To counter infections, the lungs are lined with cells that have tiny protein bristles which wave back and forth and can literally sweep away dangerous bacteria. Learn more about diseases of the lungs and how modern medicine helps to keep them healthy!

Renal system

Learn how the kidneys take blood and very selectively extract waste from it to expel from the body as urine.

Nervous system and sensory information

There are billions and billions of neurons in your brain (about 85 billion), and they’re all sending electrical signals throughout your body right now! They tell your eyes to move across this page, how to interpret the words that you read, how to maintain your posture, your heart rate, and your breathing...all of it in a fraction of a second. In this section, we’ll explore the nature of this vast, complex system, from the cellular level to how it operates at a sensory level. A common misconception is that we only have 5 senses (see, smell, taste, hear, and feel), but we have many more that are nuanced but equally important. Learn more about how our bodies are designed to interact with the world.

Executive systems of the brain
Aristotle asserted that what separates humankind from non-human animals is our ability to engage in high reasoning. This reasoning includes solving problems, making decisions, recalling and recording memories, and expressing complex emotions. We’ll explore different states of consciousness, and how our brain adapts and responds to stimuli. Learn all about the higher-order executive functions of the brain, which help you remember your friend’s name, learn a new language, and even fall asleep at night.

Hematologic system

It takes between 30 seconds to a minute for your blood to travel from your heart, to your body, and back to the heart again - perhaps a bit longer if the trip is out to your big toe! Our blood is incredibly important for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Hemoglobin, the protein that fills our blood cells, has wonderful mechanisms to allow it to bind to both oxygen and carbon dioxide. This is important for effective and quick transport of the gases around our body. Our blood is about 45% cells and 55% plasma, so the old adage “blood is thicker than water” quite literally holds true in scientific terms! Learn more about how this amazing system works in the following videos.

Immune system

Discover your body's arsenal of weapons against invaders, like bacteria and viruses. Find out which different kinds of cells are involved, and how they work.

Musculoskeletal system

Our muscles and bones keep us moving and form the basic physical structure for the rest of our organ systems. They also act as a sort of protective armor against physical damage. Muscles are connected to bones, and bones are connected (via ligaments) to other bones. In these videos, we’ll go into how and why we have conscious control of our muscles, how our bones fit in with this control, how each of these components are connected, and much more. A fun fact: The largest muscle in your body is your gluteus maximus (your buttock!), and the bone most often broken is the collar bone!
health care medicine

Endocrine system

When you’re nervous before an important speech, or asking someone out on a date, you might feel butterflies in your stomach. This is actually the result of your endocrine system releasing hormones! You can’t really point to any single organ as “the endocrine system”, because it’s actually a family of glands that secrete hormones into the body. Hormones seep into the blood (imagine putting a tea bag into hot water), and as the blood flows around the body, it carries with it these important hormone molecules that interact with specific target cells and organs. This signaling system helps to keep the entire body well-balanced and on the same page.

Lab values and concentrations

Ever wonder about your lab values and what they mean? Lab values measure amounts of electrolytes or cells in your blood and occasionally tell you about how hormones and enzymes are working! Dive deeper and get a good understanding of concentrations as well!

Endocrinology and diabetes

In this section, we’ll revisit the endocrine system. After a review, we’ll explore how our hormones can cause different kinds of symptoms and behaviors, including normal childhood growth and precocious puberty (puberty kicking in at an earlier age than normal). After that, we’ll take a closer look at diabetes, which is a growing endemic in the world as we see a greater availability of cheap, low quality foods. This will include a focus on glucose concentration and other blood sugar levels, and what your body (and modern medicine) can do to maintain a healthy balance in your body.

Colon disease

The colon, otherwise known as the “large intestine,” is a tube that’s about 5 feet long (1.5 meters). This is where the majority of fluid reabsorption occurs in your GI tract (the tract extending from your mouth to your anal sphincter). The colon is susceptible to multiple diseases, including hyperplasia, dysplasia, and cancer. Learn more about healthy colon tissue and these three diseases in the following videos. Join Sal and Dr. Andy Connolly as they (and you) take a microscopic look at colon tissue!

Cervical spine

Your cervical spine is the uppermost part of your spine, the part that makes up your neck. Take a look at the 7 vertebra that compose the cervical spine, and see different views of a real person’s spine! Join Sal and Dr. Mahadevan as they inspect these X-rays and discuss its alignment and protection in airway management.

Healthy lifestyle

If you looked at our “Circulatory system diseases” section, you already know that diseases related to an unhealthy lifestyle are on a critical rise. We hope that the following set of videos will allow you to develop a healthier lifestyle, and help you improve the lives of others as well. This is important for parents, children, students, and anyone who wants to take better care of their body. Learn some of the fundamentals behind staying healthy: Reducing your salt, keeping your weight in a healthy range, and exercising regularly.

Health care system

The health care system in the United States is rapidly changing. To better understand these changes, we review the health care insurance, drug pricing, physician compensation, and much more! join us as we explore the basics about the Health Care system in the US, including a comparison with European healthcare.

health exercise

The life-changing benefits of exercise

Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity and muscle size. Sure, exercise can improve your health and your physique, trim your waistline, improve your sex life, and even add years to your life. But that’s not what motivates most people to stay active. People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them an enormous sense of well–being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. And it doesn’t take hours of pumping weights in a gym or running mile after mile to achieve those results.
health exercise

By focusing on activities you enjoy and tailoring a regular mild to moderate exercise routine to your needs, you can experience the health benefits of exercise and improve your own life by:
  • Easing stress and anxiety. A twenty-minute bike ride won’t sweep away all of life’s troubles, but exercising regularly helps you take charge of anxiety and reduce stress. Aerobic exercise releases hormones that relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being.
  • Lifting your mood. Exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. Exercise also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good.
  • Sharpening brainpower. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.
  • Improving self-esteem. Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful.
  • Boosting energy. Increasing your heart rate several times a week will give you more get-up-and-go. Start off with just a few minutes of exercise a day, and increase your workout as you feel more energized.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

child health tips

Eating tips for children

Children at primary school age are ready to learn about healthy food and activity. Breakfast is important. Some children are fussy or picky eaters, but snacking or grazing can be a good way to eat. School lunches and canteen food should be healthy and tasty. Family meal times are an important time to share.
School age is the perfect time for children to learn about healthy food, bodies and activity. This is the time they start a busy social life, have pocket money and begin to help choose their own lifestyle. Children of this age learn quickly and are also influenced by their friends and popular trends.

Children need a wide variety of foods for a well-balanced diet. The amount of physical activity they have in a day will be an important part of how much they need to eat. When children are busy and active, snacking is important to keep energy levels high. A healthy morning snack at recess and one after school are usually needed each day.
child health tips

Breakfast is important

It is important to encourage breakfast. A good night’s sleep followed by food in the morning helps your child to stay active and concentrate at school. It also means your child is less likely to be too hungry during the morning and it can help with performance at school. Be a role model and let your child see you eat breakfast too. A bowl of cereal with milk and fresh or stewed fruit is a great starter for the whole family.
School lunches

Many schools have a canteen that offers a range of food choices. Most schools follow government guidelines to encourage healthy food choices. The food your child chooses might be high in cost and energy, but low in nutrients sometimes. An alternative is a packed lunch from home, which is a great way for your childto learn about healthy food and to help with preparation.

Lunch box suggestions include:
  • Sandwiches or pita bread with cheese, lean meat, hummus and salad
  • Cheese slices, crackers with spread, and fresh or dried fruits
  • Washed and cut up raw vegetables or fresh fruits
  • Frozen water bottle or tetra pack of milk, particularly in hot weather.
School lunches – foods to limit

Highly processed, sugary, fatty and salty foods should only make up a very small part of your child’s diet. Foods to limit in everyday school lunches include:
  • Processed meats such as salami, ham, pressed chicken and Strasbourg
  • Chips, sweet biscuits, and muesli bars and breakfast bars
  • Fruit bars and fruit straps
  • Cordials, juices and soft drinks.
Treats and peer pressure

Peer pressure to eat particular ‘trendy’ foods at this age is strong. Let your child eat these kinds of foods occasionally, such as at parties, special events or when the rest of the family enjoys them. It’s best to limit the amount of money children are given to spend at school or on the way home.

The occasional lolly, bag of chips or takeaway food doesn’t do any harm. If they are eaten too often, however, you might find that:
  • Not enough nourishing foods are eaten.
  • Children become overweight or obese.
  • You’re spending a lot of money – it’s much cheaper to provide homemade snacks and lunches.
  • You’re missing a chance to teach your child about healthy eating.
After-school snacks

Children of this age may have swings in appetite depending on activity levels, so allow them to choose how much they need to eat while offering a wide variety of healthy foods. Some children only eat small amounts at the evening meal, so make sure that the afternoon snack is nutritious, not just high in energy.

Snack suggestions include:
  • A sandwich with a glass of milk
  • Cereal and fruit
  • A bowl of soup and toast.

Family mealtimes

For schoolchildren, family mealtimes are a chance to share and talk about the day’s activities and events. The evening meal together is an important time to do this.

Family mealtime suggestions include:
  • Allow talk and sharing of daytime activities.
  • Avoid distractions such as the television, radio or the telephone.
  • Let your child decide when they are full – don’t argue about food.
  • Allow children to help with preparing meals and shopping.
  • Teach some simple nutrition facts such as ‘milk keeps your bones strong’.

Suggestions include:
  • Children should be encouraged to drink plain water.
  • Sweet drinks such as cordials or fruit juice are not needed for a healthy diet and aren’t recommended.
  • A glass of milk (or a tub of yoghurt or slice of cheese) equals a serve of dairy food. Three serves are needed each day for calcium.
Exercise and activity

Physical activity is an important part of good health. Try to encourage your child to do something active each day, such as a hobby, play a game or be involved in sport. Some parents may also worry about their child’s weight.

For primary school children 60 minutes of activity is recommended each day, and no more than two hours of watching TV, DVDs or computer games.

To increase your child’s activity, try to:
  • Limit the amount of time spent watching television for the whole family.
  • Do something physical and active together.
  • Go and watch your child play sports.
  • Encourage daily activity, not just exercise.
  • Use the car less – that means everyone!
Healthy tips for school-aged children

Suggestions include:
  • Children need a variety of different foods each day.
  • Snacks are an important part of a healthy diet for active children.
  • Make snacks nutritious, not just high in energy.
  • Plan to share meals as a family.
  • Enjoy talking and sharing the day’s happenings at mealtimes.
  • Let children tell you when they’re full.
  • Give your child lunch to take from home.
  • Let children help with food preparation and meal planning.
  • Encourage physical activities for the whole family.
  • Encourage children to drink plain water.
Where to get help
  • Your doctor
  • Dietitians Association of Australia Tel. 1800 812 942
  • School nurse
  • Parentline (24 hours) Tel. 132 289
Things to remember
  • Snacks are an important part of a healthy diet for active children, so offer nutritious as well as high energy snacks.
  • Let children help with food preparation and meal planning.
  • It is important to encourage breakfast, because a good night’s sleep followed by food in the morning helps your child stay active and concentrate at school.
  • Limit screen time and aim for some physical activity every day.
You might also be interested in:
  • Breakfast.