Health Insurance Assistance Programs

In most “first world” countries like England, France, and Canada; every man, woman, and child receives basic health care from the government. This makes the business of private health insurance redundant in those countries. However, in America things are a bit different. In the United States, many citizens do not have health coverage at all due to the high cost of medical care and the rates and premiums that the private corporations offering health insurance charge their customers. This means that many people can not afford to see doctors as often as they should for routine care, do not get the prescriptions they need to be fully functional members of society, and struggle to get back on their feet after the financial blow of a necessary surgery or other emergency medical procedure.

As a way to put an end to this situation, many places in America offer special assistance programs that help low income families get the health care coverage they need. Families that are living below the poverty line can often get health insurance at lower than market rates through the health department of a state, city, or county. Depending on the specifics of a given situation and the rules of a particular program, families that have income well above the poverty line can qualify for at least some level of financial assistance. To find out if you and your family may be able to get the care you need at prices that are more affordable than what you are paying today, spend some time on the website of your local branch of government. Many large cities and most states have all of the details of their eligibility requirements for family health insurance assistance programs available online, and some even allow you to print the necessary paperwork for your application right off the web.

Although the United States may not have the kind of comprehensive, government-run health coverage for all of its citizens that other countries have opted for, in most places there are government sponsored programs that help those who cannot afford to pay for their own medical care at market rates. Even people who don’t qualify for this kind of subsidized care can take advantage of the free clinics that operate in most major metropolitan areas. Different clinics offer a wide variety of services that range from pregnancy testing to flu shots; so if you are looking for a way to avoid paying steep hospital bills consider what the clinics in your area may be able to offer you. The combination of subsidized family health insurance and free clinics means that almost every family in America can afford at least some level of medical attention.

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Fiber-Why Is It So Important To A Healthy Diet?

What is fiber? Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods. They are usually the walls of the plant cells, skins and seeds. Due to refining of foods much of the fiber has been lost in our diets causing digestive problems and overall poor health.

How does fiber help your digestive tract? It absorbs water when it moves through the digestive tract and forms bulk in the intestines. This will soften stool and help food move faster through the digestive system.

List of common foods that contain fiber:

Brussels Sprouts, 2 grams
Broccoli, 4-5 grams
Bread, 4-7 grams – 2 slices whole wheat, pumpernickel, seven-grain
Carrots, 3-4 grams
Bran Cereals, 5-10 grams – All-Bran, Bran Buds, 100% Bran, Raisin Bran
Beans, 6-10 grams – baked beans, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, garbanzos, pinto beans, white beans
Berries, 4-5 grams – blackberries, raspberries
Sweet Corn, 5 grams
Beans
Peas, 7-9 grams – black-eyed peas, green peas
Greens, 4-6 grams – beet greens, collards, kale, spinach, turnip greens
Bananas, 3 grams – medium 8″ long
Dried Figs, 10 grams – 3 figs
Fruit, 4 grams – medium apple, medium pear

According to the American Dietetic Association a healthy adult needs 20g-35g of fiber per day. However the average person is only consuming 14-15 grams. This is leading to digestive problems and contributing to the growing problem of obesity. Research is uncovering proof that fiber is helpful in prevention and relief from a variety of serious diseases.

Easy ways to increase fiber:

Eating brown whole wheat bread instead of refined white bread
Including more lentils, fruits and vegetables in your diet (see above list for some of these)
Eating brown rice instead of refined white rice
Eating bran cereal or granola cereal for breakfast

When you increase fiber in your diet you will experience some bloating and gas problems at first. However these will all subside in a matter of weeks as your body gets used to your new improved diet.

Food supplements for fiber: Because it is often quite hard to include the amount of fiber we need in our diets supplements can sometimes be taken to increase fiber and for treatment of certain conditions. These will all help digestive disorders.

Psyllium husk- is a common supplement (Metamucil)
Methylcellulose-made naturally from the cell walls of plants (Celvic, Celevac)
Polycarbophil-is based on plant sources- This may cause less bloating than Psyllium husk (Fibercon, Equalactin) This is often used when treating digestive disorders

Vegetable gums: A new form of fiber supplement is Vegetable gums- guar gum (brand name Benefiber) or acacia (brand name Heather’s Tummy Fiber).

Increasing fiber in your diet will help your digestive system function better. This will result in lowering cholesterol and improving your overall health. With improved health you will be able to feel better, look better, think better and enjoy your life to the full.

Feeding And Keeping Your Dog Healthy

A healthy puppy should be clear-eyed, somewhat roly-poly, loose-skinned, free from any skin trouble, hungry for its meals, and lively. It should not be timid or shy.

If the puppy seems warm or sleepy most of the time, ask one of your parents to take its temperature. A dog’s temperature normally is between 38 and 39 degrees Celsius. If its temperature rises above 39 degrees, call your veterinarian.

When you buy your puppy, ask what shots it has received and when it got them. If it has not received shots to prevent distemper, infectious hepatitis, leptospirosis, and rabies. take it immediately to a veterinarian to have them. Then get yearly boosters.You should also find out whether your puppy has been wormed. Most puppies have worms at some time.

For the first few days, you should feed your puppy the same diet as the owners did. If you wish to change the diet, do so gradually. Each day, feed a little of the new food mixed with the old.

Puppies 6 to 10 weeks old maybe fed 4 times a day. From 10 weeks to 6 months, 3 times a day should be enough. After 6 months, twice daily will serve. And after 1 year, once a day—plus a biscuit for breakfast—is ample.

Meat should be the main part of your dog’s diet. Fresh, canned, or frozen beef or horsemeat are good choices. It is not necessary to cook the meat, but it should be served at room temperature. With the meat, mix a dog meal or kibbled biscuit soaked in hot water, soup, or milk. You can get the meal or biscuit in the supermarket, feed store, or pet shop. Puppies need vitamins and minerals, and your veterinarian can give you vitamin tablets that your dog will enjoy chewing.

Other foods you may safely give your dog are well-cooked chicken, lamb, beef hearts, liver, and leafy vegetables. Hard biscuits of the right size for the dog’s mouth and dog candy will be appreciated too. A little cooked rice or dry toast may help the dog in illness or when it is recovering.

A puppy loses its baby teeth when it is between 4 and 5 months. It will be grateful for beef hide or rawhide strips to chew. You can buy them at supermarkets and pet shops. These strips are also very helpful in keeping the puppy from chewing your shoes and the furniture. Pet shops and markets also carry special hard marrow bones that help in teething and in keeping the new teeth clean and healthy.

Leave a bowl of water so that your dog can have a drink at any time—but remove the supply of water at 5 or 6 PM when you’re housebreaking a puppy. This will help the puppy go through the night without mistake.

Fast Food and Vitamins Take Up Some Healthy Habits

If you ask most adults why they don’t get the vitamins they need as part of their daily food intake, they’ll likely tell you that they just don’t have the time to eat like they should. It’s true that eating right does take some time and effort, but it’s also true that you can develop and maintain healthier eating habits without any drastic changes. Take a look at some facts and some alterations that can make a big difference in how you eat, and how you feel about what you eat.

Think the only healthy food is food that’s served on a plate that you eat with a fork? The truth is that many foods that are very rich in vitamins that your body needs everyday are available for your consumption on the go. And with some minor changes, even your fast foods can be healthy choices when you’re considering vitamins.

A cheeseburger from your favorite fast food place doesn’t have to be something you only indulge in now and then. While there are some other issues to consider (the amount of grease and salt, for example), a cheeseburger can provide you with many of the vitamins you need. A regular cheeseburger with a double patty gives you about 30 percent of your body’s B12 needs for the day and the dill pickles are a source of Vitamin K.

Instead of ordering French Fries to go with your burger, choose a salad. That doesn’t mean that you have to stop what you’re doing and sit down to eat the salad. Pile those veggies on the burger! The tomatoes are a source of Vitamin C, and the lettuce and mayonnaise has Vitamin K. Add it all up and a cheeseburger isn’t a bad choice when you’re trying to get the daily requirement of some necessary vitamins. Even a fast food taco can be a good source of Vitamin B12.

Sandwiches are generally not associated with healthy eating, but the same “cheeseburger rule” applies to any sandwich. Pile on the jalapeno or bell peppers for Vitamin C. Oils are also a good source of vitamins. Sunflower oil is very high in Vitamin E, for example.

Many foods that aren’t naturally high in vitamin content are fortified with vitamins. Most dairy products are fortified with Vitamin D. Taking just the time for a bowl of vitamin-fortified cereal in the morning can provide you with all the vitamins you need for the entire day. The next time you’re ready to dismiss a particular food as just empty calories, take a minute to evaluate what you’re really eating. You may be surprised to find the vitamin content is higher than you thought, or you may find that some simple changes can rectify the vitamin-poor choices.

Fast And Healthy Family Favorites

Fast food can be healthy food if you know where to look. And the easiest place to find healthy fast food is in your kitchen.

The new “Pillsbury GOOD FOR YOU!” cookbook can help families with the daily challenge of making fast, healthy and flavorful dinners despite today’s busy schedules. The book features 170 healthy, delicious recipes that contain less fat, sugar and salt than regular recipes. All can be prepared in 35 minutes or less, with more than half of the recipes taking 20 minutes or less. Here’s a tasty “Super Express” sample:

Spicy Chinese Chicken Tacos

Start to Finish: 20 Minutes

1 box (4.6 oz) taco shells (12 shells)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (3/4 lb), cut into thin, bite-size strips

1 teaspoon grated gingerroot

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 large green onion, sliced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

11/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

1. If desired, heat taco shells as directed on box.

2. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, gingerroot and garlic; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned.

3. Stir in soy sauce, honey, onion and pepper flakes to coat. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center.

4. To serve, place scant 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each taco shell. Top each with lettuce. Serve immediately.

6 servings (2 tacos each)

Serving Size: 1 Serving

Calories: 180, Calories from Fat: 60% DV, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 1.5g, Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 260mg, Total Carbohydrate 18g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 4g, Protein 14g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 4%, Iron 6%, Exchanges: 1 Starch, 11/2 Very Lean Meat, 1 Fat; Carbohydrate Choices: 1

Besides delicious recipes, the cookbook also contains quick tips for better nutrition, on-the-go dinner ideas, easy-to-assemble fruit desserts and a pantry makeover. Look for it wherever books are sold.

Saving Money Is Becoming Easier

Every once in awhile there will be front page news about the health care crisis. The escalating costs for hospital and physician services are making it more difficult for the insurance companies to stay competitive and at the same time take care of the needs of their policyholders. A family health insurance plan in today’s marketplace is evolving into something quite different from years past. The employer group health insurance insures the majority of Americans but there is a trend developing. There are more folks leaving their employer to start their own business. When you add that group of people to the folks that leave their employer because of lay-offs, illness, and terminations then you are creating a great demand for family health insurance.

Insurance companies are working hard to develop new solutions. The federal government has great interest in health care insurance. The hospitals and physicians are deeply affected by the insurance industry.
There has been a major shift in thinking about health insurance. It has become increasingly clear that higher deductible health insurance plans are much more cost efficient in the long run compared to the low deductible plans of years past. The higher deductibles reduce the cost of health insurance dramatically. The lower deductibles are no longer in vogue. The high premiums for the low deductible no longer justify the premiums.

Today’s Trends

1. High Deductible Major Med – The insurance professionals are encouraging people to take the higher deductible major medical policies. You are well protected for a major illness or injury in exchange for self-insuring the smaller claims.

2. Health Savings Accounts – This is the federal government’s contribution to the health insurance dilemma. These savings accounts are established by the individual for medical expenses only. They are tax deductible similar to an IRA and are great vehicles to use for the out of pocket expense from the higher deductible.

Family Health Insurance

Health insurance is something everyone needs. No matter how big or small your family is — or even if it is just you — people need to see doctors, go to the hospital, use medications. Health insurance keeps your costs low, so you don’t have to pay mounting doctor and hospital bills later in life. Health insurance helps the average person get the medical attention and prescriptions he or she needs to stay healthy for life. Without health insurance, every time you get sick you have to pay the bill to the doctors office or hospital. With health insurance you pay less, and the insurance company pays the rest of the bill.

With family insurance, you give yourself protection for the future. You’ve worked hard to save your money. If you have to go to the doctor’s for a broken bone, it could cost you hundreds of dollars in bills. With health insurance, you will cut that in half, or even less, depending on the plan that you choose. Your family’s health is important, but so is your financial security. Do the right thing, purchase health insurance so you never have to put off seeing a doctor or getting emergency medical care.

Without some type of basic health insurance for your family, it can be difficult to make that decision to take a family member to the doctor. A sore throat, a fever, or for other problems may go untreated because you are not sure you want to spend the money on something that the doctor may or may not need to treat. Without health insurance, family member may end up being sick longer and suffer more. Make that decision easier for your family. With health insurance you pay the co-payment or deductible and that’s it — they get the attention needed for their problem.

Health insurance does not have to be expensive. Finding affordable health insurance is at your fingertips. You just need to do a little investigating. Determine what you need coverage for. If you want protection against huge hospital bills, and you don’t mind paying for doctor visits, your insurance premiums could cost less. If you choose a deductible that is higher, such as a thousand dollars, your payments will be lower compared to those who have a deductible that is $250. Play with the numbers and the compare the various types of insurance to determine which insurance coverage best fits your situation.