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Health Care Reform – How Are You Affected? – Part 3

If you are an employer with fewer than 50 full time and “full time equivalent” (FTE) employees, you will enjoy the luxury of being exempted from the most onerous provisions discussed in the previous article. If you offer health insurance coverage to your employees you will still have a few issues affecting your health plan.
Effective for tax year 2013, an additional Medicare Part A tax of 0.9% will be assessed on incomes above $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for joint filers. This works out to a 62% increase over the current Medicare tax rate of 1.45%. Another tax of 3.8% will be assessed against unearned income for “high income” taxpayers.
Other taxes will go into effect on or before January 1, 2014, that relate to HSA account distributions. The so-called Cadillac tax on rich health plans will begin then as well, but perhaps one of the most notable tax increases actually began March 23, of this year. All tanning bed operators began paying an additional 10% tax surcharge for customer rental of tanning beds.
If you offer group health insurance, your plan will have to eliminate lifetime caps on Essential Health Benefits (EHBs). As was discussed previously, EHBs will be further defined by Health and Human Services. It is believed EHBs will include certain wellness, outpatient and hospitalization benefits. That is, all health insurance plans must offer these benefits and can not place caps on how much can be paid out under the plan. A few of the EHBs may be required to be offered exclusive of a plan deductible, such as routine physical exams.
The most important issue for small groups is the 35% tax credit that is available for tax year 2010. This credit is available through tax year 2013 if the employer contributes at least 50% of the total premium cost. The debate continues at present if the 50% contribution rate must apply to dependents’ premiums as well. The larger the business becomes, the smaller the credit becomes. Consultation with a knowledgeable tax professional is recommended.
The credit will stop after 2013. At that time a two-year tax credit will then be available if the small group plan is purchased through the government health insurance exchange.
Children of employees are eligible as dependents until age 26, regardless of marital or student status.
By January 1, 2010,annual caps on EHBs must be eliminated. Too, the small business will not be able to extend a waiting period for enrolling new employees beyond 90 days. Texas state law already requires no more than a 3-month wait.
Pre-existing health conditions must be fully covered by January 1, 2014 for adults. The mandate for children under 19 years must be in effect by September 23, 2010. Insurance companies are challenging the child provision however saying, the time frame is too soon for the mandate to be implemented.
As you shop for better deals for small group insurance or even individual insurance, HCR is supposed to open the door to expanded competition. You will be able to continue to shop for insurance as you have in the past, but you may also go direct with insurance carriers, or look at Consumer Owned and Oriented Plans (CO OPs), or even through a state run health insurance Exchange.
The exchanges, in conjunction with purchasing from carriers directly through third parties, will most likely be the same insurance carriers, similar plans and comparable premiums. Although, the Exchanges will require insurance companies to offer plan designs that satisfy unresolved minimum benefit levels. Only the CO OPs may be able to offer a little diversity in plan design, and because they are supposed to be owned by the individual group employers, the idea is that premiums will generally remain stable.
HCR will provide initial seed money to start up the CO OPs and Exchanges, but no one knows yet any details on how these programs must be structured. Some important questions remain to be answered.
-Can CO OPs cross state lines?
-Can CO OPs include different industry types?
-Who actually will run the program?
-Will multiple plan options be available to different employers’ unique needs?
Individuals will also be able to shop through the Exchanges, but will not be allowed the opportunity to enroll in CO OPs unless 1-person groups are allowed to participate. Eventually, the small group market and individual market probably will merge into just an individual market.
A lot more of the “fun” begins for small groups and individuals January 2014. As mentioned earlier, the Medicare tax begins. Also on that date, individuals must enroll in a health insurance plan that is equal to or better than EHBs or pay a penalty. The penalty is $95 or 1% of household income in 2014; $325 or 2% in 2015; or $695 or 2.5% in 2016 …

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Affordable Health Insurance Quotes and How to Get Them

Most Americans don’t know that you can buy medical insurance in much the same way that a lot of people now buy their car insurance – online. You can find affordable health insurance quotes online and get yourself into a policy that is specifically built just for you and your family in a matter of minutes and have the health care coverage that you need.
Living in today’s world without some form of medical insurance is a recipe for disaster. Without medical insurance, you will put off going to the doctor until things get really bad. You will also not take care of some of the preventative matters and testing that everyone should have done. You will find that when you shop for affordable health insurance quotes online that getting coverage is a lot cheaper than you might think.
People have long thought that getting health insurance through your employer as the cheapest way to do it, but that is not always the case. Especially if your employers requires you to help fund the insurance program, then you are probably paying a lot more than if you got your policy individually. So before you sign up for a high-priced medical insurance policy at work, you should shop for affordable health insurance quotes online.
Because not all families are alike, not all insurance policies are, either. You can design your own health insurance policy so that is perfect for your health, the amount of regular visits you make to a doctor, and your budget. Some people find that a low level of coverage is enough, while others want to be able to go to the doctor on a regular basis without paying a high office co-pay. The choice is really up to you, but remember that having coverage of some kind will always be beneficial for your family’s health.…

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Kenneth Weene’s ‘Memoirs From the Asylum’ Is a Powerful, Unsettling Read

Chances are, you have a family member or an acquaintance who’s been affected by a major mental illness. For many people, mental illnesses are very treatable. They will either recover or learn to manage their episodes of illness. For others, a mental illness does not respond to treatment and living in a therapeutic setting becomes an option. Of those whose illness leads to hospitalization, some are lucky enough to be able to afford private care. For others, there’s the state hospital.
As Alice famously said to the Cheshire Cat, “I don’t want to go among mad people,” and any examination of the lives and thoughts of those living in the state hospital will not be a walk in the garden. Although ‘Memoirs From the Asylum’ by Kenneth Weene is fictional, those of us who have mentally ill friends and relatives or who have worked in mental health care settings will find it unsettlingly real.
Readers will no doubt find this book fascinating. It’s like what medieval Christians used to call “the abominable fancy:” the saved glimpsing the suffering of those in Hell. The trouble is, as Weene’s book makes clear, the line between the “sane” and the “insane” is a fine one. The “insane” are institutionalized by their own volition, but can declare “the vacation’s over” and walk out to rejoin society at any moment. The staff are just as capable of abnormal thoughts and irrational behavior as the patients. It reminds me of a joke from an early season of ‘The Simpsons,’ when Homer found himself committed and asked the doctors how they could tell who was sane and who was insane. Simple, they tell him: everyone who’s insane has his/her hand stamped “INSANE.”
‘Memoirs From the Asylum’ is, at times, funny, sometimes unsettling, but largely tragic. It’s a powerful book, but one worth reading. It’s a plea for compassion and a disorganized rant as careening as the Jimi Hendrix solos that a patient named Jamul endlessly plays on his invisible guitar.
Funny thing about that: thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the Navy record of the real Jimi Hendrix is now public, and it reveals he was once thought to have a mental illness. The real Hendrix seemed to be unable to concentrate on any work other than writing songs and playing his guitar! Perhaps Jamul was a misunderstood genius. Within the pages of ‘Memoirs of the Asylum,’ anything is possible.…

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What’s Wrong With ObamaCare – Better Question is What Isn’t Wrong With It?

The other day an acquaintance from England contacted me and didn’t understand the issues concerning ObamaCare and wondered what was the controversy all about, and he asks; “President Obama’s health care proposals – from this side of the Atlantic, I say ‘what’s all the fuss’?”
Simple, our constitution will not allow the government to make us purchase something from a business or set of businesses, or allow the government to create a monopolistic relationship with business. In this case “health insurance” companies and the government is using the “commerce clause” ruling to pretend it’s okay, but that excuse or debating point holds no water.
One of the reasons this is even is even an issue or in the Constitution is due to the East India Trading Company and how the colonists were made to pay taxes and other duties and East India Trading Company was exempted, this undercut the local tea merchants, then there was a boycott, as the East India Trading Company had a clear advantage.
When the colonists boycotted, the King figured out other ways to collect tax, which led to the Townsend Act, “Boston tea party event” and eventually the Revolutionary War, where your ancestors and mine fought and died over it. This is why the framers in our constitution put things like that in there to prevent a mandated causation for citizens to buy something. That is one of the issues.
There are many others, such as corporate lobbyists are racking in billions – Big Pharma, medical equipment, health insurance, etc. And the problem is that Health Care costs have risen 5% year-over-year for a decade, it is a runaway cost situation due to several issues, one of which is litigation – thus malpractice insurance costs have increased for doctors, this is passed onto the patients and insurance companies.
The doctors trying to avoid lawsuits are ordering more unnecessary tests, procedures (defensive medicine from lawsuits) just in case, and all those increased costs are indeed billed to the tax payer. Obama is a lawyer, and a democrat, and they purposely didn’t fix the runaway litigation costs issues. We have a very strong trial lawyers lobby. And they protect their interests, and sue in case they think they aren’t going to have these lucrative malpractice cases, which they are now receiving insanely high monetary awards.
And, businesses cannot afford to cover their workers, so they’ve stopped hiring, stopped expanding, and we have high-unemployment because of it now, with no end in sight. Small Businesses can’t afford it, now health insurance has skyrocketed due to the above issues I mentioned, up 40% for me since ObamaCare plan came into play.
Also Obama’s Administration along with the democrats fudged the OMD, CAO, GAO accounting numbers, pretended it was fiscally viable, it’s not, not even a little bit, and we are seeing the increases, it’s killing the middle class, and if we keep all this up, we’ll be just like you are in England; super high taxes, crappy medical care, waiting lines, and lower quality of life and standard of living. Besides that, the whole concept is socialist driven, and it doesn’t fit with America’s ideals.
It’s a bad plan, it has to be scrapped, it won’t work, period.
The Democrats also cheated the system when they rushed through the legislation, they lied to the people, and most of those who voted for the bill, didn’t know what was in it. It’s garbage, complete nonsense, so ObamaCare Needs to go.
And to top it all off the states will go broke under the ObamaCare provisions, they can’t afford it. In fact, there was an interesting article (an op-ed piece) on that fact the other day in the Wall Street Journal titled “The States Can’t Afford ObamaCare – Their Budgets will be Crushed by the Medicaid Expansions that the Feds are Forcing on Them,” by George Mellon, published on February 4, 2011. It’s worth reading. Well, I hope you will please consider all this.…

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What You Can Do About Your Allergies Starting Today

Do you have allergies that happen seasonally? Has it gotten so bad you live in a state of dread when your symptoms deteriorate? Fortunately for you, this article contains a collection of tips and advice that will help allergy sufferers survive allergy season. Read on to learn more!

In the interest of safety, you should always try new allergy medications while safe at home. Some of these drugs can make you sleepy and impair your reflexes. You might think that the drug is fairly innocuous, especially if you don’t see any warning label, but you never really know how you’re going to react to a new drug.

When the weather is nice, you may be tempted to open the windows in your home to save money on cooling costs. But understand that you are inviting dust and pollen into your home that can cause allergies, too. Use a HEPA filter in your air conditioner; this will help to get rid of indoor allergens. If you have allergies, this will help you to breathe easier.

Choose flooring other than rugs or wall-to-wall carpet in your home. Carpet is nearly impossible to completely clean, and the fibers hold onto dust, mites, dander, pollen and other substances that are quite irritating to allergy sufferers. Get hardwood or laminate flooring.

Be sure to wash thoroughly before you lay down for the night. Pollen gathers on your hair and skin and can cause an allergic reaction while you sleep. All you have to do is do a quick wash, and you will feel better in the long run.

Your body could be causing an allergic reaction. It’s really true. Pollen and other allergens can cling to your clothing, your hair and any exposed body parts as you perform your daily routine. When you are winding down your day, these substances can be very problematic for your lungs. A solution is to shower prior to bed and put on clean clothes before retiring for the night!

If you exercise when the levels of pollen are high, make sure to do it in early morning or late at night. Research indicates that these are the best times, in regards to pollen count.

Steer clear of products made with coloring or dye, because you might be allergic to those substances. Even simple products, like bath tissue, can contain harmful dyes. Use products that are free from dyes of any sort. You may see a difference in your symptoms.

People who battle the effects of allergies have many all-natural options to choose from. Many of these natural solutions can combat several common allergies. They work with your body naturally to reduce runny noses, itchy eyes, swelling and sneezing.

Now that you have read the above article, you should have some solutions that will make your life better and give you some relief during these terrible allergy seasons. Even though you often can’t completely stop allergies, there are ways to ease the suffering. Take the ideas from this piece to heart and you can soon achieve real relief.…

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An Article To Help You Become A Beauty Pro

Beauty is commonly referred to as being skin deep. However, your appearance plays a big role in how other people think and react to you. This is why it is critical to look as good as you can. This article contains tips that allow you to figure out how to do this.

The next time you finish a lip gloss pot or sample jar, fill it with your daily moisturizer. It will be easy to stick in your purse or a drawer at your desk. As soon as your skin becomes dry or flaky, apply a small amount of moisturizer to your face.

If you see one of your polishes becoming thick and sticky, add a bit of remover to it. Add a tiny bit, then close the bottle and shake vigorously. This helps add a few additional applications for your nail polish.

An eyelash curler is a super investment. It may not seem obvious, but curling your eyelashes is quick to do, and it looks beautiful. Your eyes look look bigger and brighter when you take the time to curl your lashes. You can even buy eyelash curlers that are heated, which claim that the curls last longer when you use them.

Keep your skin cells turning over with exfoliation. Even if you have very sensitive or dry skin, you can use gentle exfoliation up to three times weekly — any less will not reveal the true benefits of the plump, healthy skin cells that lie underneath your top layer of skin cells. Exfoliating will let your face look more fresh and radiant, and will help to prevent oil and dirt buildup.

As far as eyes go, colors like apricot and copper make blues and greys shine. Look for mascara colors in rust, midnight blue or even those with a touch of violet. Others will surely notice how much more blue your eyes look with these colors.

If you plan on going out on the town immediately after work, you can use a big fluffy brush to add a nice powdery finish over any oily places. You can make your cheekbones have some emphasis with a gentle application of shimmery powder on your cheek temples.

Spray your hair with a heat protectant before blow drying. This product is available at generic stores like Wal-Mart or Target, and will help prevent split ends as it helps your hair dry quickly. “Hot sprays” help moisturize hair, and even make it smell good!

To make your foundation last longer, mix it with some facial moisturizer. Beyond extending the life of the foundation, it will give you an attractive glow, rather than a caked-on, heavy look.

Try to stay away from caffeinated beverages if you’re looking to improve your beauty routine. You can be jittery and look tired if you getting too much caffeine, and extended overuse can make you look older than you are. Only one cup of coffee or tea should be consumed each day. If you still need a coffee fix, opt for decaf instead.

Whatever you feel about beauty, it’s easy to get ahead when you look your best. Utilize the advice from this article. As your external appearance grows more beautiful, your inner confidence and self-worth will follow.…

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Take Some Time To Get Into Chiropractic Care

A lot of people wish to learn about chiropractic care, but they don’t know where to turn. If you’re in some pain, or you just want some help finding a chiropractor for someone else, this is where you should be. Take the following tips into consideration when you get started.

When trying to find a chiropractor, make sure that you ensure that your insurance company approves chiropractic care. Many insurance companies require a physician referral before they will cover chiropractic care. Additionally, many insurance companies limit the number of visits to a chiropractor each year. Therefore, it is important that you talk with your insurance company.

Pay attention to your sleep position to lessen back problems. Place a pillow beneath your head and shoulders. Place towels under the neck and knees to help support the body’s curves. You should also be sleeping on a mattress that is comfortable.

When you are lifting items from the floor, you should never bend down with your back and pick them up. Doing this can cause damage to your back, so avoid it at all costs. The best method for picking up things is to bend your knees, squat and lift it up.

Make sure you are getting up out of your bed properly. Stretch and flex your muscles before sitting up. Do not leap out of bed. Then, you should swing the legs to the floor while supporting yourself with your arms. When this is the way you arise from bed, you stand a better chance of avoiding spinal problems.

Chiropractic care is one of the most effective methods of treating subluxation. When a vertebra is subluxated, the discs and vertebra shift and tip from one side to another. This causes the entire spine to bend and curve. Early chiropractic treatment can be very helpful in correcting this condition and avoiding surgery.

When looking for a chiropractor, try asking a friend or family member for a recommendation. You should try focusing on asking the people that share similar needs and views on health with you. Try finding out what you can from them. Ask them about the chiropractor, their fees, staff, office, offered services, schedule, etc.

Do you have high blood pressure? Medical studies have shown that a manipulation of the first vertebrae in your neck is as effective as two blood pressure medicines taken simultaneously. This procedure enables the nerves communicating with the heart to work properly, enabling a regulation of your blood pressure.

Chiropractic care supports nature in helping you attain vibrant health. Your body is capable of self healing when your skeletal structure is properly aligned and your central nervous system is in tip top condition. Your chiropractor knows how to make proper adjustments to stimulate excellent overall healing and health.

It’s easy to tell that you can find chiropractic care if you’re willing to take your time with it. Use this great information to your advantage, and in the end it will work out well for you. The best thing to do now would be to go over these tips again so they can sink in for you.…