Staying Healthy

Get a head start with your 2011 New Year's Resolution! Get informed,get educated and have fun. Try following these steps to stay healthy in the new year.

Get Informed…….. healthy tips for the new year.

  • Spend wisely. By not overspending, you reduce the amount of stress. Create a budget that works for you.
  • Get some sleep. Getting eight hours of sleep every night promotes wellness, reduces stress and can help you avoid an accident in the car or at work.
  • Drink water. Put down the sugary sodas and juices and have a glass of water when you are thirsty. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, helps carry nutrients to your cells and promotes healthier function of your ears, nose and throat.
  • Don’t skip breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast helps brain function, keeps high calorie cravings in check, and promotes overall health.
  • Veggies, veggies, veggies. Vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals and are often low in calories and high in fiber. Brighten up the dinner table by opting for vegetables that are bright in color, which means they contain antioxidants that help prevent disease.
  • Don’t drink a lot of alcohol. Excessive alcohol can lead to increased weight gain, liver disease, and unintentional injuries.
  • Keep active. Most people know that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of obesity, but many people don't realize that physical activity doesn't have to be spent suffering on a treadmill. Set aside 10 minutes a day to either take a walk or do something active. In some cases, walk up the stairs versus taking an elevator.
  • Don’t forget to relax. Quiet time for yourself is also important. 10 minutes of easily listening music or sitting quietly can relieve stress and help get you that “second wind.”
  • Play. Do something vigorous and enjoyable. Play with the kids, do something active with a friend. Whatever it is, have fun.
  • Give yourself a break. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It is never too late to start following health tips.

Get Education…… new information about wellness visits.

There are a lot of changes that are happening in health care. It is important that you as our patient are educated and well informed. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your wellness visit, please visit one of the community locations (to the right) for contact information.

Below are some educational tips and frequently asked questions about some health care reform changes for 2011. To see if you are eligible for these, please contact your employer or your insurance company for additional information.

Are co-pays or deductibles required for preventive services and wellness visits covered under employer-provided health benefit programs in 2011?

Generally, no. The Affordable Care Act and related regulations released by the Department of Health and Human Services, requires new benefit plans with effective coverage dates of September 23, 2010 or after, to cover recommended preventive services without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or a deductible. This provision may not apply to plans that are “grandfathered”. Because many providers do not have access to detailed coverage information for employers, your HR department (for employer-provided plans) or insurance company is the only definitive source for the answer.

NOTE: Please remember that other services provided during a basic preventive care or wellness visit, additional charges may apply.

When did some of these health care reform changes start taking place?

Since October of 2010, new private health plans have been required to cover preventive care and screenings at intervals that are recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force without co-pays and deductibles including vaccinations and screenings. These services include:

  • Mammograms, colonoscopies and other cancer screenings.
  • Blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol screening.
  • Lifestyle counseling (quitting smoking, losing weight, eating better, treating depression and reducing alcohol use).
  • Counseling and screening for healthy pregnancies.

In addition, immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, including influenza and pneumonia, and regular well-baby and well-child visits must be covered

NOTE: If other services are provided during a basic preventive care or wellness visit, additional charges may apply.

Changes in Medicare benefits for 2011 offer new options including:

A free Annual Wellness Visit with no deductibles, coinsurance, or co-payments

First dollar coverage on a long list of preventive services at intervals recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force including such things as cholesterol tests for men and women at high-risk, depression and obesity screening, and weight loss counseling.

If you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan like Advocare or a traditional plan, we encourage you to indicate you want to receive your care from Ministry Medical Group physicians and Ministry Health Care hospital. For a complete list of clinics in your area, please see the list to the right.

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