Walk Your Clients into Improved Health for National Women’s Health Week

Each year during National Women’s Health Week, millions of women take steps to improve their health. The 19th annual National Women’s Health Week kicks off on May 13 and serves as a reminder for women to make our health a priority and to build positive health habits for life.

During your consultations with clients this week, remind them of this health observance and provide them with information and resources they need to get them on a journey toward better and long-lasting health.

Here’s how your office can participate in the 19th annual National Women’s Health Week:
  • Share the following tips with you clients
  • Take the National Women’s Health Week quiz to test your knowledge about healthy living
  • Show your fellow agents that you’re making women’s health a priority with these social media resources and use the #NWHW hashtag
  • Participate online or organize activities within office
The journey to create improved health habits can include:
 For every decade, it’s important for your clients to:

*Make sure your clients know how their health coverage works when it comes to well-woman visits. This preventive visit is essential to women’s health, as it’s a time for them to check in on how they’re doing, how they’d like to be doing, and what changes they can make to reach their health goals.

For Clients in Their 20s

 A client in this decade should ask her doctor at least once a year about:

  •  Whether she plans to have children in the next year or the right birth control
  • Her weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Her tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in her life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Her family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)
  • Protecting herself from the sun and the hazards of tanning

She should also ask if she needs these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • HPV vaccine (26 and younger*)
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap (21 and older*)
  • Sexually transmitted infections (including chlamydia and gonorrhea tests for women 24 and younger*)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

If she is pregnant, prenatal care can also be a well-woman visit. There are also certain tests during pregnancy to check her and her baby’s health. Click here to learn more.

* Suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person

For Clients in Their 30s

A client in this decade should ask her doctor at least once a year about:

  •  Whether she plans to have children in the next year or the right birth control
  • Her weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Her tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in her life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Her family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)

She should also ask if she needs these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap and HPV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

If she is pregnant, prenatal care can also be a well-woman visit. There are also certain tests during pregnancy to check her and her baby’s health. Click here to learn more.

For Clients in Their 40s

A client in this decade should ask her doctor at least once a year about:

  •  Whether she plans to have children in the next year or the right birth control (for premenopausal women)
  • Perimenopause symptoms
  • Her weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Her tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in her life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Her family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)

She should also ask if she needs these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Mammogram
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap and HPV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

If she is pregnant, prenatal care can also be a well-woman visit. There are also certain tests during pregnancy to check her and her baby’s health. Click here to learn more.

For Clients in Their 50s

A client in this decade should ask her doctor at least once a year about:

  • Menopause symptoms
  • Your weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Your tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in your life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Your family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)

She should also ask if she needs these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Low-dose aspirin
  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer (55 and older*)
  • Mammogram
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap and HPV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

* Suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person

As you work with your clients to determine which type of coverage will help them tackle these health concerns and meet their budget and lifestyle needs, it’s crucial to review the basics with them.

If health benefit insurance is an option for them, discuss features such as:

  • Helpful for those anticipating rising medical expenses, unable to afford major medical, not eligible for short-term medical, and/or looking for supplemental coverage to their major medical plans
  • Guaranteed issue coverage if eligibility is met and available in state
  • Premiums often lower than major medical, but also lower and more restricted benefits
  • Benefits such as $50-$100 paid toward doctor and specialist visits available
  • Not required to use a network of doctors – freedom to choose any doctor or facility (*Note: clients can still exceed eligible benefits)
  • Preventive care available for as low as $50
  • Next day coverage available or little to no waiting periods for accidental injuries or sickness
  • 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions
  • Does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as sole medical coverage

If short-term medical is an option for them, discuss features such as:

  • Helpful for those facing life-altering transition periods such as pre-Medicare retirement, change in employment status, rolling off parental or student insurance, bridging a gap in major medical coverage or those who missed Open Enrollment (*Note: these policies are designed solely to provide healthcare coverage during unexpected coverage gaps)
  • Flexibility in coverage length and cost; coverage duration varies by state and is non-renewable
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options for in-network benefits
  • Limited preventive care available
  • Ability to cancel at any time without penalty
  • Benefits may be limited and subject to exclusions and restrictions
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions
  • Coverage is not guaranteed
  • Not intended to be a replacement or alternative to ACA or other major medical plans and does not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required; may result in a tax penalty

Disclaimer: Health benefit insurance and short-term medical coverage are not intended to be a replacement or alternative to ACA or other major medical plans nor does it provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and it won’t help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance. They can have exclusions and limitations, which may not make them a valid option for some clients.

Show your clients that women’s health is a priority to you this week and every week. Provide them with affordable and quality coverage options that allow them to easily get the healthcare they need for every decade.

Learn more today by:

Click here to like us on Facebook for important industry updates, tips, and articles!

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to make any product recommendations. Encourage your clients to review any product details, such as costs, limitations, exclusions, restrictions, and benefits prior to any purchasing decisions.

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

Many thanks to the Office of Women’s Health for this information and their work on behalf of women.

For more information on National Women’s Health Week as well as resources on a variety of trending topics in women’s health, wellness, and medical conditions, please click here.

 

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

 

 

Help Your Clients Face 2018 with Health Benefit Insuran

Help Your Clients Face 2018 with Health Benefit Insurance

Health benefit insurance plans can help your clients find some financial accord as they face certain health concerns by providing set amounts of money for covered medical services. Also referred to as fixed cash or limited-benefit indemnity coverage, these plans provide supplemental benefits to your clients that they can use to pay medical expenses such as copays and deductibles or other expenses such as rent and daily lifestyle needs.

Value

This level of coverage can provide your clients with a wide variety of benefits in the face of accidental injuries, sickness, inpatient surgical care, outpatient care, and even pre-existing conditions (subject to waiting period.) Coverage varies from plan to plan, but health benefit insurance plans can provide little to no waiting periods with access to doctors nationwide, and benefits for critical illness and/or accidental death.

Features

Your clients can take advantage of a variety of features that help make their healthcare more accessible:

  • Freedom to choose any doctor or hospital of your clients’ choice
  • Guaranteed issue coverage
  • Low cost preventative care
  • Next day coverage or little to no waiting periods for accidental injuries or sickness
  • 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions

How it works

When your clients choose health benefit insurance coverage, they are choosing a type of coverage that pays them directly instead of paying healthcare providers. They simply submit a claim after a qualified medical expense and receive payment that they can use as needed. There are no deductibles to meet.

Limitations

Health benefit insurance coverage does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as your clients’ only medical coverage. Although the premiums may be lower than a major medical plan, the benefits are also lower and more restricted. Benefits are preset and may not necessarily be sufficient to cover the total bill for medical services received. Before recommending plans to consumers, ensure they understand what is and isn’t covered.

Help your clients take on 2018 with affordable, quality supplemental coverage today! Learn more by:

Click here to like us on Facebook for important industry updates, tips, and articles!

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

 

For agent use only – not for use with the public

 

Health Coverage in 2018: Change Is Constant

Change is the only constant in healthcare coverage. Adjustments to cost, convenience, quality, access, and legislation unfailingly impact consumers and the decisions they make for their own healthcare as well as healthcare for their loved ones. But there’s one important factor that will remain unchanged: your clients’ need to have access to affordable, convenient, and quality coverage despite which legislative reforms are in place.

As a third-party billing administrator and a technology resource, Health Insurance Innovations is on a mission to provide access to coverage that fits your clients’ needs, including short-term medical policies. We partner with top rated carriers that offer value-rich health coverage solutions as we modernize the insurance landscape. Our simplified application process and cloud-based digital platform enables licensed agents to enroll consumers in coverage through our carrier partners that tackles evolving healthcare and budget realities.

That coverage includes:

  • Short-term medical
  • Health benefit insurance
  • Accident, cancer and critical illness
  • Prescription
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life
  • AD&D
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Lifestyle discounts

Short-term medical coverage and health benefit insurance plans are two options that are quite popular with clients as well as agents and often fit a variety of needs.

Expand your portfolio today by offering these coverage solutions than can provide features such as:

  • Open network of physicians, specialists, and hospitals (*Note: clients can still exceed eligible benefits) 
  • Access to urgent care centers
  • Flexibility in length of coverage and in cost (coverage duration varies by state, may not be renewable)
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options for in-network benefits
  • Paid benefits similar to traditional major medical plans
  • Next day coverage
  • Little to no waiting periods
  • Deductibles as low as $250
  • Relatively inexpensive premiums, but may result in lower and more restricted benefits
  • Guaranteed acceptance for some products, if eligibility is met and available in state
  • Unlimited low-cost doctor and specialist copays

Please note that it’s important for you and your clients to understand these products do not replace major medical insurance and they do not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act.

These products are not intended to serve as sole medical coverage. Limitations, restrictions, and exclusions may apply.

In our role, we serve members by providing:

  • Access to personalized insurance information through our secure platform
  • Printed and digital insurance cards on behalf of their carriers
  • Billing support and assistance
  • Digital updates on behalf of their insurance carriers on how to take full advantage of their coverage

Learn more about how you can meet your clients’ health, budget, and lifestyle needs by with a variety of coverage options by:

Click here to like us on Facebook for important industry updates, tips, and articles!

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

Help Your Clients Make Safe Toys and Gifts Part of Their Holidays

Help Your Clients Make Safe Toys and Gifts Part of Their Holidays

The holiday season shopping season is upon us as we prepare to celebrate, share laughs and good times with loved ones, and exchange gifts. Prevent Blindness America, a non-profit group dedicated to advocating for eye care and healthy vision, has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month to help adults make the best decisions on how to keep this holiday season joyful for everyone.

Consider these statistics:
  • Hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 265,000 toy-related injuries in 2012 throughout the United States1.
  • 72% were people less than 15 years of age1.
  • Close to 90,000 were people less than 5 years of age1.
  • Each year, thousands of children aged 14 and younger suffer from eye injuries and even blindness from toys2.

Many of your clients may be understandably excited to indulge their own children as well as children in their families, but they may not consider important safety concerns or the age range for toys they purchase.

Encourage your clients to follow the guidelines below when choosing toys and gifts2:
  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
  • Consider if the toy is appropriate for the child’s ability and age.
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
  • Check the lenses and frames of children’s sunglasses; many can break and cause injuries.
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
  • Look for the letters “ASTM.” This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by ASTM International.
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
  • Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction.
  • Fix or throw away broken toys.
  • Keep young children away from toys meant for older children.
  • Make sure children store toys properly after play to avoid risks or falls.
  • Supervise children’s craft projects (scissors and glue can be extremely dangerous to a child’s eyesight).
  • Have children wear the right eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets, eyeguards).

Your members deserve coverage options that provide convenient and affordable access to healthcare all year long, especially in case of an emergency. If a loved one becomes injured this holiday season, your clients may end up relying on their health insurance coverage.

Short-term medical coverage and limited medical coverage can provide options that include valuable features such as:
  • Open network of physicians, specialists, and hospitals
  • Access to urgent care centers
  • Flexibility in length of coverage and in cost (coverage duration varies by state, may not be renewable)
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options for in-network benefits
  • Paid benefits similar to traditional major medical plans
  • Next day coverage
  • Little to no waiting periods
  • Deductibles as low as $250
  • Relatively inexpensive premiums, but may result in lower and more restricted benefits
  • Guaranteed acceptance for some products, if eligibility is met and available in state
  • Unlimited low-cost doctor and specialist copays

Short-term medical coverage or limited medical coverage may be the best fit for some of your clients. However, it’s important for you and your clients to understand these products do not replace major medical insurance, and they do not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act. These products are not intended to serve as sole medical coverage. Limitations, restrictions, and exclusions may apply.

Learn more about the features above as well as how they can help clients with a variety of health concerns, lifestyle needs, and budget needs by:

Click here to like us on Facebook for important industry updates, tips, and articles!

Sources:

1: “Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.” Prevent Blindness America. https://www.preventblindness.org/safe-toys-and-gifts-awareness-month

2: “Safe Toy Checklist.” Prevent Blindness America. https://www.preventblindness.org/safe-toy-checklist

 

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

 

 

Encourage Your Clients Not Light Up for Great American Smokeout

Each year on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society invites smokers to participate in the Great American Smokeout, an event focused on preventing disease and death caused by cigarettes and tobacco. According to the American Cancer Society1, “by quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.”

Smokers are encouraged to:

  • Give up their use of cigarettes/tobacco for the day;
  • Use the day to make a plan to quit; or  
  • Quit smoking that very day

While quitting smoking can be difficult, it has both immediate and long-term benefits to your clients’ health2:

  • After 20 minutes, heart rate and blood pressure drop
  • After 12 hours, carbon monoxide levels return to normal
  • After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease
  • After 1 year, the excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes
  • After 5 years, the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half
  • After 10 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of those who don’t smoke
  • After 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of those who don’t smoke

With the consistent rises in costs for medical care and insurance, your clients are likely worried about potential financial battles related to their health concerns. Quitting smoking is a lifestyle change they can make to prevent and/or lower their risk of the conditions noted above as well as to lower their risk of diabetes, to allow their blood vessels to work more effectively, and to extend their life expectancy2. Despite the number of those who smoke dropping in the last few years, approximately 36.5 million Americans still smoke and others methods of smoking tobacco are trending.

When working with clients who need to factor smoking into their long-term health and healthcare coverage needs, encourage them to visit resources from the American Cancer Society. Quitting isn’t easy, but if your clients know how to do it and know where to go for help, they have a better chance of making a lifestyle change that sticks. Smoking is lifestyle choice that is among the largest preventable causes of disease and premature death1, and your clients deserve the support of loved ones, their medical community, and those in the healthcare coverage field when they are ready to make a different choice.

Click here to like us on Facebook for important industry updates, tips, and articles!

Sources

1: “The Great American Smokeout.” American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html 

2: “Great American Smokeout: Free help for those who want to quit smoking.” Dr. Janna Kroiss. http://www.htrnews.com/story/life/2017/11/06/great-american-smokeout-free-help-available-those-who-want-quit-smoking-cigarettes-ask-doctor/836503001/

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to make any product recommendations. Encourage your clients to review any product details, such as costs, limitations, exclusions, restrictions, and benefits prior to any purchasing decisions.

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Help Your Clients Protect Themselves

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Help Your Clients Protect Themselves

Approximately 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point, the second most common kind of cancer in women1. While most women can survive breast cancer if it’s detected and treated early 1, there are several lifestyle factors that your clients should consider when assessing risk, including:

  • Consuming dairy (with risk of death increasing for those who continue to consumer dairy after diagnosis)2
  • Being overweight or obese3
  • Not being physically active3
  • Regularly drinking alcohol4
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy4
  • Taking hormonal birth control3

 

The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about steps women can take to decrease their risk and to detect and treat this disease. It’s also an opportunity to help your clients protect themselves from potential financial challenges that can come with breast cancer treatment. When faced with high deductibles, high copays, and high premiums, it can be difficult for your clients to afford medical coverage.

Limited medical plans can offer economical options that can help do just that for your clients who are:
  • Anticipating rising medical expenses
  • Unable to afford major medical coverage
  • Not eligible for short-term medical coverage
  • Looking for supplemental coverage to their major medical plans
 With these products, you can offer your clients many features, including:
  • The freedom to choose any doctor or hospital of their choice
  • Guaranteed issue coverage with $50-$100 paid toward doctor and specialist visits
  • Offer preventative care for $50, $75, $80, $100
  • Next day coverage or little to no waiting periods for accidental injuries or sickness
  • 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions
What are the limitations of limited medical coverage?

This type of plan does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as your clients’ only medical coverage. Although the premiums may be lower than a major medical plan, the benefits are also lower and more restricted.

You may have clients who need to supplement their existing coverage, but who are worried about affordability and value. With limited medical coverage, they have the option to take advantage of low premium rates, discounted network rates, and even access to non-insurance benefits such as a prescription savings program, 24/7/365 video and phone access to quality physicians, and a patient advocacy service.

Learn more about how limited medical options may be ideal for your clients by:

 

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public.

Sources:

1: “October: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/OctoberToolkit.aspx

2: “High – and Low-Fat Dairy Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality After Breast Cancer Diagnosis.” Candyce H. Kroenke Marilyn L. Kwan Carol Sweeney Adrienne Castillo Bette J. Caan. https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/105/9/616/986948/High-and-Low-Fat-Dairy-Intake-Recurrence-and

3: “Lifestyle-Related Breast Cancer Risk Factors.” American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/risk-and-prevention/lifestyle-related-breast-cancer-risk-factors.html

4: “Lifestyle: How Our Lifestyle and Choices Affect Breast Cancer Risk.” Breast Cancer Now. http://breastcancernow.org/about-breast-cancer/what-can-cause-breast-cancer/lifestyle

 

2017 Open Enrollment is Approaching Are You Ready

Open Enrollment is Approaching: Are You Ready?

Open Enrollment is just around the corner, and it’s important that you provide your clients with up-to-date details about coverage options that fit their health concerns, budget, and lifestyle needs.

If you’re enrolling clients in ACA coverage, here are some important dates to remember:

November 1, 2017

Open Enrollment Period begins

December 15, 2017

Open Enrollment Period ends

January 1, 2018

Plans sold during Open Enrollment become effective

Your clients will undoubtedly have questions about which options address their needs as well as provide affordable and quality coverage. While it is not a substitute for ACA or other major medical plans, short-term medical coverage may be an appropriate option for those who are:

  • Graduating from college and/or in need of replacing their student insurance
  • Transitioning between jobs
  • Waiting for employer insurance to begin
  • Rolling off parents’ coverage
  • Retiring soon and waiting for Medicare coverage to become effective

You may also have clients who miss the Open Enrollment period and reach out to you at that time to help them address their coverage needs. Short-term medical coverage may be an appropriate option for those clients as well.

Short-term medical plans can provide features to your clients such as:
  • Flexibility in timing of enrollment – there is not special enrollment period Preventive care for individuals as well as for families
  • Lower premiums than other types of plans
  • Access to providers of choice
  • Convenience of filing a claim in provider’s office with an additional option to submit their own claims for reimbursement

It’s important that your clients understand there are limitations associated with short-term medical plans such as restrictions for pre-existing conditions, maximum coverage periods, and restrictions on renewability. Ensure consumers fully understand the details, exclusions, limitations, and restrictions of any short-term medical plans prior to making a purchasing decision.

STM coverage is not intended to be a replacement or alternative to ACA or other major medical plans nor does it provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and it won’t help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance.

Remember: There is no special enrollment period for short-term medical plans. This may provide you more flexibility in helping your clients manage their health coverage needs.

Learn more about Open Enrollment and short-term medical coverage by:

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public.

How You Can Help Families Make Healthy Choices to Combat Childhood Obesity

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services1. That means obesity affects approximately 12.7 million children and adolescents2.  The month of September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about this epidemic and to highlight simple steps parents, teachers, loved ones, communities, and health professionals can take to combat it.

According to the Centers for Disease Controlchildren with obesity are at a higher risk for3:

  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Bone and joint issues
  • Type 2 diabetes

They also have more risk factors for3:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

In addition to the emotional toll obesity may take on children due to bullying and social isolation, they are also more likely to have obesity as adults. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers3.

So what can we do to prevent obesity in children?

  • Be role models. Make healthy choices when it comes to nutrition and fitness. Fill your plates with colorful fruits and vegetables. Stick to a fitness schedule. See your doctor regularly for checkups.
  • Get kids involved. Let kids help in the planning and preparation of meals and in workout routines.
  • Make creative choices. Prepare snacks and meals that are creative and colorful. Plan fitness routines that involve being in parks or fun recreational areas.

As an agent, talk to your clients about:

  • Making small changes, like keeping fresh fruit within reach or going on a family walk after dinner
  • Talking with teachers and school administrators about providing healthy food options and daily physical activities for students
  • Learning how health professionals are leaders in their communities and how they support programs to prevent childhood obesity

Collaborate with your members on coverage options that support healthy choices. Short-term medical and limited medical coverage options can provide features such as:

  • Flexibility in length of coverage and in cost
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options
  • Ability to cancel without penalty
  • Paid benefits similar to traditional major medical plans
  • Wellness options
  • Next day coverage
  • Little to no waiting periods
  • Deductibles as low as $250
  • Relatively inexpensive premiums
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • Unlimited low-cost doctor and specialist copays
  • Open network of physicians, specialists, and hospital

  

Learn more about offering your clients short-term medical and limited medical options today by:

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

 

Sources:

1: “September: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/SeptemberToolkit.aspx

2: “YCMA Offers Health Tips for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.” Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glenview/community/chi-ugc-article-ymca-offers-health-tips-for-childhood-obesity-2017-08-30-story.html

3: “September is National Childhood Obesity Month.” Centers for Disease Control. https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html

 

 

 

Pack Your Plate for Fruits and Veggies Month

Pack Your Plate for Fruits and Veggies Month

“Eat your spinach!”

“Don’t trade your banana at lunch!”

“Yes, you have to clean your plate. And yes, that includes the Brussels sprouts!”

Most of us heard these messages – or something similar – from our parents when we were kids. Your members may not have always considered fruits and veggies to be the most tantalizing foods back then (and they may not to this day), but there is no denying that we need lots of them in our diet1.

September is Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month, an annual celebration that puts the focus not just on eating more fruits and veggies but also on how they can lower our risk2 of:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure

 

Did you know that…

…a low-fat plant based diet can control and/or reverse3Type 2 diabetes?

…plants are loaded with protein3?

veggies and fruits are packed4 with calcium, iron, and vitamin D, among other nutrients?

leafy greens5 help protect our tissues against free-radical damage, help keep our nerves, brain, and spinal cord healthy, and help bone marrow make new red blood cells?

fruits and veggies6 are considered nutrient-dense and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages increased consumption of these plant-based foods?

According to the USDA’s Choose My Plate7 program, half of our plates of each meal should be fruits and veggies. That may seem like a lot, especially when your members’ diet doesn’t currently meet that recommendation, but here are some tips to keep in mind on their journey to healthier eating:

  • Keep a bowl of fruit on your counter. This keeps it convenient, in your line of sight, and attractive – three qualities that will make it more likely for you to choose a piece of fruit over less healthy options the next time you go to the kitchen.
  • Take a few minutes each week to cut up fruits (or buy bagged frozen options) to store them in convenient – and portable – containers for later use. Grab a container when you head out the door each morning.
  • Challenge your loved ones to try a new veggie with you each week.
  • Add (or increase the amount you normally add) veggies to your standard dishes like pasta, soup, or sandwiches.
  • Choose frozen fruit bars (100% fruit – no added sugar) instead of ice cream or yogurt.
  • Add greens to your breakfast smoothie.
  • Replace carbs with vegetables. Instead of making mashed potatoes, make mashed cauliflower.
  • Use lettuce instead of bread for sandwiches and wraps.
  • Make overnight oats and add steamed veggies or fruit to the top.
  • Swap the noodles you typically use for veggie noodles. With a spiralizer, you can make noodles from vegetables such as zucchini and squash.
  • Add carrots, squash, broccoli, kale, or other veggies to your tomato sauce.
  • Slice veggies such as avocados, carrots, or zucchini and bake as fries until crispy.

 

Your members may be interested in locating farmers’ markets near them for fresh fruits and veggies? Ask them to click here8.

Your members may know someone who could use help eating healthy. Ask them to click here9 for tips on how to start the conversation.

September is also National Childhood Obesity Month. Your members can click here10 for information on how fruits and veggies can help support healthy growth in children and click here11 for information on the Salad Bars to Schools project.

Expand your portfolio with a variety of coverage options for your members today by:

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

Sources:

1: “Everything You Eat and Drink Matters.” https://www.choosemyplate.gov/variety. United States Department of Agriculture.

 

2: “September: Fruit & Veggies – More Matters Month.” https://healthfinder.gov/nho/SeptemberToolkit2.aspx. United States Department of Health and Human Services.

3: “What the Health: Facts.” http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/facts/.

4: “Power Sources.” http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate/power-sources. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

5: “Why Eat Dark, Leafy Greens?” http://doctorklaper.com/answers/answers16/. Dr. Michael Kapler.

6: “More Plants on the Plate.” http://nutritionstudies.org/plants-plate/. T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

7: “MyPlate.” https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate. United States Department of Agriculture.

8: “Local Food Directories: National Farmers Market Directory.” https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets. United States Department of Agriculture.

9: “Healthy Eating: Conversation Starters.” https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/nutrition-and-physical-activity/nutrition/healthy-eating-conversation-starters. United States Department of Health and Human Services.

10: “September is National Childhood Obesity Month.” https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

11: “Salads Bars to Schools.” http://www.saladbars2schools.org/.

 

 

Protect Your Clients’ Vision During Contact Lens Health Week and Beyond

Infographic: Protect Your Clients’ Vision During Contact Lens Health Week and Beyond

Healthy habits mean healthy eyes. The Centers for Disease Control is highlighting that message August 21-25 for Contact Lens Health Week, an annual campaign to increase public awareness about proper wear and care of contact lenses.

Check out the infographic below for more on how you can help your clients protect their vision!

eye-infographic