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April 2014

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Gearing Up for Allergy Season With Affordable 24/7 Access to Prescriptions and Doctors

By | Staying Healthy

A couple of weeks ago, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America released its annual Spring Allergy Capitals report, which ranks the worst 100 cities for allergies in America.

“It’s the 12th year for this report, and it’s a reminder that, no matter where you live or what the outdoor conditions are, people need to take allergies seriously and have a treatment plan,” Mike Tringale, AAFA’s senior vice president for external affairs told USA Today.

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How Allergies Work

The list serves as a reminder that allergy season is just around the corner, but what exactly causes allergies, you might ask?

Allergy is actually a mistake that the immune system is making,” said Dr. Calman Prussin, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a video recently released by the American Chemical Society. “Normally we make antibodies to fight germs and to recognize germs, and in this case, the immune system has made a mistake and instead is making an antibody that recognizes harmless things, such as pollens or animal dander.”

When the body mistakenly recognizes something as a pathogen, it releases immunoglobulin E – which sets off the immune system response. The immune response is comprised off the release of several chemicals, including the well-known organic molecule called histamine.

“So the way histamine works as this small chemical messenger is that it find a receptor that’s on many, many cells of the body called a histamine receptor and it sends that cell a message,” Prussin said. “For example, in blood vessels – it binds to that receptor and tells that blood vessel to become leaky, which causes the runny nose that you get. Or, for example there are receptors on nerves, which the histamine will activate, and that gives you the sensation of that itchy nose that you might feel during pollen exposure.”

24/7 Access to Prescriptions for Allergy Medication

Seasonal allergy symptoms can range from mild irritation to nearly incapacitating and for those people who can’t wait to see a doctor – www.24hr-edoc.com provides a way to get a consultation with a board-certified physician, allergy medication discounts, or a full prescription card. Benefit plans are available for both families and individuals.

24hr Edoc

While the service provided by www.24hr-edoc.com isn’t insurance, the company is affiliated with Health-Life-Dental-Insurance, which offers a range of insurance products – including those designed to supplement Obamacare.

How to Deal with a Big Health Insurance Deductible

By | Health Insurance, Supplemental Coverage

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Many people select a health insurance plan with a high deductible because these plans are typically associated with lower premiums. However, a person’s insurance doesn’t begin to kick in until their medical costs have met that deductible — which can be up to $6,350 under the Affordable Care Act.

The Dangers of a High-Deductible Plan

While choosing a plan with a big deductible might be a good way to avoid budget-busting premiums, the also leave the policy holder(s) exposed in the case of a medical emergency or the development of a chronic condition that needs regular expensive treatment. Even after a deductible is met, many plans don’t completely cover medical costs — offering to pay for a percentage of the total costs or requiring policy holders to provide a nominal co-pay.

To cover medical fees before a deductible has been met, some policies include a flexible spending account or health savings account. These accounts are typically funded via pre-tax income and do offer some relief under a high deductible. However, policy holders are essentially paying for expenses out-of-pocket and some of these accounts are a “use-it-or-lose-it” arrangement — meaning unused funds at the end of the year are forfeited.

The ACA, also known as Obamacare, does provide a silver lining for those who can only afford a high-deductible plan by mandating that preventative services under these plans be provided free of cost. The reasoning is that a free colonoscopy is cheaper than treating colon cancer that went undetected.

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Supplemental Insurance Fills the Gap

This financial gap in insurance has opened up a secondary market in the form of supplemental insurance. These plans are designed for those who want a high-deductible plan, but want to hedge their bet against a major injury or illness. For example, a $19-a-month plan might pay out to a policy holder in the event of a broken leg.

The popularity of these plans has actually increased in recent years — with a recent report citing overall sales rising 11 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to Reuters. The reason for the increase is likely due to the increase in high deductible plans, which have risen 18.4 percent since 2011, according to a report from America’s Health Insurance Plans.

One type of supplemental plan, offered by Health-Life-Dental-Insurance, is called an accident plan. This kind of insurance offers protection against costly medical bills that may fall short of meeting a high deductible. For example, falling off a roof could result in thousands of dollars in medical bills, but an accident plan would cover the cost of those bills — minus a much more modest deductible.

Another type of supplemental insurance, also offered by Health-Life-Dental-Insurance, is a critical insurance plan. This type of plan guards the holder of a high deductible policy against catastrophic illness, such as cancer.  The costs of treating cancer might eventually add up to meet a deductible, but if that deductible is $6,000 — the policy holder would have to find a way to pay for that out of pocket. Treatment for cancer usually spans for several years; requiring you to meet your deductible every year.

With the rising popularity of high deductible plans and fluctuating health insurance market, it may be time to consider looking at supplemental insurance. Give us a call today, 1-800-257-1723 to see how we can supplement your health coverage to better protect you and your family.