I’m in the Wellness Business

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything on this blog for sure.  But something really important has happened.  Health Care Reform!  I’ve always supported the passing of the Affordable Care Act (even though it’s been how do you say mind boggling at times), but it still lacks the most important thing and that’s Wellness.

I’ve gone back to school to study Ayurveda, the Science of Life.  Wellness and health have been a passion of mine for many many years, and now I’m in a place to integrate this into my insurance business.

So I’m adding a division of wellness to my business.  Not the old get your blood pressure checked and find out your cholesterol numbers (although those are important too),  I’m talking about learning how to live healthy so maybe you can avoid illness in the future.

Check out the latest blog I’ve written from my Wellness Site, http://www.WellnessWithLois.com.  Expect a lot of information in the future.  I’m developing a Corporate Wellness plan using Ayurveda, the Science of Life.  Ayurveda is an ancient Medicine system, dating back more than 5000 year.

Follow the natural rhythms of life and see where this takes you!

 

 


Updates on the ACA

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog with regards to, well heck, anything! I probably get at least 10 emails everyday with the newest interpretation of  Health Care Reform or ACA (Affordable Care Act) which has been upon us for over a year.  I decided that it’s time to make sure my clients understand the basics.

Some requirements of the ACA happened in 2012 and some things happened in 2013, but the biggest piece of the ACA will happen next year.

Here is a You Tube video as a reminder of the different pieces to the ACA.  

There are two “must do” items that need to be done immediately.  I’ll send out more information shortly about the other upcoming issues.

  1. Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBCs).  This document is always included with your renewal package from the insurance carrier, or they will instruct you where to go to download the form from the carrier website.  You must distribute this form at least 30 days prior to your plan’s renewal.  If you decide to change plan design or change carriers, you must provide this form to employees at least 30 days prior to the plan effective date.  You should also be able to document that the SBC’s were sent to each employee.
  2. You must provide a letter from the Department of Labor that explains how the exchanges work.  You can down load the letter here  DOL letter FLSA with plans.  There is also a letter for employers that do not offer health insurance and I have that as well should anyone need it.

That’s it for this issue.  Oh, by the way, the rumor is that the Department of Labor (DOL) plans to audit EVERY employer over the next Five years!


Employer Responsibility with Health Care Reform

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written a blog on Health Care Reform, or really anything related to employee benefits.  I’ve had a lot going on in my life in the past year.  My mom passed away in January of this year (check out my blog, but grab a tissue) and I finally have the opportunity to breathe a little after that responsibility ended.  So I thought I would catch up on a few important issues. Read the rest of this entry »


Cash for Benefits, a Cautionary Note

Have you, as an employer, ever thought about giving your employees cash in lieu of benefits?  On one hand it seems kind of fair, why not give cash to en employee who is covered by their spouse’s insurance and relieve yourself from that burden? Read the rest of this entry »


Taking the Mystery out of Medicare

Have you noticed lots and lots of commercials on TV lately about Medicare plans? If you’ve seen any daytime TV lately you may have screamed at monitor  because you can’t take another one of those commercials. Rest assured, those commercials won’t last much longer because the annual election period ends December 7th. Read the rest of this entry »


A new Sheriff in Town

Did I say Sheriff?  I meant there’s a new insurance carrier in town.  Sorry about that.

Read the rest of this entry »


Can you Eat Really Well and Lose Weight?

Fall has finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier.  I love the fall weather the best.  The days are warm and the nights cool off and pretty soon that fall smell will arrive.  You know the one, it happens in the early evenings in fall.  I just took this photo in my backyard just to show you the leaves are just starting to change on my Japanese Maple.  Do you see the hummingbird who shot into the picture? Read the rest of this entry »


The Exciting Aspects of Insurance

Okay, I admit it, insurance is boring!  There, now I’ve said it.  Not that there aren’t many topics as far as insurance is concerned, but let’s face it, it’s kind of dull.  Is that bad to admit?  Read the rest of this entry »


3 Things You Must know about COBRA

Back in 1985, COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation ACT) was passed and became effective in 1986.  I’ve been involved with employee benefits for so long,  I specifically remember when it all took place.  I was the benefits person at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, and it was quite overwhelming.

COBRA headcover

I like this COBRA best

Read the rest of this entry »


Controlling Costs for your Health

Controlling Costs for your Health, yes, my favorite topic, appeared to me in an article in the Contra Costa Times recently about curing diabetes.  A test was done in Britain recently that had great results for reversing type 2 diabetes.  It was a very small group and the diet was quite restrictive but the results were pretty incredible.  The calorie reduction was done to reverse the percentage of fat in the pancreas where insulin is made.

This isn’t the first time a study has been done to reverse diabetes, but it is the first time it made a headline on the front page of the newspaper.

I watched a DVD a couple of years back about reversing diabetes.  This one wasn’t quite as popular since it was done with a raw food diet.  Gabriel Cousens, M.D. operates the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center  in Patagonia, Arizona.  He was able to reverse diabetes for the people in the program in 30 days who were cooperative and went along with the plan.  There were a couple of people that couldn’t hang in with the program but I’m guessing that happens with any kind of program.

WOULD YOU GIVE IT A WHIRL?

If you had a serious medical condition and there was an option to “fix” your condition, would you try it?  Some people will say they don’t have the will power.  But will power is really just motivation.  Would you be motivated enough to follow a program, even if it were strict, that would wipe out or maybe just reduce the symptoms of a serious medical condition.

In today’s world there seems to be a pill for everything.  Have high cholesterol?  Take a pill.  Have diabetes?  Take a pill.  Can’t sleep at night?  Take a pill.  These can all be very serious issues and cannot and should not be overlooked.  But any time you take a medication there are always side affects.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t take medications in any way shape or form, but I am saying you should give exercise and modifying your diet a try too.

HOW MUCH CAN I SAVE?

This isn’t just about saving money on co-pays or even lowering an insurance premium.  Sure you could save money on prescription co-pays and doctor office co-pays if you were able to change your habits enough to stop taking a medication.  But look at the bigger picture.  If you were able to reverse diabetes, it isn’t just about the cost of medications.  It’s your health.

Diabetes, if you control it and keep it under control (which by the way is a lot of work too) you could probably keep other health issues from popping up.  But diabetes can cause incredible health issues, blindness, kidney failure, amputations.  And the kicker, diabetes is usually preventable.  No, not always, but taking care of yourself and either not getting it in the first place or reversing it once you have it is doable.  You just can’t take no for an answer.

Tell me what your priority is.