How to Find Out if Your Doctor is “In Network”

Are you switching health insurance plans? If so, one of the first things you will want to check is which physicians are “in network.” This is especially important if you have a particular physician or specialist that you see would prefer to continue with him or her rather than switching to a new doctor.

Insurance plans often have preferred doctors and may refer to that list of physicians as in network. There may be a separate list of physicians that are out of network. Some health plans may refer to these levels with different terminology like Tier 1 and Tier 2. Whatever language is used, it’s important to pay attention to these lists, because the difference could impact your wallet.

In network or preferred doctors are those that have accepted arrangements with your particular health insurance to be reimbursed for payment. These doctors generally have low, or sometimes no, copay and usually all or most of the work by that physician will be covered by your insurance.

Out-of-network doctors do not have these same benefits. Be sure to carefully read what is covered for visits with out-of-network physicians. These visits may have higher copays, higher deductibles, and you may receive a bill for some or all of the costs. For example, a visit to an in-network primary care physician may have a $15 copay and the rest of the visit cost may be fully covered by insurance, meaning you don’t have to pay anything further. The same visit to an out-of-network primary care physician may have a $30 copay, and the insurance plan may only cover 80% of the cost of the visit, meaning you will get a bill for the other 20%. Out-of-network costs can really add up over time.

So, how do you know if your favored doctor is in network? There are several ways you can find out. A good place to start is the health plan’s website. Most health plans have a “find a doctor” search tool. Search for your doctor there and see if they show up as in network (or preferred or Tier 1) or out of network.

You can also call your doctor’s office directly and ask if your doctor participates in the health plan. They will be able to tell you if the doctor and facility are fully or partially covered.

Once you have your answer, you’ll be able to make a decision about which insurance plan is right for you.


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6 Health Habits to Teach Your Children

Did you know that one in three kids are overweight or obese? Obesity is an epidemic that is now affecting children as young as 3 years old. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and it’s never too early to start to teach your kids about how to live a healthy lifestyle. If they learn these things from a young age they will be less likely to become overweight and, therefore, lower their risk of developing type II diabetes, sleep apnea or bone and joint disorders. Today, we’re sharing 6 health habits to teach your children.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Kids need to eat breakfast in order to keep them full and focused while at school. Aim for something high in protein to hold them over. Studies have also shown that children who eat breakfast have a lesser occurrence of obesity than those who don’t. Plus it prevents bingeing when it comes to lunch or after school snacks.

Eat the rainbow
An easy way to teach kids about eating a wide variety of healthy foods is to tell them to eat the rainbow. Having a plate that’s full of many different fruits and vegetables in vibrant colors provides a lot of different vitamins and minerals.

Exercise is fun
A big mistake some parents make with kids is forcing them to play sports. I understand the idea behind it, but this philosophy may backfire. Let them try a sport; if they don’t like it, don’t force it. They need to learn that exercise is fun, not a punishment. If your child isn’t athletic encourage them to stay active in other ways. Activities such as playing tag or jumping rope are great ways to get the heart pumping.
Look at labels
Kids are never too young to know what’s in their food. Teach them about ingredients they should avoid eating such as high fructose corn syrup. If you give them the tools they need to eat healthy, they will make good food choices when you’re not around to help them.
Sleep is super important
Stress the importance of sleep. Make sure they know that electronics or TV are not allowed right before bed.
One of the most important healthy habits to teach your children is the idea of self-love. Kids can be so hard on themselves and have no sense of self-worth. Teaching them to have love and respect for themselves is a huge key to success.
To learn more about nutrition for children, as well as how to get them set up for a healthy school year, pick up the Women’s Mind Body Wellness Summit. Dr. Jennifer Shell discusses how dangerous sugar is for kids and Alyssa Sullivan discusses nutrition programs in daycare. This summit also includes four other interviews from top female health professionals as well as two bonus workout videos, plus three inspirational videos from myself, MyHealthSpin Founder Lori-Ann Rickard.

How You Can Change Your Diet to Improve PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, more commonly known as PCOS, affects almost 5 million women in the United States alone. And sadly, many of these women are left undiagnosed. Today, we’re going to discuss the signs of PCOS and dietary changes you can make to lessen your symptoms.

Signs of PCOS
Weight gain or obesity
Typically, women with PCOS are overweight or even obese. And often times they hold their weight around the waistline.
Excessive body hair
It’s not abnormal for women to have body hair. What is more important is to pay attention to the location, as well as the color and thickness of it. Women with PCOS tend to have thick, coarse body hair on their face (typically the upper lip and jaw line), chest and back.
Oily and acne prone skin
Due to the increased hormone levels, women with PCOS often times have oily and acne prone skin.
Irregular menstrual cycles and infertility
PCOS is a result of increased hormones, typically the predominantly male hormone testosterone. One of the early signs of PCOS is missed or irregular periods. PCOS can also cause ovarian cysts and infertility if left untreated.
In order to help improve your PCOS it’s important to get to the root of the cause. Changing your diet can be a huge factor.
Avoid inflammatory foods
Foods that cause inflammation, namely wheat and dairy, can wreck havoc on anyone’s body, let alone those with PCOS. Try including anti-inflammatory foods, such as turmeric, blueberries, ginger and beets.
Be sure you’re getting enough iodine
Iodine is a naturally occuring trace mineral in the human body. It is essential for creating thyroid hormones. Iodine can also help prevent or reduce ovarian cysts, which are common with PCOS. To be sure you’re getting enough iodine you can try adding seaweeds to your diet. If that’s not up your alley, try eating some navy beans or taking a liquid iodine supplement.
Remove all processed food and refined sugars
Women with PCOS are predisposed to developing diabetes. Therefore, it is important to keep your blood sugar levels in check. Most boxed or processed foods are high in sugar. Try sticking to healthy, home cooked meals instead of those found in a box.
To learn more about how dangerous refined sugar is and how supplementation can help improve your diet and nutrition pick up the Women’s Mind Body Wellness Summit. Chiropractor Jennifer Shell discusses all you need to know about nutrition. The WMBW Summit contains 6 interviews from top female health professionals plus three bonus videos from MyHealthSpin Founder Lori-Ann Rickard, as well as two bonus workout videos. Use promo code “BEWELL” to recieve 50% off!