4 Ways Health Centers Can Benefit You

A lot of healthcare is focused on community. Communities working together to be healthier and decrease disease. This week (August 13-19) is National Health Center Week. This week aims to celebrate how health centers work to create healthier communities. Did you know, according to healthcarecenterweek.org one in every fifteen-people living in the United States depends on health center services. Or that health Centers deliver high quality, cost effective, accessible care while serving as critical economic engines helping to power local economies. Today, we’re going to discuss how health centers can benefit you and your community.

They provide health screenings
Simple things like your child’s yearly physical or blood pressure screening can be done at a health center. You can even get your teeth checked at a health center. It’s quick and easy, and often times they don’t require appointments.

They provide education
At health centers, they do more than provide health care. They teach you things about health. How to eat well, how to keep your heart healthy and ways so stay active.

They help translate
Often times those who benefit most from health centers are people who have immigrated to the United States, and English may not be their first language. The doctors aim to ensure their patients understand every aspect of their care.

They serve the people who need it most
Typically, health centers are placed in areas located in Medically Unserved Areas (MUAs). These are areas that don’t have easy access to hospitals, physicians or quality healthcare.

 

To learn more hot healthcare tips pick up my books on easy healthcare.

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Insurance

Health insurance is expensive, and if you’re lucky you’ll hardly ever need to use it. But regardless of your mental and physical health, it’s important that you have good coverage in case of an emergency. And whether you get your insurance through your employer or the Health Insurance Marketplace, you should  always use your insurance to its fullest ability. Today, we’re sharing how to ensure you get the most out of your insurance.

Choose a policy that matches your needs
If you have a chronic health condition it may be in your best interest to choose a policy with a low deductible. This will lower the amount of money you spend before your insurance starts to kick in. It also may be in your best interest to choose a plan with a low out of pocket max. An out of pocket max is a specific amount of money that you must meet and then your insurance will pay at 100%. Therefore, if you spend a lot of time at the doctors, having a policy with a low deductible and out of pocket max would meet your needs. Also, if you see a specialist, such as a chiropractor, on a regular basis, be sure that your policy has chiropractic coverage. This is not a benefit on many plans so be careful.

Make sure your doctors take your insurance
If you have a particular doctor or doctors that you like to see make sure they take your insurance. This may help narrow down between two companies. If you’re switching insurances give your doctors office a call and see if they accept any of the policies you’re considering. Also find out if you will need a referral from your primary care physician (PCP) to see any specialists you see.

See if they pay for your gym membership
Insurance companies see the value in keeping their clients healthy. Now a days, it’s common for your insurance to cover all, if not most, of your monthly gym membership.

See what other benefits they provide
Some companies provide coverage for things such as acupuncture and massage, or even other forms of physical therapy such as Pilates and yoga. Prevention is key to leading a healthy lifestyle so you should check and see if any of these services are covered to stay healthy!

Use it
You can’t get the most out of your insurance if you don’t use it! Make sure you schedule your yearly Pap test with your PCP. Get in to the dentist twice a year, get your eyes checked, and if you’re over the age of 50 schedule yourself a colonoscopy. These services should be at least partially covered by your insurance, so why not take advantage of them?

 

To learn more about choosing your insurance pick up my workbook Easy Healthcare: Choose Your Insurance or any of my three healthcare sets.

6 Supplements to Avoid if You’re on Prescription Drugs

We’ve been talking about supplements a lot lately. And while supplements can be vital to ones diet, it’s important to keep in mind that they must be taken safely. Also, you should never start taking any vitamin or supplement without consulting a healthcare professional. Even though a supplement can be considered safe by the FDA it doesn’t mean that it can’t cause interactions. July is Herbal/Prescription Drug Interaction Awareness Month so today we’re sharing 6 supplements you should watch out for if you’re on prescription drugs.

Grape fruit and St. John’s Wort 
Not many women know this, and not many health care professionals warn young women about it, but grapefruit supplements, as well as St. John’s Wort, can interact with birth control pills. It can change how your body handles estrogen. Which is the whole point of a birth control pill, it prevents an egg from dropping by tricking your body  in to thinking it’s already pregnant. Therefore, if the grape fruit extract messes with one’s estrogen levels it can cause a decreased effectiveness of their contraceptive. 

St John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is an herb that has several contraindications. In addition to birth control, as mentioned above, it can interact with many other prescription medications. These medications include HIV drugs, cyclosporine (an immunosuppressive drug used after transplants), imatinib and irinotecan (chemotherapy drugs), verapamil (a calcium blocker used for hypertension), warfarin (blood thinner), digoxin (for managing high blood pressure) as well as methadone (pain medication). So as you can see, this herb has many dangerous contraindications. 

Black Licorice
Licorice and licorice liquid is often times used to improve poor adrenal function. The adrenal glands are responsible for blood sugar control, blood pressure regulation and they can play a role in stress and fatigue. Black licorice is a great herb to help boost adrenal function, but beware if you’re on diuretics. This liquid can lessen their strength.

Coleus
Coleus, these beautiful variegated plants you see in peoples landscaping, is used for treating cardiac disorders. It helps regulate blood pressure and strengthens the heart muscle. But be careful not to mix this plant with prescription hypotensive drugs. It can drop blood pressure too low.

Korean Ginseng
Korean ginseng is an ancient herb used to boost the immune system. It can also help manage diabetes and improve memory. But don’t take this herb if you’re on MAOI’s for depression. It can cause drowsiness  and more serious complications such as liver damage.

Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil is an herb that all women should know about, especially those who are of the age of menopause. EPO helps to lessen hot flashes. What woman wouldn’t want that? But this is a no-no for those with blood sugar issues. It can lower blood sugar and could potentially lead to diabetic coma. It can also increase one’s risk for breathing.

As you can see, many of the herbs listed above have important benefits. And can really help with many ailments. But as you can also see, these supplements can be extremely dangerous when mixed with the wrong prescription drugs. So you should always consult your physician before adding any vitamins or supplements to your diet.

To learn more about health and women’s health check out the Women’s Mind Body Wellness Summit. It contains 6 interviews by top female health professionals plus two workout videos and 3 bonus videos on mind-body wellness with MyHealthSpin Founder Lori-Ann Rickard.