Monday, 17 December 2012

US Government Announces Regulations for the Affordable Care Act

The Obama administration released the definitions on Tuesday for the Affordable Care Act, two years after the act was initially signed in 2010. They had been delayed as the government had been trying to avoid criticism and controversy before the election. However, the Health Reform regulations are not final, as the government have a 90 day comment period in which they could change their minds- involved participants can negotiate and amend them. This will end on the 26th of December and they will be implemented on the 1st of January 2014.

The Regulations

Insurers can no longer charge more for insurance or refuse service to people who have pre-existing or chronic health conditions. Insurers cannot charge senior citizens more than three times the amount they charge young people. At the moment, insurers in 42 states can charge seniors five or more times the amount they charge young adults.
Insurers to charge smokers more, as well as adjust premiums based on family size.
Insurers cannot use claims history, health status, gender and occupation to discriminate and increase premiums.
States are required to have ten essential benefits, such as prescription drug coverage or hospital care, provided in the new health care exchanges.
Employers to use wellness programs to promote health and try to control health care costs. Employers may reward people for annual exams or regular work outs, but they are prohibited from punishing those who don't engage in these activities.
Propose implementing and expanding employment-based wellness programs to promote health and help control health care spending, while ensuring that individuals are protected from unfair underwriting practices that could otherwise reduce benefits based on health status.

Essentially, Obama is attempting to reshape the existing system in which the average, as well as the anomalous American isn't discriminated against and their health isn't dictated by another, whether that is the insurer or their employer.

Alissa Fox, senior vice president of policy for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, says that insurers and employers have already begun implementing their packages to comply with the proposed rules, such as offering lower premiums to people who undergo wellness checks. In some cases, a wellness check that catches a heart condition early through a blood test could save an employer several thousand dollars. "The Affordable Care Act recognizes that well-run, equitable workplace wellness programs allow workers to access services that can help them and their families lead healthier lives," said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. "Employers, too, can benefit from reduced costs associated with a healthier workforce."

Private healthcare, covering treatments from physiotherapy to hernia surgery is something that British citizens have the privilege of choosing, and if they choose not to, they are looked after by the state free of charge. Of course, no system is perfect and there is wide criticism about the cost and quality of the NHS as much as America is crying out that they cannot afford ObamaCare.    

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Tips for a healthy pregnancy

When you are pregnant your health – which encompasses the health of your foetus - should be your highest priority. There are plenty of things you can do to look after yourself and to make sure you are a healthy mum-to-be. Here are a few tips that you should consider:

Stay/get active 

It is beneficial for pregnant women to stay active, so don’t think pregnancy is an excuse to sit on your bum for nine months. Of course you shouldn’t overdo it but 30 minutes of walking a day is very beneficial and will help you to return to your normal weight after childbirth.

Eat healthily

Healthy eating is always important, but this is truer than ever when you are expecting. A balanced diet is a must at this time but don’t think you need to eat for two, because this is a myth. It’s only in the final three months that you need an extra 200 calories a day, so you don’t need to stuff yourself.

Take vitamins

There are various supplements and vitamins for pregnancy that will top up your natural levels. Vitamin D and folic acid are very important during pregnancy and often supplements are the best way to ensure you have enough in your system. Products such as this from may be beneficial but always read the label and consult your doctor if you are unsure.

Avoid alcohol

Whatever you drink, your baby drinks too. However, your baby’s liver is not developed until the last month of pregnancy so any amount of booze can be harmful. Swap your glass of wine of bottle of beer for a cup of tea or fruit juice and you and your baby will be healthier than if you drink even a little.

Don’t smoke

As with drinking, with smoking your baby absorbs what you do from cigarettes. This includes poisonous chemicals and smoking while pregnant increases your risk of miscarriage and cot death considerably. In short: don’t do it.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

What is BMI and How is it Calculated?

Many people may hear the term "BMI" frequently banded around their workplace or hear reference to it on the television - but what exactly does the term mean and how is it relevant to an individuals personal health and all round well-being?

     The term BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is essentially a fairly simplistic way for a person to quickly make a rough judgement of whether they may be over or underweight in relation to how tall they are. You can quite easily work out your BMI at home by finding your weight in kilograms and dividing it by your height in metres squared.

     In a rough sense, individuals that have a high BMI score can be considered to be at a greater potential risk with regards to a number of important health issues - although it is important to understand that BMI scores can be unnaturally warped and affected by factors such as an extremely athletic or muscular physique, and those currently pregnant or breastfeeding which can easily scew their BMI scores.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

How To Treat A Chesty Cough

In the winter time and during the cold season it is not uncommon for us to develop unwanted coughs and chest issues. These can be particularly frustrating as they can disrupt our enjoyment of the xmas and holiday tie. 
     As we run around and stress ourselves silly in preparation for xmas - as well as exposing ourselves more frequently to cold climatic conditions - we may find that our immune systems begin to suffer somewhat and in turn we become more susceptible to the cold and flu virus. This time of year we are also often meeting up with friends and family from different parts of the world - who in turn bring with them strains of cold and flu for which our immune system may not have developed a resistance to yet.
When we consider a cough, it can generally be classified into 2 camps: that is to say either a "chesty" or "dry" cough. The former tend to feature a rather nasty bodily expulsion of phlegm as you cough and clear your throat and windpipe and are often of a more serious nature than dry coughs. 

Treatments and Remedies for a Chesty Cough
Before using any treatment, always read the label and do not exceed the stated dosage.
You will usually find that ailments such as these will eventually clear themselves up by themselves as long as you get rest and relaxation, avoid sport and excessive movements and don’t drink alcohol or smoke. There are however some treatments you can use to help ease and relieve your chesty cough:

Expectorants – Some treatments for chesty coughs act as an expectorant. These treatments work by thinning out the mucus that is blocking up the body and causing the chesty cough. Expectorants also help the body force out the offending mucus from the airways.
Mucolytics – by breaking down the phlegm and mucus thaty have built up in the lungs, mucolytics can also be an effective way of stopping a chesty cough. As with expectorants By thinning out the phlegm in the lungs it makes it much easier for the body to expel the mucus. 
Combination products – Many more modern cough and cold remedies will contain a multitude of different ingredients – so its always very important to ensure you do not take multiple treatments together. They may contain decongestants such as paracetamol so it is key not to take in conjunction with other similar products that contain paracetamol.

Tips For Healthy Skin All Year Round

Ensuring that you are eating and living healthily throughout the year can be beneficial to the long term health and appearance of your skin and help prevent dryness in the colder winter months. Try to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise.

Dry skin can potentially occur at any season during the year. However, you will frequently notice that it is during the harsh and cold winter months that many people suffer from such issues. Low humidity and strong and cold winds can be a strong contributor to the causes of dry skin – and this allied with the unnatural indoor central heating systems we use during the winter can contribute further to the problems of dry skin.

Although it can be tempting to scratch, please try to avoid irritating your dry skin further in this way as it can make the issue worse. You can address the issue of dry skin by using a good quality, non irritable moisturiser that can stop your skin drying out.

In extreme circumstances always contact and visit your doctor to discuss the issue and they may be able to prescribe specialist treatments to tackle the issues, including skin creams that are not available over the counter or on the high street.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

How Many Calories are Burned During Sports?

Everybody knows that in order to keep fit and healthy it is necessary for a person to take part in regular exercise sessions. The exercise you are able to do will naturally vary and perhaps face some limitations as you get older, but it is still important to try and remain as active as you can (without causing yourself injury) if you are to remain fit and healthy.

     The table below displays the approximate amount of calories used by the body in a wide variety of sporting and fitness activities. The figures shown are per hour of sport or exercise completed. You can see that certain intensive exercise programs will of course burn more calories, however even simple activities such as walking everyday can help keep a person healthy.

The table assumes an approximate body weight of 150 lbs:

Basket Ball – 550
Cricket – 350
Golf – 300
Walking – 250
Jogging – 470
Football – 680
Squash - 800

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Great Tips To Help Promote Good Health and Diet

Staying healthy is something that should of course be very important to everybody - but its often easy to forget when living our hectic 21st century lives what we should be doing in order to promote good health. The following posts gives some helpful tips and advice that should help give you the guidance required in order to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Eat a Varied Diet - Man can't live by bread alone, and therefore ensuring you eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet is essential in order to try and promote good health. The body requires around 40 different nutritional elements to be health and this cannot be achieved from eating just one or two types of food. Reading the nutrition information of packets of food in the supermarket can give you guidance on the makeup of that product and help you eat a balanced diet.

Eat Moderate Portions, Frequently - It can often be tempting to pig out but in order to stay healthy it is important not to eat too much. However, ensuring you eat meals on a regular basis - not skipping breakfast or lunch for example - can help keep your hunger in touch and help you avoid excessive binge eating.

Eat Fruit and Vegetables -
The UK guidelines suggest you should be eating 5 portions of either fruit or vegetables every day. Vegetables are high in fibre which helps digestion and also contain essential vitamins that the body needs to be in healthy working order.