Post about "nutrition"

Health Savings Accounts Provide Affordable Health Insurance Solutions

Millions of Americans have recently been faced with the task of finding their own affordable healthcare plans for themselves and their families after they have lost their jobs. Already in 2009 alone, an estimated that 7 million Americans who lost their jobs as a result of the recession will have to pay COBRA health insurance premiums in order to maintain their health insurance plans.The good news for these millions of recently unemployed workers is that a new government Act – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – has been put into place in many states to help these individuals and their families afford to pay for their COBRA healthcare. However, the ARRA and COBRA only provide temporary financial relief and, for many, the programs are about to end. Health Savings Accounts may be viable healthcare solutions for these employees.Working with COBRACOBRA is a program that allows employees who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own to continue with the same healthcare plans that they had been receiving through their employers. The COBRA program is temporary and, while employees are able to maintain their same health insurance plans, employees do have to pay more for the health insurance premiums on their COBRA plans than they paid while they were employed.Historically, COBRA premiums have been difficult for laid-off workers to afford on their own. Yet, because many workers were able to quickly find reemployment after being laid off, many workers chose to use the COBRA option as a temporary health insurance solution while they were between jobs.However, with current challenging economic conditions, it has not been possible for many workers to find reemployment, which means that they have had to pay high COBRA premiums for longer periods of time – or opt to forgo health insurance altogether. Therefore, while COBRA programs have been an affective short-term solution to help workers get through a temporary job loss, they are not able to provide affordable or long-term health insurance.American Recovery and Reinvestment ActIn order to help workers more easily afford COBRA (and retain healthcare coverage) the federal government instated the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which has been adopted by some states.Under the ARRA, workers who lost their jobs during the recession are only required to pay 35 percent of their COBRA health insurance premiums, while the federal government pays the remaining 65 percent. This Act is adopted on a state-by-state basis and has been an effective short-term solution for millions of Americans. However, the state COBRA coverage only lasts from six to nine months, depending on an individual’s state. Federal COBRA coverage lasts up to 18 months, in most cases.For many Americans currently enrolled in COBRA health insurance programs, COBRA and/or ARRA financial support is about to expire. Americans who are still unemployed are now challenged to find affordable healthcare plans for themselves and their families. It is especially important for them to enroll in a new health insurance program before their COBRA benefits expire so that they will be able to maintain healthcare coverage at all times.Health Savings Account OptionsFor individuals who have lost their jobs, a Health Savings Account is generally a very affordable and effective health insurance solution. Health Savings Accounts are used by individuals in all industries and financial situations to save money, including small business owners, businesses, unemployed individuals, families, financial-savvy employees, and more.A Health Savings Account is similar to an IRA in that individuals set aside money into the health savings account that they can then invest in high interest-yielding stocks, bonds, money markets, and more. The money that an individual puts into the health savings account is tax-deductible and can grow tax-free. When an individual needs to pay for a qualifying health-related expense, he or she can withdraw money from the health savings account to pay for it without paying tax.One of the many benefits of a Health Savings Account is that individuals can use the funds from their accounts as they wish. However, if they withdraw money for a non-healthcare related expense, they will pay taxes on the funds that they withdraw. When they leave funds in their Health Savings Account, the money can grow completely tax-free for life.┬áIn order to establish a Health Savings Account, individuals need to open a qualifying high-deductible health insurance account. Health Savings Accounts can be used by individuals and families. There are also maximum annual contributions for individual and family Health Savings Accounts, which are subject to change every year.Health Savings Accounts are not only affordable health insurance solutions for individuals who have COBRA accounts that are about to expire, but they are also excellent solutions for many laid-off workers. For many individuals, Health Savings Accounts are more affordable and financially smart health insurance solutions than COBRA plans. Individuals should speak with an insurance advisor to find the right insurance solutions for themselves and their families.

Maximizing the Benefits of Nutritional Vitamins and Herbal Supplements

Nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements are just one of the many types of dietary supplements available in the market. Dietary supplements include vitamin or herbal extractions as part of their ingredients. Like other supplements, nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements come in pill, gel capsule, liquid, or powder forms.Getting the most out of supplementsAs the consumption of nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements increase, more studies dedicated to maximizing its benefits to the body are being conducted. The formula is simple: Dietary supplements must complement your diet. They should not overpower, cancel, or take away from the nutrients that your body absorbs from your natural diet.Below are some tips collated from these different studies. They should help you maximize the performance of the nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements you take.1. Excessive supplements can harm you.Even though nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements contribute to a healthy lifestyle, taking too much of them can be dangerous. This is because supplements can be likened to drugs in that they are also reactive to other elements present inside the body.For instance, too much iron may increase your chances of getting iron overload. Excess iron may builds up in tissues of your vital organs (such as your liver or heart). This overload is a chronic disease that when left untreated may lead to hemochromatosis, which is potentially deadly.Unless your doctor prescribes that you need an excess amount of a certain nutrient for a certain medical condition, it is still best to just take the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). No previous studies or data can prove that taking more nutritional vitamin and herbal supplements than what set in the RDA has beneficial effects.2. Natural does not mean safe.Claims that nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements are safer because they are natural are very misleading. Never buy supplements just because the manufacturer says that they are ‘natural.’Some plants are toxic in nature and can be harmful or deadly for human consumption. For example, the herb ephedra was pulled out of the market after it was linked to the death of a famous athlete. Play it safe and ask your doctor.3. Supplement does not mean substitute.While it is true that nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements can greatly help you get and maintain the recommended nutrients you need for a healthy lifestyle, it is wrong to look at supplements as substitutes for the natural sources of vitamins and nutrients. Maintain a healthy and balanced diet and just use supplements to fill your nutrition gaps.4. Ask for professional help.Because of the risks posed by harmful combinations of nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements and medications, it is best to seek the advice of a doctor or a herbal medicine expert before taking any. Remember that nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements do not work the same way for different people – what works for your neighbor may be harmful to you. Your doctor should evaluate your overall health condition and then diagnose the correct and most potent variety of nutritional vitamins and herbal supplements for you.5. Be sure your supplement is safe. Buy only supplements from manufacturers that are pharmaceutical GMP compliant. These manufacturers have passed the most stringent manufacturing standards, so you can be sure that their products are free of harmful contaminants and contain the exact volume of nutrients you pay for.