Comparison of Five Pet Health Insurance Plans

It doesn’t matter if you have already decided to purchase health insurance for the family pet or if you are simply. When you are comparing the quote of one health insurance quote to another remember that the base doller amount is not the only number you have to consider. In addition to the monthly payment make sure you also check out exactly what type of veterinary care and treatments are covered (some basic insurance plans do not include cancer treatment), what kind of deductible you, the pet owner, will be expected to pay, is there a yearly cap on medical expenses, and what type of discounts are available.
At the moment there are only a handful of companies that offer pet health insurance. Five of the most popular companies are Pets Best Pet Insurance, Veterinary Pet Insurance, ShelterCare, Pets Health and PetCare.
An insurance plan through Pets Best Pet Insurance will cost approximately $32.00 a month ($384.00 annually). Pets Best will cover pet sterilization provided the pet owner purchases an additional wellness plan. Pets Best does not cover pre-existing medical conditions a pet has so its best to insure them early in life before problems develop. Pets Best has a life time limit of $99,750 dollars per pet. Pets Best health insurance plans come with a $75.00 deductible. Multiple pet discounts are available. Pet’s Best pet health insurance does cover cancer.
Veterinary Pet Insurance is a company that offers pet owner a $14,000 a year cap on an insurance plan that only costs approximately $20.00 dollars a month. Veterinary Pet Insurance offers plans with a $50.00 deductible (after the deductible they pay ninety percent of the bill) on plans that include pet sterilization and cancer coverage. Veterinary Pet Insurance does not accept pre-existing conditions and does not offer multi-pet discounts.
ShelterCare is a pet insurance that cost pet’s owners approximately $29.95. For that $29.95 there is absolutely no deductible and cancer treatments are covered. ShelterCare will not pay for pet sterilization nor will they cover any pre-existing conditions. ShelterCare does not have a benefit cap. ShelterCare offers premium discounts for multi-pet plans, medical service, and micro-chips.
A pet health insurance policy through PetsHealth insurance company will cost the pet owner approximately $37.17 dollars per month. PetsHealth covers 80% of the pets vet bill after the $100.00 doller deductible is paid. PetsHealth has a $13,000 doller cap on each per year. PetHealth does insure pre-existing conditions after ninety days. Multi-pet discounts are available through PetHealth. PetsHealth does offer pet health insurance plans that cover cancer on a case by case basis.
PetCare is a pet health insurance company that estimates the average cost for a policy for a pet is $29.95 a month. This plan includes a fifty doller deductible. While PetCare is happy to cover the cost your pet’s cancer treatments they will not pay for any pre-existing conditions nor will they pay for pet sterilization. PetCare offers discounts for multi-pet plans and medical service.
None of the estimated monthly prices for these insurance companies include any extra insurances riders.
Any one or all of these companies can change their policies between now and the time you purchase a pet health insurance plan.
Remember to read the fine print before you sign up for a pet health insurance plan.
All five of these pet health insurance companies have their own websites where you can go to get up to date pet health insurance quotes.
There are other pet health insurance companies with different prices, discounts, stipulations, and benefit caps if you are not content with the previous five comparisons.

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Eat a variety of veggies for a healthier you

The new food guidelines issued by the United States government recommend that all Americans eat between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables each and every day. When you first hear that number, it may seem like a lot, but it is actually much easier than you think to fit that many servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. For one thing, the shelves of the grocery stores are fairly bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, vegetables and fruits are some of the least expensive, most nutrient rich, foods in the supermarket. With all these fruits and vegetables to choose from, it is very easy to make these nutritious, delicious foods part of your daily meals and snacks.

When you take into account how much a serving really is, it is actually quite easy to get five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day. For instance, the recommended daily amount actually equates to a quite reasonable two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables every day. When you consider how many fruits and vegetables are available, and how low the prices usually are, it is easy to see how easy to reach this daily goal really is.

One great way to get the nutrients you need from fruits and vegetables every day is to take full advantage of the variety of these foods available. Eating the same thing every day quickly becomes boring, so why not pick a variety of fruits and vegetables, in every color of the rainbow and in every conceivable shape, size and texture, to give yourself a varied diet every day.

When shopping for fruits and vegetables, it is important to choose a variety of different colors. This is for more than purely artistic reasons. Different color fruits and vegetables have different types of nutrients, and choosing a variety of colors will help ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need each and every day.

Finding new recipes is another great way to ensure you get those five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Everyone likes to try out new recipes, and these new recipes may just provide the impetus you need to eat all those fruits and veggies.

New recipes can also provide you the important opportunity to try out some fruits and vegetables you have never tried before. For instance, everyone has eaten oranges, but have you tried kiwi fruit or mangoes? How about spinach or kale? Trying new things is a great way to find new favorites while getting the best nutrition available.

Many people mistakenly think that they do not need to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day if they just take a vitamin supplement. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. That is because fruits and vegetables contain far more than the micronutrients identified by science and synthesized in vitamin pills. While these micronutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E are important to good health, so too are the hundreds of other elements that are contained in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. These elements are not available in any pill, they must be ingested through a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables.

In addition, fruits and vegetables are much less costly than vitamin pills. Fruits and vegetables are very inexpensive, especially when purchased in season and grown locally. In the long run, getting the nutrition you need from the food you eat is much less expensive, and much better for you, than popping those vitamin pills every day.

So don’t forget to get your five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. It may seem like a lot, but you can meet this quite reasonable goal simply by including fruits and vegetables as snacks, as garnishes, as side dishes and as meals.

Eclipsing the Mind: The Most Common Mental Health Disorders Today

Statistics about mental health problems are now becoming more increasingly alarming. The

key factors in the apparent rise in mental health cases have not yet been fully determined.

In fact, authorities may have released inaccurate figures since people tend to hide mental

illness or ignore them. This is also the reason why many mental health problems worsen.

Perhaps, the only good news to come out from this is that there are some common mental

health disorders and conditions among the statistics. According to the records of a number

of Washington-based psychiatric hospitals, there are four particularly common strands of

mental health problems that have been recorded.

Depression

Among all the common mental health disorders, depression is stated as being the most

common. Approximately 80% of the population has experienced clinical depression at one

point in their lives. In the early stages, this problem can be alleviated through

counseling. However, the problem lies in the fact that most people tend to see the early

stages of depression as just a negative mood swing. Since it is typically difficult for

most people to detect depression until it has taken full effect, the condition can often go

completely unnoticed. For some people, the physical and mental changes are gradual, which

only makes it harder to detect the problem.

Bi-polar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, as compared with depression, is more difficult to detect. The condition

causes the person’s mood to swing, being manic one moment and depressed in the next. While

this usually fits the stereotype of people with this particular strain of mental health

illness, the reality is that there are periods where the person exhibits a relatively

normal mood. This period of normalcy between the high and low points is often enough for

casual observers to discount the possibility of a person having bi-polar disorder. Often,

casual observers and the patient himself will only note the frequency of the mood swings

and the possibility of a problem much later on. On occasion, a session of psychiatric

counseling mandated by company policy can detect the problem. However, not all companies

have such a system in place.

Schizophrenia

Approximately two million people are suffering from schizophrenia at any given time, which

should be a cause for alarm. The condition is often characterized by the patient hearing

“voices” in their head that no one else can hear, a typical trait of insane people. This

mental health condition has a number of sub-varieties and can effectively disable a

person’s ability to interact with others if left unattended or treated. Schizophrenia can

also sometimes cause other mental health disorders. While there are medications that have

been proven to alleviate the problem, there are still some cases where medication must be

complimented by counseling. Roughly 20% of people who develop the condition never fully

recover and times of great stress and anxiety can sometimes result in a relapse.

Alzheimer’s

Arguably, Alzheimer’s Disease is among the most debilitating mental conditions known to

man. The increasing frequency of the condition has caused alarm since current medications

only help ease the symptoms and not really treat the condition. Usually diagnosed during

the latter years of a person, Alzheimer’s can take an immense toll on one’s life and

relationships. As a debilitating condition, it rapidly takes away the patient’s self-

confidence and ability to physically function in a normal way. In contrast to other mental

health problems, Alzheimer’s is relatively easy to detect if the person is properly

informed. However, as previously mentioned, the disease is difficult to treat with any

level of certainty. Counseling is known to have minimal effects even the mildest of cases.

There is still no psychoactive medication that has shown appreciable effects other than

“delaying the inevitable.”

As these mental health conditions eclipse the human mind, it has become more clear that

more work needs to be done in terms of research and drug development.

Baby Boomer Couples Cutting Health Care Costs

Baby boomer couples cutting health care costs by pooling resources to reduce the cost of long term care premiums. Instead of buying for one, advisers and analysts say you can sometimes slash premium costs by approaching long term care insurance as a couple.

For those willing to shop around the following three strategies are worth exploring:

1.Shared care plans

In general, sharing long-term policies doesn’t eliminate the need for both partners to buy separate plans. B…

Keywords:
baby boomer couples cutting health care costs, long term care premiums, long term care partnership, shared care plans

Article Body:
Baby boomer couples cutting health care costs by pooling resources to reduce the cost of long term care premiums. Instead of buying for one, advisers and analysts say you can sometimes slash premium costs by approaching long term care insurance as a couple.

For those willing to shop around the following three strategies are worth exploring:

1.Shared care plans

In general, sharing long-term policies doesn’t eliminate the need for both partners to buy separate plans. But unlike traditional policies, a special rider is tacked on to each to allow one spouse to dip into another’s benefits.

The main advantage of shared coverage is that if you need more than your current plan allows. But what happens if both eventually go over their allotted amounts?

If you’ve bought a contract with plenty of flexibility and terms that stretch over long periods, experts say that won’t necessarily be a problem. They point out that some providers offer policies that can cover an entire lifetime. A longer time frame usually means greater premiums. A lifetime policy can translate into extra costs when compared with short-term plans covering three- to five-years of long-term care.

“That can defeat the whole purpose of buying a policy that allows you to share benefits,” says Neil Gholson, President of LTC Finical Solutions, inc..

To make sure you don’t run out of benefits, Neil suggests at least four years of coverage. The Consumers Union senior policy analyst says that’s based on data showing nursing-home use averages around 2.5 years in long-term policies.

“Very few people spend more than five years in a nursing home,” Gholson said. “So if you’re going to get a long-term plan that shares care between spouses, look at a four-year term. Fewer years could be a little shy, especially considering that policies can cover home as well as nursing home care.”

Best suited for shared care policies might be couples that want to buy shorter-term plans but still want some flexibility to reach into their spouse’s pool of benefits, he added.

2. Long term care partnership deals

Two years ago, Congress expanded to most of the country a program that had been running for years in less than a handful of states. It allows the total value of long-term-care policies to be counted against Medicaid requirements for drawing on personal assets to pay health bills.

But different states have different contingencies. For example, in New York consumers must purchase a long-term-care policy that covers at least three years in a nursing home and six years of home-based care. In return, the state pledges not to go after any personal assets once someone exhausts the benefits in their private policy, says Gholson.

“So Medicaid care becomes a free benefit without any strings attached,” he added.

States such as California and Connecticut use what’s termed dollar-for-dollar protection. In those cases, authorities count the value of a private insurance policy to determine the amount of assets that are protected against pay-down requirements in Medicaid.

It saves the states money because they’re shifting costs of long-term care to insurance companies. And it puts fewer burdens than we currently have on the entire Medicaid system.

For individuals, such partnerships can limit the size of policies they’ve got to buy. The trade-off is that if you buy less coverage than a state’s threshold to qualify for Medicaid, you’ll still wind up dipping into your savings.

“If you live in a dollar-for-dollar state, you might want to buy enough insurance to protect your entire portfolio in a partnership program,” Gholson said.

3. Ask insurance agents about discounts on bundled purchases

This could be the simplest way to savings.

Some carriers now offer promotional rates for two people that buy a long term care package at the same time.

Those are marketed as spousal discounts and can range between 15% and 25% off regular premiums. And if you qualify as extremely fit and healthy candidates, some carriers will even add another 10% discount on top.

Some things to consider:

Each of the three options presents different caveats. “People need to remember that the shared-care marketplace is a fairly new phenomenon,” said Cheryl Matheis, a health strategist at AARP. “They need to ask a lot of questions and carefully examine all of the details in each policy.”

1. Check the insurers’ history of changing prices and policy conditions. Only a few carriers haven’t hiked premiums.

2. Shared long term care benefits likely will cost you slightly more than traditional long-term-care policies of a similar term.

The alternative is that if two people aren’t sharing long-term-care insurance, they’ll probably need to buy more extensive individual policies to get the same level of coverage. The big advantage to shared care is that you reduce the term of policies.

3. If you’ve got enough money, the best option is always to buy separate longer-term plans.

4. If you’re looking at a more affordable alternative, then shared care is an option to at least consider.

5. If you choose a state partnership programs need to note any loopholes may exist, Gholson says. Even buying enough private care insurance to match asset levels isn’t a guaranteed solution.

“Depending on where you live or move, the different Medicaid eligibility and income requirements in each state, the government might still be able to come after your assets in certain cases,” Gholson said.

Spouses cutting health care costs can produce significant benefits with the right amount of research. Contact a Long Term Care Professional that represents several carriers to see what your options are.

Assessing Your Health: Sleep May Be More Important Than You Think

If counting sheep is not working for you, here are some facts you may want to sleep on-chronic sleep deprivation can do more than make you tired. It can significantly affect your health, safety, performance, and lifestyle.

Most people are surprised to learn that sleeping less than six or seven hours a night can increase their mortality risk more than smoking, high blood pressure or heart disease.

Losing as little as one and a half hours of sleep for just one night could result in a reduction of daytime alertness by as much as 32 percent. This loss can impair memory and the ability to think and process information effectively.

Decreased alertness can also affect your life by limiting your participation in activities that require sustained attention, such as reading a book or watching your favorite TV show. And the risk of receiving an occupational injury more than doubles when a person is sleepy.

Car accidents are another problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates conservatively that each year drowsy driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobiles crashed, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities.

As many as 70 million Americans have sleep disturbances-which include taking a long time to get to sleep, sleeping less and waking up frequently.

Sleep disturbances may in fact be a symptom of a much larger problem, especially if they are associated with irritability and mood swings. Emotional stress, racing thoughts and restlessness can be signs of something more serious, such as bipolar disorder.

“If someone is experiencing restlessness and irritability, along with sadness or emotional ups and downs for more than two weeks,” said Dr. Ellen Frank, professor of psychiatry and psychology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, “they should seek medical attention from a specialist who is trained to diagnose or perhaps just rule out depression or bipolar disorder.”

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) has launched a new Web site, www. sleeplessinamerica.org, which offers educational resources that provide screening for sleeplessness, information on when to see a doctor and a questionnaire to determine when sleeplessness might be symptomatic of a more serious illness. The Web site is also available in Spanish.

Answers to 5 Common Questions About Texas Health Insurance

Although Texas ranks the highest among U.S. states in the number of uninsured residents, obtaining affordable Texas medical insurance is easier and more affordable than you think. Here are answers to five common questions about getting health insurance in Texas.

1. I’m young and healthy. Why should I spend money for medical insurance that I’ll never use?

Having insurance is like carrying an umbrella. You may not need it most of the time, but when there’s a torrential downpour you’ll be glad you have it. Even young and healthy people have accidents, seasonal illnesses, and sometimes tragic health issues. If you wind up having a serious medical condition, it can become very difficult to obtain Texas medical insurance, or your preexisting condition may be excluded from your coverage. In addition, you can get much lower premiums when you’re young and healthy, so health insurance provides excellent protection at very little cost.

2. Is there a benefit to using a health insurance agency, as opposed to getting quotes for policies on my own or going through a single agent?

A health insurance agency provides a number of benefits. First, they have established relationships with many, many insurance companies. This means that they have access to all of the best Texas medical insurance plans in the marketplace, while not having a bias toward any single insurer. This is in contrast to some individual agents, who work on behalf of one or two companies, and who will try and push you to sign up with their company. While you can research various plans on your own, a health insurance agency will do the legwork for you and present you will all available options, at no charge to you.

3. What’s the most important feature to consider when buying health insurance?

There are two important features that people often overlook: the lifetime maximum coverage and the maximum out-of-pocket expense. Although your more immediate concerns might be co-payments for doctors’ visits and prescription coverage, if you or a family member experiences a catastrophic illness, your overall coverage and out-of-pocket costs are much more crucial. Look for a policy that offers lifetime maximum coverage of $3 million or more, and a yearly out-of-pocket maximum in the $2,000 to $3,000 range.

4. Can I trust online comparisons for Texas health insurance?

Yes. The law requires that identical plans have identical pricing, regardless of whether you go directly through the insurer or use a health insurance agency. In other words, if you’re looking at the XYZ company’s Plan A, you will receive the same quote whether you get it online, place a phone call, or visit an insurance agency or company. Keep in mind though, that the price you pay may depend upon a number of variables, including your age, your gender, whether or not you smoke, and any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have. The final price is in large part determined by your medical history.

5. What’s the difference between an HMO and a PPO?

When it comes to Texas medical insurance, a health maintenance organization (HMO) requires that, for non-emergency services, you use their physicians and hospitals. A preferred provider organization (PPO) allows you to visit any health care provider, but gives you more benefits if you use health care professionals and services within their network.

Alzheimer’s Care Giving While Maintaining Your Own Health

Just for a moment I want you to imagine that you are coming out of a very deep sleep. If you have ever had surgery try to remember the way you felt as you were trying to make sense of things as you awoke. As you imagine or remember this sensation do you find yourself wondering if it is morning or night? Are you trying to remember where you are? Do you have a startle reaction and think for a moment that you are late for work or forgot to pick up your children at school? I have had that upsetting feeling if I wake up in the middle of the night or even after a nap. Now imagine that same fog every moment of your life…….

So many care givers find themselves frustrated with an Alzheimer’s sufferer. They may say things like “He just doesn’t seem to care if I am with him or not” or “He doesn’t enjoy doing anything any more.” I know that it is so hard to accept the changes in your loved one and know that this is going to be your reality. If you can remind yourself that the behaviors are organic it will help. The plaque is building up and spreading over the surface of the brain just as a grassfire moves across a dry field. As it covers more areas your loved falls deeper into that fog. Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t show up like a broken one or a surgical scar but the effects are just as real.

When the things they say or do cause you to feel angry or sad do you best to remember that it is the disease…not your loved one. That’s when it is time for some care giver TLC.

Care giver burnout is a very real occurrence. If you are caring for someone you must include your own needs each day. Your health may decline at a faster rate than the person you are caring for if your dietary, emotional and physical needs are not met. Skipping your checkups with Dr.s is not an option.

You may be asking “How am I supposed to do all of this all by myself?” The answer is simple. You can’t do it all alone. The first step to healthy care giving is accepting the fact that you have limitations. Every human being does. You can only stay awake, maintain your health and keep up with the demands for a limited amount of time. When you reach your limit you may find yourself suffering from care giver burnout. You may have trouble concentrating, experience nervous tension, and you may find it difficult to fight off resentment toward your loved one or others in your family that you feel should be assisting you.

Reach out. Call upon your family, friends, church and community organizations. Your local hospitals will have information regarding community resources. This information can usually be found by contacting the Social Services Department. Another good resource is the Alzheimer’s Association. By taking care of your health you will, in turn be a better care giver.