Healthcare

COVID-19 and Fat People

I posted Fat People Have Issues November 19th. 2014. – Medical Issues.

Once again, before offending anyone – I posted the politically incorrect title in hopes of getting more people to read. I like fat people, many of my friends are fat. And to be honest, I would like to lose a few lbs. So please take it in good humor. I do not need hate mail. I also recognize some people have genetic challenges.

The statistics for COVID-19 are showing 94% of the deaths have underlying medical conditions, 88% have two conditions and 19% at least one. Elevated blood pressure is the number one underlying medical condition at 53%, overweight 42%, diabetes 32%.

One of the most effective ways to ensure quality healthcare services is to not need it in the first place. All those overweight, please raise your hand. All those currently being treated for a preventable healthcare issue raise your hand. Employee Benefit Advisors has seen, time after time with my own clients, that weight loss is the number one factor to controlling health care costs.

One my biggest beefs with Obamacare is that it did nothing to promote a healthy lifestyle. A good BMI can resolve many medical issues. Maintaining a proper BMI has the potential for the doctor to remove you from your high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and other medications.

As for COVID-19, it is recommended people with underlying conditions stay home during phase 1 and 2 of the reopening of the economy.

Want more info on the Dietary Impact on Health? Check out https://ebafl.com/dietary-impact-on-health/

 

Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services.

Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health has received accolades from the Presidential Response Team during the daily briefing. Doctor Deborah Brix has mentioned several times it is an ideal resource and one that other states should try to emulate.

Florida Health 201 Novel Coronavirus Response (COVID-19) https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/. The site includes the county-specific Surveillance Dashboard I mentioned in my previously blog.

 

Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services.

COVID-19 and Medicare

Employee Benefit Advisors recommends communicating the following to you employees. Odds are your company has either employees on Medicare, family members on Medicare, or both.

Copays for the Coronavirus test have been waived, but not the cost of the doctor visit needed to get the test or the treatment.

Telehealth – CMS announced that it will expand telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries and cut back on HIPAA enforcement. Email and texts to docs will be possible! Read the CMS details here

Cost of testing – Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers a test to see if you have coronavirus (officially called 2019-novel coronavirus or COVID-19). https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/coronavirus-test

3 Day Hospitalization Waived for Skilled Nursing Facilities – The waiver of the requirement for a 3-day prior hospitalization for coverage of a SNF stay provides temporary emergency coverage of SNF services without a qualifying hospital stay, for those people who are evacuated, transferred, or otherwise dislocated as a result of the effect of disaster or emergency. In addition, for certain beneficiaries who recently exhausted their SNF benefits, it authorizes renewed SNF coverage without first having to start a new benefit period (Blanket waiver for all impacted facilities). Click here to download the full CMS memo.

Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services.

Coronavirus – do the 5

I’ve been seeing this advice on Google the past few days. I think it’s simple and easy for employees t grasp. Pass it on.

Help Stop Coronavirus

1. Hands – Wash them often
2. Elbow – Cough into it
3. Face – Don’t touch it
4. Feet – Stay more than 3ft apart
5. Feel sick? Stay home

 

 

Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services.

Coronavirus – easy to understand info for employees

Symptoms people may experience:
1. runny nose (Not to be confused with allergies)
2. sore throat
3. cough (develop the habit of coughing into your sleeve or handkerchief – never your hand!)
4. fever
5. tightening of chest / difficulty breathing (severe cases)

What can you do?
• Emergency Room – very expensive
• Urgent Care – less expensive than ER but more cost-effective options exist
• Primary Care Physician – generally a low flat copy; at most the contracted rate between the physician and insurance company
Because COVID-19 is highly contagious to prevent contaminating health care service workers, it is not recommended you go directly to the              ER, UC or PCP.
Telemedicine – no cost! – If you need emergency care or any additional care the doctor will advise you.
(According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Essential Health Benefits (EHB) coverage generally includes coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.)

 

Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services.

Should you get a second opinion?

If you find yourself asking questions like:

  • Do I have the right diagnosis?
  • Am I on the best treatment path and medications?
  • Is this surgery or procedure the best option for me?
  • How can I find the best local doctor for my medical needs or my surgery?

2nd.MD will get you help and answers.

Here are some quick stats:

  • 24% of consults lead to an alternate diagnosis
  • 82% of consults result in an improved treatment plan
  • 29% of surgery consultations result in surgery cancellation

2nd.MD provides support for any condition. Your support starts with a Care Team Nurse. Within days, 2nd.MD will collect your pertinent medical records and imaging and connect you via phone or video to a world-class specialist, uncovering all the possibilities and taking control of your health outcome through local and national in-network referrals.

Service is at no cost to if you are enrolled with a participating organization/employer as part of your benefits package. Many people have their service through their insurance carrier and don’t even know it! The benefit of 2nd.MD is also available to individuals. Contact them directly for pricing.

 

Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services.

Top 10 health conditions costing employers the most

Employee Benefit News recently published a list of the 10 health conditions that are costing employers the most. They are:

  1. High-Risk Pregnancy
  2. Smoking
  3. High Cholesterol
  4. Depression/Mental Illness
  5. Hypertension/High Blood Pressure
  6. Heart Disease
  7. Arthritis/back/musculoskeletal
  8. Obesity
  9. Cancer
  10. Diabetes

Employee Benefit Advisors would like to point out that a least half the list is related to one’s weight. It prompts reposting the meat of EBA’s November 19th, 2014 blog.

The following was posted by one of my fellow CEBS (Certified Employee Benefit Specialist) colleagues. Employee Benefit Advisors has seen, time after time with our own clients, that weight loss is the number one factor to controlling health care costs.

“One of the most effective ways to ensure quality healthcare services is to not need it in the first place… All those overweight, please raise your hand. All those currently being treated for a preventable healthcare issue raise your hand.

My husband is 68 years old and was on high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol meds–pretty typical at this age. Oh, yes, and frequently had terrible heart burn. Lost 38 pounds and just had his annual physical. Doc took him off all his prescription meds and he no longer ever has heart burn. Go figure… How’d he do it? Cut way back on consumption of carbs/sugar. That’s it. Pretty simple. Nothing else…not even exercise. Now that he feels so good he has started to exercise on a regular basis.”

 

Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services.

Employer medical benefit costs projections for 2020

Employer-provided medical benefit costs are forecast to rise 6.5% in 2020, outpacing general inflation by 3.8%. The expected increase for medical plans is due to a combination of higher costs for specialty drugs, moderate price increases for care and flat or decreasing health utilization. (Medical costs in the U.S. will rise more slowly compared to other regions around the world.)

Prices, not utilization, are the leading cause for healthcare spending. High deductibles and other cost sharing are two reasons for the decrease in utilization.

The primary drivers of health care claims are musculoskeletal, cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes and high blood pressure. It’s important to note the growing risks from unhealthy personal habits, i.e. physical inactivity, obesity, bad nutrition, ageing and excessive alcohol and substance abuse. Many of those risk factors can lead to chronic conditions that are difficult to treat and can contribute to long-term increases in medical costs.

2020 Global Medical Trend Rates Report

 

Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services.

What Is Blue Light? Why You Need to Protect Your Eyes

If you spend any time during the day looking at a screen, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, e-reader, LED TV, or computer, your eyes are exposed to blue light.

 What is blue light?

Natural sunlight is made up of many colors of light, from red to indigo to violet. We can’t see these colors because they blend together to make white light. Because the light looks white, it is hard to tell if your eyes are exposed to blue light. On the color spectrum, blue light is right next to UV light—both can be dangerous and damaging to the eyes.

But it’s not all bad. Blue light has some benefits. It can help you feel more alert and awake, improve your mood, and help you sleep better. We need blue light to feel healthy and happy.

The problem is when you spend too much time looking at a screen, you increase your eye exposure to blue light. Too much exposure to blue light can cause tired eyes, sore eyes, and difficulty focusing. Studies have shown that too much exposure to blue light can also cause age-related macular degeneration which can lead to blindness.

Most of us use computers and other electronic devices not only in our jobs every day, but at night when we get home. In other words, it is difficult to reduce our screen time! So how can you protect your eyes? Here are a few tips:

  • If you can’t reduce your amount of screen time, try to take breaks at least every hour to rest your eyes.
  • Filters or computer glasses are available that can reduce how much blue light is reaching your eyes. There are filters for nearly every electronic device that can help alleviate eye fatigue.
  • Avoid looking at a bright screen for two or three hours before bedtime, and sleep with the lights off rather than leaving on a lamp or night light. This will help you to improve your quality of sleep.

Thanks to Brooke Ellis, Director, Strategic Sales Communications at Solstice Benefits
https://blog.solsticebenefits.com/solstice-member-blog/what-is-blue-light-why-you-need-to-protect-your-eyes

 

Employee Benefit Advisors provides employee benefits, tax-advantaged healthcare, compliance guidance for ACA and Health & Welfare DOL Audits, and PEO Advisory & Consulting Services.

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