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Different Types of Health Insurance

July 23rd, 2012 8:32 pm

Health insurance is an important part of your financial planning. A minor illness or injury can set you back a bit, but a major illness or injury can devastate you financially now and into the future. Carrying adequate health insurance gives you peace of mind.

There are a variety of different types of health insurance plans you can buy. Each plan offers a different style of coverage. Each plan has a basic premium but there may be other costs depending on your family’s health and your medical history.

Managed Care Plans.

Managed care is very popular in the United States. This type of plan helps insurance companies to control the medical care costs. All kind of plans have some sort of managed care program. Generally speaking you might be asked to take approval from your insurance company before any medical care is received otherwise the costs may not be covered by them.

Fee-for-Service Plans.

Fee-for-Service Plans is the traditional health insurance type of plan in the US. Under this plan the insurance company will pay your fees when you use medical care.

This is a flexible medical insurance plan as it allows switch of doctors and hospitals and you can do this through the country. However you have to careful as only part of the expenses are covered by the insurer and you have to carefully check the conditions of your insurance policy not to end up with huge medical care costs that you have to pay.

Health Maintenance Organizations.

HMO’s are by far the least flexible type of health insurance. They are more suitable for group plans and not individuals. And while your co payment and monthly premiums might be low, the downfall is that you can only see their doctors. You might even need to get some sort of clearance before you go to the emergency room.

HMO’s tend to have centrally located medical offices. Think Kaiser Permanente. If you don’t see a HMO approved doctor you will have to pay for your entire doctors visit yourself. Be very careful when choosing this type of plan.

Point-of-Service Plans.

This plan is similar to HMO you will have two options you could choose a doctor that is within the organization and pay a lower co-payment. You could also choose another doctor but you’ll have to pay a percentage of the charge.

Preferred Provider Organizations

This plan is less flexible compare to traditional health insurance plan, but it is more flexible compared to HMO. In this plan you could choose any doctor you want including a specialist if you need one but your co-payment will be much expensive, especially when the doctor is not in the organization.

Mediterranean Diet Is Good For Your Health–And The Environment

May 2nd, 2012 12:50 am

People who wish to eat healthy should consider the Mediterranean diet, according to a report released on Earth Day.

The report said the Mediterranean diet not only had high nutritional value, but also contributed to protect the environment. It pointed out that food items recommended by nutritionists to be eaten more often—fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta and legumes—had a lower impact on the environment. These items are the mainstay of the Mediterranean diet.

The report noted that, in developing countries, rising average incomes were affecting dietary choices. In view of this, it stressed that “it is important to provide access to and education about healthy foods like fruits and vegetables before bad eating habits develop into deep-rooted cultural practices.”

The report also said governments should address the lack of transparency and responsibility in the commercial exchange of food around the world to improve universal access to food. “This means, for instance, ensuring that production of crops to be used as biofuels does not interfere with the cultivation of crops for food,” it said.

The report emphasized, “The food system must encourage ‘sustainable well-being,’ or the idea that people’s current well-being should not be achieved at the expense of the happiness or prosperity of future generations.”

To ensure sufficient food supplies, “Eating Planet” said agriculture should remain a viable and sustainable source of livelihood. Farmers should be able to ask realistic prices for their products.

It said, “In many countries, food prices are kept artificially low because they do not take into account the environmental impacts of producing food, the high medical costs associated with long-term unhealthy eating habits, the costs required to pay farmers and farm workers a decent living wage plus benefits, and the billions of dollars in government subsidies that farmers receive to grow certain commodities.

The report said some 30 percent of food was wasted worldwide, while one billion people went to bed hungry each night and another one billion suffered from health problems related to obesity. Agriculture contributed one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions that were causing global warming or the rise in average temperatures.