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Summer brings so many good things for us! Time off from school, family vacations, beach trips, warm weather and lots and lots of sunshine! But while you are partaking in soaking up these rays, it is essential to think about how to protect your skin. Your skin can go through some severe damage during this season. So here are fives ways to protect your skin this summer!

  • Drink Water

    When the temperatures rise your body sweats and lose hydration. On top of that, your skin is made up of 64% water. So when you are not drinking enough water, it can show! It can also lead to headaches and itchy patches on your skin. So it is essential that you are keeping your body well hydrated with eight glasses of water a day.

  • Sun protection is key

    One of the most significant issues with too much sun exposure is skin cancer, and one of the easiest ways to avoid this is to wear sunscreen. Anything over SPF 30 will block out about 97% of the UV rays. You will want to make sure that you are covering any part of your skin that will be in the sun and then reapply every two hours. If you are swimming or sweating you may want to apply more often. But sunscreen is not the only way to protect yourself from the sun. You can also cover up with clothing. Light long sleeves and pants and a wide-brimmed hat can do wonders to keep you from getting sunburned. You may also want to seek out shade. Some choose to carry an umbrella with them for a little extra protection against the sun.

  • Exfoliate

    During the summer months, your skin experiences a lot and needs to be exfoliated. Between sweat, sunscreen, and other elements, your skin can be easily clogged and can lead to acne and breakouts. Regular exfoliation and washing allows your pores to breath and makes for happier skin.

  • Feed your skin

    The saying you are what you eat holds some weight here. Your skin reacts to what you are eating, and if you are not feeding yourself good, nutritious foods, your skin is one of the first telltale signs. But eating foods that vary in all the colors of the rainbow can help your skin can help protect your skin from outside elements while also giving you a healthy glow.

  • Quit Smoking

    Smoking has many adverse side effects, but on top of those havoc-wreaking consequences, it also hurts your complexion.
    There are plenty of reasons other than your skin health to give cigarettes the boot—like an increased risk of lung cancer—but all those packs also wreak havoc on your complexion. Smoking causes the small elastic fibers and collagen in your skin to be damaged and over a period that leads to wrinkles in your skin. Smoking makes you age much faster than the average person would. So this summer, put down your tobacco use for good.

    We hope that this list has given you a few helpful tips and tricks to keep your skin happy this summer. We know that it is easy to be excited for beach days and warm vacation spots, but taking care of your skin today will have lasting benefits for the rest of your life.

There are plenty of reasons other than your skin health to give cigarettes the boot—like an increased risk of lung cancer—but all those packs also wreak havoc on your complexion. Smoking causes the small elastic fibers and collagen in your skin to be damaged and over a period that leads to wrinkles in your skin. Smoking makes you age much faster than the average person would. So this summer, put down your tobacco use for good.

We hope that this list has given you a few helpful tips and tricks to keep your skin happy this summer. We know that it is easy to be excited for beach days and warm vacation spots, but taking care of your skin today will have lasting benefits for the rest of your life.

As we begin this June, we turn our attention to men as we look at their health. This June 6 start Men’s Health Week and what is needed to help them live healthier and happier lives. Before we get into this list, we do want to give a special shout out to women. It would be easy to look at this list as there is nothing here for you. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It is a fact that women live longer than men. This stems from the fact that women often go to the doctor, ask lots of questions, and make informed decisions when it comes to their health. As you look over this list, we ask that you would help encourage the men around you to pursue their health and help them take these steps to a healthier lifestyle.

Make that appointment even if you feel great

One of the most significant issues the men face is that they may know that they are facing health issues, but do not seek out health experts. Here is an age guide of what you should be asking about based upon your life stage:

  • For men in their 30s

    • Complete physical every two years
    • Get blood pressure checked every year
    • Cancer screenings for thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth and skin every three years
    • Cholesterol test for total LDL, HDL (the good kind) every three years
    • Testicular self-exam every month
  • For men in their 40s

    • Get blood pressure checked every year
    • Cancer screenings for thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth and skin every three years
    • Cholesterol test for total LDL, HDL (the good kind) every three years
    • Testicular self-exam every month
    • Complete physical every two years
    • Baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal exam (DRE)
    • Stool test (for colon and rectal cancers) every year
  • For men in their 50s 

    • Get blood pressure checked every year
      • Cancer screenings for thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth and skin every three years
    • Cholesterol test for total LDL, HDL (the good kind) every three years
    • Testicular self-exam every month
    • A sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy (for colon cancers) every three to four years or as recommended by your healthcare provider
    • PSA and DRE exam every year (https://observer.com/2015/06/men-need-to-know-more-about-their-health/)

Get Moving

One of the most significant ways to help your health is to engage in 30 minutes of cardio exercise a day. Studies have shown that it can significantly improve your heart health as well as lower your stress levels. If you are having a hard time finding 30 minutes a day, any amount of exercise is helpful. You could also use this time to engage with your family by playing a sport together or going on a walk together.

Stop Smoking

This single step has one of the greatest benefits to your health. When you smoke, you are in taking over 4,000 harmful chemicals that are known to cause cancer in your body. By quitting smoking, you are giving your lungs a chance they need to heal and to function correctly. The health of your lungs goes up significantly in just two weeks after you stop smoking.

Hormone changes are not only for women

While many are familiar with menopause for women, men also have changes to their hormones while they age. Testosterone levels tend to drop as men age. If you want to get an idea of where your levels are at, it is good to test them in the morning before 9 am. That will give you a good idea if your levels or high or low. If you start to gain weight, especially around your middle, this can change your testosterone levels as well. Keeping a trim waist helps keep your levels healthy.

Mental Health Matters

In many ways, your attitude about aging and your mental health has just as much effect on you as your physical condition. Pay attention if you are utilizing any unhealthy coping mechanisms or substances to help you get through a day or to deal with stress. If you find yourself in a negative place, please reach out for help. There are more options available to help men find the right work/life balance and be happier each day.

suffering from mental health

The Mighty Mind: Suffering From Mental Health Awareness Month

We talk a lot about our physical health, but you may not know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As a society, we spend a lot of time dedicated to our health. This comes in the form of education, access to doctor care, sharing about eating for health or promoting physical exercise. But what has not always been prevalent is talking about Mental Health. In fact, speaking about mental health and receiving care for mental health held a stigma for a long time and in specific communities still does. It is critical to raise awareness so that these individuals can receive the care that they so desperately need.

Read More

Technology Causes Cancer

Myth or Fact? Technology Causes Cancer

One of the newest accessories of status is the Apple Airpods. You can see them everywhere, and they speak of a certain status. The price tag associated with them probably helps with that status. But there is also an air of agreement with Apple that phone jacks are superfluous. With this growing trend there is always the age-old question: will Airpods cause cancer? As we move to more Bluetooth technology, we are increasing our exposure to RF (radio frequency) energy which is a form of electromagnetic radiation. But it is not only airpods that are using this technology. It is how you receive wifi on any portable device. It is used in your smartwatches, your Bluetooth speakers, and your wireless headphones. Look around you, and you can probably count a minimum of 5 things that are all using RF energy right now. Read More

Healthcare Debate

Here we go again: The Healthcare Debate Flip-Flop

When it comes to healthcare in the news, we should be used to an ever-changing message. So we guess there should be no surprise as Donald Trump picks up the healthcare debate once again and flip flops on his answers.

From the beginning of his political trajectory, our current president has had a lot to say about the Affordable Care Act. He made promises throughout his campaign that it would be abolished. Then when the Republicans came up with a replacement health care plan of their own, they lacked the unification needed to get it passed through the Senate. Healthcare was a big talking point in the 2018 elections, and many believe that the democratic majority win in the house was due to the health care initiatives. Read More

Aging Well - bdhealthinsurance

Aging Well

“Old age is no place for sissies” We couldn’t agree more Bette Davis! Aging is an inevitable process. However, there are ways that you can help yourself as you mature with dignity. In this blog, we will discuss a few ways that you probably have heard and some that you haven’t to help you age well.

Aging-Well-bdhealthinsurance

Eat Well

This may be a no brainer as eating healthy is one of the tenants of good health. But a well-balanced diet helps your body age well! One of the best things you can do is just to cut out processed foods. Processed foods are anything that comes prepackaged. By cutting these out, you are cutting out unnecessary sugars and salts. Along with eating well, you will want to ensure that you are drinking enough water. Well hydrated skin can better combat signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. But parched skin loses its glow and looks dull and flaky.

Sleep Well

To age well it is recommended that you get anywhere from 7 and a half hours to nine hours of sleep. When you are sleeping your body is releasing growth hormones that help build up collagen and help you look younger. Skin cells can reproduce quicker during your sleep and can help you significantly.  Lack of sleep can lead to a higher chance of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Exercise

As we age our metabolism slows down and for some, that means weight gain. Exercise can help keep weight off and also help you lose a few extra pounds as well. Also, as we age, we can lose muscle mass and bone density. Both of these can be helped through resistance and weight training. Talking a walk around your neighborhood, going for a swim, picking up some weights… all of these can help you age better.

Check your Attitude

Studies have shown that those who look on aging fondly have a better likelihood of living up to 7 years longer than those who don’t. The people who can see their aging as growth of wisdom and maturity and no longer being run by their emotions or overwhelmed by their circumstances have been known to live longer. So the next time someone brings up your birthday, instead of grumbling about your age, plan a fun party with some of your friends and family to celebrate!

We hope that these have given you a new pep in your step to look fondly on your aging process.

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Out and About First-Aid

Spring is in the air! Which means that we are coming to an end of a very wet winter for us in Southern California. But one of the many benefits to all of the rain is the Rolling Green Hills and Mountains. There is never a better time to go for a hike, a long walk or backpacking for a few days. But while you are out communing with nature, you will want to make sure that you are prepared for any possible injuries that could happen. Bring along some basic first aid that is set up for your type of excursion as well as for how many people will be going with you and you will be on the right track. Here are a few common problems that come up while taking part in outdoor activities.

Dehydration

This is a tricky one because most people do not realize they are dehydrated until its too late. But the best way to combat dehydration is to take small sips of water throughout your outdoor activity. Make sure to carry enough water for the whole of your trip or know where you can refill your water bottle. If safe water is not available, sterilization tablets will be a must-have.

Cuts and bites

If you get a cut, you will want to ensure that you clean the area off with a disinfectant and make sure there is no debris in the wound. Then you need to stop the bleeding. Use a sterile piece of gauze to apply pressure and to stop the bleeding. Then use a bandaid to protect the wound. If you get stung by an insect make sure to remove the stinger as soon as possible and use pain relievers, a cold pack, and/or anti-itch creams to help.

Hopefully, these few tips will help you next time you go for a hike. And we have one final suggestion. Always be sure to carry a first aid kit with you. A basic first aid kit will include:

  • One elastic-roll bandage
  • Aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Adhesive tape
  • Alcohol Swabs
  • Antacid
  • Antihistamine
  • Antiseptic ointment
  • Adhesive bandages, assorted sizes
  • Bulb irrigating syringe
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Chemical heat and cold packs
  • Dry-wash pads or wipes
  • Diarrhea medicine
  • Gauze pads
  • Hydrocortisone cream (soothes allergic skin)
  • Insect repellent
  • Mirror, small and unbreakable
  • Moleskin, 1 or 2 packets
  • Cotton swab, sterile, packaged in pairs
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors (Swiss Army Pen Knife has scissors, small blade and nail file)
  • Sunscreen
  • Triangular bandage
  • Tweezers
First Aid box - bdhealthinsurance.
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Virtual Care

The internet has changed everything. From the way that we get basic information to the way that we interact with each other; the internet has reshaped our society. It would make sense that every aspect of our lives would be touched by the advancement of this technology, including health care.

One advancement that we have seen come into more Prominence is Telehealth. Telehealth can come in the form of a patient portal where health care members can sign in and:

  • Treatments Needed
  • Have access to create Appointments

  • Watch Educational Videos
  • Get Reminders to Get a Flu Shot
  • Treatments Needed
  • See your Test Results
  • Based upon Any Specific
  • And Much More

Opportunities For Health Care Members

The idea behind telehealth is to create more equal opportunities for Health Care Members to have access to care. If care members live in rural areas and don’t have access to care with ease, then telehealth can help. This can be especially helpful if a specialist is needed, but the doctors available in their system are multiple hours away. Telehealth can also help with more straightforward issues. A phone call to a nurse practitioner can help with simple cases where seeing a doctor is not needed. It can also assist in situations where mobility or transportation is an issue.

Some of the latest advancements are in virtual health. These are doctor visits that happen virtually; usually through a video conference call. Most of these virtual health meetings have taken place over the necessary treatments and not in-depth diagnoses or difficult treatments. There are some preliminary indications that if virtual health were to take over annual doctor visits, ongoing patient care, and self-care, then it could save $10 billion annually across the United States.

Telehealth -bdhealthinsurance

Overall, the future of health providers is very bright. There will always be times that seeing a doctor will be necessary. But if you require preventive and maintenance care, you can expect to see more telehealth and virtual health care options coming your way.

outside of Your Coverage

Outside of Your Coverage?

coverage insuranceOne of the most significant selling points of any insurance is that it brings peace of mind. Knowing that your well being and costs are being taken care of should anything happen to you or your family helps provide a sense of comfortable peace. But it would be foolish to assume that your Insurance will Cover Everything that could go wrong. That’s why you want to know exactly what is included in your home insurance and what your deductible is with your car insurance. There is the same train of thought with your health insurance. There are basics of your health coverage that you can always expect. Most of that includes preventative care such as doctor’s visits and hospitalization. However, not all care is covered.

 

There may be times that your doctor recommends a Specialist for surgery or some other care-related need. If they recommend someone outside of your coverage, you can find yourself in a tricky situation. One of our first recommendations is to ask your doctor if they can recommend anyone that is within your coverage. If they do not know anyone, then you can ask your insurance company to do the leg work. Ask them for a specialist that is within your insurance coverage. You can even ask them to cast a broader net to surrounding areas if you feel like you are not finding the specialist that is right for you. If you find someone within your coverage, great! Meet with them and make sure that you feel entirely comfortable with them and ensure that they feel confident in your treatment.  It can also be in your best interest to at least see the first recommended specialist. They can serve as a second opinion.

If you do end up paying out of pocket, try to negotiate the best price possible before the surgery. Go over Outside of Your Coverageevery possible expense and work with the hospital to ensure that any discounts that are available are applied. Also, please do not ignore the hospital’s collection department. It may seem like they are just like every other collection agency out there. However, they are trying to help you! They can help set you up on a payment plan as well as lower the cost of the final amount that you owe the hospital. It is in your best interest to become one of their favorite clients.

We hope that these ideas help you if you should ever find yourself needing care outside of your coverage. If you ever need to readdress your health care insurance needs, please always feel free to call us.

Spring Allergies

Preparing for Spring Allergies

All winter long you may have been dreaming of this day. The day that the temperatures start to rise. The day that you get out of bed and don’t feel the immediate chill. Maybe you have been waiting for the leaves to start filling up the trees and longing for your landscape to be lush and green? And where that is a beautiful sight to behold, for many Americans, it is the start of their Spring Allergies. Here are a few ways that you can prepare for your spring allergies.

See your AllPreparing for Spring Allergiesergist ahead of Time

Don’t wait until your allergies are driving you crazy before you go to the doctor. If you know your allergies are just waiting on the other side of spring, go to see your allergist. It can help you significantly to start using an allergy medicine that was helpful last season now.

Keep your Windows Closed

However tempting it may be to open up your windows and let the Fresh Spring Air into your Home, please do not! Helping your home remain allergen-free can help your system significantly. You can also replace filters in your home. If pollen is a significant issue, you can also change clothes once you come in from the outside. Pollen can catch a ride indoors on your outerwear. You can also shower before bed so that you are not bringing anything into your bed.
Track the pollen

Flush Out your System

Studies have shown that using a neti pot, or a similar product, has helped people who suffer from allergies. The neti pot allows water to flush out the sinuses and removed unwanted allergens that may be causing your allergy grief.

Track the Pollen

Look to see if any of your local news agencies cover how much pollen is in the air. We understand that sometimes you have to go out, but if you can change your plans around high pollen numbers; it may help you significantly.

We hope that these few tips can help you as spring is coming. Please feel free to talk to us about any of your health care coverage as you look to keep your allergies in check.