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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.

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.

7 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us, it is essential that you take good care of yourself! Here are a few tips and tricks to keep you happy and healthy this holiday season.

Make time to move

This season is one where we tend to let a lot of things slide. Exercise is one of those things. Make sure that you are setting aside time to move regularly. Just walking 30 minutes 3 times a week can have a significant impact on your health!

Plan out your meals

Tis the season for holiday parties and at these parties are lots of food. And where getting to indulge every once in a while is not a bad thing, satisfying yourself fully on every meal can be hurtful. That’s why we suggest planning out your meals, so you know that you will have a super healthy and lite lunch before you go to the party where grandma brings your all-time favorite dessert.

Wash your hands

Viruses, colds and the flu run rampant these times of the year. So make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep from getting sick. Wash your hands regularly and keep your hands away from your face. You should also be taking vitamins every day.

Get some rest

One of the best ways to ensure that you stay healthy during the holiday season is to get enough sleep. That means 7 or 8 hours every night. Plan out your days, so you know what time you need to be up the next morning and then work, so you know exactly when you need to be crawling into bed.

Me time

Where physical health has vital important, mental health during the holiday season is also extremely critical. Take a few minutes each day for yourself. If you want to sit quietly, meditate or even read a book. A few minutes each day where you actively take care of your mental health will help in times when stresses of the season can try to overwhelm you.

Safety First (don’t drink and drive)

Make sure you are practicing proper safety by not drinking and driving and please always buckle up when you are in a car. These simple rules will help keep you safer on the roads.

Utilize your health insurance

If you start to feel sick, please do not go about work or school as usual. Stay home and rest! Also, you will want to see your doctor sooner rather than later. The quicker that you are can receive treatment, the sooner that you can start feeling better.  Also, please get the flu shot. This one vaccine can help save you from being sick for weeks at a time.

If you need help getting health insurance during this holiday season, please call us. We can help get you signed up while open enrollment is here!

Healthcare Insurance Options

Healthcare Insurance Options

At the end of every year, we come to the holiday season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas all play a significant part of how we spend our time. But along with these celebrations, we are also very aware of another season. Open Enrollment Season. For a short period, at the end of each year, there is an opportunity to change your health care insurance options.

If you are already enrolled in a particular program before the open enrollment period begins, your provider will contact you and tell you if there are going to be any changes to your benefits or your premiums. This is particularly important to know so that you can assess if you are happy enough to stay with your current provider or if it is time to change so that your needs are better met.

Then open enrollment starts

This year it opened on October 15. During this time you have access to sign up for health insurance coverage or change your current provider. It is important to note that your signup date does affect the start of your coverage date. If you sign up between October 15 to December 15, then your coverage will begin on January 1, 2019.

But open enrollment does not end on December 15th. It continues until January 15, 2019. So if you find yourself overwhelmed by the holiday season, and have no time to review your health care needs, do not be worried. You have until mid-January to finalize your plans! Of course, your start of coverage date will be different. If you sign up between December 16 to January 15, then your start date will be February 1, 2019.

At Bernardini & Donovan, we love to help you make the best choice possible for your health care insurance coverage. We will help walk you through the process, help you see what tax credits may be available to you and help you sign up. Please call us today to so that we can help you during open enrollment season!

Flu Prevention

Last year’s flu season was one for the books. “Every year, influenza kills between 12,000 and 49,000 people and can send more than 700,000 people to the hospital,” the CDC says. With numbers like this, doctors are recommending that people get their flu shots early. What many people do not know is that it can take up to two weeks for the immunization to become fully effective with the flu vaccine; which means that if you get your flu shot later in the season, you are still in danger of contracting the flu during those two weeks. The flu shot is available at most pharmacies, doctor’s offices and various other locations at this time. We recommend getting a flu shot as soon as possible, especially during the fall and winter months.

Prepare For The Flu

There are also a few steps you can take to help you go through flu season.

Flu Prevention #1 – Wash your hands

This one simple step can help prevent the spread of germs. This step is critical before you handle your food, after coughing or sneezing, and after touching a new surface. Make sure that you are using warm water and plenty of soap to wash your hands.

Flu Prevention #2 – Cover your mouth

Keeping your mouth covered if you are feeling sick goes a long way in preventing the spread of germs. We recommend carrying tissues to help in this process.

Flu Prevention #3 – Don’t touch your face

The flu virus can be introduced through different mucous membranes like your eyes, nose, and mouth. It is best to avoid touch your face during flu season.

Flu Prevention #4 – Stay home if sick

This is a biggie! If you or a family member are feeling ill or showing flu-like symptoms, please do not go to work or school. Many people have reported that they do go to work or school while feeling ill, but you are putting your coworkers and schoolmates at high risk for the flu if you do this.

Flu Prevention #5 – Take your vitamins

Make sure that you are getting your needed amounts of vitamins C, D and omega 3’s. You may also want to keep Oscillococcinum on hand as it can reduce both the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, body aches, chills, and fever.

Nip it in the bud

Nip it in the bud

In the winter we expect to get a cold. It seems to come with the territory. We all get flu shots and hope that we don’t get too sick during that whole season. But when summer hits and you get a cold, it seems to be even worse. This is the season to be on vacation and outside enjoying the warmth. Instead, you’re inside feeling miserable. Actually, it’s not just the sense of injustice that makes summer colds worse; it’s also the virus itself. In summer the enterovirus is more active and its symptoms include runny nose, headache, cough, upset stomach, and body aches.

One of the best ways to beat the summer cold is to nip it in the bud before it turns into a full-blown thing. Here are a few ways that you can help keep your immune system strong during the summer:

Sleep:

When the sun is out longer, it can also prolong your bedtime. The cool summer evenings can be perfect for a late night stroll or an outdoor concert, but lack of sleep is the number one cause of a weak immune system. When we sleep, disease-fighting substances are created and when you don’t rest; they are not produced. So make sleeping a priority!

Exercise:

The enterovirus, prevalent during the summer, can become worse if you exercise. Now, we are not saying that you should not exercise at all! But if you have been mostly sedentary during the winter months, it would be smart to ease into a fitness routine and not jump in full force.

Boost your system

If you regularly take a multivitamin, it would be a good time to take some extra vitamin C. You may also want to introduce a probiotic into your diet. The majority of your immune system resides in your gut, so good gut care can make a big difference in how you fight off a cold this summer.

Summer is a beautiful season! Stay healthy so you can enjoy it the entire time!

Get in Gear for Summer - Part 1

Get in Gear for Summer – Part 1

With June not far off, it’s time for many of us to start thinking ahead to the summer. For some, that means getting yourself beach body ready. While we may not be beach body ready, we are dedicated to pursuing good health all throughout the year. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your body healthy during the summer months.

Drink water

This really should be a common health goal. But during the summer, when temperatures spike, we sweat out a lot of our hydration and need to keep drinking water to rehydrate ourselves. If you think that soda or coffee will help keep you hydrated, sorry, that’s just not true. In fact, other beverages do an excellent job of dehydrating you. Sticking to water will make all the difference.

Keep active but not during the hottest part of the day

Maintaining an active lifestyle is a favorite ingredient for health. But during the summer there can be some high temperatures that make working out difficult and can make you lose your motivation to get going. Make it a point to work out early in the morning or after the sun sets so that you can still

Berrys for better health

An excellent way to boost your antioxidants this summer is to include berries in your diet. This is as simple as throwing some strawberries or raspberries in your smoothie each morning or having them as a midday snack. And seeing as these delicious fruits are in season, there is no better time enjoy them. They also can help you fend off age-related illnesses and prevent damage that is done to your tissue. Can’t beat that!

These are just a few of examples of how to prepare for summer. In our next blog, we are going to cover some of the less heard of tips and tricks to get your ready for summer!!

hard hitting flu season

A Hard Hitting Flu Season

If you’ve been reading the news recently, you’ve most likely seen some articles about this year’s flu season. California is counted in one of the most affected states in the nation. The state officials look at how serious a flu season is based upon the deaths of people under the age of 65. Unfortunately, people over the age of 65 are highly susceptible to the flu, and it does lead to many deaths each year. At the time of this article being written, we have seen 36 deaths in Los Angeles County and 91 deaths in San Diego County. Those numbers are up from last year.

 

Why are we seeing such high death numbers due to influenza this year?
Because of the activity of the strain of the H3N2 virus which provides symptoms which are much more severe. While symptoms may be very similar to what you would expect; with this strain, they are usually prolonged, harsher and more likely to lead to death.

 

If you have not yet received your flu shot, it is not too late.
Flu shots help you in many ways. They may not be 100% effective in keeping you from getting the flu but they can help with the severity of the symptoms should you find yourself with the flu. It can also help you get over the flu quicker and get back on your feet. But maybe most importantly, it aids in not spreading the virus to those who are very susceptible to it. Each year, the elderly and children are hit hard with the flu and usually make up the majority of deaths related to the flu. Where you may not worry about getting the flu yourself, you can do a great help to others in your community by getting the flu shot. We hope that you have a happy and healthy February. As always, contact us if you are in need of health insurance or wish to make sure your account is all up to date. We are here to make sure you are covered where you need to be and when you need to be.

image source: www.npr.org

New Year, New You

New Year, New You

‘Tis the season of the new year’s resolution! Many people will start the new year with plans of how to improve their life. Here are a few resolutions that we would like to recommend:

 

Intentionality
One of our most significant assets in life is our time. Everyone is given the same amount of it every day. But what matters is what you do with that time. At the end of every year, it is easy to reflect back and realize that much of your time was spent doing things that don’t matter. Instead, we suggest doing this reflection much earlier. At the end of each day, at lunchtime, as you wake up, reflect over your last few hours. Think about what was important, what added something to your life and goals, and what detracted. What made you a better person and what was a waste of time. What can you do differently in your next few hours so that your precious time is used wisely?

 

Be your best you
For some of you, this may sound like “I want to drop 20 pounds” or the even more ambiguous I want to lose weight. Some will add the more positive spin saying “I want to eat healthier” or “Workout more.” While these are excellent goals, we want to point out that health looks different on every person. We all have our unique chemistry and genetic health history that causes us to need different markers for health. One of the best things you can do is go to your doctor and speak about what you would like. They can help you formulate different diets, exercise plans and offer you various options that are better for you than what your friend Sally did that worked for her. If you need help getting in to see a doctor, that’s where we can help. Its open enrollment right now and we can help you find an insurance plan that will let you see the doctors you want for a price that works for you. We hope that your New Year’s is terrific and that 2018 brings in the opportunities to be your best you.
Healthy Christmas
Christmas is around the corner and what an exciting season it is! Everywhere you go you see lights and decor and the children are getting more and more thrilled about how soon Santa is coming. We want you to have the happiest and healthiest Christmas you can. So here are a few options on how to have a healthy Christmas:

 

Keep your immune system strong
One of the best ways to ensure that you are not sniffling and coughing during Christmas is in the weeks before Christmas be taking care of yourself. Make sure that you are eating healthily and exercising before the big day. You will also want to wash your hands often and if at all possible, avoid others who are sick.

 

Talk a Walk
It’s easy around this time to want to plop yourself down on a couch and enjoy the massive amounts of holiday specials and movies. We all have our favorites ones that bring back sweet memories. But days of sitting while eating fatty foods can add to your waistline pretty quickly. Instead, take a family walk especially after a large meal which helps in digestion. If the kids got new bikes or scooters, take them out for a test drive. Create family experiences that are not around a television, and you will help yourself in the long run with health and many good memories.

 

Practice Portion Control

Tis the season for sumptuous foods! We all have our favorite holiday treats; maybe yours is that dessert that you only get this time of year or perhaps it’s Grandma’s special recipe that no one can recreate. But in this season of excess, have a little portion control can seriously help you. Try eating from a small plate if you don’t think you can stop yourself from filling up a full plate. Also, be mindful of all the little snacks that you pick up throughout the day. Being mindful of what you are putting in your mouth lets you make smarter choices during this time of year. Try to not eat in front of the television. You tend not to realize that you are full until it’s too late when your mind is on the plot line and not on your waistline.

Also, if you would like some ideas on some healthier recipes to serve or share at Christmas time check out this list: http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g4738/healthy-christmas-recipes/