Battling Infertility with Hope

3 Tips For Understanding And Benefiting From Your Health Insurance In 2016

If you are like many Americans, the changes that have occurred in the last few years about health insurance in the U.S. have both improved and complicated your life. Therefore, it is important that you become aware of the new guidelines in place for health insurance in 2016. In addition, there are common ways that accessing health insurance can impact you and your family as the status of health insurance changes. 

#1-Know Your Options And How They Apply To You

Recent statistics have established that about 57% of people that either lacked medical insurance or had inadequate insurance were able to receive adequate health insurance as the result of the health care changes now known as Obamacare. However, there are many variables that can impact your overall experience with health insurance. 

For instance, the availability of Medicaid has provided very low cost and free medical care to higher numbers of people than before the changes. One common misconception is that when open season for health insurance enrollment closes, the time period during which you could apply for Medicaid also closes. Although Medicaid qualifies as health insurance for many individuals, it is essentially an assistance program provided by the government. You can apply for Medicaid at any time of the year, although income guidelines and other information will often impact its availability.     

#2-Know The Exceptions That Can Work For Or Against You When Getting Health Insurance

You will also find that there are exceptions to the guidelines for open enrollment in health insurance as the result of important life events such as:

  • Getting married   
  • Adopting or giving birth to a new baby
  • Changing jobs

In some instances, divorce may also impact the need for your spouse to be covered under your policy or your ability to maintain a policy provided by your former spouse after a divorce. 

#3-Not Having Insurance Can Be More Expensive Than You Think

In 2016, not having insurance is much more expensive than it was previously. In addition to being solely responsible for the often exorbitant costs of medical care and prescriptions, you will also be required to pay a fine to the government for not having the necessary health insurance. A single person who can afford and chooses not to obtain health insurance may be required to pay a base fine of $695 and a percentage of their annual income when they file taxes for 2016. That is an enormous change from 2015, where the punishment for an uninsured family was no more than $975 and even more significant than the cap of $285 dollars for any size of family in 2014  lacking health insurance.    

In conclusion, there is no doubt that Obamacare has impacted the lives of Americans extensively in recent years. In order to be sure that you benefit as much as possible from those changes, it is crucial to be aware of the preceding facts. If you have access to and can afford health insurance from a company like Quesenberry Agency For Blue Cross-Blue Shield, enrolling and using it is crucial for financial and legal reasons, in addition to the obvious concerns about the ability to stay healthy. 

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Non-Surgical Treatment For Your Tinnitus

That persistent ringing in your ears has become an annoyance. It’s time to talk with your doctor about what treatment is available. There are several non-invasive approaches to help you cope with the noise. If they don’t give you enough relief, it will be time for a discussion about surgical options. Here are a few of the non-invasive approaches that have given people relief from their tinnitus.

Noise-Suppression Devices

Tinnitus is often triggered by other sounds. There are some devices that attempt to mask the sounds while others blend noises in with the ringing until your mind ignores it. The first step before using these devices is to get a baseline of your hearing. Audiologists evaluate your hearing to determine at what frequency your tinnitus is ringing. This allows them to adjust the devices to hide the irritating sound.

White-noise generator – This device produces a series of sounds that attempt to mask the ringing so it’s not as noticeable. Sounds such as waves on a beach or the wind blowing through trees can mask your tinnitus from your mind. Some of these devices use recorded sounds while others digitally create them. Some people find that a white-noise generator helps them sleep peacefully in spite of the tinnitus.

Noise-masking devices – These are designed to be worn like hearing aids. They produce a low-level of white-noise that matches the frequency of your tinnitus. The audiologist will adjust the device until the generated noise blends in with the tinnitus so they can’t be distinguished from each other. Your mind can’t pick out either noise so it tends to ignore both of them. This device is helpful when you need to concentrate on a work project or when having a conversation with someone.

Audio-retraining devices – Instead of a noise, this hearing aid device produces musical tones that match the frequency of your tinnitus. Some people find this more effective than the simple white-noise generator. Your mind becomes accustomed to hearing the tones mixed in with the tinnitus and ignores them both.

Coping Strategies

Some approaches to tinnitus help you remove your focus from the sound so you can function normally throughout the day.

Biofeedback – This technique teaches you how to relax in spite of the tinnitus. Tools help you evaluate the progress of your relaxation efforts, such as monitoring your heart rate and blood pressure. You’ll learn how to relax while consciously lowering those values.

Hypnosis – This is used to divert the attention of your mind away from the ringing. The therapist gives your mind a hypnotic suggestion to think of something else when it encounters the ringing, such as the sounds of waves on a beach. When your mind notices the tinnitus, it will react as if it is hearing the ocean waves.

To speak to an audiologist, contact a company such as Hearing Center Of Hawaii.

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Troubleshooting Your Silent Hearing Aid

One day, you turn your hearing aid on and you discover that it no longer produces the sound. Or, as you are performing your daily listening test, you might notice an inconsistency in the quality of the sound. Before getting your hearing aid repaired, make sure there isn’t a problem you can fix.

Clean Any Wax Buildup

Look at the hearing aid to determine if there is any wax buildup. If so, clean off your hearing aid before putting it back in. If the hearing aid is dome-shaped, you will need to use a dry cloth. Your audiologist might have provided a special tool for cleaning hearing aid domes.

Unclog The Microphone

Check the microphone to verify that it isn’t clogged, which could prevent it from picking up sounds. Use a brush to clean the opening. The tubing for your hearing aid might also be bent.

Make Sure The Battery Door Is Closed

Your hearing aid might be turned off because the battery door is not closed. When the door is difficult to shut, this is usually because the battery is upside down. Otherwise, the door might be damaged and will need to be repaired by a technician or replaced through a warranty program. If the door is closing, use a battery tester to determine if it is working. Batteries usually last one to two weeks. However, if you don’t store the batteries in a cool, dark place, they might be already ruined when you first use them. Double-check to verify that you are using the right type of battery. Always make sure that you carry enough batteries so you do not have to make a trip at the last minute.

Clean The Earmold Tubing And Check The Cord

Remove the earmold tubing and then listen to the hearing aid. If it is generating a sound, the problem is with the tubing. Soak the tubing in hot water and replace it only after the tubing has dried. The body worn hearing aides connect together with a cord. If this cord becomes disconnected, the hearing aids will stop working.

Take The Hearing Aid In For A Repair

If the hearing aid still doesn’t work, you may need to look up the nearest location where you can have your hearing aid inspected, such as Audiologists Northwest. Many hearing aid companies have walk-in hours where you can come without an appointment to have your hearing aid inspected. But in many situations, you will be able to fix the problem yourself.

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Examining The Dangers Of Putting Off Hip Surgery

When osteoarthritis settles in your hip joint, you may only feel slight discomfort at its onset. As osteoarthritis progresses, however, you may lose a lot of mobility, have increased episodes of intense pain and also decrease your chances of a simpler type of hip surgery like re-surfacing the joint. While these are debilitating symptoms that can directly impact your daily life, you should know that putting off hip surgery can also lead to other, more serious health issues.    

Heart Disease Is Harder To Treat And Is More Dangerous Than Hip Pain

When your hip joint becomes extremely painful because of advanced osteoarthritis, you may have no choice but to become less active. As you begin to give up daily activities like exercise, you have higher chances of gaining weight. Gaining weight and leading a sedentary lifestyle are high risk factors for heart disease. Heart disease is a lot more dangerous than an arthritic hip, so if you are putting of hip surgery because you dread dealing with it or you are afraid of experiencing greater pain, you should weigh the risks of not having it. Consider the pain that may be associated with heart surgery, the risk of dying from a major heart attack or living with the after effects of a serious stroke.

Increasing The Risk Of Having Two Bad Hip Joints Instead Of One

If you have a bad hip, you are probably putting a lot more weight on your other hip. You should know that over time, putting more weight on your good hip can cause it to become prematurely worn out, increasing your risk of needing two hip joints replaced rather than just one. If both of your hip joints become worn out, your risk of falling and getting seriously injured also increases. If you start favoring both hips, you may begin sitting a lot more than you used to, leading the way to serious muscle atrophy, a condition that entails your muscles losing mass and becoming weak and less contributory to mobility.

Limping Leads To Lower Back Problems

Favoring your bad hip usually causes you to limp. Limping around the house for a day may have already caused your lower back to ache and throb. You should know that limping, even off and on every few days, can cause unnecessary wear and tear on your lower back that will lead to the progression of degenerative forms of arthritis in your spine. When you stop to think about how one hip problems can ultimately lead to you being painfully immobile, the reasons you might have for putting off hip surgery may become a lot less important.

If you have exhausted other treatments for hip pain like corticosteroid injections, medication and physical therapy, the time to seriously consider hip surgery is at hand. For more information, contact Orthopaedic Associates Of Osceola or a similar location.

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Three Benefits to Medical Inventory Management Systems

Maintaining inventory control is an essential part of managing any medical facility. Since inventory is one of the largest sections of the budget for many, it is essential that you know what you have, where it is, and how it is being used. Here’s a look at a few of the key reasons to establish a comprehensive medical supply inventory system.

It Catches Shipper Errors

In a perfect environment, you would receive exactly what you ordered from your suppliers every single time. In reality, mistakes do happen, and sometimes they aren’t caught before the box goes out the door. If this is the case for you, the easiest way to identify errors like this is by monitoring your inventory closely. Track what comes in as it compares to what you’ve ordered so that you can go back to your supplier to resolve any discrepancies. Otherwise, you may be under-stocked on items and find yourself facing a shortage. In the medical industry, that can be a serious hazard.

It Ensures Regulatory Compliance

The medical industry faces heavy regulations for many aspects of the field. Any violations of those regulations can leave your business facing lawsuits at best and criminal charges at worst. Tracking all of your equipment and supplies through medical inventory services, such as Instant Inventory Service, will help to ensure that you have all of the necessary documentation to support your operation. You’ll be able to show what came in, where it came from, where it was stored and what it was used for. Additionally, it helps you track supply usage, which can identify cases of employee theft or fraud before they become criminal cases.

It Provides Documentation for Controlled Substances

Controlled substances are those medications that have been placed under tight regulations by the federal government. These medications include things like narcotics, stimulants and depressants. The regulations for these medications require that you keep detailed records of these medications in your facility and report any missing or stolen medication immediately. The only way to identify things like this is with a comprehensive inventory system. Not only does it provide you with a way to identify problems, but it also means that you’ll have records to support your operation in the event of an investigation.

With the tips presented here, you can understand the importance of a comprehensive inventory control system. Talk with an inventory service provider today to see what kind of tracking can help your business.

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Will You Really Be Replacing Your Knee? The 101 On Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

An estimated 600,000 knee replacement surgeries will be necessary each year in the United States due to damaged cartilage in and around the knee joint. Many disorders and injuries can damage the knee joint, resulting in pain and loss of mobility. In many cases, this damage occurs due to a sports-related injury or accident, but osteoarthritis is a common condition that wears down the cartilage in the knee.

If you fall into one of the previous scenarios, and physical therapy and other remedies haven’t worked, then you may be considering more invasive measures. Using this guide, you will understand the steps involved in a partial replacement surgery and learn the best options for healing and recovery.

Steps for Your Surgery

While surprising to hear, your surgeon will not actually replace your damaged knee with a new one. During a partial replacement surgery, the actual bones of the knee are resurfaced, not replaced. The surgery involves the following steps:

  • Removal of Damaged Cartilage – A surgeon, like Northwoods Family Orthopaedics SC, will first remove any damaged cartilage on the ends of the tibia and femur bones. In addition, a thin layer of underlying bone is removed to ensure a more secure resurfacing.
  • Positioning of Implants – A metal material is implanted onto the surface of the knee joint.
  • Resurfacing the Kneecap – A plastic implant is inserted onto the patella, or kneecap.
  • Inserting the Spacer – Your surgeon will insert a plastic spacer between the metal implants. This spacer allows the knee joint to move in a more smooth, comfortable manner.

Rest and Recovery 

While knee replacement surgeries are safe and effective, taking the proper steps in your recovery is imperative for success.

Your surgeon will close up incisions using sutures or staples, which will remain in place for a few weeks after your surgery. Incision site infections develop in 3 percent of all surgical procedures, so taking proper precaution is essential. Change your bandages daily and clean the incision sites as directed by your doctor. Be sure to cover the incision site with plastic and a waterproof bandage before bathing.

You will need to avoid heavy activity for the first few days after your surgery; and, you will want to work with your physical therapist to design a safe, effective plan for recovery. This may involve walking with a walker or cane, thus increasing  your walking distance and speed each day. Fortunately, most patients are able to return to normal activities within 3 to 6 months!

If you were hesitant about considering surgery, now you know that it won’t be a complete bone replacement and that the healing rates are good if you are proactive.

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Help For Your Loved One Through Addiction Recovery

It can be painful to watch someone you care about go through bouts of addiction and recovery, but at the same time it can be hard to know what you can do to help. Every addiction is different, but with the right combination of support and treatment your loved one stands a good chance of sticking to a recovery program and avoiding a relapse. You have a role in their recovery after the intervention is over, so it’s important you recognize that responsibility and step up to it.

During In-Patient Treatment

Whether friend or family, make sure that the person getting help has a way to reach you, and that you’re on the contact list with the staff at any in-patient facility. Some facilities have restrictions on who is contacted, limiting this to family only, but the patient can augment this list as they desire.  Be aware though, the first few weeks will be the roughest, so don’t expect any contact initially. Even so, making an effort yourself is a good way to make sure that your loved one knows you’re pulling for them.

Make a point of scheduling visits as regularly as allowed by the facility, and by your own schedule. The more invested you are in the recovery process, the easier it will be for your friend or family member to see and accept your support. Every patient is different though, so there’s no way to predict exactly how your support will be received, but don’t take it personally if your offers of help are rebuffed initially.

Out-Patient and Ongoing Treatment

Whether because of successful completion of an in-patient program, or a lack of willingness to participate in one, your loved one has the option to participate in an out-patient or long-term treatment approach. These programs are made more successful if the support system of the patient remains stable. With that in mind, make yourself available as often as you can to attend meetings, provide transportation to appointments, or simply listen when things start getting bad. This will also minimize the opportunities and excuses for blowing off commitments or relapsing into old habits. Having someone to reach out to who isn’t a part of their addiction can make recovery much easier for patients, but this requires that you maintain an environment that is completely free of temptation. For example, if your friend or loved one was an alcoholic, make sure your home is free of anything that might contain alcohol in any form, including cold medicine and mouthwash. It may seem extreme, but recovering addicts can be unpredictable.

Knowing that you’re there to help often means more to an addict in treatment than you might think. Without that support it’s far too easy to back-slide and end up in a world they’ve fought hard to get out of. If you need advice on other ways you can help, reach out to a local group chapter or treatment center like Psych & Psych Services.

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