Things to Consider When You Are Trying to Choose the Right Healthcare Plan

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You’ve just started a new job, and it’s time to choose a new healthcare plan. Your employer is offering you several plans to choose from. Here are some things to consider when you are trying to choose the right healthcare plan when you are starting a new job.

Start by reviewing the features of each healthcare plan, and then base your decision on a side-by-side comparison of the features of each plan. Then choose the one that best fits your needs. Key factors to consider include deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, whether the plan includes a health savings account, your status as an employee, health insurance networks, your family status, and your age.

Deductibles and Out-of-Pocket Costs

A lot of words are thrown around when choosing and discussing healthcare plans, and it’s important to understand what they mean. A deductible is an amount defined by your insurance provider. It’s how much you pay for your healthcare services before your insurance provider steps in. If your deductible is $1,000, you’ll have to cover $1,000 of your medical expenses, and then you’ll most likely only pay a copay for those covered services and your insurance covers the rest.

Out-of-pocket costs include your deductible, and they also include the cost of all services that aren’t covered. It’s important to analyze the relationship between your new salary and the out-of-pocket costs you may have. Analyze what you’ll be able to afford if you have a medical emergency.

Health Savings Account

A Health Savings Account, or HSA, is a hybrid between a high-deductible health insurance and a tax-favored savings account. Benefits of an HSA include less expensive health insurance, tax-free withdrawals, and tax-deferred interest earnings. Plus, unused money in your HSA isn’t forfeited at the end of the year. It continues to grow! However, you may pay higher out-of-pocket costs at first.

Employee Status

Employees that are higher up on the “corporate chain” may be able to renegotiate presented healthcare plans. If you have a higher-paying or higher-status job, and you aren’t happy with your current options, try discussing other options with your company.

Health Insurance Networks

Some health insurance policies have networks and won’t cover services provided out-of-network. If you’ve got a preferred doctor or specialist you or your family sees, make sure they are in the network of the healthcare plan you’re thinking about. If not, you may want to either switch plans or find a new medical provider.

Family Status and Age

Your family status, and whether you are single, married, and/or a parent, all influence what healthcare plan you might choose. Your personal health also influences your choice. If you frequently visit the emergency room, are expecting or want to be expecting a child, or you have a planned surgery upcoming, you may want a plan that has higher premiums but better coverage. If you’re close to retirement age, you may want to look at insurance plans that benefit retirees.

For more informatoin on healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design blog. To enrolls in an online healthcare course, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.

Everything You Need to Know About Prescription Medications in Your Medicine Cabinet (Part 2)

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As you look through the many medications populating your medicine cabinet, you may be surprised to find some ancient relics. The Washington Post reported on how “many people fail to get rid of unneeded and expired drugs“. It explains that one-third of Americans have not cleaned out their medicine cabinet in a year and one-fifth haven’t done so in three years. Even though we like to hold on to things for those “just in case” scenarios, how should we keep track of expiring medications? This article provides the answer to this as well as other questions surrounding the use of your prescription medications. 

4. How to Keep Track of Expiring and Expired Prescription Medications

If you are keeping a current list of all your medications, you could certainly add this column to the list: “expiration date”. Then, periodically review this list to see prescription medications that are nearing expiration.

Another idea is to regularly clean out your medicine cabinet, throwing out any expired medications and then moving those meds nearing expiration to a designated spot in your cabinet so that you will not forget about them.

5. How to Keep Your Pills Separate From Other Family Members

It could be that more than one family member is taking multiple medications and perhaps even the same type of pills. How, then, to stay organized? It is preferable to keep your meds stored in a designated place separated from other family members’. If you accidentally took another person’s pills, although the medicine might be the same, a different dosage could lead to potential complications. 

6. What to Do If You Are Having Trouble Swallowing Your Pills

You may assume that the easy solution is to simply crush hard-to-swallow pills. But not all pills are deemed suitable for crushing. Some prescription medications are time-release and crushing can negate the slow-release quality of this medication. Other meds become even more difficult to swallow when crushed and may cause choking. So, what to do?

Firstly, you may find that just swallowing your pills with water does not do the trick. You could try putting your pill in a spoonful of applesauce or pudding and taking one at a time. Some people find that swallowing pills with milk or another, thicker liquid is more palatable.

Next, you could contact your physician for alternatives to the pills you are taking. There may be a liquid or crushable equivalent for this medication. If there is not, they may be able to change your prescription to another similar medication that is easier to swallow.

With these interventions in place, you can be confident that you are taking your prescription medications exactly as your doctor intended for the best possible outcome. For more informative articles on healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Prescription Medications in Your Medicine Cabinet (Part 1)

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Americans are no stranger to taking prescription medications. The average medicine cabinet reads like a very intimate biography of the various health conditions that one has dealt with through the years. The Mayo Clinic reports that 70% of Americans take at least one prescription medication and that 50% of people take two drugs daily. And naturally as people age and deal with more complex health conditions, it comes as no surprise that 20% of Americans are managing to take 5 pills daily. And as you look through your own collection of pill bottles, you may even feel overwhelmed with questions such as, “How can I remember to take all of these as the doctor has ordered?”, “What about meds that have expired?” This first part of a two-part series explains the answer to that first question, “How can I remember to take my medications as my doctor has ordered and what tricks can I use to keep my medications organized?”

Staying Organized While Managing Multiple Prescription Medications

If you are one of those Americans taking 5 or more pills a day, you no doubt are very welcome to the idea of getting organized. The following are tips to help you stay organized.

1. Make a List and Keep it Current

Keep a current, up-to-date list of all non-prescription and prescription medications that you are taking. Ideally, you can either keep this log in a computer spreadsheet that allows for easy updating and deletion of medications you are no longer taking. If keeping a computer log is not possible, you should have a dedicated notebook for this purpose. Important columns of information that you should include are:

  • The date your medication was prescribed by your doctor.
  • The name of the doctor who prescribed your medication.
  • The name of your medication.
  • The dose of your medication that you are required to take.
  • How many times a day you are required to take your medication.
  • The time(s) of day you are required to take your medication.
  • The health condition that your medication has been prescribed for.

Having such a concise list will not only help you to stay organized, but will also help your family members or health aides who are assisting with your care. 

2. How to Fill Your Pillbox

A pillbox is an excellent way to stay organized and ensures that you are taking all the pills that are prescribed for a given day. The beauty of the pillbox is that if you have a question of whether or not you took a pill, you can look back at the pillbox and see if there are any pills that were forgotten. 

3. Using a Calendar to Keep Track of Your Medication Schedule

Another way of staying organized is by keeping a small calendar handy, perhaps at your breakfast table. As you take your pills, you can make a note of this on your calendar for the given day and even notate the time it was taken. Even better, you could write the name of each medication in every day’s slot at the beginning of the month. Then, as you take your medications each day, you can jot down a checkmark to signify that you did indeed take your pill. 

Staying organized requires forethought and effort but is worth the peace of mind it brings. Perhaps you still have questions such as, how to keep track of expired prescription medications and what you should do if you have trouble swallowing pills? The next article in this series will address those questions. 

For more informative articles on healthcare, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

How To Research Effectively When Writing Term Papers

Writing term papers isn’t easy no matter what class you’re taking, but it’s something you’re going to have to do sooner or later. And the first step to writing a great term paper is to make sure you do good, effective research. While it might seem easy in the age of the Internet it’s easy to stumble into mistakes when it comes to checking your facts. That’s why it’s important to follow these tips.

How to Research Effectively When Writing Term Papers

Tip #1: Only Use Reliable Sources

How to Research Effectively When Writing Term PapersThere are billions of websites in existence, but not all of them are equal when it comes to doing research. Wikipedia is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to an unreliable source, but opinion blogs and user-created content is typically not what you should be citing in a term paper. Generally speaking you want something published by a newspaper, a scholarly journal, an encyclopedia, or other reference source to provide credible information for your term paper.

Tip #2: Know What You’re Looking For

The key to research is to know what you’re looking for. For example the topic of depression is huge, and it’s difficult to get more than general information on the topic. If someone is attempting to research the correlation between depression and veterans who have served in war zones though that is much more specific. The narrower you can make your search terms the more likely you are to find information that’s specific to your particular paper.

Tip #3: Utilize All Your Resources

When doing research it’s important not to get pigeon-holed. While the Internet has plenty of sources (Google Scholar and InfoMine are just two solid examples of free academic sources), it’s important not to forget that books are still on the shelves and ready to be cracked open. There are still scholarly journals and periodicals being published, and many of them can now be found in ebook format. To top it all off there are human resources such as librarians who can help you direct your queries in order to find the best information as quickly as you can.

For more information on how you can come out on top in your classes simply contact us today!