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What is A HRA Health Reimbursement Arrangement

If you run a small business with employees, you need to come up with a way to give those employees health coverage.

This can be very challenging for the smallest businesses. With only one or two employees, you cannot get the best rate, and you may have to go with substandard coverage or navigate the frustration world of group health insurance. Professional associations can sometimes help, but if you want the best for your employees, you might have to consider some non-standard options.

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Posted by lschultz in All Posts

The True Cost Of Small Business Group Health Insurance

What is Group Health Insurance?

Group Health Insurance is a selected plan that provides health care to a predetermined, select group of people. These health insurance plans are generally uniform in policy offering the same health care coverage to all employees or members of the group.

Is Group Health Insurance a Good Investment For My Small Business?

The answer to that is in short: No.
Why?

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Posted by lschultz in Health Insurance, Small Business

Why You Should Read

When people think of working out and wellness rarely do our thoughts go to our mind. Did you know that 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book the rest of their lives, 42% of college graduates never read another book after college, 80% of families did not buy or read a book last year, 70% of adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years, and 57% of new books are not read to completion. My bookworm self just gasped. I don’t necessarily read something that enriches my mind in a scholarly sense, but I read books that intrigue my mind and take me away to a happy place.

Read
A recent Life Hack article attribute’s the slowing of Alzheimer’s and Dementia to the mental stimulation that reading provides. The brain as a muscle needs continued exercise to keep it sharp. It doesn’t matter what you are reading as long as it intrigues and piques your interest. Although, if you are reading things that broaden your knowledge base, you are creating lasting intelligence that equips you for life experiences.

There are times when I read that I come across a word that I’m not familiar with and will look up to discover the meaning enabling me to use it in context at a later date and time. While reading you’re expanding your mental capacity as you retain what’s written on each page. It could be as simple as following the characters and story line of a fiction book, or learning a new subject or concept. This continued act improves both your analytical thinking and your focus and concentration. As you dive into different types of books you are also reading different writing styles and perspectives, if you yourself write this can help improve your writing skills.

Now for my absolute favorite part of reading a book. The moment you are in the middle of those amazing smelling (Yes, I’m book nerd enough to love the smell of books!) pages, and you realize your heart rate has calmed and you’ve been taken away to another place. When reading you’re able to remove yourself from the world around and resound in the words before you. It’s by far my greatest stress release! It’s also incredibly inexpensive or free activity and entertainment. You can go to your local library, or if you have an iTunes account there is a slew of free electronic reads as well.

Do you read? If your answer is yes, please recommend something and explain why you enjoyed the book so much!

Read the full article from Life Hack HERE.

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , ,

The Question Presidential Candidates Must Answer

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) seems to be a topic of discussion for Presidential candidates. Will the ACA still presidential candidatestay intact once the next President is elected into office? What changes will be made to the ACA? The biggest question stated by an article on Bloomberg View is, “How would they (Presidential Candidates) protect people with pre-existing conditions? Left to their own devices, after all, insurers have an incentive to charge higher premiums to potential customers who already have chronic health conditions – or not to offer them coverage at all.”

What the ACA has done well is to ban the refusal of coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions. To protect the insurance providers the ACA has required ALL individuals and families to obtain coverage. This prevents those that are healthy from only enrolling in healthcare when something goes wrong, then dropping coverage once they are well again. Otherwise premium rates would skyrocket. It’s taking the good with the bad so that everybody is able to obtain coverage.

Several conservative plans offer a different option and still help people with pre-existing conditions as well as provide better options to healthy individuals. The proposal provides tax credits to help those who don’t have employer coverage, requires insurers to offer the same terms for sick and healthy as long as they are continually covered, and creates high-risk pools for anyone else. There are also ideas of rewarding those with continual coverage with protection from premium increases.

Many of the proposed options are trying to remove most of the federal spending and regulation. Bloomberg View states later in the article, “One could expect the need for the high-risk pools and the regulatory protections to diminish. They address problems that in large part result from the way federal and state policies have stunted the growth of the individual market.” All of the proposals on the table focus on allowing a more functional market to emerge. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes and how the ACA will develop with a new POTUS in office!

Read the full article on Bloomberg View HERE

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Health Insurance, In The News and tagged , , , , ,

Goodbye Employer Provided Health Insurance

health insuranceAn article from Market Watch highlights Rick Lindquist and Paul Zane Pilzer, co-authors of “The End of Employer-Provided Health Insurance.” The book goes over why group health insurance is a thing of the past and why individuals, their families, and their employers are all benefiting from moving away from group health insurance options.

Group health insurance rates continue to rise and that’s where Zane Benefits steps in. Zane Benefits is not a health insurance company, but a company that administers defined-contribution plans. What is that you might be asking? It is a benefit plan that gives employees a set amount of money each month that they can use for reimbursement of their health insurance premiums. This plan allows employees to have choice in selecting their health insurance plan. The employer is removed from the selection and allows the employee to shop for an insurance plan that custom fits them and their family.

In Lindquist and Pilzer’s book they project that by 2017, the majority of small businesses will switch to defined-contribution. This shift is being led by small business owners, but they aren’t the only ones dropping health insurance and looking for other options. Verizon and AT&T leaked documents saying they were considering dropping health insurance plans as well.

With the potential savings benefit of this plan why wouldn’t all companies choose this option. Well simply said, you don’t know what you don’t know. Companies don’t understand how a defined-contribution plan could benefit them, not only savings on the part of the employer and the employee, but also helps employee retention as well. What employee wouldn’t want to choose their own health insurance rather than have somebody choose for them?

Read the full Market Watch article HERE and let me know if this is an option you would look into for your company!

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Health Insurance, Small Business and tagged , , , , ,

Renew Your Skin with Aromatherapy Steam

I don’t know about you, but apparently every day I get a little older. I keep trying to reverse time, but I’ve had no such luck thus far. I look into ways to make my skin feel refreshed so that my bright and shiny skin stays just that way. I don’t ever want the glow to go! I absolutely love the way my skin feels from the steam when I go get a facial at the spa, but time and money don’t always allow for a trip to the spa. I looked into ways to have this same effect at home.Dried flowers

Mind Body Green is an amazing website for all things health and wellness and they give a great recipe for an aromatherapy facial steam. Steaming helps deep cleanse the skin, loosens and dislodges dirt and unclogs pores, improves facial circulation, encourages relaxation, and helps skin look renewed. Well sign me up I want all of that! I also need to note that a regular face care routine is advised for cleansing, but any of the extras like steaming, scrubs, and masks should only be done once or twice a week.

Don’t shock that beautiful skin by being too abrasive, be gentle! So for this epic aromatherapy steam here’s what you’ll need (I’m only listing for Dry Skin, because I’m up here in the beautifully dry state of Colorado, but you can find the ingredients for Normal, Oily, Sensitive, and Acne-Prone skin HERE):

Filtered, boiled water

1/2 cup of mixed, dried rose petals, fennel seeds, lemon verbena, elderflower, calendula

Make sure your start with a fresh and clean face.

Put all of the dried herbs and flowers in a large bowl. Then carefully pour the boiling water over the herb and flower mixture after it has cooled slightly. Let it steep for 1-2 minutes.

Position your face over the bowl and drape a light towel over your head, then breathe in the steam for one minute. Repeat for up to three minutes. In other words three times for a minute each. When you’re done splash some cold water on your face or use toner.

I’m a big fan of a nice long nap or a night of sleep after any spa treatment, at home or not. So relax and feel refreshed. Let me know how you enjoyed your at home steam aromatherapy session.

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,

Healthcare Cost Keeps Rising

Healthcare cost continues to rise and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) isn’t exactly affordable at all. The inflation of healthcare is rising faster than the American economies natural inflation rate. What is making healthcare rise faster than everything else? There are many contributing factors and one of the major ones is supply and demand. The demand for healthcare didn’t happen organically, it happened over night. When the ACA was passed the entire United States population had demand, but the supply stayed the same. Sadly the healthcare provider market hasn’t expanded much in response to the demand.

There are some new health insurance carriers that are trying to hedge their way into the market, but the successful ones get bought out by the larger more established companies. The inflation for healthcare is not just attributed to supply and demand though, it is also the result of political decisions and increased regulations as well as the cost of prescriptions, medical devices, and hospital care, according to an article on Forbes. Some of these were already an issue to rising healthcare costs before the ACA was passed, so why did congress put a 2.3% tax on medical devices under the ACA’s law? Doesn’t make much sense when you are trying to keep healthcare cost “affordable.”

Here is a graph that we pulled from Forbes comparing the natural rate of inflation against the healthcare rate of inflation. Will healthcare increases outrun our incomes if more competition doesn’t halt the monopolized lack of supply for the ever increasing demand? What are your thoughts on healthcare costs?

healthcare cost
Read the full Forbes article HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Health Insurance, In The News and tagged , , , ,

What Time Should I Work Out?

Work OutHave you ever wondered if your work out should be in the morning, evening, or in-between for best results? I have on multiple occasions. I know that when I wake up and work out I have better sustained energy throughout my day and working out in the evening can help with my sleep, but what is ideal?  According to Russel Pate, M.D., and professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina, “The best time of the day is when you will do it most consistently, because the benefits of physical activity are tightly linked to the amount you do on a consistent basis.” Well there you have it, it’s not an exact when, it’s just the exact when for you personally each day.

It all comes down to being consistent and doing what works best for you. Later on in the article posted by the American Heart Association Pate says, “If you’re not a morning person, it does no good for you to try to get up at 5 in the morning to work out. Try to stack as many cards on your side of the table as possible by doing what’s most likely to work for you. The converse is, don’t make it as hard as it doesn’t have to be.” HA! Finally! I don’t have to make myself a morning person! Obviously I’m not a morning person and I am more than willing to let one man with his credentials tell me I don’t have to wake up early. He goes on to mention that there are differences in the way a workout effects your body depending on the time of day you work out, but that the differences are minimal compared to the overall effect working out consistently.

All in all it’s about doing it even if you’re tight on time, find the time that works best for you and your schedule and stick to it. What time of day do you work out? Why do you choose that time frame?

Read the full article HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in Active Lifestyle, All Posts and tagged , , , , ,

What is Zane Benefits?

Zane BenefitsHere at Design Health we partner with a company called Zane Benefits. As we continue to look at and promote small businesses I wanted to introduce you to one that is on the cutting edge of what healthcare is and will be. As group health insurance fades away you will see Zane Benefits name more and more often. What’s so innovative and great about this company and who are they? Let me tell you with their own introduction from their website, “Zane Benefits is the leader in individual health insurance reimbursement for small businesses. Since 2006, Zane Benefits has been on a mission to bring the benefits of individual health insurance to business owners and their employees.”

This company enables companies to save 20 to 60 percent annually compared to traditional employer-provided health insurance. That’s significant as the cost of group health keeps rising. How do they do that? Instead of companies providing a one size fits all plan to their employees and compensating them for all or a portion of the premium employees are now able to find insurance that fits their needs and cost on their own. Once the employee has chosen the plan that is best for them their company works with Zane Benefits to set up monthly healthcare allowances for each employee. The employee then supplies documentation to Zane Benefits to prove the healthcare they purchased is in compliance and once all documentation checks out the employee receives the reimbursement amount set by the company up to the full amount of the employees premium.

This is such a simple concept and one that is being embraced by many employers around the country. As a small business owner do you want your employees to have more choice as well as lessen the weight of rising group health costs on your back? It’s a new way of doing things and it’s better to be on the cutting edge of change rather than straggling in the door behind the curve. We are happy to speak to you about your options as a company. Let us know if you have any questions, and in the meantime check out Zane Benefits HERE

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Small Business and tagged , , , ,

Undiagnosed Diabetes?

Did you know that 8.1 million diabetes cases out of the 29.1 million people that have diabetes don’t know it? That’s Diabetes9.3% of the U.S. population that have the disease. The 8.1 million could be harming their body while continuing to leave their blood sugar levels out of control.

Untreated diabetes takes a toll on your heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves, as well as your gums and teeth. Unfortunately the symptoms are so minimal at first that it is hard to detect. With type 2 people often don’t know until there are problems from long term damage already caused by the disease. With type 1 symptoms come on faster and are much more severe. Early symptoms can be slow healing sores or cuts, pain or numbness in feet or legs, unplanned weight loss, as well as nausea and vomiting. Common symptoms for both types are hunger and fatigue, peeing more often and being thirstier, dry mouth and itchy skin, and blurred vision.

There are ways to keep your blood sugar under control and to stay healthy though. Here’s a list from Today.com:

  • Monitor your blood glucose levels
  • Take medication as directed by your doctor
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise! Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.
  • Keep a food record
  • Quit Smoking
  • Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all!)

These things along with eating a healthy diet are essential. Often times there are simple things that you can do in your diet that make what you are already eating healthier. Try exchanging croutons on a salad for toasted walnuts or instead of the ranch dressing try a vinaigrette. There are several small changes like these that can effect your blood sugar levels. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above you should consult a doctor and if you aren’t it’s never a bad time to start eating healthier and adding exercise to your daily routine.

Read the full Today article HERE

 

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,