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What the Heck is Obamacare Anyway, and How Does it Affect Me?

Hear ye, hear ye! Let October 1, 2013 henceforth be known as the day all hell broke loose in the United States. That’s when the government shut down and the website HealthCare.gov went up. Well, actually, the website went up, then back down, then up for a few minutes and back down for several more. HealthCare.gov is home to The Health Insurance Marketplace, the centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act and if you’re confused already, you’re not alone.

Healthcare Marketplace

Though it’s been three years since the first measures of the Affordable Care Act started rolling out, some people still don’t understand what it is or if it will even affect them. With the help of Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Editor, let’s whittle down to the bare bones and answer the most pressing questions.

What’s in a name: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare are the same thing. ACA is the official name while Obamacare is the tongue-in-cheek moniker coined by opponents. Now, the names are used interchangeably, particularly in the media.

The ACA is a law. It was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010. Since then, it’s been unfolding in phases.
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Medicare Offers Coverage of Yoga and Meditation for Heart Disease Prevention

Heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States, even though it can be prevented with a just few simple lifestyle changes. Call it ignorance, lack of motivation, or a complete disregard for personal health; certain people continue to put themselves at risk of dying from a heart attack. Lists of excuses may have superseded action, however as of late, a lack of money is no longer an issue in maintaining good health. Medicare is now covering programs that contribute to positive lifestyle changes, such as yoga, healthy eating, and relaxation.

Based on an agenda that teaches clients about plant-based diets, meditation, and regular exercise, the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease is one of the plans covered by Medicare. It is employed to teach patients how to take better care of their heart.

Nutrition, stress management, moderate exercise and group support are the four components that make up the program. Contrary to popular belief that a new pill or potion will erase poor lifestyle habits, the Dean Ornish program let’s people regain their health by doing it the old fashioned way, by earning it.


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When Insurance Refuses a Breast Cancer Patient

Guest blogger, Carol Dunlop is certified through FiTour as a Personal Trainer and through the American Red Cross as a CPR, AED and First Aid Instructor. She has competed and placed in several Fitness America and National Bodybuilding competitions. Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2011 and she is sharing her story of survival at DietsInReview.com. Check out her website, OptimumBodySculpting.com.

Can you imagine anything more devastating than being diagnosed with breast cancer? How about finding out that your insurance company is refusing to pay for your treatment? And that no one in the company can give you any solid or sensible answers as to why?

Now that you’ve gathered your breath from the shock, this exact scenario is what has been playing out in my life and breast cancer journey since I was diagnosed four months ago.
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Smokers and Obese Workers Must Pay More for Health Coverage

By Kelsey Murray

If you are a smoker, overweight, or have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you may end up paying more for health care as many employers are following a new trend: penalizing those employees who have unhealthy lifestyles instead of rewarding those who have healthy lifestyles.

In the past two years, the percent of American employers who impose some sort of financial penalty on their employees has doubled, making it now 19 percent. This number should double again in 2012, according to Towers Watson, a benefits consultant company.

So why are these people being penalized for their lifestyle choices? It is common knowledge that those who smoke or are obese usually have higher health risks, which in turn leads to increased health care costs. As a result, some companies are now requiring these employees to pay more for their health coverage because it makes sense that these people will end up costing the company more in health care coverage.
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Walgreen Co. Announces Plan to Sell Health Insurance In Stores

If you’ve ever tried to purchase a private health insurance plan, you’re probably familiar with the hoops you have to jump through in order to become insured. Between the litany of questions and the endless scrutiny of your medical records, buying an insurance plan can be extremely overwhelming.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreen Co., is planning to start selling health insurance to customers this fall. The Tribune reported that “the Deerfield-based company will sell health insurance products with different price ranges and coverage levels from coast-to-coast through a private health insurance exchange.”

An unidentified spokesman from Walgreens said, “As always, we’re looking at a number of options in light of health care reform as we continue to seek ways to help our customers better navigate today’s health care system.”


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