As Americans work hard to meet all the obligations that come with work, family and everyday life, many are challenged to find time to manage all the financial elements affecting their healthcare.
If you're among them you're far from alone, since the multiple details associated with healthcare insurance can be confusing. At the same time, you want to be smart about your financial resources when making decisions about the quality healthcare you and your family need.
Fortunately, by carving out time to research money-saving tips you may be able to minimize your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Such out-of-pocket spending rose by more than 50 percent between 2010 and 2017,
The Atlantic recently reported, partly because half of all health insurance policyholders in the U.S. are dealing with annual deductibles of at least $1,000.
Whether you're uninsured or simply facing a high insurance deductible, you can take several steps to better manage your healthcare budget. Consider how the following tips may offer you a better sense of control of rising healthcare costs.
* Read bills with a critical eye.
Any bill can include administrative errors, and some estimates have indicated errors on as many as 80 percent of medical invoices issued, reports the Medical Billing Advocates of America. That statistic makes it well worth your while to examine and question your expenses before you settle up.
* Lower the cost of your meds.
A free program known as Inside Rx is a prescription savings card that provides discounts on prescription medications for eligible patients. And it’s amazingly effective. According to the data, eligible patients have saved an average of 40 percent on the more than 100 featured brand medications included in the program, and even more on generic medications. Inside Rx is a great option to help the uninsured, those facing high deductibles or anyone trying to save money on their meds. Inside Rx even offers prescription savings for pets for qualifying medications. And the Inside Rx card is free and easy to download, with no registration process or sharing of personal information.
* Compare costs whenever possible.
Some medical services can be difficult to compare on an apples-to-apples basis, but it’s worth doing your homework before making appointments for more standard services such as annual check-ups, lab work and testing, dental care or dermatology services. Check vendor websites, make phone calls and conduct web searches to find online databases, such as HealthcareBluebook.com, that suggest fair prices for various services. If you're insured, your insurance provider can then clarify what portion of the bill will be covered.
* Be bold about negotiations.
It's OK to speak up. You have nothing to lose by politely asking your healthcare provider to work with you on the price of an upcoming service, especially when dealing with a private practice. Start the conversation by aiming for the Medicare rate or an amount close to that paid by commercial insurers. As an alternative, ask the office administrator to set up a manageable payment plan.
* Consider paying cash up front.
Some vendors offer discounts for simply paying cash for your services without funneling everything through insurance. Even if you're insured, you can still evaluate whether immediate cash payments will be lower than your post-insurance costs.
Keeping a close eye on where you might be wasting money on healthcare can pay off in a big way — and the remedies don’t have to be complicated. Conduct your due diligence on such costs to protect your financial health as vigorously as your physical health.
When it’s time to clean, have your trusty green cleaners at the ready — baking soda, vinegar — plus another ultra-cheap gem: hydrogen peroxide. You can use it anywhere, and can’t beat the price: A 16-oz. bottle only costs a buck or so.
Here are 10 ways you can use that ubiquitous brown bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your home’s advantage from our friends at HouseLogic:
In Your Kitchen
1. Clean your cutting board and countertop. Hydrogen peroxide bubbles away any nasties left after preparing meat or fish for dinner. Add hydrogen peroxide to an opaque spray bottle — exposure to light kills its effectiveness — and spray on your surfaces. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean.
2. Wipe out your refrigerator and dishwasher. Because it’s non-toxic, hydrogen peroxide is great for cleaning places that store food and dishes. Just spray the appliance outside and in, let the solution sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean.
3. Clean your sponges. Soak them for 10 minutes in a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a shallow dish. Rinse the sponges thoroughly afterward.
4. Remove baked-on crud from pots and pans. Combine hydrogen peroxide with enough baking soda to make a paste, then rub onto the dirty pan and let it sit for a while. Come back later with a scrubby sponge and some warm water, and the baked-on stains will lift right off.
In Your Bathroom
5. Whiten bathtub grout. If excess moisture has left your tub grout dingy, first dry the tub thoroughly, then spray it liberally with hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for a little while (it may bubble slightly), then come back and scrub the grout with an old toothbrush. You may have to repeat the process a few times, depending on how much mildew you have, but eventually your grout will be white again.
6. Clean the toilet bowl. Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide into the toilet bowl, let stand for 20 minutes, then scrub clean.
In Your Laundry Room
7. Remove stains from clothing, curtains, and tablecloths. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a pre-treater for stains — just soak the stain for a little while in 3% hydrogen peroxide before tossing into the laundry. You can also add a cup of peroxide to a regular load of whites to boost brightness. It’s a green alternative to bleach, and works just as well.
Anywhere in Your House
8. Brighten dingy floors. Combine half a cup of hydrogen peroxide with one gallon of hot water, then go to town on your flooring. Because it’s so mild, it’s safe for any floor type, and there’s no need to rinse.
9. Clean kids’ toys and play areas. Hydrogen peroxide is a safe cleaner to use around kids, or anyone with respiratory problems, because it’s not a lung irritant. Fill an opaque spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and spray toys, toy boxes, doorknobs, and anything else your kids touch on a regular basis. You could also soak a rag in peroxide to make a wipe.
10. Help out your plants. To ward off fungus, add a little hydrogen peroxide to your spray bottle the next time you’re spritzing plants. Use a 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide added to one gallon of water for your plants.
Beautiful three bedroom, two and a half bath contemporary style home featuring wood laminate flooring through out the kitchen and living area with a breakfast bar and dining area. It has a large laundry room area with plenty of storage that can also double as an office space! Beautiful, large, fenced in backyard with rear access that is perfect for pets and / or children and a shop that will remain with the home! This is a must see! Call to schedule your showing today!
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE HOMEComfortable family home centrally located in heart of moss bluff. Cedar privacy fenced back yard with organic vegetable garden. 2 double carports and a workshop. $219,900
It’s no surprise that we all feel the need to get more sleep. However, for some people who feel tired all the time, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. If the urge to sleep during the day is overwhelming and irresistible, it may be excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).
Roughly 20 percent of Americans have EDS. It is one of the most common complaints people make to a sleep specialist and a symptom that can be seen in a variety of sleep disorders. Being able to recognize the difference between normal sleepiness and EDS is important to your health, but more than 60 percent of Americans find it difficult to do, according to a new survey of 3,000 people conducted by Jazz Pharmaceuticals.
“Occasionally feeling tired is normal,” says Dr. Raj Dasgupta, pulmonary and sleep specialist at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. “People with EDS have a hard time staying awake or alert during the day and may doze off during inappropriate times such as during meals, in the middle of a conversation or even when in a car stopped for a few minutes in traffic.”
EDS is a hallmark symptom of narcolepsy. Not everyone who has EDS has narcolepsy, but everyone who has narcolepsy has EDS. Narcolepsy affects approximately 1 in 2,000 Americans. It is a chronic neurological disorder in which the brain can’t control sleep-wake cycles normally. A narcolepsy diagnosis can be tricky because many disorders, such as depression, insomnia and sleep apnea, have some of the same symptoms. This may be why it is estimated that half of those with narcolepsy are undiagnosed.
Narcolepsy has five major symptoms, but you don’t need to experience them all to have it.
The survey also revealed that a majority of Americans don’t feel they know enough about sleep disorders. Less than 50 percent report being familiar with narcolepsy and only 70 percent report being familiar with sleep apnea. Approximately 60 percent of Americans said that they find it difficult to know when they need to talk to a doctor about daytime sleepiness.
Dasgupta adds, “If you’re having trouble staying awake during the day or experiencing other sleep-related problems, it may be time to talk to your doctor.”
This open floor plan 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath home has an updated large kitchen with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, custom cabinets and new tile flooring, a spacious living area with 14-foot ceilings. This home features a split floor plan, beautiful crown molding throughout, hardwood floors, recess lighting, custom built-ins in the closets and a computer nook. The spacious back patio is perfect for entertaining, complete with a ceiling fan and fenced back yard. The A/C, heating system…
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE HOME
This home feels like a newly built home. Almost everything in the home is only 3 years old and upgraded including the installation, wiring, roofing, air conditioner, floors, sheet rock, water heater and even the appliances. The neighborhood is quiet, with very little traffic making it perfect for jogging, walking dogs and riding bikes. $247,500
We've put together a list of venues and events for your scheduling pleasure.
Children's Museum Easter Activities
Friday, March 30, make a cute rabbit just in time for Easter. Classes begin at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and are limited to 21 children, ages 3 and up. The museum will close at 1:30 for Good Friday.
Saturday, March 31, create a colorful Easter Egg with paint and squeegee in the ArtSpace from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Iowa Women's League
Easter in the Park: 10 a.m. - noon March 31. Free Easter fun featuring Easter Bunny pictures, games, a coloring station, prizes and more. Don't forget your Easter basket! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Easter egg hunt times are: 10:30 a.m. (0-3 years old), 10:45 a.m. (4-6 years old), 11 a.m. (ages 7 and up).
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church Activities:
6 p.m. Thursday, March 29, church service highlighting the apostle's reactions to the crucifixion
10 a.m Sunday, April 1, Easter egg hunt, followed by Easter service at 10:45 a.m.
10:45 a.m. April 8, Easter concert during service
Temple Baptist Church:
10 a.m. - noon March 31. A free family event in Dequincy featuring fun, games, food, an Easter egg hunt, and a special devotion time to hear about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
CM Farms Wool Days & Easter Egg Hunt
March 30th & 31st from 9-2 each day!
Admission: $10 for ages 3 & up
252 CM Farms Rd
Dry Creek, LA 70637
11:00 AM & 1:00 PM Friday and Saturday, there will be old-fashioned Easter egg hunts divided into groups by age (ages 1-4 and 5+). Bring your own basket. Turn in your eggs for a fun treat bag after the hunt! Admission ($10 for ages 3 & up) includes the Easter Egg Hunt & Sheep Shearing Demonstrations
PLUS: Jumping Pillow and Barrel Train rides(unlimited), fun on the farm playground — Dirt Mountain Slide, Sand Pile with diggers, Corn Barn, Tether Ball Courts, Tire Pyramids, photo ops, tour our Historic Farm House and Antique Barn full of farm equipment from days past... The BeeLine (junior zip line…..100 lb weight limit)
BREAKFAST with the EASTER BUNNY from 9:00 am to 11:00 am! Breakfast will include 3 pancakes, sausage & drink or fresh baked Biscuit, sausage & drink for $5.95.
Our farm concession will be open all day with plenty of food and drinks! No outside food or drinks allowed thru the gate. In observance of GOOD FRIDAY, we will be serving FRIED FISH PLATES in the Farm Concession for lunch on Good Friday! The Country Store will be open with Homemade Fudge and Kettle Corn.
Easter Bunny Photos at the Prien Lake Mall
Photo Set Hours:
Friday, March 30th 10AM - 8:30PM
Saturday, March 31st 10AM - 8:30PM
The Easter Bunny will be take a carrot break from 3PM-3:30PM, everyday.
Sam Houston Jones State Park Easter Egg Hunt
March 31, 2018 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Hunt is free, day park use fees apply
Address: 107 Sutherland Rd
Lake Charles, LA 70611
Hunts for 0 – 5-years-old and 6 - 12-year-old.
Make sure you bring your own basket. The hunt is free, day use fees are applicable.
Longleaf Legacy Project from Sasol will have information tables set up.
Bayou Rum Adult Easter Egg Hunt:
Saturday, March 31 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Tickets must be reserved in advance. Head out to the Bayou Rum Distillery in Lacassine for a special adult only Easter egg hunt! Hunt participants will search for eggs filled with candy and Bayou Rum swag items. Be on the lookout for golden eggs for a chance to win a grand prize! Pops and Rockets will be coming along with food trucks.
Castle Real Estate | Exceeding Your Expectations in Real Estate
3/11/2018 0 Comments
Children and teens experience some of the most important moments of their lives at school. It's where they spend two-thirds of their waking hours. Of course, school can be stressful, too - and not just because of pop quizzes and science projects.
"Stress isn't the same for all children, and it impacts every one differently," said Dr. Cheryl S. Al-Mateen, medical director of the Virginia Treatment Center for Children. "In fact, in some cases this stress can even be traumatic. If left unnoticed, it can lead to real mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, self-harm and even substance abuse."
Everyone deserves to feel comfortable talking about mental health - it plays an important role in a child's overall health. Sometimes, however, topics around mental health can feel overwhelming or confusing for parents. Many may find it difficult to spot the difference between traditional school stress and the possibility of potential trauma. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help. As a start, Dr. Al-Mateen has five recommendations to support parents in understanding school issues, helping children cope and tackling potential problems.
* Check in about school. It can be difficult in our go-go-go world, but give your child your undivided attention for 5 to 10 minutes every day. Talk about their friends, teachers and classes. Open yourself to hearing the good and the bad, and ask what they find difficult - like feeling too nervous to talk or being teased for talking too much. These conversations help you identify problems as they arise, teach your child problem-solving skills and reinforce how deeply you care about their wellbeing.
* Strengthen your lines of communication. Your child may be more open about school if you have frequent conversations about other things as well. Talk to them about the little stuff, and they'll be more apt to tell you about the big stuff. Listen without judging, and be ready to engage them in an activity if that makes them more comfortable. Braiding your child's hair, shooting a few baskets in the driveway or working a puzzle can lead to a great conversation.
* Work with your school. If your child is showing signs of stress that concern you, don't be afraid to reach out to their teacher(s) or school principal. Your child's teacher may be able to shed light on what's causing the stress and, if nothing else, can help watch out for your child during the school day.
* Establish a routine at home. Children thrive in stable, consistent environments. Creating a predictable schedule is helpful, if you can, but sometimes that's just not possible. Make a big family calendar and keep it where everyone can access it. This empowers children to know what's coming up and helps provide the solid foundation they crave at home. They'll be better prepared to deal with changes and unexpected situations they may face at school.
* Seek help when you need it. How do you know if your child needs help beyond what you or the school can provide? Look for warning signs. For example, young children may complain about stomachaches and headaches that have no physical explanation. When depressed, a child may say that they're angry, rather than sad, so listen for both - especially when their eating or sleeping patterns also change dramatically, they seem to have low energy or they aren't taking pleasure in things they enjoyed before. These may be signs of a larger problem that needs to be addressed immediately with help from mental health professionals.
The school years are exciting, important times for your children, but they can be tough. Check in with your child daily and don't downplay the stress they may feel. Recognizing potential issues quickly can help prevent larger problems down the road.
2691 E Robinwood Dr,
Castle Real Estate, Inc.
3519 Patrick Street, Suite 255
Lake Charles, LA 70605
(337) 480-6555 Office
(337) 480-6557 Fax