Compliance Spotlight – PPACA

The new healthcare law has brought significant changes and challenges to the health insurance market.  These changes have raised a myriad of questions and concerns for employers.  Over the past year, the rules and regulations have changed as the government wrestled with how to implement the numerous requirements of the law.  Compliance means much more than just offering an affordable health plan for your employees.  The new law affects the layout of your office, the hours your employees work and much more.  The first step in avoiding the penalties and costs imposed by the new law is to find out if your agency is in compliance.  Find out what compliance means and how your current plan stacks up by contacting one of our nonprofit health insurance specialists at 727-522-7777.

Don’t let the summer heat beat you.

how to beat the heatSummer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. Just be careful to stay hydrated. When your body doesn’t have enough water and fluids it needs to function properly, you become dehydrated. This happens when you sweat a lot or have a fever. Your body needs fluids. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that athletes drink 16 ounces of fluids a couple hours before starting practice or exercise. It takes that long for the body to absorb it.

Keep these tips in mind before going out into the heat:

  • Drink 16 ounces of fluids before exercising
  • Avoid coffee before exercising (this is a diuretic)
  • Consider sports drinks (only when sweating for longer than an hour or during an intense activities)
  • Shun the sugars. Avoid sodas, high fructose juices, etc.
  • If possible, plan your exercises during the morning or evening when the sun is not so intense

Symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Thirst
  • No tears
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shock
  • Low to no urine

Summer

sun

We all love summer-the sun, the waves, and the outdoors. While you are outside enjoying the weather, don’t forget to protect yourself and your loved ones from the sun’s harmful rays.  The sun’s rays are strongest between 10:00AM-3PM.  During these times especially, try to limit your exposure to the sun and CHOOSE YOUR COVER:

sun

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US. Over 61,000 people were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin in 2009 and about 9,000 people died from this preventable disease.* The CDC recommends preventive measures such as: wear sunscreen, seek shade, cover up with long sleeve clothing, pants, a wide brim hat, and UVA/UVB protective sunglasses to minimize your chances of getting some form of skin cancer.

Enjoy summer responsibly!

Snack Attack

nuts - healthy snack

Have you ever been at work at 3:00  and all you can think about is “I wonder if there is any Snickers left in the vending machine”. One of the most common questions I get from employees is “What is a healthy snack?”

If you want a healthy, low-calorie snack but don’t want to pay the premium for convenience, here are some healthy snacks you can prepare yourself. You’ll save money, reduce waste, and stay fuller longer with these 100- to 200-calorie ideas that you can portion out yourself. It just takes a little planning on your part. Don’t be caught hungry again!

Smart Snack Alternatives

  • Low-fat cottage cheese (4 oz): 80 calories
  • Raisins (50 or about 1 oz): 85 calories
  • Skim milk latte (8 oz): 85 calories
  • Air-popped popcorn (3 cups or 1 oz): 95 calories
  • Graham crackers (8 small rectangles): 100 calories
  • Thin pretzel sticks (48 sticks or 1 oz): 100 calories
  • Celery (5 pieces) with peanut butter (1 Tbsp): 100 calories
  • Unsweetened applesauce (1 cup): 100 calories
  • An apple (small) with low-fat cheese (2 oz): 150 calories
  • An apple (small) with 1 tbs peanut butter: 175 calories
  • Baby carrots (10) with hummus (1/4 cup): 150 calories
  • Peanuts (a handful or 1 oz): 160 calories
  • Raw almonds (a handful or 1 oz): 165 calories
  • Low-fat yogurt (6 oz): 175 calories (or greek yogurt)
  • Tortilla chips (12 chips or 1 oz) with salsa (1/2 cup): 175 calories
  • Whole wheat Ritz crackers (10 crackers or 1 oz) with peanut butter (1/2 Tbsp): 175 calories

Snack ideas from: www.sparkpeople.com

Be Active, Be Healthy

Instead of investing an hour at the gym, what if you could become more fit with 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there throughout your day? The American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. However, you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 -15 minutes per day.

The best ways to increase your motivation to exercise is to understand the importance of it.

benefits of a healthy lifestyle

 

Everyone can gain the health benefits of physical activity – age, ethnicity, shape or size do not matter.

www.heart.org