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ABC’s of Food Choices to Manage Diabetes

ABC’s of Food Choices to Manage Diabetes

Diabetes is a long-term disease that decreases that production of insulin, a hormone that transports energy broken down from glucose or sugar into different body parts. This disease can cause serious complications like heart or kidney failure, stroke, blindness, and amputations. It is highly recommended for diabetic patients to have a solid health insurance provider that will give them access to the best medical services without having to worry of the costs.
Health professionals also advise diabetic patients to manage their health condition by switching to a low-calorie and low-sugar diet along with a daily exercise to avoid sudden increase or decrease in blood sugar levels. The good news is, there is still a long list of nutritious and delicious food readily available in the market. Plus, these foods also help in reducing the risk of complications linked to diabetes. Here are the ABC’s of food choices strongly recommend for diabetics.

Apples, Asparagus, Avocados

Apples, asparagus and avocados are low in carbohydrates and rich in antioxidants and folate, so daily consumption of these would not be a problem. You can have apples as a light snack in the morning or afternoon or you may add asparagus to your daily meals. Avocados are also perfect for salads.

Beans, Blueberries, Broccoli

Rich in fiber and offers numerous benefits, beans, blueberries and broccoli provide you with vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body. Beans are cheapest source of protein while blueberries contain antioxidants. On the other hand, broccoli is a low-calorie superfood rich in vitamins A and C, folate.

One smart grocery tip is to choose dry beans or canned beans with low-sodium content. It is also a good idea to cook broccoli in low heat to retain its vitamins; the color of the broccoli must be bright green and the stem must be barely tender. For blueberries, you can enjoy it fresh during its season in May until October, or you can opt for frozen berries and grab them anytime.

Carrots, Cinnamon, Cranberries

These are rich in antioxidants and help lower bad cholesterol. Carrots are also known to be good sources of beta-carotene which promotes well-function of the immune system and good vision. Carrots can be garnished in fishes and other meals. You may also eat them raw and add a low-calorie dressing..

Cinnamon is a natural spice which is commonly used for cooking. This type of spice also contains chromium, an essential mineral to enhance effects of insulin in the body. You may add these to soups or breads for an enhanced flavor.

Cranberries on the other hand contains phytonutrients that prevent urinary tract infections. These seasonal fruits are available from October to December, so you may want to pack them in freezer bags for longer shelf life.
With a variety healthy food choices available in the market, you can help fight Diabetes or control your blood sugar. Preparing these fruits and vegetables are also easy and you can add them to almost any recipe for breads and pastries.

Managing diabetes is never easy. Having a family member with diabetes may cause a financial strain especially if the patient has no health insurance policy. You can contact a health insurance agency now to sign up for a plan, call 704-527-4220 today.

Should You Get Your Cough Checked Out?

Should You Get Your Cough Checked Out?

Coughing is a natural and common response that the body uses to keep the lungs and airways clear for breathing. Many different factors can cause you to cough, so it can be difficult to figure out what’s behind a recently developed cough. Some coughs are harmless, but others can be a sign of serious illness. It can be helpful to have some guidelines to assist you with figuring out when to seek medical assistance for a cough.

Is the Cough Severe?

All coughs can be annoying, but some can actually interfere with your life or signify that you should seek help quickly. If your cough is accompanied by a wheeze or if you feel like you can’t catch your breath, it could be a sign of asthma or a serious respiratory condition. In either case, delaying a trip to the doctor could put you in danger.

Has It Been More Than Two Weeks?

Although some coughs that last more than two weeks aren’t a sign of something serious, an enduring cough can be a sign that medical intervention is necessary to pinpoint the ailment and work to treat it. A cough caused by allergies, for example, will continue until allergy medicine is taken. A physician can perform tests to diagnose the cause of the cough and prescribe treatments to clear it up.

Is It Productive?

If your cough is productive, it can tell you a bit more about whether or not you should see a doctor. Clear mucous usually indicates a cold or allergies. Yellow or green mucous can be a sign of a bacterial infection that will need to be treated with antibiotics. Pink or red tinged mucous may be a sign of aggravation caused by bronchitis, but it could also be a sign of cancer, so it’s important to seek a professional diagnosis.

Does It Start When You Lay Down?

If a cough starts when you lay down or immediately after you eat a meal, it could be a sign of heartburn or acid reflux. The coughing can be caused by acid traveling back up to the esophagus. If you cough regularly after meals or when you lie down, speak to a doctor, as the regular exposure of the esophagus to stomach acids could lead to issues.

Are There Other Symptoms?

A sore throat, congestion, and chills often accompany coughs whether they are caused by a cold, flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia. However, the presence of a fever in addition to these symptoms can help you determine that a cough is caused by pneumonia as opposed to less severe ailments, so it should be checked out. A cough without other symptoms may be caused by smoking or certain medications.

Do You Have Health Insurance?

Insurance will make it less expensive for you to get your cough checked out and treated properly, no matter what the cause. This can help to alleviate worries about the cough and get you breathing comfortably as soon as possible. If you don’t have health insurance, call 704-527-4220 today to work with an expert that can help you find a plan that’s right for you and your health needs.

Employers’ Solutions to Rising Healthcare Costs

Employers’ Solutions to Rising Healthcare Costs

The Boeing Company has decided to pool employees from three locations, Charleston, South Carolina; St. Louis, Missouri; and Seattle, Washington to continue to provide quality healthcare options for its employees. This initiative started not as a cost-cutting measure, rather a way to stop healthcare cost increases. Boeing proactively pursued healthcare systems that would provide their employees premium services without costing them more than their previous provider plans.

Narrower Network Provides Lower Costs to Employees

This narrow-network plan requires workers seek primary care from a limited selection of doctors, laboratories, and hospitals. In return, employees will see a decrease in their premiums, pay nothing for generic drugs, and have zero costs for primary-care office visits. This isn’t a health insurance plan being forced onto them, but an added option amongst their current healthcare provider plans.

Boeing Negotiates Healthcare Plans for Employees Directly

Companies tend to hire consultants to broker healthcare plans and prices for their employees. Bucking business trends and previous company policy, Boeing negotiated directly with providers in the three cities that their employees are located. Mercy met their needs in St. Louis, Providence-Swedish Health Alliance in Seattle, and Roper St. Francis Health Alliance for the Charleston area.

Boeing’s Large Employee Base Provides Leverage with Healthcare Systems

Due in part to Boeing’s market share and value as a business, healthcare systems see the need in winning their business. With over 25,000 employees in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas, expect to see Boeing commit to narrow-network options for their workforce there as well. They have the incentive of cost-cutting while maintaining their employees satisfaction through various methods of measurement.

Healthcare Plans Are Important to Labor Organizations

In many union shops healthcare benefits are critical to labor negotiations. Due to this bureaucratic process only non-union workers have been given access to these new narrow-network plans. As a result of trying to find equal trade-offs for their workers, unions have hired their own consultants to explore alternatives that don’t compromise access to healthcare providers.

Cutting Costs While Still Providing Quality Healthcare

Boeing has shown that employers can negotiate directly with healthcare systems to provide lower costs to themselves while still providing exceptional options for their employees. The current estimate is that 2% of businesses directly negotiate, with that expected to increase to 10% by the end of 2016. The fiscal bottom line for every company is written in stone, greater costs means fewer full-time employees, so seeing a larger corporation proactively pursue a means to rein in costs without compromising quality is a positive.

Contact the Blue Store today so we can provide you with the best healthcare options in the Charlotte area!

California and Washington Continue with Record Enrollments

Special Enrollment Periods

Insurance marketplaces in states like California and Washington have been making headlines recently as they continue to outperform the federal marketplace in coverage provided by portals such as These performances have shown that states are effectively reaching and exceeding federal standards more successfully than federal programs.

California and Washington specifically have provided policies for approximately 50 percent of the amount of people who have been covered by the federal marketplace which services most of the nation. These signups apply for the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) which began when the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) closed in February 2015.

Healthcare Marketplaces

Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or “Obamacare,” all citizens must have access to public healthcare options and must be insured by a certain deadline or face a fine. People looking to purchase insurance that meets government standards for federal programs and benefits must purchase insurance through a designated marketplace.

One such marketplace is the website, which has been criticized as being difficult to navigate and unintelligible. By introducing their own marketplaces and raising awareness through advertising, the states of California and Washington signed up record amounts of people during their Special Enrollment Periods.

Enrollment Periods

In order to ensure that all people are adequately covered, those seeking to purchase insurance from a marketplace must do so within a certain timeframe. This timeframe usually runs from the end of the year to the first few months of the new year and counts for that new year. There are two distinct types of enrollment periods. They are known as an Open Enrollment Period (OEP) and a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

Open Enrollment Period

The OEP is a window in which people looking to purchase insurance from federally-approved marketplaces may purchase their coverage without incurring a fee. The OEP typically lasts from November to February, which is when it ended in 2015. However, since the laws have only recently taken effect and this is a new system, there is a grace period after the OEP has closed in which people are allowed to purchase coverage from a marketplace.

Special Enrollment Period

The SEP is a window in which people looking to purchase insurance from federally-approved marketplaces may purchase their coverage if they have missed the OEP. In some cases, a fee may still apply. Recently, the fee has been waived or is based upon an honor system. It is likely that SEPs will be less forgiving in the future but these new proceedings are still in their infancy. The SEP for 2015 ends in April. In cases that involve a change in life circumstances such as marriage or pregnancy, SEPs are typically offered with no fee.