) - For the first time in modern history, America's workforce spans four generations. In this new era of multigenerational workers, a "one size fits all" approach to health insurance is a thing of the past.
The generational gap is as varied as it is immense. There are the young-adult Millennials, the middle-aged Gen Xers, Baby Boomers nearing retirement age and the Silent Generation in their 70s and beyond. Each group has vastly different health insurance needs.
Take, for example, Millennials. A recent Bankrate survey shows many prefer health plans with lower deductibles and higher premiums. Meanwhile, Pew Research reports that the Baby Boomer population is hyper-focused on long-term care coverage needs and how best to manage associated costs beyond Medicare.
This workforce shift is unprecedented and poses significant hurdles for businesses as they seek to provide affordable and appropriate health coverage options across employee lifespans. Both large and small group employers are impacted, though companies with 100 or fewer employees are more likely to feel the financial squeeze because there are fewer individuals to spread risk and defray costs.
Juggling vastly different insurance coverage needs can be quite difficult, especially for the more than 28 million small businesses employing nearly half of all U.S. workers. Affordable Care Act legislation adds further complexity as companies assess their group health plan options, or in some cases whether to offer them at all. So, what are employers to do?
In response, many are increasingly turning to private healthcare insurance exchange solutions as an effective answer to meet the diversity of benefit needs from Generation Me to Generation We.
"Private exchanges are marketplaces of health insurance and other related products," according to management consulting group Booz Allen. They offer access to multiple health plans in a single, unified program and are attractive because they enable workers to individually select the right coverage for their current life needs.
The private exchange platform provides an ideal bridge across generational divides. For example, a 22-year-old single female starting her first job out of college will likely want a different plan than the 59-year-old manager with a spouse, three children and plans to retire in the near future.
Employers are moving to these exchanges more quickly than forecasted, according to new data from consulting firm Accenture
. The company estimates that some six million individuals signed up for workplace health coverage through private exchanges in 2014 alone, roughly two times the number expected. It's predicted that private exchange participation will exceed public exchange enrollments by 2018, if not sooner.
Much of this expansion is driven by the combination of health care reform and a workforce that now spans a 50-plus year spectrum.
"At the heart of the solution is access to choice," said Ron Goldstein, president and CEO of CHOICE Administrators
, the nation's leader in developing and administering employee-choice health benefit programs and exchanges for employer groups. The company's exchanges include the country's first and only multicarrier private exchange, CaliforniaChoice
, as well as CaliforniaChoice 51 and Choice Builder, the nation's first ancillary exchange for dental, vision, chiropractic and other benefits.
"Smart business owners are teaming with their broker to identify and select a platform that enables their employees to design plans that best fit their lifecycle needs."
The age of the four-generation workforce has dawned. Owners and small businesses are wise to embrace the private exchange that technology employees have come to rely on, such as online enrollment, as they seek to cost-effectively address the needs of their workforce across all stages of their lives.
For more information about employee-choice health benefit programs and private health insurance exchanges, visit choiceadminexchanges.com.
) - While many patients fear needles -- especially IVs -- a new FDA-cleared device is making for a safer experience.
Consider this: approximately 80 percent of hospital patients receive an IV, and about a third of IV lines fail due to issues within the vein. One improvement that can now impact the patient experience is the ivWatch
The device was created by ivWatch, LLC, a company committed to "aid in the early detection of intravenous (IV)
infiltration and extravasation events," according to its website (www.ivwatch.com
). In layman's terms, IV fluids can inadvertently enter the tissue near an IV insertion site resulting in an infiltration or extravasation. Infiltrations are less-harmful leaks that can cause pain, redness of the skin and swelling. Extravasations are potentially harmful leaks from IV medications like chemotherapy. Infiltrations and extravasations are considered to be medical dosing errors and, in severe cases, may result in tissue necrosis, loss of function, amputation or even death. The ivWatch sensor technology aids clinicians in the early detection of these adverse events.
"It's very rare that you get an opportunity to be involved in something that can have such a huge impact," says Gary Warren, president and CEO of ivWatch, LLC. "IVs are probably the most common medical procedure that's performed and 30 percent of them fail. It's a huge problem."
Darcy Dolemann, MSN, RN, CRNI, VA-BC, clinical manager of the Vascular Access Team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center where clinical trials of the technology have been performed, agrees with Warren's assessment.
"This is really a game-changing technology for infusion therapy and should become the new standard of care," says Dolemann. "The device impacts every unit and almost every patient. For clinicians and patients, this will change the experience."
In development since 2000, the ivWatch technology uses an optical sensor that illuminates tissue near the IV site with visible and near infrared light. The sensor is coupled with a patient monitor that receives the feed from the sensor, processes it, and alerts the clinician if conditions suggest that an infiltration or extravasation has occurred. The benefits, says Warren, are immeasurable, but can include improved nurse productivity, reduction in medication errors and IV restart costs, and most importantly, a safer patient experience.
"Our goal is to be on every IV pole in the country," says Warren. "This issue is so prevalent, and we have a way to fix it."
) - Many people know that seeing a dentist twice a year is a key to keeping teeth clean and healthy. Those regular visits ensure your choppers are cavity-free, and perhaps it's a chance for the dentist to chastise you for not flossing enough. However, you shouldn't simply stop there.
According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published in the Journal of Periodontology, nearly 65 million Americans suffer from gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Symptoms can include red, tender, or bleeding gums; loosening of the teeth; and receding gums. If you experience these symptoms, a trip to a periodontist
-- a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease -- should be added to your twice-yearly dental check-ups.
"Periodontal disease remains a significant public health issue for people of all backgrounds," said Joan Otomo-Corgel, DDS, MPH, president of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and a practicing periodontist in Los Angeles. "However, with the proper treatment and care, periodontal disease is often reversible."
If you suspect that you might require the expert care of a periodontist, here are four things you should know:
* Know the cause. Poor oral hygiene is a major culprit in the development of gum disease. More than 500 different species of bacteria can be found in dental plaque, highlighting the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly.
* Know your risk. There is a genetic component to gum disease, but lifestyle choices also can increase your chances of developing gum disease. Smoking, age, taking certain medications, obesity, poor nutrition and stress may all increase your susceptibility.
* Know where to go. Take the "Gums 101" quiz on perio.org/loveyourgums to evaluate the overall health of your gums, learn the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease and find tips on how to care for your gums. You can also search for a periodontist in your area.
* Know how often to go. The AAP recommends that adults undergo a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year to ensure the health of gums and teeth.
"If a person is found to have periodontal disease, a periodontist can determine the best course of treatment," said Otomo-Corgel.
For more information about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease, visit perio.org.
) - Eating healthy and getting fit seem to be the mantra these days. After all, the First Lady has made childhood obesity a priority with her "Let's Move" campaign. Plus, the diet industry isn't showing any signs of slowing down, with Americans spending more than $60 billion annually, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Despite that, obesity continues to plague the U.S. and remains a serious health concern for the country. Underscoring this point is that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third or 78.6 million U.S. adults are obese, and in 2008, the last year that numbers were reported, obesity cost the U.S. $147 billion in annual medical expenses.
For those looking to lose a little or a lot of weight, choosing between lifestyle products that assist with weight management can seem daunting.
"With so many products that assist in weight management to choose from, it's difficult to know which ones will work," said Simon St. Ledger, managing director of Rapid Nutrition, producer of U.S.-made natural health care supplements that have seen huge success in Australia. "This is why we are so focused on being our customers' first choice for their health and well-being needs, and establishing that there are companies that make choice products."
Rapid Nutrition was established on the back of its proven science-based supplements, SystemLS, that are now being sold in Australia's biggest retailer (Woolworth's) but will soon be available worldwide -- including the U.S.
The best part? All ingredients, according to the company website, are 100 percent natural, organic, gluten-free and designed to support natural weight management. The scientifically formulated SystemLS
includes six products that have undergone stringent testing. The formula is high in fiber, antioxidants, omega 3's, whole-food-based vitamins, probiotics and high-quality whey protein. In addition, SystemLS offers a unique weight-loss-coach phone app to provide ongoing motivation, training and support.
"We are well positioned to help more people tackle the challenge of weight management with a system that works," said St. Ledger.
To learn more about SystemLS products and the phone app, visit www.systemls.com
) - Studies show that a yearly vacation is invaluable for health, with benefits varying from lower stress levels to cardiovascular improvements. Adding to these benefits, many travelers are now combining traditional vacations with wellness-geared getaways.
A panel of experts at the annual International Travel Mart in Cannes, France, predicted that, by 2040, 90 percent of luxury tourism will include some aspect of health and wellness.
The global market size of the wellness tourism industry is growing rapidly -- faster than travel in general -- and is predicted to account for $678.5 billion by 2017, compared with $438.6 billion in 2012, according to Statistica Inc.
Much of this growth can be attributed to the maturation of the baby boomer generation, which is more health-conscious than preceding generations. These travelers look for a vacation that integrates their daily healthful routine with traditional aspects of travel. But it's not just baby boomers who are looking to travel in good health -- the active family travel market is burgeoning and is expected to continue to grow as well.
So, what is wellness travel? The trend covers all aspects of health, including nutritious menu options, spa offerings and fitness activities. Across the globe, tourism professionals are responding to growing demands by introducing whole food, vegetarian and vegan menus, spa packages and active excursions. Hiking, cycling, paddle boarding and kayaking continue to gain popularity.
Tall ship cruise specialist Star Clippers
is one travel company that offers a complete wellness experience. Shoreside the cruise line features complimentary water sports and adventurous shore excursions that include mountain biking and kayaking in some of the most beautiful destinations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
Onboard, guests are invited to participate in yoga on deck under billowing sails on select yoga-themed sailings, and most cruises afford the opportunity to climb the mast for an exhilarating workout. Massages are available on each ship, and flagship Royal Clipper features a full-service spa. Healthy gourmet meal options are available on all three ships in the fleet for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For more information, visit www.starclippers.com
) - (NewsUSA) - It's one of the biggest challenges facing today's workforce -- can I save for retirement? It is made even more difficult with an unpredictable economy and low levels of trust in financial institutions.
So, what's an investor to do?
FinMason (finmason.com), self-proclaimed numbers crunchers and producers of an independent investment analysis tool, may have the answer.
According to FinMason's "Building Bricks," there are three basic steps you can take to sketch out a general retirement plan
* First, calculate how much money you need to retire. To get a rough idea, take the amount of income you would like at retirement, subtract the amount you expect from social security and divide the result by 4 percent. For example, if your total annual income required in retirement is $60,000, subtract other sources of income (Social Security might be about $24,000), which leaves you with $36,000 that your savings needs to produce each year. Divide by .04 and you get a whopping $900,000. This is the amount you need to save in order to retire the way you would like.
Next, think about the minimum amount of income you would need to retire at all, and do the same calculation. This is your minimum retirement goal. The idea is to create a retirement plan where you have a good chance of retiring the way you want if markets go as planned, but still stays above your minimum retirement goal if markets behave poorly.
* Next, determine how much you can set aside each month. The amount you save each month is usually the biggest driver of your ability to ultimately retire. In this way, small sacrifices now will most likely bring big dividends down the road. Not making sacrifices now will likely lead to worse outcomes.
* Lastly, determine your investment risk tolerance. This is another important consideration since it typically drives the investments you choose. One straightforward way to determine your risk tolerance is to use an online retirement calculator that allows you to choose different risk levels and see how that effects your retirement. You want to choose a risk level that gets you as close to your goal as possible without dipping below your minimum retirement amount. It is also helpful if the tool shows you how much you could lose in a stock market crash so you can gauge what a really bad day would feel like.
For more information, visit www.finmason.com
) - Cuando se trata del Día de las Madres, la mayoría de ellas pueden esperar recibir buenos gestos, como un desayuno especial o almuerzo y regalos por parte de su familia. El Día de las Madres es considerado como una de las fiestas más importantes del año para la comunidad hispana. Las madres hispanas suelen ser el ancla de la familia. Ellas toman las riendas en todos los asuntos familiares y del hogar - desde cocinar para toda la familia hasta involucrarse en todas las actividades sociales y escolares de sus hijos.
El Día de las Madres es típicamente uno de los días festivos donde más se entrega regalos en la comunidad hispana. Como una manera de expresar sentimientos de gratitud, respeto y honor, la familia hará un esfuerzo considerable para darle a mamá todo lo que ella desea - desde pequeños electrodomésticos y decoración para el hogar hasta ropa de moda, ropa deportiva, joyería fina y accesorios.
Los comercios nacionales como JCPenney, ofrecen una variedad de opciones para mamá. "Sabemos que las madres son veneradas en la comunidad hispana, es por eso que queremos que la entrega de regalos sea tan simple como sea posible con nuestra plataforma de regalos en línea para el Día de las Madres
en JCPenney.com, como una manera sencilla y efectiva de encontrar una variedad de regalos de calidad a excelentes precios bajos", dice Lyris Leos, director de marketing multicultural de JCPenney. "También estamos alentando a nuestros clientes a que se diviertan homenajeando a mamá dándole todo el crédito al publicar fotos que muestren los estilos que aprendieron de sus madres utilizando los hashtags designados #DeMiMama y #JCPLookbook para tener la oportunidad de aparecer en nuestro sitio de Tumblr, JCPLookbook.com".
Si todavía estás buscando ideas de regalos, solo echa un vistazo a estas fantásticas recomendaciones de JCPenney:
* Para la mamá que le gusta la comodidad. Dale un par de pantuflas Isotoner o Muk Luk, una hermosa y suave bata tipo spa de Liz Claiborne para relajarse en casa o un suave cojín masajeador de espalda del Dr. Scholl.
* Para la mamá elegante. Hazla sentir hermosa con un nuevo collar que tiene un corazón de Love Grows como colgante o una pulsera de plata con diamantes de 14k de oro t.w.
* Para la mamá que es ama de casa. Regálale unas rejillas para copas de Epicureanist para la parte inferior del gabinete o un delicado juego de 16 vajillas JCPenney Home con diseño de encaje de Chantilly para esas cenas dominicales con la familia. O elige un juego personalizado de cuatro copas blancas para vinos.
* Para la mamá que está a la moda. Dale lo más exclusivo con la chaqueta manga larga con diseño a la cintura de Evan-Picone o el vestido estampado floral sin mangas de Worthington.
Para mayor información, visita: http://www.jcpenney.com/gifts
) - When pests are discovered, it may be tempting for homeowners to employ DIY methods to first attempt to deal with pest infestations themselves. However, depending on the type of pest and size of the infestation, there are times when immediately calling in a pest professional
is vital to protecting health and property -- and could end up saving money in the long-run.
According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), there are certain signs homeowners should look for that could indicate the presence of an infestation that should be dealt with promptly by a pest professional:
1. Droppings. Any droppings found in undisturbed areas of the home could indicate the presence of rodents. These droppings are a serious health risk and can spread diseases and contaminate food sources. People often mistakenly believe they only have one or two rodents present in their home; in reality, however, mice have high reproduction rates that can quickly escalate to large infestations.
2. Home Pest Sightings. If pests are spotted in the home, even if it's just a couple or they only appear sporadically, it could indicate the development of a more serious infestation. In the warmer months, this is especially true for stinging insects. If hornets or wasps are showing up indoors on a regular basis, there may be a nest somewhere inside or around the home. Removal of stinging insect nests is a dangerous job that should always be left to the professionals.
3. Mattress Markings. If small reddish brown spots are found on mattresses, upholstery or walls, it could indicate a bed bug infestation -- especially when paired with red, itchy welts, most notably on the legs and arms. These bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, and a pest professional should be called as soon as possible to assess and treat the situation.
4. Mud Tubes. Some termites build distinctive mud tubes that are frequently found near a home's foundation. Termites are known as "silent destroyers" because their constant gnawing can go unnoticed until significant structural damage to the home occurs. If mud tubes are discovered, homeowners should immediately call a pest professional before further structural damage occurs.
If any of these severe pest infestation signs is discovered, homeowners should contact a pest management professional immediately. For additional information and prevention tips, visit www.pestworld.org
) - The move for a "chiropractic first" approach to treating pain just got a big boost.
In recent years, a growing number of experts have argued that the downsides of relying on drugs and invasive spinal surgery were potentially so great in certain cases -- particularly among patients with chronic back pain -- that a proven alternative like chiropractic care should officially be recognized as a serious option. Now comes word that the influential Joint Commission has done just that.
Following what it called "an extensive literature review," the not-for-profit organization, which accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health organizations and programs in the U.S., announced that it was revising its "Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services" standard to "affirm" the role of nonpharmacologic approaches including chiropractic care
in pain management.
"In addition," the commission warned regarding the use of medications, "organizations should consider both the benefits to the patient as well as the risks of dependency, addiction and the abuse of opioids."
Nearly 80 percent of Americans are believed to experience back pain at some point in their lives. Past studies have shown that patients who turned to a chiropractor first had consistently better health outcomes and drastically reduced their odds of having to undergo costly surgery.
"As a nation, we are facing an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, and all stakeholders in health care stand to benefit from a conservative approach focusing on chiropractic first, drugs second and surgery last," said Gerard Clum, D.C., of the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.
To learn more about chiropractic care or to find a chiropractor near your area, visit www.F4CP.org/findadoctor
) - Mom. Just the mention of the word can spark memories of love, warmth and kindness. It's why a day has been designated just for her, honoring all that she's done.
Trying to decipher what to give "the woman who has everything," however, can be a challenge.
Experts agree, saying there is a tremendous amount of pressure to find the perfect gift (I'm talking to you, Hallmark), when in reality, most just want to know that they're cherished.
So, what says love to one of the -- if not the most -- important women in your life? Read on for some ideas on how to create a precious moment for mom on her special day.
* Give the gift of time. Anyone can take mom out for a nice meal -- the restaurant business counts on it. But a real treat might be to shoo her off for some alone time to her favorite book or clothing store (maybe with a gift card in hand) while you stay home and cook and clean for her. This way, she gets the best of both worlds -- no chores for a day, and time to herself with a little pocket money to boot.
* Write down some heartfelt words. Be it in poem, story or a letter, moms love the written word. For added panache, tuck this on a tray with a homemade breakfast (in bed, of course), a handpicked flower in a vase, and you can count on a few tears.
* Pick the perfect pendant. Every woman loves jewelry, but it can be difficult finding that piece that embodies the amount of love you have for this lady called Mom. Which is why Galatea
has created a hand-carved pearl that contains the first near field communication (NFC) in the industry. The Momento Pearl
allows users to create a tailored voice message that can be played when the pearl is tapped against a compatible mobile device. Taking smart jewelry to a completely new level, the Momento Pearl can also store a variety of digital content including images, messages and web links -- so even if you can't be with Mom on her day, you can still send her a message of love or photo with a piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime.
"A person can 'live' with this pearl forever, as it holds the voice and memories of a loved one," says inventor and Galatea founder Chi Huynh. "The real interest in the Momento Pearl lies in its ability to summon a voice, a memory and emotion," adds Huynh, who plans on introducing more NFC-enabled jewelry to include gemstones and diamonds.
The new Galatea line includes earings, rings and pendants in 14k white or yellow gold. To learn more, visit www.galateausa.com