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Monthly Archives May 2012

Outlive Your Term Life Insurance Policy: Drink This

Outlive Your Term Life Insurance Policy: Drink ThisOutliving your term life insurance policy means you’ll need to live a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle means different things to different people. But perhaps the most common element of a healthy lifestyle is a responsible, balanced diet consisting of nourishing and disease fighting foods.

When considering your version of a healthy diet, remember to include some of these delicious, healthful drinks. You’ll find they provide both nourishment for your body now as well as disease fighting benefits to last you a lifetime!



This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, considering you can’t drive 1/4 mile without passing at least one Starbucks. The popularity of coffee has soared, and caffeine may not be the only reason. Coffee has long been considered to provide health benefits, although the research has been somewhat mixed. However, a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests drinking at least one cup of coffee each day can lower your risk of dying from chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Researchers found that men had a 6% lower risk of dying while women showed a 5% lower risk. And while many believe the caffeine found in coffee can adversely affect health, this new study shows no such negative effects on the body.


Red Wine

Most people wouldn’t equate alcohol consumption with good health. But in the case of red wine, that is exactly what researchers are finding. The antioxidants found in red wine are believed to help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and protecting against artery damage. Study results point to flavonoids and polyphenols such as resveratrol as the substances likely to provide the most health benefits, mostly by reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) and preventing damage to blood vessels. Of course, as with most things in life, moderation is the key. Doctors believe the health benefits are greatly diminished after the first or second serving of red wine.


Green Tea

Green tea is believed to potentially fight off cancer and heart disease. This is mostly due to green tea’s powerful antioxidants called catechins. These substances scour the body in search of harmful free radicals that damage DNA and contribute to the development of cancer and heart disease.


Black Tea

Black tea is more popular than green tea in the U.S. It is typically more flavorful than green tea and contains more caffeine. Black tea is also abundant in antioxidants such as flavonoids, and is thus believed to help prevent heart disease by increasing HDL levels and protecting blood vessels.  Polyphenols in black tea also appear to contain cancer fighting properties. Black tea is also full of substances called tannins, which have been shown to be aid digestion and fight gastric and intestinal illnesses.

Combining one or more of these healthful drinks with a sensible diet could be a key factor in improving your overall health. And better health may just help you outlive your term life insurance policy!


 Sources:  Mayo Clinic, WebMD

Insurance Tips for College Students

Term Life Insurance and College StudentsDo college students need insurance? They certainly do, and if you are going to college, you will want to know about the types of insurance you should have and how to save money on policies. Below are some facts that you might find interesting and helpful.

Health Insurance, Yes or No?

Do you need health insurance? It is always beneficial to have some type of health insurance regardless of how healthy you may be. Accidents happen, and even routine care can be expensive. One thing you will need to do is check whether you are covered under your parents’ policy. If you are not yet 31 years of age and are presently attending college, you may very well be covered under Mom and Dad’s policy. If so, then your health insurance concerns are over.

What do you do if you find that you do not have coverage? You should obtain some type of health insurance, even if it is just a basic plan. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it will be beneficial to find a policy that will cover it, although many health insurance policies rule out coverage for pre-existing conditions. If you are healthy, basic coverage should be enough to see you through any health issues that may arise. You will want to check out three or four companies to compare coverage and cost of premiums. Co-pays and deductibles are usually the out-of-pocket costs you will need to deal with, so you will want to put money aside for these expenses.

If you are working while attending college, see if your employer can cover you through the company health insurance plan.

You may also want to find out about student health plans that might be available, providing you with coverage at lower rates. Check with your university and also with various health insurance carriers about this type of coverage.

Auto Insurance is Necessary

If you drive, you need auto insurance. When investing in insurance, consider the type of vehicle you are driving. A newer model car will require extra coverage, such as collision, to offset expenses for repairs should you be involved in an accident. If you are driving an older car that would have a lower Kelley Blue Book value, you may want to drop collision coverage. If your car gets damaged, the insurance company will only pay the Blue Book value of your vehicle minus your deductible.

Every state requires you to have a certain amount of insurance. If money is tight, you will want to have at least the minimum amount of insurance that is necessary. Shop around and invest in an insurance policy that will give you the coverage you need at an affordable rate. School is expensive, so you will want to get a good deal on your auto insurance.


What about Life Insurance?

Term life insuance isn’t an essential for most college students given their young age and lack of responsibilities, and many will choose to save their money and purchase this type of insurance a little later on when they are earning more.  However, there are students who will find term life insurance beneficial, such as those who are married, have a child or are planning on starting a family. Students with a spouse or dependents may choose to take out a life insurance policy so that their loved ones are not left to deal with daunting expenses in the event of their death.

College is an exciting time, but do not let yourself get so caught up in the excitement that you neglect the types of insurance you really should have.

Guest author Jennifer Lewis believes it’s important for students to make sure they have adequate insurance coverage and not to presume they will be covered on their parents’ policy. They may not want to spend money on insurance, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Jennifer writes for a site that has info on undergraduate scholarships for women, including college scholarships for minority women.

Question: Need Lower Costs? Answer: Higher Taxes !

 Kelley recently posted a thoughtful comment on what
Massachusetts has been up to:
Providers that charge prices deemed excessive and that they cannot prove are linked to above-average quality would pay a tax
Additional taxes on
physicians to reduce excessive medical cost? Yeah, that’s gonna work.
IMO, Physicians are getting a bum rap from people who blame
them for rising medical insurance premiums. Yes, rising physician fees are
among the reasons – but that cannot be the main reason.
First the big picture: physician charges, primary and
specialists together, are + / – 30% of total national medical care spending.  (In the employer medical benefit plan I
once managed, physicians’ charges amounted to 37% of our total yearly
cost).  To blame rising premiums on
a single component equal to 30% of the total medical spending is clearly wrong.
It’s true that insurance premiums rise because per capita
medical costs rise.  So the right
question is much broader: Why do medical costs rise?
I believe there are four main reasons:
1.  Aging
Older populations have more chronic conditions that are more
expensive to treat than conditions prevalent in a younger population.  (I assume everyone agrees that a
“Soylent Green” strategy is no solution). 
2.  Impact of
Modern innovations in medical care have generally been more expensive. (I assume everyone also agrees
atorvastatin should remain on the market, along with MRI’s, laser surgery, and the multitude
of examples of modern medical care that have value – not simply cost).
3.  Consumption of a more expensive mix of services year by year
A more expensive mix of services each year means the overall cost of
medical care rises, even if not one physician raised her fees.  I almost never see this factor mentioned. 
It appears this change in mix results
mainly from
(a) growth in the ratio of specialists to total
(b) evolution of more costly medical specialties (e.g., diagnostic radiology), driven by technology 
“downstream” impact on hospitals that must support the new kinds of
treatments including necessary equipment/devices.   
Overinsurance – insurance that reimburses medical expenses virtually in
Medical professionals and institutions whose patients have
their fees paid virtually in full have no incentive to find ways to reduce
them.  And patients
have no reason to care, or ask, if there may be perfectly adequate treatment alternatives that are
less costly.
Are American policy decisions based on correct diagnosis of
the problems we face?  For example,
can anyone demonstrate whether Americans consumed too much care in 2009 or
whether we consumed too little in 1980?  Why has the emergence of newer, super-specialty treatment not
reduced the trend in total cost?  What
is the evidence that the growth in specialist care is producing better outcomes
- even for the same cost? How can medical care be delivered in many other
nations with arguably comparable outcomes to the U.S. but at much less
cost?   And by the way, if
services are paid essentially in full by a third party – private or government,
doesn’t matter – does it make sense to blame physicians for filling in numbers
on what amounts to a blank check provided by the third-party payers?  The answers carry enormous
policy implications.   IMO,
the fees that physicians charge for their services are much less significant
than these answers.  
Yet America has now been committed to specific “reforms”
that don’t appear to consider, much less answer these questions.  Our health policy leaders and pundits
have done a remarkably poor job explaining why.  In any case, I suspect that the answers aren’t to be found
in any legislative body that behaves as though higher taxes are the right answer to every problem.
Original content copyright © InsureBlog

Memorial Day Tribute

AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by
civilization that complains about the noise from the base and its
planes, forgetting that 
was there long before they were…  A certain lieutenant colonel
at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back.  Apparently, an
individual who lives somewhere  near Luke AFB wrote the local
paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day
at the mall. 

that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it must
have stung quite a bit. 

of the day for Luke Air Force Base: 

do we thank for the morning air show?  Last Wednesday, at
precisely 9:11 A.M, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low
pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing  west over Bell Road at
approximately 500 feet.  Imagine our good fortune!  Do the
Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they
trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyn’s early bird special? 

response would be appreciated. 


’A wake-up call from Luke’s jets’ On June 15, at precisely 9:12 
a.m .  , a  perfectly timed four- ship fly by of
F-1 6s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew
over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques.  Capt Fresques was an
Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force
Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day. 

9 a. m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland
Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and
friend.  Based on the letter writer’s recount of the fly by,
and because of the jet noise, I’m sure you didn’t hear the 21-gun
salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of
Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son’s flag on behalf of the
President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen
and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured ..  

four-ship fly by is a display of respect the Air Force gives to
those who give their lives in defense of freedom.  We are
professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15
what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay
their ultimate respects. 

letter writer asks, ’Whom do we thank for the morning air show’? 
The 56th Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your
thanks to the widow and parents of Capt Fresques, and thank them for
you, for it  was in their honor that my pilots flew the most
honorable formation of their  lives. 

2 defining forces have ever offered to die for you….Jesus Christ
and the American Soldier.  One died for your soul, the other
for your freedom. 

Col. Grant L. Rosensteel, Jr. 

Original content copyright © InsureBlog

Life Insurance Shopping: How to find the right one for you

compare life insurance in your areaGone are the days when you need to spend lots of time and effort in shopping for life insurance quotes. Nowadays, there is no need to hear from one insurance agent after another. All it takes to shop for a life insurance is to go online at your convenience and compare the top insurance companies in your area.

The first step to shopping for life insurance the right way is to visit an insurance comparison website. This way you get to see not only to one, but dozens of insurance companies operating in your area. It’s as simple as supplying your ZIP code and a few relevant information and you get instant access to top providers.

Next is to tap into the resource center of these life insurance quotes service providers. Life insurance policies differ from one state to another. A life insurance in Texas is different from those offered in Arizona, for example. There are no generic life insurance resources. The information you get need to be localized if you are to get the right insurance for yourself.

Digesting the life insurance information you get can be done at your convenience. Because you are shopping online for life insurance, you are not hard pressed to make a decision immediately. You can take your time and do your due diligence carefully.

After learning as much you can about the life insurance you need, you can now proceed with collecting quotes. Compare what various life insurance providers in your area have to offer. You do this in a single website, while you sit in front of a computer. It couldn’t get any easier than that.


Compare Life Insurance Quotes in your area.

Is Life Insurance in California Less Expensive for Women?

Is life insurance in California less expensive for women?

The short answer is: No. Both men and women are supposed to pay the same premiumfor the same life insurance in California. But women tend to pay less than men do, a recent study reveals. The secret? Women shop better than men.

Life insurance in California is more or less the same across different providers. This is because insurance prices are heavily regulated at the state level. Yet, some people get better rates for their life insurance than other people. They get better deals and are likely to pay less and get more from their life insurance policies.

In insurance as in most consumer products, men are traditionally not inclined to shop. They are more likely to default to their favorite service provider. When looking for a California life insurance, they do not shop around and end up getting something not as good and lacking added value as those who do shop get.

One way that shopping for a life insurance can make people save money is when they get the insurance policy that is tailor-fitted for them. A policy that is right for a person makes sure that the insurance covers most of the things that a person would need. This significantly reduces other costs that are contingent to every insurance policy.

Although it remains hard for Californians to find the right life insurance policy for them, this shouldn’t be the case. Shopping is the first step to finding the best. When looking for life insurance, a person may do so with just a little time and without much hassle. The top California life insurance providers can be found online and comparing them is just as easy as visiting an insurance comparison website.

Get the best Life Insurance advice in California!

Guest Post: Allergy Questions with Dr Patrick Mahaney

As we continue with our focus on allergies this month at Embrace Pet Insurance, I chat with Dr Patrick Mahaney about allergies and your questions for him on the topic.

Carl: Our dog, Sammy, licks and chews his feet regularly and occasionally has bacterial sores on his belly. We’ve given him Benadryl for the licking and chewing and Vet prescribed antibiotic for the sores. We’ve been told he has allergies. We keep treating these issues but they keep reoccurring. How would we find out what allergies he has?

Caroline:  At what stage do you suspect a yeast infection over allergies, because aren’t the symptoms very similar?

Linda: What would cause a 5 year old lab to suddenly develop allergies and how do you determine
what he is allergic to?

Laura: are there certain types of dogs and cats that are more prone to allergies?

The answers to these questions and more are discussed in the audio below

Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney Allergies Q&A

The omega-3 fatty acid supplement mentioned is made by Nordic Naturals. Do you have more questions on allergies for Dr Patrick? Post in the comments and I’ll get some answers for you.

Related Posts:
May is Allergy Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: top 4 signs of pet allergies
Claim Example: Pugsley the Bulldog with allergies
Claim example: a rather expensive Labrador
Guest Post: Allergy Questions with Dr Patrick Mahaney

Other posts by Dr Patrick Mahaney


Dr Patrick Mahaney Dr. Mahaney is a veterinarian from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, having been inspired by his own chronic pain from Intervertebral Disc Disease to provide accupuncture to his veterinary clients. In addition to Dr Mahaney’s house call integrative veterinary medicine business, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, he sees patients on an in-clinic basis at Veterinary Cancer Group in Culver City, CA.

Dr Mahaney writes a veterinary column (Patrick’s Blog) for and contributes to a variety of media, including Perez Hilton’s, Fido Friendly, Veterinary Practice News, Healthy Pets and People with Dr Patrick on, and MSNBC Sunday with Alex Witt and Career Day. His first book, The Uncomfortable Vet, will be available in 2012 through Havenhurst Books.

Importance of Sleep

Term Life Insurance and SleepSleep is essential for a person’s health and wellbeing. Sleep is a significant health concern and just as important as nutrition, exercise and stress management. Unfortunately, more and more people find it necessary to cut back on their sleep. Below are some of the consequences sleep deprivation can have on your health and quality of life.


Sleep and Your Brain

Your brain uses sleep to rest and rejuvenate. Scientific studies have found that the brain uses the down time of sleep to categorize the information it has learned during the day. This means that those who do not get enough sleep may find themselves having more memory problems than those you do get enough. Be sure to get plenty of shut eye for a healthy brain and a sharp memory.


Sleep and Your Heart

Researchers have found that poor sleep can increase your chances of heart attack.  Lack of sleep increases your blood pressure as well as the instance of atherosclerosis,  or plaque build-up in your arteries. On top of that, lack of sleep increases the proteins that reflect active inflammation, which can also cause heart problems. If you want better health, especially for your heart, it is vital to consider your sleep habits.


Sleep and Weight

Your weight can also be impacted by your sleep habits. Research has found that lack of sleep can cause hormonal changes that can result in weight gain. Lack of sleep contributes to rises in a stress hormones cortisol, leptin and ghrelin which are thought to be linked to cravings. If you want to improve your health, increasing the amount of sleep you get can actually help you lose weight.


Sleep and Mood

You probably already know that lack of sleep can result in a bad mood. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you are more likely to have mood swings and even increase your chances of developing depression. Sleep can help you relax and recharge. Lack of sleep can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels, which come with their own set of health problems, including higher blood pressure and can even contribute to heart attack and stroke.


Sleep Disorders

There are a number of sleep disorders that can contribute to a lack of sleep and affect your health. The sleep disorder getting the most attention, however, is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the airway is closed off during sleep. This results in small episodes of of holding one’s breath throughout the night. These brief episodes are often unnoticed by the affected and he or she wakes in the morning unsure of why they still feel tired. Sleep apnea has been linked to heart disease, obesity, hypertension and memory function problems. If you think you may have a sleeping disorder you should see a sleep specialist right away.


From the brain to the heart to everywhere in between, sleep has a very real effect on your health. So, while diet and exercise are important, don’t forget to make sure that you are getting enough sleep as well. If you feel you are not getting enough rest, try to pinpoint your sleeping problems and work out a course of treatment that can help you get better sleep, lead a healthier life and save you money on your term life insurance policy.

Are High Heels Bad For Your Health?

Term Life Insurance and High HeelsIf you think about it, it makes sense that high heels might not be so great for you. Your body lets you know just how it feels about them after a long day spent inches above the ground. But many of us ignore our body’s cry out for help in the name of fashion. Heels are just so darn cute. Well, it turns out its more than just sore feet and legs we have to worry about. Your high heels may be causing your body permanent damage.



A high heel shoe puts your foot in a plantarflexed (foot pointed downward) position, placing an increased amount of pressure on your forefoot. High heels may make your legs look longer but as the heel height increases, so does the pressure on the forefoot. The increased pressure is what causes your foot to ache at the end of the day. It can also cause foot deformities such as hammer toes, bunions and neuromas. The plantarflexion position also causes the foot to turn to the outside which changes the line of pull of the achilles tendon and is the cause of Haglund’s deformity, or more commonly called the pump bump.



The increased pressure on the front of your foot from heels also causes you to adjust the rest of your body to maintain your balance. The lower part of your body leans forward your upper body compensates by leaning back to keep you balanced. This changes the normal s-curve shape of the back which normally acts as a shock absorber and reduces stress on the vertebrae. Wearing high heels causes the lower spine to flatten and the mid spine to move in backwards. In other words, heels mess up your entire alignment, which leads to muscle overuse and back pain.



Walking in high heel shoes is like walking on a balance beam. It takes a lot of balance and there is not any support in a high heel shoe to catch you if you fall. High heel shoes cause your foot and ankle to move into an outward position which puts you at risk for losing your balance and spraining your ankles. High heels limit the motion and power of the ankle joint and shorten the calf muscles and achilles tendon. This can increase the pull of the achilles tendon where it attaches on the back of your heel bone and may cause a condition called insertional achilles tendonitis.



Walking in the plantarflexed position also makes it difficult to push off the ground with as much force as you would without heels. This forces your hip flexor muscles in your legs to work harder because now they are pulling rather than pushing your body forward. If your hip flexor muscles are chronically overused, the muscles can shorten and a contracture can occur. Your knees are also greatly affected as they remain flexed and forward when in heels which makes your knees work harder and your shin turn inward. It’s no coincidence that knee osteoarthritis is twice as common in women.


Sure heels look great and are an excellent fashion accessory. But at what cost? High heels can permanently change the way you walk and put you at greater risk of strain injuries. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. Remove the heels and keep those joints, tendons and muscles working well after you’ve outlived your term life insurance policy.

Health Insurance Rates Drop 60%

Health care reform will result in lower health insurance rates, up to 60% lower than current rates. Yes, health care reform seems to be working . . . for those who live in Maine.  

Falling health insurance rates due to health care reform is the lead in of a post at The Maine Wire.

PL 90, the free market based health reform law, was passed last March by a Republican majority in Maine’s legislature. Governor Paul LePage signed the bill in a ceremony at the statehouse amid cries from Democrats that it wasn’t right for Maine.

Well that’s a twist.

Republican health care reform but Democrat’s protest the move.
The law has resulted in a drop in rates for small group plans but individual rates are expected to drop as much as 60% . . . for some age groups . . .

Maine has two provisions on the books that make health insurance premiums unaffordable for most folks. Community rating and guaranteed issue, two things that are cornerstones of Obamacare, drive premium rates through the roof.

Community rating means essentially everyone pays the same rate, regardless of age or gender. Guaranteed issue means anyone can buy coverage, regardless of their health or existing medical conditions.

In the parlance of Obamacrap, “Insurance companies can no longer discriminate against you because you have a pre-existing condition”.

The flip side of that argument is, “Insurance companies will be allowed to charge significantly higher premiums to those who are healthy to pay for the claims of those who have expensive medical conditions”.

That is analogous to auto insurance carriers charging drivers with perfect records the same rate as one who has had multiple DUI’s and speeding violations. Or banks imposing much higher interest rates to the most creditworthy so they can also extend credit to those with severely damaged credit.

PL 90, the health reform law that Republicans guided through the legislature despite passionate opposition from Democrats, expanded the “rate bands” to allow a wider variation in cost between different aged applicants. In the past, insurance companies had to treat a 21-year-old and 55-year-old as basically the same. The new law allows for distinction in age groups. 

Once the new rates are approved, a 21 year old will pay $215 per month for a plan with a $2,000 deductible. Before health care reform, that person would pay $448 per month.

The rates are still high, mostly because the guaranteed issue provisions remain in play, but are much more affordable. A healthy 21 year old in Atlanta, Georgia could buy a comparable plan from Cigna for $98 per month.

So the Obamacrap-like guaranteed issue provisions mean healthy people will still pay double the normal premium so everyone can have health insurance.
Seems fair, right?

“Getting more young people into the market is a major plus for all Mainers and was a primary goal of the law,” Allumbaugh notes. “As this happens, the claims experience tends to improve and it can lower the rates even further for all age groups,” Allumbaugh said.“This is precisely the impact the health reform law aimed for, lowering rates generally, but in a way that helps our insurance markets reverse the death spiral and begin to grow.”

Death spiral. Now that’s a word you don’t hear every day.

Hyper-regulation by the Maine Department of Insurance has resulted in most health insurance carriers leaving the state. Anthem Blue Cross controls most of the health insurance market in Maine. Less competition, higher rates.

The same thing we will have in 2014 when Obamacrap is in play.

How is this health care reform idea working for you?

About as well as hope and change.

Original content copyright © InsureBlog