If pets are part of your family, you schedule regular veterinary visits to ensure the health of your furry friends. Consider additional protective steps you can take during Pet Insurance Month, observed in September.
What is Pet Insurance?
Similar to health insurance for humans, pet insurance helps you pay for the expected and unexpected health care your pet needs. You may choose from a variety of policies.
- Accident – Pay for the treatment of unexpected accidents or injuries like animal bites or poisoning but not illnesses or diseases.
- Accident and Illness – Treat broken bones, ear infections, diabetes, and other accidents, sicknesses, diseases, and pet health changes.
- Routine, Preventative Care or Wellness – Cover annual exams, vaccinations, flea control, and teeth cleaning.
You may also purchase endorsements or riders. They cover specific issues that aren’t included in your regular policy.
Your policy will include limits, too. Choose the annual, lifetime, per condition, or unlimited lifetime limit as you prepare to provide your pet with the best possible care.
Keep in mind that pet insurance includes exclusions based on your pet’s age, breed and hereditary conditions. Your policy could also be denied because of a pre-existing condition, such as a diagnosed illness or disease.
Review your policy carefully to ensure it meets your needs. For example, ensure the policy covers cancer treatment before you schedule the procedure so you’re not surprised by a denied claim after your next vet visit.
How do you use Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance allows you to see the veterinarian of your choice. You’ll pay the veterinarian out-of-pocket and then submit a claim to your pet insurance company. After you pay your deductible and any co-payment, you’ll receive reimbursement as per your policy terms.
How much does Pet Insurance Cost?
Your pet’s age and breed affect your pet insurance costs. Other factors include your location, the type of policy you purchase, the deductible, benefit limit, and reimbursement percentage. Discuss your needs and budget with your insurance agent as you purchase the right coverage for your pet.
Why Would you Purchase Pet Insurance?
Ultrasounds, blood work, dermatology treatment, and other medical and surgical procedures can cost thousands of dollars. With insurance, you can afford the treatment your pet needs. It also allows you to seek medical treatment as soon as possible rather than put off diagnostic or treatment visits. You can and insurance to choose treatment rather than euthanasia for your beloved pet, too.
During Pet Insurance Month, learn how to enhance your pet’s quality of life and give your furry friend the medical treatment it needs and deserves. This valuable product protects your pet and could save its life.
Often these days, you hear about credit reporting agencies or large retailers announcing a significant data breach. Hackers are usually able to access the names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses of millions of consumers, which put their identity and credit at risk.
A credit report freeze is one protective measure that is highly recommended . Every consumer, including you, should understand this protective measure as you protect your data, identity and credit.
What is a Credit Report Freeze?
A credit report freeze allows you to restrict who can access your credit report. When a freeze is in place, only certain professional entities can see your information, and it’s less likely that an identity theft can access your data.
Ways a Credit Report Freeze Affects You
When you place a credit report freeze on your account, it affects you in several ways.
1. It prevents certain entities from accessing your credit report. This includes potential employers, mortgage companies and car dealers.
2. Existing creditors and any debt collection agencies they hire and government agencies responding to a court order or subpoena may continue to access your credit report.
3. You can continue to access your free annual credit report.
4. It does not affect your credit score.
5. You will continue to receive prescreened credit offers for credit or insurance. Call 888-5OPTOUT (888-567-8688) or go online to optoutprescreen.com if you wish to stop receiving these offers.
How to Place a Credit Report Freeze
Contact the three nationwide credit reporting companies to freeze your credit report.
To place a freeze, you must provide your name, birth date, Social Security number, address and other personal information. You will also have to pay a fee. It typically ranges from $5 to $10 but varies based on where you live.
How to Know if Your Credit Report Freeze is Successful
After placing a credit report freeze, you will receive a confirmation letter from the credit reporting company. It includes a unique password or PIN you will need if you ever choose to lift the freeze.
How to Lift a Credit Report Freeze
Your credit report freeze remains in place indefinitely. However, you may want to lift it so you can apply for a job or credit. To do that, simply contact the credit reporting company to request a lift. You will provide your password or PIN, pay a fee that varies by state and indicate if you want a temporary or permanent lift.
A credit report freeze can protect your personal data and identity. Consider monitoring your bank, insurance and credit card statements, though, too, and purchase cyber liability insurance as a further protective measure.
Around 65 million Americans have high cholesterol, a condition that can affect anyone from young kids to senior adults. September is Cholesterol Education Month, and you can improve your health when you understand the definition of cholesterol and the best ways to prevent high cholesterol.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol circulates in your blood and resembles wax or fat. It supports metabolic processes, such as cell membrane stabilization, vitamin D formation, and steroid hormone and bile acid production. It While your body makes cholesterol naturally, it’s also found in food. If you make or consume more cholesterol than your body needs, the excess will accumulate in your arteries and narrow those passageways, which could increase your heart disease and stroke risk.
You have good cholesterol (HDL – high-density lipoprotein), bad cholesterol (LDL – low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides. The lipoproteins carry cholesterol to and from your body’s cells.
- HDL – Removes bad cholesterol as it flows through your bloodstream.
- LDL – Becomes part of the plaque that lines your arteries.
Your cholesterol levels can depend on several factors, including a family history of heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Smoking, alcohol consumption, stress, and your weight can also affect cholesterol levels.
What are Normal Cholesterol Levels?
The ideal cholesterol level is under 170 mg/dL. Your LDL level should be under 110 mg/dL, and your HDL level should be over 35. Aim for a triglyceride level of under 150 mg/dL. While these numbers are confusing, your doctor can explain them and help you achieve healthy levels.
How do you know if you have High Cholesterol?
You might have high cholesterol and not know it. Visit your doctor for a blood test that shows your cholesterol levels. Typically, adults over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol checked every five years. High-risk children should have their cholesterol checked regularly, too.
How is High Cholesterol Treated?
Often, lifestyle changes can reduce your cholesterol levels. Your doctor may recommend exercise and dietary improvements, such as:
- Engage in two hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week.
- Eat more high-fiber food, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Limit the amount of saturated fat and sugar in the foods and beverages you consume.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking and lower your alcohol intake.
- Reduce stress.
Your doctor may prescribe medication, too. Statins reduce the amount of cholesterol your body makes and can lower your bad cholesterol levels.
This month, raise your cholesterol awareness levels. Visit your doctor for a cholesterol check, and discuss the steps you can take to achieve a healthy lifestyle that improves your health now and into the future
If you’re one of the 10 percent of Americans who are left-handed, August 13 is your day to celebrate. It’s also the perfect day to learn how to prevent carpal tunnel and keep your wrists strong and healthy.
What is Carpal Tunnel?
Between your thumb and ring finger, a median nerve controls the majority of your hand’s movement and feeling. The carpal tunnel area surrounds this nerve. If it swells, you’ll experience tingling, numbness, pain and weakness.
Who’s at Risk?
Anyone who performs repetitive tasks could develop carpal tunnel syndrome. So, if you type, play sports or an instrument, sew, assemble products or drive, you’re at risk. Certain health challenges, including inflammatory disease, diabetes, Lyme disease and ganglionic cysts, also increase your risk.
How do you Stop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
While icing your hands can reduce swelling, you’ll also want to limit wrist movement by changing the way you perform repetitive tasks. You can also perform exercises that strengthen your hands and wrists while reducing pain.
1. Hold your arms in front of you and point your fingers toward the ceiling. Hold the pose and count to five, then relax your arms to your sides. Make fists and bend them toward the floor until you count to five. Relax your hands and wrists again before repeating these steps 10 times.
2. Hold your left hand out with your palm facing away from you. Use your right hand to pull your left fingers toward your body. Repeat with the right hand.
3. Place your hands together as if you were praying. Turn your wrists until your fingers point toward the floor. Breathe deeply, hold for 5 seconds, press your palms more firmly against each other and hold until you feel your wrists stretch.
If the pain continues, see your doctor. Your Human Resources manager can verify if the exam, tests and any special equipment are covered as you protect your hands and wrists while celebrating Left-Handers’ Day.
With summer well underway, we thought some lawn mower tips would be helpful. 🙂
- Read the instruction manual. Please. Discover the purpose of all the knobs and whistles on your model, how to operate it properly and safety tips for your lawn mower.
- Fill the tank outside. It’s never a wise idea to fill your mower’s fuel tank inside your garage or in a shed. Combustible fumes could build up and explode.
- Store fuel and oil in marked containers. You don’t want to use the wrong fluids and ruin your mower or have anyone accidentally drink the fluid or serve it to pets.
- Perform maintenance when your mower is turned off and cool. You could be burned if you add fuel to your mower while the engine is running or when it’s hot.
- Don’t use anything with an open flame while you fuel your mower. You don’t want to start a fire.
- Do not start the engine under an enclosure. Toxic fumes could build up and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Stay with the mower when the engine is running. Someone could be injured if your mower rolls down a hill or runs into something or someone while it’s turned on.
- Turn the engine off before making adjustments. If you notice that the grass isn’t getting cut short enough or the engine is skipping, turn the engine off. You can then make adjustments safely.
- Refuse to allow young children to operate the lawn mower, and don’t carry kids as you mow. The machine is simply too dangerous for young children.
- Wear the proper clothes when mowing. Closed shoes and long pants protect your body as you mow your lawn.
- Remove foreign objects from your lawn. Rocks, branches, twigs, toys, hoses and other objects in your lawn could damage your mower’s motor. Plus, objects spit from the mower could travel at a speed of up to 100 miles per hour.
- Don’t allow children or pets in the yard. Even if they’re playing on the other side of the yard from where you’re mowing, it takes only a few seconds for them to cross the yard and enter the path of your mower.
- Train everyone who uses the mower. Be sure everyone who operates the mower knows how to use it properly and follows these safety precautions.
Your lawn mower gives your yard the manicure it needs. Whether you mow several times a week or once a month, follow these safety tips. Consider purchasing homeowner’s insurance, too, as further protection for you and your home.
Summer’s here, and the cheerful sunshine and warmer temperatures make it easier to work out. You don’t want to spend all your free time exercising, though. Maximize every workout this summer to achieve the best results and have more time for other fun seasonal activities.
Wear the Right Clothing
It’s impossible to move properly or want to exercise if you’re wearing the wrong clothing. A moisture-wicking tank top helps you stay cool, and sturdy shoes support your entire body. Wear a hat and sunglasses, too, as you stay comfortable while exercising outdoors.
Schedule your Workouts
You’ll feel more motivated to exercise harder when you’re not worried about heat exposure. Early morning or later evening workouts help you avoid the hottest part of the day.
Also, record your workout plans on your calendar. You’ll stay motivated to keep your exercise appointments when they’re printed on your schedule and you know exactly which activities you will do.
Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Otherwise, your body may be unable to tolerate the summer heat. Ideally, consume half of your body weight in ounces to stay hydrated.
Train with Someone
Ask a friend, co-worker or your kids to join you. You’re more likely to stay motivated to work out every day if you have a buddy encouraging you to keep moving.
Summer workouts can include more than gym machines. Go outside and have fun as you hike, swim or play tennis. For even faster results, do two workouts a day. Choose a gym workout or early morning run, then spend time later in the day engaging in a fun but physically active sport or activity.
Alternate workouts often since you’ll burn more calories when you keep your body guessing. You’re also more likely to stick with your exercise program when you try new movements and activities.
Use the Proper Form
You waste time and energy and increase your injury risk when you squat or run improperly. Learn how to do each activity properly to maximize each workout and improve efficiency.
Listen to your Body
Take a break if you feel dizzy, nauseated or lightheaded. Those are signs that your body needs to rest and hydrate.
Create a Cool Off Plan
Pack an ice towel for your forehead, underarms or neck in case you need to cool down quickly during your workout. You can also plan to walk in an air-conditioned mall or swim to stay cool while exercising.
See your Doctor
Whether you’re new to summer workouts or an experienced exerciser, visit your doctor. Ensure you’re healthy enough for physical activity, and get pointers on how to protect yourself as you maximize your workouts this summer.