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2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Drumming up some therapy this November!

For centuries, drum therapy has helped individuals and groups get healthy. November is International Drum Month and the perfect time for you to embrace this beneficial health tool.

Reduce Stress

When you experience chronic stress, you also experience muscle tension, stomach ulcers and other physical health challenges. You deserve a better life. Pick up your drum and reduce stress in just a few minutes. Then, practice drum therapy regularly as part of a stress-free lifestyle.

Lower Anxiety

Panic attacks and anxious thoughts can cripple you. Combat these emotions with drum therapy. It distracts and relaxes you as your anxiety flows through your arms and hands into your instrument.

Manage Pain

Follow your doctor’s advice about pain management, and ask him or her about adding drum therapy, too. It releases endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers. Drums won’t cure the source of your pain, but they will help you feel better.

Improve Mood

Whether you’re angry, sad or lonely, drum therapy turns your mood around. Pound on a drum at home or in a public space and you’ll feel better emotionally.

Increase Immunity

In addition to mental health benefits, drum therapy increases your body’s immunity. Along with regular hand washing, use drums to avoid illness this winter.

Build Friendships 

Good friends improve your attitude, reduce loneliness, inspire you to greatness and add fun to your life. Connect with others in a drum circle, and build your network of positive friends.

Express Yourself

When you have trouble sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings, pull out your drum. Start playing a rhythm that feels right to you. Mix soft, loud, quick and slow beats as you personalize your playing. There’s no right or wrong way as you use this form of self-expression to release your inner voice.

Whether you use a spatula and pan from the kitchen or set up a professional drum set in the garage, add drum therapy to your medical treatment plan during International Drum Month. It provides numerous health benefits that partner with your doctor’s advice and medication to help you stay healthy.

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4 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

How To Meet Your Health Insurance Deductible Before The End Of The Year

As the end of the year approaches, schedule time to review your medical needs. You may want to seek treatment that improves your health and allows you to meet your deductible.

Your health insurance deductible is the amount of money you pay before your insurance kicks in and covers your medical bills. Depending on your health insurance, you may have a low or high deductible that covers every type of medical treatment or applies to specific treatment. Call your insurance company or read your benefits paperwork to verify the deductible you owe. Your deductible will also be listed on your Explanation of Benefits (EOB).

Why Meet Your Annual Deductible

You’ll want to meet your deductible early in the year, if possible. However, it’s not too late to meet your deductible in November or December as you gain several benefits.

First, you’ll maximize your insurance coverage. After you meet your deductible, your insurance benefits will cover additional medical treatment. You pay for insurance and might as well use it.

Second, postponing important medical treatment and preventative care can increase your pain, suffering and treatment expenses. You could end up needing an even more expensive operation or extra therapy and other treatment in the future because you don’t prioritize your health now.

Finally, your deductible may rise if you switch insurance policies in January. In this case, your medical expenses will increase, so utilize your benefits and save money before your coverage switches.

How to Meet Your Deductible

Consider these ways to meet your deductible before the end of the year.

  • Order a 90-day supply of your prescription medicine.

    Spend a bit of extra money now to meet your deductible and ensure you have enough medication to start the new year off right.

  • See an out-of-network doctor.

    Now’s the time to get a second opinion or see a specialist that’s not covered in your insurance network. You’ll pay the total cost of the visit out-of-pocket, but it generally counts toward your deductible. Then, the next step in your treatment could be covered fully by your insurance.

  • Pursue alternative treatment.

    Visit a chiropractor, acupuncturist or other professional that provides alternative treatment for your health concerns. This specialist can help you discover your optimal health and reach your deductible.

  • Get your eyes examined.

    If your health insurance covers eye exams, visit the optometrist. Invest in your eye health, and purchase the new glasses or contact lenses you need.

You will save money and protect your health when you meet your annual deductible before December 31. For more information on your deductible or health benefits, reach out to your insurance agent.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

INSURANCE: THE OLD COLLEGE TRY

4Labor Day is coming soon — which means that you might have children who will be heading off, or back, to college soon. Together with the many lifestyle changes that they (and you) will be making in this time of transition, remember that it’s also important to give your insurance a tune-up.

A recent industry report recommends considering these types of insurance when Johnny or Sally leaves the nest:

  • Auto: Your family coverage will cost less if your student doesn’t take a car. Also, if your child keeps a B average or higher, you might receive a discount.
  • Housing: If the child happens to live in a dormitory, your Homeowners insurance might protect them.
  • Health: Your child is eligible to receive health benefits through your plan — as long as they’re unmarried, remain in school full time, and are younger than 26 (under the Affordable Care Act) Once they exceed this age, you’ll need to obtain coverage for them from your employer.

These are general guidelines, so please consult with us to make sure you have the right protection at the best possible price. Even if your child already is at school, give us a call and we can make adjustments if needed.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Why Riding a Bike to Work is Good for Your Health

Do you live within five miles of your workplace like half of all American workers? If so, the 20-minute ride one way burns 3,000 calories and provides key health benefits you’ll appreciate.

Boost Your Energy

Instead of waking up with coffee, tea or energy drinks, ride your bike. A recent study found that a low to moderately paced bike ride releases endorphins that boost your energy level by up to 20 percent and decrease your fatigue by 65 percent. That’s a big wake up call.

Increase Your Heart’s Health

Ride at a moderate to high intensity speed for 30 minutes at least three times a week, and watch your cholesterol and blood pressure drop in one year. You can easily achieve this goal simply by riding the long way home.
Protect Your Joints

Riding your bike is one low-impact exercise that’s perfect if you have joint conditions or leg, ankle, knee or hip injuries. If your knees aren’t bent at a 25-degree angle on your down pedal stroke, ask your bike shop professional for a saddle adjustment.

Improve Your Mental Health

There’s no denying that work and even daily life can be mentally challenging. Use your bicycling commute to regulate your emotions, combat depression and anxiety, prepare for the day or unwind after the day and improve your overall mental health.

Tone Your Muscles

Want to tone your arms, thighs and calves for summer? Riding a bike tones muscles you didn’t even know you had. The pedaling works your lower body, and you’ll tone your triceps and core by pedaling uphill while standing.

Boost Your Immune System

Exercise and fresh air support a healthy immune system. Plus, your body will be stronger and better able to fight germs inside and outside of the office.

Are you ready to jump on your bike and ride to work? Today and every day, gain healthy benefits and have fun simply by cycling. For additional tips on way to stay healthy, talk to your health insurance agent.

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6 months ago · by · 0 comments

Top 10 Men’s Health Risks

Men are less likely than women to visit the doctor, but men do face several serious health concerns. Learn the top 10 risks as you stay healthy this Father’s Day and all year.

  1. Accidents and Unintentional Injuries
    Men tend to take more risks than women, and that increases their chances of being injured from accidents. Slow down while driving, don’t overestimate your abilities and think before you act as you avoid accidents and unintentional injuries.
  2. Heart Disease
    More than one in three men suffers from a form of cardiovascular disease, according to the America Heart Association. Keep your blood pressure in check, eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get routine physicals as you keep your heart healthy.
  3. Respiratory Diseases
    Smoking, asbestos exposure and environmental toxins can lead to respiratory diseases like emphysema, COPD and lung cancer. Stop smoking, eat a balanced diet and avoid environmental triggers as you reduce your risk.
  4. Liver Disease
    The size of a football, your liver digests food, absorbs nutrients and gets rid of toxins. Protect it from cirrhosis and cancer when you avoid alcohol and smoking.
  5. Diabetes 
    Anxiety, depression and sexual impotence result from high blood sugar. It can also cause nerve and kidney damage, vision problems and heart disease or stroke if it’s not treated. Exercise and eat a nutrition diet to combat this health risk.
  6. Prostate Cancer
    One in six men develops prostate cancer. It’s not aggressive, but gets regular screenings as you protect yourself.
  7. Skin Cancer 
    Men over 50 face a high risk of developing skin cancer. Lower your risk when you wear long sleeves, pants, a hat and sunscreen while working or playing outside, and see your doctor about any suspicious spots.
  8. Flu and Pneumonia
    Flu and pneumonia can affect any man, but it’s more common if you already have a compromised immune system. Get the flu shot and avoid anyone who’s sick as you stay healthy.
  9. Alcohol
    Drinking too much alcohol can lead to chronic illnesses like oral, liver and colon cancer. It also interferes with reproductive health and increases aggressive behavior. Never binge drink, cut down on your alcohol consumption and address any underlying issues like depression that cause you to overindulge.
  10. Depression
    As many as six million men suffer from depression, including suicidal thoughts, reports The National Institute of Mental Health. Stay connected to friends, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and seek professional help if you’re struggling with this health challenge.

This Father’s Day, give your loved ones the gift of health when you address the top 10 health risks for men. Visit your doctor for regular physicals, and discuss ways you can get and stay healthy.

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10 months ago · by · 0 comments

ACA INDIVIDUAL MANDATE PENALTY NO LONGER APPLIES

On Dec. 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law the tax reform bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, after it passed both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

This tax reform bill makes significant changes to the federal tax code. The bill does not impact the majority of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax provisions. However, it does reduce the ACA’s individual shared responsibility (or individual mandate) penalty to zero, effective beginning in 2019.

As a result, beginning in 2019, individuals will no longer be penalized for failing to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage.

?The ACA’s individual mandate penalty no longer applies, beginning in 2019. However, individuals will still need to certify on their 2018 tax return (filed in early 2019) whether they complied with the individual mandate for 2018.

In addition, a failure to obtain acceptable health coverage for 2018 may still result in a penalty for the individual for that year on their 2018 tax return (filed in early 2019).

The Individual Mandate

The ACA’s individual mandate, which took effect in 2014, requires most individuals to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage for themselves and their family members or pay a penalty. The mandate is enforced each year on individual federal tax returns. Starting in 2015, individuals filing a tax return for the previous tax year indicate, by checking a box on their returns, which members of their family (including themselves) had health insurance coverage for the year (or qualified for an exemption from the individual mandate). Based on this information, the IRS then assesses a penalty for each nonexempt family member without coverage.

Effect of the Tax Reform Bill

The tax reform bill reduces the ACA’s individual mandate penalty to zero, effective beginning with the 2019 tax year. This effectively eliminates the individual mandate penalty for the 2019 tax year and beyond. As a result, beginning with the 2019 tax year, individuals will no longer be penalized for failing to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage for themselves and their family members.

Impact on Years Prior to 2019

Although the tax reform bill eliminates the ACA’s individual mandate penalty, this repeal did not take effect until 2019. As a result, individuals were still required to comply with the mandate (or pay a penalty) for 2018. This means that individuals must still certify on their 2018 tax return (filed in early 2019) whether they complied with the individual mandate for 2018. Therefore, taxpayers should indicate on their 2018 tax returns whether they (and everyone in their family):

  • Had health coverage for the year;
  • Qualified for an exemption from the individual mandate; or
  • Will pay an individual mandate penalty.

In addition, a failure to obtain acceptable health coverage for 2018 may still result in a penalty for the individual for that year. Individuals who are liable for a penalty for failing to obtain acceptable health coverage in 2018 will be required to pay that penalty when they file their federal income taxes in 2019. As a result, some individuals may be required to pay the individual mandate penalty in early 2019, based on their noncompliance for the 2018 tax year.

Effect on Other ACA Provisions

Despite the repeal of the individual mandate penalty, employers and individuals must continue to comply with all other ACA provisions. The tax reform bill does not impact any other ACA provisions, including the Cadillac tax on high-cost group health coverage, the PCORI fees and the health insurance providers fee. In addition, the employer shared responsibility (pay or play) rules and related Section 6055 and Section 6056 reporting requirements are still in place.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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