Health Insurance Facts and FiguresIt’s amazing to read about the fact companies pay their top CEOs millions of dollars per year but that more than 40 million Americans – and more than 8 million children – can’t afford health insurance and don’t get it through their small business employer.The Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 aims to change this. Some of the new changes include that EVERYONE must have health insurance by 2014 or face penalties from the IRS. Small businesses will also receive large tax breaks and government stipends to help get their employees insured.Here are some more interesting facts about health insurance:Health care costs typically covered by insurance include doctor visits, hospital visits, surgery, advanced procedures, tests, home care, routine and advanced treatments and other services. Typically, the people who qualify for Medicare are those who are 65 years or older, as well as younger people with disabilities and people with permanent kidney failure. Medicaid is for people who are receiving federal government aid. It typically covers hospitalization, doctor’s visits and other types of services. Prescription drugs, chronic illnesses, uninsured patients, and longer life expectancy are adding to the rising cost of health care. Supplemental insurance covers treatments and services that regular health insurance doesn’t.Worker’s compensation covers health care costs for illnesses and injuries that occurred because of a person’s employment.Types of Plans:-Fee-for-Service: Fee-for-service plans allow you to choose the hospital and doctor you want, but you have to pay a monthly premium fee.-Health Maintenance Organizations: HMOs are prepaid health plans that require you to pay a co-payment when you visit a doctor. The plans concentrate on preventative care to keep costs down (the costs involved in treating someone with advanced illnesses are much higher).-Health Savings Accounts: These savings accounts help pay down high deductibles. They often carry over from year to year.-Point of Service Plans: These plans allow you to see doctors who aren’t inside your plan.-Preferred Provider Organizations: Like HMOs, there is a small co-payment for visiting doctors inside your plan. Unlike HMOs, you can see doctors who are outside your plan, but you’ll have to pay more of the bill yourself.-Self-Directed Health Plans: This is a PPO plan combined with a quarterly allowance that you can use for preventative health care. Like a health savings account, the money rolls over to the next year if you don’t use it.Health insurance figures:Millions of Americans are uninsured or under insured because of the soaring costs of health care. The U.S. paid almost $2.5 trillion in health care costs in 2008, and the average health care cost per American is $7,400 per year. Uninsured patients who also don’t pay their medical bills are driving up the cost of health care. Hospitals cover approximately $30 billion every year in unpaid medical bills. There are more than 40 million Americans who live without health insurance every year, and more than 8 million of them are children. Employers pay a premium of about $12,500 per year for insurance for a family of four. Economists predict that health care costs will rise to more than $3 trillion per year during the next decade.People who wait to see a doctor even though they are ill or injured often end up facing higher medical bills. Preventable hospital visits can end up costing those people more than $3,000 on average.
Business travel expenses has to be estimated depending on the type of trip you are undertaking, for instance the duration of the trip will certainly impact the cost of the entire travel. International travel plans will also include special circumstances such as health vaccinations, etc. Before you start on your trip, it is important that you confirm each and every detail of the trip with your manager and in this way you can also research the travel destination before you take off for your trip. In order to get access to the basic information of the visiting place, you can contact your local travel agent or the visitor’s bureau as well.1) The foremost thing to do would be to conduct a thorough research on the place you are traveling to for business. You can get in touch with a local travel agency and can get information about the average cost which is associated with the transportation and sightseeing. The visitor’s bureau will also help you with the necessary information and the international business expenses can also be estimated with the help of an online conversion calculator.2) Make a spreadsheet with the expected expenses to be filled in the columns and you can approximately compute the expenses by the number of days you will be out of station.3) In your spreadsheet, include space for both personal and professional expenses and in this way you can understand what expenses you can account for in the business travel expenditure. In this manner, you can clearly distinguish between your grooming needs such as a purchase of an international adapter for shaving or that of a new adapter for your business laptop. Also, create separate columns for tips and gratuity.4) To understand your costs on fuel, you can make use of the Trip Calculator which will aid you in estimating your fuel expenses while driving in the United States. This tool is a very helpful one and can also be used for other international business travel destinations such as for European trips.5) Before summing up all the expenses, you have to complete all kinds of currency exchange conversions and you can record the results into your spreadsheet. Before submitting the same for reimbursement, please make sure that you have reviewed the data once again and have included all the necessary business travel expenses which you can claim from your company.
You have your ticket, you are packed, and the airport van is picking you up for your next business trip. Leaving Sunday afternoon and returning Friday evening has become routine over the last couple of years. You ran your errands and spent time with the family. You managed a brief workout early Saturday morning so you could attend the kid’s soccer games and birthday parties. Business travel is difficult. Lately you are feeling your clothes tightening around your waste. It has not gotten to the point of buying new clothes, yet. Ask yourself if this sounds familiar. There are more and more business professionals challenged with stressful jobs compounded by stressful travel. Surely, this takes a toll on the family and personal life, but even more important it could be destroying your health. When your health is gone, your family and job is in jeopardy.Health and fitness for traveling business professionals is a serious concern, “But it is also a source of a variety of stresses, often overlooked or denied by both organizations and travelers themselves. The World Bank, studying its own travelers, discovered that both their physical and mental health-care claims were significantly greater than those of nontravelers.” The typical executive travels 3-5 days per week. They eat ninety-five percent of their meals in airports, restaurants, or fast food establishments. They eat late while entertaining clients. Most of them do not exercise on the road even though gyms are available in hotels. In addition, most traveling business professionals do not get the deep sleep they need. Any medical professional, or fitness expert, will tell you this lifestyle is a recipe for disaster.There are several resources offering ways to eat right and workout while traveling. Videos abound on exercises you can use while traveling. Still with all this information available, the vast majority of business travelers fail to eat right and workout on the road. Why is this? The problem is more behavior than access to good food and workout facilities. The solution is more education about fitness, not more facilities, workouts, and supplements. People who understand “why” about anything tend to accept and change more than those who do not take the time to understand a subject. Think about this principal. Continuing education is designed to make you more proficient at your job. The more you know and experience the more valuable you become to your employer. Your self-worth and self-esteem increases. This is true when it comes to fitness. The difference is you are your own boss. Here lies the root cause of the problem. If fitness is not a priority in your life, you have too many irons in the fire, you are stretched thin, and now your travel time takes up twenty percent of your waking hours, then you will put fitness on the back burner. The next thing you know you are twenty-five pounds heavier, your body fat percent is nearing obesity, and you have little energy at the end of the workday. At this point, your doctor informs you that your blood pressure is elevating and recommends blood pressure medicine.A CEO who has all the distractions mentioned earlier recognizes the problem, does not drop everything, and still attacks the specific problem. They would contract a professional, e.g. lawyer, CPA, or consultant to help them filter through all the information and establish a good plan to attack the problem. These professionals allow the CEO to attack the problem while dealing with all the distractions, and still achieve his/her goals. The traveling businessperson should have the same approach to solving their fitness problem. Their professional is a private personal trainer, or fitness consultant.Private personal trainers have the ability to provide you the right amount of information you need at the time you need it without you spending large amounts of time researching nutrition or exercise routines. They have the ability to assess your current fitness level then design a nutritional and exercise program that works for you. In addition, they can continually assess you, and make changes that will allow you to progress. Good private personal trainers have the ability to council behavior as well as design programs. They hold their clients accountable the same way a CEO uses a consultant to help them maintain accountability for a strategy. In most cases, a private personal trainer is more expensive than a gym personal trainer, but offer services that are more customized and personal. They are normally much less expensive than business consultants. You should consider a private personal trainer as an investment not an expense, the same way a CEO considers a consultant as an investment. So if you are traveling how can a private personal trainer help? You sure are not going to pay them to travel with you. The good news is technology helps to solve this problem.Today private personal trainers have a wealth of technology available to them to help resolve the two biggest problems preventing fitness while traveling, i.e. education and accountability. Private personal trainers normally have their own web site. This web site provides the tools necessary to help their traveling client. Let us review a few tools that provide a near personal training experience on the road for a fraction of the cost.
You have access to articles, other web sites, and educational material on your personal trainer’s web site. Your personal trainer can provide information based on your level of fitness. In other words, they provide the right information at the right time. You are not wasting time.
Your personal trainer can provide a private login on their web site that has all your information, e.g. measurements, training schedule, exercise videos, meal programs, etc. This section of their web site is password protected for your privacy. Google documents offer great tools for this type of interface.
Accountability is available with the use of Google’s calendar and SMS notifications. SMS messages are pre-assigned via the Google calendar for clients. They receive alerts on their phone saying to snack, complete a workout, etc. Business travelers have the ability to respond through SMS text messaging, email, or a phone call letting the trainer know what they have eaten, or that they completed their workout routine. If not contacted the trainer will follow-up. This happens no matter where the business travelers, or the trainer, are in the world.
Clients can sign-up on http://www.fitday.com and enroll in their internet service. It is less than $10.00 per month and offers the ability to track and monitor nutrition, activities, journals, and moods. By providing their trainer access, the trainer can track all activity 24/7. This combines nutrition, exercise, and behavior extremely well. This provides the trainer the information needed to council clients through a variety of virtual techniques, e.g. SMS texting, web site response, email, phone call, or SKYPE.
Skype, Google Video Talk, and other video conferencing tools allow clients to schedule times with their trainer in order for the trainer to view the business traveler’s workout. This is convenient if they are working out in a hotel room.
Finally, it is important to meet at least once a week when possible with your personal trainer face-to-face to celebrate your progress, establish new measurements, and set new goals.
This type of professional and private personal training is available to travelers. One company providing this service is Strategy for Fitness(TM). Overcoming a lack of education and accountability will be a big step to improving your fitness level. These services are an investment in your life. You have someone who is interested in your health and wellness and can counsel you on an ongoing basis no matter where you are. Using technology reduces your overall cost for personal training. Accountability is a powerful motivator. Trainers can hold business travelers accountable through advanced technology services. Do not let excuses become a barrier to improving your fitness while you travel. There are no excuses. Espino, C, Sundstrom S, Frick H, Jacobs M, Peters, M, “International Business Travel: impact on families and travelers”. Occupational and Environmental Med Medicine. January 11, 2010 . James Striker, Lennart Dimberg, Bernhard H Liese, “Stress and business travel: Individual, managerial, and corporate concerns”. Journal of Organizational Excellence Vol. 20 Issue 1 pages 3-10. January 11, 2010 todaysengineer.org/2009/Jun/exercise.asp ehow.com/videos-on_66_exercise-traveling.html