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Love and care for your heart

Your heart is the engine of your body. And even though you might think it’s working normally, this major organ requires special care and attention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 600,000 people in the United States die each year from heart disease. The CDC also reports that a quarter of Hispanics have high blood pressure.

There are many types of heart complications, but one of the most common is coronary heart disease.

What is coronary heart disease and what are the causes?

This illness — called atherosclerosis — happens when plaque forms in the artery walls, restricting normal blood flow through the body. This plaque is made up of cholesterol, calcium and other substances.

There are many risks factors causing coronary heart diseases, some related to your lifestyle or medical conditions, including:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Smoking, among others

Health consequences

When a clogged artery restricts your flow of blood, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Chest pains
  • Irregular heartbeat or arrhythmias
  • Heart failure, or even a heart attack

Prevention and treatment

To reduce the risk of getting these or other heart diseases, take your blood pressure every six months and go over the results with your doctor. It’s also a good idea to eat well, exercise and not smoke.

Along with a balanced diet and exercise regimen, your physician may also prescribe medication to treat heart disease. If your condition is more advanced, bypass surgery may be needed to allow the blood to return to its normal flow.

Stay informed

Million Hearts is a national initiative where you can find information about heart disease. It also offers the opportunity to help prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Read this note in Spanish.

Find Breastfeeding Information and Resources

National Breastfeeding Month brings awareness to the health benefits of breastfeeding. Visit the Office on Women’s Health for:

  • Tips on learning how to breastfeed.
  • Solutions to common breastfeeding challenges.
  • Information about returning to work while continuing to breastfeed.
  • And much more!

The Health Care Law requires most health insurance plans to provide breastfeeding equipment and counseling for pregnant and nursing women. Learn about insurance coverage for breast pumps.

Image description: Healthcare.gov is hosting a Google Hangout at 2:30 p.m. EST, today, July 10, with MomsRising.org.
Ask your health insurance questions on Twitter using the hashtag #HCgovHangout, and then at 2:30 p.m. visit www.youtube.com/HealthCareGov to get the answers.

Image description: Healthcare.gov is hosting a Google Hangout at 2:30 p.m. EST, today, July 10, with MomsRising.org.

Ask your health insurance questions on Twitter using the hashtag #HCgovHangout, and then at 2:30 p.m. visit www.youtube.com/HealthCareGov to get the answers.

Get Ready For the New Health Insurance Marketplaces

Health Insurance Marketplaces are a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that can help you get health insurance regardless of income or health history. You can start exploring your options now, enroll in October, and start taking advantage of the benefits of your state Health Insurance Marketplace beginning in January 2014.

People looking for health insurance can shop and compare plans through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as healthcare exchanges. The Health Insurance Marketplace will help you find insurance plans that cover medical services including preventive care, medicines, doctor and hospital visits.

Now is the time to learn about how they work, how to prepare for open enrollment, and what kind of insurance options are available to you right now.

The New Health Insurance Marketplace

Each state will have its own Health Insurance Marketplace, which you can access online (some are already available). The exchanges are designed to help you:

  • Figure out how to compare and get healthcare insurance even if you have a pre-existing condition or chronic health problem
  • Find the insurance plan that fits your budget. Some people might qualify for free or low-cost health insurance
  • Understand the enrollment process in a way that’s easy to read

Enrollment Begins October of 2013

The enrollment process begins October 1. But you can prepare by doing the following:

  • Individuals and families:
  • Get to know the different healthcare plans available in your state if the exchange has already been set up. Specifically, make sure you understand how the deductibles and co-pays work
  • Ask your employer if she plans to offer health insurance
  • Prepare a list of questions about your health coverage
  • Small business owners:
  • Get to know the different healthcare plans available so that you understand the differences in costs and services
  • Set a budget based on how much both you and your employees will spend on health insurance
  • Set a date to begin offering coverage that works best for your business and your employees

Your Insurance Options Now

You don’t have to wait until 2014 to get health coverage. There are several public programs available for families, including Medicare, Medicaid and low-cost insurance programs for children and adults.

HealthCare.gov has a tool to help you find insurance. You just need to answer a few questions about where you live and your current job situation.

I wanted to ask about the Health care. When is it taking place that everyone has to have ins.

Asked by Lee Ann on Facebook.

On January 1, 2014, you must be enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets basic minimum standards. If you aren’t, you may be required to pay an assessment. You won’t have to pay an assessment if you have very low income and coverage is unaffordable to you, or for other reasons including your religious beliefs. You can also apply for a waiver asking not to pay an assessment if you don’t qualify automatically.

View a timeline of the Affordable Care Act, including what’s changing and when.