Category Archive

2023 November

What Is Balance Billing?

Balance billing is not a well-known term, but if you may have experienced it, especially if you’ve had a medical emergency and received emergency services.

Simply put, balance billing is when a medical provider sends you a bill for the remainder of an invoice that your insurance provider did not cover. This happens commonly with out-of-network providers – medical providers who are not under any contracts with your insurance provider and who will cost more to see.

For example, say you have an emergency appendectomy. Depending on the situation, you probably don’t have time to research a provider or find out whether everyone involved in your appendectomy is in-network – you’re concerned with getting to the emergency room as fast as you can. If the anesthesiologist, the hospital, or someone else involved with the procedure is out of network, you may receive an unexpected bill in the mail after the procedure.

The good news is that as of 2022, you have some protection against these kinds of bills if you receive emergency care, non-emergency care from out-of-network providers in an in-network facility (e.g., if your theoretical anesthesiologist was out of network even though the hospital itself is in network), or air ambulance services from an out-of-network provider. Click HERE to learn more about what rights you have under the No Surprises Act and HERE to ask questions or get help regarding surprise medical bills.

What is a “surprise medical bill” and what should I know about the No Surprises Act? | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (
Balance billing – Glossary |

¿Qué es la facturación de saldo?

La facturación de saldo no es un término bien conocido, pero puede que la haya experimentado, especialmente si ha tenido una emergencia médica y recibido servicios de emergencia

En pocas palabras, la facturación de saldo es cuando un proveedor médico le envía una factura por el resto de una cuenta que su proveedor de seguro no cubrió. Esto suele ocurrir con los proveedores fuera de la red, es decir, proveedores médicos que no tienen ningún contrato con su proveedor de seguro y con quienes será más costoso atenderse.

Por ejemplo, digamos que tiene una apendicectomía de emergencia. Dependiendo de la situación, probablemente no tenga tiempo de investigar a un proveedor o averiguar si todas las personas involucradas en su apendicectomía están dentro de la red, está preocupado por llegar a la sala de emergencia lo más rápido posible. Si el anestesiólogo, el hospital u otra persona involucrada en el procedimiento está fuera de la red, puede recibir una factura inesperada en el correo después del procedimiento.

La buena noticia es que, desde 2022, tiene cierta protección contra estos tipos de facturas si recibe atención de emergencia, atención no de emergencia de proveedores fuera de la red en un centro dentro de la red (p. ej., si en teoría su anestesiólogo está fuera de la red, incluso si el hospital esté dentro de la red) o los servicios de ambulancia de un proveedor fuera de la red. Haga clic AQUÍ para averiguar más sobre los derechos que tiene en conformidad con la Ley Sin Sorpresas y AQUÍ para hacer preguntas o recibir ayuda sobre las facturas médicas sorpresa.

What is a “surprise medical bill” and what should I know about the No Surprises Act? | Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (
Balance billing – Glossary |

Dementia and Women

Dementia, which affects more than 55 million people worldwide, is far more than just forgetting things.

Causing memory loss, a change in behavior, or even losing the ability to stay alert during conversation, among other things, dementia symptoms become more noticeable with time.

Dementia doesn’t discriminate who it affects, but women are more prone to being diagnosed. According to the Alzheimer’s Research Initiative, a woman’s estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s at age 45 is approximately 1 in 5 compared to 1 in 10 for me. There are a few thoughts on why that is:

  1. Women have been known to live longer than men, and since dementia more frequently attacks those of an older age, women are more likely to be affected by dementia.
  2. Women, who make up two-thirds of those with dementia, are also considered to be more at risk to for the diagnosis due to lifestyle factors, genetic factors, and the lack of research for women.
  3. The hormone estrogen is believed to protect women from poor brain health and the effects of memory loss, like Alzheimer’s. As a woman ages, however, their levels of estrogen decrease, so the protection that estrogen provides also decreases, making women more vulnerable to dementia.
  4. While the ApoE4 gene can be found among all genders, two-thirds of people with Alzheimer’s have the ApoE4 gene. Research is still being done to learn more about this relationship.

Women can lower their chances of being diagnosed by implementing new habits into their everyday lives that encourage a healthier and more active lifestyle. First, squeezing a 30-minute walk into your daily routine, moving your body, and just being active can help stimulate the brain and improve mental health. Secondly, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and maintaining a low blood pressure not only prevent obesity, heart disease, and strokes, it can also be tied to decreasing the risk of dementia. Studies have shown that the “Mediterranean Diet” has also been linked to reducing the chance of dementia. Lastly, simply by being social and having conversations every day can slow the progression of dementia.

What’s coming down the pipeline for dementia research? Some recently approved medications have been found to remove a plaque from the brain that reduces cognitive and functional decline, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. While there is no cure, there are different medications, memory care senior living centers that prioritize the care of elders with dementia, and clinical trials that help researchers learn more about this condition.

Clouds Ahead

If you’ve ever gone to an optometrist, they’ve probably asked you whether your vision is blurry or clouded, or if you ever see double or have eye pain.

These questions help rule out the possibility of cataracts, which occur when proteins break down and cloud up the natural lenses in our eyes. Because cataracts interfere with light passing through our eyes correctly, they can cause multiple vision problems:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Seeing double
  • Sensitivity to light, especially at night
  • A brown or yellow tint to your vision
  • Problems driving at night and more

The most common cause of cataracts is age. Other factors can increase your chances of getting them, such as drinking alcohol and smoking excessively, eye injury, diabetes, and other genetic factors. Another key contributor is UV damage from the sun. This can occur if you’re outside a lot without glasses that block UV rays. Protecting your eyes by wearing sunglasses or regular glasses with UV-blocking tints is one of the best ways to prevent cataracts.

While cataracts are problematic, they can be treated. If your symptoms aren’t too bad or interfering dangerously with your daily life, a stronger contacts or eyeglasses prescription may help. If cataracts are hindering your sight badly, they can be removed surgically in a quick and safe procedure.

Cataracts – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic
What Are Cataracts? – American Academy of Ophthalmology (

Stronger Every Day

Strength training has become a fundamental part of most exercise programs.

In strength training, you use your body weight or equipment (i.e., dumbbells and resistance bands) to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance. Strengthening your muscles helps you perform everyday activities and protect your body from injury. Stronger muscles also lead to a boost in your metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories even when your body is at rest. Strength training can also increase your bone density, which can help protect your bones from osteoporosis.

The main types of strength training include:

  • Muscular hypertrophy: This type of strength training uses moderate-to-heavy weights to stimulate muscle growth.
  • Muscular endurance: This refers to your muscles’ ability to sustain exercise for a period. Training to increase muscular endurance usually involves a high number of repetitions using light weights or body weight.
  • Circuit training: This form of full-body conditioning involves cycling through various exercises with little to no rest between them.
  • Maximum muscular strength: This type of exercise involves low reps (usually 2–6) and heavy weights to improve your overall strength. It’s best reserved for experienced exercisers who have mastered their form.
  • Explosive Power: This training combines power and speed to improve your power output. It’s usually employed among trained athletes to improve their explosive movements.

Starting strength training may feel daunting, but perfecting your form first will ensure you can safely and effectively perform your movements and avoid injury. Once you have mastered the basics, you can add free weights, resistance bands, and machines into your routine. If you need help getting started, hiring a personal trainer can help you reach your goals. If your benefits provider offers a Lifestyle Savings Account, it is likely you can use those funds toward a gym membership and a trainer.