A health farm is a place to go to improve your health through diet and exercise. Many people who attend health farms do not experience symptoms of specific diseases. Instead, they often want to lose weight, cultivate better eating habits, or simply feel their best.
The term "health farm" is sometimes used interchangeably with "medical spa." Depending on the regulations where you live, a medical spa may be required to have a licensed physician or other health professional on the premises at all times. Unlike health farms, which usually focus on diet, fasting and exercise to improve both mind and body, medical spas can provide many other treatments, sometimes including plastic surgery. Both may have a luxury-spa environment complete with massage treatments, mineral baths, beauty treatments, and more.
Many of those who attend health farms suffer from psychological disturbances such as stress, anxiety, addiction, or insomnia. Most health farms have treatments designed to heal both body and mind. If you're considering a retreat at a health farm, here's what to expect when you get there.
Expect an out-of-the-way facility. Many health farms are located in rural areas. Most health farms emphasize serenity in daily living, and a location close to nature and far from the distractions of an urban environment helps bring their patients closer to a serene state of mind. If you're planning a stay at a health farm, don't be surprised to find it's a bit isolated-or to find yourself falling in love with the beautiful scenery.
Expect a religious or philosophical viewpoint from some spas. Many health farms do have a specific religious or philosophical point of view. Not all of them do, however. When choosing a health farm, make sure their particular religious or cultural slant is one that appeals to you.
Expect some fasting. Many patients at health farms begin their stay with a cleansing fast intended to detoxify the body. If you're there to lose weight, you may find yourself on a longer fast. Fasting often involves taking in only certain fluids during the day, usually herbal teas and fruit juices.
Expect a strong emphasis on diet and exercise. A health farm is primarily concerned with improved health through a strictly managed diet and exercise programme. At many health farms, you should also be able to access spa treatments such as massage therapy, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture. However, the emphasis is usually on diet and exercise for improved health and well-being.
Expect a strictly controlled diet. On a health farm, you will probably have a hard time finding caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee. Most do not serve alcohol, although some may serve a limited selection of wines. In addition, depending on the purpose of your visit, you should expect a diet specially designed to help you achieve your nutritional goals.
Expect professional supervision. At a health farm, you will often see licensed nutritionists, exercise and fitness specialists, and massage and acupuncture therapists. In most cases, you will find a homeopath, osteopath, or physician in a supervisory role.
Expect an overnight stay. Most health farms expect you to stay overnight for a certain duration-a few days to a few weeks, depending on your package and your health and fitness goals. Most health farms will tell you that it's difficult to control patients' diet and exercise routine as strictly when they are staying off-site, and that an on-premises stay will ensure you get the most out of your visit.
Expect different packages for different needs. Some health farms have an emphasis on certain types of patients. However, many offer a variety of packages based on your needs-from weight-loss programmes to stress reduction, honeymoon stays to holistic health, and more. A visit to a health farm can be a rigorous exercise-oriented retreat, or it can be a relaxing vacation. It depends on the packages available.
Expect to discuss your options with the resident health professionals. Before choosing a package at a health farm, it can be a good idea to have a conversation with the resident medical staff. They will often be willing to discuss your medical history, fitness goals, and the best programme for you. In many cases, you may be able to design your own package if their pre-existing programmes don't fit your needs.
A health farm can help you change your lifestyle, adopt healthy eating habits, lose weight, detoxify your body, and more. If you're looking for a vacation that will have lasting benefits in your life, health farms are a great option to explore.
All Americans should have the right to save for current and future healthcare expenses with pre-tax dollars. Health Savings Accounts provide some Americans with precisely that opportunity, but it is too limited in its scope to benefit the majority of the US. I love the concept of Health Savings Accounts (HSA), if you're not familiar with them they are savings accounts in which money can be put away for future medical expenses on a pre-tax basis. In order to be eligible for an HSA you must be covered under a qualifying high deductible health insurance plan (HDHP). These are health insurance policies that typically cost less because they require their holders pay a high deductible (typically greater than $1000 annually). Unfortunately, the eligibility requirement to participate in a health savings account precludes the majority of the population from receiving a privilege that should be as basic as saving for one's own retirement.
In a recent response from my Congressman, he suggested I consider using a sister product, the Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Although beneficial, the benefits of an FSA fall short of the benefits in an HSA; primarily because the balance of unused money in an FSA expires annually where an HSA rolls over from year to year. This is a monumental difference. With an HSA I have a means to cover current and future medical expenses which can accumulate to a retirement vehicle which becomes available for any purpose at age 65. The rollover benefit becomes an even greater benefit when you consider the funds in Health Savings Account are eligible to pay the premiums on Cobra. Contributing to an HSA provides financial resources to use should one lose their job. Americans can use their HSA to pay the necessary 102% of their health premiums through COBRA or they may roll the money into a less expensive high deductible health plan (HDHP) with the resources to meet the high deductible.
Let's look at a couple of case studies.
Dick and Jane
Dick and Jane are engaged. Jane has been submitting $2600 into and HSA for the past five years. During that time she has only consumed $1600 in health care costs that means Jane has been able to build up a health nest egg of $11,400. After they are married Dick begins carrying Jane as a dependent on his health care plan which does not qualify as a high deductible health care plan. Under current laws, Jane would be forced to discontinue contributing to her HSA, but it if all Americans were eligible for this savings incentive she wouldn't have that problem. Instead they could increase their contribution $5,150. After a year, Dick may lose his job, but the family has been able to save $16,550. Their healthcare nest egg provides Dick and Jane with additional options. They may select to continue their current coverage through COBRA or they can select an alternate health care option. If COBRA were to cost $400 a month they can utilize their HSA funds. With these funds they would have the means of paying for coverage for 41 months. They could also choose to purchase independent health coverage. Their $16,550 nest egg minimizes their risk on a high deductible healthcare plan. They could conceivable absorb a $10,000 deductible and reduce their monthly payment to about $200, or half the cost of their cobra payment.
Scott and Laura
In the scenario of Scott and Laura, Scott is a severe asthmatic. His condition leads to a hospital stay about once a year costing about $3000. He must also have continuing medication at a monthly cost of $112. Scott and Laura are both on her employer's group health plan. They pay $112/month with a $500 deductible and a 20% coinsurance. Their annual healthcare responsibility is approximately $2610 with insurance or approximately $4340 without insurance. Their insurance saves them approximately $1700 annually from paying full price on their medical care. Their FSA saves them about 20% (their tax bracket) on their prescription charges. Because Scott and Laura will lose the money in the FSA if they don't spend it by the end of the year, they only save the cost of Scott's prescriptions. Now, if Laura loses her job their healthcare future becomes much less secure because Laura's plan was not HSA eligible, they do not any residual savings from their health care expenses nor were they granted guaranteed tax savings from their medical expenses. If they keep the medical insurance they clearly need through COBRA they now need to pay $400/month. These annual premiums total $4000 alone meaning that Scott and Laura only save about $340 a year by having health insurance. This does not include the cost of any of the co pays. Keeping the insurance could increase their medical expenses to about $6000 a year or $550/month at a time when the family income has been reduced. Scott and Laura have a very difficult choice to make in regards to their healthcare. Should they continue with coverage or should they let the family health insurance lapse?
Had they been able to contribute to an HSA, their scenario may have looked a little different. Scott and Laura would still have the same policy but chose to contribute the maximum allowable to their HSA. From the $5150 they withdrew $2610 for healthcare expenses leaving $2540 to accumulate over for the next year. Over the course of 5 years they have accumulated $12700 in the HSA. If Laura loses her job their options look much more promising. They can more easily absorb costs of COBRA and provide for the costs of their existing coverage for their entire 18 month term of eligibility. By making wise decisions in time of plenty, Scott and Laura would be able to prevent financial devastation or public dependence in the future and still provide the means to maintain their health needs. All health consumers should have the option to participate in an HSA and receive the corresponding tax benefits. The opportunity to participate in an HSA should not be tied to a high deductible health insurance plan. As it is written an HDHP with an HSA discriminates against most Americans, namely, consumers whose employers don't offer a qualified high deductible healthcare plan and those who may have regular health needs which require a more generous health plan including young families who may need maternity or well child care.
Ironically, those ineligible to participate are doubly discriminated against. Not only do they lose the opportunity to financially prepare for the future healthcare needs, but it actually results in having higher healthcare costs. Here's how:
1. High deductible health care plans often attract the healthiest segment of society, and when you remove the healthy consumers from the general insurance pool, rates rise to cover the lost revenue and higher payout per consumer.
2. Non participants must pay deductibles and uncovered health care from post tax dollars or they must try to forecast their annual health expenses through a flexible spending account (FSA). If they underestimate, they are again paying for expenses with post-tax dollars and if they overestimate they lose the unspent balance.
3. Individuals who have continuing healthcare needs are at the mercy of their employer for continued coverage. The loss of employment often means the loss of health care and can bring great personal risk and financial hardship.
By eliminating the requirement that an individual have a HDHP plan, you open the door for many more participants. These are people who need to hedge against risk in their health and financial well-being. When you allow people to pay their insurance premiums with their HSA, you grant them a means of planning for their health future, without discriminating based on their health care needs. Nationally, you increase the savings rate, sending more money into banks, and driving down your uninsured among the unemployed. Fewer people are dependent on government healthcare subsidies because they were able to plan during times of plenty. You open a door for increased retirement savings and, by giving people access to their funds when healthcare is needed, you limit some of the draw on government resources because they don't end up on state sponsored plans.
All Americans should have the right to save for current and future healthcare expenses with pre-tax dollars.
For those who don't know, health insurance is simply the coverage of medical claims of an individual, against the medical costs. Like many others you may not be able to afford an expensive insurance policy - but you can eliminate all the frills you don't need and get the low cost health insurance you want and still be adequately covered. Health insurance, as with any kind of insurance today, whether individual, personal, business or family health insurance, is always a gamble. You're gambling that you'll take out more than you are paying in and your health insurance company is gambling they will pay out less.
You want to know what to look for in any type of good insurance. If you have always had a health insurance benefit where you've worked and especially if you were a state or federal employee and now find you have to buy your own, you may not be able to afford the level of coverage you used to have. Finding good low cost health insurance today is easier than most people think.
To start, shopping for free health insurance quotes online is the easiest and best way to find low cost health insurance coverage. If you have any permanent health problems, such as diabetes, or have had cancer at any time in your family history, your monthly cost could easily be more than your house and car payment combined, but there are many different good insurance plans available today in the US.
The cold hard facts are the older you get the more important your health insurance policy becomes; this isn't to say that you should not be concerned about your insurance when you're younger. In case your doctor decides that something is an absolute medical necessity and it's not covered under your current policy, the insurance company may exercise its discretion in paying for it, but don't hold your breath. Many report they were eventually covered yet many more people get turned down.
One of the best ways to find low cost insurance is to get free health insurance quotes online. You can generally get very fast quotes and you want to compare several companies, as they will all have different criteria. This will be the fastest way to find low cost insurance.
Most importantly, you want a health insurance provider or company that has a good track record for paying without fighting you on every little detail. Your local agents may only be able to offer what they have currently available and not be able to offer you what's best for both your pocketbook and your health.
The death rate in any given year for someone without insurance is twenty-five per cent higher than for someone with insurance so you want to make sure you get the best coverage you can get at the lowest cost as soon as possible. Heart-attack victims who don't have insurance are less likely to be able to get angioplasty, which is often the treatment of choice. People who have pneumonia who don't have insurance are less likely to receive initial or follow-up x-rays or necessary consultations.
In general because people who are uninsured are sicker than the rest of us because they can't afford proper medical care, they can't get better jobs, and because they can't get better jobs they can't afford insurance, and because they can't afford insurance they get even sicker.
Although it does increase your risk, one way to lower your insurance costs is to set a higher deductible; if you're in good health you'll like come out ahead, barring an unforeseen event such as an accident, etc. Keeping yourself in better health will help you with less health insurance claims. All the insurance companies have to be very competitive because it's so quick and easy to compare them with the other competing companies online.
Children without any insurance are less likely to receive proper medical attention for serious injuries, for recurrent ear infections, or for asthma for example and you want to avoid having to face a $100,000 open heart surgery without having any insurance.
So taking out insurance with higher deductibles and spending a little time online comparing at least five or more companies will make it more likely that you'll find the best low cost insurance. There are many different health plans so make sure you get an understanding of all the low cost health insurance policies that are available from each company. Cheap or low cost insurance does mean a lower price and in some cases lower quality, but the price may be more important to some than the quality of the health plan. You don't want to pay for more than you need but you want to consider any possible future health events you might encounter too.
Finding good, hopefully cheap, low cost insurance without giving up quality does not simply mean looking for the lowest premium but it means fully understanding all of the costs that will be involved in your policy. And finding the best health insurance is easy to do online, whether you're shopping for long-term or short term health insurance from California, Texas or Florida.
With the rise of medical insurance costs today, most people look for low cost health insurance premiums that will ensure quality medical attention at the time of need, but at a price they can simply afford. Make sure to keep in mind that with low cost insurance options, you'll need to compromise somewhat on the variety of services covered. Proceed surely but carefully.