Tag Archive for: stay healthy

Spring is in the air. This means it’s time to spring clean not only your home but also your healthy habits. By focusing on simple ways to improve your health, you are setting yourself up to take advantage of lifelong health benefits. Implementing healthy habits is simpler than you’d think. 

Use Your Health Plan to Your Advantage 

Your health plan is a resource to be used to your advantage. Using your plan helps you stay healthy, and find any potential chronic illnesses before they become dangerous. 

Basic health insurance plans, like Minimum Essential Coverage plans, include ACA-compliant services that cover wellness, preventative services, prescription discounts, and telehealth services.  

How can you use your health insurance to spring clean your health? 

First, visit your primary care provider. Plans offer coverage for an annual checkup with your primary care physician. This annual checkup helps keep you and your healthcare team ahead of potential chronic illnesses by catching a diagnosis early. This visit allows your provider to consistently monitor your health year after year. Anything found during this visit can be addressed and monitored before it becomes more serious. 

Next, use your plan to cover routine vaccinations. They protect your body and keep you strong against viral and bacterial illnesses. It helps you reduce the risk of contracting disease or spreading disease. 

Your health plan may offer prescription discounts that make medication more affordable. If your healthcare provider prescribes a medication, stay healthy by taking your medication as directed, and save money in the process.  

Lab work and screenings act similarly to your annual physical. If the lab work or screenings flag your doctor of potential illness, catching it early can help you stay healthy, longer. 

Use Telemedicine Services

Telemedicine supports your health by providing you with cost-effective access to your medical resources. Oftentimes, telehealth copays are less expensive than an office co-pay. 

Use telehealth as an opportunity to speak with your health care team regarding:

  • Medical test results 
  • Lifestyle coaching 
  • Health coaching 
  • Consultation visits 
  • Medication management 
  • Chronic disease management 


Patients receive the same quality of care with telehealth visits as they do in a provider’s office. Taking advantage of telemedicine services supports your health, reduces time spent at the doctor’s office, and saves money. Learn more about the top reasons why you should use telehealth here

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

A well-balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, especially those in season, help promote your health. A few of the positive effects they have on your body include: 

  • Lowering blood pressure 
  • Reducing the risk of stroke 
  • Cancer prevention 
  • Reduce digestive issues 
  • Support your vision 
  • Promote weight loss
  • And more 


Easy ways to add fruits and vegetables into your daily diet are by keeping them where you can see them, and by incorporating them into a meal itself (i.e. soups, salads, and stir-fries). 

Instead of turning towards a sugary treat after a meal, try an in-season fruit. It’ll satisfy your sweet tooth and support your body’s overall health simultaneously. 

Curious if the foods you think are actually healthy for you, are? Take our quiz here to find out if the foods marketed as “healthy” are actually good for you. 

Drink Water 

Oftentimes, the answer seems to be “drink more water.”  This may be one of the best ways to spring clean your health this season because of how much it can positively impact your wellbeing. 

At a basic level, water helps your body function by: 

  • Eliminating waste through urination, and perspiration
  • Temperature regulation 
  • Lubricating and cushioning joints 
  • Protecting sensitive tissues 

Dehydration can lead to fatigue and a reduction in your body’s ability to perform the way it needs to. 

Other ways water supports your health is through:

  • Supporting brain functions 
  • Supporting your kidneys 
  • Aiding with digestion 
  • Promoting clearer skin and skin elasticity 

How much water should you drink a day? According to The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine men should drink at least 15.5 cups a day and women should drink at least 11.5 cups a day. One way you can increase your liquid intake is by swapping out sugary drinks for water. Your body will thank you for it.  

Walk 11 Minutes A Day 

Ideally, physicians recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.  Unfortunately, the increase in more sedentary lifestyles hinders the amount of physical activity people take daily. Forbes found that the average stay-at-home employee sits for about 15 hours a day. 

Sitting for the majority of the day has detrimental effects on the body. In fact, the Mayo Clinic analyzed 13 studies and found that all found, “sitting time and activity levels found in those who sat for more than 8 hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.” 

A way to combat the negative effects sitting has on your health is by taking at least an 11-minute walk a day. The positive impact it has on your health is lifelong according to a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. They found that walking for at least 11 minutes a day actually combats the negative effects of sitting for long periods of time. 


Take Standing Breaks

As previously mentioned, sitting for long periods of time has detrimental effects on your body. Its impact is so great that it is now coined “the new smoking.” 

A few ways it hurts your body is through:

  • Leading to weight gain 
  • Muscle loss 
  • Links to lung, uterine, and colon cancer 

Learn more about the long and short-term effects here

A way to combat the negative effects of sitting is to support your health is by taking standing breaks. Ways you can do this is through:

  • Standing while working 
  • Walking during meetings 
  • Taking movement breaks
  • Stretch during the day
  • Take walks 
  • Set timers to move around 

A Final Word

Spring clean your healthy habits by implementing these habits. Together, they have a lifelong impact on supporting your overall wellbeing. For more healthy habit tips, read our article giving tips on using your health insurance to meet your health goals. 

use the resources you have, like your health plan, to spring clean your health

Article originally published on SBMA Benefits.

New Year’s resolutions are known to fall by the wayside just as quickly as they begin. Old habits die hard. The exercise routines, juice cleanse, and promises of a healthier fresh start can easily be put on the backburner. In a recent study, researchers found that in 2022:


  • 26% of people planned to lose weight
  • 24% of people wanted to exercise more
  • 21% of people want to eat healthier 


No matter where you are on your health journey – you can still use your health insurance to meet your health goals. But how? It’s simpler than you’d think. Let’s dive in. 

MEC Coverage 

Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) plans meet the minimum requirements for an insurance plan to be considered compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). All applicable large employers (ALEs) with 50 or more full-time employees must offer 95% of their full-time employees ACA-compliant benefits. If they don’t provide this coverage, ALEs are liable for fines and penalties by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Read more here on why offering MEC benefits is more affordable than not.  


The three tiers of MEC options available are: 


  1. Standard MEC plans are ACA compliant and include coverage for wellness, preventative services, prescription discounts, and telehealth services. 
  2. Enhanced MEC plans take coverage one step further than standard plans and are aimed at attracting and retaining top talent by also including primary and urgent care visits with low copays, and discounted specialist and laboratory services. 
  3. The highest-level MEC plans include the enhanced MEC plan benefits along with added coverage such as prescription coverage and low copays. 

How To Use Health Insurance to Meet Health Goals

Your health insurance can lead you toward the right steps to keep yourself healthy. Preventative care can help keep you and your healthcare team ahead of potential chronic illnesses. Catching diagnoses such as high blood pressure, or other similar conditions early can help avoid them becoming more serious down the road.


By using your health insurance resources, you are actively using the tools readily available to you to meet your health goals. Let’s unpack how a basic MEC plan can help you achieve your health goals. 


Annual Physical 

One of the best ways you can support your health goals is by visiting your primary care provider annually. This appointment helps you consistently monitor your physical health year over year. During a physical, your healthcare provider will examine you to check for any underlying conditions you may not be aware of before they become more serious or potentially deadly. 


In a poll taken by Kaiser Health, 92% of Americans do believe in the importance of an annual physical, but only about 62% of Americans actually take advantage of their annual physical. 


If your healthcare provider identifies an issue during your visit, they can then help you identify the best course of action for treatment or refer you to a specialist. 



Routine vaccines are another great way to help your body stay healthy and strong against viruses and bacteria that cause illness. 


Vaccines help develop the body’s immunity and create stronger defenses to fight against disease. According to the CDC, “Every year thousands of adults in the U.S. become seriously ill and are hospitalized because of diseases that vaccines can help prevent.” 


Receiving your routine preventative and wellness vaccinations can:


  1. Lower your chance of getting certain diseases, like how the Hepatitis B vaccine lowers your risk of liver cancer 
  2. Lowers your odds of spreading disease to others 


Click here to see the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule. 



Virtual visits are a great way to speak with a healthcare professional to continue making the healthiest decisions for yourself. Seeking expert advice can help you know how to best care for yourself, and know when it is a good idea to see a physician in person. 


Having a telehealth visit before an in-person exam can help the healthcare provider prepare for your visit, and understand what you may need in case you do need to go into the office. It also reduces the time you take to physically go to the appointment, wait in the waiting room, and return home. 


Your health journey isn’t yours alone. Use resources like telehealth visits to maximize physician resources. 


For more information on how to make the most out of your telehealth visit, read our article here. 


Prescription Discounts  

Medication can be expensive. Let your health insurance support the cost of necessary medications that keep your body healthy and functioning properly. Using your insurance prescription discount can help save hundreds, if not more, dollars on medications that some may not be able to live without.


Certain providers may be able to offer generic options for brand-name drugs to save you money while still getting you the medications you need.


Screenings/ Bloodwork 

Take advantage of the screenings and bloodwork panels included in your preventative care and wellness insurance plans. These screenings and bloodwork exams were created for a reason– to flag any potential illness before it becomes an issue. 


The Bottom Line

Catching a chronic illness or disease before it becomes more difficult to manage is one of the best outcomes of preventative care. 


Use to resources that your health insurance offers to keep yourself healthy. Taking advantage of these preventative care services are small manageable opportunities for you to implement your New Year’s health resolution throughout the year.  


Looking for more information on minor medical coverage? Read our article here

health insurance can be used to meet health goals

Article originally published on SBMA Benefits.