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Reliable Online Resources For Health and Beauty Products

The industry that deals with health and beauty products is overrun with products that contain ingredients which are relatively unknown. However, a new line of products is taking the natural beauty products industry by storm.

Organic has not only become the rage with food but also with products that people use on a daily basis to keep up appearances. Although they are not readily available in many stores, one can easily find them on certain websites.

For those who are looking for a line of natural cosmetics online, a good shopping resource is “Saffronrouge”. The managers of this site only purchase makeup that is filled with natural ingredients. One will not have to deal with ugly lipsticks or eye shadow shades that only work for certain people, or eye cream products tested on animals.

The cosmetics featured here have an absolutely beautiful palate that could work for anyone. They may be a little more expensive, but they are not tested on animals and come from mother earth herself.

Another place on the web that one can go to for all of their organic health and beauty products is “Happy Hippie”. For most people they may be laughing at the name, but for those who want to truly get back to nature, this is the website.

They have a huge directory of wonderful sites that offer everything from lines of cosmetics to clothing made from pure, earthly substances. This is a great resource for soaps, baby items, and anything that one wants to enhance their life and make it greener.

Organic health and beauty products are almost an oxymoron waiting to happen. However, thanks to the resources that the internet has to offer this oxymoron has come to cease to exist.

A person can find organic natural beauty products that can help not only the earth but also their body as well. If one can go green and stay young all at the same time, then who would not want to find organic beauty products?

What the Diet Industry Isn’t Telling You About Weight Loss

At any given time, more than half of U.S. residents are trying to lose weight. With overall body weights increasing, along with the rates of diseases that have been correlated with higher weights, many people feel that dieting is their only option for good health. Unfortunately, not everyone who wants to reduce is doing it in a healthy way. Weight loss is an industry worth more than $60 billion dollars in the United States, and much of that industry is dedicated to selling products rather than keeping people healthy. Here’s a look at what you may not know about losing weight.

Types of Weight Loss Techniques

There are many methods available for trying to lose weight. Restrictive diets are among the best-publicized. These include calorie restriction, in an attempt to take in less energy than you expend, as well as diets that restrict food by type, such as low-fat, low-carbohydrate and low-sugar diets.

In addition to using restrictive diets, some people also attempt to significantly increase their activity. This has a similar effect to that of a calorie-restricting diet, but it increases the amount of energy spent rather than decreasing what goes in. Increased activity tends to require greater schedule and lifestyle changes than simply changing your eating habits, but it comes with added benefits such as increased strength and better cardiovascular health.

Last, and potentially more profitable for the weight loss industry, are devices, supplements and other products intended to produce weight loss. These include diet pills, natural weight loss supplements containing acai, African mango and a range of other substances, plus belts and other devices. The basic principle behind some of these products has been shown to help with reduction when it’s combined with other mainstream methods, but the majority of diet pills and other products don’t do much to help. They can even be harmful to your health.

Weight loss Effectiveness

With more than 50 percent of the population paying attention to weight, you’d expect the pounds to be coming off. Most people, however, are experiencing little to no weight change. Some people even find that their weight goes up after they attempt to reduce. Depending on the study, statistics show that between 30 and 60 percent of dieters not only regain all the weight they lose while dieting, they actually become even heavier than they were before they started the diet. These patterns hold true across a wide spectrum of weight-loss techniques. Only about 10 percent of all dieters are able to maintain their loss after several years, no matter how much weight was lost during the dieting period.

Out of people who do lose weight effectively, the most viable target is a loss of about 10 percent of their highest weight. That’s the number recommended by the National Institutes of Health for people who are obese or overweight. Losing more than this can be difficult and is rarely effective.

Many people attribute this lack of effectiveness to poor willpower on the part of the dieter, but recent research has shown that the problem is more complex than this. A 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that losing weight changes the way the body produces hormones associated with metabolism. This means that people who attempt to reduce are hungrier and suffer from higher appetite levels than they did before the loss. This lasts for at least one year after weight loss, making it far more difficult for someone who has dieted to maintain a lower weight than it is for someone who has never undergone a weight loss program.

Dangers of Dieting

It’s not just poor rates of effectiveness that make weight loss a complicated subject. Trying to get rid of fat can also be dangerous. This problem is greater with extreme diets that promise to take off a lot of weight very quickly. These diets can encourage loss of muscle instead of fat. They also increase the risk of heart disease, a slowed metabolism, and other health problems. Liquid diets, extreme calorie deprivation, and fad diets that eliminate whole categories of food are the most dangerous; but any kind of diet can be hazardous to your health if you repeatedly lose and gain weight, or “yo-yo.”

Diet pills can cause serious health problems, too. These weight loss supplements are usually made to be taken for only a short period of time and often contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. This type of diet pill can increase anxiety and irritability, produce insomnia and other sleep problems, and even cause cardiovascular problems in people with existing heart weakness. Fat blockers can produce intestinal discomfort and other digestive problems. They can also produce malnutrition by blocking the body’s ability to absorb important vitamins and minerals. Diet pills that work as appetite suppressants can raise your heart rate and blood pressure. Even herbal weight loss supplements can have unpleasant side effects, especially in people who are allergic to some of their ingredients.

Weight Isn’t Everything

These questions about health and effectiveness are often met with the assertion that fatness is fundamentally unhealthy, so everyone should try to lose weight. In fact, while there are several diseases and conditions associated with higher weight, they aren’t necessarily a direct result of it. While fat people are much more likely to suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and other metabolic problems, the correlation reduces significantly if those fat people are active and eat a good diet. Thin, sedentary people are actually at greater risk than people who are fat but otherwise in good physical condition. You may be fat and unhealthy, but your weight isn’t the biggest factor. However, that doesn’t mean that weight loss isn’t effective.

Who Should Reduce?

Studies show that if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, your condition will probably improve if you lose about 10 percent of your body weight. Losing more weight than this doesn’t seem to provide additional benefit, though it could help you wear smaller clothes. If you have any of these conditions, it’s important to be careful how you lose the weight and to do it only in conjunction with good diet and regular exercise. These seem to be the most important parts of staying healthy, no matter how much weight you carry.

The Healthiest Option

What the diet industry doesn’t want you to know is that most diet pills, weight loss supplements, and diet programs don’t work very well and can even hurt your health more than being fat. If you’re interested in being truly healthy, your best option for weight loss is to look at your activity level and the nutritional content of your diet. Work on making fresh vegetables at least half of your diet and take up moderate exercise at about a half hour per day. That’s what the U.S. government recommends for optimum health.

If you do decide to reduce your caloric intake, use a balanced diet that doesn’t cut out any important food groups, and look for weight loss of no more than one to two pounds per week. This rate is more likely to produce permanent loss without serious health side effects because it’s so slow that your body has the ability to adjust more effectively. You may not be able to drop a dress size in a month, but you’ll feel better and stay a whole lot healthier in the long run.

More Patients Means Greater Demand for Medical Office Specialists

The demand for medical office specialists, administrative medical assistants and medical records clerks is going to grow by leaps and bounds over the next few years as the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. The 200,000 people employed as medical office specialists today cannot possibly handle the 20 million new patients accessing the health care system due to the ACA, and hospitals and physician groups are already hiring medical office specialists to meet the demand. The rollout of the ACA is a major factor in the robust 31 percent job growth rate for medical assistants anticipated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics through 2020.

The duties of medical office specialists include patient intake, confirming patient appointment details, taking notes, as well as updating patient records and insurance databases. In many cases, administrative medical specialists also receive co-pays from patients, verify patient insurance and work with bookkeeping to file insurance claims.

You can get the education you need to become a medical office specialist at a local community college or vocational school or at an online school. Medical administration training programs typically take six to 12 months and you receive a certificate after completion of the program. A few schools offer administrative and clinical medical assistant training programs that require two years and result in an associate degree.

Your training program will include instruction in basic business practices and office procedures, as well as lots of practice in creating and maintaining a variety of electronic health records. Knowledge of EHR systems is going to be increasingly important for all medical professionals in the next few years, but medical office specialists in particular need to be familiar with EHR systems.

Medical administrative assistants who have earned a professional certification have an edge in landing a job. Certification typically requires graduating from an accredited training program and passing a comprehensive exam. Certifications for medical office specialists include the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) program offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) program offered by the American Medical Technologists, the National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) program offered by the National Center for Competency Testing.

Medical records clerks are not required to be licensed in most states. However, medical assistants who have both clinical and administrative duties must be licensed in several states and municipalities.

The BLS reports that medical assistants as a group took home a median salary of $29,370 in 2012, and the top 10% earned more than $41,570. Many, but not all, medical admin assistant positions include benefits such as paid vacation, retirement plans and health insurance.

The influx of 20 million new patients into the healthcare system in the next few years means medical office specialists and related positions will be in great demand in doctor’s offices, clinics, nursing homes and hospitals across the country. Although medical assistants start near the bottom of the health care employee totem pole, hard-working medical records clerks have significant opportunities for career advancement. With experience, and maybe going back to school to get an associate degree in business or business management, you can be promoted to senior administrative assistant, and perhaps eventually move up to office manager.

Use the Best Health and Beauty Products For Your Body

Are you using the best health and beauty products for your body? Health and beauty aids are a billion dollar business with companies manufacturing hundreds of products every year. People are always in constant search for products to maintain and make improvements upon their body. With numerous amounts of cosmetics and health aids sold, some are not as effective as they claim and yet there some that do live up to their expectations.

What are the best products?

To find the best products, in regards to cosmetics, try samples available at most cosmetic counters and beauty shops. Try to get testimonials from friends and see if what works for them will work for you.

You might find some good products online and through network marketing cosmetic distributors. In your search, do take the time to read labels on products due to possible allergic reactions to the ingredients.

As far as health products, there are quite a few products on the shelves that can be beneficial to the body. These products can be found online, through independent distributors, pharmacies, and health food stores. If you are looking for generic and natural products, many are available through these channels. Most likely, samples will not be readily available to you. You will have to do your own investigating to find what products will work for you. As with cosmetics, be sure to read the labels and precautions before using. If you have concerns regarding a product check with Consumer Reports and by all means consult your physician.

Are the best products affordable?

There is the belief that if you want the best product available then you must be prepared to pay for the high cost of that item. For the most part, it does hold true though not all high priced products are effective to everyone. You can purchase generic products that can cut cost considerably from markup prices of brand name items. Discounted prices can also be found through independent distributors. Another choice but not as rewarding is purchasing the products when they go on sale. Rarely will you see products in demand sold at a discount.

What works best for you

Use products that are effective and giving you optimal results in return. Your search may or may not be what you expected but be diligent in your findings. Do not make sacrifices on your health and beauty, honor your body.

Retiree Health Care Benefits Continue to Decline

Employer-based retirement health care insurance benefits continue to decline, according to recent industry reports.

Many retirees have been able to rely on private or state employer-based retirement health benefits for supplemental health care coverage while on Medicare in the past, but this is becoming less common.

Employer-based health-related benefits can provide important coverage for the gaps that exist in Medicare programs. Additional coverage benefits can alleviate the cost-sharing requirements and deductibles associated with Medicare. Caps on the amount that can be spent out-of-pocket, often associated with supplemental coverage, are also often helpful for retirees.

Overall, supplemental retiree health and medical benefits sponsored by a private or municipal employer have helped many retirees cope with high medical costs often incurred in retirement.

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported, however, that the number of large private employers-considered employers with 200 or more employees-offering retiree healthcare benefits has dropped from 66 percent in 1988 to 23 percent in 2015.

Companies that do continue to offer retiree health benefits have been making changes aimed at reducing the cost of benefits, including:

Instituting caps on the amount of the provider’s financial liability
Shifting from defined benefit to defined contribution plans
Offering retiree health care benefits through Medicare Advantage plan contracts
Creating benefit programs through private health insurance exchanges

State employers have also not been immune to the trend, but the type and level of coverage being offered by most states is significantly different than retirement health care coverage being offered by large companies.

Unlike many private employers, state governments continue to offer some level of retiree health care benefits to help attract and retain talented workers, according to a report titled “State Retiree Health Plan Spending,” published by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in May, 2016.

With the exception of Idaho, all states currently offer newly-hired state employees some level of retirement health care benefits as part of their benefits package, according to the report. Of the states offering retiree medical benefits, 38 have made the commitment to contribute to health care premiums for the coverage being offered. State employers are, however, also making changes to the retirement health care insurance benefits they provide to state workers.

Significant among these changes for the states is at least one driving force-the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) now requires states to report liabilities for retirement benefits other than pensions in their financial statements. The changes were required from all states by the end of 2008. As a result, the increased financial transparency forced states to review the cost of their other post-employment benefits (OPEB) and address how they plan to pay for them.

Because retirement health care benefits account for the majority of the states’ OPEB obligations, many states have made policy changes to address the upcoming obligations. Factors such as date of hire, date of retirement or vesting eligibility, including minimum age and minimum service year requirements, are now being used by states to vary or limit retirement health care benefits.

Overall, from 2010 to 2013, the states saw their OPEB liabilities decrease by 10 percent from $627 billion after inflation adjustments. While this may sound contradictory, the declines are attributed to a slowdown in the growth of health care costs coupled with benefit modifications aimed at cost reductions.

To look at one state as an example, California’s recent budget revealed that health care benefits for retirees are costing the state more than $2 billion a year for an 80 percent increase over the prior 10 years. Although the situation recently changed, California was previously one of 18 states that had nothing set aside to cover its future retiree health care benefit costs of $80.3 billion.

It should be noted that retiree health care plans are typically funded by plan sponsors on a “pay as you go” basis, meaning that monies to pay current and future health care obligations are taken from current assets and not set aside in advance. This differs significantly from pension plans governed by ERISA, which are subject to funding guidelines.

In response to California’s unfunded OPEB liability, employees and the state are now paying into a fund for future retiree health care benefit costs. The state is also matching $88 million in employee contributions and paying an additional $240 million to prefund future retirement health care benefit costs. The changes are impacting retirees as well as state and private employers.

Overall, employer-based retirement health care benefits, once important for supplementing Medicare for retired seniors, continue to decline.

The Potential Impact of Eroding Employer-Based Health Care Retirement Benefits

Many baby boomers who are currently covered by retiree medical plans and plan to rely on future employer-paid medical benefits, are likely to be disappointed to learn that these benefit plans can be changed or terminated. ERISA-governed benefit plans typically contain a “reservation of rights” provision allowing the plan sponsor to change or terminate all or parts of the plan. Many private and state employers are reducing or terminating retiree health benefits due to the increasing cost of insurance premiums, rising health care costs, and increases in longevity.

Since the early 1990s there have been many cases where unexpected changes to post-employment pension and medical benefits have resulted in lawsuits. Typically, the key issue is the reservation of rights language and/or collective bargaining agreement language for employees who were covered by a union contract which referenced retiree medical benefits.

Beneficiaries who have questions about their retiree medical benefits should speak with their plan sponsor to learn about the specific benefits available to them and have a contingency plan for bridging their medical coverage to Medicare, if they are considering early retirement or want to better understand future benefits.