Health Archive

Home brew citrus flavored water

Posted March 30, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Powdered hibiscus give the citrus flavored water a cranberry color.

I’ll admit that I’m addicted to flavored water. For years I have been buying Aquafina Flavor Splash and recently started purchasing Mio Orange Tangerine Liquid Enhancer concentrate. When I looked at the ingredients of these two products I realized that I could make a similar concentrated to flavor water at home. While my home brew chemical mixture isn’t quite as perfect as the store bought products, it tastes good and it’s fun to tinker with the ingredients.

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Greedy doctors kick patients out of their practices

Posted March 24, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Doctors kick the soccer ball patients out of their practice.

California doctors, upon finding that the new Covered California health plans may not reimburse them enough to maintain their vaunted lifestyle, are kicking existing patients with the new health insurance out of their practices. These doctors are the epitome of the maxim “Putting profits before people.” Most of these greedy doctors haven’t exercised the common decency to notify their current patients before their appointments that unless they have the right color of health insurance, they won’t be served.

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Health Consumer Advocates, beyond ACA enrollment

Posted March 21, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Health insurance advocate

As the ACA open enrollment winds down, attention now turns to helping individuals and families in the new health plans actually get health care from their insurance. While there have been significant challenges just getting people signed up for health insurance, there will surely be additional hurdles as households now try to use the new health plans. For most people, they have no advocate to help them maneuver through the maze set up by health care professionals and insurance plans. Who will be the health insurance advocates for these families?

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Roasted roots in olive oil

Posted March 20, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Raw roots and stalks easily roasted for flavorful vegetarian meal.

Several years ago I discovered that roasting vegetables was relatively easy and quite flavorful. While I roast roots as part of a vegetarian main dish, they can easily be a side accompaniment with a meat selection. Roasting root and stalk vegetables really concentrates the flavors and the fiber provides for a filling meal. Best of all for this old man, the hardest part is just cutting up all the roots.

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Transgender health benefits remain elusive in California

Posted February 26, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Transgender health benefits remain elusive in California.

While the Insurance Gender Nondiscrimination Act (IGNA), also known as AB 1586, prohibits health plans from denying medically necessary health care to transgender individuals, the exact treatment options covered for individuals with gender dysphoria remain unclear in California. The determination of whether a health plan will cover a certain medical procedure to facilitate the transition to the opposite and identified sex of the health plan member hinges on the medical necessity of the procedure.

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Part D Prescription Deductible Plans verses $0 Deductible

Posted February 8, 2014 By Kevin Knauss
Prescription drug plans with no deductible may cost too much.

One of the first options a Medicare beneficiary faces when they are reviewing Part D Prescription Drug plans (PDP) is whether they want a plan with a deductible. The deductible amount, set by Medicare, is the dollar amount a plan member must pay before he or she is eligible for the reduced copayment for the drugs. The big decision for the Medicare beneficiary is if they should select a PDP with a lower premium and $310 deductible or pay a higher monthly premium for a no deductible plan.

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Walgreens ACA prescription help

When Covered California decided to force health insurance companies to cancel their policies on December 31, 2013, they set in motion a cascading effect that have left many new plan members without access to prescription drug coverage. At least two pharmacies have recognized the problem and are offering help to cover vital prescription medications to new Affordable Care Act health plan members that have yet to received neither member ID numbers nor an invoice.

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Are doctors to blame for smaller networks?

Posted December 9, 2013 By Kevin Knauss
Are doctors dropping patients for money?

Consumers are growing frustrated as they find their current doctors aren’t included in new Covered California individual and family plan (IFP) health insurance networks. There is also widespread uncertainty about the rules of in-network providers with the new Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs) and California’s new 19 pricing regions. When California consumers are craving information the doctors have been silent and the insurance companies along with Covered California are providing scant information.

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Paper applications threaten family health insurance coverage

Posted December 7, 2013 By Kevin Knauss
Will I have health insurance if I filed a paper applications?

Covered California had high expectations for 21st century e-commerce technology but agents and consumers have resort to 19th century pen and paper. There has been an avalanche of paper applications into Covered California significantly slowing down the verification and enrollment process. The sluggish processing of applications means that some families may not have insurance coverage on January 1, 2014 as promised.

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Covered California Goes Rainbow

Posted December 4, 2013 By Kevin Knauss

Covered California announced a marketing campaign aimed at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities to encourage them to enroll in new ACA health plans through the exchange. The print media and billboard advertising is in addition to grants to LGBT organizations to provide outreach and education.

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