Title: Answers to 5 Common Questions About Texas Health Insurance. Word Count: 545

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1 Title: Answers to 5 Common Questions About Texas Health Insurance Word Count: 545 Summary: Although Texas ranks the highest among U.S. states in the number of uninsured residents, obtaining affordable Texas medical insurance is easier and more affordable than you think. Keywords: Texas Health Insurance, Texas Medical Insurance, health insurance

2 Article Body: Although Texas ranks the highest among U.S. states in the number of uninsured residents, obtaining affordable Texas medical insurance is easier and more affordable than you think. Here are answers to five common questions about getting health insurance in Texas. 1. I'm young and healthy. Why should I spend money for medical insurance that I'll never use? Having insurance is like carrying an umbrella. You may not need it most of the time, but when there's a torrential downpour you'll be glad you have it. Even young and healthy people have accidents, seasonal illnesses, and sometimes tragic health issues. If you wind up having a serious medical condition, it can become very difficult to obtain Texas medical insurance, or your preexisting condition may be excluded from your coverage. In addition, you can get much lower premiums when you're young and healthy, so health insurance provides excellent protection at very little cost. 2. Is there a benefit to using a health insurance agency, as opposed to getting quotes for policies on my own or going through a single agent? A health insurance agency provides a number of benefits. First, they have established relationships with many, many insurance companies. This means that they have access to all of the best Texas medical insurance plans in the marketplace, while not having a bias toward any single insurer. This is in contrast to some individual agents, who work on behalf of one or two companies, and who will try and push you to sign up with their company. While you can research various plans on your own, a health insurance agency will do the legwork for you and present you will all available options, at no charge to you. 3. What's the most important feature to consider when buying health insurance? There are two important features that people often overlook: the lifetime maximum coverage and the maximum out-of-pocket expense. Although your more immediate concerns might be co-payments for doctors' visits and prescription coverage, if you or a family member experiences a catastrophic illness, your overall coverage and out-of-pocket costs are much more crucial. Look for a policy that offers lifetime maximum coverage of $3 million or more, and a yearly out-of-pocket maximum in the $2,000 to $3,000 range. 4. Can I trust online comparisons for Texas health insurance? Yes. The law requires that identical plans have identical pricing, regardless of whether you go directly through the insurer or use a health insurance agency. In other words, if you're looking at the XYZ company's Plan A, you will receive the same quote whether you get it online, place a phone call, or visit an insurance agency or company. Keep in mind though, that the price you pay may depend upon a number of variables, including your age, your gender, whether or not you smoke, and any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have. The final price is in large part determined by your medical history. 5. What's the difference between an HMO and a PPO? When it comes to Texas medical insurance, a health maintenance organization (HMO) requires that, for non-emergency services, you use their physicians and hospitals. A preferred provider organization (PPO) allows you to visit any health care provider, but gives you more benefits if

3 you use health care professionals and services within their network. Title: Healthy Dining Out Word Count: 405 Summary: With our busy lives these days we are more apt to dine out, pick up take out food, or have food delivered to us. The problem is we are not aware of the calories and fat we are consuming when we continually eat food other than what we, ourselves have prepared. The average dinner meal at a restaurant is 1200 calories, and 60 grams of fat. Men should not have more than 70 grams of fat a day, and women 40 grams of fat a day. One meal alone can make up one whole days worth of... Keywords: health, weight loss, diet, healthy eating, health consultations Article Body: With our busy lives these days we are more apt to dine out, pick up take out food, or have food delivered to us. The problem is we are not aware of the calories and fat we are consuming when we continually eat food other than what we, ourselves have prepared. The average dinner meal at a restaurant is 1200 calories, and 60 grams of fat. Men should not have more than 70 grams of 朿 fat a day, and women 40 grams of fat a day. One meal alone can make up one whole days worth of fat, or two, in the case of women diets. If you do find a meal that is low in fat, make sure you do not consume such a large serving that you eat more calories than you should. There are restaurants out there that do have meals considered lower in fat and calories. If you do not see it on the menu ask your server for the information. Remember low carb is not low-fat. When you are eating a low arb meal out at a restaurant you are usually eating high-fat. Make sure you do not take in more than 20 grams of fat in a meal. Below is a list of restaurants that offer low-fat meals. RESTAURANTS APPLEBEE CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN CLAIM JUMPER CHILI MACARONI GRILL TGIF FRIDAY

4 MIMI CAF? OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE TONY ROMA FAST FOOD ARBY BURGER KING CARLS JR. CHICK-FIL-A JACK IN THE BOX MC DONALDS SUBWAY WENDY KFC We use food as an important part of our cultural and social lives to connect with one another. We also use it as a comfort when we have had a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, or a bad year. Reducing the foods we do not need helps us stay healthy in mind and body. Remember, even though we are overwhelmed, stressed out and tired, we must make healthy decisions when it comes to what we eat. Trans fat, found in most cooking oils in restaurants- is the worst kind of fat you can put in your body. It increases the level of blood fat called triglycerides, and has even been found to contribute to insulin resistance, which raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Children as young as 10 years old are developing heart disease and diabetes. Set an example for your children and ensure you both will live long, healthy lives. Title: Physical Fitness Improves Brain Health Word Count: 983 Summary: Studies show conclusively that exercise improves brain function. Every one knows that exercise is good for you but sometimes the benefit to the brain is overlooked. This article describes some of the positive effects that exercise has on brain function and mental health, including protection against neurodegenerative disease and improvements in mental health. Keywords: physical education, mental health, physical fitness, Alzheimer's disease, major depression, Parkinson's disease, anti-depressants, brain health Article Body:

5 Copyright 2006 Simon Evans Everyone knows that exercise is good for them. It contributes to weight loss and weight management. It good for your heart and your cardiovascular system. And it generally keeps you fit and healthier. But did you know that exercise is also good for your brain? It can actually make you smarter. Not only that, but exercise can help prevent disorders like Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease and depression. It can even increase your chances of recovering from a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Exercise improves learning and memory. It turns out that physical activity actually turns on hormonal support systems in your brain. The activation of these systems strengthens brain circuits that you already have and helps you develop new ones. Exercise causes a rise in several growth factors in the brain that are responsible for helping brain cells survive and divide into new brain cells, or neurons. Only a couple of brain regions can produce new neurons and exercise increases the amount and rate of neuron production in these regions. Exercise also increases the blood supply in the brain. In laboratory studies, exercise increased the number of blood vessels that supply several brain regions. This has the effect of improving nutrient delivery and waste removal from critical regions that effect mental function. One of the brain areas producing new neurons is the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays a critical role in learning, memory and attention. Exercise induces new neuron growth in the hippocampus and improves performance on several types of cognitive tasks. Exercise improves mental health. Another important role of the hippocampus is in the response to stress. In fact, studies 慴 show that war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder have a smaller hippocampus. Stress actually damages the hippocampus and can cause neurons to die, the opposite of what happens when you exercise. Folks that exercise regularly know that they are much more capable of handling stress throughout their day than they are when they don exercise. This is, in part, because exercise and stress have opposite effects on the hippocampus and exercise improves your uffer?to handle the stress. Interestingly, anti-depressants work in a similar manner. Although, we don completely understand the exact mechanism of anti-depressant action, we do know that several classes of anti-depressants increase new neurons in the hippocampus. They do the same thing that exercise does! Anti-depressant drugs activate the same growth factor systems in the brain that exercise activates. They also induce new neuron growth in the hippocampus, similar to exercise routines. Psychiatrists have known for a long time that patients experiencing depression respond much

6 better to therapy if they combine it with regular exercise. In some cases, exercise alone is sufficient to alleviate depressive symptoms. With so many kids and adults on anti-depressants today, I have to wonder what proportion of them could get off these medications with more physical activity. Of course, anti-depressant therapy is both beneficial and necessary for some folks. But the rate of prescriptions today, especially in kids, is out of control. Exercise protects the brain from damage and disease. Studies also show that exercise protects the brain from aging and injury. Older adults that regularly exercise perform better in cognitive tasks and have lower rates of Alzheimer and Parkinson disease. They also recover stronger from strokes and from accidental brain injury. One can argue that people that exercise have many factors in their lives that can contribute to these findings. For example, they smoke less, eat better, etc. However, studies in laboratory animals also support the idea that exercise is protective. Animals that are exercised are protected against traumatic brain injury in laboratory tests and don develop the extent of Alzheimer and Parkinson disease in model systems. Studies also show that in addition to exercise protective role, it is a valuable therapeutic tool for brain function. Fitness training improves cognitive functions relative to planning, scheduling, task coordination and attention. Adults that exercise have more grey matter, representing more brain cells, than adults that don exercise. Focus on the young family. All of the beneficial effects of exercise are compounded by starting early in life. It kind of like compound interest in the bank. The earlier you start saving, the more money there is to earn interest in the end. Yet, unfortunately, schools are cutting physical education for budgetary reasons. Soccer moms must unite and get exercise back in our schools. Inducing physically active behavior in our kids is crucial. Studies show that people tend to continue the lifestyles they are exposed to at an early age. Ignoring the value of physical activity now will make them more likely to do so as adults. In order for our kids to be cognitively active adults all the way through life, we must instill the importance of physical activity today. If we do not, we are doing them a huge disfavor. Many of us as parents forget about looking far into our kid futures. We have so much to worry about in day-to-day activities that keeping our kids from premature entry into the old-folks home is not at the forefront of our minds. Unfortunately, 2 out of 3 adults age 65 or older don engage in any regular physical activity and are not getting the brain protection they could be. The actions that we take with our kids now and the behaviors that we promote will have a huge impact on their life long success. Yes, once they are out of our homes they are their own people and can choose to live their lives how they want. Nevertheless, we have to give them the leg-up now to set them up for the successes they deserve. Even if you are a new parent for the first time, please be aware that you are influencing many

7 decades by what you deem important today.

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