illness http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8278/all en-US EpiPens and Other Ways Companies Have Profited From Your Pain http://www.wisebread.com/epipens-and-other-ways-companies-have-profited-from-your-pain <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/epipens-and-other-ways-companies-have-profited-from-your-pain" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/medication_pills_money_88647685.jpg" alt="Learning how epipens and other companies profit from pain" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The EpiPen literally saves lives. So naturally, the makers of the lifesaving product decided to cash in on that, <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mylans-epipen-price-increases-are-valeant-like-in-size-shkreli-like-in-approach-2016-07-20">raising the cost</a> from $100 for a package of two, to over $600! (And that's with a coupon, by the way).</p> <p>The reason behind the dramatic increase is awful. According to Tech Times, five top Mylan NV executives had to hit some <a href="http://www.techtimes.com/articles/175921/20160901/whats-the-reason-behind-the-outrageous-epipen-price-increase-executive-pay-of-course.htm">pretty incredible sales figures</a> to achieve their combined $82 million in bonuses. Knowing the EpiPen is essential to many people, they simply jacked the price up and hit their goals. But, as you'll soon discover, this isn't the first time companies like Mylan NV have stuck it to people in need of medications.</p> <h2>Daraprim, One Pill &mdash; $13.50 to $750</h2> <p>If the drug doesn't sound familiar, the awful person behind its price hike will. His name is Martin Shkreli, often described in news stories and social media outlets as a man with a face you'd love to slap. His company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, acquired Daraprim in 2015 for $55 million. The drug is used to fight AIDS, malaria, and is also an antiparasitic. On September 17th, 2015, it was reported that the price of the drug had spiked from <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/business/a-huge-overnight-increase-in-a-drugs-price-raises-protests.html?_r=0">$13.50 per pill to $750 per pill</a>, an increase of 5,456%!</p> <p>Shkreli defended the massive increase, saying &quot;If there was a company that was selling an Aston Martin at the price of a bicycle, and we buy that company and we ask to charge Toyota prices, I don't think that that should be a crime.&quot; It was poetic justice to see <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/06/accused-fraudster-martin-shkreli-pleads-not-guilty-to-indictment-filed-last-week.html">Shkreli in court this year</a>.</p> <h2>Cycloserine, 30 Capsules &mdash; $500 to $10,800</h2> <p>Used to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis, Cycloserine was already costly at $500 for 30 capsules. So when Rodelis acquired the drug and <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/tuberculosis-drug-cycloserines-massive-price-hike-rodelis-therapeutics-rolled-back-2107884">raised the price</a> in September 2015, overnight, to $10,800 for the same number of pills, there was outrage. In fact, so much was said about it that biotechnology stocks suffered losses, with investors worried about the backlash. Rodelis caved to pressure and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/business/big-price-increase-for-tb-drug-is-rescinded.html?hpw&amp;rref=health&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=well-region&amp;region=bottom-well&amp;WT.nav=bottom-well&amp;_r=1">gave the drug back</a> to its previous owners, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Purdue University. However, the drug did not go back to its regular price. The cost was doubled from $500 to $1,050 for 30 capsules.</p> <h2>Isuprel, One Vial &mdash; $180 to $1,472</h2> <p>A drug used to treat abnormal heart rhythms is, as you can imagine, vital to many people in the U.S. and around the world. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International didn't see that as a good enough reason to keep the drug at its already steep price, and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/business/valeant-promised-price-breaks-on-drugs-heart-hospitals-are-still-waiting.html">jacked the cost up by 718%</a> in February last year. Valeant were called before Congress to explain their actions, and agreed to set up discounts of as much as 40% on the drug. As of May 11th, many heart hospitals were still <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/business/valeant-promised-price-breaks-on-drugs-heart-hospitals-are-still-waiting.html">waiting for those discounts</a> to appear.</p> <h2>Nitropress, One Vial &mdash; $215 to $881</h2> <p>The same company responsible for the Isuprel price hike were also behind the massive cost increase of Nitropress last year, a drug used to keep blood pressure low during heart surgeries. However, it wasn't quite as steep as the Isuprel rise, costing hospitals, and therefore patients, 312% more. The then CEO of Valeant, J. Michael Pearson (who has a net worth of $175 million) issued a statement saying the price increases were mistakes, saying &quot;The company was too aggressive &mdash; and I, as its leader, was too aggressive &mdash; in pursuing price increases on certain drugs.&quot; That probably comes as little comfort to the people who receive their hospital bills.</p> <h2>Vimovo, One Tablet &mdash; $1.88 to $23.86</h2> <p>There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. If you are diagnosed with it, you will be suffering from joint pain that can be crippling and debilitating. So, a drug that helps ease this pain should not be just as painful to buy.</p> <p>Horizon Pharma acquired the rights to the drug Vimovo, which helps to fight arthritis, in 2013. It then <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/20/investing/drug-price-hikes-martin-shkreli-valeant/">hiked the price by 597%</a>, taking one tablet from $1.88 to $23.86. Considering a vast number of people suffering from this condition are in retirement and on a fixed income, this is a disgrace. But the company hiked the price again recently, with a pack of 60 tablets <a href="http://www.goodrx.com/vimovo">now costing over $2,000</a> (with a coupon). Ironically, the drug is simply a mixture of two very cheap drugs, esomeprazole and naproxen. Many doctors are encouraged (that means kickbacks) by big pharma companies to write &quot;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/20/business/drug-makers-sidestep-barriers-on-pricing.html">prescriptions made easy</a>&quot; for these combination drugs. Always ask your doctor if there is a cheaper alternative that works just as well.</p> <h2>Dutoprol, One Pill &mdash; $0.52 to $5.26</h2> <p>This drug is used to treat high blood pressure, and up until 2013, the price was fairly reasonable &mdash; around $15 for a bottle of 30 pills. Clearly, the company the manufactures Dutoprol, Covis Pharma, was not happy with a reasonable price. So, they <a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/stunning-increases-drug-prices-that-have-shot-400-1200-percent/">hiked the price by 1,013%</a> to $5.26 per pill, or $157.80 for a bottle of 30 pills.</p> <h2>Sprix Nasal Spray, One Bottle &mdash; $32.07 to $183.97</h2> <p>If you have severe nasal pain, you will require a good pain reliever. Sprix is the only nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) on the market, and is preferred by people who do not want to use opioids or controlled substances. That preference will now cost a lot more. In February of 2015, Egalet Corp <a href="http://hedgeclippers.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/NDC-Description.png">raised the price of one bottle</a> from $32.07 to $183.97, an increase of 574%. And as the spray is often sold in packs of five, you will be paying over $900 for that much-needed pain relief.</p> <h2>Tasmar, One Tablet &mdash; $15.70 to $105.98</h2> <p>Perhaps the most famous person you'll know of that may need Tasmar is Michael J. Fox. It's a drug used to treat the effects of Parkinson's disease. And once again, Valeant Pharmaceuticals is behind the massive price hike. In April last year, the company decided to raise the price of one tablet from $15.70 to $105.98, an increase of 675%. While a movie star may not have issues paying that bill, most people will get serious sticker shock when they have to pay over $6,300 for their bottle of 60 tablets.</p> <h2>Edecrin, One Vial &mdash; $470 to $4,600</h2> <p>Used in the treatment of edema and heart failure, Edecrin is a diuretic that helps your body get rid of excess salt and water. When Valeant acquired the rights to this drug, it started raising prices. Not once. Not twice. Not three times. The price has been increased <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/05/business/valeants-drug-price-strategy-enriches-it-but-infuriates-patients-and-lawmakers.html">an astonishing nine times </a>since 2014, and is now $4,600 per vial.</p> <h2>Targretin Gel, One Tube &mdash; $1,687 to $30,320</h2> <p>Those are not typos. You did read that correctly. There is clearly something going wrong somewhere when a company can charge more than the price of a Dodge Charger for a tube of topical gel. And, of course, it's used to address the symptoms of a form of cancer, which is one of the most expensive diseases to treat. Once again, those wonderful people at Valeant are behind the rise, and at over $1,600 a tube to begin with, it was hardly in desperate need of a price hike. But, they did it, making the small tube of gel <a href="http://www.fiercepharma.com/financials/jama-valeant-s-18-fold-price-hikes-top-widespread-increases-dermatology-prices">18 times more expensive</a> after they bought the rights to the drug in 2013.</p> <p>Valeant has defended the rise, saying full retail prices &quot;rarely represent the prices that patients and insurers are paying or what the pharmaceutical company receives.&quot; If you don't have good insurance, or any insurance, you likely won't have the money needed for this drug. Incidentally, at the same time, <a href="https://healthfinder.gov/News/Article.aspx?id=705625">Valeant raised the price of Carac cream</a>, another topical treatment dealing with skin cancer, from $159 to $2,705. The message this company is sending is clear&hellip;you get sick, we get rich.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/epipens-and-other-ways-companies-have-profited-from-your-pain">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-medical-records-theft">7 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself From Medical Records Theft</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-gadget-that-can-save-you-thousands-of-dollars">The $5 Gadget That Can Save You Thousands of Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/don-t-waste-your-money-on-homeopathic-remedies">Don’t Waste Your Money on Homeopathic “Remedies”</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-20-websites-to-help-you-save-on-doctors-dentists-and-more">Healthcare 2.0: Websites to Help You Save on Doctors, Dentists, and More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-surprising-things-your-hsa-will-cover">11 Surprising Things Your HSA Will Cover</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Financial News Health and Beauty big pharma companies drugs health care illness medication pharmaceuticals price hikes Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1796989 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Things You Need to Know About Disability Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/68605699.jpg" alt="Family learning about disability insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Insurance. There are probably no other financial terms more likely to induce feelings of sleepiness. Or dread. After all, who likes to spend money on something you hope you'll never have to use? And don't you have enough types of insurance already?</p> <p>Well, without wanting to sound like an insurance salesperson, how would you pay your bills if an accident or illness left you unable to work? That's the risk disability insurance is designed to cover. It would pay a portion of your salary in that situation.</p> <p>The good news is you may already have adequate protection. And even if you don't, the cost of coverage may not be as high as you feared. Here's what you need to know about disability insurance.</p> <h2>1. You Might Need It</h2> <p>When you're young and healthy, it's difficult to imagine life might ever be different.</p> <p>However, the insurance industry is quick to point out that your chances of becoming disabled are higher than your chances of dying prematurely. And the Social Security Administration has a scary-sounding statistic to back that up: Some 25% of 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching retirement age.</p> <p>However, not all disabilities are the same. Some are severe and permanent. About 10% of all Americans are now severely disabled, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many other disabilities are neither severe nor long-lasting. To put the situation in context, the Council of Disability Awareness says the average length of a long-term disability claim is three years.</p> <p>So, when considering your need for disability insurance, it's important not to be scared into overpaying for protection.</p> <h2>2. You Might Already Have Some</h2> <p>Even without buying a disability insurance policy, you might already be at least partly covered.</p> <h3>Workers' Compensation</h3> <p>This program is administered on a state-by-state basis, and some states do not require companies with fewer than four employees to maintain the coverage. However, if you work for a company that <em>does </em>carry workers' &quot;comp&quot; and you're injured on the job or develop a work-related disabling illness, this insurance should cover about two-thirds of your pre-disability income.</p> <p>Still, the National Safety Council points out that only 27% of long-term disabilities are work-related. Most don't even come from accidents; they come from cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.</p> <h3>Social Security</h3> <p>If you've been contributing to Social Security long enough, you may qualify for disability benefits. To find out, go to <a href="http://www.ssa.gov">ssa.gov</a> and click on &quot;sign in/up.&quot; However, even if you're <em>eligible</em> for Social Security disability benefits, that doesn't mean you'll <em>qualify. </em>Your disability has to be severe enough to keep you from working for at least a year (or be expected to), and it has to prevent you from doing the work you used to do or keep you from &quot;adjusting to other work.&quot; In other words, the program is designed to protect only the most severely disabled.</p> <h3>Self-Insurance</h3> <p>If you experience a short-term disability, you may be able to cover your expenses with personal savings. For example, an emergency fund savings account containing six months' worth of essential living expenses could be viewed as a short-term disability policy.</p> <p>You may be able to tap retirement funds, as well. For example, if you have a workplace plan, such as a 401K, you may be able to take out a low-interest loan. Or, if you have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-a-roth-ira-may-be-better-than-your-401k" target="_blank">Roth IRA</a>, you can withdraw your contributions at any time for any reason without penalty.</p> <h2>3. You Might Need More</h2> <p>After reviewing all of the above, if you decide to buy additional coverage, check whether it's offered through your employer. That will typically be the least expensive option.</p> <p>If it isn't offered, get some quotes from an online broker, such as <a href="https://www.policygenius.com/">PolicyGenius</a>, <a href="http://di-resource-center.com/">Disability Insurance Resource Center</a>, or <a href="https://www.disabilityquotes.com/disability-insurance/faq-moreabout.cfm">DisabilityQuotes.com</a>.</p> <h2>4. You Can Control the Cost</h2> <p>Key variables that will influence the price of a policy include:</p> <ul> <li>The waiting period. This is the amount of time between the onset of a disability and when the policy will begin paying. The longer the waiting period, the less the policy will cost.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The benefits period. This is how long the policy will pay benefits. You could opt for a policy that pays through age 67, but remember, the average long-term claim is three years, and choosing a shorter benefits period will lower the cost of the policy.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The benefit amount. You may qualify to cover 60% of your salary, but choosing a lesser amount will lower your cost.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The definition of &quot;disability.&quot; Ideally, you'll want a policy that protects you in case you are no longer able to perform the duties of your current occupation (an &quot;own occupation&quot; policy). You could buy a less expensive policy, though, if you're willing to accept one that pays only if you are not able to do other types of work.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Add-ons. You'll be offered numerous policy &quot;riders.&quot; Among those that may make the most sense is inflation protection, which would provide a cost-of-living increase in the benefit amount each year.</li> </ul> <p>Your ability to earn income is one of your most valuable assets. So, if you're not covered by a workplace disability insurance policy, take a few minutes to think about how you would pay your bills if you were suddenly unable to work. And keep in mind that you don't need to buy the most deluxe policy available. Protecting <em>some</em> of your income would be better than protecting <em>none</em> of it.</p> <p><em>Do you have disability insurance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-flood-insurance">Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment">How Long Can You Really Live on Unemployment?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-steps-to-full-health-care-coverage-in-retirement">Follow These 5 Steps to Full Health Care Coverage in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance disability emergency funds illness injury out of work policies social security workers comp Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:30:12 +0000 Matt Bell 1762585 at http://www.wisebread.com What Is Power of Attorney? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-power-of-attorney <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-power-of-attorney" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_daughter_happy_91770401.jpg" alt="Woman learning what power of attorney is" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Struggling with money issues or big medical decisions can happen to all of us. Aging, illness, or other factors can contribute to the difficulty. You can get help, though, through a legal document known as a <em>power of attorney</em>.</p> <p>In a power of attorney, you sign a document stating that another person whom you trust, known as the <em>agent </em>or <em>attorney-in-fact</em>, has the power to act on your behalf to make certain decisions. Your power of attorney could limit this person to making only financial decisions on your behalf. But you can make the document broader, giving your agent the power to make a wide variety of decisions, including choices about medical care, or decisions regarding where you live, and when it's time to sell your home.</p> <h2>When You Need One</h2> <p>In most cases, it is elderly people in their retirement years who choose to enact a power of attorney. This is especially true for elderly people who are struggling with memory issues or other illnesses that make it more difficult for them to keep track of their finances.</p> <p>You might not think you need a power of attorney if you are married. After all, even if you can no longer handle the tasks of paying your bills on time, your spouse can withdraw funds from your joint bank accounts to make sure that your mortgage company, auto-financing company, or utility company are paid on time each month.</p> <p>But there are other financial decisions that can be complicated even for married couples. For instance, it might make sense to sell your home. But in many states, both spouses must agree to a home sale. If one spouse is incapacitated and unable to make this decision, the other spouse might not be able to put the home on the market.</p> <p>Also, your spouse will have no legal authority to make decisions regarding accounts or property owned solely by you. A power of attorney, though, can guarantee that important financial or property matters are handled by someone whom you trust.</p> <h2>Different Types of Contracts</h2> <p>There are several different types of power of authority contracts. What is known as a <em>durable power of attorney</em> might be the most powerful. This type of power of attorney remains in effect for your entire lifetime. This gives the agent free reign to manage your accounts on your behalf for as long as you are alive.</p> <p>Because a durable power of attorney lasts the rest of your life, though, you need to be clear about what you want it to say. If you want your agent, for instance, to only be able to make decisions regarding your home and its sale, spell that out in the power of attorney document. If you want your agent to have broader control over both your finances and your medical decisions, spell that out, too.</p> <p>A conventional power of attorney goes into effect when the document is signed and ends when that person becomes incapacitated.</p> <p>You can also create a <em>springing power of attorney</em>. This type goes into effect when a specific event takes place. In most cases, a springing power of attorney will become effective when you become mentally unfit to handle financial, medical, or property decisions.</p> <p>The challenge often lies in determining when this specific event has actually taken place.</p> <h2>Be Wary</h2> <p>Creating a power of attorney is a big decision, and one that you should only make after <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies" target="_blank">meeting with loved ones and legal professionals</a>. Remember, you are signing over your right to make your own financial, property, or medical decisions.</p> <p>Keep in mind your spouse, too. Your spouse can continue to make decisions on your behalf even after you have signed a power of attorney. But once your spouse becomes incapacitated, the agent you named in your power of attorney will take over.</p> <p>Deciding who will serve as your agent is the big decision here. You can choose a family member, your spouse, a friend, or another loved one. The key is to find someone you both trust and who is willing and able to take on this responsibility.</p> <p><em>Have you considered granting power of attorney? Has someone given you this responsibility? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-power-of-attorney">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies">12 Financial Moves to Make When a Loved One Dies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-writing-a-will">What You Need to Know About Writing a Will</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/post-divorce-finances-7-steps-to-rebuilding-your-financial-house">Post Divorce Finances: 7 Steps to Rebuilding Your Financial House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance aging attorney-in-fact estate planning illness legal decisions legal documents power of attorney Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Dan Rafter 1732052 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 All Natural Home Remedies for Colds http://www.wisebread.com/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000057049014_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="man tissues sick" title="man tissues sick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband is a high school English teacher. My daughter is in her first year of preschool. Sickness is a way of life for us with so much exposure to germs. In fact, we just got over a full month of passing around two nasty cold viruses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-natural-remedies-for-stomach-pain?ref=seealso">12 Natural Remedies for Stomach Pain</a>)</p> <p>Here are some helpful cold remedies that won't send you running to the store, as you likely have most of the ingredients sitting around in your kitchen cabinets. The best part? They're all drug-free!</p> <h2>1. Miso Broth</h2> <p>From upset stomach to coughs and colds, this delicious <a href="http://vibrantwellnessjournal.com/2012/11/08/healing-with-miso/">miso soup</a> doubles as a cure and healthy meal option. Miso is made from fermented soy and rice, and it's full of good-for-you living enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. My husband skips the veggies and simply warms a few cups of water on the stove. He then dissolves a tablespoon or two of miso in it and sips all day long.</p> <h2>2. Veggie Broth</h2> <p>You don't need to go out and buy miso if you don't have it already. Instead, try this <a href="http://faithfulprovisions.com/natural-healing-broth/">healing veggie broth</a> that combines the goodness of garlic, ginger, lemon, cloves, and cayenne pepper. And water for hydration, of course. Simmer on the stove and strain before drinking. The cayenne pepper acts like an expectorant and helps get all the gunk out of your system.</p> <h2>3. Garlic Snack</h2> <p>I love how garlic tastes minced in olive oil. But did you know garlic is a <a href="http://thechalkboardmag.com/would-you-wouldnt-you-gnaw-raw-garlic-for-cold-flu-season">powerful antioxidant</a> with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties? In other words, it's great for fighting cold and flu viruses. You can munch on a whole clove to get the benefits. For those of you with sensitive stomachs, try mincing garlic and letting sit with some olive oil and honey before eating on a cracker.</p> <h2>4. Vapor Rub</h2> <p>Or try mixing together some <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2014/10/homesteading-natural-vapor-rub.html">DIY vapor balm</a> &mdash; much like the popular ones on the market &mdash; using olive oil, beeswax, and essential oils (peppermint and eucalyptus). This balm is wonderful for easing chest congestion and discomfort. The benefit here is knowing exactly what you're rubbing into yourself. You can also make different strengths to suit all your family members by adding more or less essential oils.</p> <h2>5. Salt Gargle</h2> <p>Most of us know about the mighty <a href="http://www.healing-oceans-family-wellness-center.com/salt-water-gargle.html">salt gargle</a> to relieve scratchy, sore throats and wash away germs. But are you doing it correctly? Combine &frac12; to &frac34; teaspoon salt with one warmed cup of pure water. Chlorinated tap water will irritate your throat, so skip that in favor of something filtered. Or you can dechlorinate water by leaving it out in the open for 24 hours.</p> <h2>6. Apple Cider Vinegar Drink</h2> <p>My family has long used unfiltered apple cider vinegar as a cold cure. It's pretty darned effective at <a href="http://homeremediesforlife.com/apple-cider-vinegar-sinus-infection/">thinning mucus</a> and clearing out sinuses. Dilute two to four tablespoons of ACV into one cup of warm filtered water (same reason to avoid tap water, as explained above) and add raw honey for taste if you like. Drink up four to six times a day to help kill bacteria and soothe your sore throat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-awesome-ways-to-use-apple-cider-vinegar?ref=seealso">12 Awesome Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar</a>)</p> <h2>7. Honey Coat</h2> <p>Honey is an effective, natural cough suppressant. So, skip the pricey cough drops and syrups and use this mixture of <a href="http://www.reformationacres.com/2014/11/homemade-medicine-made-simple-sweet-lemon-honey-thyme-cough-syrup-recipe.html">honey and lemon</a> instead. Combine a half cup of honey with half a lemon, two cups of water, and some fresh or dried thyme leaves. Store this homemade syrup in your refrigerator for around a month.</p> <p><em>What are your flu season go-to home remedies? Please share a dose in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-it-really-costs-to-get-sick">This Is What It Really Costs to Get Sick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-eating-habits-that-are-keeping-us-fat">6 &quot;Good&quot; Eating Habits That Are Keeping Us Fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-stressful-job-may-be-making-you-healthier">Your Stressful Job May Be… Making You Healthier?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-healthy-habits-that-can-hurt-you">20+ Healthy Habits That Can Hurt You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food">The High Cost of Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty colds cures Health home remedies illness Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:00:14 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1283630 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is What It Really Costs to Get Sick http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-it-really-costs-to-get-sick <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-what-it-really-costs-to-get-sick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sick-2334454-small.jpg" alt="sick" title="sick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's very difficult for many of us to think about the possibility of getting sick. When you're healthy, it doesn't seem like you'll ever have to worry about illness. And after all, isn't that what health insurance is for?</p> <p>But falling ill is not just costly to your insurer. Your poor health can not only affect your finances, but also those of the medical industry, your employer, and the economy as a whole. Here's what you need to know about how costly it is to be sick.</p> <h2>Personal Costs</h2> <p>Your personal costs due to poor health are fairly obvious &mdash; the amount you spend on co-pays, pharmaceuticals, outpatient care, and the like. If you are underinsured or uninsured, you may have to pay these costs entirely out of pocket.</p> <p>A 2009 study reported that <a href="http://www.pnhp.org/new_bankruptcy_study/Bankruptcy-2009.pdf">medical debt is a contributing cause in 62% of personal bankruptcy filings</a>. And despite the political promises, the Affordable Care Act will not make these sorts of medical debt obsolete. According to the Brookings Institution:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">Some insurance policies may recommend a hospital, but not all the doctors in that hospital may participate in the insurance network. So you can get in the weird situation where you go to an in-network hospital for a complex medical problem, but the specialists (like pathologists) who treat you but don't participate in the network. Bam! &mdash; You're stuck with their huge bills with no help from your insurer since the doctors are 'out of network.' (This is the case for many current insurance policies as well and is not a direct consequence of Obamacare.) Worst of all, <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2013/09/30-ten-questions-about-obamacare-aca-patel-sanghavi">Obamacare imposes no limit on charges</a> from out-of-network doctors, so you could still lose your house.</p> <p>That's why it may seem safer to just not get sick and not go to the doctor. But of course, that won't solve anything &mdash; and avoiding the doctor can make things worse. According to the National Coalition on Healthcare:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">The United States spends almost <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/CEA_Health_Care_Report.pdf">$100 billion per year to provide health services</a> to people who are uninsured. Much of that money is spent because uninsured patients wait until the 11th hour to seek care, when they could have been treated much more effectively and for less cost at an earlier stage of their medical problem.</p> <p>Even if you do have health insurance, you may avoid the doctor because you cannot afford the copay. But skipping doctors' visits is simply kicking the problem down the road, and it ends up costing more people than just the individual who can't afford care.</p> <h2>Costs to the Medical Industry</h2> <p>If you've ever wondered why any John or Jane Doe will be admitted to the emergency room, no matter what their insurance coverage or ability to pay, you can thank a 1986 mandate called the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Medical_Treatment_and_Active_Labor_Act">Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)</a>.</p> <p>The thinking behind EMTALA is certainly noble. It requires that hospitals provide emergency care to anyone who needs it, no matter their citizenship, legal status, or ability to pay. And we would all hate to live in a society that would allow someone to die simply because they have no ID or insurance card on them.</p> <p>The problem with this policy is that Congress did not specify where the compensation for the care would come from. Hospitals have no choice but to go after the uninsured (and underinsured) patients &mdash; which means that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marilyn-barrett/the-us-universal-health-c_b_171010.html">hospitals lose about $34 billion per year</a> in unpaid bills.</p> <p>And of course, anyone who has been to an emergency room in the last few years has seen the other problem that occurs when emergency care is the only place the uninsured know they will see a doctor: Many people are coming to the ER for non-emergencies. This crowds emergency rooms, making it that much harder to diagnose and treat each patient. In addition, ER care for non-emergency issues adds to the costs of medical care.</p> <h2>Productivity Costs</h2> <p>It's likely that you receive your health insurance through your employer. For that reason, your employer has a stake in keeping you healthy. After all, it costs the company money when you get sick &mdash; whether you're simply taking a day or two off work to recover from that stomach bug, or you need several weeks off to recover from a major illness.</p> <p>But there's more to the cost of your poor health than just medical costs. Your lost productivity costs your employer big time: <a href="http://files.ibiweb.org/uploads/knowledge-bank/content/US_Health_Costs_LOGO.jpg">Poor health costs U.S. employers $576 billion annually</a>. Those costs include wage replacement, including sick pay, workers' comp, and short- and long-term disability; medical and pharmaceutical costs; and lost productivity.</p> <p>Loss of productivity is maddeningly difficult for employers to define, which means that they will often only count medical and pharmaceutical costs when determining how much they spend on poor health. However, according to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, for every $1 that an employer spends on medical and pharmaceutical costs for an employee, there is an <a href="http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/2009/04/28/workers-poor-health-far-costlier-than-employers-realize-must-not-focus-on-medical-pharma-costs-alone/">additional $2.30 of health-related productivity costs</a> on average. (For some conditions, the additional productivity cost is much greater.)</p> <p>This is one of the reasons why it can be so difficult for employers &mdash; who are the largest group of health insurance providers in America &mdash; to determine the best way to improve the health of their employees. If employers are focused on the health conditions that cost the most in terms of medical and drug costs (e.g. cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol), they miss out on the conditions that are truly driving their company's health costs &mdash; conditions like depression, obesity, arthritis, back/neck pain, and anxiety.</p> <h2>Keeping Yourself and Your Finances Healthy</h2> <p>While it is clear that the health care system as a whole needs some major changes, the good news is that individuals can work to improve the cost of health care for themselves. Whether you have decent insurance coverage or not, you can invest in your own physical health by exercising, quitting unhealthy habits, getting regular checkups, and eating well. Not only will you see the benefits of improved health, but so will your community, your employer, and potentially American economy.</p> <p><em>Have you suffered extra costs do to illness? How did you manage your budget? Please share your experience in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-it-really-costs-to-get-sick">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-all-natural-home-remedies-for-colds">7 All Natural Home Remedies for Colds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/economic-effects-of-pandemic-flu-in-a-recession">Economic effects of pandemic flu in a recession</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-38-ways-to-get-more-sleep-tonight">Flashback Friday: 38 Ways to Get More Sleep Tonight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-eating-habits-that-are-keeping-us-fat">6 &quot;Good&quot; Eating Habits That Are Keeping Us Fat</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Health and Beauty cost of illness Health health care costs illness Wed, 07 May 2014 15:29:51 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1138434 at http://www.wisebread.com Are we too clean for our own good? http://www.wisebread.com/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/soil.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="322" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A friend of mine has three daughters, all under 6 years old. Recently, she was at the supermarket with her youngest. Her daughter dropped her pacifier on the ground. My friend picked it up, wiped it on her shirt, and handed it back to her daughter.</p> <p>An elderly gentleman approached her a few seconds later. Chuckling, he patted her child on the head. &quot;This must not be your first kid, then,&quot; he said with a grin,</p> <p>&quot;Why do you say that?,&quot; my friend asked nervously.</p> <p>&quot;Well, with the first child, if they drop their binkie, you&#39;d be more likely to boil it before letting your baby touch it again. By the time you get to your second, you get over it.&quot;</p> <p>My friend smiled. &quot;Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.&quot;</p> <p>There are probably a few of you reading this who think my friend is a horrible mother. I can assure you that she is not. Yes, supermarket floors are dirty. Yes, her daughter was probably exposed to germs. But according to many scientists, <a href="http://www.livescience.com/health/070914_too_clean.html">germs may be exactly what we need more of</a>.</p> <p>Building up a healthy immune system is one of the most important things that we can do for our health. It&#39;s the reason that people try to make sure that their children get chicken pox at a young age; they hope to inoculate their babies against the disease, which is much more serious if experienced at an advanced age. Taking your kid to a Pox Party is like a cheap vaccination. Viruses are serious things, and we believe in inoculating our kids against them, for the most part. </p> <p>However, we don&#39;t feel the same way about bacteria and other bugs. In fact, we do our utmost to avoid contact with bacteria, and when we do experience it, we zap the hell out of it with antibiotics and antibacterial ointments. The result? Our bodies don&#39;t know how to deal with bacterial infections, and the bacteria that we do come into contact with is getting stronger and stronger as we continually do our damndest to kill it off. Not only that, but when an immune system with too much free time on its hands comes into contact with innocuous but foreign substances (like cat dander), it over reacts, causing us to suffer from allergies.</p> <p>You&#39;ve probably heard that certain conditions that seem endemic to Americans, such as hayfever, <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F05EFDE1330F93AA2575AC0A9649C8B63">asthma</a>, and <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/03/23/allergies.kids/index.html">food allergies</a>, are not as common in the developing world. People infected with hookworm, for instance, have fewer asthma attacks and allergies (the hookworms trigger and immune system response, it is thought, that causes the body to concentrate on the worms, rather than triggering wheezing asthma attacks). By the way, do not Google &quot;hookworm&quot; unless you want to spend the rest of the day fighting the heebie jeebies. </p> <p>The point is, exposure to other germs, especially those found in soil, are <a href="http://www.realage.com/parentingcenter/articles.aspx?aid=10326">beneficial in preventing all kinds of autoimmune diseases</a>. With that in mind, consider letting go of your germ phobic ways. You&#39;ll save some money on the plethora of cleaning supplies that promise to nuke every single bacterium within a hundred-mile radius, and just may find that your kids grow up healthier.</p> <ul> <li>There&#39;s certainly nothing wrong with washing your hands, but skip the anti-bacterial soaps. Also, hand sanitizer is good in a bind, but if you apply it several times a day (and don&#39;t work in a hospital), you might have bigger issues than germs.</li> <li>Nobody wants salmonella poisoning, but using the appropriate tools when preparing raw chicken (plastic or glass cutting boards that can be run through the dish washer) and cleaning the kitchen with normal soap and water afterwards can do the trick - no need to break out the Clorox wipes.</li> <li><a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2175569/">Slate.com</a> believes that Americans should eat sh*t and NOT die. Provocative, but also, ew. They also mention the importance of breast feeding as a method for transferring antibodies from mother to child, even though most mothers today also lack crucial antibodies, having also been raised in sterile environments.</li> <li><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/conditions/04/05/cohen.allergies/index.html">Let your kids get dirty</a>. They will survive. I suppose it&#39;s possible, but it&#39;s fairly uncommon to hear of children who have been hospitalized because they accidentally ingested a little dirt.</li> <li>Ladies, your ladybits are self-cleaning, like an expensive oven! Unless it has been recommended by your gynecologist, do not feel the need to rinse them out from the inside (click <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbill/37387729/sizes/l/">here</a> to see a really odd add for Lysol ladybit cleaner). Remember, douchebag is a better insult than it is an invention. Too much rinsing will actually CAUSE infections.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-refillable-things-that-will-save-you-cash">10 Refillable Things That Will Save You Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-household-products-new-use-clever-cleaning-tips-from-the-motherland">Give Household Products New Use: Clever Cleaning Tips From the Motherland</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Green Living Home Lifestyle Allergies antibiotics bacteria chidren clean cold Dirt disease flu germs hand washing hookworms illness immune system infection lactose intolerance Overly Clean soap wash hands Mon, 17 Nov 2008 22:27:20 +0000 Andrea Karim 2585 at http://www.wisebread.com