Monthly Archives: April 2012

Three Ways to Spring Clean Your Diet

It’s spring, which means it’s time to clean your place from head to toe. Sounds like fun, right? But with final exams coming up — who has the time? I’m sure that you would pick cleaning over studying any time… but for now, here are three easy ways you can spring clean your diet before finals week.

1. Switch from soda to lemon water

One of the easiest ways to clean up your diet is to ditch the soda. Whatever you do… don’t fail for the diet or zero calorie nonsense. Diet-soda or regular, there are plenty of health warnings about the stuff. A favorite drink among detox enthusiasts is lemon water — warm or cold. Just squeeze the juice of a half of a fresh lemon into water and sip.

2. Repair cells with kale

Kale is antioxidant rich and considered nature’s scouring pad for its ability to scrub your cells clean. My favorite way to eat kale is to boil kale for about 5 minutes (you don’t want it to turn brown) and sprinkle a small amount of vinegar on it — preferably plum vinegar, which can be found at your local supermarket, like Publix and Whole Foods. Loaded with that dark green pigment, kale is chock-full of antioxidants that fight disease and cell damage.

3. Swap out refined sugar for fruit

If you normally sprinkle sugar on your cereal in the morning, try slicing a banana on top instead. The goal here is to think of fruit as your sweetener of choice — and get creative with it! Try apple slices on your almond-butter sandwich instead of jam, or kiwi slices in your Greek yogurt in place of honey.

There are many ways you can clean out your system, but at least these 3 ways will get you started before you say bye spring semester and HELLO to summer.

Q: How do you spring clean your diet? Any advice for people trying a detox plan this spring?

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Are you spending too much on prescription drugs?

If you have prescription coverage, odds are you have a formulary, which can save you a lot of money on prescription drugs.

What is a formulary?

A drug formulary is a list of prescription drugs (both generic and brand name) that are preferred by your health insurance plan. Your plan may only pay for medications that are on their “preferred” list, unless your healthcare provider talks with your health plan and gets prior approval.

Most insurance companies maintain formularies, or a list of drugs that they pay for as a plan benefit, usually using a tiered system. Less expensive drugs have the lowest co-pay (Tier 1), the most expensive drugs have the highest co-pay (Tier 3), and the remainder lie in between (Tier 2). This tier designation does not go strictly on retail price — insurance companies negotiate for discounts that sometimes may make a costlier drug preferred over a less costly one.

Formularies are organized along therapeutic classes. For example, they all contain several blood pressure pills, antibiotics and diabetic medications, though often only one mediation from each therapeutic sub-class.

How do I save money on prescription drugs with my formulary?

If your doctor chooses from your list of preferred drugs or formulary, it will save you money. How does your doctor know what to choose? In short, your doctor doesn’t… not unless they have access to your formulary or list of drugs covered by your insurance plan. Get two copies — bring one with you to every doctor visit. Have your doctor keep the other in your chart for reference.

Tier 1 drugs may not necessarily be your first choice. You may be intolerant of a certain drug, or perhaps unresponsive to it. You may be stable on a particular name brand prescription for years already and are therefore hesitant to make a change. Some medications require blood level monitoring, and levels may be more consistent with brand name medications. Switching to a generic may not save you money if you need to have your blood level checked more often.

Additional savings are available in the form of coupons or rebates from pharmaceutical companies, which may save you $20 to $50 off your co-pay, thereby lowering your out-of-pocket cost for a higher tiered drug to the same as that of a lower tiered medication.

So to sum it up… know your formulary and partner with your doctor to save money!

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Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @StudentHealthy for helpful information about your health!

Our Facebook page got a makeover! And so did almost every page… thanks to Facebook’s new, Timeline. But that’s beside the point. We are very excited to be more active on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We use these communities to give our schools, and students like you, useful information while also answering any questions you have about your insurance plan.

Our Twitter followers and Facebook fans get helpful information daily about their health insurance, being healthy and succeeding in college. Things like…

  • Information about their insurance policy and coverage
  • How to eat well in college
  • Ways to succeed in your classes, major and job search
  • Fun workouts that actually work
  • Advice about how to save money on healthcare
  • And more…

Be assured that you’re insured with us! When it comes to your heath, we have your back. So what’s not to LIKE about us? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @StudentHealthy today!