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Saturday, December 7, 2019
  1. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-07-2019
  2. Amazing Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies
  3. 2019 Holiday Gift Guide For Her
  4. Herbal Inclusions for Dishes and Drinks
  5. 4 Diabetes Game Changers
  6. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-30-2019
  7. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cream Cheese
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  9. Wedding Planning: The Ring, Our Vendors, and More!
  10. Instant Pot Vegan Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
  11. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-16-2019
  12. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 10-26-2019
  13. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-02-2019
  14. Roasted Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  15. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-09-2019
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  17. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  18. What I Wednesday: FNCE in Philly!
  19. Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  20. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  21. Unearthing Evidence-Based Integrative Remedies to Stress
  22. Scribble Anxiety Away
  23. Best Hostess Gift Ever
  24. What I Ate Wednesday: Fiancé Edition!
  25. Pumpkin Walnut Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
  26. Favorite Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
  27. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
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  29. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
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  34. Simple Swaps for Your Zero Waste Journey
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  36. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  37. Quick and Easy-One Pan Veggie Red Curry
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  40. Cooking with CBD
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  42. Bento Box Recipes
  43. How to Make Sushi Sandwich
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  45. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-14-2019
  46. 5 lunchbox ideas
  47. 17 Free and Easy Ways to Be a Self-Care Expert
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  49. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-07-2019
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  53. VOTE TODAY!
  54. Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
  55. Twilight Time: Reading With Kids
  56. Keep your cool
  57. Tart Cherry Crumble Pie
  58. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  59. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  60. Your brain on… air pollution?
  61. Brain Boosters
  62. MCT oil Coconut’s healthful gift
  63. Hot right now
  64. Cupcakes for breakfast?
  65. Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
  66. What is CBD? A Guide to Health Benefits, Usage, and More!
  67. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  68. Hummus Toast – 4 Ways!
  69. What I Ate Wednesday
  70. Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Banana Muffins
  71. Advances in Colorectal Cancer Research
  72. Advances in Breast Cancer Research
  73. Cleft Palate With Cleft Lip
  74. What is CPR?
  75. What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis
  76. Cushing Syndrome (For Parents)
  77. Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimers Disease?
  78. Manganese
  79. Study Shows that Disrupted Gut Bacteria May Contribute to the Spread of Breast Cancer
  80. She Faced Breast Cancer At 16 With Little Help From Doctors. Now She’s Speaking Out On Behalf Of Black Women
  81. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?
  82. Participating in the Arts Creates Paths to Healthy Aging
  83. Setting Goals to be More Active Slows Memory Decline in Older African Americans
  84. Study Shows Music Eases Pain and Other Symptoms for Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment
  85. 49-Year-Old Breast Cancer Patient Grateful She Didn’t Wait Until 50 for a Mammogram
  86. Teen’s Innovative “SMART Armour” Protects Breast Cancer Patients from Radiation
  87. New Drug Improves 3-Year Survival by 50% for Young Women with Stage IV Breast Cancer
  88. Young Mother’s Life Tragically Taken by Breast Cancer After She Refused Traditional Treatments
  89. NIH Study Tracks Exercise with Mobile Apps to Improve Heart Health
  90. Lion With Skin Cancer Has Received Radiation Therapy In Hospital
  91. 3rd Grader Writes Note for Teacher Battling Breast Cancer to Read Right Before Treatment
  92. Skin Care
  93. Have Back Pain? These Are the Basic Spinal Structures You Need to Know
  94. The Final Word on Whether Alcohol Actually Has Any Health Benefits
  95. New One-Time “Seed” Treatment for Breast Cancer Being Used in Philadelphia
  96. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Talks About The Side Effects of Chemotherapy
  97. Teacher on Leave for Breast Cancer Treatment Forced to Pay for Her Own Substitute
  98. 27-Year-Old Thought She Was Injured Falling Off A Horse, But Then She Learned She Had Breast Cancer
  99. Should Surgery And Radiation Be The Standard Treatment For DCIS? The COMET Study Is Finding Out
  100. Judge Rules That 3-Year-Old Child With Leukemia Must Get Chemo Against Parents’ Wishes
  101. This Charcoal Powder Drastically Whitens Teeth Without Any Chemicals
  102. These Black Cherry-Flavored Shots Help Accelerate Weight Loss
  103. Olivia Newton-John Talks About How She Stays Positive Amid Cancer Battle
  104. This Army Captain Mom Was Diagnosed with Breast Cancer When She Was Just 8 Weeks Pregnant
  105. High-Deductible Health Plans Linked to Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer
  106. Antibiotic shortages are putting Aboriginal kids at risk – The Conversation AU
  107. Cuddle beds bringing some physical comfort to end-of-life patients – ABC News
  108. People who skip breakfast are five times more likely to die after a heart attack – Daily Mail
  109. Yale researchers revive cells in dead pig brains – Yale Daily News
  110. Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report – Fox News
  111. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment – NPR
  112. After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Technology Professor Teaches Computers to Read Mammograms
  113. Fact or Fiction: What to Know About Smoking Cessation and Medications
  114. If Soap and Water Are Not Available, Hand Sanitizers May Be a Good Alternative
  115. Autism: Beware of Potentially Dangerous Therapies and Products
  116. One side of your brain might be giving you nightmares – Cosmos
  117. What Personality Tests Tell Us About Ourselves – NPR
  118. Having a resting heart rate of 75 beats per minute DOUBLES your risk of an early death – Daily Mail
  119. Wear protective goggles to play badminton
  120. Herbal drug kratom linked to almost 100 overdose deaths, CDC says – USA TODAY
  121. Ability to lift weights quickly can mean a longer life – EurekAlert
  122. Climate change is making allergy season worse – CNN
  123. 11 Unexpected Ways You Can Relieve Headaches – HuffPost
  124. New Jersey preschoolers have highest autism rates in the nation, researchers say
  125. Auburn gymnast who suffered severe injuries: My pain is not your entertainment
  126. A four-day work week could improve our health and cut carbon emissions
  127. Promising treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome fails large trial

High-Deductible Health Plans Linked to Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer

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High-deductible health plans are a popular option for employers looking to maximize their spending on health insurance and keep their employees well-covered. On the surface, these plans often look great, which explains why thousands of companies have switched to them in the last several years. From 2007 to 2017, the number of high-deductible health plans in the U.S. rose from 4.2 percent to 18.9 percent among adults 18 to 64 who had job-based coverage. The number of high-deductible plans without a health savings account (HSA) attached increased from 10.6 percent to 24.5 percent in that same age group.

High-deductible health policies often cover certain routine or preventative procedures, then require the individual to pay out-of-pocket for any other procedures up to their deductible limit, after which the insurance covers most or all of the in-network costs incurred after the deductible has been met. These plans offer a higher level of security for those who have chronic and costly conditions or a family history of expensive diseases like cancer or diabetes. A policy is considered high-deductible if the yearly deductible is more than $1,000, as opposed to $500 or less for low-deductible health plans.

A study published in Health Affairs in March of 2019, however, suggests that high-deductible health plans may not be as great as they appear. In fact, they could be contributing to delayed diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

The study examined one large national insurer’s claims data, specifically the data from 316,244 women whose employers switched from low- to high-deductible health insurance plans between 2004 and 2014. Compared to women on low-deductible health plans, those women who had low deductibles for at least a year prior to being switched to high-deductible plans waited longer on average to have diagnostic tests and treatments for breast cancer done.

On average, low-income women with high deductibles waited 1.6 months longer than the low-deductible group for diagnostic breast imaging, 2.7 months for their first biopsy, 6.6 months for their first early-stage breast cancer diagnosis, and 8.7 months for chemotherapy treatment.

The problem seems to lie in the fact that most people don’t keep enough money lying around to be able to pay their yearly deductibles. Take Susan, from Broomall, Pennsylvania, for example. She has a $6,000 deductible for herself and her child. When she found out she had a genetic variation which means there’s a 69 percent chance she’ll develop breast cancer at some point in her life, she chose to have increased surveillance to check for cancer, which would allow her to keep her breasts for now and continue breastfeeding her child. Now Susan must have a mammogram and an MRI every year, costing more than $3,000 together. Due to the high prices and the fact that she didn’t have that kind of liquid cash on hand, Susan got on a payment plan and chose to put off her 2018 screenings until she had finished paying her medical bills from 2017.

However, even wealthy women don’t seem to be immune to the issue. Compared to affluent women with low deductibles, affluent women with high deductibles waited an average of 0.7 months longer for breast imaging, 1.9 months for their first biopsy, 5.4 months for their first early-stage breast cancer diagnosis, and 5.7 months for chemotherapy treatment.

The researchers say the same results hold true regardless not only of wealth but also of whether or not a woman lives in a metropolitan area and whether or not her neighborhood is mostly white or nonwhite. This evidence points even more strongly to the fact that it is the high-deductible health plans, rather than other factors, contributing to delayed diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. However, some factors, such as the patient’s familiarity with their disease and their understanding of their insurance coverage and healthcare system, may play a role as well.

“High-deductible plans are really the epitome of the access-to-care problem. People don’t have the liquid cash to meet their deductible, so you see delays in care or even avoiding treatment altogether,” says Dr. Veena Shankaran of the Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

For some women, waiting a little longer will not make a noticeable difference in the outcome. But for many, putting off a procedure that would diagnose or treat cancer or another serious health condition can have catastrophic consequences.

This study is not the first of its kind to find that high-deductible health plans contribute to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are also on the list, so patients who are at risk of these diseases or who already have them may be prone to delaying treatment and therefore suffer from poorer health outcomes.

“One thing that worries me,” says Dan Klein, president and chief executive officer of Patient Access Network Foundation, “is that Congress is very focused on lowering prescription drug prices. That’s a good goal, but it’s meaningless in an environment where patients still can’t access care or medications because of their deductibles.”

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of people who have trouble meeting their deductibles has risen from 37 percent to 43 percent from 2015 to 2017. Share this article to draw more public attention to this under-represented issue!

Waiting for Insurance to Cover Her Mammogram Could Have Cost This Survivor Her Life: Click “Next” below!

Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?

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