Executive Vice President
Did you know that 50% of the population requires some type of vision correction? That is why vision plans typically receive high ranks from employees when they’re asked to rank the benefits they are offered from their employers.
There are many forms of vision insurance. Typically, your health insurance program will include coverage for an annual vision exam. As part of Health Care reform, insurers are now required to include an annual pediatric eye exam as part of the Essential Health Benefits.
If you’ve purchased glasses recently, you know how much they can cost – after all the add-ons, costs can be as high as $600, $800 or even as much as $900 or more by the time you are done. For most people, it would be difficult to simply write a check or put that expense on a credit card without some planning upfront. This is where a vision plan can help.
Discount programs may be available with your dental or another employee benefit program. These programs typically provide a 10 – 15% discount when you purchase qualified products or receive vision services from an in network provider.
There are also programs like Contact Fill or 1-800 CONTACTS, which allow you to purchase your contact lenses at a discount through their mail order service. Typically, these two programs are free of charge and are available to you and your family members as a “value added” service.
Full service vision plans may include coverage for exams and are designed to provide coverage for materials, such as frames, lenses and contact lenses. When considering or evaluating a full service plan, get the answers to these important questions:
Considering these tips can help you get the most value from your vision program.
Mike Gorski RD, CD, MG FitLife
It seems like every week there is a new fad diet being shoved in our face. Low this, low that, this free, that free, etc. What gives? How are we supposed to know what is right and what is wrong?
When it comes to why people diet, most reasons come down to wanting to lose weight. In the end, weight loss comes down to calories in vs. calories out. To lose weight, you need to be taking in less calories than you burn on a daily basis.
Low carb, low fat, gluten free, and others all work because you are cutting out a huge chunk of your calories. When you cut out all your carbs, this could mean cutting out 400-800 calories a day. Same thing goes with low fat diets. It all comes back to creating a calorie deficit.
Before even trying to create your deficit, the most important thing you need to do is be in the right mindset.
It is crucial to focus on what you WANT not what you want to avoid. You will always move towards what you think about most.
You have control over your thoughts. You have to be conscious about what you are thinking and saying. The instant you catch yourself using negative language, interrupt that thought! Mentally imagine a big rubber stamp that says “CANCEL” and stamp it out – then replace it with a positive thought.
Statements such as…
Here is how you can make some simple swaps:
By simply changing your mindset and how you approach every choice you make, you will find success, and you will find results. Do not overwhelm yourself and try to fix everything at once.
Once you have mastered a positive mindset, you need to commit 100%. You need to set a goal, and tackle it head on. The hardest times come when you let your emotions and stress get involved. The #1 reason people struggle to lose weight is because of stress/emotional/mindless eating.
Stress doesn't need to show up as some terrible culmination of a bunch of events from the day, but it could just be a standard long day at work.
First, you need to realize food won't decrease your stress, ESPECIALLY if you are trying to get healthier and lose some body fat. It's the typical cycle:
Food WON'T fix your problems.
Someone upsetting you at work? Talk to them about it in an adult manner. Maybe they don't even realize what they are doing is upsetting you. Eating a snickers bar on the drive home won't let them know that. They still don't get it after you talk with them? Bring in superiors or figure out that maybe you don't even need to interact with that person at work and you can just block them out.
So when you are having a "stressful day", remember the following before throwing your sweatpants on and mindlessly eating a bag of Fritos on the couch:
Lastly, some quick ideas for different stressors:
Kelley Donovan, Investment Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 is still young, but already the nation has seen its share of floods, tornados, blizzards and other disasters. You rarely have much advance warning to prepare for most natural catastrophes, which is why it’s important to assemble a financial emergency kit now, ahead of a crisis.
Before we go into the contents of your financial emergency kit, here are a few pointers.
How much to store in your financial emergency kit is up to you, but your kit should include these five items:
1. Cash and keys. Your kit should contain enough cash to facilitate daily life for a few days. Think about how much you will need to pay for food, lodging and other necessities. Cash is best since you may not be able to access ATMs or other electronic forms of payment. Also pack a set of essential keys (including a spare to a safe deposit box, if you have one).
2. Contacts. Create list of telephone numbers, emails or other contact information that includes family members, as well as key medical, financial and business contacts. This information can be stored electronically, too (with proper security precautions), but keep a paper copy in your emergency kit as well.
3. Personal identification. After a disaster strikes, you may have to confirm your identity to obtain disaster relief services, file insurance claims, or get access to your property and financial assets. Keep essential documents that help establish who you and your family are. These include extra originals or copies of passports, driver’s licenses, birth and marriage certificates, adoption decrees, Social Security cards, and military records.
4. Paper or electronic copies of important financial records. Include these financial documents in your kit: mortgages, property deeds, legal documents such as a Power of Attorney and insurance policies. Also include recent financial statements for bank accounts, credit cards, brokerage accounts and statements related to investments that might be held outside a brokerage firm (such mutual funds or 529 college savings). If you access accounts or documents online, include a list of password hints. Also pack recent retirement account statements and your most recent tax return. A password-protected flash drive or file might be safer than hard copies—as long as you can access the files.
5. An inventory of your valuables and personal belongings. This will help you maximize the benefit from your insurance policies and will expedite the claims process. Assemble a paper, photo or video inventory, or a combination of these, and put it into your emergency kit. Save purchase receipts for major items or appraisals for valuable belongings. For your household items, walk through your house and write down what’s in every room. For major items, record make and serial numbers. While you’re at it, record the cost. Take close-up pictures of valuables, including details such as serial number tags. You can also videotape your belongings with narrative description of the relevant information.