Category: Health and Wellness - Part 3

Left out — health reform bypasses some immigrants, resort workers

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon GLENWOOD SPRINGS The young couple faced a tough choice: have their first baby in their hometown in Colorados priciest mountain resort area or travel instead to Mexico City. Because the 23-year-old woman was uninsured and an undocumented immigrant during her pregnancy, the birth in Colorado would have cost the couple thousands of dollars out of pocket. The womans 27-year-old husband is a U.S. citizen who grew up in Illinois, but works in Glenwood Springs, the bustling city where many service workers live about 40 miles down valley from ritzy Aspen. He gets insurance through his job,…

Health insurance like buying a BMW for some Spanish speakers

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon When new Connect for Health Colorado ads launch this fall, Spanish speakers will hear a different message from other potential customers. The call to action will be Come and learn rather than Come and buy, the message that will bombard most other customers. Thats because many Spanish-speaking immigrants dont even ponder buying health insurance since they think its out of reach financially, according to a consultant who is advising Connect for Health. Spanish speakers have the perception that health insurance is not an option for them so they are not looking for health insurance, Melissa Burkhart, founder of the translation…

REACH: Falling for physical activity

The evenings are getting cooler and the days shorter. Dont let your exercise routine go by the wayside. Join family and friends outdoors for some fall activities before the snow flies. Rake your leaves into a big pile. Jump and play in the leaves and then do it again! Take a walk to find pretty fall leaves to use in art projects and home decorations. Organize a friendly game of flag or touch football. Get lost (and found again) in a corn maze. Walk around a pumpkin patch to find the perfect one. Take a trip to the country to…

REACH: Walking the talk

By Maren Stewart During the Get Movin Challenge, Coloradans embarked on a 30-day challenge to prove that Colorado is the biggest mover by getting active 30 minutes a day. On Aug. 1, LiveWell Colorado and Gov. John Hickenlooper kicked off the challenge to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. So how did the state do? More than 8,170 Coloradans participated. 37,800,000 calories were collectively burned, or 10,800 pounds shed! More than 92,500 hours of physical activity were logged. Thats more than a decades worth of movement. 300,000 miles of activity were traveled, or 780 trips across the state…

Confused about Obamacare? There’s an app for that

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon While politicians continue to argue over the fate of Obamacare, consumers are deeply confused about what reform may mean to them and how they can find help. A new tool aimed at delivering answers debuted in Colorado this week: the Blue Guide from the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative . Its mobile. It offers statewide information. And if you tell the website or app where you are, it will use geolocation to instantly show you nearby clinics, mental health centers or assistance sites where you can sign up for health insurance once Colorados new health exchange, Connect for Health Colorado , launches on Oct. 1. Consumers can…

Workers pay more even as health cost increases ease

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Health insurance premiums climbed just 4 percent this year over last, but employees feel bogged down because theyre paying a bigger share of their health costs, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. This is historically a very moderate increase, but people dont perceive it that waybecause year after year, the share of what they pay has gone up, said Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation. People still feel the pain of health care costs and worry about paying their health care bills. Premiums have increased 80 percent since…

Colorado approves 242 health plans for exchange

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Colorados Division of Insurance has approved 242 plans from 13 carriers for the states health exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, which is slated to open on Oct. 1. Deputy Insurance Commissioner Peg Brown briefed members of Colorados health exchange board on Monday on plans that her department has reviewed and approved. Were very pleased with the number of carriers and plans. It represents a wide variety of choice for the Connect for Health marketplace and healthy competition in the Colorado insurance marketplace overall, Brown said. Of the approved plans, 150 are targeted at individuals while 92…

Opinion: The most important health initiative in Colorado history

By Dr. Jan Kief Gov. John Hickenlooper recently announced the most important and ambitious public health initiative in Colorados history. The State of Health Initiative aims to make Colorado the healthiest place to live in the United States. We at the Colorado Medical Society fully support the initiative and will be working to support its objectives through wide-ranging efforts from the 7,500 physicians, medical students and Colorado residents in our membership. The State of Health Initiative is a comprehensive, statewide effort that brings together the governors office, physicians and other health care providers, government agencies, nonprofits, private companies and the…

REACH: Interval training so bad it’s good

By Mark Siebert Do you want to get the most calorie burn out of your workout? Are you finding that you are hitting a plateau? Interval training could be a great option. Interval training is alternating high intensity activity with lower intensity activity. Whether your exercise of choice is walking, running, using cardio equipment or group exercise, intervals can help you get the most from your efforts. After prolonged exercise at the same intensity, your body naturally adapts and becomes more efficient, needing less effort to perform the same activity. Adding intervals can help provide that high intensity exercise in…

‘My dear Watson’ — from ‘Jeopardy’ to a doc’s office near you

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon KEYSTONE Best known for beating brilliant humans at Jeopardy, Watson, the super computer, soon may be coming to a hospital or insurance company near you. But dont call him (or her) Dr. Watson. The more appropriate reference may be to Sherlock Holmes my dear Watson, the indispensable right-hand man or woman as Lucy Liu now portrays Dr. Joan Watson in the re-imagined TV show, Elementary. IBMs Watson is actually named to honor the companys founder, Thomas J. Watson. But as Watsons creators dream up future roles for their intelligent machine medical sleuth, patient watchdog and reading…