Business, Product, Service, and Self Promotion

“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” (attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, although he probably didn’t say it in that way). That’s not necessarily true. In fact, it’s not likely true. At least not for a long time. A look at the records of the Patent Office reveal that many people have built better things than what were currently available, but those things were never offered for sale. Perhaps most things that are patented are ridiculous and have little chance of ever being developed into a product that can be sold widely, but there are many patents for good products that were never developed. If virtually no one knows about a better mousetrap, they will not beat a path to the door of the inventor.

Once something worthy of people’s consideration has been created, be it a product or a service, people have to know about it or they won’t consider it. Hence the multi-billion dollar per year promotion industry. Included in this industry are sales, advertising, public relations, and other types of promotion, such as merchandise with a company’s same printed or embroidered on it, and such as building booths and displays for trade shows.

In our day, there are many ways to get a message across to people, and many are not very expensive. The Internet is available to everyone and provides various ways for people to communicate with other people. However, everyone is trying to get their message across, thus most of it becomes noise to most other people. And the audience receiving the message is usually quite limited. People try to expand it and it becomes spam or pop-ups, which are distasteful at best, and sometimes illegal and immoral at worst.

My grandparents were born in the 1870s and 1880s. Of course there was no internet, no television, no entertainment radio. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were exposed to less advertising in the first 20 years of their lives than I am exposed to every week.

As soon as companies can afford it, they try to promote themselves to the masses. Sometimes they pay millions of dollars for 30 seconds on national television in which to promote themselves or their products. And many of them do a very poor job of it. From everything I’ve seen, most print, radio, and television advertising seems to be done to please the advertising agency and to garner awards of excellence rather than try to get their customers’ products sold. I enjoy watching the CLIO Awards, but I don’t feel like going shopping after I watch them. My thought process is, if a company is irresponsible enough to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to advertise, and their advertisements don’t tell me who they are or what they do or what their product or service is or does, or why I should care, I have absolutely no confidence in them or anything they have for sale, so I won’t patronize them even if I subsequently find out what they do and why they think I should care.

Some companies have either in-house advertising (probably the owner of the company or a spouse who have no idea how to advertise effectively) or a cut rate advertising agency awash in malpractice and incompetence.

Where I live, one seller of a particular product advertises so much that I will get up to turn off the radio or the television or change the station when they advertise. It’s just too much. And their advertisements are someone shouting at me, using annoying phrases and fifth-grade English. Other sellers of the same product in my area advertise not at all, or occasionally. And those that do advertise do so tastefully and humorously, and not so much that I wish they would go bankrupt. If I ever found myself in need of this product, I would not go to the company that advertises excessively. Advertising can turn customers away if done poorly.

Sometimes I think, “If you’ve got enough money to advertise, you don’t need my money,” and I often don’t patronize those businesses. Most products are sold by many different outlets, and I can always get a product or service I want without rewarding people for insulting me with their foolish and boring ads.

Advertising should answer as many as possible of the following:

What the company or the product or service are
What the company or the product or service can do for me
Why I should buy that particular product or service instead of the same thing, or something similar from a competitor

I see ads on the television with people riding bicycles or flying kites or jumping in the river and I often have no idea what the product is or why I should care. Or why I should purchase their product instead of their competitors’. Thus, I don’t. I am all for riding bikes and jumping in rivers, but I can’t imagine why a company would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to show me other people doing it.

Beer commercials seem to indicate that you should be an over-sexed moron to drink beer, or you will become one if you drink beer. I don’t understand wanting anyone to think that or spending millions of dollars to try to talk them into it. Of course, how do you advertise beer positively? You could advertise realistically. You could show people getting drunk and making fools of themselves. You could show people becoming alcoholics and ruining their lives. You could show domestic abuse and fatal automobile accidents. I don’t guess any of that would sell the product. But I wonder if treating people like they’re stupid does, either. Maybe it works best with stupid people.

I think all advertising should be done as if the advertiser is sitting in the buyer’s living room. If I were to sit in someone’s living room, I would not shout at them. I would not insult their intelligence. I would use proper English. I would want to be of help to them, if I could figure a way to do it. I would tell them how I could help them if I figured it out.

To promote ourselves, with a resume or as a provider of a service or a seller of a product, we must tell the prospective employer or customer the same things that advertisers must tell their prospective customers:

Who we are. Not just our names and address, or even an attendance record at former employers, but who we are. What we stand for. If the employer or customer are to spend money on us, they must know who we are.
What we can do for the employer or client and why they should care
Why an employer should hire us or a customer use our services instead of hiring someone else or making an agreement with our competitors

Promotion doesn’t always work, of course, and it might not work the way we want it to. But it is necessary. So we must try different things, and refine it as we go. If we or our product or service are valuable, and if we can communicate that to enough of the right kinds of people, we can make our lives very much better.

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Occupational Health – What Is the BIG Picture of OH?

The rapid development of workplace health protective and preventive services has been driven by government strategies and recommendations, as well as by the European Union legislation in the areas of health and safety at work and by the European Commission programme in public health. This was also largely due to the new demands and expectations from employers, employees and their representative bodies as they recognize the economic, social and health benefits achieved by providing these services at the workplace, thus providing the available knowledge and evidence necessary for the continuous improvement of workplace health management. Comprehensive workplace health management is a process involving all stakeholders inside and outside any business. It aims at empowering them to take control over their own health and their family’s health considering environmental, lifestyle, occupational and social health determinants and quality of health care. It is based on health promotion principles and it creates a great challenge to health, environment and safety professionals providing services, advice, information and education to social partners at work. It involves also taking care of considerable socioeconomic interest of all involved stakeholders. It has been shown in several instances that the business utilizing a well managed research based occupational health service can gain a competitive advantage by:

  • Protecting human health against health and safety hazards occurring in the work environment.
  • Promoting human health workplaces for all ages and healthy aging by appropriate work culture, work organization and support to social cohesion.
  • Promoting mental health, healthy lifestyle and preventing major non-communicable diseases using specific workplace health policies and management tools.
  • Maintaining work ability thus also employability throughout working life.
  • Reducing health care costs caused by employees’ and employers’ injuries, diseases, illnesses and premature retirement resulting from or influenced by occupational, environmental, life style and social health determinants
  • Using resources effectively, protecting the natural environment and creating a health supportive environment.
  • Improving social communication and literacy on health, environment and ethics.

This article series describes the author’s observations of various roles undertaken by the occupational health nurse. Whilst recognizing the wide variation that exists in occupational health nursing practice between different industrial and blue collar environments this series reflects the standards that have already been achieved where occupational health nursing is at its most advanced. However it has to be recognized that the level of education, professional skills and the exiting national legislation determines what role can be actually undertaken by occupational health nurses. Even more important is to remember that no one professional out of the exiting workplace health professions is now capable to meeting all health needs of the working population. A multi-disciplinary approach is needed to effectively manage the growing workplace health and safety demands in business today.

The workplace health services use the skills of many professionals such as specialist occupational physicians, safety engineers, occupational hygienists, occupational health nurses, ergonomists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, laboratory technicians, psychologists and other specialists. The role and tasks actually performed for the companies by representatives of different health and safety professions vary greatly depending upon legislative needs, scope of the workplace health concept perceived by directors, enforcement practice, the level of their education, position in the occupational health infrastructure, actions undertaken by insurance institutions and many other factors. Occupational health nurses are the largest single group of health professionals involved in delivering health services at the workplace and have the most important role to play in the workplace health management. They are at the frontline in helping to protect and promote the health of the nations working population.

The role of the occupational health nurse in workplace health management is a new and exciting concept that is designed to improve the management of health and health related problems in the workplace. Specialist occupational health nurses can play a major role in protecting and improving the health of the working population as part of this strategy. Occupational health nurses can also make a major contribution to the sustainable development, improved competitiveness, job security and increased profitability of businesses and communities by addressing those factors which are related to the health of the working population. By helping to reduce ill health occupational health nurses can contribute to the increased profitability and performance of organizations and reduce health care costs. Occupational health nurses can also help to reduce the externalization of costs onto the taxpayer, by preventing disability and social exclusion, and by improving rehabilitation services at work. By protecting and promoting the health of the working population, and by promoting social inclusion, occupational health nurses can also make a significant contribution towards building a caring social ethos within the UK. This article provides guidance to employers and employees on establishing workplace health management systems within their own organizations. On how to determine and develop the role and functions of the occupational health nursing specialist within each enterprise and where to go for additional help and advice in relation to occupational health nursing.

Changing nature of working life and the new challenges

The world of work has undergone enormous change in the last hundred years. To a large extent the very heavy, dirty and dangerous industries have gone, and the burden of disease, which came with them, in most European countries, has declined. However, the new working environments and conditions of work that have replaced them have given rise to new and different concerns about the health of the working population. Exposure to physical, chemical, biological and psychosocial risk factors at work are now much more clearly linked to health outcomes in the mind of the general public. Expectations of society in regard to health at work have also changed, with increasing demands for better standards of protection at work and for the improvement of the quality of working life. Employers are also recognizing that health-related issues, such as sickness absence, litigation and compensation costs, increasing insurance premiums, are expensive; ignoring them can lead to serious economic consequences. The best employers’ emphasize the important message that good health is good business, and that much can be achieved in this field simply by introducing good management practices (HSE 1998).

The Need for Workplace Management

There are approximately 400 million people who work in the EU Member States. The majority of whom spend more than one half of their waking life at work. However, fatal accidents at work are still common. The standardized incident rates per 100,000 workers in the European Union (Eurostat 1997) show that the fatal accident rate varies between 1.6 in the UK to 13.9 in Spain, with Austria, Greece, France, Italy and Portugal all above 5.0%. In the entire European region there are approximately 200 to 7500 non-fatal accidents per 100,000 employees per year, of which around 10% are severe leading to over 60 days absence from work, and up to 5%, per year, lead to permanent disability (WHO 1995). It has been estimated that the total cost to society of work related injuries and ill health in the European Union is between 185 billion and 270 billion ECU per year, which represents between 2.6% to 3.8% of Gross National Product (GNP) in member states. The cost of workplace accidents and ill health, in both financial and human terms, remains an enormous, largely unrecognized burden in UK. The majority of those accidents and diseases could have been prevented if appropriate action had been taken at the workplace. Many responsible employers have consistently demonstrated that by paying attention to these issues this type of harm and the subsequent costs can be avoided, to the benefit of everyone concerned. Increasing concern is the growing awareness of occupational stress. Up to 42% of workers in a recent survey complained about the high pace of work. Job insecurity, fear of unemployment, lack of a regular salary and the potential loss of work ability are all additional sources of stress, even for those in employment.

The wide ranging social and health effects of occupational stress on the health of the working population are well documented, for example 23% of workers surveyed claimed that they had been absent from work for work related health reasons in the previous twelve months. The resulting cost of sickness absence in United Kingdom is considered to be substantial. In the UK 177 million working days were lost in 1994 as a result of sickness absence; this has been assessed at over 11 billion in lost productivity. HSE statistics are encouraging given in 2009; only 29.3 million days were lost overall, 24.6 million due to work-related ill health and 4.7 million due to workplace injury. Much of this burden of ill health and the resulting sickness absence is caused, or is made worse by working conditions. Even where ill health is not directly caused by work, but by other non-occupational factors such as smoking, lifestyle, diet etc. Interventions designed to improve the health of the working population, delivered at the workplace, may help to reduce still further the burden of ill health. At present the socioeconomic impact of environmental pollution caused by industrial processes on the working population is uncertain, but it is likely to contribute further to the burden of ill health in some communities.

How to become a Legal Secretary in the England or Wales

I hope you find the following information on Legal Secretarial/PA jobs useful.

THE ROLE

Legal secretaries assist in all aspects of running a law firm. The legal secretaries¡¦ jobs can include basic tasks such as word processing, audio-typing and dealing with general clerical work. Some legal secretary work can include meeting clients, arranging meeting and some even attend court or police cells.

Legal Secretary jobs can incorporate all areas of law – from criminal and civil law to property, family, corporate, private client and banking.

SKILLS and INTERESTS

If you are looking for a Legal Secretary job you should:

Have an interest in law

Have excellent secretarial skills

Be PC literate

Be accurate and methodical

Be discreet when dealing with confidential information

Have a good standard of English, spelling and grammar

Work well under pressure and be good a meeting deadlines

Of course, a polite friendly manner helps!

A mix of these skills would provide a solid foundation for anyone looking for jobs as a legal secretary

Click here for Legal Secretary jobs

QUALIFICATIONS

There are no formal qualifications to becoming a Legal Secretary, athough a high standard of general education is required. To become a Legal Secretary office and administration experience is useful as is some existing knowledge of the law.

Career Development

Employers often offer on the job training. There are different pathways that lead to legal secretarial qualifications:

** The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦s

The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦s offer a diploma that¡¦s has been recognised as the most comprehensive qualification for Legal Secretaries. The diploma is extremely useful if you are looking for jobs as a Legal Secretary. The syllabus for the general diploma is divided into five main units:

Outline of the English Legal System

Outlines of the Law of Contract and the Law of Tort

Conveyancing and an outline of Land Law

Civil Litigation

Succession (Wills, Probate and Administration)

The Institute of Legal Secretaries and PA¡¦s also offers courses for Legal Secretaries who would like to specialise in one are of law.

The subjects covered are:

– Civil Litigation

– Company and Corporate Law

– Conveyancing

– Criminal Law and Practice

– Matrimonial Law and Family Practice Succession

Rebuilding the Tower of Babel – A CEO’s Perspective on Health Information Exchanges

Defining a Health Information Exchange

The United States is facing the largest shortage of healthcare practitioners in our country’s history which is compounded by an ever increasing geriatric population. In 2005 there existed one geriatrician for every 5,000 US residents over 65 and only nine of the 145 medical schools trained geriatricians. By 2020 the industry is estimated to be short 200,000 physicians and over a million nurses. Never, in the history of US healthcare, has so much been demanded with so few personnel. Because of this shortage combined with the geriatric population increase, the medical community has to find a way to provide timely, accurate information to those who need it in a uniform fashion. Imagine if flight controllers spoke the native language of their country instead of the current international flight language, English. This example captures the urgency and critical nature of our need for standardized communication in healthcare. A healthy information exchange can help improve safety, reduce length of hospital stays, cut down on medication errors, reduce redundancies in lab testing or procedures and make the health system faster, leaner and more productive. The aging US population along with those impacted by chronic disease like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma will need to see more specialists who will have to find a way to communicate with primary care providers effectively and efficiently.

This efficiency can only be attained by standardizing the manner in which the communication takes place. Healthbridge, a Cincinnati based HIE and one of the largest community based networks, was able to reduce their potential disease outbreaks from 5 to 8 days down to 48 hours with a regional health information exchange. Regarding standardization, one author noted, “Interoperability without standards is like language without grammar. In both cases communication can be achieved but the process is cumbersome and often ineffective.”

United States retailers transitioned over twenty years ago in order to automate inventory, sales, accounting controls which all improve efficiency and effectiveness. While uncomfortable to think of patients as inventory, perhaps this has been part of the reason for the lack of transition in the primary care setting to automation of patient records and data. Imagine a Mom & Pop hardware store on any square in mid America packed with inventory on shelves, ordering duplicate widgets based on lack of information regarding current inventory. Visualize any Home Depot or Lowes and you get a glimpse of how automation has changed the retail sector in terms of scalability and efficiency. Perhaps the “art of medicine” is a barrier to more productive, efficient and smarter medicine. Standards in information exchange have existed since 1989, but recent interfaces have evolved more rapidly thanks to increases in standardization of regional and state health information exchanges.

History of Health Information Exchanges

Major urban centers in Canada and Australia were the first to successfully implement HIE’s. The success of these early networks was linked to an integration with primary care EHR systems already in place. Health Level 7 (HL7) represents the first health language standardization system in the United States, beginning with a meeting at the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. HL7 has been successful in replacing antiquated interactions like faxing, mail and direct provider communication, which often represent duplication and inefficiency. Process interoperability increases human understanding across networks health systems to integrate and communicate. Standardization will ultimately impact how effective that communication functions in the same way that grammar standards foster better communication. The United States National Health Information Network (NHIN) sets the standards that foster this delivery of communication between health networks. HL7 is now on it’s third version which was published in 2004. The goals of HL7 are to increase interoperability, develop coherent standards, educate the industry on standardization and collaborate with other sanctioning bodies like ANSI and ISO who are also concerned with process improvement.

In the United States one of the earliest HIE’s started in Portland Maine. HealthInfoNet is a public-private partnership and is believed to be the largest statewide HIE. The goals of the network are to improve patient safety, enhance the quality of clinical care, increase efficiency, reduce service duplication, identify public threats more quickly and expand patient record access. The four founding groups the Maine Health Access Foundation, Maine CDC, The Maine Quality Forum and Maine Health Information Center (Onpoint Health Data) began their efforts in 2004.

In Tennessee Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIO’s) initiated in Memphis and the Tri Cities region. Carespark, a 501(3)c, in the Tri Cities region was considered a direct project where clinicians interact directly with each other using Carespark’s HL7 compliant system as an intermediary to translate the data bi-directionally. Veterans Affairs (VA) clinics also played a crucial role in the early stages of building this network. In the delta the midsouth eHealth Alliance is a RHIO connecting Memphis hospitals like Baptist Memorial (5 sites), Methodist Systems, Lebonheur Healthcare, Memphis Children’s Clinic, St. Francis Health System, St Jude, The Regional Medical Center and UT Medical. These regional networks allow practitioners to share medical records, lab values medicines and other reports in a more efficient manner.

Seventeen US communities have been designated as Beacon Communities across the United States based on their development of HIE’s. These communities’ health focus varies based on the patient population and prevalence of chronic disease states i.e. cvd, diabetes, asthma. The communities focus on specific and measurable improvements in quality, safety and efficiency due to health information exchange improvements. The closest geographical Beacon community to Tennessee, in Byhalia, Mississippi, just south of Memphis, was granted a $100,000 grant by the department of Health and Human Services in September 2011.

A healthcare model for Nashville to emulate is located in Indianapolis, IN based on geographic proximity, city size and population demographics. Four Beacon awards have been granted to communities in and around Indianapolis, Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana Health Centers Inc, Raphael Health Center and Shalom Health Care Center Inc. In addition, Indiana Health Information Technology Inc has received over 23 million dollars in grants through the State HIE Cooperative Agreement and 2011 HIE Challenge Grant Supplement programs through the federal government. These awards were based on the following criteria:1) Achieving health goals through health information exchange 2) Improving long term and post acute care transitions 3) Consumer mediated information exchange 4) Enabling enhanced query for patient care 5) Fostering distributed population-level analytics.

Regulatory Aspects of Health Information Exchanges and Healthcare Reform

The department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the regulatory agency that oversees health concerns for all Americans. The HHS is divided into ten regions and Tennessee is part of Region IV headquartered out of Atlanta. The Regional Director, Anton J. Gunn is the first African American elected to serve as regional director and brings a wealth of experience to his role based on his public service specifically regarding underserved healthcare patients and health information exchanges. This experience will serve him well as he encounters societal and demographic challenges for underserved and chronically ill patients throughout the southeast area.

The National Health Information Network (NHIN) is a division of HHS that guides the standards of exchange and governs regulatory aspects of health reform. The NHIN collaboration includes departments like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), social security administration, Beacon communities and state HIE’s (ONC).11 The Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Exchange (ONC) has awarded $16 million in additional grants to encourage innovation at the state level. Innovation at the state level will ultimately lead to better patient care through reductions in replicated tests, bridges to care programs for chronic patients leading to continuity and finally timely public health alerts through agencies like the CDC based on this information.12 The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is funded by dollars from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. HITECH’s goals are to invest dollars in community, regional and state health information exchanges to build effective networks which are connected nationally. Beacon communities and the Statewide Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement were initiated through HITECH and ARRA. To date 56 states have received grant awards through these programs totaling 548 million dollars.

History of Health Information Partnership TN (HIPTN)

In Tennessee the Health Information Exchange has been slower to progress than places like Maine and Indiana based in part on the diversity of our state. The delta has a vastly different patient population and health network than that of middle Tennessee, which differs from eastern Tennessee’s Appalachian region. In August of 2009 the first steps were taken to build a statewide HIE consisting of a non-profit named HIP TN. A board was established at this time with an operations council formed in December. HIP TN’s first initiatives involved connecting the work through Carespark in northeast Tennessee’s s tri-cities region to the Midsouth ehealth Alliance in Memphis. State officials estimated a cost of over 200 million dollars from 2010-2015. The venture involves stakeholders from medical, technical, legal and business backgrounds. The governor in 2010, Phil Bredesen, provided 15 million to match federal funds in addition to issuing an Executive Order establishing the office of eHealth initiatives with oversight by the Office of Administration and Finance and sixteen board members. By March 2010 four workgroups were established to focus on areas like technology, clinical, privacy and security and sustainability.

By May of 2010 data sharing agreements were in place and a production pilot for the statewide HIE was initiated in June 2011 along with a Request for Proposal (RFP) which was sent out to over forty vendors. In July 2010 a fifth workgroup,the consumer advisory group, was added and in September 2010 Tennessee was notified that they were one of the first states to have their plans approved after a release of Program Information Notice (PIN). Over fifty stakeholders came together to evaluate the vendor demonstrations and a contract was signed with the chosen vendor Axolotl on September 30th, 2010. At that time a production goal of July 15th, 2011 was agreed upon and in January 2011 Keith Cox was hired as HIP TN’s CEO. Keith brings twenty six years of tenure in healthcare IT to the collaborative. His previous endeavors include Microsoft, Bellsouth and several entrepreneurial efforts. HIP TN’s mission is to improve access to health information through a statewide collaborative process and provide the infrastructure for security in that exchange. The vision for HIP TN is to be recognized as a state and national leader who support measurable improvements in clinical quality and efficiency to patients, providers and payors with secure HIE. Robert S. Gordon, the board chair for HIPTN states the vision well, “We share the view that while technology is a critical tool, the primary focus is not technology itself, but improving health”. HIP TN is a non profit, 501(c)3, that is solely reliant on state government funding. It is a combination of centralized and decentralized architecture. The key vendors are Axolotl, which acts as the umbrella network, ICA for Memphis and Nashville, with CGI as the vendor in northeast Tennessee.15 Future HIP TN goals include a gateway to the National Health Institute planned for late 2011 and a clinician index in early 2012. Carespark, one of the original regional health exchange networks voted to cease operations on July 11, 2011 based on lack of financial support for it’s new infrastructure. The data sharing agreements included 38 health organizations, nine communities and 250 volunteers.16 Carespark’s closure clarifies the need to build a network that is not solely reliant on public grants to fund it’s efforts, which we will discuss in the final section of this paper.

Florida Senate Candidate Vows to Repeal Florida Health Insurance Reforms

Amid widespread health care reform in Florida and a heated national health care debate, both Republicans and Democrats worry about potential changes to the Florida health care system. Florida Democrats, who are in favor of health care reform efforts, worry that an up-and-coming GOP Senate candidate may pose a serious threat to the quality of the Florida health care system.

Republican Marco Rubio has, until now, not appeared to pose a serious threat to health care reform in Florida. However, as the Republican candidate continues to build support for his nomination to the GOP Senate seat, Democrats are growing increasingly concerned about what Rubio might do if elected to office. Most importantly, Democrats worry that Rubio will repeal Florida health reforms if he is elected.

That’s no wonder; Rubio has said himself that he plans to repeal Florida health insurance reforms if he wins the Senate seat. That repeal, he said, could mean decreasing health costs for Florida residents and improving health care accessibility for all. The Democrats, however, don’t see it the same way, and are calling Rubio “nothing more than a typical politician who is in the hands of the health industry,” said Eric Jotkoff, Florida Democratic Party spokesman.

According to Jotkoff and a press release issued by the Florida Democratic party, if Rubio does indeed have an alliance with Florida insurance companies, as the Democrats suspect, Florida residents will have to pay more for their healthcare than ever before. Moreover, such an alliance would increase the federal budget, reduce health care access, and create financial difficulties for many Florida residents participating in the Medicare program.

“By pledging today to repeal health insurance reforms Marco Rubio not only promised to add to the federal budget deficit and deny Florida’s families access to health care, but Rubio’s repeal would also force senior citizens to continue paying for the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs out of their pockets by re-opening the Medicare Part D donut hole,” said the Florida Democratic Party in a press release issued earlier this month. Rubio’s repeal also means that he wants allow insurance companies to deny coverage when you get sick because of a pre-existing condition.”

As health care costs continue to increase, including the costs of health insurance plans, one of the best things that Florida residents can do to help protect their health and their wallets is to enroll in a health insurance plan now to lock in the monthly premium rates before they increase.

There are many different types of health plans and health providers. In order to find the right health plan for their specific needs, lifestyles, and budgets, Florida residents should consult with a qualified health insurance plan broker who can help compare health insurance plan offerings and rates to find the best one for each individual applicant. For example, Florida residents may be able to receive health insurance plans through their employers in addition to health insurance plans that they qualify for on their own. Even if a Florida resident is able to get a health insurance plan through an employer, he or she may be able to get a better rate on a plan he or she gets independently of the employer.

One of the most popular health options is a Health Savings Account plan, which allows participants to save money into a high-interest yielding savings account that they can earmark to pay for health insurance expenses. With a Health Savings Account, participants will also receive a tax deduction for the funds they deposit into their Health Savings Account and use on qualifying medical expenses. Also, Health Savings Account options come with high deductible health plans that have low monthly premiums, significantly reducing participants’ monthly health care expenses.

Whenever enrolling in a new health ins. or changing health ins., it is important for individuals to speak with an experienced health insurance advisor to ensure that they have all the information they need to make a wise financial an healthcare decision for their specific needs, budgets, and lifestyles.