Steps, time, distance: However measured, walking can reach health goals
High-deductible plans save money for employers and, at least on a premium basis, for workers. That is, the monthly cost for coverage is usually less for a high-deductible plan than it is for traditional plans. But heres the catch: Participants in high-deductible plans must pay out of pocket for most medical expenses until they hit their deductible, an amount that varies by plan but is at least $1,250 a year for an individual or $2,500 for a family. (For most plans on the individual and group markets, the Affordable Care Act caps total out-of-pocket spending for 2014 at $6,350 for an individual plan and $12,700 for families, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance but excluding premiums.) Certain preventative services are generally free to participants. The theory behind high-deductible plans is they encourage patients to be savvier consumers of health-care services, since more of their own money is on the line. Health savings accounts were created in 2003 so that people covered by high-deductible plans could receive tax-preferred treatment of money saved for medical expenses. Indeed, experts say high-deductible plans and their accompanying health savings accounts require more discipline from consumers than a traditional health plan.
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Memorial Medical Center president and CEO Mark Vipperman said joining Spectrum Health will benefit its current and future patients by offering improved specialty care services and best practices in clinical quality. The hospital outlined its vision to find a merging partner in its 2011-2015 strategic plan. Al Deering, the chair of the hospitals board, struck a similar chord and noted that the hospital will maintain control over its day-to-day operations, which will encourage and strengthen its relationship with local community partners. The board is both pleased and excited that we were able to get this done. As the future of health care in our country and the future needs of our community became clear to us, we knew we needed to take the sort of action that would serve our constituents best interests in the long term, Deering said.
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Spectrum Health, Ludington’s Memorial Medical Hospital announce new name, more than $50 million in investments
Still, many people barely log 3,000 steps per day. You’d have to live in another galaxy to have missed the admonition to walk for health, to counter our sedentary jobs and hobbies: Walk the dog, park far from the store, take the stairs, schedule a walking meeting. It’s exercise that’s accessible to most people in most places. It improves cardiovascular health, strengthens bones and boosts mood. It uses calories.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-10k-steps-walking-20130907,0,1093349.story