Young invincibles are young, healthy, independent, and don’t have a lot of cash to throw around, but, like everyone else, they need help when it comes to:
- Understanding their options under the new health care law
- Choosing the plan that’s best for them
- Listening to their mother
All kidding aside, the conventional wisdom surrounding young invincibles in need of insurance isn’t so conventional, after all. Sure, they aren’t flocking to the exchanges in droves, but they aren’t avoiding them, either.
In fact, according to this article by Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of Young Invincibles, as well as this press release from his organization’s website, it seems these youngsters are signing up in numbers proportional to the overall population, and possibly even at a higher rate than their older and wiser counterparts.
So good job, Mom—it turns out you raised them right!
What’s the Deal?
This may be their first time around the health insurance block, but the appeal to reason, and their very limited budgets, is bringing youthful buyers to the table. One small car or bike accident, sports injury, or even a bad case of mono could add up to HUGE medical bills that a struggling student or first-rung employee could never afford.
While many feared the typical response to the pay premiums vs. pay a tax penalty debate would be to just pay the penalty, stats show many young invincibles can do the math:
Paying a penalty and all of their potential medical costs for a year is not a good deal.
Not so Invincible, After All
It’s important to note that young invincible isn’t a title these people gave themselves. Obviously, they’re well aware it’s a big, dangerous world out there, and the smart play is getting yourself covered.
In fact, not only are your super-smart kids signing up to protect their wallets, they’re actually signing up to protect their (gasp!) health. They’re taking advantage of subsidies to buy up from the high-deductible catastrophic plans many assumed they would purchase, and investing in more benefit-rich Silver, and even Gold and Platinum, plans.
And why wouldn’t they? With many plan premiums starting under $100 a month, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and financial security.
Take Good Care of My Baby
So Mom, while we know you always want to take care of your kids, maybe it’s OK to let them leave the nest. And here’s something else that might ease your mind:
We’re here to help.
Keeping your family healthy and safe is a priority for us, too. Maybe you already have our group or individual plans, or know someone else who does. After all, we’ve been helping people find plans that meet their needs and situations for over 30 years, since before most of the young invincibles were even a gleam in anyone’s eye!
We have great plans, a great network of doctors and hospitals, and great people ready to explain the options, answer questions, and find the right match for your babies, as if they were our own.
Get signed up. To learn more or shop for plans, call 1-888-382-9771, visit us online at HealthAlliance.org, or stop by our Anthony Drive location in Champaign today!
Getting your blood pressure checked is nothing new. But do you understand it all?
What Exactly Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure’s the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common disease when that pressure of the blood flowing through the blood vessels is too high.
If your blood pressure gets too high, it can cause serious damage which can lead to blockage which can cause heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.
There are 2 main types of high blood pressure:
- Primary high blood pressure is the most common type and it tends to develop as you age.
- Secondary high blood pressure is caused by another medical condition or use of certain medicines and it usually goes away when this issue is treated.
Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
- Age – Men usually develop it around age 45 and women after age 65.
- Race – High blood pressure and serious complications are more common for African Americans.
- Family history – It tends to run in families.
- Certain chronic conditions – Kidney disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea can raise your blood pressure.
- Being overweight
- Not being physically active
- Tobacco use
- Too much salt
- Too much alcohol
- Too little potassium
- Too little vitamin D
If you have some of these other risk factors, your doctor may set your blood pressure target lower.
What Are the Numbers?
- Systolic is the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts, the top number.
- Diastolic is when your heart rests, the bottom number.
What Are They Doing?
When a nurse takes your blood pressure, you might wonder what they’re doing. These are the steps they’re following:
- They wrap the blood pressure cuff around your arm.
- They place a stethoscope under the cuff at the crease of your elbow (where the major blood vessel of the upper arm is.)
- They inflate the cuff until it stops the flow of blood.
- They slowly loosens the cuff’s valve to let the blood start to flow again and listen for sounds in the blood vessel.
- Then, the first tapping noise they hear, they’ll note as the systolic number, the maximum pressure when the heart contracts.
- The taps fade, and they note the pressure at the last tap as your diastolic number, the minimum pressure while your heart’s at rest.
- Along with your numbers, they note which arm they took your blood pressure on and how you were positioned, like sitting with your feet flat.
Where Should My Numbers Be?
What to Do
|Maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid raising your levels.|
120 to 139
80 to 89
|Make lifestyle changes.|
140 to 159
90 to 99
|Make lifestyle changes. Possibly start a low-level diuretic.|
160 or higher
|Often 1 or 2 meds are required right away, plus lifestyle changes.|
Source: Consumer Reports, “onHealth”, Volume 23 Number 2
It’s also normal for your blood pressure to change when you sleep, wake up, are active, and are excited or nervous.
If you’re worried about your blood pressure, keep an eye on your levels and take them with you to your next appointment. A broad look at your numbers can help your doctor put you on the right track for heart health.
Know Your Heart Meds
You don’t need to be an expert on your drugs, that’s what your doctor’s for, but you should ask questions and know the basics about your heart meds.
Whether it’s a pill for high cholesterol or your blood pressure medicine, make sure you know the answers to these questions:
- What’s the name of my medicine?
- What does it do?
- What are its side effects?
- What can I do to reduce those side effects?
- How does this drug work with other drugs, dietary supplements, foods, or drinks?
- How much is a one dose?
- When’s the best time to take this medicine, like when you wake up, with breakfast, or before bed?
- How long will I take this medicine?
- What should I do if I miss a pill?
Helpful Terms for Understanding Your Blood Pressure Heart Meds
Blood vessels move blood through your body. These are the types of blood vessels:
- Arteries – These carry blood away from your heart
- Capillaries – These connect your arteries to your veins and help move water and chemicals between your blood and tissues.
- Veins – These carry blood from your capillaries back to your heart
Did you know? If you laid all the blood vessels of an average adult in a line, it would stretch over 100,000 miles.
Kinds of Blood Pressure Heart Meds
Blood pressure meds fall into 11 different classes, but they all have the same goals, to lower and control your blood pressure.
How It Works
Possible Side Effects
|Diuretics||Help your body flush extra salt and water through your urine.||
|Beta-Blockers||Reduce your heart rate and how much blood it pumps to lower your blood pressure.||
|ACE Inhibitors (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme)||Narrow your arteries and make you produce less angiotensin, so that your blood vessels can open up to lower your blood pressure.||
|Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers||Block your blood vessels from angiotension, so that your blood vessels can open up to lower your blood pressure.||
|Prevents calcium from entering the muscle cells of your heart and arteries, which makes your heart’s job easier, and helps your blood vessels open up to lower your blood pressure.||
|Alpha-Blockers||Reduce nerve impulses to your blood vessels to let blood pass more easily.||
|Decrease your blood vessels’ ability to narrow, which also helps to lower blood pressure.||
Via the American Heart Association.
Kinds of Cholesterol Heart Meds
Depending on the type, cholesterol meds help:
- Lower your bad cholesterol.
- Lower your triglycerides, a fat in your blood that raises your risk of heart disease.
- Increase your good cholesterol, which guards against heart disease.
Types of Cholesterol Meds
How It works
Possible Side Effects
|Lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides and cause small increases in good cholesterol.||
|Bile Acid Binding Resins|
Questran (cholestyramine/ sucrose)
|Lower bad cholesterol.||
|Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitor|
|Zetia (ezetimibe)||Lowers bad cholesterol, and causes small decrease in triglycerides and small increase in good cholesterol.||
|Combination Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitor and Statin|
|Vytorin (ezetimibe-simvastatin)||Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides and increases good cholesterol.||
|Lower triglycerides and increases good choleterol.||
|Niaspan (prescription niacin)||Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides and increases good cholesterol.||
|Combination Statin and Niacin|
|Advicor (niacin-lovastatin)||Lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides and increases good cholesterol.||
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids|
|Lovaza (prescription omega-3 fatty acid supplement)
Vascepa (Icosapent ethyl)
Via The Mayo Clinic
When Should I Take My Heart Meds?
Your body’s inner clock can affect how well some medications work. Since, you can’t read your body’s clock though, researchers have studied how well heart meds work when they’re taken at different times of the day.
According to a clinical trial from Medscape, blood pressure meds are most effective when taken at night. The random trial tested the effect of taking blood pressure meds at bedtime versus in the morning.
It found that treatment at bedtime was the most cost-effective and simplest strategy to reach the right blood pressure when sleeping and of getting a normal 24-hour blood pressure pattern.”
It also estimated that each 5-mm-Hg decrease in overnight blood pressure reduced the risk of heart events by 14%.
Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before you make a change to your meds or their schedule. You can also learn more about the importance of taking your heart meds regularly and on-time in our Health section.