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Lake Wylie, SC 29710
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Understanding Your Health Insurance Deductible can Save You Money

Understanding Your Health Insurance deductibles can save you money in 2020, so today we are going to answer two very important questions. How do I  meet my deductible and why do I have have to pay my deductible?  Now is a good time to discuss this topic as you may have met your deductible. Understanding what this means can assist you in planning for major healthcare expenses and save you a few dollars in 2020. 

Why Do I have to Pay my Deductible?

When you choose a healthcare plan, you are entering into an agreement with the insurance company. You agree to pay a certain amount of your healthcare services before your insurance company is obligated to share in the cost of those services. When your healthcare provider bills your insurance company for services rendered, they are legally bound to charge you for those services if your deductible is not met. 

When choosing a healthcare plan, make sure the deductible amount is an amount you can afford. If you have a lot of healthcare expenses, it may be better to choose a plan with a lower deductible. This can result in a higher monthly premium, but reduce your overall cost for the year. Having a large deductible that you are unable to pay can result being sent to collections for unmet payments to your healthcare provider. Be informed and make the best decision that works for you. 

How Do I meet my Deductible?

A frequent question at our clinic is: I have already met deductible. Why am I having to pay my deductible for physical therapy? When you pay for a service that payment goes towards your deductible, but there are a couple of factors that can make you think you have met your deductible when you have not. 

    1. Your insurance company has rules to determine how much of your payment for a service goes towards your deductible.  Every dollar you pay may not count toward your deductible. 
    2. Once you receive a service from a provider, the provider can take up to a year to submit a claim.  When the provider does not immediately submit their claim the insurance company has no way of knowing that you have made a payment toward your deductible. In the eyes of the Insurance Company your deductible is not met and you will have to pay toward it until it is. 

 Multiple providers can send in claims at the same time, so money is applied toward your deductible in the order that the claims are received.  If you pay your deductible in advance to a provider ,that is slow to submit their claims, you will be owed a refund for your payment.

The key is to educate yourself on your Health Insurance benefits and track your cost. Every time you use your health insurance, your insurance company will send you an explanation of benefits (EOB) explaining how much you owe the provider. Look at the EOB to track your expenses and ask for a refund if you have over paid. 

Know your insurance benefits

Ultimately, you are the one responsible for understanding your insurance benefits. It is best for you to call your insurance company and know what your costs are before you receive healthcare services. Doing this will allow you to budget for your healthcare cost and NOT receive unexpected bills. 

How to save on Healthcare in 2020

On January 1, 2021 you will have to start paying toward your deductible again. This will  increase your cost for receiving healthcare services. You can reduce your healthcare expenses by receiving services in 2020. Some insurance plans reset the deductible on October 1, 2021. You can find your benefit period on your insurance card. 

You can be seen At Lifestyle Physical Therapy without a prescription. Our Doctors of physical therapy can perform a free screen to determine if physical therapy is the best approach for you.  Now is the best time to get back to doing the things you love without pain or fear of falling. 

Call or text our offices today at 803-831-1454. Katie and Lauren are standing by to verify your insurance and schedule your appointment. 

This Article is intended for education Purposes only. Insurance plans are individual. Your plan may not fit in the scenario above. Consult your insurance company to fully understand your deductible and health insurance plan.

5 Benefits of Restorative Sleep

According to the CDC 1 in 3 Adults do not get enough sleep. That means that 40% of Americans are walking around sleep deprived. That may explain why Americans consume over 400 million cups of Coffee per day. We are struggling to stay alert, so we reach for the Caffeine.

 Getting restorative sleep is a recommendation that we hear often, but what does that really mean. The recommended amount of sleep needed for adults over 18 years of age is 7 hours. The CDC identifies less than 7 hours of sleep as a short duration sleep cycle. Getting 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep is good, but does not ensure that you are entering into the deep restorative levels of sleep known as the Delta phase of sleep. This is not to be confused with the REM phase of sleep that is more active and where we dream. Getting restorative sleep is vital to our health and provides the following benefits.

Benefits of Deep Restorative Sleep

  1. Balancing of Hormones
  2. Strengthening of Immune System
  3. Refueling of the body’s energy stores
  4. Repairing the body
  5. Improved focus and problem solving during the day

The CDC also states that individuals that receive less than 7 hours of sleep, report higher incidence of obesity, heart disease, and stroke along with other chronic conditions. If you are healing from surgery or looking to improve your health one of the first steps you can take is to focus on getting 7 hours or more sleep per night.  

Steps you can take to improve sleep hygiene:

  1. Develop a consistent bedtime routine
  2. No alcohol a few hours before bedtime
  3. Use anti-glare computer glasses to reduce the blue light from computers or reduce screen time
  4. Get daylight exposure (go for a walk)
  5. Journal before bed to get your thoughts out of your mind
  6. Prayer before bedtime
  7. Wear comfortable clothes
  8. Reduce Caffeine intake after 12 PM
  9. Reduce temperature in the room
  10. Place electronics outside of your bedroom

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Pain is a “pain in the butt!”

We have a guest blog post today written by Dr. Bennett Hixson. Dr. Hixson is a Doctor of physical Therapy at Lifestyle PT and he introduces you to where pain comes from and how to treat it without medication, surgery, or injections. I hope you enjoy. Karen S Shuler PT, DPT

Where Does Pain Come From?

Pain is a “pain in the butt”, but what if I told you it was a pain in your brain? The brain plays a large role in the severity of pain. When dealing with pain the brain seeks a way to protect the body; like a mother would their child. When the brain chooses to protect the body, it increases the sensitivity of the overall nervous system which brings us to a “fight or flight” response. During the fight or flight response the brain increases how sensitive the body is, to gather as much information as possible, to protect against threats. Due to this “perceived threat”, the nervous system is so sensitive that otherwise normal body experiences are amplified and result in pain. Light, Noises, and light touch can now be perceived as a threat and produce a pain response.   This can happen due to a normal response to injury, but once that pain or injury becomes chronic, our nervous system continues to stay overly sensitive. The body keeps itself in this “fight or flight” mode and it begins to build anxiety and stress because our brain is constantly in fear of pain and is attempting to avoid these threats.

You may be thinking how does one correct this? Well, many people use pain medications whether it be over the counter or prescription, but here at Lifestyle Physical Therapy we utilize Alpha-Stim as a non-pharmaceutical based pain management option in conjunction with exercise to re-teach the brain what pain free movement is.

Alpha-Stim: How does it work?

The Alpha-Stim Aid is Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) that emits a current to the brain that reduces the sensitivity of the nervous system. (Sounds scary but we simply place clips along the earlobes to emit the current and it is pain free). The body has multiple frequencies it operates on with fight or flight being the peak. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Delta, or deep sleep (where the body performs a significant amount of healing) Right in between those two frequencies we have Alpha, which should be our baseline operating frequency.  This is the frequency targeted via Alpha-Stim. By sending this current to the brain we are assisting the brain to communicate with the rest of the body to relax and thus the body exits the fight or flight response.

Some patients can feel an instant reduction or relief to their pain while others may take more time to get their body on board with changing the body’s definition of “normal.” Many times, the immediate effect depends on the duration and severity of pain. In regard to joint or body part specific pain, Alpha-Stim also offers the Alpha-Stim M which comes with smart probes and AS trodes that can be attached directly to the site of pain. This allows the unit to provide Microcurrent Electrical Therapy (MET) to the affected nerve endings that are sending pain sensations to the brain.

How does Lifestyle PT utilize Alpha-Stim?

At Lifestyle PT we utilize both CES and MET in conjunction with therapy to get you back to life! We offer the ability to purchase or rent both Alpha-Stim Models: Model Aid and Model M; which includes education and learning on how to use the device on your own. A home unit can be helpful for upcoming surgeries, to accelerate healing and reduce post-surgical pain response.  The Alpha Stim AID; which offers CES only, is cleared by the FDA for treatment of anxiety, depression and insomnia.  The Alpha Stim M; which offers MET in addition to CES is FDA cleared for relief from acute pain, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.  

We do offer a 2 week free trial of Alpha-Stim, in the clinic, to determine if you will respond well to this type of treatment. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, call or text our offices at 803-831-1454. Lifestyle Physical Therapy’s Doctors of Physical Therapy are ready to help you get back to doing the things you love with less pain and without medication, injections, or surgery.

For more information and to review the research behind Alpha-Stime you can visit www.alpha-stim.com

Bennett Hixson DPT
Physical Therapist at Lifestyle Physical Therapy

This Article is intended for education Purposes only. Never start an exercise program without first consulting your physician or Physical Therapist. Never Go against the medical advice of your physician, physical therapist, or healthcare provider. If you are not cleared for exercise, you need an evaluation from a physical therapist to determine the safest way to begin an exercise program.

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Exercise and COVID-19

I know many of you are wondering if your efforts at the gym will make a difference if you contract COVID-19. Dr. Abarno has been looking at the research and the results are interesting. I would like to introduce you to Ryan Abarno DPT.  Dr. Abarno is the new Clinical Director at Lifestyle PT and he has been looking into research studying Cardiorespiratory fitness and complications from contracting COVID-19. Dr. Abarno specializes in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and the science of exercise. He is a competitive power lifter giving him a unique perspective on how exercise influences the human body. I hope you enjoy today’s post.

At this point we all are probably feeling a bit of pandemic fatigue thanks to Covid-19 (and we’re all probably a little tired of hearing about it). It has impacted lives on a scale that has not been seen in generations and its effect on society may be long lasting. However, being the optimist that I am, every situation, good or bad, serves as an opportunity to learn. As we get closer to the one year mark from which Covid-19 made its appearance known, we have found that there are ways we can reduce our chance of getting the virus and there are also things that we can do to improve how our bodies respond to the virus.

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