Hard Penis Science: Why Guys Get Morning Wood

When a young man wakes up, most of the time he’s not alone: His morning wood is usually there to greet him. An indicator of good penis health, a hard penis upon awakening can help get the day off to a good start. If one has the luxury of time to attend to it, morning wood can allow a man to engage in a little self-gratification. If there’s no time for play, it’s still a friendly reminder that this special friend is always ready for some a.m. fun.

But why do guys get morning wood so often? What is it that brings this pleasant state of affairs to be?

Yo, look at my nocturnal penile tumescence!

While guys casually refer to a hard penis upon rising as morning wood, there’s actually a technical term for it: nocturnal penile tumescence, although that jaw-breaking phrase is often shortened to NPT. And, like a surprising number of things, scientists have actually studied this subject in some depth.

While men frequently just concentrate on the fact that they are waking up hard, the phrase nocturnal penile tumescence refers to a number of erections that typically occur between the time a guy hits the covers and when he yawningly tosses them off. Unless a man has an erectile issue, he generally will pop three to five boners over the course of a good night’s sleep, the final one being the crowning morning glory with which he is so familiar.

It starts young.

While guys tend to associate morning wood with virile manliness of an adult sort, the fact is that NPT starts early. Before adulthood. Before puberty. Before birth, even. Yes, male fetuses have been observed to be sporting a wake-up call even in the womb.

So… why?

The obvious answer to “Why does a guy get morning wood?” is: “Why not?” Erections happen throughout the day, so it seems obvious that they would occur during the night as well.

But why specifically do they occur at night and upon waking? Despite the studies they’ve done, scientists don’t have a definitive answer just yet. But the best guess is that it is related to REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. REM periods are times during the night when sleep is especially deep and when there is a significant amount of dreaming. REM occurs in cycles, not necessarily lasting a long time.

During REM sleep, scientists theorize that a couple of things happen that may cause a hard penis to develop. One is that special neurons (called noradrenergic cells, if one must know) get switched off during REM sleep. These are the neurons that have an inhibiting effect on the penis. So, with these neuron cats away, the penis mice get to play.

Another theory is that the body produces more nitric oxide during periods of REM sleep. Nitric oxide plays a big role in facilitating blood flow throughout the body – including in the penis. That increased blood flow is essential for the achievement of erections.

There are also theories that NPT has a practical aspect to it: It allows a man to sleep without having to get up to urinate. With the penis in an erect state, urination is more difficult.

Whatever accounts for the nocturnal hard penis, it’s a reminder for men to keep their tools in prime health. Applying a top-notch penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) daily can help with this goal. Morning wood is all well and good, but when presenting that penis to a partner, it needs more than firmness. Smooth, appealing skin rather than dry flakiness is desirable, and a crème with a high-end emollient such as Shea butter is just the ticket for achieving this. It also doesn’t hurt to give one’s natural nitric oxide production a boost. Using a crème with L-arginine can assist in this area. L-arginine plays a role in the creation of that nitric oxide that morning wood has shown can be so valuable to a man.

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What is a Health Medical Plan Deductible?

A deductible is a specific dollar amount that your health insurance company requires that you pay out of your pocket each year before the health insurance company begins to make payments for claims. As an exception, not all health medical plans have a deductible such as an HMO or a zero dollar deductible plan. However, most PPO and Indemnity plans typically do require a deductible in their plans to keep premiums affordable.

The deductible is an annual amount per insured person; there will be a maximum amount of deductibles you will have to pay in a given year. In regards to family coverage in health medical plans, your family will have an out of pocket expense by an amount of two to three times your individual deductible to satisfy first before the health insurance company pays for your claims.

For example, if the per person deductible is $1000, and you have four people in your family covered under your health insurance, the maximum family deductible will usually be $3000. Once the people in your family have paid out a $3000 deductible, no more deductibles will apply to any member of the family for the remainder of the year.

The insurance company does have a maximum of per person deductibles per policy. This can very with each policy and company is different regarding their maximum deductible and out of pocket maximum. In some health medical plans the deductible does apply to the maximum of pocket, and in other polices it is consider separate from the annual maximum out of pocket. Please be sure to read the specifics of your policy with your health medical plans company.

Health insurance deductibles can vary and will be effect your insurance premiums. By adjusting your health medical plan deductible you premiums will either increase or decrease. Typically if you increase your deductible you will lower your premium. New High Deductible Health Plans can save you and your family premium dollars over time.

The federal government regulates the detail High Deductible Health Plans limits each year. In the year 2008, the minimum deductible amount for a High Deductible Health Plan is $1,100 for individual only coverage and $2,200 for family coverage. In addition, the maximum out-of-pocket amount for individual only coverage is $5,600 and $11,200 for families. A high deductible health plan typically offers a higher deductible in return for generally lower premiums. For more detail, please contact your health medical plans broker.

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Family Related Health Problems – Inherited Illness

Family related health problems fall into two categories: physical and mental illnesses or syndromes. There are several types of illnesses in both categories that are genetically inherited, often passed down strictly through either the maternal or paternal side of the family genealogy.

One example of a family related disease of a physical nature is that of breast cancer. Generally speaking when a mother experiences breast cancer her daughters should receive regular mammograms in response to their mothers condition. It is a recognized fact in the health community that cancer is indeed inherited through a genetic link.

Sometimes however cancer may skip a generation or even two. A cancer that a grandparent or great-grandparent suffered might not be expressed again until the arrival of grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Unfortunately, one drawback in this case is that early signs of cancer might go unnoticed since cancer in ones ancestors may eventually be forgotten and simply become a part of family history.

Another family related health problem is obesity. It is an undeniable fact that the majority of obese people hail from an obese family genealogy. A conflicting viewpoint is that lifestyle, rather than genetics plays a role in this condition, yet most researchers are undecided on this issue. To be sure lifestyle characteristics are learned from an early age and the sedentary family with poor eating habits is doing a disservice to their children. However, those families who lead a reasonable lifestyle yet continue to suffer weight problems may well express an inherited genetic tendency toward obesity.

Family related mental health problems are also genetically linked. Mood disorders such as Bipolar Disorder and psychoses such as Schizophrenia are typical examples of inherited mental illness. These illnesses too can often skip a generation or two within a family genealogy and therefore go unrecognized and untreated for several years.

Drug and alcohol addictions are yet another family related health problem. The argument again with this issue is whether or not there is an inherited propensity towards addiction or if such a condition is the result of the familial environment. Perhaps there is room for confusion about drug and alcohol addiction as a possible genetic problem since many families may have only one member who suffers from drug dependency. The argument surrounding this phenomenon then is whether or not it is possible that only one family member can inherit a drug or alcohol dependency while others do not.

Finally there is another category entirely of family related health problems. Is it possible to create such an unhappy and dysfunctional environment that family members may become physically and emotionally ill? It would seem that this is very possibly the case, particularly in families experiencing neglect and harsh abuse. In this instance the concept of family related health problems is very literal, as these unfortunate issues are brought about solely by the familial environment and not by an inherited condition.

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Aluminum Health Risks – Real Or Myth?

For years we have been warned about the risk of aluminum in deodorants. A recent study reported by WebMD Health News indicates there may even be a link of aluminum in deodorant and other personal care products to breast cancer.

Dr. Philippa Darbre of the University of Reading in England has found evidence that aluminum-based active ingredients in deodorants can mimic estrogen in the body.

She goes on to state, “If the aluminum salts in antiperspirants enter the body and mimic estrogen, it stands to reason that constant exposure over many years may pose a risk.”

Most commercial antiperspirants contain aluminum. For years the discussions about risk of aluminum centered around Alzheimer’s. This degenerative form of dementia mostly affects persons over 65 years of age.

Some studies have found there are higher than normal concentrations of aluminum in the Alzheimer’s brain cells. Other studies have either not been able to conclude this or are still questioning the results. However, it is known that large amounts of aluminum can contribute to nerve toxicity and therefore possibly Alzheimer’s disease.

The question becomes, can small amounts over time cause harm or is the danger only with one large exposure?

It is easy to see how we can accumulate aluminum in our bodies, since deodorant isn’t the only product that contains it. It is also found in many other sources including antacids, aluminum tubes used with some brands of toothpaste, baking powder, nondairy creamers, table salt, drinking water, and processed cheese. Aluminum cookware, of course, is also a consideration.

It makes sense that small exposures on a daily bases could result in accumulation in tissues over many years, just as Dr. Darbre reports.

Our bodies do not require aluminum. We also know what we rub on our skin, we do absorb into the body and bloodstream.

Although there are no studies to this date that conclusively point to aluminum as a major cause for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, the results are not all in yet.

If you are not a gambling person, you may want to choose your personal care products very carefully to avoid aluminum. Remember, cigarettes used to not be considered unhealthy. Today, we know better.

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12 Pomegranate Health Benefits

Countless studies have shown the seemingly countless benefits of fruits for a person’s health. The U.S. Government recommends that people get several servings of fruits every day. Of all the fruits available in the market today, one fruit is at its height of popularity because of its legendary Greek mythology association and its exoticism-the pomegranate fruit.

Considered as one of the earliest fruits that have been cultivated along with grapes, figs, olives, and dates somewhere between 4000 B. C. E and 3000 B. C. E., pomegranate continued to be an emblem of fertility, rebirth, and health.

Dubbed as a “miracle fruit” by some fans, pomegranate has earned its popularity because it is thought to possibly help support the body’s natural defenses against Alzheimer’s disease, various cancers, coronary and heart diseases, arthritis and many ailments an aging person experiences. Because of its so -called anti-aging possibilities, pomegranate has had several food and beverage variations from juices, ice creams, dishes, and even in water that come in bottles.

Why is pomegranate good for you?

This handsome fruit is quite popular for its deep and purple-colored juice that is packed with lots of antioxidants that may help in maintaining a smooth and wrinkle free skin. But, aside from the possibility of helping people to maintain youthful and glowing skin by keeping the blood platelets together, there are so many health benefits of pomegranate to people of all ages. While no health claims are made regarding pomegranate whatsoever, here are some of the remedies and uses that some people hope pomegranate can help with.

1. It may help reduce the risk of having a heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Studies show that pomegranate juice daily may help support the normal blood flow to the heart. Because of its antioxidant properties, pomegranate keeps bad cholesterol from forming, and thus, may help keep the arteries clear of clots.

2. It may help support the body’s normal defense in the prevention of certain cancers. Since pomegranates has very high levels of antioxidant called “flavenoids” that is thought to be effective in counteracting various cancer-causing radicals, more and more experts recommend this fruit as a possible part of a healthy diet. Because of flavenoids, many people are consuming pomegranate because it is believed to help support their good health.

3. It may help reduce the risks for illnesses such as atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, and diabetes. Because of the properties of pomegranate, conditions that are known to cause the thickening and hardening of arterial walls and damage in cartilage and joints are hoped to be helped by this fruit. Studies are needed of course to get test results. No claims are made as to what the pomegranate may or may not help.

4. It is a rich source of various vitamins. Pomegranate is a good, natural source of vitamins A, C and E as well as folic acid.

5. It is rumored to help reduce the possibility of having premature babies. Pomegranate juice and extract is thought by some people to help expectant mothers avoid having low birth weight babies.

6. Some users claim it is beneficial for relieving minor illnesses such as core throat.

7. Other users believe it might reduce the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease among older people.

8. It is prized in some countries for the belief that it might help in achieving and maintaining a clear skin with youthful glow, and it is believed to help soothe skin inflammation.

9. The antioxidants are thought to help support the immune system.

10. It may help support healthy blood flow because of its iron properties. Pomegranate supports the blood by supplying it with iron, thus may help prevent anemia symptoms that include exhaustion, dizziness, weakness, and hear loss.

11. Aside from having lots of anti-oxidants, pomegranate also might have some anti-viral properties.

12. Pomegranate juice and extract is thought by some women to help in overcoming the feeling of general malaise during menopause.

While no medical claims can be made for pomegranate, the juice is growing in popularity every day as more and more people try it and benefit from it.

SOURCE: Read it here!

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Herbs for Penis Health

When experiencing problems with penis health and sexual dysfunction many men turn towards plant medicines and alternative health supplements. But how is one to know what works and what is bogus? Many herbal medicines contain penis-specific vitamins and active chemicals and others do not so one would do well to do a little research before purchasing any herbal product. If this important step is omitted then a man can run the risk of wasting money on pills marketed to improve male hormone balance and penis health – but actually do nothing. If you are on prescription medication always check with your healthcare provider before using any form of herbal medication.


Damiana is a remedy used to treat impotence and low level libido throughout Mexico and South America. The top of the herb as well as the leaves of the damiana plant are a source of essential oils, flavonoids and small amounts of caffeine. Herbalists have long theorized that the effects of damiana on libido may be due to a direct action on the nervous system as the plant is also known as an anti-depressant. Researchers from the University of Mississippi, USA discovered that damiana also has a significant impact on male hormones and neurotransmitters. During animal testing the damiana extract showed to have an inhibiting action on aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen in the body. By inhibiting aromatase by up to 50%, damiana may increase total testosterone levels.


Ginseng is one of the most popular and well known plant medicines in the world. Traditional systems of medicine in Asia, India, Europe and North America have harvested the roots of the ginseng plant for its ability to reduce stress and fatigue and to promote virility. In a study funded by Southern Illinois University, USA, scientists found that ginseng had a significant effect on several factors influencing sexual function in men. Ginseng and its active constituents, ginsengosides, have a direct impact on nitric oxide levels, enzymes that control blood flow to the penis during arousal. Ginseng also effects neurotransmitters in the brain and has a beneficial effect on physical performance, fatigue, mood and testosterone balance. These findings support the worldwide use of ginseng root for the successful the treatment low libido and sexual dysfunction.

Horny Goat Weed

Horny Goat Weed is an Asian herbal medicine that has been used for libido and impotence for centuries. Modern studies have confirmed that horny goat weed has a range of active constituents, but the best researched is the chemical known as icariin. In a review of several year’s worth of research published in “The Journal of Ethno pharmacology” scientists from Lanzhou University, China confirmed that both icariin and horny goat weed have a wide range of benefits for both general health and sexual function in men. Icariin works on a range of levels, similar to the drug sildenafil. When taken in high enough doses, icariin reduces depression, increases testosterone, stimulates nitric oxide production and supports blood circulation. In a double-blind clinical trial, 38 male volunteers were either given sildenafil or horny goat weed. And it was found that both these treatments were more effective than placebo in improving sexual dysfunction, but men taking horny goat weed reported a higher level of sexual satisfaction than the men taking sildenafil.

Shea Nut

Shea nuts are harvested in Africa for their use in topical products, as the butter extracted from the shea nut contains large quantities of vitamin E. This makes shea nuts and shea nut butter very effective as a topical treatment for penis health problems. Vitamin E is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, heals skin, prevents scarring, and may support erectile function. In a Brazilian study published in “BJU International”, scientists discovered that vitamin E had a potent stimulatory effect on nitric oxide. By increasing nitric oxide levels naturally, shea nut butter may work in similar ways as sildenafil, ginseng and horny goat weed. While oral supplements are absorbed to varying degrees, specialist health crèmes (most professionals recommend Man1Man Oil) contain a range of active ingredients and nutrients that work with vitamin enriched shea nut butter to promote penis health, tissue integrity and male hormone balance.

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Prostate Milking – Health Danger or the Ultimate Male Orgasm?

Looking to increase your male orgasm intensity by 400% and have it last up to 5 minutes? If so, then prostate milking may be for you.

Prostate milking has literally “exploded” into mainstream culture in the last few years as men are discovering the pleasure of finding out about their “male g-spot” and the potential health benefits from a prostate milking.

The prostate is a tiny gland found in men and is a critical part of their reproductive system. It is about the size of a walnut and is located underneath the bladder and just in front of the rectum. Its function is to assist in the manu­facture of semen. Semen is the milky colored fluid that transports sperm from the testicles through your penis when you ejaculate.

While the prostate’s primary function is to help in the manufacturing of semen, it is also becoming known as a sexual gland for men. Typically we associate the penis as the only male sex organ but for many men the prostate is their key to sexual satisfaction. Not surprising, the prostate is quickly becoming know as the “male g-spot”. Men of all ages, races and sexual orientations are now learning about the sexual and health benefits associated with prostate milking.

Milking of the prostate gland is generally safe for all healthy males, however serious health dangers can result in men with certain prostate and health conditions or even in men with healthy prostates if the prostate milking is performed incorrectly.

This procedure be carried out by your doctor or medical practitioner as an effective treatment for chronic prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This procedure can help to drain the highly painful build up of seminal fluid in men with a chronically inflamed prostate. While beneficial for some individuals,prostate milking it is NOT advisable for men with acute prostatitis as a prostate milking may for allow the prostate infection to spread to other parts of the body.

Other possible serious health dangers from male milking could be Fournier’s gangrene, blood poisoning,the transfer of prostate cancer to other parts of the body or hemorrhoidal flare up.

One of the most important area’s of concern in doing a prostate massage yourself is to apply a minimum amount of pressure. The maximum amount of pressure you should apply would be equal to the amount of pressure you would rub your eye with. Applying to much pressure during the milking could lead to some of the above mentioned health dangers.

If the prostate is full of fluid and stimulated through this experience it may cause you to ejaculate but with out the penis being aroused. These prostate orgasms are generally much more intense and of considerably longer duration than a conventional ejaculation.

If you have any concerns about this type of activity make sure to consult your physician or medical practitioner before proceeding.

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Health Information Technology – The Safer Future in Healthcare

From the past 20 years, information technology has brought many major transformations in almost all fields of the world and healthcare is simply not an exception. While the revolutions of science are ruling on all parts of our lives, it has also brought a positive change in medical and healthcare by introducing health information technology.

Health information technology has absolutely changed the notion of addressing the healthcare issues. With the help of the transformation of information technology in health section, you will get benefit in your overall healthcare circle including relationships of your doctors, your hospital records, your pharmacy and other important medical information. Like all other information technology systems, the health IT system also needs proper configuration, network security consulting, solution & specialist to make the workflow risk-free.

Benefits of Health IT

The smart and efficient exchange of healthcare information through information technology is advantageous and beneficial in many ways. Following are some of the benefits that healthcare IT can offer:

Better information means quality healthcare

Better and effective exchange of information means safer and quality healthcare. With the help of electronic health records and information exchange, practitioners will be able to review the complete picture of patient’s medical history which eventually improves health care quality. With detailed health records, the risks of improper medications can be avoided and chances of medical errors will be reduced.

Assurance of efficient and accurate treatment

Once the health information technology has the complete medical record of the patient, it will assure that the treatment will be provided faster and efficiently. It will be easier for practitioner to decide tests based on the prior provided information. The clearer picture will help the consultant to give more accurate prescriptions and reduced unnecessary medical tests.

Ease up the administration

While compiling and managing the paperwork is certainly a tough call, healthcare IT makes the things easier. With the help of electronic medical records and management system, the administrative tasks have become hassle-free and efficient, which has subsequently lower down the administrative costs. However, to ensure the authenticity of information, administrative bodies have to be particular about network security consulting, solution & specialist.

Ensure the security of information

While the health information technology has reduced the burdens of paperwork, it has also ensured the safety and security of medical records of the patients. With the help of healthcare information system, all the medical records and relevant information can be saved and secured, as unlike the conventional paperwork system, electronic health records are safe and easy to transferred and accessed electronically. Though, paperwork of medical records are unrecoverable in tragic situations, but one has to ensure proper network security consulting, solution & specialist to ensure the security of electronic health records.

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Top 40 Health Quotations

  1. “Health is the thing that makes you feel that now is the best time of the year.”
    – Franklin P. Adams
  2. “He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything.”
    – Arabian Proverb
  3. “To get rich never risk your health. For it is the truth that health is the wealth of wealth.”
    – Richard Baker
  4. “There’s lots of people who spend so much time watching their health, they haven’t got time to enjoy it.”
    – Josh Billings
  5. “Health has its science, as well as disease. ”
    –Elizabeth Blackwell
  6. “Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died. ”
    –Erma Bombeck
  7. “Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do practice? ”
    –George Carlin
  8. “The poorest man would not part with health for money, but the richest would gladly part with all their money for health. ”
    –Charles Caleb Colton
  9. “As I see it every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself.”
    –Adelle Davis
  10. “Preserving health by too severe a rule is a worrisome malady.”
    –Francois de La Rochefoucauld
  11. “You can set yourself up to be sick, or you can choose to stay well.”
    – Wayne Dyer
  12. “Give me health and a day and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.”
    –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  13. “The first wealth is health.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  14. “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
    – Benjamin Franklin
  15. “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”
    –Redd Foxx
  16. “Health is not valued till sickness comes.”
    –Dr. Thomas Fuller
  17. “A Hospital is no place to be sick.”
    –Samuel Goldwyn
  18. “Health is not simply the absence of sickness.”
    –Hannah Green
  19. “Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos – the trees, the clouds, everything.”
    –Thich Nhat Hanh
  20. “A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.”
  21. “The groundwork of all happiness is health.”
    – Leigh Hunt
  22. “The oneness of mind and body holds the secret of illness and health. ”
    –Arnold Hutschnecker
  23. “Health is worth more than learning.”
    –Thomas Jefferson
  24. “We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.”
    – Benjamin Jowett
  25. “One out of 4 people in this country is mentally imbalanced. Think of your 3 closest friends-if they seem okay, then you’re the one.”
    –Ann Landers
  26. “To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.”
    – William Londen
  27. “It’s no longer a question of staying healthy. It’s a question of finding a sickness you like.”
    –Jackie Mason
  28. “Quit worrying about your health. It’ll go away.”
    –Robert Orben
  29. “What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn’t much better than tedious disease.”
    –George Dennison Prentice
  30. “The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.”
    – Anthony Robbins
  31. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
    – Jim Rohn
  32. “Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”
    –Albert Schweitzer
  33. “A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.”
    – Spanish Proverb
  34. “People who overly take care of their health are like misers. They hoard up a treasure which they never enjoy.”
    – Laurence Sterne
  35. “Measure your health by your sympathy with morning and Spring. ”
    –Henry David Thoreau
  36. “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
    –Mark Twain
  37. “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”
    –François Voltaire
  38. “Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it.”
    – Unknown
  39. “Time And health are two precious assets that we don’t recognize and appreciate until they have been depleted.”
    – Denis Waitley
  40. “Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God and value it next to conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of, a blessing money can’t buy.”
    –Izaak Walton

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Paying for Health Care – Health

The cost of health care in the United States is expensive and is escalating. A majority of Americans cannot afford the cost of medicines, physicians’ fees, or hospitalization without some form of health insurance. Health insurance is a contract between an insurance company and an individual or group for the payment of medical care costs. After the individual or group pays a premium to an insurance company, the insurance company pays for part or all of the medical costs depending on the type of insurance and benefits provided. The type of insurance policy purchased greatly influences where you go for health care, who provides the health care, and what medical procedures can be performed. The three basic health insurance plans include a private, fee-for-service plan; a prepaid group plan; and a government-financed public plan.

Private Fee-For-Service Insurance Plan

Until recently, private, fee-for-service insurance was the principal form of health insurance coverage. In this plan an individual pays a monthly premium, usually through an employer, which ensures health care on a fee-far-service basis. On incurring medical costs, the patient files a claim to have a portion of these costs paid by the insurance company. There is usually a deductible, an amount paid by the patient before being eligible for benefits from the insurance company. For example, if your expenses are $1000, you may have to pay $200 before the insurance company will pay the other $800. Usually the lower the deductible, the higher the premiums will be. After the deductible is met the insurance provider pays a percentage of the remaining balance.

Typically there are fixed indemnity benefits, specified amounts that are paid for particular procedures. If your policy pays $500 for a tonsilectomy and the actual cost was $1000, you owe the health care provider $500. There are often exclusions, certain services that are not covered by the policy. Common examples include elective surgery, dental care, vision care, and coverage for preexisting illnesses and injuries. Some insurance plans provide options for adding dental and vision care. Other common options include life insurance, which pays a death benefit, and disability insurance, which pays for income lost because of the inability to work as a result of an illness or injury. The more options added to the insurance plan, the more expensive the insurance will be.

One strategy insurance companies are using to lower insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs to the consumer is the formation of preferred providers organization (PPO). A PPO is a group of private practitioners who sell their services at reduced rates to insurance companies. When a patient chooses a provider that is in that company’s PPO, the insurance company pays a higher percentage of the fee. When a non-PPO provider is used, a much lower portion of the fee is paid.

A major advantage of a fee-for-service plan is that the patient has options in selecting health-care providers. Several disadvantages are that patients may not routinely receive comprehensive, preventive health care; health-care costs to the patient may be high if unexpected illnesses or injuries occur; and it may place heavy demands on time in keeping track of medical records, invoices, and insurance reimbursement forms.

Prepaid Group Insurance

In prepaid group insurance, health care is provided by a group of physicians organized into a health maintenance organization (HMO). HMOs are managed health-care plans that provide a full range of medical services for a prepaid amount of money. For a fixed monthly fee, usually paid through pay roll deductions by an employer, and often a small deductible, enrollees receive care from physicians, specialists, allied health professionals, and educators who are hired or contractually retained by the HMO. HMOs provide an advantage in that they provide comprehensive care including preventive care at a lower cost than private insurance over a long period of coverage. One drawback is that patients are limited in their choice of providers to those who belong to an HMO.

Government Insurance

In a government insurance plan the government at the federal, state, or local level pays for the health-care costs of elgible participants. Two prominent examples of this plan are Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is financed by social security taxes and is designed to provide health care for individuals 65 years of age and older, the blind, the severely disabled, and those requiring certain treatments such as kidney dialysis. Medicaid is subsidized by federal and state taxes. It provides limited health care, generally for individuals who are eligible for benefits and assistance from two programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Supplementary Security Income.

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