11/10/2013

More information on ObamaCare or the ACA

I was curious about subsidies for ObamaCare, and I finally found information to help figure out if you qualify for subsidies.
This chart tells what 400% of poverty level is based on family size.  Those who earn under 400% qualify for subsidies.

http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/tools-for-advocates/guides/federal-poverty-guidelines.html

The amount a person has to pay for insurance is capped at a certain percentage of income based on where he is on the income chart.  Scroll midway through this webpage to find the "Federal Poverty Guidelines," and you can see about how much a person or family will be subsidized.

http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-subsidies.php

If you want to know a bit more about your options and insurance choices, check out these two websites:

http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/

http://www.thehealthsherpa.com/

Note:  I just saw the link to the healthsherpa website at townhall.com, and the article by Mike Shedlock is interesting and helpful.

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2013/11/10/three-california-programmers-create-alternative-healthcare-website-n1743927?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl

If you want to know specifics about plans, you will need to go to the government websites.  What I don't see, at least at the California website, is a list of physicians covered by the plans.  Maybe I have to give more information to find that out.

If you don't qualify for subsidies, you should not use the government exchanges.  Instead, go directly to the insurance companies.  As I have previously posted, Christians can be a part of medical sharing programs and still be exempt from ACA penalties.  We are strongly considering this option.


11/04/2013

Alternatives for health care

So . . . if you are like us and losing your affordable health insurance policy what can you do?  If you qualify for subsidies you can use the government health care website.  But know that if you do, your doctor and hospital choices may be limited, so look at what you are buying carefully.

Religious organizations that do "sharing" of medical bills have an exemption from ACA (ObamaCare).
I have found the following choices, all of which offer reasonable cost sharing.  The way they work is that you have to subscribe to their rules for healthy living, church attendance, etc.  Each month you send in a set amount of money which pays for the medical need of someone else in the group.  You also have the opportunity to pray for the person and send get well notes.

Here are three groups that I have found.

http://mychristiancare.org/medi-share/

http://samaritanministries.org/costs/monthly/

http://www.chministries.org/

Also, I am adding this ministry that offers a number of benefits, including negotiating lower prices and addresses the needs of churches, non profits, and small businesses.  (See comments below.)

http://thekarisgroup.com/Services/index.html

Hugh Hewitt has been advertising another choice that is not health insurance, but health care.  For a $20 monthly fee, you and your family have access to a doctor by phone and receive discounts on medical care from all doctors, dentists, pharmacies, etc in the program.  The company is Wellspring, and they offer a number of choices as well as help in making decisions regarding health insurance.

http://www.controlmycare.com/

I hope this helps those like us that are experiencing sticker shock from the new insurance costs. Our family's insurance will increase from $460 to over $1100 per month thanks to ObamaCare and the wonderful democrats who wrote this bill.

9/27/2013

And now the good news!

God is answering prayer.  My friend and I have been praying for healing for Bethany.  I've been impressed to do the plans I already know and the programs that are already in place, and then wait to see God work.  Right now, we are using Schwarz Wellness Center, and Pamala is following the Lord's lead in helping Bethany.  In addition, we use NACD, which has offered us guidance in working with her for many years.

Bethany is improving!  After having medical massages for the past few months, we are noticing that Bethany's back and hip are straighter, and she is walking better.  Susan, who has watched her for years so I can have a break, noticed this first.  So I am going to brag on Jacquelyn Little, the therapist who comes to our home and lets Bethany sit on the couch while she works on her from head to toe!

In addition, her seizures have almost completely disappeared!  This is thanks to Pamala from the Schwarz Wellness Center, who has kindly come to my home to do NAET allergy treatments. Apparently, she was reacting to vitamin B which affects the nervous system.

Next thing to work on . . . temper tantrums!

https://www.facebook.com/SchwarzWC

http://www.schwarzwc.com/Home.html

http://nacd.org/

Angry at OBAMACARE!

Yes, this is something to be upset about.  I just heard from our insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross.  For the second time, our insurance plan is no longer offered, THANKS TO OBAMACARE.

At first, I was told that I would have to buy insurance through the exchange, but now if I don't qualify for subsidies, (we don't) I can still buy from Anthem Blue Cross.

Right now, my plan (my plan is separate from my husband because it is cheaper to have separate plans) costs $204 per month.  With all the new rules and regulations my new "cheap, high deductible" choice will cost $495 per month.  That is an increase of 142%!

That new increase is just for me.  My husband's plan will also increase by a similar amount, so we will pay an additional $600 per month for a bottom of the line policy with benefits that WE DO NOT WANT OR NEED.

Our president is either misguided or a liar, and I hate to say that about a president because I'd much rather respect him than think badly of him even if I disagree with him.  Didn't he campaign for this new health insurance  program by saying "If you like your plan, you can keep it?" 

Note:  I do know that there are other options out there--Medi-Share and Samaritan Share come to mind.  These are Christian ministries that we can join that are exempt from ObamaCare.  We will be looking into them.  However, there should be better options for individual policies.  Most middle income Americans who do not qualify for subsidies will not be able to afford the tremendous increase in insurance costs.

9/25/2013

Healing Oils

Yesterday I suffered a paper cutter cut.  It was quite serious, taking at least 45 minutes to stop bleeding and bleeding through several bandages and cotton coverings.  I had doused it in lavender and orange essential oils.
This morning, I carefully peeled off all the bandaids and I can't even see where the cut was!  Other than a little soreness, the cut is healed.
I use DoTerra essential oils, and my naturopath says that there are different qualities of oils, and this is one of the best.
http://www.doterra.com/us/

9/22/2013

Good News from my brother!

I talked to my Texas brother, Brian, last night.  He was so excited!  God has led him to plant churches among cowboys, hunters, and fishermen.  He has started a number of churches among these people groups, and their goal is for each church plant to start a new church each year.  He just ordained 4 new pastors in the past two weeks!  The Texas Baptist Association has gotten on board with what he is doing and is assisting. (God led him to do this on his own after he was laid off from a church when the economy tanked)

His church model is unique in that he plants churches among people with common interests and holds services and Bible studies based on their time schedules.  For example, services are held for hunters in a room at a sporting goods store on a Wednesday or Thursday night.

He says he is learning what it means to "abide in Christ" and to pray without ceasing.  God is constantly leading people to him that need Jesus or prayer or who are interested in starting churches.  He says that now God is leading him to work with the black community--inner city where people are afraid to go.  He has been counseling one family, and God sent a black woman to him who wanted prayer.  Last year, he started a church in the Hispanic community after God led him in a similar way.

He said that the other night, God told him to stop at a fire station and go to the back, so he obeyed.  He didn't know why.  The captain came out and asked if he needed help, so Brian asked if they needed a chaplain.  The captain said maybe, but I think God sent you to me because my wife just found out that she has pancreatic cancer, and I need someone to pray with me.

Brian says that God is leading him to counsel people who have committed great sin to forgive themselves and forget the past.  They don't have to live in the past, but can now move forward with Christ.  He also challenges people who want to blame and condemn others to encourage and build up each other instead.

These were the exact same things a friend and I had been learning in a Beth Moore Bible study--about forgiveness of ourselves and others, and also knowing the grace of God which leads to forgiveness, love, freedom and hope for ourselves and others.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

9/09/2013

More delays and outright disregard of ObamaCare

http://blog.heritage.org/2013/09/09/morning-bell-10-ways-obamacare-isnt-working/

It bothers me that Obama unilaterally exempted Washington government workers from the full price of their health care.  I am saddened that government workers are being dumped out of their excellent plans into the exchanges though.

If unions end up getting subsidies, then we all should!

9/08/2013

The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)

I am starting this informational piece to demonstrate some of the pitfalls of the ACA.  However, if you as a reader are helped by this new program, please tell me.

My story:
I received notice yesterday that effective January 14, 2014, our insurance company will no longer be allowed to offer our insurance plan.  Instead we have to purchase a plan on the government exchange.  

So I went to the exchange website and looked up plans. The "Bronze" bottom of the line plan costs about double what we are currently paying.  We don't qualify for any subsidies, so where is that extra money coming from?  Beats me!  

Then, I noticed this post at townhall.com.  
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/heatherginsberg/2013/09/08/creative-types-to-lose-coverage-under-obamacare-n1693324?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

We aren't the only ones losing our plans!  So are artists.  As mentioned in the article, I distinctly remember then Speaker Pelosi mentioning that artists would be able to have good insurance under the ACA.  

 Before all this started, our insurance company was able to offer a variety of plans, and we chose one that we could afford.  Now we have limited choices, and they are expensive and not what we need at all.

The link below shows the price changes for insurance in different states.  However, I found our increase in rates to be much greater because of the limited choice in plans.  

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/kevinglass/2013/09/08/here-comes-obamacare-sticker-shock-n1694216


8/31/2013

Does Joy Come in the Morning?

Does Joy Come in the Morning?

I don't know!  I'm still waiting. One of the difficulties of living with a handicapped young person is dealing with temper tantrums, stubbornness, and sometimes sleeplessness.

Last night, Bethany awakened at 2:30, and she had no interest in going back to bed.  Instead, the night was punctuated with numerous temper tantrums, a early morning snack or two, and a short time watching TV.  

My mother used to say "I feel like death warmed over." I can empathize!

The good news from her massage therapist,  Bethany has abs of steel!  That comes from all those temper tantrums where she rocks back and forth, slamming her small body into the couch.  I've caught her doing sit-ups in her bed when she can't go to sleep too. Maybe I should try doing my own temper tantrums!

I thought about God's word while we weren't sleeping last night.

Romans 5:3-5
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

So God is making me quite a character, filled with hope, and we know that hope does not disappoint! And that is a good thing.

Time for a car ride and eventually hot baths and showers.  I'm thankful to have these conveniences that make life more enjoyable!

8/23/2013

Summary of GAPS and NAET Class on August 20,2013

Summary of GAPS Diet Class August 20, 2013

Taught by Ana Pennick from Selah Wellness Center  selahwellness.net

GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) can be helped by healing and sealing the gut.

Much of this information is based on study by Dr Natasha McBride who wrote Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

The problems:  People are suffering from a toxic load that affects psychological well being.  Autism and suicide has increased tremendously since the 1960’s.

Nutrient deficiencies
Bacterial and viral infections
Toxic metal exposure
Chemical toxins
Antibiotics
Structural imbalance
Emotional trauma

The above things all affect the health of the gut and gut flora.

Gut Flora 

Protects from invaders
Helps with digestion
Aids vitamin production
Detoxifies
Modulates the immune system

Damage to flora is caused by

Antibiotics
Junk food
Soda poor diet
Vaccination
Radiation
Chemicals
Dental work

These problems may be generational due to mother ‘s health if she has poor gut flora, has taken antibiotics, had vaccinations. Etc.  Then the baby also has the same treatments and eats processed foods.

Damaged Gut Wall Problems

Gut dysbiosis leads to a damaged gut wall which allows toxins, microbes and undigested foods to enter the blood stream and affect the entire body, including the brain.

Microbes and toxins attack the wall

Enterocytes degenerate and tight junctions open allowing toxins to enter the blood stream and ultimately the brain

The immune system reacts causing autoimmune disease.

The mix of toxins in the body will be individual to the person and each person needs their own treatment protocol.

Ways to Treat

Good bacteria is the best defense.

Friendly bacteria assimilates B vitamins.

90% of neurotransmitters are made in the gut.  This influences the state of well being.

Abnormal flora keeps the body from digesting food and causes illness, headaches, vitamin deficiencies.

Low fat diet foods often have too many chemicals and sugars.

Gaps Protocol

Normalize gut flora

Heal and seal the gut lining

Restore function and immunity

Remove toxicity

Restore the body’s toxification system

Key Components of the GAPS Diet

Fats (butter from grass-fed cows), ghee, coconut oil, duck and goose fat, tallow, egg yolks, cultured sour cream

Fat deficiencies
May cause poor reading, spelling, auditory memory, dry skin, problems with urination

Bones--meat stock and bone broth (provides minerals)

Organ meats

Cultured dairy

Vegetables

To heal the brain

Add meat stock daily
Add gut flora
Remove toxic personal care and cleaning products
Add recommended therapies
Add manipulations--massage, chiropractic
Consider NAET
Therapy for emotional trauma

Probiotics (to add good flora to gut)

Don’t buy these in the grocery store.
Protect the gut, keep the gut clean, destroy toxins and carcinogens, balance the immune system
Buy flora with numerous strains as recommended by Ana or Pamela

Minerals

Assist the body in using vitamins  Ionic form is ideal--in mineral water, alkaline water, bone broth, celtic sea salt

Liver Detox

1.  Get moving with trampoline, massage therapy, sauna, coffee enemas

2.  Detox with enemas, castor oil packs, gall bladder flush

Testing--stool analysis, ruin tests, check for itamins, energetic testing, saliva and hair testing, recommends biological dentistry to avoid harmful metals in mouth
Zonulin test will soon be available at Schwarz Wellness Center.  This is a urine test that checks for leaky gut.  It will be less than $100.

NAET Briefly Described by Pamala Schwarz with Schwarz Wellness Center

An allergy may or may not be obvious to a person, but we develop allergies to many things that cause stress on the body.

Everything has its own wave length, and the body reacts to each thing by recognizing it as beneficial, neutral or harmful.  

If it is beneficial, the body absorbs it with no problem.  If neutral, it is not a problem, and if it is seen as harmful, the body fights against it, weakening the immune system.

Symptoms of allergies may include constipation, eczema, adcid reflux, cravings, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, high blood pressure, breathing problems, joint pain, etc.

Allergies are usually vitamin, protein or mineral allergies found In the foods that appear to cause the reaction.

Environmental allergies are often food allergies.

Allergies can cause leaky gut and many human disorders.  Emotional symptoms are often the result of nutritional allergies.

The NAET treatment is non invasive and is done in a 30 minute appointment. It involves being treated on the back while holding the allergen and then avoiding that allergen for 25 hours.  The basic allergens are covered with 15 treatments.

Laser treatment also can be completed.  This involves holding a rod attached to a computer that sends the electronic wave length of the allergen to the body.  The ears are treated with a laser, eliminating the body’s negative reaction to the allergen.

Allergies are the gateway to autoimmune disorders.

Personal Note:

Pamela Schwarz does NAET treatments in her office.  She has a wealth of knowledge, is constantly studying, and offers many other services to help with health problems.

I have used Pamela to help eliminate my allergies with great success.  My energy has increased, and I no longer get sick from smelling flowers, perfumes, cleaners, etc.






5/03/2013

A Little Family History

Here is a memory of my Papa Barto Howard who had a wonderful sense of humor and was extremely patient.  He would often sit quietly on the patio and feed squirrels, eventually taming them.


5/02/2013

God at Work

Life is full of surprises--God likes to give blessings to his children.  When I pray or when friends pray for me and my family, the answers that come are often not what I expect at all.

The past two weeks have been especially difficult for Bethany.  With numerous falls and increases in seizure activity; she could barely walk, and I felt frustrated and tired.  But I prayed and researched, looking for answers.  Friends prayed for us as well.

I decided to consider a chiropractor and/or massage therapy. Then I  went to my appointment with Pamala Schwarz, our naturopath, today.  She asked me about Bethany, and I told her what was happening and what I was looking for.  Interestingly, Pamala had just hired a message therapist.  Then, she offered to come to our home and do allergy treatments with Bethany for free!  I was so surprised because it was so unexpected, but she said God had laid Bethany on her heart and told her to do this. 

God is so good in giving in unexpected ways.  Pray with us that God will bring healing to Bethany's mind and body.

On a personal note, I too have been helped by the laser and allergy treatments with Pamala.  I've noticed a decrease in joint pain, less chest congestion, and less snoring (Holmes notices that one).  In addition, moles and skin tags are shrinking or disappearing.

4/28/2013

Introverted Truth in Comic Strip Form


Rat in this Pearls Before Swine comic strip captures the exact thought of an introvert when he/she really wants to be alone!  I thought of Noelle, but sometimes I feel the same way.

http://www.gocomics.com/pearl
sbeforeswine/2013/04/28

4/16/2013

To Juice or Not to Juice

Well, I am trying to do more juicing since I don't like eating my vegetables.  Also, sour and bitter tasting food is supposed to be good for the body, but I don't care for the taste of either.

This recipe takes care of sour, tastes great, and leaves skin tingling!

Neon Green Lemon Juice

Ingredients:

One lemon (leave peel on if organic)
Cup or so of frozen pineapple
A cup or two of chopped kale
One apple (preferably organic)
Water--to make it drinkable
Stevia to taste (I add a few drops of berry flavored stevia)

Stuff everything in a Vitamixer (probably will work in a blender too) and blend until smooth. Add ice if you want it really cold.

It is best if you drink it right away, but it can be stored in the refrigerator for two days, preferably in a glass container.

4/05/2013

Water

To drink or not to drink?  I usually can only drink the magical eight plus glasses of water in the summer because I usually am just not that thirsty.  So should I feel guilty?
This blogger says "no" and gives some excellent reasons for that answer.

3/18/2013

Recipe for Shrimp Crawfish Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

Stick butter
Crawfish
Shrimp (I used frozen, shelled)
Broccoli
Onion/garlic
Parsley
Garlic salt
Cajon seasoning
Shredded Parmesan/romano cheese

Serve over your favorite noodles or rice, and add a fresh salad.

Brown veggies in butter
Add crawfish
Add seasonings
Add shrimp and cook until pink
Sprinkle with cheese

Traditional Marriage


Probably the clearest thinker I've seen on gay marriage is Dennis Prager.  I can't say it better than him, so I'm linking his column here.

http://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2012/10/30/why_a_good_person_can_vote_against_samesex_marriage/page/full/

Then, today he posted another column after Rob Portman announced that he had a change of heart regarding gay marriage when he learned that his son is gay.

http://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2013/03/19/even-if-your-child-is-gay-n1538069

The key is to make decisions with the mind rather than the heart.   "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"  Jeremiah 17:9

As emotional beings, I don't think we should completely rule out our feelings, but we need to weigh the consequences of societal changes carefully.  Do we really want a society where we marginalize traditional marriage?  What happens to our children?  Why haven't previous thinkers pressed for gay marriage?

3/05/2013

Sometimes, actually often, I wonder why our government acts like it does.  It seems to me that the obvious thing to do is protect and save the people mentioned in this article.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghanistan-translators-danger-20130302,0,4097561.story
Now that most of my family is off facebook, I will try to do more blogging.  I read Bob Doman's blog today about a young man with Down's Syndrome who started his own restaurant.  The video is touching and I thought I'd share it.

http://www.nacd.org/blog/2013/03/living-the-dream/