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The Affordable Care Act

You may have seen a few TV and news stories or heard some radio commercials over the past few months telling you about new healthcare insurance laws and how you can sign up for medical insurance beginning October 1st. That’s because the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act requires all U.S. citizens to have health insurance beginning January 1, 2014. But, you can rest easy, because LII will continue to provide employees with access to comprehensive and competitive health benefits in 2014. Find out more about the new Health Insurance Marketplaces and why it’s important to know your next steps.

Managing Stress For A Healthier, Happier You

Even though summer is a time to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, sometimes keeping up with all of those summer plans can leave you a little frazzled. Too much stress can really sabotage your ability to unwind. Excess stress is linked to conditions like extreme headaches, upset stomach, back pain and sleepless nights.

But, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Learn from the experts at WebMD what triggers stress in your life and a how to get a little instant stress relief.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

The LII Work Life Program is here to help. This FREE and confidential service is here when you and your family need help with life’s challenges. Just go to the Work Life Program (EAP) Website link on benefitSource or call Magellan directly at (800) 424-6015.

Every Step Matters

Third Time's the Charm

​Wow! Everyone did a great job during the 2013 Every Step Matters program. We had almost 2,000 participants enroll in the program and together we took 108,663,322 steps, which is over 54,000 miles and burned almost 5.5 million calories. That’s AWESOME!

A special congratulation goes to the winning HeatcraftSTM (HS2) team from the Refrigeration business in Stone Mountain. They had the highest average steps of any team in the program – over 940,000 steps per member.  Because of this great accomplishment in the program, they won the team party. Way to go!

Be sure to check out our other winning teams, including:

  • Largest Team
  • Top 10 Teams
  • Teams in Top 10 All Six Weeks
  • Teams with 100% of Members Logging Steps
  • Top 25 Individuals

We had almost 300 participants eligible for the random prize drawing. To be eligible, an individual had to average 2,500 steps in any week. The more times an individual averaged 2,500 steps, the more chances they had to win. Check out the list to see if you were a winner.

Whether you won a prize this year or not, if you participated in the Every Step Matters program you gained valuable health benefits. So, don’t stop now. Keep up the momentum and make stepping a part of your everyday routine. And, you can continue to track your progress because the American Heart Association tracking system is available year-round.

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The Affordable Care Act

What’s New In 2014 With The Affordable Care Act? 

Plans and preparation for the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – or Healthcare Reform began when the law was passed in 2010. The new Health Insurance Marketplaces are taking their place in the overall plan and are the main reason for the recent ad campaigns. They’ve been forming in most states and are starting to raise awareness that all U.S. citizens must have health insurance by January 1, 2014. 

What are the Health Insurance Marketplaces?

Under the new Healthcare Reform law, each state was asked to set up its own Health Insurance Marketplace by October 1, 2013. These Marketplace sites offer one-stop, online health insurance shopping for those who aren't offered coverage through their employer, don’t currently have coverage or who want to purchase a personal policy. The Health Insurance Marketplace websites let shoppers easily compare health insurance options from a wide variety of providers and then let them apply right online. Although the Marketplace sites are a key component to Healthcare Reform, states could opt out of this portion of the law. In states that don’t set up their own Marketplace, residents can use the national Health Insurance Marketplace. Check here to find your Marketplace.

It’s OK To Compare

  • Deductibles
  • Prescription coverage
  • Participating Providers
  • Out-of-pocket maximums

Will My LII Insurance Satisfy the New Requirement?

Not only is LII’s health insurance comprehensive and competitive, our benefits have already been updated to ensure they comply with all of the new Healthcare Reform regulations.

  • You receive FREE preventive care
  • Your dependents can be covered up to age 26.
  • No annual or lifetime limits on insurance claims.
  • "Essential health benefits" are already covered in our plans.
  • You can’t be denied coverage due to any pre-existing conditions.

Take a look the other FREE benefits LII provides.

What Do I Need To Do?

The most important thing to know about Healthcare Reform is by January 1, 2014, all U.S. citizens must have health insurance. If you don’t have insurance in 2014, you will owe a penalty at tax time. The new Healthcare Reform law was designed to ensure everyone has access to affordable care. So, review the LII benefits during the upcoming annual enrollment period and compare to your other available options to help you make the best choices for you and your family. Remember, you are still ultimately responsible for enrolling in coverage. So don’t forget to enroll this year.

For a more detailed look at the Affordable Care Act, go to http://www.healthcare.gov or http://www.bcbstx.com/reformandyou.

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3 Recipes To Reduce Unhealthy Sugar, Salt & Fat from Summer Favorites

 

Low Sugar Chocolate-Banana S’Mores

You don’t have to sit around a campfire to enjoy these tasty treats. And, it’s a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Ingredients

  • 1 square graham cracker, broken into 2 rectangles
  • ½ teaspoon Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread, divided
  • 2 slices banana, about 2 inches long
  • ½ teaspoon sweetened, shredded coconut, toasted if desired, divided

Instructions

Spread Nutella evenly on the graham crackers and top with a slice of banana and sprinkle of coconut.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition Info (per serving): 
Calories: 71; Fat: 8.4g; Protein: 1g; Carbohydrate: 13g; Fiber: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Sodium: 46mg; Potassium: 94g

Source: EatingWell.com

Low Sodium Potato Salad

A tastier and healthier twist on the traditional potato salad — and it's low in fat and sodium.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound potatoes, diced and boiled or steamed
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced (1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 ribs celery, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons minced dill
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup low-calorie mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Instructions

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Chill if desired. Serve.

Makes 8 servings

Serving Size: ¾ cup

Nutrition Info (per serving):  Calories: 207; Carbohydrate: 12.3g; Cholesterol: 82mg; Fat: 1.9g (sat 0.5g); Fiber: 0.4g; Protein: 35.3g; Sodium: 269mg

Source: MayoClinic.com

Low Fat “Fried” Chicken

This oven-fried chicken is not only low fat; it's a kid pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds chicken breast, cut into four pieces
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. dried mixed herbs

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place egg whites in a shallow bowl, and crushed cornflake crumbs, paprika and mixed herbs in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken into egg whites, then into cornflake crumbs.

Place dipped chicken on a baking tray coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cook for 20-25 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Info (per serving):  Calories: 207; Carbohydrate: 12.3g; Cholesterol: 82mg; Fat: 1.9g (sat 0.5g); Fiber: 0.4g; Protein: 35.3g; Sodium: 269mg

Looking for more ways to makeover your favorites?

Try these five ways to create healthier recipes using some of the recipes you’ve grown to love.

Share Your Good Taste

If you have a great healthy recipe you want to share with others at LII, submit it here. Be sure to include all of the recipe steps, measurements and if available nutrition information. We’ll take a look and make sure it’s good and healthy, then we’ll include it in a future issue of Health Matters.

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Technology Tips

Need some help making better choices when you’re on the run and your options are limited? These apps can be a calorie saver.

HealthyOut Nutrition Guide

For: iPhone & Android
Cost: FREE

Looking for healthy food when you eat out? HealthyOut finds dishes at local restaurants that match your diet and nutrition preferences. Looking for something under 500 calories that’s low carb and Italian? HealthyOut serves just the meal for you. 

Features include:

  • Covers the widest range of diet and nutrition filters in any app
  • Nutrition preferences like Low Calorie, Low Carb, Low Fat, High Protein, Low Sodium, and Heart Healthy
  • Dietary restrictions like Vegetarian, Vegan, Lactose and Gluten Free
  • Popular diets like Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Zone and more
  • Use the unique Calorie and Points filters to find a meal in your goal
  • See detailed nutrition information for dishes including calories and points

iTunes App StoreDownload from iTunes

​Download for Android

HealthyOut App

Restaurant Nutrition App

For: iPhone and Android
Cost:  FREE (iPhone); $2.49 (Android)

This app allows you to easily view nutritional information about restaurant menus and track what you eat along the way. Multiple users can log calories, carbs, proteins, and fats to help track dieting progress. And if you don’t like what’s on the menu, use the map button to locate other nearby restaurant options. 

Features include:

  • Over 250 restaurants, 60,000 food items with locator map
  • Accurate nutrition to track calories, carbs, protein, fat and more
  • Rate/review menu items
  • Gluten Free Menu Indicator
  • Journal your food and share it on Facebook

iTunes App StoreDownload from iTunes

Download for Android

Restaurant Nutrition Guide

Food Fight Nutrition Comparison App

For: iPhone
Cost: $0.99

This isn't your good old-fashioned cafeteria food fight; it's a showdown between your favorite foods. Compare the nutrition of over 100,000 grocery products including Coke, Pepsi, Chips Ahoy, Oreo, Breyer’s, Lay's...and thousands more. Find out which foods fit your diet and which will give you the one-two punch.

Features include:

  • Search over 100,000 grocery products by name or UPC
  • Watch as two foods battle it out pound for pound across five attributes (calories, fat, protein, carbs, and cholesterol)
  • Find out who wins the ultimate food fight
  • Share the winner with your friends on Facebook

iTunes App StoreDownload from iTunes

Food Fight app

Have a health app you love?

Let us know so we can review it and share it in future Health Matters issues.

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Voice Your Opinion

We want to be sure Health Matters has the information you need to get healthy and stay that way. So, voice your opinion and tell us what you want to read in the next edition.

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Share Your Stories

Everyone needs a little motivation to make the choice for good health or stay on course with healthy habits. So, why not share your story to help motivate your friends and co-workers? If you or someone you know has made some healthy strides, then send us your story. We’ll take it from there to spread the good news.