Friday, June 29, 2012

Options for MediCare Part D Prescriptions

Working at FamilyWize really gives me assurance that there are always options when it comes to getting needed prescription medicine - even those of you in the donut hole who are probably asking, "Now what?" 


medicare prescription assistance programs
Light on the other side of the Donut Hole.
If you are new to Medicare and the Part D prescription coverage gap, then there are a few things you need to know:
  1. There is a temporary gap in prescription coverage depending on the plan you've chosen so your monthly prescription medication costs may rise.
  2. Whether or not you enter into the coverage gap is based on your drug plan spending for those drugs that are covered.
  3. Once you enter whether or not you will exit the donut hole additional funds and qualify for catastrophic coverage for the remainder of the year is based on your out of pocket expenses while in the Medicare coverage gap.  
Confusing? For more information or help go to www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE or check with your pharmacist.


If You Calculate That You Won't Spend Enough Money Out of Pocket to Qualify for Catastrophic Coverage... Then Here Are Tips to Make the Best of the Coverage Gap While You Are In It



If you do enter the coverage gap, as promised from last week's blog "The Dreaded Medicare Donut Hole"; here are some options and resources on how to land softly and survive the donut hole dunk! 

If you think you will spend enough to get out of the gap - DO NOT use these options.
  1. Compare, Compare, Compare - If you are not going to spend enough to get out of the donut hole, say it with me-COMPARE!  There are many options from manufacturer rebates to store programs that may be able to help you save a chunk of money.
  2. Chat with your Pharmacist - Your pharmacist is aware of different programs that can be used in conjunction with Medicare Part D insurance.  Talk to your pharmacist to see which program would work best for you based on the medications you are prescribed.
  3. Talk to your Doc - Your doctor doesn't necessarily know what health insurance you have because there are medical billers whose jobs are to handle insurance matters.  (I know this because a good friend is one!)  Let your doctor know that you are a Medicare Part D recipient and have fallen into the donut hole. See if your brand-name prescription medications have generics that could be just as effective.  Your doctor might have some other tricks like changing your medication's strength or dosage to save you money or even hook you up with some samples to get you through to the other end of the gap.  Who doesn't love samples! 
  4. Resources - National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a non-profit and advocacy organization that works with various organizations to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their community.  It offers a free service called BenefitsCheckUp.  After you answer a series of questions, it creates a personalized report of the programs that may be able to assist you in areas such as medication, food, and housing.  You can also view different State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs put together by Medicare.gov that may be able to give you a hand.
  5. Talk it Out - Check out message boards or blogs to connect with people who are in the same boat you are.  It might make the process a little bit easier.  Online support can be a great resource.
  6. FamilyWize - We can help Medicare recipients who have fallen into the donut hole.  If you know you won't get out, you can use FamilyWize FREE discount prescription drug card to save up to 75% on your generic medications.  FamilyWize can be used for FDA-approved medications in and out of the gap that aren't covered by Medicare when purchased at a participating pharmacy.
Whether you are in the donut hole or are able to spend enough to get catastrophic coverage,  we want to help you find options!  If you know of options that are not listed here, please share!

Krysta W.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Affordable Health Care - The Court's Decision

It has been decided.  The Supreme Court made their ruling regarding the Affordable Care Act.  The court upheld the mandate that the federal health care reform bill, brought forth by President Obama and Congress, can require Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty stating that it is "characterized as a tax," which is permitted by the Constitution.
medicine uninsured health care cost
Supreme Court passes federal health care reform bill.

FamilyWize does not take a political position on this decision.  Our stand is that we fully support affordable health care for all children, individuals, and families in the United States.

But even as government moves forward to implement the federal health care law, there is nothing in legislation that mandates coverage of prescription medications.  

There is an unprecedented and growing need for prescription medicine coverage.  More than 80 million people in the U.S. are uninsured or underinsured.  More than ever, people need access to affordable medical and prescription coverage.  


Even when this Affordable Care Act is implemented in 2014 problems with the rising cost of medical bills and prescription medication do not go away.  In order to make health care more affordable, insurance plans are cutting out or cutting back healthcare coverage, and especially prescription coverage.  No matter who you are in America; the increasing costs of getting necessary prescription medicines may seem to be an UN-Affordable act.

There Are Options and Help with Your Health Care Bills

Since 2005, FamilyWize has been working with the United Ways to provide affordable prescription medicines to everyone in America whether they have health insurance or not.  FamilyWize has set a goal to "reduce the cost of medicine for children, families, and individuals by $1 billion by the end of 2015."

affordable health care
Family Wize discount drug card is free nationwide.
With the constant changes in Medicare, Medicaid, and increased expenses to state and federal governments, every person can help another person get a FREE FamilyWize United Ways prescription discount drug card. We are a country "united" and we need to work together to make affordable options in prescription drug costs.  Across our country over 60,000 pharmacies are providing discounts to individuals and families who may not otherwise afford their prescribed medicines.  From the Medicare Donut Hole to middle and lower income individuals and families who are uninsured or under insured - health care costs are on the rise for everyone.

So please take one minute today to help do your part in making health care more affordable.

Print a discount drug card or text the word "family" to 700700 and  start saving money on prescription medications!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nutrition in a Nut-Shell

"Nuts" - it is a loaded word.  It could be referring to a state of mind or a behavior or action, but today I am going to look at nuts in its simplest form - a bountiful food full of nutrition and health benefits.  

It is no coincidence that nuts are either a morning or afternoon snack for me. In fact, as I am writing, I just grabbed a handful out of the jar that sits on my desk.  These are raw almonds, but I enjoy just about every flavor of nut from walnuts to the sweet pecan to cashews, macadamia, peanuts, and more.  Why?  Because the nutritional value in tree nuts and peanuts is tremendous.  They are a perfect, bite-sized power snack.  You may call me a raw health "nut", but I'm okay with that.

health nut nutritional facts
One handful a day is all you need!
Did you know that nuts are considered a fruit or drupe?  And in the case of the peanut - a legume?  Whatever you call them - they are full of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and unsaturated fats. 

Nuts sometimes get a bad wrap due to the high caloric content of this small delicacy, but in fact they are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.  From heart health to Type 2 diabetes to obesity and cancer prevention, the nutritional value of nuts is great.  We may not be able to control health care, diseases, water, and the environment, but we can take the information on nutrition found in nuts and take small steps to learning how these tasty essential nutrients may have a profound impact on our health.

Just a few nutty studies include:
  • Human Research Center on Aging study as posted on the United States Department of Agriculture website, concluded that antioxidants found in nuts due to their high polyphenol benefits have positive effects against chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes.  
  • The Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition also touts the antioxidant and phytonutrient benefits of resveratrol, phytosertols and beta-sitosterol found in peanuts and tree nuts.
  • In 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a statement that 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease.  
  • The University of Nebraska published an article "NUTS for Nutrition" which references studies by the International Journal of Obesity for weight control, and a Harvard School of Public Health study for helping with Type 2 diabetes.  
The nutritional facts about walnuts, almonds, peanuts and the many other tree nuts include a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids for fighting inflammation, iron and zinc which delivers oxygen to your cells and can prevent anemia, heart healthy monounsaturated fat (macadamias have the highest MUFA), which help with cholesterol and heart health, while selenium and the antioxidant gamma-tocopherol have certain cancer fighting properties (Journal of Medicinal Food and University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center).  

Wondering what are the tree nuts?  The FDA list of tree nuts includes:
Almond, beech nut, Brazil nut, butternut, cashew, chestnut, Chinquapin, coconut, gingkgo nut, hazelnut (filbert), hickory nut, macadamia nut, pecan, Pili nut, pine nut, pistachio, shea nut, and the oh so beneficial walnut.

Incorporating nuts into your diet as a snack may give your body some of the advanced essential nutrients you might otherwise be missing.  Try it - you might just like it!

No matter how you crack it - tell us which nut is your favorite and how you like to eat it.

Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Uninsured 20 Somethings - A Lack of Health Care

It's in the news and I don't think we can get around it so I am going to say it - Affordable Care Act.

Whew - that wasn't so bad!  I think health care insurance and medical coverage are something that each one of us faces on some level every day.  But what I don't think we all realize is how differently it impacts life based on a person's age.

So my daughter just turned 20.  She was in college and then a trade school. Now that she is done with school and working anywhere from one to three jobs to have financial freedom, her time and freedom fluctuates based on the number of jobs she has.

It is great she works, but none of the jobs offer health care.  She is in a growing, trending industry, but it all depends on the region, length of time worked, and the size of the company - so far she has not had an affordable health care plan if any at all.

health care health care plan
Many college age adults have no health insurance coverage.
Thankfully - due to all this healthcare reform - good, bad, or indifferent - she was able to get insurance coverage through my husband's healthcare plan.  Both my husband and I work - yet we have insurance premiums that we pay for through his company.  And even though my daughter and other young adult are working full-time, many still cannot afford the health care premiums associated with proper medical health insurance.

Recently "The Commonwealth Fund" conducted a survey.  Their report "Young, Uninsured, and in Debt: Why Young Adults Lack Health Insurance and How the Affordable Care Act is Helping"  indicated that young adults from ages 19 - 29 often do not have access to or choose not to take part in the healthcare plan even if offered by their companies.

affordable health care plan
Many struggle with everyday bills and need affordable health care
Like my daughter prior to the Affordable Care Act, young adults who typically lose insurance coverage when they graduate high school or college are still choosing between bills (rent, utilities, food, and school loans) and proper medical care and needed prescriptions.

I am not taking a position on the whole healthcare reform, but I do know based on this study - our young adults are at risk.  The study indicated that young adults - ages 19- 29 who have gaps in health insurance, are at a higher risk for injury related visits to the emergency room, are more likely to have babies at this age, 15%  have chronic health conditions requiring a doctor's care and prescription medications, and in the last 30 years this age group's obesity rate has "increased threefold".

So over the next week or so, we are going to take a closer look at what I found young adults are doing to cope with being uninsured.  Similarly to our Medicare Donut Hole blogs, we will be doing a short series.  Next week we will tell you what measures we discovered some are taking to get health insurance as well as sharing a few of the options out there in finding affordable health care.

If you or someone you know is 20-something and does not have health insurance, let us know what you or they are doing about going to the doctor's or getting prescription medicine when needed.

Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager

Monday, June 25, 2012

How to Save Money This Summer at Your Local Movie Theater

It seems the cost of everything is going up these days!  From prescription medications to groceries to utilities, gasoline, and more!  As I chat with family members and friends, I continually hear how expensive it is to do much of anything beyond paying the bills.  The mere cost of living often prevents many people I know from taking a summer vacation or doing the relaxing activities we all need.  Cut backs aren't just an employment issue, they are a household issue.

So beyond our free prescription discount drug cards, part of what we aim to do at FamilyWize is to provide you with money saving ideas.  I love to share ways on how to save money while doing fun activities for kids, date night with your spouse, day trips with your family and friends!  Each week I will share some ideas I've found, or those you've shared, of simple ways to save money, cut your budget, and plan affordable fun activities - such as....

Summer Movie Theater Discounts and Coupons!
Looking for affordable options for movies in theaters?  Know where free movies at theaters are, as well as other summer movie coupons.
fun activities
Check with theaters for summer discounts and coupons.

Regal, United Artists, and Edward Theaters  - Summer Movie Express is a family fun special that runs for 9 weeks.  You can see G and PG rated movies for only a dollar at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This festival also benefits the Will Rogers Institute.

Marcus Movie Theaters - this movie theater provides $5 coupon deals on Spotlight movies on Wednesdays and Thursdays - who says date night needs to be on a weekend.  They also have a Young at Heart® program for those aged 60 and over. And for fun activities for kids check out their Kids Dream Summer Film Series on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10 a.m.

Carmike Cinemas - their 2012 Summer Kid Series, which started June 7th, offers 10 weeks of summer movie viewing every Thursday for only $2, which includes a drink and popcorn.

Rave Cinemas - has summer movie fun for the whole family!  Their Free Family Film Festival offers a variety of FREE G and PG movies twice a week for nine weeks at 10 a.m. Dates and times are available by state on their website.

Cinemark (Century Theatres) - has a Summer Movie Clubhouse. For only $5 you can see 10 movies (movie tickets must be purchased in advance; otherwise each movie is $1 at the door or $10).  For a list of participating movie theaters, dates and times, just click - Cinemark.

Second Run Theaters - all across the country are smaller mom and pop theaters that offer second run movies at discounted prices. These theaters don't just offer summer pricing - their discounted prices are year round.

Although I didn't list all of the summer movie theater discounts and coupons, there are many more summer movie specials for early birds, coupons for discounted food items, and group discount tickets.  Check out your local movie theaters for the best movie deals near you.

Be sure to check in and let us know what summer movies you are watching and where you are by liking us on FourSquare FamilyWize or twitter us about the movie when you follow us at Twitter FamilyWize.  Or just leave a comment about your favorite summer movie savings right here!


Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager at FamilyWize

Friday, June 22, 2012

'Much A Do'-Nut About Nothing

Ahhh - TGIF! As I pondered the topic of today's blog - I switched gears.  I decided it would not be serious, because sometimes life just needs to be NOT serious!  Plus, we gave you much to think about yesterday with "The Dreaded Medicare Donut Hole."  The Medicare Donut Hole is one donut hole that cannot always be avoided, but over the next couple of weeks, but we hope to point you toward some resources that might help with Medicare Part D.

Now - on to more pleasant topics - the actual donut.
Medicare part D health articles
The donut dilemma: Medicare donut hole or actual donut hole can cost you.

Although I am typically not a partaker of donuts, the fact that I will be traveling across the wonderful state of Pennsylvania this weekend got me thinking to my destination and what awaits on the other end.  There is a small place - what some would consider "a hole in the wall" back in a small town in Western Pennsylvania that offers up the most delicious doughnut that I have ever tasted.  The homemade kind that is soft and light and airy.  My favorite is the cinnamon coffee roll that is bigger than my hand with a maple glazed icing that is to die for.  These creations of Clark's Donuts are definitely 'Much a Donut about Something.'

 But, I digress.  Typically a health conscious woman except for the occasional Clark's donut, I decided to see what the Web and research had to say about donut nutrition facts and health.  Of course there were health articles and blogs and more of those touting the goodness of donuts, while others like Carla Wolper, a nutritionist at the New York Obesity Research Center who had this to say about the donut, "When it comes to health, the only thing good about them is the hole."

Donut nutrition facts
Krispy Kreme glazed donut = 237 calories.
I also discovered that the USDA 2005 dietary recommendations gave a thumbs up on "discretionary calories".  So what does that mean for you?  If you eat a 2,000 calorie a day diet, then you can have 237 discretionary calories, which is almost the calories in a Krispy Kreme glazed donut (according to the CalorieLab website).  Although portion control is recommended on any diet by doctors and dietitians, I would venture to guess that an occasional donut will not harm you.  A donut a day however is not what the doctor ordered. 

Which led me to a search on donuts and medicine.  This merely resulted in a listing of donut stores in several towns called Medicine (Medicine Park, OK and Medicine Lodge, KS).

Try, try again.  What I did discover was research from the Journal of Humanpsycopharmacology suggesting that "the synergistic effects of caffeine and glucose can benefit sustained attention and verbal memory." (Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.) A good thing right?  Good food equals good thoughts?  Not sure that this is what it meant, but if you want to read more go to the Wiley Online Library where the study is printed.

Of course, you can counter that with a study published by the Public Health Nutrition Journal and the US National Library of Medicine, regarding a study by the University of Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and the University of Navarra, that assessed the relationship between fast foods and processed pastries to a 37% risk increase for depression.  

So before you have your Saturday morning run to the local bakery for donuts and coffee, consider this blog.

Today was just some "food for thought."  (I couldn't resist.)  But you must make your own determination of whether or not when it comes to the illustrious donut, if there is 'Much a Do'nut about Nothing.

Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Dreaded Medicare Donut Hole

Donut hole:  I love donuts! Mmmm what a sweet circular treat and breakfast staple.  Chocolate, glazed, cinnamon, powdered sugar--there is a plethora of flavors. 

But...from a personal experience here in the call center, I can tell you there is ONE donut hole flavor that doesn't taste or look appetizing at all for people on Medicare Part D.  This time of year, we get so many calls from people falling into the ominous Medicare Donut Hole. 

Can you imagine what it is like to be on a fixed income?  Watching gas prices go up and down, worrying about unexpected expenses, and waking up one day to find that instead of paying 25% for your medicine, it's now 100% out of YOUR pocket!?

For those who aren't familiar, Medicare is a federal health insurance program for Americans 65 and older, people with end stage renal disease, and younger people with disabilities. 


medicare part D
Nothing sweet about the Medicare donut hole.
There is an optional component to Medicare, called "Part D," which is a co-pay prescription coverage plan offered at an additional cost to help people pay for their prescription medications.   However, every year, Medicare Part D recipients fall into a coverage gap (aka donut hole). 

What happens in the donut hole?  Nothing sweet.  

All of a sudden, individuals with Part D go from paying a 25% copay for their much needed medications to paying full retail price. 

Here are a few tips to prepare yourself: 

1. Read the fine print.  I once read somewhere, the only constant thing about Medicare is change.  I couldn't have said it better myself! Make sure you read your coordination of benefits agreement. Read the fine print to make sure everything is in order and if you have questions, ASK!  Also make sure all your medications are covered. Just because your medications were covered last year, doesn't necessarily mean they are covered again this year. 

2. Plan ahead.  If you know you are going to hit the donut hole, ask your pharmacist early in the year what the monthly payment for your current medications will be once you are in the donut hole, including the rebates for brand names and generics.  See if that will be enough to get you out of the donut hole and qualify you for catastrophic coverage.  

If you aren't sure you will hit the donut hole, ask your pharmacist to help you calculate your prescription costs to see if you will or will not. 

3. Be aware of your calendar. Open enrollment for Medicare usually begins every October. Leave yourself enough time to review each plan to see which one is better tailored for you.  

4. Don't be shy. Always consult your pharmacist or plan provider should questions arise. For specific questions, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit the official U.S.  government site for Medicare at www.medicare.gov

Visit our blog next week to look for what options and resources you have once you or loved ones have fallen into the dreaded Medicare donut hole.

Krysta W.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Big Tweet - United Way's Day of Action

ARE YOU READY TO TWEET!?

It is time to stand up and shout Live United!!
 
If you read Monday's blog then you already know why you need to tweet.  If not, let me tell you why June 21st is so special!

All across the nation tomorrow, the United Way of America will be organizing thousands of volunteers for their United Way Day of Action.

Why is this year so special?  This year's Day of Action falls on the 125 anniversary of the United Way movement.  That's pretty special...

Let's keep a good thing going!

Join United Way on June 21st for The Big Tweet.  Get engaged by sharing your volunteer experience through a tweet!  Tweet @ UnitedWay with the hashtag #LIVEUNITED and #iamthechange to let United Way and the rest of America (and maybe even the world) know what YOU did to become the change through United Way volunteer opportunities.

Want your shout to be heard EVEN LOUDER? "Like" United Way on Facebook, write on its wall, and post a picture to demonstrate what you are doing to make a difference in your community.

If you have not pledged to put your United Way volunteer hat on yet, IT'S NOT TOO LATE!  You can still count yourself in and become one of the more than 50,000 people who have counted themselves in to get involved in a huge nationwide volunteer effort.

Guess what?  WE want to see what you are doing, too! Tweet to @FamilyWize to let us know what YOU are doing tomorrow.  Post a picture on our Facebook wall and be sure to include the United Way you support.  We will then post all of the pictures we receive to a board on our Pinterest page!

Be the change.  Be a United Way volunteer.

united way volunteer unitedway
United Way of America volunteers for the Big Tweet.
Krysta W.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Don't Pill'fer Your Medications Potency This Summer

 "Store Medications at Room Temperature"


Those four words are etched on most pill bottle labels, but how many of us travel with temperature-sensitive medications follow those words? 


Temperature Medications Sensitive
Medications left in car can lose potency.
Summer is here, which means higher temperatures, vacation travel  and the potential for compromising medications that require a temperature controlled environment.

We all do it:  leave the inhaler in the glove box; the insulin bottle slips between the seats; and those nitroglycerin tablets fell out of the blazer pocket when thrown in the back seat. 

Leaving medications that are sensitive to heat does more than simply warm them.  When prescription medications are left at above room temperatures, like in a hot car, it affects how potent and effective the drug is.  During peak summer months, interior car temperatures can reach over 110 degrees, which well exceeds the 72 degree room temperature typical for medications. 

Here are a few tips on how to travel smarter with your temperature sensitive medications:

1.  Don't leave medications in your car when you're not. Think of them as a pet- you wouldn't leave a dog in a hot car, would you?! Don't leave them to sweat it out in the trunk either, but somewhere air circulates to keep a safe temperature.

2.  Certain prescription drugs are more susceptible to heat than others and require a controlled temperature
  • Insulin, which is used to treat diabetes patients, degrades very quickly when exposed to heat and should never be left in a car.  According to the American Diabetes Association, current bottles of insulin should be stored at room temperature and extra bottles can be stored in the fridge.  It should never be stored in the freezer, in direct sunlight, or in the glove compartment of a vehicle. 
  • Nitroglycerin, used by those who have heart conditions, is affected very quickly by heat.  According to Drugs.com, Nitroglycerin is to be stored at room temperature and away from heat, moisture, and light. 
  • Inhalers, a device used to treat Asthma, contain medicine in a pressurized can.  According to Proventil, a brand of asthma inhaler, exposure to temperatures above 120°F may cause bursting. 
  • Epicene, used for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), is another drug that should not be exposed to heat.  According to Drugs.com, EpiPens should be stored at room temperatures, not refrigerated or frozen, and stored away from heat, light, and moisture.  Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees is permitted.
3.  Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if your medication is able to be refrigerated.  Depending on the medication, sticking your medications in a cooler usually has a lesser affect on medication than heat.  Find a cooler with a strap so you can tote it around on your shoulder to shield your medications from the heat and sun.

4.  Before you down your medicine, be sure to check the anatomy of your medicine.  If it comes in the form of a capsule or pill, double check to make sure they aren't stuck together or wilted.  If your pills don't look the same after they were exposed to heat, it's probably best to check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if they are still safe to consume.

5.  If traveling on a plane, do not check your prescription drugs with your luggage. Most cargo holds are not climate controlled so the potency of your pills cannot be guaranteed.  Throw your pills in your carry on bag - that way you know they are safe. 

6.  Most pharmacies will provide a one time replacement for incidents like these.  Check with your insurance company, or drug manufacturer to see if it will replace your medicine.  If your insurance company will not provide a replacement for your overheated med and you have to purchase it at retail price, print out a FamilyWize Card and take it to one of our participating pharmacies.  Eight out of ten times, FamilyWize can give you a discount on your FDA approved medication.

Of course, only your doctor or pharmacist can provide professional advice on effective ways to store medications.

So, who else is guilty of leaving their medications in a summery place? Comment to share your PILLfered potency story!

Krysta W.

"I AM CHANGE" - I AM A VOLUNTEER

I always say, "When you are too busy for people, you are too busy doing the wrong thing."

So many times we get so busy between work, family, friends, WORK, and the many other activities -  we forget those around us.  The connection of one person to another brings not only hope to the person being helped, but also joy in our own lives.

Community Volunteer
United Way's Day of Action volunteers.
On June 21st we all have an opportunity to do something for someone intentionally through United Way's Day of Action.  United Way is one of our partners for the FamilyWize free prescription discount drug card.  They impact people's lives on a daily basis through education, income, and health.

So what can you do?

Contact your local United Way.  (Use our Where to Get a Card page to find a local participating United Way or go to www.UnitedWay.org and enter your zip code at the top.)  Then give them a call and ask them if they are participating in the United Way Day of Action on Thursday, June 21st.  Or ask them how you can be part of their volunteer program and be "the change" in someone's life.    

Just so you know - I walk the talk.  I am working with a group of people right now to raise money for a young twenty-six year old mother who needs a heart transplant.  This group is helping on many levels - helping her find a more affordable place to live and a more affordable car payment.  Teaching her proper nutrition to improve her current physical state as well as raising money!  Just from the little things, she shared that she doesn't feel alone in this journey and has come to trust our group!  For me to help ONE person not feel like they are alone in this big old world is worth everything!

It doesn't have to be a big project.  You don't have to do it alone.  Get a group of people together. Call your local United Way and work on a project for a day or for a week.  Just become a community volunteer so that you can make a difference in another person's life.

The joy you receive out of it - is just as HUGE as the act you are doing!

So remember Thursday, June 21 United Way Day of Action!  Please share with us what you are doing to CHANGE lives.  You can also be part of the United Way's Big Tweet (check back for details on Wednesday)!

Share this blog with your friends and get them involved too!!!

Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 70.1 million fathers across America.  That's a lot of dads!  How many of those will be receiving neck ties this Sunday? Not my dad!

My dad, being the piece of work that he is, would rather receive a bag of beef jerky than a watch for a Father's Day Gift; and a case of Pepsi rather than golf clubs.

Father's Day fathers dad
A Father's Day gift that gets right to the point.
He worked 60+ hours a week so my mom could stay at home.  He let me sit on his lap when he mowed the grass even though it took three times longer.  He came to every soccer game even though I mostly sat on the bench.  He taught me how to parallel park, use a drill, cut a steak, mind my manners, and a million other amazing things. 

My dad is definitely unique. What makes your dad unique? Let us know! From our family to yours - Happy Father's Day from FamilyWize!

Happy Father's Day to my awesome dad and the 70,099,999 other dads out there! 

Krysta W.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fruit-tastic - Watermelon News for Your Summer Health

BE SURE TO READ TO THE BOTTOM - THERE'S A CONTEST INVOLVED!

Summer is probably my most favorite time of year!  Not only because it is hot and sunny, but oh - the food!  Creativity on the barbecue is key!  I grab fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans from the garden; visit the local farms and pick fresh fruit.

This turns in to fresh strawberries over homemade short cake, grilled zucchini and peaches on the grill.   Soooo many choices of healthy, juicy, luscious foods to add into my diet that makes me feel good and improves my health.

I agree with Krysta's blog on Monday about watermelon becoming a food group (nutrition.gov) in the summer.  It has to be my favorite - I can eat a half of one every day!  I eat it, juice it, add it to other recipes - the options are endless.  But this fruit isn't just a good tasting treat on a hot day.  The nutritional properties of watermelon can improve your health.  For beginners, a one cup serving size of watermelon has:
  • Only 46 Calories; 0 grams Fat and Cholesterol; 11 grams Carbohydrates; 1 gram Dietary Fiber; 1   gram Protein; 2 mg Sodium; 865 IU Vitamin A; Less 1 mg of Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamin and Vitamin B6; 12 mg Vitamin C; 11 mg Calcium; 170 mg Potassium; 7,481 micrograms Carotenoids
So how does this amazing fruit improve health?

Because it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids (proteins) such as L-Citruline, which creates L-arginine, and Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. (You may be saying "HUH?" on the last few - but read below and I will share.)

Watermelon is full of nutritional benefits.

Like what you ask?  It is good for:
  • Arthritis, kidney and bladder issues - because it is 92% water it is a natural diuretic thus reducing inflammation. This is also great for pregnant women and water retention.
  • Cholesterol - A University of Kentucky (Oct. 2011) study showed that watermelon in mice reduced fat mass and cholesterol.  Watermelon also provides good HDL cholesterol. 
  • Asthma and overall healing - the antioxidants, Vitamin C, A, and Carotenoids by combating free radicals.
  • Blood pressure, prehypertension, and atherosclerosis - According to the American Journal of Hypertension, Dr. Arturo Figueroa, lead food scientist, from Florida State University conducted a study which indicated that eating watermelon can help reduce these risks aiding in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Cancer (prostate cancer) - the pink middle (in most watermelons) or meat of the melon is high in lycopene and carotenoids reduces the risk of cancer especially prostate cancer.
  • It is even good for skin care - just rub it on your face and leave the juice on for 10 minutes before washing to help control blemishes.
Watermelon minerals vitamins
Watermelon a great summer snack and Lycopene rich food.
The list of health benefits goes on.  The bottom line is - watermelon isn't just my favorite sweet, refreshing, fiber filled treat.  It is a really HEALTHY treat!  And there about 100 varieties to choose from.

CONTEST STARTS HERE!
There are hundreds of recipes on the Web, but please share with me some of your favorite recipes using watermelon!!  Then we will have everyone vote on the recipes. (Voting link forthcoming.)  The recipe with the most votes will be posted on the FamilyWize Facebook page and will receive a $25 Gift Card from Barnes & Noble!

Contest begins today and ends June 30th!  We will share the winner in time for your July 4th picnic!

Be sure to subscribe to our blog.  We will be sharing great topics as we grow our blog!

Donna
Online Marketing Manager

*Please note:  even though watermelon is a great source of nutrients, it is not a replacement for your prescription medications, so do not give those up.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Vacation - Don't Forget to Pack!

Ah, summer --  the time of year when kids are off from school, The Beach Boys never grow old, watermelon becomes a food group, and bathing suits are considered clothing. 

Summer is also the prime season to vacation.  But when leaving for vacation, have you ever had that feeling of "I'm forgetting something" cloud your mind?

You can tie a string around your finger, leave Post-its all over the place, but there is always that one item (or five) that forgets to make the trip. 

Before you venture out for summer vacation, here is a list of of commonly forgotten items.  (Our helpful way of making sure they ARE in your suitcase.)
  • Shampoo, Conditioner
  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Razor 
  • Soap
  • Sunscreen, Lip Balm
  • Bug Spray
  • Glasses/Contacts
  • Cooler
  • Chair
  • Shoes
  • Clothing 
  • A Great Book  
  • Phone Charger
  • Camera
  • Water
  • Snacks 
  • Prescription Medications
  • And last, but not least...your FamilyWize Card
Medications summer vacation pharmacies
FamilyWize prescription drug card saves on medications nationwide.
Just in case you lose or run out of your medicine, the FamilyWize card can be used at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide.  Whether you are traveling from Concord, New Hampshire to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina or Helena, Montana to Honolulu, Hawaii, the FamilyWize prescription drug card can accompany you on your travels and still help you receive a discount on your medication- even when you are hundreds of miles from home sweet home.

When tying a string around your finger doesn't work, what is the most common item you forget on vacation? Let us KNOW!

Krysta W.

Monday, June 4, 2012

FamilyWize Showers Amber!



Amber opens shower gifts at FamilyWize.org


Oh, boy!  The FamilyWize family will be getting a little bit bigger! Team leader, Amber, and her husband are expecting their first child, so we threw her a little "surprise" baby shower at the office. 

And oh, was she surprised! Amber was showered with tons of loot for her baby boy who will be here before we know it! 

As with planning the perfect surprise baby shower, having a baby requires planning.  One of the many decisions a woman has to make concerning her pregnancy, besides which color to paint the baby's room or what to name the baby, is which prenatal vitamin to choose.  

For all those soon to be moms out there like Amber, do you know that FamilyWize can help with prescription prenatal vitamins?
participating pharmacies FamilyWize card
Team Leader Amber at Family Wize surprise baby shower

FamilyWize saves an average of 18% on prenatal vitamins. DuetDHA, PreNexa, Prenate, NataChew are just a few of the prescription vitamins we have helped women fill.  To see the other prenatal vitamins the program can help with, use our Drug Price Lookup tool.

If your doctor writes you a prescription for a FDA approved prenatal vitamin, check out the list of our participating pharmacies to see where you can take your prescription.   Don't forget to use the FamilyWize Card to see if you can get additional discounts on other medications you are prescribed as well.

If you have questions about your prenatal vitamins, only your doctor can provide advice on which one to take.  If you have any questions about FamilyWize, visit our FAQ Page

Krysta W.