Tag Archives: hmo


If you’re a working adult between the ages of 25 and 50, this might be the right article for you.

We live in a world where more and more people find themselves working in roles that could be considered “always on the job”. Studies have shown that a poor life-work balance can result in higher levels of stress, lower productivity in the workplace, and general unhappiness. Workers around the world have constant battles with the question “can I have it all?”; and leaders who care seem to struggle to provide practical solutions. How can we, then, achieve and maintain a balance between our personal lives and work?

To help entrepreneurs, managers, and employees strike the right stability, here are five tips to achieve and maintain life-work balance.

1. Recognise and share your goals and needs.

Developing good communication skills is essential for every social aspect of our lives. Identify what truly matters to you and communicate it to people around you. Don’t hide your feelings and expect other people to guess what you are looking for or what makes you happy. Let your employers know if you are going through family or personal issues; an understanding manager will always be open to listening and finding the most efficient solution for everyone. Always remember that by communicating effectively and having earnest discussions with your employer together you’ll be able to find the right balance.

2. Set boundaries.

After 5 pm, learn to leave work at work. Any task, whether it’s emails or messages pending after the closing hour, write them down, so you don’t forget then shut down your computer and leave it all for the next day. For instance, in France, a law has been passed that bans employees from checking work-related messages after 6 pm. This shows that they understand the need for people to achieve a work-life balance.

Set a time for yourself to be productive at work and don’t exceed the time set. When done, drop whatever you are doing and relax or find something that makes you happy, that way you can find closure and have balance.

3. Time Management

No matter how much time you spend at work, the real issue is how much you get done while you’re at work. Choosing to manage your time effectively is the starting point of overcoming mental blocks to time management. Monitor how you spend your work hours in a week and learn how to distribute your tasks more efficiently throughout the day. Maximise every second, minute and hour. Plan and structure your time so as to achieve a balanced life.

4. Get Social!

Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but feeling lonely for a long time can have a negative effect on your mental health. It’s important to have at least one fun activity to look forward to during the week. Get involved in the community by signing up for a cooking class, yoga events or a workshop; go for a walk in your local park, visit new places such as cafes or museums and arrange weekly dinner with friends or family. That way you can relax while doing something fun outside of the work environment.

5. Always pace yourself.

Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. In order to live a full and enjoyable life, it is important to understand how to pace yourself. Setting realistic goals can help, such as leaving the office earlier at least two nights per week. This requires self-awareness, and once you improve it, you are going to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

How do I choose a Health Insurance plan that’s best for my family?

 While choosing a health insurance plan may be an overwhelming task, it is required. If you choose to forgo purchasing health insurance, you will be subject to pay a shared responsibility payment. In 2015, the shared responsibility payment will be the greater of 2% of the household income or a maximum of $975 per household. In 2016, this payment will increase to the greater of 2.5% of the household income or a maximum of $2,085 per household. With such significant penalties for not having health insurance, it’s vital to choose the best plan for your family. But how do you choose a health insurance plan through the exchange?


With HMO plans, you choose a Primary Care Physician from a network of providers. Out-of-pocket medical costs and monthly premiums are generally lower than other plans. But you have less control over the physicians you will use. If you and your family don’t need a lot of specialized medical care, an HMO plan might be best for you.


PPO plans offer more flexibility than HMO plans, allowing you to go to any doctor you want. However, although your out-of-pocket costs are higher than an HMO, not all services may be covered.


POS plans over the best of both HMO and PPO. You can use in-network Primary Care Physicians, or for a bit higher cost, use out-of-network physicians and specialists.

Different Plan Categories

In the health insurance exchange, there are five different categories of plans:

  1. Bronze plans have low monthly premiums, but have higher out-of-pocket costs and have the highest deductibles. With Bronze plans, the insurance company pays 60%, while you pay 40% of the medial expense.
  2. Silver plans offer slightly higher monthly premiums with lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs in comparison to Bronze plans. These plans pay 70% of the covered medical expenses, while you pay 30%.
  3. Gold plans offer even more coverage than the previous two with the insurance company covering 80% of the expenses, while you only pay 20%
  4. Platinum plans have the highest monthly premiums, but have the lowest out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. With Platinum plans, the insurance company pays 90% of qualified medical expenses, while you only pay 10%.
  5. Catastrophic plans are special plans and are designed to protect you and your family in the worst case scenario. With an extremely low monthly premium and very high deductible, these plans are designed to protect you if you become seriously injured or sick. However, you are expected to cover the costs of your routine medical expenses.

For more information and help to find a plan that’s right for you and your family, call the professionals at Lewis & Palmer Benefits at (844) 827-4868.