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Health

Reducing the Cost of Dentist Care

by Luke Landes

How often do you visit the dentist for preventive care? Since graduating college, I’ve been getting regular check-ups and cleanings twice each year. I’ve seen the results of neglect, and I have no desire to lose my teeth any time soon. I’ve also seen results of bad dental work, so it’s imperative not only to ... Continue reading this article…

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The New Health Insurance Law and Your Money

by Smithee

Aside from some procedural maneuvering in the Senate, the health insurance reform bill that Congress has been working on for the last year, now falling under the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) and the Senate health bill, will soon be signed into law. How is the new law going to affect your personal finances? ... Continue reading this article…

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Fitness: Physical or Fiscal?

by Kelly Whalen

This article is presented by Kelly Whalen, Consumerism Commentary staff writer. The costs of health care rose dramatically in the past year for many Americans. Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting firm, measured an increase in group insurance premiums of 6 percent percent in 2009, and that’s only part of the full health care picture. ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Flexible Spending Account: 10 Qualifying Purchases

by Luke Landes

Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) are often offered by companies to help their employees save money by setting aside income from paychecks to pay for health-related expenses without being taxed. For many Flexible Savings Account holders, the deadline for using the funds set aside is the end of the calendar year. Medical FSAs usually provide the ... Continue reading this article…

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Popularity of Medical Tourism Increasing

by Luke Landes

Announcement: As I mentioned last week, Consumerism Commentary is matching your charitable contributions during the remainder of November. Please read this for more details. A few years ago, we discussed medical tourism. Every visitor who expressed an opinion would visit or have visited a foreign country or territory to take advantage of reduced costs associated ... Continue reading this article…

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Friday Discussion: The Need for and Cost of Health Care Reform

by Luke Landes

I visit a doctor once a year at the most, and I hardly require prescription medicine. The cost of my health insurance premium is about $800 this year for my HMO plan. My employer pays a larger percentage of the total premium, but the prices increase each year by a percentage much higher than inflation. ... Continue reading this article…

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What’s Important to You in Healthcare Reform?

by Smithee

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the pulse of our readers on a hot topic, so I figured it was time. I’ve been paying closer attention than usual to the various proposals in Congress dealing with healthcare and health insurance reform, and I’ve made a list of the different things they’re trying to tackle. ... Continue reading this article…

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Medical Bills, Even if You Have Insurance, Can Cause Frustration and Debt

by Luke Landes

When I write about advocating for the consumer when he or she is in debt, I usually receive a good amount of feedback blaming the consumer for his or her situation. Yes, in many cases, households fall into debt because they buy more things they cannot afford, whether knowingly or unknowingly. In many cases, they ... Continue reading this article…

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Sleep Makes You Healthier and Smarter

by Luke Landes

A former high-powered, strongly motivated boss of mine did not believe in sleep. In order to be the best in the world at what we do — and this was the goal, no doubt — sleep is an obstacle to be overcome. I disagreed, as it seemed to me at some point, bodies and minds ... Continue reading this article…

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Stay Cool This Summer: Air Conditioner Alternatives

by Luke Landes

Rather than firing up the central air conditioning, you can keep it off or lower its power in the heat of the summer by exploring some of these low-cost alternatives. 1. Use fans. While fans don’t change the temperature of the air, they increase air movement, which will make you feel cooler by a few ... Continue reading this article…

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What’s Your Neighborhood’s Walk Score?

by Luke Landes

If you’re moving into a new neighborhood, it’s usually easy to drive around (or walk around if the new neighborhood is a city) to find amenities and stores within walking distance. If you agree that walking is a necessary exercise, the ability to walk to destinations should be a large factor when deciding where to ... Continue reading this article…

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Use Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Funds Before It’s Too Late

by Luke Landes

In two short weeks, 2007 will come to a close. If you have money in your Flexible Spending Account when the new year comes around, and your company doesn’t offer a grace period, you will lose those funds. A Flexible Spending Account is a savings plan offered by many employers that lets you put aside ... Continue reading this article…

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Do You Get Vaccinated Against Influenza?

by Luke Landes

My company was offering vaccinations today for any employees wanting to gain protection from the flu this season. By the early afternoon, they ran out of vaccine and added another date a week from now to the schedule for those who did not get a chance. I’ve never opted for the flu vaccine. It has ... Continue reading this article…

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Five Couples Living on $46k, Number 4: The Wheats

by Luke Landes

I’m following the CNN Money series focusing on five couples earning about the U.S. median income, $46,000 a year (couple one, two, and three). The fourth couple in the series lives in Ruidoso, New Mexico, a noisy town. Brent Wheat is a self-employed contractor and Shawna Wheat is an office coordinator. Together, they earn the ... Continue reading this article…

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Men: Do You Like Electric Razors?

by Luke Landes

I enjoyed Matthew’s guest post last week, Cutting Down on the Cost of Razor Blades. Several commenters, including MillionDollarJourney and Dimes, pointed out the cost advantage of opting to use a decent quality electric razor. Here’s what (a different?) Matthew had to say: I’d agree with the above comments about electric razors. I’ve had two ... Continue reading this article…

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Another Form of Credit Card Arbitrage

by Luke Landes

After writing about the effect CitiBank’s new balance transfer fee has on balance transfer arbitrage, I received an email from a reader, Andy, who has an idea to take advantage of healthcare savings account (HSA) reimbursements. This is a summary of his idea. A good way to make some extra money is to take advantage ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Things Your Gym Won’t Tell You

by Luke Landes

Just when I’m considering becoming a member at a gym to help myself stay in shape, SmartMoney publishes 10 Things Your Gym Won’t Tell You. If you’re looking for a demotivator to keep you from spending money for a membership that many find a waste of money, this article has what you’re looking for. Here ... Continue reading this article…

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Want to Be an Investment Banker? Read This.

by Luke Landes

Alcoholism. Depression. Heart disease due to stress. Delusions of failure. If you’re on the path to become an investment banker on Wall Street, this is what you have to look forward to. Yes, you’ll make tons of money and your materialistic friends will silently envy you while despising you, but what use is money if ... Continue reading this article…

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Know What Your Insurance Protects

by Luke Landes

Over the weekend, I received the annual benefits enrollment package from my employer. Last year, the health benefits offered by the company changed significantly to take advantage of Health Savings Accounts and to raise prices. Even after the multiple sessions with Human Resources, there were some of my coworkers who didn’t know the difference between ... Continue reading this article…

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Would You Travel Overseas for Cheap Surgery?

by Luke Landes

I had written a long post on this topic, but DreamHost went down before publishing it and I lost everything. Anyway, the Christian Science Monitor has an article describing how more people are traveling out of the country for healthcare, where service is less expensive. Some small companies are suggesting, requiring, or providing incentives for ... Continue reading this article…

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