NCHealthPlans.com Health News » Womens Health

Home  |  About Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Contact  

Jerry Ballard & Associates, Inc.
Local: 252-726-5400
Toll Free: 888-765-5400


A name you can trust, an agent you can count on.
Serving North Carolina residents since 1974.

NC Health Plans

Archive for the ‘Womens Health’ Category

Down, Set, Fight! – BCBSNC Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Pink FeetIf you are a football fan like I am, you may have noticed that October is breast cancer awareness month and nothing says solidarity quite like an NFL linebacker wearing pink shoes.  The fact is, in the last few years there’s been a huge push to make the public aware that in the fight against breast cancer, we all need to be involved and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina takes that fight very seriously.  Offering preventive care services, including mammograms, covered at 100%, BCBSNC is a proud supporter of women’s health.  (more…)

A Baby Changes Everything – BCBSNC Coverage for new Dependents

Friday, July 24th, 2015

For anyone who’s ever had a baby or anyone who is expecting to have a baby, you know all too well.  A baby changes everything!  There are so many new things to think about and determining the proper amount of health coverage for your new bundle of joy is one of the most important.  (more…)

Be Heart Healthy – Heart Attacks and Women

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Medical nurse doctor woman showing HEALTH sign on heart. HealthBlue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is committed to preventive care maintenance and women’s health.  This may come as a surprise, but recent studies have shown that heart disease, not breast or cervical cancer, is the No. 1 killer of women. And although a heart attack strikes someone about every 34 seconds, many women often miss the signs, thinking they are due to less life-threatening problems like acid reflux, the flu or menopause.  A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off.  This happens for multiple reasons, but primarily because the arteries that supply the heart with blood have narrowed from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and plaque. Sometimes women think the signs of a heart attack are unmistakable – severe chest pain and shooting pain in the left arm – but oftentimes the signs are much more subtle.

Some women having a heart attack say they experience upper back pain or pressure that feels as if they are in a vise grip.  Dizziness, lightheadedness or even fainting can also be signs of heart attack.

Listed below are five common heart attack symptoms in women:

Chest pain or pressure:  Chest pain is the most common symptom of heart attack, but women often experience it differently than men.  Many women report they felt more of a squeezing sensation or fullness and the pain was not limited to the left side of the chest.

Shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness:  Trouble breathing means just that – trouble.  If you are having difficulty breathing and there is no good reason for it, you could be having a heart attack.  Shortness of breath, in combination with any of these other symptoms, should not be ignored.

Pain in the arm, back, neck or jaw:  This type of pain is more common in women experiencing heart attack than in men.  Sometimes women confuse this pain because they are expecting the pain to be centralized in the chest, not in the back or jaw.  The pain can come on very suddenly or gradually and it can come and go before it becomes intense.

Stomach pain:  Women often mistake stomach pain associated with heart attack for heartburn, the flu, an ulcer, or even indigestion.  Sometimes the pain in the stomach is more like an intense abdominal pressure, but either way, this is one of those subtle symptoms of which women need to be aware.

Fatigue:  One of the most commonly overlooked symptoms of heart attack is fatigue.  Some women experiencing a heart attack feel exhaustion, even when they have been still or restful.  If you find yourself feeling overly fatigued without having expended any energy, this may be a sign of heart attack.

The main thing to remember is that heart attacks are serious and heart attacks in women are a growing concern among medical professionals.  Some doctors suggest that because women tend to be caretakers and are often tired and worn down, they may fail to take these symptoms seriously and seek the professional help they need.  The good news is that heart disease is preventable.  Make sure you see your healthcare provider regularly and ask to have your risk for heart attack assessed.  Also, if you smoke, it’s time to quit.  Studies suggest that one year after quitting smoking, you can cut your risk of heart disease by a substantial percentage.  Exercise, eat right, and get plenty of rest and most importantly, don’t ignore the signs and symptoms of heart attack.

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance coverage, the Marketplace and healthcare gov  to apply for your subsidy, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.  Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.

Blue is in your Corner – The Fight Against Breast Cancer

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Female Boxer Wearing Big Fun Pink Gloves Playing SportsVery likely you’ve seen the breast cancer awareness slogan that says, “FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!” and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina wants you to know that when it comes to fighting breast cancer BCBSNC is in your corner, offering preventive care, including mammograms, covered at 100%.  Much like boxing, or any sport for that matter, the key to victory is a successful game plan and according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, having a preventive plan in place is the key to reducing risk.

A good breast cancer preventive plan includes self breast exams, as well as having clinical exams performed by a health care professional on a regular basis.  For women over 40 and women under 40 with high risk factors, an annual mammogram is also very important.  In addition to these medical preventions, however, there are other daily habits that can help in your fight against breast cancer.

Reducing your Risk Involves the following daily habits:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay physically active
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Do not smoke
  • Limit alcohol consumption

These daily habits as well as a good medical prevention plan are the key to success in the fight against breast cancer.  Also, as you “fight like a girl,” remember that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is in your corner.

Before starting any weight loss program, always consult your doctor first and get his/her clearance for physical activity and find out if there are any issues that would affect you participating in a new nutrition and fitness program.

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.  Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.

 

Blue Loves Babies – Pregnancy Coverage

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

bigstockphoto_doctor_exam_6326088Having a baby is stressful enough without added financial pressure and that is why Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is proud to offer maternity care at no additional charge.   In the past, many insurance companies could turn a woman down if she applied for coverage while she was pregnant and many health plans considered pregnancy a pre-existing condition. Under the Affordable Care Act, however, all qualified health insurance plans now cover pregnancy and childbirth and this is true even if your pregnancy begins before your coverage takes effect.

What this means is that BCBSNC will not increase your premium based on your sex or health condition, including conditions such as pregnancy.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC is committed to Women’s Health and that is why covering the basics of pregnancy and childbirth at no additional cost is a fundamental part of essential coverage.

Once your baby is born, breastfeeding and Primary Care Interventions to promote breastfeeding are also covered at 100%, including certain breast pumps.  In addition, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health plan will cover your baby’s wellness visits and vaccinations at 100% so that you can be sure your post pregnancy health needs are also met.  Because Blue really does love babies, a BCBSNC individual health plan includes pediatric dental and vision coverage, up to age 19 so that you can not only have your baby, but raise your baby with confidence that his or her health needs are covered.

Babies make the world a nicer place to live and a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health plan makes having a baby a nicer experience.

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). It would be our pleasure to help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of Obamacare. Call us for details.

Blue is the New Pink – Women’s Preventive Care

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Vector Illustration Of A Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon TreePerhaps you’ve been noticing a few more pink t-shirts than normal.  Or maybe, your favorite NFL quarterback is sporting a pair of pink running shoes.  That’s because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is proud to support women’s health.  In fact, preventive care, including mammograms, is covered at 100% in every BCBSNC health plan available.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, preventive care is the key to successful treatment of breast cancer.  Early detection is the number one life saving measure and when breast cancer is detected in its early stages, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.  For this reason, every person should know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and be proactive in having any abnormalities screened by a healthcare professional.

Regular screening for breast cancer is imperative as your doctor can check for signs of breast cancer before you have any noticeable symptoms.  Mammograms can often show a lump in the breast before it can be felt.  Women 40 years old and older should have 1 mammogram every 1 or 2 years and women younger than 40 who have risk factors for breast cancer should ask their healthcare professional whether mammograms are advisable and how often they should get one. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina makes this easy and affordable by offering 100% preventive care coverage.

Because early detection is the key to successful treatment, it is important for every woman to have an early detection plan.  This plan should include performing monthly self breast exams, regularly visiting your doctor for scheduled clinical breast exams, and following your healthcare provider’s recommendation guidelines for mammograms, which depends on age and health history.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina supports women’s health and the fight against breast cancer.  Join the BCBSNC family and discover why when it comes to preventive care and early detection, Blue is the new pink!

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). It would be our pleasure to help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of Obamacare. Call us for details.

Maternity Coverage for Individual BCBSNC Policies

Friday, September 16th, 2011

BCBSNC offers an optional maternity rider to females (policy holder or spouse) ages 18 and over who are NOT pregnant when they apply for coverage unless their most recent creditable coverage was underwritten by BCBSNC and included maternity coverage. If you elect not to purchase the maternity rider when you first apply, you can add at the following times so long as you are not pregnant at the time:

1. During the annual renewal period (November for a January 1 effective date) as long as the policy has been in effect for at least 6 months

2. Within 30 days following marriage (requires copy of marriage certificate)

(more…)

LET THE SUNSHINE IN – VITAMIN D

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

More and more studies are showing how important vitamin D is to women’s health and  women aren’t getting enough of this essential vitamin.  Studies show you can increase levels through both your diet and supplements.  To get enough vitamin D from the sun, you need to spend about 5 to 15 minutes in the sun, just three times each week, without sunscreen. Too much sun exposure can cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer, so make sure you limit your exposure. Also, you can expose your arms and legs, but you should always protect your face with sunscreen. If you don’t feel safe in the sun, turn to your diet and a vitamin D supplement to get the vitamin D you need Vitamin D promotes the body’s absorption of calcium, a mineral that helps keep bones and teeth strong. Vitamin D also regulates the body’s calcium levels in the blood, as well as levels of the mineral phosphorus, which helps promote healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D deficiency can be serious, causing bones to deteriorate and weaken. In adults, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to the bone condition osteoporosis and, in children, it can cause rickets — soft and weak bones.  Look for discounts on your vitamins when you purchase your health insurance coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. (more…)

Vaccine May Reduce Infection In Unborn Babies

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

 March 19, 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – An important cause of neurological impairment in infants — infection with cytomegalovirus while they are in the womb — may be curbed with the use of a new vaccine.

Most adults have been infected with cytomegalovirus or CMV, usually with negligible consequences. However, when women become infected with CMV for the first time while they are pregnant, there is a danger that their baby will also be infected. In some cases, this “congenital” CMV infection can lead to permanent defects such as hearing loss, vision loss, mental disability, lack of coordination, or seizures.

Now, a study in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine reports that a newly developed CMV vaccine reduces cases of CMV infection in women and has the potential to decrease congenital CMV infection.

“The development of a vaccine for the prevention of congenital CMV infection was listed as a top priority for the US by a committee of the Institute of Medicine in 2001,” Dr. Robert F. Pass, from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and colleagues point out in the report.

Finding an effective CMV vaccine, however, has been a challenge. The first trials of a CMV vaccine began over three decades ago. In the present trial, the researchers tested a vaccine containing a protein found on the envelope of cytomegalovirus and an adjuvant to increase the immune response.

(more…)

Breast Cancer and Mammograms

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Breast cancer is a malignant (cancerous) tumor that starts from cells of the breast. The disease occurs mostly in women, but men can get breast cancer as well. The information referenced in this post only pertains to breast cancer in women.   A woman’s breast is made up of glands that make breast milk (lobules), ducts (small tubes that connect lobules to the nipple), fatty and connective tissue, blood vessels, and lymph (pronounced limf) vessels. Most breast cancers begin in the ducts (ductal carcinoma), some begin in the lobules (lobular carcinoma), and the rest in other tissues. 
 
The American Cancer Society breast cancer screening guidelines are for women at average risk for cancer (unless otherwise specified) and without any specific symptoms.  Mammograms are used to uncover early signs of breast cancer.  A mammogram is a special type of X-ray of the breasts. Mammograms can show tumors long before they are big enough for you or your health care provider to feel. Mammograms are quick and easy. You stand in front of an X-ray machine. The person who takes the X-rays places your breast between two plastic plates. The plates press your breast and make it flat. This may be uncomfortable, but it helps get a clear picture. You will have an X-ray of each breast. A mammogram takes only a few seconds and it can help save your life. 
 
The American Cancer Society’s recommendations are for yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s Blue Advantage Plan covers screening mammograms beginning at age 35 along with the doctor’s interpretation of the results.  More frequent or earlier mammograms will be covered as recommended by a doctor when a female member is considered at risk for breast cancer.  A member is at risk if she has a personal history of breast cancer;  has a personal history of biopsy-proven benign breast disease;  has a mother, sister or daughter who has or has had breast cancer;  has not given birth before the age of 30.  
 
Content of this article from American Cancer Society and Medline Plus
As of the date of this article, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina covers mammograms one of two ways:  They are covered 100% if done for screening/prevention purposes (by themselves with no other service done in conjunction).  However, if done in conjunction with a surgery, they will be subject to your deductible.

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our qualified agents.  Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC).  You may qualify for a 15% healthy lifestyle discount if you are in excellent health.  Call us for details.

Recommendations for Staying Healthy

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Adults (19-64 years)

Adults ages 19 to 64 should visit their doctor for a routine check-up every one to three years.

Routine screening and testing

Height and weight (body mass index-screening for healthy weight)
Blood pressure
Vision
Chlamydia for women (up to age 24)
Cholesterol every 5 years, if normal
Colon cancer (1) starting at age 50
Mammogram every year for women ages 40 and over
Pap smear every year for women (testing less often may be recommended by your physician)
(more…)

Reduce Health Risks

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Reduce Your Risk of Some Cancers

Being physically active lowers your risk for two types of cancer: colon and breast. Research shows that:

Physically active people have a lower risk of colon cancer than do people who are not active.

Physically active women have a lower risk of breast cancer than do people who are not active.

Reduce your risk of endometrial and lung cancer. Although the research is not yet final, some findings suggest that your risk of endometrial cancer and lung cancer may be lower if you get regular physical activity compared to people who are not active.

(more…)