There are few things more frustrating to a teen than break outs and skin changes that go along with growing up. While some preteens or teens may only have a few bumps on their skin, others will have more noticeable cases of acne. Breakouts can be quite distressing to both the patient and their parents. Thankfully, acne treatments have come a long way over the past couple of decades, and there are great options that allow us to customize a unique treatment plan for each acne patient.

The foundation to successful acne treatment is good basic skin care. Our providers will assess your child's skin and help suggest the type of cleanser to use, whether it be one for sensitive skin or more oil-prone skin. Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by a lack of cleansing, nor is it made better by harshly scrubbing the skin (which can actually worsen acne or make it more inflamed). However, gentle cleansing can help prepare the skin to properly receive and respond to acne medications that will be applied. In addition to the type of cleanser used, the method of cleansing is also important. We have great success with both the SpaCells and Clarisonic cleansing units available at our office.

After cleansing and prepping the skin, your dermatology provider can recommend the appropriate topical cream(s) to treat your child's type of acne. Each cream has a specific purpose whether that be decreasing bacteria on the skin, unclogging pores, or calming inflammation. Some patients are prescribed a combination of topicals that work together in different ways to help clear up acne. It is extremely important that your child use the creams faithfully and give them several weeks to work (stopping treatment after one to two weeks because the acne is "not gone" is not appropriate—it can take up to 10-12 weeks for a new regimen to reach its full potential in clearing the skin).

After topical medications are applied, a moisturizer can be used to treat any dryness, and in the morning, a moisturizer with SPF 30 or more should be chosen. Sun protection is incredibly important in the prevention of skin cancer, even in our younger patient population. Also, some of the topical medications (such as Retin A or other similar products) can cause increased sun sensitivity, so it's even more important to protect the skin from the sun's damaging rays while on acne therapy.

After moisturizer/SPF is applied, girls may choose to apply makeup. It is an old myth that makeup should not be worn if one has acne. As long as the products are oil-free or non-comedogenic ("non-pore clogging"), make up can actually help camouflage some of the acne until it is fully treated. Our office offers a wonderful line of Oxygenetix makeup which our fabulous aestheticians can help you select.

In cases with deeper acne lesions, Teen-Wise22an oral antibiotic pill may be prescribed along with the topical medications. In even more severe cases, a pill known as isotretinoin may be necessary. We also offer chemical peels, photodynamic (Blu light) therapy, deep cleansing facials, and laser therapies. Talk with any of our providers for further information on these medications and treatments. They will help determine which regimen is best for your teen or preteen.

Treating teenage acne is a very common, yet very rewarding part of our practice. While acne is a normal part of growing up, it can be frustrating and can lower self-esteem during these formative teen years. At Marietta Dermatology and Marietta Facial Plastics, we are honored to help you and your teen through this stage in life, offering the best, most current treatments and product lines available.

Should you have questions about acne or should your teen need an appointment to discuss options for their acne treatment, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our highly qualified providers today!

 

Shana Boyd Hackworth, MPAS, PA-C is an NCCPA board-certified physician assistant. Shana is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Georgia Academy of Physician Assistants, the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants, and Georgia Dermatology Physician Assistants. Shana earned a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in PA Studies with an emphasis in dermatology from the University of Nebraska.

Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Richwine graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia Honors Program. She then attended the Medical College of Georgia where she earned her M.D. degree and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Richwine is a Board Certified Dermatologist.Dr. Richwine is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and a member of the Atlanta Dermatological Association and the Georgia Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery.

Marietta Dermatology & The Skin Cancer Center
111 Marble Mill Road NW
Marietta, GA  30060

770-422-1013  |  www.mariettaderm.com

Thursday, 26 September 2013 14:04

Fraxel Dual for Restoring Youthful, Radiant Skin

What does the Fraxel® Dual procedure treat?

This effective laser therapy treats skin imperfections such as fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, sun damage, melasma, acne scarring and surgical scars. Fraxel® is an excellent treatment for face, neck, chest, arms, legs and back.

fraxel-modelHow does it work?

Fraxel® light energy stimulates your skin's natural collagen, rejuvenating skin below the surface to smooth the creases and pockets that cause wrinkles and scars. Fraxel® laser technology only treats targeted problem areas so the results are focused and effective.  It uses patented fractional technology to target damaged skin with microscopic laser columns that penetrate deep into the skin.  The laser treats only a fraction of the tissue at a time, leaving the surrounding tissue untouched, which promotes rapid healing. This stimulates your body's own natural healing process, replacing the old & damaged cells with fresh, glowing, healthy skin.

When will I see results?

You will notice changes in your skin after your first treatment as it becomes softer, smoother and more radiant. As you progress through your treatment series, your skin tone, texture and quality will be noticeably improved. The more treatments you have, the more noticeable your results.

Is the Fraxel® treatment right for me?

Fraxel® is the right choice for people who want to improve their skin's tone and texture - and want real results - but don't want the extended downtime or risks that come with surgery.

 

Dermatology Center of Atlanta
Medical, Surgical and Cosmetic Dermatology

9900 Medlock Bridge Road
Johns Creek, GA 30097
770.497.0699 | www.dermatology-atlanta.com


Dr. Gilman is a board certified dermatologist who has recently moved to Atlanta after 10 years in private practice in New York, NY specializing in medical, aesthetic, and laser dermatology.  Dr. Gilman is often consulted by local & national print and television media for her expert opinion on medical advancements in dermatology and new aesthetic trends & procedures.  She has appeared on Dr. Oz, Fox News Channel and MSNBC.   Dr. Gilman is an expert in the use of the Fraxel Dual® laser and performs this procedure at Dermatology Center of Atlanta.

Friday, 30 August 2013 16:07

Cann Dentistry

Late summer and early autumn usually means weed pollens, particularly ragweed for many allergy sufferers. The fall can be just as troublesome as the spring, and with such a wet season preceding us, we can anticipate high pollen counts for prolonged periods of time. Accordingly, one would take precautions to reduce exposure to pollens such as limiting early day outdoor activities, keeping windows closed, and cleaning outdoor pets before they come into the home.

In addition to taking measures to reduce exposure to fall pollens, many people also supplement with over-the-counter anti-histamines, nasal saline or decongestants. There are also several plant-based therapies which have shown benefit:

• Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) – Commonly used for headaches, two studies confirmed its efficacy in head to head trials versus OTC antihistamines. Make sure you purchase "PA-free" formulations to avoid liver toxicity

woman-in-nature• Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) – Although evidence is lacking for its role in treating allergies, I have had several patients report dramatic improvements in rhinitis symptoms from using Nettle formulations.

• Quercetin – Provides Flavonoids, a potent anti-inflammatory, which has been demonstrated to have anti-histamine properties in test tubes. Lacking clinical evidence but testimonials from patients carry weight, given its low risk.

Lastly, consider the role of diet, emotions and stress in inflammation. Remember that the body is always trying to restore homeostasis, so try and lead a lifestyle that fosters this process.

 

Avicenna Integrative Medicine
1000 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite E200
Marietta, GA 30068

(770) 977-9300 | www.avicennamd.com

 

Maziar Rezvani, MD, FAAAAI serves as director of Avicenna Integrative Medicine and Avicenna Allergy and Asthma. He specializes in integrative medicine and allergy, asthma and immunology, and his interests include the role of inflammation in various disease states, diet and nutrition, and botanical medicine.

 

This article is brought to you by Avicenna Integrative Medicine
For information on other topics from Atlanta's experts go to www.bestselfconnect.com

Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics Center is led by Seth A. Yellin, MD, FACS, formerly Chief of Facial Plastic Surgery at Emory Healthcare from 1999-2011 and a nationally recognized expert in creating a natural look when performing facial rejuvenation and rhinoplasty. The Center provides patients with a state-of-the-art aesthetic experience in a freestanding, beautiful, modern facility designed with your needs in mind.

Whether you are seeking advice on how to best care for your skin or perhaps you have a concerning mole or skin condition requiring special attention our Dermatologist partners at Marietta Dermatology are on-site and ready to help. Additionally, our in-house medical aestheticians and laser experts can educate you and determine the best and most economical care plan to address your skin concerns.

Our aesthetics center, which is staffed by highly trained and knowledgeable skin care experts, is the ideal place to experience non-invasive treatments for your facial blemishes, unwanted skin redness or brown spots, facial lines and wrinkles and or loss of collagen in the face and neck. These issues can be addressed with therapies ranging from topical medications and cosmeceuticals to chemical peels, intense pulsed light, vibradermabrasion, laser facials and other laser procedures designed to provide maximum benefit with minimum downtime. Unwanted body hair can also be addressed with laser hair removal. Ultherapy, which uses high intensity ultrasound energy to contract and tighten relaxed skin of the face and neck, is an exciting new technique that really expands what can be done to improve ones appearance with no downtime. Lastly, cellulite is effectively treated with SmoothShapes technology, which not only smoothes the skin but also helps reduce inches in the treated areas.

marietta-facialIf facial aging or simply looking tired, in spite of getting a good nights rest, is an issue or perhaps there is a facial feature that you have never been comfortable with, a personalized consultation with Dr. Yellin will be comprehensive and informative and is an ideal forum for getting all of your questions answered. Dr. Yellin will complete his assessment by providing you with a written summary of his customized plan, which may range from home skin care products to in office minimally invasive injectable treatments or if necessary, surgical procedures. If surgery is recommended, procedures can often be performed in our office operatory under local anesthesia or if general anesthesia is required, at a certified outpatient surgical facility, which is the ideal location for aesthetic surgical procedures as it provides the same level of safety and patient care as a modern hospital in a friendly, patient-oriented environment.

Lastly, our practice provides a truly integrated care approach to the management of skin cancer. Whether you need a full body skin check, a biopsy to diagnose a suspicious skin lesion, specialized Mohs skin cancer removal, pathologic expertise or extensive facial reconstruction, our practice provides all of these services and more and has been serving Marietta and all of North Georgia for more than 40 years. Come visit with us and see how we may serve you.

 

Seth A. Yellin, MD,FACS
Facial Plastic Surgeon

Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Center
111 Marble Mill Road NW
Marietta, GA 30060
770-425-7575

www.mariettafacialplastics.com

 

This article is brought to you by Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics Center
For information on other topics from Atlanta's experts go to www.bestselfconnect.com

Thursday, 29 August 2013 17:02

Tips for Healthy Aging

Why is it so important to age healthy?

The world population is aging rapidly and life expectancy is increasing but not necessarily quality of life. There are many factors in one's control that can help them age healthy so that life can be enjoyable at any age.

Does nutrition play a role in aging healthy?

Good nutrition can help prevent age-related diseases and improve overall well-being. It is important to eat real food that is not full of chemicals, preservatives, or refined sugars, and to eat organic when possible. Here are 10 super foods to help you age healthy.

• Berries. Rich in antioxidants.

• Leafy Greens. Support bone, cognitive, and heart health.

• Tomatoes. Lycopene is great for heart, eye, and skin health. Also has anti-cancer benefits.

• Nuts. Almonds and walnuts support heart and brain function.

• Red Grapes. Resveratrol, an antioxidant in red grapes, is anti-inflammatory and supports heart health. Animal studies have shown resveratrol to actually extend lifespan.

• Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids keep the heart and brain healthy.

• Legumes. Nutrient dense, high in fiber, and heart healthy.

• Herbs and Spices. Turmeric and ginger contain anti-inflammatory compounds that might reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

• Cruciferous vegetables. Anti-cancer properties.

• Vitamin D rich foods- Supports bone and immune health. Also possesses anti-cancer properties.

older-couple-on-bicycleWhat lifestyle habits can affect the way we age?

Three lifestyle habits that can greatly impact how well one ages are: sleep, stress, and exercise. Sleep plays a critical role in immune function, memory, metabolism, and cardiovascular health. Excess stress can lead to impaired immunity, increased risk of heart disease, and diminished hormone production. Exercise lowers risk of heart disease, boosts energy, and promotes enhanced mental function and mood.

In addition to the standard recommended tests and screenings, what other testing can be done to promote healthy aging?

There are many additional tests that can help promote healthy aging and disease prevention. Here are a few examples.

• Estrogen Metabolism. Assesses how a woman metabolizes her estrogen. Estrogen can either be broken down in to protective or aggressive metabolites.If a defect is found there are natural ways to correct this.

• Micronutrient. Comprehensive measurement of nutrient levels.

• Food Intolerance. Determines what foods the body has an intolerance to and what foods are acceptable.

• Lipoprotein Particle Testing. Advanced cholesterol profile that measures cholesterol particle size and cardiac markers of inflammation.

• Telomere. Measures telomere length in relation to one's age and can tell you one's age within.

 

Allison Cochran PA-C, MPAS
Natural Health Atlanta

Phone: 678-892-6865
www.naturalhealthatlanta.com

Most Major Insurance Plans Accepted

 

Allison Cochran is a Physician Assistant specializing in Anti-Aging/Preventive Medicine, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, and nutritional analysis. She is Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and has a Master's Degree in Physician Assistant Studies.

 

This article is brought to you by Natural Health Atlanta
For information on other topics from Atlanta's experts go to www.bestselfconnect.com

 

Thursday, 29 August 2013 16:38

Focus on diabetes — managing your levels

More than a quarter of Americans over age 65 have diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) states most have Type 2 diabetes, which has a strong pre-determination linked to family history but can also be affected by lifestyle choices. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled, but if it's not, it can cause serious, even fatal, damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and teeth.

Everyone over age 40 should have a blood test screening for diabetes at least every 3 years, and those with risk factors should have it every year. The number one risk factor is being overweight. For both the treatment, and prevention, of diabetes:

Watch your diet carefully: By eating well-balanced meals in the correct amounts, you can keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. A dietician, or books such as the ADA's 101 Nutrition Tips for People with Diabetes, can help. If you consume alcohol, limit your intake to two drinks per day for men and one for women.

Lose weight: The ADA stresses that losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce your risk of complications from diabetes. A dietician can help you find ways to eat the foods you like while reducing your intake of calories.

diabetesIncrease physical activity: A personal health coach can help you become more active. And it doesn't mean that you have to go to the gym; it can mean walking around your house or working in your yard. Exercise helps improve your strength, flexibility, and endurance. Try to get in 30 minutes of sustained exercise 5 times a week. Please speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Sleep well and reduce stress: Getting the appropriate amount of rest and managing your stress will improve diabetes control.

Monitor your blood sugar and take your prescribed medications: By keeping track of your blood sugar, you can achieve better control of your diabetes. Always take your insulin or oral diabetes pills as prescribed by your doctor.

 

Dr. Robinson and Dr. Rekaby
Concentra Primary Care

Edgewood
1220 Caroline Street
Atlanta, GA 30307

Sandy Springs Primary Care
6334 Roswell Road NE Suite B.
Sandy Springs, GA 30328

www.ConcentraUrgentCare.com/Atlanta


Concentra Primary Care offers a comprehensive approach to health care that begins with a family doctor and care coordinator who work together to care for patients' full health, and coordinate any additional care needed from other supporting providers.  By creating an ongoing relationship with patients, Concentra providers help to manage chronic and costly health care conditions, including care for seniors.  With flexible scheduling, longer appointment times, and experienced providers, Concentra Primary Care connects the dots that form a larger picture of health. It's health care with a focus on getting well and living well today, and in the years ahead.

 

This article is brought to you by Concentra Primary Care
For information on other topics from Atlanta's experts go to www.bestselfconnect.com

Known by many as "The Bra Whisperer," Susan Nethero has helped countless women find the bra of their dreams and changed the way they feel about themselves. Giving women a positive body image is something she is passionate about.

Whether she was doing a bra fitting at Intimacy, the store she founded in 1992, or fitting Oprah Winfrey herself, it is all about uplifting the spirit. She remembers, "At Intimacy, we were able to take our expertise and share it every day to uplift women and give them a whole new confidence about their beauty, their bodies and their lives!" Nethero's newest venture, REVEAL Total Transformation, with a two-time Emmy-nominated executive producer, centers on improving women's self-esteem, body image, and confidence. "My life's purpose is to uplift and support women in their professional and personal lives," she says.

 

Best advice you ever received?
Find something you are passionate about and don't let others discourage you from pursuing your dreams. You may not be able to have it all, but you can surely get a whole lot of what you want by loving what you do every day! So live large!

Best achievement?
Being on The Oprah Show five times and really exploding women's interests in bras and how they make a difference in a woman's shape, beauty and confidence! It still blows my mind to see the transformations of women at Intimacy bra fit boutiques.

Best thing about owning your own business?
Creating a culture of fulfillment for each employee and serving the needs of customers before your own.

Best new project?
I am actively working on women's self-esteem issues through the new REVEAL Total Transformation seminars to help women improve their self-perception, body image and confidence. I am working with an esteemed reality TV executive producer of over 100 style and makeover shows, Riaz Patel, whose experience is unparalleled. We will offer innovative perception and psychological techniques to help women let go of years of defeating behaviors and see themselves in a new light. The next Reveal workshop will be September 28-29 and October 19- 20. There is more information on the website www.revealworkshop.com.

Best bra you've ever owned?
Marie Jo bras from Intimacy because they are beautiful and fit me perfectly.

Best guilty pleasure?
I love shopping for new clothes and feeling special in new fashions!

Best surefire mood booster?
A good glass of wine to share in my husband's company.

Best place for "me" time?
The spa or the pool.

Best book you've read recently?
"Dreaming in Chinese," as I just got back from a trip to China to visit my youngest daughter, who is a Fulbright Scholar working on empowerment of women in the political process. It has given me great insight into my daughter's life in China.

Who are the people who help you to be your best self?
I have business associate friends from the corporate and entrepreneurial world that I often call upon for advice, and as a member of C200 and Golden Seeds, I have amazing women with whom to network. My husband and I attend several conferences throughout the year with Dr. George Pratt. We have a personal trainer, Mary Elizabeth Hogenmueller, who is a great motivator for health, wellness and yoga.

 

 

If you're like most people, you're probably clear about the fact that healthcare laws are changing. Unfortunately, that might be all you're clear about. Don't worry – most people are in the same boat because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its implications are complicated and multifaceted. Read on to get answers to some of your questions from Atlanta experts about how healthcare reforms may affect you, your family and your business.


What's happened so far?

The ACA was signed into law in March of 2010. Since then, parts of the law have rolled out in stages every few months. Tina Weiss, the senior director of Individual and Family Plans for Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, breaks down the most important changes that the law has required all insurers to implement. She says, "Number one, preventive care coverage became available on every plan for no cost. So you can go in and get your preventive screenings for free now." As of September 2010, the new law also prevents insurers from charging a copay if you go to your doctor for a well visit. She continues, "The second significant change also came in 2010 when we started allowing children on plans whether or not they had pre-existing conditions. And another important change was that we now allow children to stay on their parents' plan up until age 26, and that kept a lot of people covered." These pieces of the ACA are already in effect.

 

What's coming up next?

The next significant date to be aware of is October 1, 2013. Lisa Owen of Core Benefits Solutions explains that on this date, open enrollment begins and continues through December. On January 1, 2014, "Every U.S. citizen is required to have health insurance, period. If you don't, you will pay a penalty tax when you file your taxes." The penalty is minimal the first year, just $95 or 1 percent of your income (which ever is higher), but it will increase for the next two years. According to Owens, the penalty cap is a maximum of $2,085 per family. Owen also points out that beginning in 2015, businesses with 50 or more employees will also have to pay a penalty if they do not offer "affordable" coverage, which is defined by the government as coverage that costs less than 9.5 percent of annual household income.

According to Michael Parker, CFP and senior consultant at Thrive Advisory Group, LLC, "The law has two possible penalties attributed to 'large' businesses. First, if no health plan is offered there is a $2,000 penalty for every employee minus the first 30 employees if just one employee goes to the exchange and gets a subsidy. Second, if an employer offers a plan, but it does not meet the 60 percent actuarial value or does not meet the 9.5 percent affordability then an employer will pay a $3,000 penalty for each employee that goes to the exchange and gets a subsidy."

Eric Haglund, president of Georgia Benefits, emphasizes another upcoming change. Insurance is now "guaranteed issue," meaning coverage cannot be denied based on pre-existing conditions. He explains, "So if you're uninsured and have a heart condition, on October 1, you'll be able to apply for insurance. They'll have to cover you, and they'll have to cover your heart." The coverage, however, will not start until January 1, 2014. To enable everyone to educate themselves and select an appropriate plan, the Health Insurance Marketplace opens on October 1 as well. Sometimes referred to as the healthcare "exchange," the Marketplace is a federal website where individuals can go to shop for health insurance. Some states have their own state websites to go through, but Georgia does not, so Georgia residents can use the federal site.

 

What can the Marketplace offer my family and me?

The main thing the Marketplace offers is government subsidies for lower-income individuals and families. "Lower-income" is defined as an annual income of less than 400 percent of the poverty level – for an individual, Owen says, that works out to about $45,000. Weiss points out that the number of dependents will raise this threshold. For example, 400 percent of the poverty level for a family of four is about $95,000. If you or your family fall within this 400 percent category and do not have access to affordable healthcare through an employer, you should be eligible for a government subsidy through the Marketplace to help with the cost of your premium. Weiss explains that the subsidies are "financial assistance, basically. And so those that have not been able to afford it before, now have opportunities to afford it."

 

What about my business?

If you run a small business (fewer than 50 employees) and are below a certain threshold, your business too may be eligible for a subsidy through the online Small Business Health Options Program, known as SHOP. The smallest businesses, Owen says, with fewer than 25 employees who make less than $50,000 annually, may also be eligible for a small tax credit through the SHOP. Owen posits that the price offerings for businesses through the SHOP may not be very different from those found elsewhere, so she says the Marketplace and its subsidy offerings will likely be most utilized by individuals. "All businesses, including small businesses, need to be aware of the compliance/administrative impact. I refer to this as the "soft cost" associated with the law. The man-hours, systems, reporting, etc. that it will take to maintain compliance will be an added burden to all businesses (i.e. the mandatory DOL notice all businesses have to distribute to all employees no later than October 1, 2013)."

 

Let's talk money. Will I pay more?

Maybe. Part of the ACA is something called "community rating," according to Owen, Haglund, and Weiss. Weiss explains that the "community" this phrase refers to is a geographic community. "For instance, Metro Atlanta is 'Rating Area #3,'" she says. Insurance companies now look at your geographical area and your age to determine your rate. "Tobacco status is also taken into account," Parker says. This is different than in the past, when your personal medical experience determined your rate. "So that could mean an increase in cost for some people and a decrease in cost for other people," says Weiss.

Something else to consider is a new three-to-one ratio in place for insurance companies: The price of their lowest-cost person cannot be more than three times the cost of their highest-cost person. Now, an example in plain English: If a 20-year-old is paying $100, a 60-year-old can only be charged three times that amount, or $300. Before the reform, that disparity was as high as a ratio of six to one. Basically, this means that in the past, young healthy people started out with low premiums that could – and would – climb throughout their lives. With the new ratio in place, you can expect less fluctuation across your lifetime. Weiss illustrates it plainly, saying, "Imagine that as a big slope. As you bring the slope more toward even, you're going to see some rates increase for younger folks and some rates decrease for older folks."

Haglund explains, "If community rating for individuals and groups under 50 means that rates are basically averaged, then in theory 50 percent of Americans should pay more and 50 percent will pay less. However, because of required changes in coverage and new taxes, if I had to guess, then more likely 75 percent will pay a higher premium and 25 percent will pay less. Groups with more than 50 employees also have new taxes in January so rates should increase on those group plans." This is all an educated guess as specific rates have not been released. Parker also notes, "With such a restrictive three to one band you may see a shift in the whole price continuum towards a more expensive cost. I would be very surprised if 25 percent or more saw a price decrease."

But before you younger readers worry too much about your rates possibly increasing, remember that the subsidy kicks in if you make anything up to about $45,000 per year. If you make more than that but still don't feel you can afford your healthcare premiums, Weiss says the government has created a catastrophic plan, which is a lower-cost plan geared toward people under 30. Haglund expresses some concerns that this younger age bracket still might struggle to afford their premiums when the community rating kicks in, but Weiss says, "I think there are enough options, and quite honestly, so many people fall under the subsidy amount."

So, how does the law's implementation vary from state to state and what does that mean to Georgia residents? "Each state is making a number of decisions about implementation that will change the experience for consumers in small ways. For instance, in some states (i.e. CA and OR), they are mandating health plan designs," says Weiss. This means that all carriers will offer the same plan and the difference will be in the choice of doctors, quality and price.  Some are mandating rules about how brokers can sell on the Marketplace (MD, CO). There are many more differences as well. What this means is that consumers may have a slightly different shopping experience in other states, but in general all states have essential health benefits, access to premium subsidies through the Marketplace and standard pricing rules across carriers. Georgians may not see a Marketplace or plans that are tailored directly for the unique aspects of Georgia, but they will still receive all the same benefits that other states will have.

 

What if I don't want or need to use the Marketplace?

Good news: You don't have to! The Marketplace is merely a tool for customers who want to take advantage of the federal subsidies. Weiss points out, "You can still do any of your normal shopping methods that you use today: going directly to carrier sites, using the broker, etc." If you don't need to shop around because you're insured through work and satisfied with your coverage, then as long as your company keeps the same plan, it's unlikely that much will change. Even your doctor will probably stay the same, since most employers are not changing their networks of care providers. The only real difference, Weiss says, is "people are getting more coverage than before, and that means your costs are more. But it's that tradeoff," she says – higher costs, but better care. She points out that the "lean plans" of years past with high deductibles and little coverage would certainly be cheaper, but thanks to the law's requirements about "essential health benefits," insurers are required to provide more coverage than before. "It varies how much that is going to increase costs for folks," says Weiss. "We have a lot of people that will actually see their prices drop."

So, while the exact changes in rates remains to be seen, the bottom line is that there are lots of options out there and you, the consumer, are more empowered than ever to find the coverage you need. Whether you utilize subsidies through the Marketplace for yourself, through SHOP for your business, or whether you stick with an employer's plan, know that it's up to you to seek out the right plan. Above all, make sure you use your available tools and resources to find coverage that works for you and is effective by January 1, 2014.

If you have further questions, post them on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bestselfatlanta). We'll ask our experts to answer them in "The 'New' Healthcare: Part II," coming in October, which will delve deeper into this complicated topic.

Editor's Note: While every effort was made to ensure the information provided in this article was accurate up until press day, due to implementation changes that are continuing to be made, we cannot guarantee the information has not changed in some way.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Click on the link below to Watch
The
"New" Healthcare Panel Discussion Event that was held on September 25, 2013.

http://youtu.be/gL0ZM5mO-Ic

NewHealthcarePANEL

 

Editorial resources
Eric Haglund, Georgia Benefits – www.georgiabenefits.com
Michael Parker, Thrive Advisory Group, LLC – (404) 216-1108
Lisa Owen, Core Benefit Solutions – www.corebenefitsga.com
Tina Weiss, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia – www.kaiserpermanente.org


Thursday, 29 August 2013 14:59

The Chelko Foundation Makes a Difference

Body painting. Is it different? Yes. Is it sexy? Sure. Is it about more than that? Absolutely. Over the last few years, The Chelko Foundation has brought body painting events to Atlanta and paired this unique art form with their ultimate mission of ending gender bias.

It all began with the man himself, Atlanta artist Paul Chelko. After watching his dear wife Debbie suffer through breast cancer, he was angry at how women were treated in the medical system and in the world. His frustration spurred him toward great things: He started The Chelko Foundation with the lofty, overarching goal of ending gender discrimination and violence toward women. Chelko was an artist, so the foundation tapped into various forms of the arts to further their mission.

Randi Layne, the executive director of The Chelko Foundation, met Chelko in the early '80s when he was painting jeans in the window of Tootsies in Atlanta. Already he appreciated an unconventional canvas for art, and Layne remembers that he had "paint buckets everywhere, just painting clothing—jeans, jean jackets, shirts, everything." She was drawn to his dynamic, engaging personality, and they soon became close friends.

In 2007, when Chelko passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Layne took over his foundation. She was a natural choice thanks to her close relationship with Chelko and the fact that, she says, "Women's issues really speak to me." At first she was a little afraid to tackle such a big goal. She was encouraged, though, when she realized, "[Running the foundation] did for me what we want to do for other women. What it did was empower me." With that knowledge and personal success already under her belt, she forged ahead with Chelko's mission to empower other people through artistic media.

482Cue the body painting scene: In 2010, The Chelko Foundation hosted the first Bodies as a Work of Art competition as a fundraiser. According to the guidelines of the World Bodypainting Association, artists from all over the world have six and a half hours to paint a nearly nude model, who will then walk a catwalk or do a short performance to show off the artwork. The artists arrive having planned out their designs ahead of time, and the models arrive prepared to be transformed.

Now, don't balk at the word "model," thinking that word isn't typically associated with female empowerment. Layne points out, "The bodies that you see on the runway at Bodies as a Work of Art are not all whatever 'perfect' is." Instead, the show is comprised of women and men of many shapes and sizes. And the best part is that once they are painted, their bodies are essentially irrelevant: The art becomes the real focus, and the personal empowerment follows closely behind. "It really does transform a person." Instead of seeing any so-called "issues" with their bodies, "It's just this beautiful image that [the models] see, and they walk away from it a changed person. It's very cool."

Under the direction of Development Director Ken Goldwasser, the Chelko Foundation's work doesn't stop after the show, either. Over the years, they've given significant monetary support to groups and initiatives dedicated to women's issues, like Jaden's Ladder, Susan G. Komen, Women at Risk International, and Eve Ensler's worldwide activist movement V-Day. They also have scholarships and grants that support the arts, which in the past have gone to SCAD or directly to artists themselves.

The fourth annual Bodies as a Work of Art event on September 28 will be a live exhibition of professional body art, along with music and other entertainment. This year, for the first time in this event's history, the artists have been given a theme to depict: "Empowerment." The entire event also raises money for the Chelko Foundation Scholarship of the Arts, Chelko's endowed scholarship at SCAD, and Angel Flight. You can enjoy the night even more in the knowledge that you have given back while enjoying one of Atlanta's most unique and inspirational events.

 

Bodies as a Work of Art/Living Art America - September 28, 2013

(404) 993-9030 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | www.thechelkofoundation.org | www.livingartamerica.com

September 28th, 2013 at 7:00PM until Midnight At the Atlantic Aviation Hangars: 2040 Airport Road, Atlanta, GA 30341

Tickets — $150.00 donation to the Chelko Foundation ($175 at the door) You must be 21+ to attend.