See a Health Care Provider From Your Smartphone With Health eXpress

Health eXpress

This is a partnered post.

I didn’t have health insurance for most of my 20s, so any of my doctor’s visits came out of pocket. Anyone without health coverage will know the feeling of putting off hospital visits and waiting to see if an annoying condition like a sore throat is really “Bad enough” to have to make an appointment. I became very familiar with the rates for local walk-in clinics in order to cut costs when I had to go in for something, but would still easily have to pay $100 just to have a doctor write a prescription. So when I heard about Health eXpress, an app that allows you to see a health care provider from your smartphone, computer or tablet, the first thing I noticed was that it only costs $39 per visit.

HealtheXpress App

Health eXpress is a very futuristic way to see a provider. This app uses secure technology to connect you live to a Providence doctor or nurse practitioner, who can see and hear you through streaming video. You don’t need an appointment and can connect usually within 5 minutes. You will only be charged the $39 if your condition can be treated by Health eXpress, so if they can’t provide you with a diagnosis, treatment recommendation and/or a prescription, you will be advised to seek immediate offline treatment and will not be charged. This is a great option for conditions such as cold/flu/cough, allergies and urinary tract infections – things that are easy to treat, but are often tolerated over paying hundreds to see a provider.

Health eXpress is specifically for people in Oregon and Washington and is a part of the Providence family, accepting Providence insurance and other select health coverage plans. Although I’m in my 30s and have fantastic health insurance now, I can still see a number of situations in which a “Virtual” appointment with Health eXpress would be preferable to a standard appointment:

  • Getting a doctor’s note: Many employers require a doctor’s note before they will allow an employee to call in sick, resulting in many people going to the hospital for the common cold – and spreading their germs to everyone in the waiting room. Through Health eXpress, you can have a health care provider confirm your cold and write a note to your employer while you sit comfortably on the couch and keep your germs at home!
  • Help for busy moms: Through Health eXpress, moms can check in with a provider without trying to wrangle their children into the car and doctor’s office, making life that much easier.
  • Seeing a provider after hours: Murphy’s law seems to dictate that we will always get sick at the most inconvenient time. When I was younger, I remember counting down the hours over a weekend so that I could see a provider without racking up thousands for an ER visit. Health eXpress is open from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday and from 8 AM to 8 PM on weekdays, giving you a lot more options!

To learn more, visit HealtheXpress.com to create a free account and download the app on iTunes and the Google Play store.

Have you ever paid a virtual visit to a health care provider like this? Would you use Health eXpress?

Giving Forward Campaign For Andrew

My bloggy buddy Virginia over at That Bald Chick shared today that one of her son’s friends, Andrew, is going through treatments for Leukemia. His family has set up a GiveForward page to help with the medical expenses, and GiveForward has announced that it will donate $25 to the family per blog post written about the cause, up to $1,000; and if 30 bloggers post by today, November 24th, they’ll donate an additional $200. So in support of the family, I am sharing my post – you can click here to view their GiveForward page and learn more; they also have a Facebook page with more information here.

Taking The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

My friend Nicole at SAHMReviews nominated me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yesterday, to which I said: Challenge accepted. Jai was a good sport and joined in the fun, so we spent our Monday evening dumping cold water on each other in the Oregon fog. The point of this challenge is to raise awareness and funds for ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, by encouraging people to click, watch, laugh, and learn more. Those challenged are asked to make a donation to ALSA.org, which I was glad to do, as the organization has been given a four-star rating by Charity Navigator. You can donate online and learn more by clicking here.

Have any of you been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge?

Straight Talk on Blogging – and Teeth?!

Blog Basics

This is a sponsored post.

Recently, I attended a “Mini Bloggy Boot Camp” presented by The SITS Girls. I’d heard high praise for their events from several colleagues, so I made a special trip to Seattle so that I could attend this workshop. I wasn’t disappointed: Tiffany and Francesca gave informative presentations on everything from “Facebook Math” to blog design. Having a day to step away from the computer and brainstorm was really helpful for me; I left feeling re-inspired and invigorated to complete several big projects once I returned, including a complete overhaul of my portfolio and migrating the Bloggers Britain community to Google+.

I also left feeling re-inspired about a rather different topic: My teeth. This Bloggy Boot Camp event was hosted courtesy of Invisalign, who were on hand to tell us a little about their unique form of nearly invisible braces. In the last year or so, I’ve been seriously considering getting braces, as I never had them as a teen and would love to have straight teeth. However, I got turned off after doing a little research into traditional braces and finding out that it can greatly restrict what you can eat and even how you floss. Uh, no thanks! That sounded like a huge pain, and I assumed all tooth straightening methods must work the same way, so I dismissed the idea of getting braces and figured I’d just live with my crooked smile.

Always smile, it makes people think you are up to something.

But when I got to this event and saw the spread of food at our table, I realized I was wrong: Invisalign purposely put snacks like popcorn, pretzels and nuts at our table to make the point that there are no food restrictions with Invisalign. Unlike regular braces, Invisalign is a removable aligner that you take out while eating and brushing your teeth. All of a sudden, my ears perked right up and I began to reconsider my “Forget braces” stance!

Apparently, I was wrong about a lot of things when it comes to Invisalign. I also thought that treatment could take a long time, but I learned that the average treatment time for an adult is one year, depending on the condition of your teeth upon starting. For those starting the tooth straightening journey a little younger than I am – ahem! – there is the specially developed Invisalign Teen, making this treatment available to teens and pre-teens as well as old fogies such as myself. ;)

Invisalign compared to braces

To help set the record straight, Invisalign also produced this infographic with more information on the treatment process. And that brings us to the next myth: That Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are a more expensive option for patients (And their parents!) than regular metal braces. As it turns out, the price for treatment is generally comparable to traditional methods and is also covered by many dental insurance plans. To determine the cost of braces with insurance, you can utilize the virtual cost calculator on the Invisalign Website.

Aside from price, why would a parent choose Invisalign Teen for their child? Well, stop for a moment and remember your own teen years. If having the option for clear, unobtrusive treatment is a relief to me at 30, just imagine how much of a relief it is to teenagers who already have more than enough to feel self-conscious about on a daily basis. Teens can take the smile assessment online to get more information about what treatment could potentially do for them. Millennials can also learn more by following Invisalign on Twitter and Facebook!

Are you considering braces for your children (Or yourself)?

Taxes, Blogger Friends & Dead Whales

Today has been quite interesting. I headed to my accountant’s office this morning to pick up my finished tax return so that I could mail it in time for today’s deadline – Jai dropped off my taxes while I was in Florida and this was my first opportunity to pick them up after I returned. After I got that finished, Jai and I met up with my friend Jen of The Mom Reviews, who just happened to be in town with her husband. It was so wonderful getting a chance to meet her in person and we had a lovely time over coffee!

After I got home, Jen sent me this link – apparently, a 40 foot dead whale had washed up this morning and was beached near the turnaround, while we were having lunch at Sam’s totally unawares. So, Jai and I headed back down to the beach. Since I’m pretty much the only blogger in Seaside at this point, I try to report on our local news. You’re welcome:

Dead whale in Seaside

Whale tail

Sad whale photo

Dead whale

No official word yet on cause of death or how the whale will be removed; hopefully, dynamite will not be involved.

Snowy St. Johns

Snowy St. Johns

This past week has been quite an adventure! I flew out to Chicago last Wednesday for the Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, and arrived back in Portland on Friday night. During my brief absence, a freak snowstorm hit that eventually resulted in an emergency alert being issued and made it impossible for me to get back to Seaside until Monday morning. Fortunately, I have awesome family in Portland who had a place for me to stay during “Snowpocalypse” and even loaned me clothes so that I could venture outside – all I with me were business skirt suits, since I had packed for a warm indoor conference, not a snow avalanche!

Bridge railing

Snow-covered train

Pine cones

Snowman

Clumps of snow

Snow-Covered street

Unintentional Vacations

I’m back to work after not quite 2 weeks. I did get some work done over the holidays, but mostly took time off. I’d planned to have a lighter schedule over Christmas and New Year’s, but wasn’t anticipating the fact that Jai and I would get sick with an awful cold right before Christmas. This is one of the nastiest I’ve had, for the sheer fact that it stayed at the same intensity level and did not let up for these past few weeks. Since most people in my industry were out of the office for the holidays anyway, I shrugged my shoulders and decided to let my poor exhausted body recover. I’ve pretty much just been quarantined in the house watching Netflix between coughing fits.

While I was sad to have all of my holiday plans go completely down the toilet, in a strange way I think I needed some quite time to recoup and regroup. Taking this much time off is usually unthinkable for me, so I almost think my body was forcing me to slow down a bit. I worked really hard last year to make up for lost time – the mobility problems I have recovered from really limited my life and career, so for me 2013 was an important year for reclaiming what had been lost and getting back to where I was. I also had a lot of very significant personal milestones, like coping with the 10th anniversary of my mom’s death, finishing a decade of renovations, and other things. I knew 2013 would be a very challenging year, but it was a little like climbing a mountain, because I have a lot of hard-won victories to show for it. In 2014 I want to keep this momentum going, but also enjoy what I’ve worked for and take more time out to care for my health and well-being. I can’t run myself into the ground forever and I think my hard work paid off last year, so I need to scale back my insane hours while I can. (Ironically, Britney’s “Work” is playing while I write this!)

Happy New Year, everybody!!

Decorating For Christmas

Our Christmas Tree 2013

Jai and I put our Christmas decorations up last night! This is our tree for 2013.

Maroon 5 Bauble

Mini Stocking

Santa SpongeBob

Knitted Snowman

Angel

Fairy

Vintage Cracker

Tree Topper

Santa

Snowman

Cracker & Bauble

Our Tree!

The stockings are hung by the “Mantle”:

Stockings on The Mantle

And this year, I set out this vintage egg nog set in the kitchen on the new shelves that Jai built when we finished renovating this room over the summer:

Egg Nog Set

Egg Nog Glasses

Have you decorated your house for the holidays? If so, link me to your pics, I’d love to see them!