# Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Health Literacy

The Canadian Council on Learning has recently released an analysis which suggests that an alarming number of Canadians do not understand their health care instructions. They suggest that over 90% of Canadian seniors and 55% of working-age Canadians lack the literacy skills required to accurately read and follow prescription instructions, understand food nutrition labels or to give informed consent.

Failure to accurately read prescription instructions can lead to dosing errors, causing further health issues. For Canadians with diabetes, blood glucose scores may not be read properly, and therefore not be treated appropriately. This can further be aggravated by not understanding the nutrition labels on food which can determine whether that certain product is good for them, or is potentially harmful.

Seniors are statistically the population with the most complex health problems, with 9 out of 10 Canadian seniors currently taking at least one prescription drug. It is therefore vitally important that Canadians with elderly parents, relatives, or friends who have health issues to ensure that prescription instructions are understood and followed correctly.

Seniors may also not be aware of what their current health insurance policy covers when it comes to prescriptions and diabetic supplies, or whether they need to upgrade their coverage. For those who have elderly parents, relatives or friends that have medical issues, and who are not able to accurately read and assess their policy, we recommend that you read the policy with them, and ensure that they understand what their benefits cover. For those seniors who are now experiencing different health-care related costs, their policy may need to be changed in order to reflect these new changes.

If you suspect that an elderly person close to you may be experiencing problems understanding their current health coverage, please call us at 1-800-474-4474 to discuss these issues.

posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 3:55:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Children's Fitness Tax Credit

The Children's Fitness Tax Credit came into effect January 1, 2007.  This tax credit hopefully will encourage parents to enroll their child(ren) in organized physical activities in order to combat the alarming child obesity statistics. By defraying the costs associated with children's organized sports and other activities, the Federal Government is hoping to offset the costs of registration and membership fees.

The tax credit is available up to $500 per child under the age of 16, in registration and membership fees for ongoing, supervised programs. Eligible programs must include a significant amount of physical activity which contributes to cardio-respiratory endurance, plus an additional physical component of: muscle strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and/or balance. For parents of a child who is eligible for the disability tax credit, a separate $500 will be available, with a minimum of $100 being spent on registration fees.

By offering this tax credit, the Canadian government hopes to influence a whole generation of children on the positive benefits of physical activity and healthy life styles. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are one of the leading causes of juvenile diabetes. By encouraging children to become physically active, hopefully the rate of juvenile diabetes will start to decline.

Recent studies have estimated that a person with diabetes can incur costs for medication and medical supplies of between $1000 and $15,000 a year. These costs are not covered by your provincial health care plan. For those parents who have a child with juvenile diabetes, purchasing health insurance coverage can be an effective way of defraying these costs. HealthQuotes offers a ComboPlus Starter Plan which does not require a medical examination and covers diabetic supplies.

If your child has been diagnosed with diabetes, and you would like more information, please visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/dc-ma/diabete-eng.php.

posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 7:08:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
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