Try one free week of yoga during National Yoga Month!

September 20, 2013

No matter what kind of job you do, fitting in some time to de-stress and relax can help you stay physically and mentally healthy. Many people turn to yoga for help, since it’s a fun, relaxing activity that nearly anyone can do. Yoga can benefit everyone, men and women alike–from frazzled executives to super-busy stay-at-home parents, and everyone in between!

September is National Yoga Month, designed to educate people about the health benefits of yoga and inspire a healthy lifestyle. Yoga promotes a healthy body, mind and spirit through a combination of stretching exercises, breathing techniques, and meditation. The potential health benefits of practicing yoga include lessening the effects of back pain, stress, obesity, asthma, and more! Another benefit of yoga is that it can be done pretty much anywhere (like your home or even at work), and you can do yoga with others or on your own.

If you have always wanted to give yoga a try to see if it’s right for you, now has never been a better time. During National Yoga Month, the Yoga Health Foundation is offering a One Week FREE Yoga trial that you can use at one of about 2,000 participating yoga studios nationwide. Log onto their website at http://yogahealthfoundation.org/one_week_free_yoga, request the One Week FREE Yoga trial pass, and check out a studio in your area.

Here are some other ideas of ways you can try yoga without spending too much money:

  • Ask about new student promotions. Many yoga studios offer new student promotions, in varying degrees of value. Some studios may offer a free week, discounted first month passes or even a pay-by-the-class price.
  • Find deals online. Websites like Groupon or LivingSocial frequently offer money-saving deals on local health and fitness businesses.
  • Buy blocks of yoga classes. If you have a busier schedule or work odd hours and don’t think you have the time to go to a class every week, many yoga studios allow you to purchase blocks of classes (a card for 10 or 20 classes) and you can ‘drop in’ on a class whenever you can fit it into your schedule.
  • Community yoga classes. Check with your local community centers, like the YMCA, or local community colleges. They may offer yoga classes at a greatly discounted rate.
  • Practice on your own. You can do yoga no matter where you are!
    • On the go ideas: There are many free yoga apps with complete workouts and videos.  This is a great idea for those who travel a lot and are always on the go!
    • Athome ideas: Instructional videos and even video game systems, like the Wii Fit or Xbox Kinect, allow you to practice yoga by yourself, from the comfort of your own living room. Many cable systems also offer free on-demand yoga videos. You could also invite some friends over who have always wanted to try yoga, and make it a party!

Yoga may be able to help you become healthier and even happier.  If you’re interested in trying it, take advantage of one of these free or low-cost ideas and get started. Namaste!

Remember, before beginning any new fitness class or regimen, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor to make sure it’s right for you.


Looking for ways to cut your medical costs? Start by talking to your doctor

January 12, 2011

As out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, paying for care can seem overwhelming. It may be easy to overlook the simplest – and most direct – means of accomplishing this difficult task: negotiating with your doctor. Although this may sound daunting, doctors are aware that out-of-pocket costs are rising and that many people are uninsured, and fully expect questions about costs. In fact, according to one survey, a surprising 61 percent of patients who asked their providers for a discount received one, so don’t be afraid to ask!

To help you prepare for this conversation, The New York Times had Dr. Jeffrey Kullgren of the University of Pennsylvania to answer commonly asked questions about negotiating with your healthcare provider. The Q + A covers a number of issues, such as when to bring the topic of cost reduction up or what homework you should do prior to the appointment. There are many things that you can research, such as the average price of a service, which will give you some leverage in negotiating with providers.

One of the main points to be taken from this Q + A is that doing your own research can go a long way in saving you money. Dr. Kullgren refers to healthcarebluebook.com to help you find average costs of particular services, which you will be able to use as a tool in negotiating a reasonable price with your provider. It is also important to be aware of other opportunities, such as free/low-cost health facilities, which could be a federally-funded center or provided by a university. We post these resources as we find them, but for now, two entries, here and here can help you get started in your efforts to save money.

Here, Stephen Meyers, M.D. offers additional insight on how to approach negotiating costs with your medical providers.


Top 5 Ways to Cut Medical Costs

January 7, 2011

The cost of healthcare escalates by the day. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t find ways to cut corners on medical costs. Become a savvy health consumer with these five tips on cutting costs — without sacrificing quality of care — brought to you by The Healthcare Survival Guide: Cost-Saving Options for the Suddenly Unemployed.

1. Find a doctor who will forgo medical fees. Yes, they do exist. You can search for doctors in your area willing to forgo fees through the American Medical Association’s website.

2. Negotiate a discount with your doctor. Doctors are often far more willing to offer a discount or a payment plan for care than you might think – in a recent survey, 61 percent of adults who attempted to negotiate a discount were successful.

3. Instead of a specialist, use your primary doctor. Family doctors, general internists and pediatricians tend to charge less than specialists and can sometimes offer the same caliber of care. If you need maintenance care for a controlled chronic condition, this may be an option for you.

4. Need dental? Try a university dental clinic. Seeking care at a university dental clinic can cut your costs greatly – in some cases, patients pay only for the necessary materials – and the dental students and interns are closely supervised. Your state dental society can help you find a clinic near you.

5. Participate in a clinical trial. The U.S. National Institute of Health’s website lists current clinical trials being held across the nation. If you qualify, you could greatly reduce the costs of your care and medication – or eliminate them altogether.


Another Resource For People Looking For Free/Low-Cost Health & Dental Clinics

September 13, 2010

While doing the research that led to our finding of the New York City Free Clinic, we discovered a similar resource that lists free and low-cost healthcare & dental clinics all around the U.S., called www.freemedicalcamps.com. The clinics are organized by state and then city, so you will more than likely be able to find a facility close to you. (There is also a section for Puerto Rico, The Marshall Islands, Guam, The Virgin Islands, etc.) Visit their website (link above) to learn more about FMC, to find a health/dental facility near you, or to suggest a clinic you know of.