WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in health care rankings and consumer advice, today announced the 2024 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage to assist Medicare-eligible beneficiaries in finding the right medical insurance plans for their needs during annual open enrollment, which runs from October 15 to December 7, 2023.
The Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage identifies private insurance companies that offer highly rated plans to Medicare beneficiaries. Insurance companies were recognized if their Medicare Advantage plans received an average rating of 4.5 stars or higher across all plans within a state.
The 2024 ratings highlight insurance companies that are among the best in overall coverage, low premium plans, member experience and prescription coverage. The “Best Medicare Advantage Plan Companies of 2024” are as follows:
- 2024 Best Overall Medicare Advantage Plan Company: Humana
- 2024 Best Company for Member Experience: Humana
- 2024 Best Company for Low Premium Plan: Humana
- 2024 Best Company for Drug Plan Ratings: United Healthcare
Four companies earned “Best” status in four or more states: Humana, Essence Healthcare, Quartz Medicare Advantage and Select Health.
“We recognize the challenges U.S. seniors face when selecting the right Medicare Advantage plan options for themselves,” said Sumita Singh, senior vice president and general manager of Health at U.S. News. “The Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage ratings provided by U.S. News & World Report, featuring more than 300 insurance companies, hopes to empower consumers to make high quality, data-driven health care decisions when faced with a complex health insurance environment.”
U.S. News analyzed data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to populate its comparison tool and identify the Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage plans. CMS rates individual plans on a scale of one to five stars. The U.S. News methodology analyzes insurers in a given state with plans rated three stars or higher by CMS.
Medicare-eligible beneficiaries can also sign up for U.S. News’ three-day email course here, which includes a free Medicare Plan Selection Guide to help eligible seniors and their caregivers choose the best Medicare coverage for themselves or a loved one.
For more information, visit Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage.
About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate, Careers and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
SOURCE U.S. News & World Report, L.P.
6 Tips to Improve Sleep Quality for Overall Well-Being
(Family Features) Despite a rising number of people searching for the term “sleep” in 2023, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. adults report not getting enough of it, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a foundation for overall well-being, getting quality sleep is key to achieving goals and being present in daily life. Without it, you’re more likely to lack the stamina and energy to follow through on your ambitions.
To help people realize the foundational role sleep plays in everyday successes, Natrol – a leading sleep, mood and stress supplement brand based on Nielsen data – alongside Dr. Jess Andrade are working together to help people improve their sleep quality and habits so they can conquer their wellness goals this year and beyond.
“From consistent exercise to eating healthy and even daily journaling, it may seem like all your priorities are in order, but without sleep, you won’t be able to reap the full benefits of your hard work,” Andrade said. “Often overlooked, getting quality sleep is a fundamental piece to improving overall wellness and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Creating small, achievable changes in our daily sleep routines can lead to long-lasting lifestyle habits for the better.”
Consider these tips from Andrade to help improve your sleep quality so you can achieve your goals.
1. Prioritize Movement and Light Exposure in the Morning
Whether you’re a yogi or prefer a simple stretch when your feet hit the floor, movement and light during the day can help stimulate quality sleep later that night.
2. Understand Sleep Gains are Just as if Not More Important Than Gym Gains
If you’re focusing on fitness goals, you’ll need adequate sleep to see successful results. If you’re a morning workout warrior, schedule earlier bedtimes to ensure you get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep. For evening workouts, aim to end your sweat session as early in the evening as possible; too much physical activity before bed can keep you up at night.
3. Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary
Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Keep the room dark, noise-free and comfortable with the thermostat set at 65-67 F for better sleep conditions.
4. Set Nightly Rituals to Unwind
Create nightly rituals that activate circadian rhythms and allow your body to unwind. Consider activities that relax you the most, like taking a bath, reading a book, journaling or sipping decaffeinated nighttime tea.
5. Try Incorporating a Drug-Free Sleep Aid
If you follow good bedtime habits but still occasionally struggle to fall or stay asleep, try a low-milligram melatonin supplement, like those from Natrol, that are designed to help you get a good night’s sleep so you wake up refreshed and ready to conquer your goals.†
6. Follow the 10-3-2-1-0 method
To help you fall asleep and wake up feeling revitalized, Andrade recommends the 10-3-2-1-0 method: Decrease caffeine intake at least 10 hours before bed. Avoid eating bothersome foods 3 hours prior to heading to off to sleep. Engage in relaxing activities like reading at the 2-hour mark and cut out screentime with 1 hour to spare. Ultimately, these habits can lead to zero times hitting snooze the next morning.
Find more ways to improve sleep habits by visiting Natrol.com.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
6 Tips to Maintain Your Skin’s Health
(Family Features) Your skin is your first line of defense against the outer world. As the body’s largest organ, it protects you from bacteria, viruses and other environmental hazards, including pollution, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and more. It also helps regulate body temperature, recognizes pain sensations and alerts you to potential health problems, making it one of the body’s ultimate multitaskers.
While some factors that impact your skin – like genetics, aging, hormones and certain health conditions – are out of your control, there are steps you can take to support and maintain your skin’s health.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
No matter the season, exposure to UV rays from the sun can cause wrinkles, age spots and other types of damage, which could lead to skin cancer. To protect your skin from these harmful rays, use topical sunscreen daily with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 – even when it’s overcast – and reapply regularly.
Boost Your Diet with Antioxidants
A well-balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains is an important part of maintaining healthy skin. However, diet alone isn’t always enough.
Many dermatologists recommend Heliocare Daily Use Antioxidant Formula as an oral dietary supplement. It contains Fernblock PLE technology, an exclusive plant extract rich in antioxidant properties that works to counteract the negative effects of free radicals, which are unstable atoms generated through everyday life that can damage skin cells. Free radical damage can cause wrinkles, discoloration and other signs of environmental aging. Taking a supplement daily, like Heliocare, can enhance antioxidant intake to help maintain skin health. Plus, it serves as a companion to topical SPF.
Keep Skin Moisturized
Daily use of a face and body moisturizer can help maintain a healthier skin barrier. This helps draw moisture to your skin from the air and lock it in. For best results and optimal hydration, moisturize within minutes of drying off after bathing to trap in moisture. Also remember to drink plenty of water, which can help keep skin hydrated, too.
Uncontrolled stress can trigger the release of hormones that dull skin and cause it to produce more oil, which can result in breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage clearer, healthier skin, take steps to reduce stress such as scaling back your to-do list, setting reasonable limits, making time for things you enjoy or trying a stress-reduction technique like yoga, meditation or tai chi.
Wear Protective Clothing
In addition to topical SPF, covering skin as opposed to leaving it exposed to the elements can protect from sun damage. When UV rays are at their peak, typically in the middle of the day, consider wearing long sleeves, pants and a large-brimmed hat.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
During sleep, your body repairs itself and regenerates skin cells. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, during which time the body produces higher levels of collagen, a protein that supports healthier looking (and functioning) skin. Lack of sleep and collagen loss go hand in hand.
Learn more about skin, antioxidants and free radical damage at heliocare.com.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Exploring the Healthiest Communities in the United States: California Counties Shine Bright
Discover how California’s Marin County leads the healthiest U.S. communities, boasting high life expectancy and low obesity rates in a recent study.
A recent study by MarketWatch has unveiled a list of the healthiest communities in the United States, with California counties claiming top spots. Marin County, nestled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, emerged as the healthiest county, boasting a remarkable life expectancy of 85, a lower-than-average adult obesity rate, and a mere 5 percent of residents without health insurance.
The study evaluated 576 U.S. counties using 14 key metrics, including food insecurity, healthcare access, life expectancy, health insurance coverage, and environmental factors like water and air quality. Western states dominated the top 10 list, with Colorado, Hawaii, and Montana also showcasing exemplary county health profiles.
The findings emphasized a correlation between community health and wealth, with affluent areas exhibiting lower rates of food insecurity and higher levels of health insurance coverage. The presence of nature parks in many of the healthiest counties underscored the positive impact of green spaces on well-being, aligning with scientific research on the subject.
However, the study also shed light on disparities, highlighting that residents in the unhealthiest counties face challenges such as limited access to grocery stores, higher rates of food insecurity, and inadequate primary care services. Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, was identified as the least healthy county due to high uninsured rates and poor environmental quality.
In California, 37 out of 58 counties were ranked, with Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties clinching top positions. The data revealed a stark contrast in median incomes between the healthiest and unhealthiest counties, with Marin County boasting a median income well above the national average.
This comprehensive analysis serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and healthcare professionals striving to address disparities and promote well-being across communities. It underscores the importance of factors such as access to healthcare, environmental quality, and socioeconomic status in shaping overall community health outcomes.
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