Sunday, January 27, 2008

Finding an Affordable Dental Plan -
Questions to Ask

As a Regional Sales Director for Ameriplan, a discount dental and medical provider access organization, I speak to many people each day who are among the 7 in 10 Americans without an affordable dental plan. Even when an employer provides medical insurance, it is rare to have a dental plan. Dental insurance is often the forgotten coverage.

For self employed people, the price of dental insurance can be quite formidable. If the self employed entrepreneur has an ongoing or pre-existing condition, he or she will not be able to purchase this insurance. Even among those families that are fortunate enough to have dental insurance, often this coverage is not complete. There can be restrictions for ongoing conditions, long waiting periods, massive paperwork, age limits, and annual limits on how much the patient can spend. Often orthodontia is not fully covered and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants are almost never included. That is where an affordable dental plan like AmeriPlan Dental can help.

Questions to ask when purchasing a dental plan

American consumers have a number of good dental plan companies to choose from. However, not all dental plan companies are the same. Here are some good questions to ask when purchasing an affordable family dental plan:

1) How many years has the company been in business? The number of years that a company has been doing business will affect the size of the provider networks as well as give you confidence in the service.

2) Is the company a member of the NADP (National Association of Dental Plans)?

3) What other consumer protection organizations does the plan belong to?

4) Is there an 800 customer service number to call for information?

5) Is there a wide choice of dental providers in my area?

6) Are dental maintenance organizations used or does the company have its own proprietary network of dentists?

7) What procedures are covered by the dental plan and what are the savings? Is there an available fee schedule that can be printed out?

8) Are there any value added services available such as a prescription card or discounts on vision care and chiropractic?

Why AmeriPlan Dental?

If you are one of the 7 out of 10 Americans who do not have a dental plan and have put off having needed dental work because you cannot find an affordable dental plan, look no further than AmeriPlan Dental. AmeriPlan has been in business for 16 years and has over 30,000 dental providers in 44 different states. Visit my website at: to locate a provider. If you do not see your own dentist on our list, remember that we are continually expanding our networks, and when you become a member of our benefit plans, you are encouraged to ask AmeriPlan to invite your provider to join. AmeriPlan maintains its own proprietary network of dentists which was built up over 16 years by members referring their own providers.

Ameriplan is a proud member of the National Association of Dental Plans, the Consumer Health Alliance, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Direct Selling Association, and Dun & Bradstreet. Some of our company providers include CVS, Walgreens, J C Penney, Sears, Lenscrafters, and many others.

At the AmeriPlan corporate offices, over 250 people are employed just for customer service. So if you need information on a provider or have any questions or concerns, you will always find a friendly customer service representative by calling our customer service 800 number. A full schedule of dental procedures and fees is available upon request and will also be included in your membership packet.

An important feature of the AmeriPlan Dental Plus program are the value added services. Not only will you save up to 80% on all dental services, but you can also save money on both generic and brand name medications with our convenient prescription card, save money at the chiropractor, and save money on contact lenses, eye exams, eyewear, and even lasik eye surgery with AmeriPlan Dental.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Tomato Rarebit Recipe
A Good Source of Lycopene

We all know the nutritional benefits of tomatoes. Tomatoes are a great source antioxidant vitamins A & C, various minerals including potassium and iron, and are a particularly good source of the powerful antioxidant lycopene which is responsible for the red coloring in tomatoes and other fruits such as guava, pink grapefruit, etc.

According to Lycopene is a carotenoid, and is present in human serum, liver, adrenal glands, lungs, prostate, colon, and skin at higher levels than other carotenoids. Lycopene has been found to possess antioxidant and antiproliferative properties in animal and in vitro studies, although activity in humans remains controversial.

What this means is that not only is lycopene a powerful antioxidant which can reduce the cell and DNA damaging affects of free radicals, but that it possesses antiproliferative properties which can help prevent the spread of cancer cells especially in the breast, uterus, colon, lungs and prostate. The Mayo Clinic website also lists a number of conditions where lycopene can be helpful. These conditions include: age related macular degeneration, exercise induced asthma, atherosclerosis and high cholesterol, sun protection, and the prevention of certain cancers including those of the prostate, cervix, colon, lungs, and breast.

While fresh tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, and lycopene is available as a supplement, some consider cooked tomatoes such as that found in ketchup, tomato sauce and tomato paste the best source. Whoever knew that ketchup could be so good for you?

Simple Tomato Rarebit Recipe

Here is a very simple but tasty recipe that has been in my father’s family for many years and is a good source of vitamins A, C, K and lycopene.

Ingredients: 1 can condensed tomato soup, 2 – 3 slices of American cheese cut up into small pieces, and 4 – 6 slices of bread.

Directions: In a small saucepan combine the soup and cut up pieces of American cheese. Use at least 2 slices of American cheese per can of soup. If you prefer a more mellow and less acidy taste, as I do, use 3 slices of cheese per can of soup. Heat on medium stirring constantly until all of the cheese is melted. Serve over lightly toasted bread or plain bread. This makes a hearty lunch on a cold Winter day. Serves 2. Just double the recipe to serve more people. To make a fancier rarebit, just add bacon bits to garnish or stewed or sun-dried tomatoes. This simple version tastes just fine, especially if you use a good quality condensed tomato soup.

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Happy and healthy eating!