5 Easy Ways to Save on Healthcare Costs for Your Family

For many families, the cost of healthcare continues to rise each year. As your children grow and have more needs for additional services such as orthodontics, eyeglasses, speech services, and more, you may find yourself having trouble making it all financially work. Instead of going into each doctor or specialist appointment and feeling more defeated by each payment due, you can take action to help save on your cost. Here are five easy techniques to help you save on your family’s healthcare spending each year.

Know Your Plan. The first place to start with in saving more each year on your care cost is with your health insurance plan. Take some time to carefully read over your health insurance plan’s manual and develop a complete understanding of how your individual benefits work. Find out how you can get access to excellent healthcare providers who are in your insurance plan’s network. Determine if you need referrals to have your children go to specialists, and you’ll see your medical bills go down instantly.

Skip the Emergency Room.  Another way to help lower your yearly costs for medical issues in your family is to skip the emergency room. Years ago, if something happened to your child after the doctor’s office was closed, the only place to get help was from the emergency room. Today, most areas have more options for care after hours, such as urgent centers, drugstore clinics, or telemedicine services. This way, you can save on those high-cost emergency care visits and help keep hospital waiting rooms free to deal with true emergencies.

Order Prescriptions From the Mail. Another easy way to help keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum is a strategy to get cheaper prescription drugs. In most cases, your doctor and pharmacist will make an effort to make the generic version of pricey drugs available to you to help save some money. Sometimes, it’s not possible to go generic. In those situations, you can try ordering medication from a mail order service. Mail order prescriptions for long-term therapies can help you save big.

Ask About Wellness Discounts.  Next, you can seek out savings from other places where you work or you are a customer. Talk to your insurance agent to see how to get more savings on your health costs. Your Columbus life insurance agent may be able to help you get access to cheaper wellness services, such as fitness centers or nutritional support. Many workplaces are also getting involved in their employees’ commitment to health by offering additional wellness discounts.

Open a Health Savings Account. The last way to help save more money this year on all of your health expenses is by opening a health savings account. Each year, you can designate a portion of your income for out of pocket health costs. You’ll save money by making this income tax free and sheltered throughout the year until you’re ready to use it.

You can start getting ahead this year on all of the medical costs you have to pay out of your pocket for services for your family. Then, you can start using your extra cash for more fun and experiences with those you love the most.

Do you Need a Floor Scraping Machine for your DIY Flooring Project?

Most finished flooring materials will need to be replaced at one time or another. Unless the material is granite, terrazzo or a similar hard substance, the flooring will not last forever. Years or decades of foot traffic, rolling carts, pallet movers and fork lifts take their toll on vinyl, linoleum and other flooring materials.
Usually, only the finished flooring will need to be replaced, provided the underlying subfloor is structurally sound. In addition to the flooring, the adhesive will also need to be removed, whether it is glue, mortar or another substance. This is because a clean, smooth surface is necessary to lay new flooring.
In these cases, professional flooring installers will remove the top layer by scraping it from the subfloor. A sharp, flat blade is forced between the subfloor and the finished flooring. Forward motion is used to raise the top flooring and break the adhesion. If done by hand, the installer may have the blade attached to a metal rod and hammer the rod, forcing the blade to move forward.

The problem with scraping is that it is very labor intensive if done by hand. A small area such as a residential hallway may be done by hand, but for a commercial or industrial building with a large square footage, the hand process is far too time consuming.

To lower labor costs and increase productivity, professionals use a special floor scraping machine. A floor scraper machine uses electrical or petrol power to operate a blade, letting the machine do the work of forcing the blade under the flooring and braking adhesion. Floor scraping machines come in a variety of sizes to suit the job at hand:

•    A walk behind machine is used for small and medium sized flooring jobs. It is normally powered by 240V electricity and larger models are self propelled. The scraping blade is situated at the front of the machine and is curved like a snow plow. The curve in the blade keeps the broken material from accumulating in front of the scraper. They can be either self propelled or push models;

•    For larger jobs, ride on scrapers are available. These scrapers are normally powered by petrol or liquid propane, are self propelled and carry a much larger blade than the walk behind types. Quality models will have between 25 to over 50 horsepower;

•    For smaller jobs and areas that are too tight to maneuver a larger machine, most dealers carry a variety of hand held power scrapers. They operate in similar fashion to the other machines. The blade will usually vibrate or oscillate like a power chisel.  Quality models can be powered electrically. Higher powered models are often designed with pneumatic power, operated through the use of an air compressor.

As these machines are expensive, many professionals choose to rent or lease them from a machinery dealer. As time is money on a flooring job and additional labour can be expensive, the rental cost outweighs hiring extra workers to scrape flooring by hand. Renting from a dealer also allows the professional to choose the right machine for the job.

In addition, workers will not become physically spent in tearing off existing flooring and will have more energy to install the new material. This in turn results in faster install times and a better quality job.

Of Cinder and Bone Book Spotlight and Giveaway

In our book spotlight this morning, we are featuring Of Cinder and Bone by Kyoko M.  Check out the first book in this new science fiction/thriller series, learn about the author and enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of the book in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

Of Cinder and Bone
By Kyoko M
Genre: SciFi Thriller, Fantasy
After centuries of being the most dangerous predators on the planet, dragons were hunted to extinction. That is, until Dr. Rhett “Jack” Jackson and Dr. Kamala Anjali cracked the code to bring them back. Through their research at MIT, they resurrected the first dragon anyone has seen alive since the 15th century. There’s just one problem.
Someone stole it.
Caught between two ruthless yakuza clans who want to clone the dragon, Jack and Kamala brave the dangerous streets of Tokyo to steal their dragon back in a race against time before the world is taken over by mutated, bloodthirsty monsters that will raze it to ashes.
Of Cinder and Bone is an all-new sci-fi thriller from the author of the Amazon bestselling Black Parade novels. Don’t miss out on this explosive first-in-series!


Kyoko M is an author, a fangirl, and an avid book reader. Her debut novel, The Black Parade, has been on Amazon's Bestseller List at #5 in the Occult Horror category. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia, which gave her every valid excuse to devour book after book with a concentration in Greek mythology and Christian mythology. When not working feverishly on a manuscript (or two), she can be found buried under her Dashboard on Tumblr, or chatting with fellow nerds on Twitter, or curled up with a good Harry Dresden novel on a warm central Florida night. Like any author, she wants nothing more than to contribute something great to the best profession in the world, no matter how small.


The Fortune Teller's Secret Book Tour and $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

This morning, I have the latest paranormal mystery by Ron D. Voigts in the book spotlight!  Check out both of his Cavendish Brown mystery novels, learn a little about the author and enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

The Fortune Teller's Secret
A Cavendish Brown Paranormal Mystery Book 2
by Ron D. Voigts
Genre: Paranormal Mystery

A dead man on a Ferris wheel and a cold-case murder take Cavendish Brown into a world of carnival freaks, ghosts, and killers.

The annual carnival comes to Maiden Falls, a small town in the West Virginia Mountains, but everything is not merry.

The ghost of a woman appears to Cavendish Brown, a carnival worker lies dead aboard a car on the Ferris wheel, and a bullied teenager plots to kill people at the carnival with a homemade bomb. More complications arise. Cavendish again butts heads with the local sheriff, Clinton Pike.
Marbella Wellingway, owner of the newspaper where Cavendish works, receives a visit from the Angel of Death. And a Fortune Teller at the carnival knows something that could forever change Cavendish’s life.
With the aid of Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a Goth witch, he must find the killer, help the mystery woman, and risk his life to prevent more deaths.

The Witch's Daughter

A Cavndish Brown Paranormal Mystery Book 1

Investigative reporter and recent widower, Cavendish Brown, is unemployed and floundering. Coerced into returning to his childhood home by the town's eccentric matriarch, Cavendish finds himself involved in murder, deceit, and a not-so-subtle attempt at matchmaking. Joined by Jane, a disturbed psychic, and Alexandra, a young Goth woman with uncanny abilities, they follow leads into the hills of West Virginia to catch the killer. A sheriff who shoots first and asks questions later makes solving the case difficult for the trio. Adding further complications is an ex-girlfriend with a mob hitman on her trail who seeks Cavendish’s help.
Immersed in a never-ending spiral of clues and secrets, he must unlock the darkness that surrounds the enigmatic Jane, stay ahead of the law, and come to terms with his own grief.

Ron D. Voigts lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and sometimes somewhere else. When back in Raleigh, he enjoys time with his family, watches old movies and shoots lots of pool. He has his own private writer’s retreat in La Vale, MD where he spends lots of time working on his next novel while enjoying the mountains and eating ice cream.


The Eyewitness Book Release Spotlight Tour & $20 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Crime thrillers always catch my attention!  Today, we are featuring The Eyewitness by Nancy G. Weeks.  Learn about this recently released mystery, read a quick excerpt, meet the author and enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour spotlight giveaway at the end of this post!

The Eyewitness
By Nancy Weeks
Genre: Mystery, Crime Thriller, Romance
Fans of TV’s Blue Bloods will love this dynamic new suspense series.
Maryland PD forensic scientist Emersyn D’Azzo has an explosive past with her father’s younger, sexy partner, Detective Alec Pearce. Then an ill-timed kiss destroys the thin line of trust between her and her dad, just before tragedy strikes and someone guns down her father.
The fatal bullet turns out to be tied to the ongoing spree of random sniper kills across the state, but Emersyn knows this wasn’t a random act of violence and is determined to find the killer.
To do so, she’ll need to rely on help from Alec, whom she doesn’t quite trust but just can’t resist. When they discover a connection to a decades-old disappearance of a college student, their investigation takes a deadly twist. Can they learn to trust each other with their hearts to save their lives?  

Ted edged in closer. “You can take a few moments for one dance.” He eyed Tessa. “You don’t mind if I borrow your sister, do you?”
But I do.”
The deep, masculine voice sent an arousing jolt right into Emersyn’s core. And damn it to hell, her mouth went dry, making it impossible to swallow. She fingered her straw then took a deep drink. This time she welcomed the burning chill against her lungs. Detective Alec Pearce had a knack for showing up at her worst moments. Why the hell was he here?
Ted moved away from her as if he’d been burned. “Alec, good to see you.”
You do know you’re hitting on my partner’s daughter, right, Ted?”
Just asking her for a dance.”
Emersyn glanced between the two; she actually preferred Ted’s company to the man who seemed to go out of his way to make her crazy.
Alec reached for her hand and set it in his palm. “Actually, she promised this dance to me. They’re playing our song.”
The muscles in her body tensed as her fingernails dug into his skin. “I don’t—”
Music is on, Em. Shall we?” His other hand went around her waist, and he gave her a swift yank.
Jerkball, let go,” she hissed in his ear.
His grip tightened. “It’s just one dance. Play nice.”
Alec escorted Emersyn to the small dance floor near the bandstand. Every instinct in her wanted to slap his arrogant expression right into next week, but that would make a scene. It was what half the bar expected the instant he got within striking distance. They were all waiting for her to let loose. But this was a new day, a new diploma, new job, new Emersyn. Emotions in check.
My name is Emersyn. I would think you would remember something so simple.”
Alec’s face lit with a grin as his arms brought her close and their bodies began to move to the music. She shot a glare at Tessa, pleading for her to do something. Instead, her sister, the traitor, took another sip of Emersyn’s drink, lifted it in a toast, and rotated in her seat.
A chuckle came from deep in Alec’s throat. “Tessa likes me. You can thank me now.”
I can also knee you where the sun doesn’t shine.”
He lifted her chin with his thumb. “Now that wasn’t nice. I sacrificed a night with that blonde”—he nodded to a beautiful woman sitting at the end of the bar—“just to keep Lecher Ted from hitting on you … again.”
What makes you think I needed rescuing?”
Oh please, Tessa, make the creep go away. I’m ever so sweet and don’t want to hurt the poor jerk’s feelings.”
She yanked out of Alec’s hold, but he was ready and moved her back into his arms without missing a beat.
Relax. I’m teasing.”
You are such an ass.”
His lips brushed over her ear. “Enjoy our moment, Em.”
Impossible. They had more layers of misunderstanding between them than her mother’s chocolate cake, heated words that couldn’t be unheard and arguments with no closure.
After her father had mentioned at dinner that Alec was joining them for dessert, she’d jumped at Tessa’s offer to buy her a drink at the tavern. It was the perfect place to hide out. A lone wolf like Alec wouldn’t be caught dead in the crowded, noisy bar. But here he was. She’d run but not far enough.
I’m sorry I missed your graduation ceremony, but I have a little something for you,” he whispered.
You didn’t need to do that.”
I’m proud of you.”
The words sounded so genuine. “Dad seems resigned to the idea of me at least working alongside cops, if not as a cop.”
Joe doesn’t want you anywhere near the job. But you found a way around that. Instead of crawling in the gutter looking for the worst mankind has to offer, you’re picking through what they left behind.”
She halted in the middle of the dance floor. “You think that’s why I became a forensic scientist?”
I didn’t mean it like that.”
Then what did you mean?”
The music stopped, and they stood still, glaring at each other. Our thing. “I can’t do this tonight,” she said, dropping her hand to her sides. “Thanks.”
Saving me from another go-around with Ted.”
Do you want me to talk to him?”
I can take care of myself.”
For once, there was no comeback. Instead, he eased her against him and tucked her hand over his heart. “Dance with me, Emersyn.”
That sexy, got-to-have-you-now voice was back, and her other four senses came out to play. Being close to Alec Pearce, taking in his spicy, clean soap scent, feeling the strength of his arms around her wasn’t an awful feeling. Confusing? Hell yes, but her body sure enjoyed it. It’s just a dance, right?
She lowered one hand to his hip and brought the other around his neck, her cheek resting against his. Alec tightened his grip around her waist as he spun them around the dance floor. The move put their bodies in sync, and there was no mistaking the effect she had on him. Her lips brushed against his skin, sending shock waves through her.
He sucked in a breath and tilted his head. Their gazes held for what seemed like an eternity. He was so damn gorgeous, his deep brown eyes with a hint of gold, lush lashes, and a dusting of five-o’clock shadow on his square jaw that she ached to feel rubbed against all her soft places. As if he read her mind, his mouth caressed her bottom lip. He waited, expecting her to pull back. Need took over, and she lost her mind.

Nancy C. Weeks has loved happy-ever-after romances since her early teens. While still in college, she met and married her hero. She spent the next several years honeymooning and working overseas. Today, she lives in suburban Maryland with her husband of more than thirty years. With her two grown children out of the nest, she enjoys spending her days writing suspenseful happily-ever-after adventures outside on the deck as the local bird population keeps her company. When she is not writing, Nancy loves to blog about fascinating people, both real and fictional. The one quote that kept her dream alive:

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~Thomas Edison~