What A Typical Insurance Company Should Cover Under the Mental Health Parity Law

When looking after our well-being, mental health is just as important as physical health. However, insurance companies don’t always see it this way. A while back, lots of insurance organizations focused more on physical health coverage than mental health coverage. In 2008, a mental health law in the United States was passed and requires the coverage of medical services for mental health, substance abuse problems, and behavioral health to be similar to physical health coverage. This was known as the Mental Health Parity Act. Yet a lot of people are still not aware that this law exists and how it can help them. This guide has been designed to help you understand everything about mental health coverage under the mental health law.

What Does The Mental Health Parity Act Do?

This law requires all health insurance companies to treat mental health, substance abuse, teen treatment center, and behavioral problems health coverage similarly to other physical health coverage such as surgical or medical coverage. For example, health insurance companies are not allowed to charge more for a copay for visits to a mental health specialist than it charges for medical visits. The MHPA also ensures that non-financial health treatment limits are covered. For example, a while back mental health patients were limited in the number of visits they could have in a year. This law has removed such limits. However, it does not restrict insurance companies from setting limitations on mental health treatments that are deemed medically unnecessary.

What Health Plans Does the Mental Health Law Affect?

The Mental Health Law generally applies to these types of health insurance:

– Employer-sponsored health Coverage for organizations that have 50 or more employees.
– Children’s health insurance programs that cover places like Polaris Teen Center.
– Coverage acquired through health insurance exchanges created under the health care reform law known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.
– Most Medicaid-related programs.

Some other types of government programs and plans are exempted from this law. For example, Medicare is not subject to the MHPA.
How to Know if an Insurance Plan Provides Mental Coverage
Check the description of the benefits of your plan. It should have information concerning mental health, substance abuse, or behavioral problems coverage. If you are still unsure or the information provided is not clear you can contact your insurance company directly or ask your human resources representative.

Are All Mental Health Issues Covered by Mental Health Law?

The federal mental health law applies to all mental health and substance use disorder issues covered by a health insurance plan. However, health insurance plans can specifically choose to omit certain treatments. Any omissions should be made clear to you in the health plan’s description of mental health benefits.
All Insurance plans are expected to cover the following:

– Behavioral health treatment like psychotherapy and counseling.
– Substance abuse disorder treatment.
– Mental and behavioral health inpatient services.

Specific types of behavioral benefits will sometimes depend on the state of a patient and the health plan which was chosen. Pre-existing mental issues are also expected to be covered and there should be no limits on spending. Coverage for the treatment of all mental health conditions that were pre-existing are expected to start when coverage starts as well.

mental health doctor

Things to Consider When Using Your Mental Health Coverage

– Ensure that your coverage makes use of provider networks. Normally, patients are required to pay extra when visiting an out-of-network provider. Call your insurance company or visit the company’s website for a list of in-network providers.

– Ask about co-payments – A co-pay is a charge which an insurance company will require you to pay out of pocket for a specific service offered. In past years, co-pays for mental health visits were somewhat greater than those for medical health visits, but now they should be equal.

– Find out about deductibles – A deductible is an amount required to be paid out of pocket before your respective health insurance will make any payment on your behalf. Depending on the deductible, you may end up paying $500 – $5000 from your own pocket before your insurance company makes any payments on claims. The Mental Health Parity Act and Affordable Care Act ensure that deductibles apply equally to both mental and physical health coverage.

– Talk to your mental health care provider – When you are calling to make an appointment with a mental health specialist, find out if he or she accepts your insurance. Also, make sure that you ask whether your insurance company will be billed directly or if you will need to pay in full then submit a claim to your insurance company in order to be reimbursed.

What Should You Do if Your Insurance Company Appears to Be Violating the Mental Health Law?

If you think your health plan is not complying with the MHPA, inquire from your human resources department for a complete summary of the benefits you are supposed to receive to fully understand your coverage. If you don’t have a human resources department or if your health insurance is not provided by your employer, contact your insurance company directly. If you still have any questions that are unanswered or you wish to file a complaint, you can go to the Department of Labor Employee’s Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) customer’s assistance page and from there; you can choose to click on ‘Submit a Complaint’, ‘Report a Problem’, or ‘Ask a Question’. You can also call the EBSA customer help line at 866-444-3272.

The Newest Reason to Travel: Medical Tourism

Medical Nose CareMedical tourism is the act of traveling to other countries or states with the purpose of obtaining medical treatment. The practice is no longer a novelty but a global trend. During the past decade, there has been a significant growth in the number of people seeking plastic surgery abroad. The growth is associated with the many benefits that comes with obtaining plastic surgery abroad with the most obvious being reduced cost and better quality services.

Curacao has hospitals where visitors from all over the world are sometimes treated. The Caribbean and Latin America is a hotspot for medical tourism, especially for Americans. Another major hub for medical tourism is Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand and Malaysia.

Some people prefer to get their plastic surgery closer to home. In the United States, one of the biggest hubs for plastic surgery is the state of Ohio. This is due to the low cost of living and several major cities. There are many plastic surgeons in the northeast part of Ohio, so people seeking nose surgery in Elyria, Cleveland, and Parma are in luck. Some of the larger suburbs in Columbus, such as Westerville, also have rhinoplasty facilities.

Benefits of having a plastic surgery abroad

Affordability and cost effectiveness

This is the number one reason why most people prefer to seek plastic surgery abroad. The fact that you save on price does not necessarily translate to low quality .This is because the procedures are performed by well trained experts employing top notch technology. This is facilitated by the fact that those experts perform the procedure to many people so they are able to spread the cost making it cheaper per individual. In other words, they enjoy economies of scale.

In most countries, the cost for cosmetic procedures is not covered by insurance. This prompts patients to go for private surgery and medical tourism, therefore comes out as a great alternative due to its cost effectiveness and affordability.

Better quality services

Traveling to other countries that have modern hospitals, qualified specialists and advanced patient service is a guarantee that the services you get will be of high quality. Experienced specialists have been doing plastic surgery for a long period of time placing them in a better position to produce better results. This is also due to an added advantage of the availability of sophisticated equipments and modern hospitals that give them a conducive environment to take you through the plastic surgery procedure safely and easily.

Immediate availability

Sometime due to shortage of specialist and increased number of patients, securing yourself a chance for a plastic surgery procedure may take months. Traveling to other countries that have enough specialists will save you the inconvenience of waiting for months .In many cases, you can book for a plastic surgery within a week if you decide to travel to another country. This is because medical tourists are often placed on the priority list.

Travel opportunities

Even though the main purpose of medical tourism is obtaining medical services, there is a side benefit of having an opportunity to travel to another country. It provides a good chance to enjoy local sights, relax in beautiful and comfortable setting and also explore before or even after the plastic surgery procedure. This is also facilitated by the fact that plastic surgery is not like other types of surgery that require one to rest or to refrain from traveling or moving from one place to another. The new look acquired from the surgery also motivates you to tour the country as you feel more confident.

Flexibility and convenience

You can secure yourself an opportunity to undergo plastic surgery abroad at the comfort of your home. You can also book and pay for your flight while enjoying a cup of coffee in your home. Medical tourism has also eliminated the need to visit hospitals for evaluation and assessment as the same can be done online. The only time you live your house is on the day you travel for the surgery.

The Best Curacao Cafes For a Good Coffee

curacao cafeCuracao Island is one of the most amazing tourist destinations that you can visit during the holiday or weekends. Right from the sandy beaches, the night clubs and well as a variety of restaurants, there is really much you can enjoy while on this Island found in the Caribbean. You might have visited Curacao Island but have no idea about finding the best cafes in which to get a cup of coffee. Well, you don’t worry anymore because the solution is just here with you. Before storming into any café or coffee shop to get a cup of coffee, there are a number of things you might need to consider before doing so. Here are some of the best cafes in Curacao as well as the tips on how to choose the best:

Cafes in Curacao

Curacao Island has lots of cafes in which you can have coffee. Some of the best cafes in Curacao include Café Barista Curacao, Restaurant & Café Gouverneur and Dowe Egberts Café. Several of these cafes use top of the line espresso machines, such as the DeLonghi coffee maker available at TrustyTiger.com. These are just a few that can be spotted in Curacao; otherwise there are many other cafes in Curacao that can be ideal to have a cup of coffee in. There are cafes which are also located near Curacao such as the Iguana Café, Mundo Bizarro and Pleincafe Wilhelmia. Trusty Tiger says these cafes are among the best cafes in Curacao, and can just serve you with an amazing cup of tea whenever you order for one.

Tips on Choosing the Best Cafés on Curacao Island 

There might be many Curacao cafes that you can stop to have a cup of coffee but not all of them might be offering the kind of service that will leave you satisfied. Ideally, you would want a café that will serve with high quality coffee each time you request it. The following tips can help you choose a café in Curacao that can offer the best service to you:

Go Online and Compare the Services of Various Cafes in Curacao

If you have visited Curacao Island for the first time, it might be possible you don’t have knowledge about the available cafes in town. So the only best way to go is going online, finding a list of the available cafes in Curacao, look at customers reviews compare among the cafes before choosing the most ideal in which to have your coffee. Trusty Tiger Coffee has a list of cafes on their website which have gotten good reviews. Going online can also be great as it will help you identify a café that is near you so that you don’t have to walk over a long distance to get your coffee.

Compare Price of the Cup of Coffee in the Cafes Available

While the quality of coffee among the different cafes and restaurants might be similar, the price at which a cup of coffee is sold in each is bound to vary. So, when comparing among the available cafes in Curacao choose to have a cup of coffee in a café that offers it meals and beverages at the most convenient prices. You can check that with the cafes in Curacao that also offer there services online to find out the cheapest café in town if you really worry about your money.

Look At the Quality of Service in the Different Cafes 

When having your coffee you would want to sit in a comfortable environment , have your order for the cup of coffee processed immediately you place it and even enjoy your coffee while watching the sinking sun or taking a cool breeze from the sea. All these can make up your day even when you were specifically going there for a cup of coffee. So ensure you choose a Curacao café that is strategically located, offering high quality service at affordable cost.

Curacao’s Namesake Liqueur Has a Long History

Blue Curacao cocktail

Curacao is a famous alcoholic beverage that boasts of a rich and interesting history. The drink originates right here on the island of Curacao, and has the charms of both the Old World and New World.

Curacao Island, the source of the name and place of origin of the beverage, was discovered for Europe in 1499 by Spanish colonizers. Upon occupation, they planned for agricultural development of the island. The colonizers brought with them several plants to cultivate and the Valencia oranges were part of the voyage. However, the arid climatic conditions and the sizzling sun did not allow the oranges to grow as expected in the Caribbean island. Instead, the juicy fruit turned to be a bitter and inedible product prompting them to abandon them. Eventually, the oranges turned to be wild.

In the 19th century, some adventurous individuals discovered that the peels of the orange contained significant aromatic oils and a flavorful fragrance once they were completely dried by the sun. One of the island’s oldest families decided to make liqueur using the peels of the Valencia oranges known as larahas to differentiate them from the Spanish relatives. This actually gave birth to the Curacao liqueur.

The drink gained massive popularity and this compelled other different producers to delve into its production while marketing their own versions. However, not all of the new versions were made from the peels of the laraha. Alcohol volume ranges from 15-40% thus giving a wide choice. Despite the widespread production, it is suggested that the best curacao liqueurs come from distillers in Curacao, as this is the authentic home to the beverage, where it is made with precision as the production process and technique is well mastered.

Curacao is made by simply still steeping dried laraha peels with spices and some sugar. A steeping period is given after which it is allowed to settle so as to remove any sediment. Curacao is a clear color when it’s first produced. Producers then add different colors, bringing about the different varieties available; red, orange, green, blue, and yellow. The drink has a pronounced orange flavor and a pinch of bitterness which is tempered by the sugar. Also, it is used in a variety of mixed drinks.

The simplified process lets you produce your own at home easily and quite cheaply. Just steep dried Laraha peels in vodka along with whole cloves, cinnamon sticks sugar and coriander seed. Steeping should be done in a cool dry place for around five weeks. After this, it should be allowed to sit still so that the sediments can settle. The resulting liqueur is then poured out and taken as desired.

The ease of producing the drink has played a major role in enhancing its popularity around the world despite the fact that not many people understand the actual story behind the refreshing beverage. Different flavors are available and these are determined by the different ingredients that are added during the production.

Certainly, Curacao brought an entire revolution to the beverage market offering a quality drink to the entire world.

Get Your Work Done From The Beach


Many people just come to Curacao to relax on Mambo Beach. But for others, there’s a work component to their trip. But that’s a good thing! It’s great to have the location-independence to be able to work from a tropical island paradise like Curacao, and still get paid. But if you’re considering this career path, you need to make sure that you have a good phone.

According to Office Phone Systems, it’s very helpful to set up a phone system that can forward your calls to any phone number in the world. That way, when you come to Curacao, you can just enter your cell phone number and get your work calls coming straight to you. Or if you have your computer with you, you can have your voicemails emailed to you. This makes it much easier to get your work done, and makes you mobile anywhere in the world.

So which of the many office phone systems out there is the best for this purpose? Grasshopper, according to the reviews that we’ve seen on www.officephonesystems.org. Grasshopper lets you set up your phone system to forward your calls to your personal cell phone, and lets you place calls from that cell phone as though they were coming from your Grasshopper phone number. This is especially useful if you’re out of your home country, in a place like Curacao. Grasshopper is my preferred IP phone for when I’m traveling.

In addition to having a good phone system, you probably also need a good virtual private network (VPN). VPNs are the lifeblood of employees who are often out of their home country. Having a good VPN in place will enable you to access the internet from any public location in a secure location. And to boot, it will be a connection from your home country, so you can avoid any security concerns that might be triggered from websites that think you’re an intruder due to your unusual location.

Once you have a good office phone system and a good virtual private network, you’ll have everything you need to be a truly location-independent worker. You can relax on Mambo Beach and get your work done at the same time.


Stay Safe in the Sun

BestWhiteningCreamThinking about heading to Mambo Beach in Curacao to work on your tan? Be careful while you’re out. Curacao is a great place to enjoy the sun, but unsafe tanning can lead to skin cancer, premature aging, and all sorts of other nasty side effects that you don’t want. Fortunately, there are ways to stay relatively safe.

Let’s start with something that many people don’t realize: there’s no such thing as a safe tan. Granted, some methods of tanning are worse than others, but the increased melanin in your skin from tanning is itself a sign of skin damage. The best way to stay safe is to not tan at all. If you don’t have naturally dark skin, don’t worry. Many people actually want to know how to lighten skin. Meladerm reviews indicate that Meladerm actually removes melanin from the skin, so clearly there are lots of people who prefer a more pale look. You can click here for more information about whitening creams such as Meladerm.

If you must tan while you’re on the beach in Curacao, you want to protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays as much as possible. Make sure that you’re wearing sunscreen. Some people complain that sunscreen interferes with their tanning, but it’s absolutely necessary or you could get a sunburn. You can use sunscreen instead of sunblock, so that some, but not all, of the UV rays can reach your skin. Make sure that you choose at least an SPF 30 brand, for the best protection of your skin.

According to Allure, a popular website which calls itself “The Beauty Expert,” the best sunscreen on the market is the Anthelios 50 Mineral, from La Roche-Posay. It’s an SPF 50, and it’s sure to protect your skin. Use a brand like this to minimize the risk while you’re soaking up UV rays to get more melanin in your skin.

Another way to minimize skin damage while you’re on the beach is to avoid the peak hours. The sun’s UV rays shine most directly between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, and this is especially true in locations near the Equator, such as Curacao. If you can, it’s better to go to the beach early in the morning or to wait until evening. You’ll still be able to soak up enough rays to help with your tan, but you’ll be less at risk for skin damage.

Mambo Beach is a great place to visit, and you can have a lot of fun here. But make sure that you stay safe. You don’t want to come back from your vacation with skin damage. In order to make sure that you have good memories of your trip to Curacao, make sure that you protect yourself from UV rays.


(Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and this is just intended as a friendly tip, not medical advice.)

Enjoy a Good Night’s Sleep in Curacao

It’s something we all worry too much about: Where do we stay on our vacation? Many newcomers to Curacao realize how many hotels, motels, and hostels there are to choose from, and become worried that they will pick the “wrong” one. But there is no single answer that’s best for everyone. Most travelers to Curacao can be happy at many different hotels, and nearly everyone can find something within their budget range.

Just because Curacao is a resort island doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money for your sleeping accommodation if you don’t want to. Remember, this is your vacation. You shouldn’t stress out about picking the perfect place to stay. In this article, I’m going to tell you my favorite places to stay for every price point.


I remember my first trip to Curacao, over winter break when I was a college student in the United States. At the time, I had almost no money, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me from enjoying my first trip to the Caribbean. Many people don’t realize how cheaply they can actually stay in Curacao, if they are willing to do without some of the luxury amenities that are common to the more upscale resorts. Depending on the time of year and which hostel you pick, you can stay in Curacao for as little as $20-40 per night per person. Personally, I’m of the mindset that it doesn’t matter where I sleep, as long as it’s safe and clean. The important thing is how I spend my waking hours when I’m on vacation.

If you share that mindset or if you just don’t have a lot of money to spend, I highly recommend looking into a hostel. There are hostel search engines such as hostels.com where you just need to enter Curacao as your destination, and it will show you what’s available. Hostels are a highly underrated option, that most travelers just completely ignore or don’t even know about.

Generally speaking, the hostels in Curacao clean them every day, so you need not worry too much about getting a dirty room (but be sure to read the reviews to make sure before you book your stay.) If you are worried about the security of your belongings, you should know that most hostels provide a locker that’s big enough for you to store a suitcase. If you are worried about personal safety, know that each room has a key so that only authorized guests can enter. Additionally, many hostels offer all-female or all-male dorm rooms.

Hostels generally offer barracks-style or dorm-style accommodations. It’s definitely not fancy, but you probably didn’t come to Curacao to spend all your time in a hotel anyway. Enjoy some great restaurants, hit the beaches, and have fun.

One word of advice: If you choose to stay in a hostel and if you snore too much, you should really bring along some anti snoring devices, such as Zquiet or Good Morning Snore Solution. If you learn how to stop snoring before you arrive, your roommates will thank you.


If you want a nicer accommodation than a hostel, but don’t want to spend the money for a luxury resort, you should look into some of the villas on the island. As a resort area, Curacao has some great villas that are cheaper than fancy hotels. You can find a good villa for around $50-60 per night per person.

Some of these villas have a brilliant view of the Caribbean Sea, so they’re perfect for people who like to see the beach from their window. Note that many villas have multiple bedrooms, so this is a good option if you’re traveling with your family or a group of friends. If you’re traveling by yourself, villas may not be the most cost-effective choice for you.

A local company such as Seaside Curacao can help you find a villa that’s within your price range and has the amenities that you want.


I’ll be honest: I don’t have a lot of personal experience with luxury accommodations on Curacao, because I’m a cheapskate when it comes to my travel budget and I don’t spend enough time in my hotel to really enjoy it anyway. Nevertheless, Curacao has a lot of great resorts with every amenity you could possibly want.

One of the most popular choices is the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort and Emerald Casino. The Marriott here is absolutely beautiful. In addition to having its own casino, it has its own beach resort and several different restaurants where you can get a taste of the cuisine that Curacao has to offer. Locals here eat a lot of seafood, and the Marriott’s Portofino Restaurant does it better than just about anyone else. If you’re staying at the Marriott, you absolutely have to hit the bar at least once and try a curacao, the gold-colored liqueur for which the island is famous.

Depending on the season, rooms at the Marriott generally cost about $150-400 per night. That’s out of my price range, but if you can afford to splurge you can have a great time at the Marriott.

I hope this article has helped to point you in the right direction. If you have any questions for me, or if you’d like some more specific recommendations of places to stay in Curacao, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me using the link at the top of the page.