Does Your College Student Have a Healthcare Package?

Does Your College Student Have a Healthcare Package?

Money Matters

presented by: Vision Financial

Every year, tens of thousands of young men and women begin or return to college. In Alabama alone, there are more than 60 colleges or universities in the state. In total, the number of college students enrolled in an Alabama school at any one time can be well over 100,000. Unfortunately, most of these students are sent off to college without a Healthcare Package.

What does it mean for a college student to have a Healthcare Package? In the State of Alabama, an individual is considered an adult upon his or her 19th birthday. Federal and State law restricts the disclosure of healthcare related information about an adult patient. Specifically, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) can impose civil and criminal penalties on healthcare providers and insurance companies for failing to protect or wrongfully disclosing a patient’s health related information. The possible imposition of these penalties can encourage healthcare providers to develop policies which refuse to disclose certain health related information to family members of patients.

An example of this problem involves a scenario where a college student is rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Upon entering the hospital, the student is unable to sign any release forms. While the student is in the emergency room, a hospital administrator contacts the student’s parents to determine what insurance the student has. When the parent asks what is wrong with their son/daughter the administrator responds that it is against their policy to disclose health related information without a HIPAA Release or other form of approval.

For any college student 19 and above, he or she should have three important documents in his or her Healthcare Package to overcome these regulatory pitfalls:

  • HIPAA Release Form
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Directive for Healthcare

Although these three documents cannot stop a disaster, these documents can help mitigate the damage and provide relief to loved ones. Different forms of these documents can be found for free on the internet; however, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a competent attorney, licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction, to help develop your college student’s Healthcare Package.

-Tommy B. Majors IV

Attorney and Managing Member of The Majors Law Firm, LLC

Brought to you by Hal Holland

Vision Financial Group, Inc.

4505 Pine Tree Circle, Birmingham, 35243

205-970-4909, www.vision-financialgroup.com

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Heritage Christian Academy Learns what it is to “Be the Hands and Feet” of Jesus

Heritage Christian Academy Learns what it is to “Be the Hands and Feet” of Jesus

Education Extra

As a way to live out their mission to minister, the Heritage Christian Academy community recently rallied to prepare meals for needy children. To learn more about HCA, visit www.hcachristian.org or call 205-978-6001.

Heritage Christian Academy (HCA), an interdenominational 3K-12th grade private Christian school in Hoover, Alabama knows that the Greater Birmingham Area does not lack for excellent schools. Year after year public and private educational institutions around town are recognized for accomplishments and distinction in academics, athletics and arts. It can be difficult for local parents to decide which school is “The Best Option” from what seems like many good options for their particular student and family.

HCA, like large public and private schools, offers a variety of classes, electives, sports teams, choirs, bands, and theatre troupes. Yet, because of limited slots available for a given activity, at a large school perhaps only a small percentage of students are able to participate. Prestigious private college preparatory schools may offer challenging curricula and promote analytical thinking as does HCA. Some private schools may promote views that are contradictory to a family’s fundamental beliefs. For a parent, finding the right school that partners in the spiritual, academic and social development of their student can be arduous.

Lynn Gurganus, Headmaster at Heritage Christian Academy, understands the weight that parents feel when selecting a school. In his passion for the well-being of the whole child, Mr. Gurganus understands the responsibility that a school has in teaching for a purpose greater than the next classroom test, or mastering an athletic or art skill. HCA knows the value of being a school family where the entire community is encouraged to participate.

In January the leadership at HCA began discussing a Spring Fundraiser. While there are many types of events that can bring monetary success, it was important to the HCA Staff and School Board that the fundraiser be reflective of the mission and vision of HCA. Mr. Gurganus explains, “As soon as the concept of making 10,000 meals for needy children was described to us, we realized that it aligned with who we are as a school. It was the perfect opportunity to engage our entire school community in what it means to be the ‘hands and feet’ of Jesus. We had discussions where we considered how we should respond to issues like hunger, homelessness, and poverty in general. Feed the Need allowed us to see the extent to which hunger exists, and then to be part of the solution. Our mission is ministering.”

-Heritage Christian Academy 

2290 Old Tyler Road, Hoover, AL 35226

205-978-6001

www.hcachristian.org

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Super Summer Camp Opportunities 2018

Super Summer Camp Opportunities 2018

BASKETBALL

Coach Paul Brown Camps. Learn from an outstanding teacher of fundamentals, June 25-29 Green Valley Baptist, July 16-20 Riverchase UMC, July 23-27 Trinity UMC/Homewood and July 30-August 3 Green Valley Baptist/Hoover. Boys and girls ages 6-13. Full day 9am-4pm ($195), half day 9am-Noon ($125). Register at coachpaulbrown.com.

SPORTS

Hoover Sports Complex. Each five-day camp is designed to help children ages 5-13 build the foundation for physical skills and sport fundamentals. Campers are taught sport specific skills and given the opportunity to compete in a variety of sports such as basketball, flag football, soccer, volleyball and more, while also enjoying some favorite recreational games like capture the flag, dodgeball and kickball. Camps begin June 4, Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm, with early drop off and late pick up available. Lunch options are also available. To learn more and to register visit hoovermetcomplex.com/camps.

WRESTLING

Warrior Wrestling Club, Alabaster. Four weekly sessions for boys and girls, June 4-7 (6-12thgrade), June 11-14 (6-12th), June 18-21 (6-12th), June 25-28 (K-12th), 9am-8pm, $175 per week (includes breakfast, and lunch), 2469 Highway 31, 35040, behind Southeastern Pond Management. Under the direction of Coach Shawn Weltzin, Coach of the Thompson High School 6X Alabama State Wrestling Champions along with Warrior Wrestling Club Head Coach Shad Rissler and All State Champ Counselors. Includes technique, drills and live wrestling. To register email shadrissler@gmail.com, visit www.warriowrestlingclub.com or call 845-978-4924.

NATURE

Aldridge Gardens, Hoover. Weekly camps offered in June, Monday through Friday 9am-Noon for children entering 5K-3rdGrade. Themes include Engineering and Construction, Cool Art, Stop Action Animation and the popular American Girl Doll camps. All the fun takes place at Aldridge Gardens, 3530 Lorna Road, 35216. $115 per camper for Aldridge Garden members, $135 for non-members. Visit aldridgegardens.com for more information and to register. E-mail Debbie McDonald, Education Director at dmcdonald@aldridgegardens.comor call 205-682-8019, ext. 104.

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Are You Equipped to Fight the Parenting Battle?

Are You Equipped to Fight the Parenting Battle?

Parenting Points
Being a Christian parent in today’s world is more challenging than ever. We are in a battle for our children’s hearts and minds and the tools Satan has at his disposal are more cunning than ever. We are now all in “crisis” parenting as we fight to teach our children their identity in Christ, how to discover their purpose and help them discern how to live in the world but not be of the world. Parenting without a plan is just not a good option if you want to win this war. Here are 5 steps to help you get started on your parenting plan. 

  1. Look at yourself first. Are there issues from your past that you need to address? Often things such as anger, anxiety or insecurity from our past can appear in our parenting styles.
  2. Who will you serve? Take a look at your checkbook and calendar. Do they reflect the spiritual priorities you want for your family?
  3. Have you established objectives? What characteristics do you want to instill in your children? Integrity, work ethic, a servant’s heart? Be intentional about teaching these priorities.
  4. Set the rules! Every home needs a set of rules. They set expectations and establish boundaries. Rules need to be posted so everyone is clear and there are no surprises.
  5. Develop a discipline strategy. It’s not a question of IF the rules will be broken but WHEN and how often. We should not be surprised our children are not perfect. They are in training and it’s our responsibility to show them the way. Mix into your plan a warning phrase, as well as consequences that both teach your parenting objectives and provide an incentive to make a different choice the next time. Don’t forget to add a dash of grace.

Throughout our lives, we will make plans for vacation, plans for sending our kids to college and plans for dinner. How much more important is it that we develop a plan for our everyday parenting? Implementing a parenting plan can bring peace, draw your family closer and help you live out the purpose God has for your family.

-Bethany Meadows

Bethany Meadows is a mother of five, including a sibling group of four children from the foster care system. The Birmingham-based entrepreneur, author, speaker and radio host’s new book Getting a Grip is a practical step-by-step guide that teaches parents how to build a customized parenting plan. Learn more at www.bethanymeadows.net.

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Understanding Infertility

Understanding Infertility

Healthy Living

Presented by Henderson Walton Women’s Center, www.hwwc.net

Infertility is a very common problem affecting one in six couples in the United States. The rate of infertility increases as a couple gets older, with fertility decreasing significantly after 35. If you and/or your spouse are over the age of 35 and have been attempting pregnancy for six months or longer with unprotected intercourse, or if you and/or your spouse are under the age of 35 and have been attempting pregnancy for one year or longer with unprotected intercourse, you may need assistance in achieving pregnancy. The physicians of Henderson & Walton Women’s Center would be happy to discuss with you and your spouse any concerns you may have. To accurately pinpoint the reason for infertility, it is important to be evaluated so the cause can be determined and if possible, treated so the chances of pregnancy can be increased. Your Henderson & Walton physician will obtain a complete medical and sexual history as well as perform a physical exam. If further treatment is recommended, your physician will refer you to our Infertility Department.

Diagnosing Infertility. Fortunately, almost 90% of all diagnosed cases of infertility can be traced to a specific cause and once the cause is known, many can be successfully treated with medications or surgical interventions. Diagnosing infertility may include; A complete medical history of both the male and female, screening of a women’s hormone levels, basal body temperature, ovulation predictor tests, hysterosalpingogram to evaluate fallopian tubes and uterus, ultrasonography to monitor maturation of follicles (egg sacs), and Sims-Huhner (PCT) to evaluate the ability of the sperm to penetrate the cervical mucus.

Infertility Factors. There are many factors related to female infertility. They may include: ovulatory dysfunction, hormone imbalances, infection, blocked or absent fallopian tubes, scar tissue from previous surgeries/infections, and endometriosis. Most female infertility can be treated. For women who do not ovulate regularly, there are medications that can help. Medications such as clomiphene increase the output of hormones that are necessary for ovulation to occur and stimulate development of follicles. Other medications given in injection form such as gonadotropins also stimulate development of follicles in ovaries. These medications can be given alone or in conjunction with each other. During these treatments therapies, a patient is monitored closely by lab work and ultrasonography. If the problem is anatomical, such as blocked fallopian tubes, scar tissue, ovarian cysts, or endometriosis, there are surgical interventions that might address these problems. Infertility is just as likely to be caused by male factors as by female factors. Some common causes of male infertility are: poor sperm production or function, varicocele, obstruction of seminal tract, undescended testicle, ejaculation problems, hormonal abnormalities and infection. Males will be recommended to have physical exam and semen evaluation by a urologist. Depending on the diagnosis, men can usually be treated with medication or surgical correction.  In cases of decreased sperm counts, artificial insemination may be considered.

Some couples may need more advanced interventions requiring a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist. Your Henderson & Walton physician will be happy to guide you in making the best choice for your family’s future.

  • Henderson & Walton Women’s Center P.C. 

Accepting new patients in their Birmingham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Cullman Gadsden, Jasper and Tuscaloosa locations. Call 1-800-264-1075 to make your appointment. Visit www.hwwc.net to learn more about the practice, physicians, and services offered.

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Author & Former CEO of 40 Days for Life in Birmingham

Author & Former CEO of 40 Days for Life in Birmingham

City Scene

Author and former CEO of 40 Days for Life will be in Birmingham April 18 to speak at the Sav-A-Life Vestavia “Rise Up” Banquet. Visit www.savalife.org or call 205-979-0302 for reservations.

David Bereit became an outspoken pro-life advocate after Planned Parenthood announced plans to build an abortion clinic in his Texas town in 1998. He helped to start and build a local grassroots coalition that rallied 60 churches and thousands of people together and dramatically reduced abortions in the region. Planned Parenthood recognized the effectiveness of his efforts when it labeled his town “the most anti-choice place in the nation.” In 2004 Bereit led the first-ever 40 Days for Life campaign in College Station, Texas. He then moved to the Washington, D.C. area in 2005 where he served as Executive Director of American Life League and National Director of Stop Planned Parenthood until being asked to lead the national 40 Days for Life campaign. His pro-life work has been featured in the media hundreds of times, including coverage on Fox News, HBO, ABC, NBC and CBS television stations, numerous radio programs, and in over 100 newspapers across the country including USA Today, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times.

Beriet will share his story at the Sav-A-Life Vestavia “Rise Up” Banquet Thursday April 18 at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham/Wynfrey Hotel. RSVP by April 12, 2018 by visiting www.savalife.org or calling 205-979-0302. Seating begins at 6:30pm, program 7-9pm. †

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6 Big Benefits of Summer Day Camp

6 Big Benefits of Summer Day Camp

Healthy Living

Every child can benefit from the experiences of summer camp. But for many parents, the decision of whether or not to sign their child up is not so easy.

Many parents feel the separation and independence required of a camper for sleepaway camp may be too high of a hurdle for the child or themselves. Many campers are (in their parents’ minds) too shy or ill-equipped for resident camp. Oftentimes, parents themselves are not ready to let go of the child for the duration of a camp session. And some campers are simply “too young.”

For these families, Day Camp can provide a camp experience that is nearly identical to sleepaway camp without the anxiety-producing long-term separation.

  1. Camp builds self-confidence. By removing academic, athletic and social competition kids experience at school, camp helps kids build self-confidence! There’s an accomplishment every day!
  2. Campers make new friends. Counselors help children create new connections and reach outside of their comfort zones to meet and play with children they may not have known during the school year.
  3. Campers unplug from technology. Camp is full of games and organized activities that give children an opportunity to enjoy doing instead of just watching. Outdoor activities encourage them to commune with nature, realizing their roles in stewardship of the land.
  4. Campers learn new skills. Camp activities help children develop skills like swimming, horseback riding, sports and art and social/emotional things like teamwork, creativity, and self-confidence.
  5. Camp is fun! With non-competitive activities and diverse opportunities to succeed, camp life is a real boost for kids. Geared toward the interests of every child, camp activities are made to be fun – no tests required!
  6. Day Campers Come Home for Dinner. In the evenings, parents and children can sit down together and discuss the events of the child’s day. Parents can share in their child’s successes, work through any obstacles that their child faces and help shape their solutions. This gives the child practice for when they have to work through issues on their own.

Day camp can be a child’s first independent experience away from mom and dad. A child can strengthen emerging skills of making new friends, taking care of their own belongings, trying new activities, and taking risks. Registration is open now for YMCA Summer Day Camp 2018 at 11 Birmingham area locations. Register online through April 30 at www.YMCADayCamp.net.

-Jennifer Neil

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org 

Read more healthy information from the YMCA at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Health

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FUN Awaits at the Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa

FUN Awaits at the Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa

Are We There Yet? 

“Grandma’s Attic” is one of the exhibits that interactively takes kids back in time from the civil war to the wild, wild west.

Looking for a day trip for the kids over Spring Break? Or some Saturday family fun? Check out the Children’s Hands-On Museum (CHOM) of Tuscaloosa where “curiosity, creativity and discovery” abound! CHOM offers newborns through age 13 a fabulous place just for them! The Museum is open Monday through Friday 9-5pm and Saturdays 10-4pm and is located at 2213 University Boulevard, 35401. Learning though play is what the museum is all about. Children are encouraged to touch, feel and play in the 25 exhibits which range from taking a trip back in time to visit a one room school and a mid-century drug store to exploring a Choctaw Indians settlement and playing dress up in “Grandma’s Attic.” Kids can even jump aboard an actual wheel house of a tugboat, “milk” a life size Holstein and visit a traditional Japanese home.

Three floors of fun await families and school groups, too. Each month CHOM also hosts special events and holiday celebrations. Don’t miss the “St. Patrick’s Day Search for Shamrocks” on Saturday March 17 10am-4pm in which kids can search the museum for lucky Shamrock Coins all day and trade coins for prizes in the Lucky Leprechaun Shoppe. March 24, 10am-4pm, is “3-2-1 Blastoff!” which gives kids a chance to test their engineering and astronaut skills, experiment with gravity and launch a rocket. And there is an Eggstra-Special treat on Saturday, March 31, 10 am-4pm, when kids can enjoy fun Easter games and crafts. All these special events are included with admission (Under 1 free, 1-2 years $6, 3-59 years $9, 60 years and older $7). CHOM memberships start at $75 and include a year of free general admission plus discounts on special events. You can also pay for a regular admission and after you have been won over to come back, apply what you have paid toward your year membership. School field trips are available for Pre-K through 5th grade and meet Common Core and Alabama College and Career-Ready Standards. CHOM can also coordinate for teachers the scheduling of other Tuscaloosa area attractions to create a fun, all day learning experience for students. Learn more at www.chomoline.org or call 205-349-4235. †

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Relief for Paying for Private K-12 Education

Relief for Paying for Private K-12 Education

Money Matters

presented by: Vision Financial

Having just paid for two children to graduate from Briarwood Christian School, I wish that I could have received better tax breaks for paying for private education for grades K-12. While Coverdell Education Savings accounts allowed tax-free savings for K-12 qualifying expenses, they are also subject to income limits and less generous contribution limits. Under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, saving for a private education just became a little easier by allowing income tax benefits under 529 plans to help fund private K-12 tuition. Let’s look at some of the Federal and State tax treatments for these plans and how they may be coordinated with Coverdell plans and tax credits.

Federal income tax treatment of qualified withdrawals. Contributions to 529 plans are tax deferred. This means that you don’t pay income tax on the plan’s earnings each year. When you take out money and use it to pay for qualified education expenses, the earnings portion of your withdrawal is free from federal income tax. This presents a significant opportunity to help you accumulate funds for college, and now private k-12 education. Qualified education expenses include tuition, fees, and books.

State income tax treatment of qualified withdrawals. States differ in the 529 plan tax benefits they offer to their residents. Some states may offer no tax benefits, while others may exempt earnings on qualified withdrawals from state income tax and/or offer a deduction for contributions. Keep in mind that states may limit their tax benefits to individuals who participate in the in-state 529 plan. Alabama allows you to deduct up to $10,000 on your state income tax per year. In general, you won’t be required to pay income taxes to another state simply because you opened a 529 account in that state. But you’ll probably be taxed in your state of residency on the earnings distributed by your 529 plan (whatever state sponsored it) unless your state grants a specific exemption.

Deducting your contributions to a 529 plan. Unfortunately, you can’t claim a federal income tax deduction for your contributions to a 529 plan. Depending on where you live, though, you may qualify for a deduction on your state income tax return. A number of states now allow a state income tax deduction for contributions to a 529 plan only if you contribute to your own state’s 529 plan. Most of the states that provide a deduction for contributions impose a deduction cap, or limitation, on the amount of the deduction.

Coordination with the Coverdell education savings account and education tax credits. You can fund a Coverdell education savings account and a 529 account in the same year for the same beneficiary without triggering a penalty. You can also claim an education tax credit in the same year you withdraw funds from a 529 plan to pay for qualified education expenses. But your 529 plan withdrawal will not be completely tax free on your federal income tax return if it’s used for the same higher education expenses for which you’re claiming a credit.

Paying for private K-12 education just got less expensive, however navigating the options may seem a little more complicated. See your financial professional for help on how to take advantage of these changes.

Mike Mungenast, Sr. Vice President, Senior Advisor 

Vision Financial Group

4505 Pine Tree Circle, Birmingham, AL 35243

205-970-4909, www.vision-financialgroup.com

 

Investment advisory services offered through Investment Advisors, a division of ProEquities, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Securities offered through ProEquities Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC.  Vision Financial Group, Inc. and West Alabama Bank are independent of ProEquities, Inc. Securities and insurance products offered are not bank deposits, have no bank guarantee, are not FDIC insured, and may lose value. Prepared by Broadridge Communication Solutions, Inc.

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