Health & Medical Insurance in Ann Arbor
The healthiest city in the state, Ann Arbor is an oasis of farmer’s markets, street fairs, and environmental awareness in the automotive industry’s withering desert. Ann Arbor residents have access to great parks, including the Nichols Arboretum, and the downtown area allows for easy walking and biking with fresh air and plenty of trees. The city is also home to one of the nations top medical schools and hospitals at the University of Michigan, providing the area with great local healthcare. Between medical care, education, and an active, community-centered lifestyle, A-squared is a progressive gem of wellness in Michigan.
Michigan has less uninsured residents compared to much of the nation, but 12 percent of the population still has yet to get covered. This is due to a number of reasons which the new federal laws will hopefully remedy to a certain degree, including biases against those who have had a medical condition in the past and gender-based premium increases. Living in Ann Arbor, women are still rated up despite their health. However, if you aren’t declined or rated up out of your price range, a health plan will get you in the door faster and provide reduced rates on the great doctors and alternative medicine resources in your city.
When considering individual health insurance in Ann Arbor, there are about seven private options including both national and Michigan-based companies. Rates are about average, and regional carriers are usually the best bet. For instance, a 30-year-old male resident of Ann Arbor can buy a $2,500 PPO plan from HealthPlus with low coinsurance and copay office visits for $110 per month as of the beginning of 2013. Better still, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provides an inclusive HMO plan for individuals at $113 with even more upfront benefits. If you find you are unable to afford a plan, try your state’s public health resources.
Living Well and Paying Less
Reducing your medical expenses begins with taking good care of yourself and creating healthy habits. While many Ann Arbor residents are already well educated on the body, health and utilizing their local resources, this knowledge is worthy of reinforcement. Some of us can get too busy to care for ourselves when we’re caring for others, and other aspects of life can interfere with how much effort we put into our health. In order to make sure you stay safe, and your health plan premiums stay normal, you have to consider your health.
And while you’re insured, you may as well squeeze as many services out of your plan as possible, right? To keep yourself out of the doctor’s office and in a healthy space, you can use your health plan’s resources – which are sometimes free, sometimes discounted – to maintain wellness. Humana is one carrier that offers an incentive program to members who want to quit smoking, lose weight, or just take a fitness class around town.
Take a look at your health plan’s website to find out what extra services you may be able to use.
As its name suggests, Ann Arbor has an affinity for trees, creating a lush urban landscape to walk, run or cycle through. Within a short distance, residents also have access to more expansive parks, enchanting wooded areas, and enlivening trails for numerous activities. Surely the nature lovers of the city have already dabbled in the great outdoors, but perhaps there is a new angle you could take. Using natural surroundings is the best way to get a healthy amount of exercise without even knowing it, so if you find a few activities you love, stick with them and reap the benefits. Try a few of these simple ideas to get started.
Hiking & Trail Running
With several small hikes within Ann Arbor and more throughout the surrounding areas, residents can get out and be immersed in nature in no time. A walk or jog around the city is great for your everyday needs, but to add variety and explore the area, try a regular dose of trails in your routine. Ranging from easy to challenging, you can find enough spots near Ann Arbor to keep you busy and on your feet. More trails can be viewed here for additional options, and some of the top picks from All Trails are featured below.
- Potawatomi Trail: Gregory, MI
- Highland Recreation Lakes: Highland, MI
- Wildwing Trail: Brighton, MI
- Proud Lake Recreation Area: Commerce Twp, MI
- Kensington Metropark Trails: Milford, MI
Here is a great activity for Ann Arbor residents, as multiple parks with trails are dispersed throughout the region. Mountain bikers have access to about ten different parks with single and doubletracks within a 25-mile radius, making it ideal for anyone from beginner to seasoned technical rider. Wind and jump your way around some of these trails to increase your skill and endurance, or just have fun. Find more parks near Ann Arbor here.
- Novi North Park (Tree Farm): Novi, MI
- Island Lake Recreation Area: Brighton, MI
- Maybury Singletrack: Northville, MI
- Highland Recreation Lakes: Highland, MI
- Brighton Recreation Area Loops: Brighton, MI
For those with a road bike affinity, the streets of Ann Arbor are a great place to start, but there are also some beautiful paved trails that lead you along a more scenic route with less interference. Ideal for cruising on your own or training with a group, these paths and loops are mostly flat, but others climb and turn to keep you on point. There are some extremely long routes as well, like the Hell Challenge extending up to 72.7 miles.
- Hines Drive Ramble: Northville, MI
- Hell Challenge: Dexter, MI
- Island Lake Dodge Park: Green Oak Twp, MI
- Ann Arbor Ramble: Ann Arbor, MI
- One Half of A2: Ann Arbor, MI
Cross Country Skiing
Though Ann Arbor doesn’t have as long a cross country ski season as other parts of the state, on those days when the snow is thick enough, there are some great areas for it – and you can make your own, of course. Mid-snowstorm, you can get exercise and go somewhere with a pair of old skis, and there are also some area parks where you can rent equipment daily or hourly. Try some of these parks if you need a glide along the snow before the winter’s over.
- Rolling Hills Park: 7660 Stony Creek Rd., Ypsilanti, 734-484-9676.
- Huron-Clinton Metroparks:Multiple counties.
- Hudson Mills Metropark: 8801 N. Territorial Road, Dexter, 734-426-8211.
- Pinckney-Crooked Lake Trail: Pinckney, MI
If you’re looking for a break from the outdoors and a good stretch for your mind and body, Ann Arbor has many yoga studios for you to explore. Any type of class or instruction is available, whether it’s been a while since your last pose or you’ve mastered the intensity of bikram. According to Ann Arbor locals via AnnArbor.com, these are the top five studios in the city, though there are many others to try, as well. Click here for a full search of studios.
- Ann Arbor School of Yoga: 420 W Huron St, (734) 663-7612.
- Ita Yoga Studio: 2745 Plymouth Rd, (734) 531-9482.
- The Yoga Room: 765 Archwood Dr, (734) 761-8409.
- A2 Yoga and Nia Studio: 2030 Commerce Blvd, (734) 216-4006.
- RussaYog: 215 S State St, (734) 369-3331.
Maybe you moved to Ann Arbor for the farmers’ markets and fresh, local and organic food that the conscious community has to offer. It is certainly a viable reason, as the local shops and restaurants are all about providing regionally grown, healthy options. Ann Arbor has the healthiest dining available in the state, and much of the region, so pay a visit to some of these establishments the next time you have a meal out. For creating your own food with top-notch ingredients, shop the farmers’ markets or a natural grocery. No need to add another bumper sticker to your car (unless you want to) in order to visit these spots, just a positive outlook on your health.
- Farmers Market – the City of Ann Arbor: Organic, regional foods direct from the producers. Open Saturdays, year-round. 315 Detroit St, (734) 794-6255.
- People’s Food Co-op: Community co-op with natural foods from the area and cafe serving a variety of fresh foods from sandwiches to hot entrees with great ingredients. 216 N 4th Ave, (734) 994-9174.
- Whole Foods Market: A Whole Foods masterpiece, this multi-level facility has a cafe, local art gallery, and classroom for health and cooking. Other locations are also available in the city. 3135 Washtenaw Ave, (734) 975-4500.
- Arbor Farms Market: More local, organic produce, grass-fed beef, and ethically raised foods to try, plus a deli. 2103 W. Stadium, 734-996-8111.
- Silvio’s Organic: Pizza and Italian dishes with all fresh, organic ingredients. 715 N University Ave, (734) 214-6666.
- Seva Restaurant: Vegetarian casual dining for every meal, with a juice bar, coffee bar, and takeout. 314 E Liberty St, (734) 662-1111.
- Noodles & Company: Fast fresh food chain highlighting noodles of all cultures with health in mind. 320 S State St, (734) 327-9041.
- Pilar’s Tamales: Tamales and Peruvian cuisine with organic ingredients, as well as organic beverages to complement your meal. 2261 W Liberty St, (734) 929-4161.