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Las Vegas, NV

Living Well and Staying Covered in Las Vegas

Health & Medical Insurance in Las Vegas

This scene offers a good idea of what you can expect once removed from the bright lights of Las Vegas. While some who don’t live in or visit the area may maintain the image of a bustling city in a barren desert, the city takes on a different visage when you tap into the great outdoors. Nevada is a destination for its natural beauty, with an ideal climate for year-round activity. With more open space than most states, Nevada boasts brilliant canyons, nature preserves, state parks, and miles of trails. The weather also contributes to the area’s health; low in allergens, mild winters, and plenty of sun. In the city, natural and organic foods are peppered throughout restaurants and farmers’ markets. Additionally, several of the countless trade shows the city hosts each year are focused on natural products.

Las Vegas residents also have access to very low cost health insurance, which makes it easier (for someone with a flawless medical record) to get a great health plan for a decent price. In fact, Las Vegas was the cheapest city for men to buy health insurance in 2012. Health plans offer a bit more than just regular coverage for those who prefer to keep it natural. While many popular alternative therapies are not covered by insurance, as time progresses, more unconventional methods are being approved for some form of coverage. At the moment, chiropractic (which isn’t all that unconventional) is a covered benefit by most plans in Las Vegas, and certain plans may cover acupuncture.

Generally, Nevada health insurance is affordable throughout the state. For example, a 45-year-old male resident of Las Vegas can buy a $2500 plan from Sierra Health and Life for $135 per month, with a mere 10 percent coinsurance and unlimited office visits. However, if they moved across the border to California, it would cost about twice as much and they wouldn’t be able to find as comprehensive a plan. Regional carriers Sierra (PPO) and Health Plan of Nevada (HMO) (same company, both UnitedHealth) offer by far some of the least costly coverage in the nation. Research your rates in Las Vegas by entering your zip code below.


Living Well and Paying Less

The healthier you are, the less you have to pay for health insurance, at least until next year. Even so, once the Affordable Care Act does kick in, medical bills can still be lessened by creating a health-conscious lifestyle that fits your needs. May I suggest the cheapest way? Going outdoors and getting your energy source and activity in a natural setting.

Green exercise is a very simple and beneficial way to improve your health and well-being. Therefore, getting outside more often for any amount of time in Las Vegas is going to be beneficial. Perhaps inside the city the air quality isn’t ideal, so visit your nearby parks – there are plenty. Reducing the amount you drive is, of course, a substantial money saver, and boost of energy, as you can switch to walking or biking. If you need some ideas for local spots, read on.

Using your health plan may not be quite as green per se, but it may be able to assist you in your wellness endeavors. Certain plans offer discounts on health-related products and services to help people stay healthy. Both Aetna and Humana offer discount programs for healthy lifestyles, which may be able to help you lower your costs on some items like eye care and quitting tobacco.

 

Healthy Activities

With more than 60 city parks and over 90 nearby trails, Las Vegas has a good amount to offer outdoors. While some of the trails closer to the city are somewhat short, they still include incredible views and glimpses of wildlife. A lot of great desert hikes with beautiful canyons and waterfalls are at your fingertips, as well as biking trails, and a few other ways to keep yourself refreshed and active. Try some of these spots to challenge yourself or just have a pleasant day with nature.

 

Hiking

The desert is a hiker’s dream. So much to see and explore, including Native American historical sites, makes for an intriguing experience for visitors and residents alike. The further out from the city you get, the longer trails you will find, though several 5 to 7-mile long trails are close in. From the loose, rocky terrain at Turtlehead Peak, to a paved stroll through the Wetlands Park Nature Preserve, when it’s not the summer, Las Vegas is great for hiking.

 

Road Biking

Though using a mountain bike on the road may be appropriate in most areas, you can find several scenic rides outside of Las Vegas that provide challenging climbs and exciting turns. The one most extraordinary trail outside of the city, the River Mountains Trail, connects to various others along the way and totals about 35 miles. Several other trails in the area allow for a long ride with great views and no interruption from other vehicles.

 

Mountain Biking

There are several mountain biking trails in the Las Vegas area, offering anything from a calm cross country ride through the Wetlands Park to a visit to Bone Crusher in Red Rock Canyon. The area also provides some great downhill for the more adventurous rider. Throughout Southern Nevada, you can find fun, exhilarating trails and parks to take your riding to the next level.

 

Kayaking

More outdoor activity stay out in the wild, there are several kayaking tours operating in the Las Vegas area to paddle the Colorado River below Hoover Dam and through a canyon. If you’re new to the area or the sport, these are a great way to start. Otherwise, you can rent a kayak for a day and try it yourself. Lake Mead National Park is a great spot, with access at Boulder City, or you can get a bit of whitewater in Reno.

 

Healthy Eating

Las Vegas is known as a culinary center, with many opportunities to get an expensive, elaborate meal. The city also offers a great climate for growing your own food, and several places to get an organic bite to eat. Natural groceries and farmers’ markets are also abundant in the Las Vegas area, home to many health-savvy individuals. Support your local businesses and make healthy decisions by trying some of these establishments when it’s time to dine.

  • fresh52 Farmers & Artisan Market: An open-air market with live entertainment, chef demos, and other special events. 9480 S. Eastern Avenue, (702) 481-6558.
  • Sprouts Farmers Market: Affordable organic and all-natural foods. 3365 E Tropicana Ave, (702) 777-0650.
  • Downtown 3rd Farmers Market: Las Vegas’ largest indoor farmers’ market, open Fridays from 9am-2pm. 300 N Casino Center Blvd.
  • Rainbow’s End: Whole foods, organics, classes, and other natural products, plus a vegetarian cafe. 1100 E Sahara Ave #101, (702) 737-1338.
  • Go Raw Cafe: Organic, living foods made raw and juice bar for all your plant-based and vegan needs. 2910 Lake E Dr, (702) 254-5382.
  • Mint Indian Bistro: Moderate prices, great atmosphere, organic, and meals for everyone, meat eater or not. Get your Vegas buffet fix with healthy ingredients. 730 E Flamingo Rd, (702) 894-9334.
  • Jammin’ Jerk Hut: Healthy, spicy, organic Caribbean and Jamaican cuisine at a good price. 3333 S Maryland Pkwy, (702) 433-3303.
  • Elixir Organic Cafe & Lounge: Organic and healthy meals from wraps to burgers, with juices and smoothies. In the Vegas tradition, they also offer karaoke contests for food and monthly deals. 9550 S Eastern Ave, (702) 565-0335.
  • Veggie Delight: Chinatown’s vegetarian and vegan escape with smoothies and juices, as well as a variety of Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. 3504 Wynn Rd, (702) 310-6565.

 

 

Image: Isaac Brekken, New York Times.

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