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Virginia Beach, VA

Living Well and Staying Covered in Virginia Beach

Health & Medical Insurance in Virginia Beach

In Virginia Beach, one of the healthiest cities in the nation, residents have increased access to recreation as well as medical care, making it an ideal locale for people whose health is a priority. Even if your health is not your number one priority, being in such an environment gives more people the opportunity to incorporate health into their life. Virginia Beach is home to numerous parks, golf courses, tennis courts, and other facilities, which lend to the city’s overall amount of activity. Though a majority of Southern states are known for sedentary lifestyles, this particular city uses its outdoor resources as well as its insurance resources, as 89 percent of all residents are health plan members.

Health insurance in Virginia Beach is like much of the South, with lower rates for men and significant rate-ups for women. Regardless of your gender, however, you can find a good health plan for a decent cost. Virginia Beach plans are very reasonable for a mid-sized city. Companies like Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare sell their usual array of PPOs, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Coventry, and regional carrier Optima also offer individual plans. For one of the healthy residents of Virginia Beach, who exercises regularly, eats well, and doesn’t smoke, a health plan is much less than other cities of the same size elsewhere. Even as rates have just increased for the new year, you can find a good deal.

For example, a 40-year-old male living in Newport News can buy a $2500 plan starting at $147 per month from Coventry with a good balance of comprehensive qualities. As a healthy person, or even if you aren’t in the best of health, you want to look for plans with copays so you ultimately save more if you do need to visit the doctor. You can also find your health plan provides additional resources for staying healthy, which are another plus to being insured. Whether or not you are already in good health, your insurer wants you to be (not because they care about you, unfortunately), so they will offer you a few free or discounted programs (weight loss, smoking cessation) to lower certain medical risks.

 

Living Well and Paying Less

Getting the most out of your already costly health plan is key as a policyholder. You can take advantage of your health plan’s resources and your city’s broad range of activities to maintain your health, and ultimately save money on medical care. Virginia Beach insurers like Anthem, Humana, and Aetna each offer some sort of program for health-related purchases. Aetna and Humana’s programs include discounts on fitness club memberships, vision care, weight loss programs, and other items to keep members healthy. These products are strictly outlined, however, so trying to get a discount on a new swimsuit with your insurance ID is not likely to work.

For the rest of the year, health plans still rate up applicants for a high BMI, being a smoker, and other unhealthy characteristics. Therefore, you can get a much better rate (the “normal” one) if you pass for a healthy nonsmoker. The continued benefit is that your medical bills will be lower and less frequent if you choose a better lifestyle. Being more active even helps you prevent being accident-prone by increasing balance, focus, and coordination, so you’re less likely to have an unintentional injury if you exercise.

There are many ways to stay active in Virginia Beach, so take a look at some of our suggestions and enjoy yourself!

 

Healthy Activities

Virginia Beach has a wide expanse of beach to use as a recreational tool, but the area also provides residents with great outlets for more outdoorsy activities. If that’s not your preference, there are also golf courses and tennis courts, and of course the pool at your condo for a relaxing, invigorating workout in a different setting. If you tire of being contained on a court, field, or pool, however, you should try out the region’s beautiful parks and be active in nature. Especially during the summer, a forested area is a welcome change from the sun-reflecting sand. Here are a few ideas to consider in Virginia Beach.

 

Hiking & Trail Running

Throughout the region, there are various trails and parks where you can explore the natural landscape of Virginia. The state is well known for the expansive parks and natural spaces it has to offer. Though Virginia Beach is the state’s most dense city, there are plenty of trails throughout the area. Multiple state parks are even within the city’s limits. Hiking trails vary in difficulty level and are also open to runners. For a full list of hikes near Virginia Beach click here.

 

Mountain Biking

Join the rest of the nation in becoming obsessed with mountain biking, and try some nice beginner-level trails around Virginia Beach. If you’re already a Virginia Beach mountain biker, you surely have tried all these spots thus far, but as someone just starting out, there are some ideal locations to test your skills and build endurance. Though it can get expensive, you can find good bikes for a decent cost and be cautious on the trails to avoid replacing parts (to some extent). The better you get, the less you will break.

 

Road Biking

There are many paths for road bikers around Virginia Beach and into coastal North Carolina, as the area is optimal for taking a sunrise or sunset ride along the water. Cyclists can of brave the roads, of course, but during the busy summer months it is also good to have an alternative route. With a variety of scenery to choose from, you can find paved trails of varying lengths to keep you pedaling out of traffic.

 

Surfing

Virginia Beach is a beach, after all, which means there must be somewhere to paddle out and find some good waves. Though surfing may not be the most continual activity, it can be a great workout if you keep your arms and legs busy and don’t just sit on your board and wait. Unfortunately, the best breaks are not in this area, but you can travel north or south for access to more consistent waves (relatively speaking). Search around these general areas to get started, or plan a trip West.

 

Healthy Eating

Beach food plus the South equals not too many healthy options for people who care what kind of food is entering their body. But of course, people living in one of the healthiest cities in America must have some health foods available. There is a farmers’ market and a selection of organic restaurants and grocers to give you an escape from boardwalk novelty foods where we hope you don’t spend too much of your time dining (though surely there’s a smoothie place somewhere to set it off). In the pizza-at-the-beach tradition, there is a little organic pizza chain with a location in Virginia Beach as a healthy alternative. Here are a few spots to consider to stay healthy inside and out with smart food choices.

  • zpizza: Organic ingredients and beautifully made pizza, salads, and sandwiches with gluten-free options. 3376 Princess Anne Rd, (757) 368-9090.
  • Maroon’s Cafe and Catering: Completely organic cafe-style menu with coffee and juice bar. 1950 Glenn Mitchell Dr, (757) 689-4989.
  • Organic Food Depot: Natural and organic produce and grocery. 4301 Commuter Dr, (757) 467-8999.
  • Heritage Natural Market: Organic produce, herbs, raw foods, and natural grocery items. 984 Laskin Rd, (757) 428-0500.
  • Old Beach Farmers Market: Fresh, local produce and foods in an open-air market from May to September and occasional off-season dates. 19th St & Cypress Ave.
  • Croc’s 19th Street Bistro: The state’s first restaurant to be called “Virginia Green” with all sustainable practices. The menu is all organic, international food. 620 19th St, (757) 428-5444.
  • Fruitive: Juice bar with organic, fresh, mostly local foods of the cafe sort. Also a green restaurant. 1624 Laskin Rd Ste 740, (757) 351-0559.
  • Baladi Cafe: Mediterranean and Middle Eastern organic foods for everyone from vegans to meat eaters. Lots of veggie options. 626 Hilltop West Shopping Center, 757-425-8877.

 

Image: Business Week.

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