Carlos R

Did you know that during the week of April 21-27 we celebrate National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)?

RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association has branded this year’s theme as #InfertilityUncovered. The week is designed to bring millions of Americans together to remove the obstacles to building a family. We want you to participate with us! That’s why we have put together a list of 9 different ways you can get involved this week.

1. Wear Orange

Orange has symbolized fertility since ancient times and is the infertility awareness color. When you wear it, you are showing support to your friends, family, and those in the infertility community.

2. Post on Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are great social media platforms that can help educate, spread support, and make others aware of issues concerning infertility.

You can post your own picture, an official NIAW picture, or even create your own meme! Just be sure to use the hashtasg #InfertilityUncovered, #NAIW, and #NationalInfertilityAwarenessWeek and feel free to tag us @smppharmacy

If you don’t know what to caption, try these examples:

#InfertilityUncovered means to me…
Infertility affects millions of people, it’s time to come together #NIAW

3. Attend an Awareness Walks

A “Walk of Hope” is a fundraising event where hundreds of people and businesses gather to walk one mile for infertility awareness. You can walk in an event that is already set up or you can create your own.

4. Participate in Local RESOLVE Events

There are many events nationwide that are available for you to participate in. They cover topics such as preserving eggs, “What to Expect When You Aren’t Expecting”, “Adoption, Donor & Surrogacy Connect-and Learn Seminar”, etc. Make sure to check out this list of events and attend one!

5. Start a Mini Fundraiser

Instead of asking for a birthday or holiday gift, you can ask family and friends to donate to the National Infertility Association.

You can also ask local restaurants to donate a percentage of their revenue for a night. Many restaurants already have fundraiser programs in place and you can invite your friends to support you.

6. Talk to Your Employer

If your family building options are limited because your employer doesn’t cover fertility treatments in their healthcare plan, speak up! Talking to your employer about getting insurance coverage for IVF might sound scary. But you deserve to be covered.

Bring the following statistics to their attention when you talk to your boss about healthcare coverage.

Benefits of Employers Providing IVF-Covered Insurance to Employees:
Employees are 2.5x less likely to miss time from work due to infertility.
Employees are 1.5x more likely to recommend their workplace as a great place to work and feel their employer cares about their well-being.
Employees are 2.5x more likely to believe their employer listens to their needs.
Employees are 2x more likely to believe their employer is family-friendly.

7. Write a Letter to Lawmakers

Family building should not be a partisan issue. So write a letter to your state’s lawmakers urging them to invest and protect in the families that they represent.

RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day for 2019 is May 15-16. They are partnering with American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) to lobby in Washington D.C. RESOLVE holds this annual event so you have a chance to make your voice heard.

8. Share Your Story

Sharing your infertility journey with other is a great way to spread awareness to others that have never experienced it. Sharing gives you a voice to express your concerns and be heard. It can connect you to the community and provide support to others. Read more stories about the infertility journey here.

9. Learn More About Infertility

Don’t be afraid to reach out to us! Our pharmacy specialists at SMP Pharmacy are here to answer your questions about fertility, medications, ART, and more.

Those are 9 ways you can get involved during National Infertility Awareness Week, which one of those will you be doing?

Carlos R9 Ways You Can Get Involved with National Infertility Awareness Week
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Have you been thinking about getting pregnant for a while now and finally you feel you are ready to adventure into the motherhood journey? Well, we have put together a list of questions you should ask yourself before taking action:

How Old Are You?

Healthy women under 30 years of age don’t need to worry about infertility unless they have been trying for over a year.

But women over the age of 30 should talk to their doctor because a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant decrease after women turn 30. If you are 30 years of age or older and have been trying to get pregnant for over six months without success, then you should talk to a specialist.

Women with the following health issues should see a doctor as soon as possible:

Irregular periods or no menstrual periods.
Painful periods.
Endometriosis.
Pelvic inflammatory disease.
More than one miscarriage.

However, no matter how old you are, it’s always a good idea to talk to a doctor before you start trying to get pregnant. Doctors can help you prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. They can also answer any questions you might have on fertility and give you tips on conceiving.

Are You Taking Care of the Controllable Factors that Contribute to Infertility from Your Lifestyle?

These factors contribute to infertility:
Stress.
Poor Diet.
Athletic Training.
Being Overweight or Underweight.
Tobacco Smoking.
Alcohol.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

It’s up to you to manage your stress, diet, physique, and your smoking and drinking habits to give you the best chances of getting pregnant.

Have You Considered These Factors?

Financial Assistance

Depending on your insurance, you may or may not be covered for fertility treatments. But don’t get discouraged by this. There are many grants and scholarships available to help out those in need of financial assistance.

Time

It takes time to make sure you are taking care of the controllable factors that contribute to infertility. Trying to get pregnant is a journey. So, put your best foot forward by keeping to a schedule that works for you.

Self Care

If you haven’t started a self-care routine, you should consider starting one. A healthy mind and body make the fertility journey smoother. Sometimes couples or individuals need to see a therapist or join a support group to gain the tools to cope with the stressors of trying to get pregnant. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Have You Explored All Your Options?

There are many different medications and assisted reproduction technologies (ART) that are common for doctors to recommend patients that suffer from infertility.

While you don’t need to know what each medicine does on the molecular level, you should have an understanding of its functions and side effects. Call SMP Pharmacy today if you need more information on these common medications.

Common medications include:

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) is an orally ingested medication that is typically used for women who have PCOS. It causes ovulation by acting on the pituitary gland.
Human menopausal gonadotropin or hMG (Menopur) is a type of medication that is injected to treat women who have ovulation problems because of their pituitary gland. It works by acting directly on the ovaries to stimulate ovulation.
Follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH (Gonal-F, Follistim) is similar to hMG. This injectable works to stimulate the ovaries.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH) analog is a type of medication that can be injected or administered by nasal spray. It is used for women who don’t ovulate regularly every month and works by acting on the pituitary gland.
Metformin (Glucophage) is a type of medication that is orally ingested. It is used to treat women who have insulin resistance and/or PCOS and works by lowering the levels of male hormones in the patient. Metformin is sometimes combined with clomiphene citrate or FSH.
Bromocriptine (Parlodel) is used to treat women who produce an excess of prolactin, a hormone that causes the production of milk.

It’s also important to consider the following types of assisted reproduction technologies (ART):

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most effective ART. First, Women are treated to produce multiple eggs. Next, the mature eggs are removed, and in a lab, they are put in a dish with healthy sperm. After the eggs are fertilized, 3 to 5 days, the embryo is implanted into the uterus.
Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) or Tubal embryo transfer is similar to IVF. Fertilization occurs outside of the body in a lab, but the embryo is placed into the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus.
Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) is a type of ART that transfers eggs and sperm into the fallopian tubes, meaning fertilization happens in the body.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a type of ART that transfers an egg into a woman’s uterus or fallopian tube after it has been injected with a single sperm.

Conclusion
Talk with your partner and health care provider about the options that are right for you. Consider the amount of time, money, and effort you are willing to put forth into becoming pregnant and be willing to reach out to the right resources for help.

Additional Sources:

SMP FAQ Infertility – Questions? Ask Jenny Now!

Carlos R4 Questions about Infertility You Should Answer Truthfully
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A Man’s Guide to Supporting His Partner Through Infertility

Useful Tips for Men to Support Your Partner During Infertility

The fertility journey is stressful for everyone involved which can cause tension in your relationship. However, it doesn’t have to. You can practice the following tips to bridge the communication gap and bring you closer.
Be There Physically and Emotionally
Come to doctor’s appointments. Make time to go to doctor’s offices. It’s one way to show your support and shows that you are invested.

Talk it out.

You already know that communication is an integral part of any relationship, but it’s important to emphasize it. You and your significant other should talk about the limits you are willing to take to get pregnant. (These limits can always be re-evaluated later).

Ask how you can support her.

Ask how the treatment is making her feel. Ask if she is
concerned about what the doctor(s) say. Also, let her know what you think about the process and share your opinion.

Don’t bottle up your anxiety or grief.

The path to pregnancy contains many hurdles. If you suppress your emotions about complications in the process or your anxiety over financial issues, then you are doing yourself and your partner a disservice. As men, it might not be your first instinct to share your emotions, but sharing can help your wife to know that she isn’t the only one burdened. Sharing your fears makes her feel like she isn’t alone and allows you to support her better.

Show your support by alleviating other responsibilities.

Taking care of chores that you wouldn’t usually do like laundry, cooking, or cleaning can all be ways to show you care that won’t go unnoticed. Chris Wohl, an infertility advocate who was featured on MTV’s True Life “I’m Desperate to Have a Baby,” writes in his blog post that he supported his wife by keeping track of and scheduling doctors appointments. He even administered her shots!

Don’t try to “fix” her.

It’s tempting to try to fix your spouse’s problems, especially when they are so emotionally charged. Don’t! She doesn’t need you to give solutions, only to empathize with her by listening. An excellent way to show your support is through active listening (hearing what the other person has to say and paraphrasing it back as a response).

For example: If your spouse tells you after your doctor’s appointment, “I’m not sure what we should do. There are so many options.” You might practice active listening by saying, “It sounds like you are overwhelmed by all the options there are for treatment. Is that right?”

Lastly, don’t make a promise on anything you can’t keep.

While promising that she will get pregnant one day comes from a genuine place, you can’t guarantee it. Instead, offer comfort by telling her that you will be by her side no matter what.

Research

It is essential for men to come alongside their wives and research what methods are best for their situation. Learn about diagnostic tests and treatment options for both men and women. Research ways to finance if your health insurance doesn’t cover treatment. Read our blog posts about other fertility topics such as common medications and their side effects, the chances of IVF success, and fertility foods. Ask your doctor about any specific concerns you might have during your next appointment.
Seek Out Help if You Need
Know your limits and seek professional counseling (single or couple) if needed. Expanding your family shouldn’t destroy your relationship; it should strengthen it. The National Fertility Association (RESOLVE) has many support groups across the United States as well as an online community. Anna Slager, a RESOLVE group host, writes, ”Infertility can be an alienating experience. Many of us tend to suffer in silence. I’m grateful that with the help of my support group, I didn’t have to.”

Conclusion

You can support your partner by being present – physically and emotionally. Talk about fears and concerns that you might have and be willing to help alleviate other responsibilities, but most importantly listen. Keep up with research so you can help make the right decision for your family. Join a support group or get professional counseling if needed.

Carlos RA Man’s Guide to Supporting His Partner Through Infertility
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Compounding is the pharmaceutical practice of creating personalized medicine.

It can provide solutions to those with allergies to ingredients found in common medications, treatment to those who need a different dose than common shelf medication, or access to those that need a hard to find drug.

Simply put, by creating medicine that’s customized for you, compounding closes the gap between what you need and what big commercial pharmacies can provide.

The Role of Compounding In Hormone Therapy (HT)

Compounding medication is an option for those that are going through hormone therapy (HT). Doctors prescribe bioidentical hormones for this type of treatment to supplement the body when specific hormones are not being produced enough. Bioidentical hormones match the molecular structure of the hormones found in your body. There are several different compounds found in bioidentical hormone creams:

  1. Estradiol
  2. Estriol
  3. Progesterone
  4. Testosterone
  5. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

Compounded Medication Provide These General Benefits and are Important for Women’s Hormonal Health Because…

  • Medications can be made in different strengths. Compounding allows you to find the specific dose that the large chain pharmacies don’t sell. They can customize something that is right for you which is vital for those going through hormone therapy. Each woman is different and deserves to be treated so. Levels of hormones vary from person to person. The most significant benefit of compounding medication for hormonal health is that a dose is made just for you.
  • Medications can be customized. Pharmacists can use ingredients that don’t trigger an allergic response. For those with allergies to certain dyes, flavorings, gluten, or lactose, your medications can be customized to prevent sensitivity to a reaction.
  • Compounding can provide alternative ways of consumption. You won’t have to suffer from the horrible taste of some medications. Your medications can be converted to liquids, pills, topical creams, or injectables. They can even be flavored!
  • Sometimes compounding your medicine can be cheaper than commercial products. Depending on the medication, your pharmacy can combine several medications into one.

Compounded Medications are Used for These Hormone-Related Conditions:

  • Infertility: Many women turn to specialized medicine to induce and maintain pregnancy. Compounded medicine can be used in In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and other Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) treatments.
  • Menopause: Menopause is clinically diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 months without her period. It is a natural process but can include physical symptoms. Compounded medication may be used to relieve the symptoms if other medications are not adequate.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Factors that play a role in this hormonal condition include an excess of insulin, excess of androgen, low-grade inflammation, and heredity. Women with PCOS experience infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods and develop follicles that prevent eggs from being released. Compounded medicine can restore hormones to a natural level.
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: POI is diagnosed when a woman’s ovaries stop working normally before she is 40 years old. It is not to be confused with premature menopause which is when your period stops before age 40. With POI, you will experience an irregular menstrual period and sometimes can occur as early as a woman’s teen years.

Conclusion

Compounding medication can help women going through hormone therapy or those looking to become pregnant. The largest advantage of compounding is that it can be customized for you. Talk to your endocrinologist and see if compounding medication is right for you.

Are you or someone you know in need of compounded medication? Give SMP Pharmacy a call.

Carlos RWhy Compounding Your Medications is Important for Women’s Hormonal Health?
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endometriosis
Questions? #AskJenny

Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue that lines inside of the uterus — the endometrium — grows outside of your womb and on other areas in your body where it doesn’t belong.

Endometriosis is often found in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue outside of your uterus. However, sometimes we can also find in the vagina, cervix, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum. Rarely, endometriosis appears in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain, and skin.

Endometriosis affects more than 11% of American women between 15 and 44. It is especially common among women in their 30s and 40s and may make it harder to get pregnant.

Can endometriosis cause infertility?

Although it is possible for women who have endometriosis to get pregnant, it definitely makes it harder. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states that this condition: may affect as many as one in every two women with infertility.

For pregnancy to occur, an egg must be released from an ovary, travel through the neighboring fallopian tube, become fertilized by a sperm cell and attach itself to the uterine wall to begin development.

The inflammation and irritation caused by the endometriosis can affect fertility. Inflammation of the fimbria, which picks up the egg and transports it into the fallopian tube, causes swelling and scarring so the egg may not reach its destination. The condition can also damage the sperm or the egg, and may also block the fallopian tubes and keep the egg and sperm from uniting.

However, women with mild to moderate endometriosis can still conceive and carry a pregnancy to term without complications. Doctors advise women experiencing this not to delay having children since the condition tends to worsen over time.

Overcoming infertility due to endometriosis?

While endometriosis can prevent a woman from getting pregnant, by treating the condition itself, patients find that their fertility chances can improve. Although no doctor can guarantee that deep-excision surgery to treat this issue will be a success, pairing it with any of the following assisted reproductive technologies (ART), can give the hope of bearing children:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): the most common form of ART, in which a woman’s eggs are collected and fertilized by sperm in a lab, then implanted in her uterus. Learn more about IVF success rates

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): This method injects a healthy sperm cell directly into the uterus to ensure implantation with proper timing during a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Symptoms of endometriosis

It typically comes with pelvic pain, which is often associated with the menstrual period. Many women experience cramping during their menstrual period. Women with endometriosis usually describe menstrual pain that’s far worse than usual. They also tend to report that the pain increases over time.

Other signs and symptoms of endometriosis can include:

  • Pelvic pain and cramping before your period and several days into your period. Pelvic pain may come along with lower back and abdominal pain.
  • Pain during or after intercourse.
  • Pain with bowel movements or urination.
  • Excessive bleeding during or between periods.
  • Other symptoms may include bloating or nausea, fatigue, constipation, and diarrhea, especially during menstrual periods.

Are you at risk of developing endometriosis?

Several factors might put you at a higher risk of developing endometriosis. Here is a comprehensive list for you to be aware of:

  1. Starting your period at an early age.
  2. Going through menopause at an older age.
  3. Never have given birth.
  4. Short menstrual cycles (less than 27 days).
  5. Having higher levels of estrogen in your body.
  6. Low body mass index (BMI).
  7. Having relatives who have had this condition.
  8. Uterine abnormalities.
  9. Heavy alcohol consumption.

Symptoms end temporarily with pregnancy and end permanently with menopause unless you’re taking estrogen.

When should you see a doctor?

If you have experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above, you should pay a visit to your doctor or see your gynecologist, who specializes in the health of your ovaries, uterus, and other parts of your female reproductive system.

Although there is no cure for this condition, medicine and surgery may be able to help you cope with the symptoms.

Sources

Carlos RWhat is endometriosis and how does it affect fertility and your ability to get pregnant?
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pregnancy-IVF
SMP is your number one source of unbiased infertility information. 

Are you considering In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) for the first time? Given the high cost of IVF,  you’re probably wondering what the chances of having a successful IVF pregnancy are.

Thanks to advances in technology, IVF has become generally successful. If we include women of all ages, the odds of a live birth are between 34 and 42 percent throughout three cycles.

IVF Success Rates

IVF success rates are reported according to a woman’s age since as a woman gets older, the IVF success rates go down if she’s using her own eggs.

  • For women younger than 35, the percentage of live births per egg retrieval* is 54.4 percent.
  • Women ages 35 to 37, the rate of live births per egg retrieval* is 42 percent.
  • For women ages 38 to 40, the rate of live births per egg retrieval* is 26.6 percent.
  • Women ages 41 to 42, the rate of live births per egg retrieval* is 13.3 percent. 
  • Ages 43 and up, the percentage of live births per egg retrieval* is 3.9 percent.

*It’s important to note that these numbers are not per cycle, these are the IVF success rates nationally, when using non-donor eggs, per egg retrieval.

One Cycle vs Multiple Cycles

According to a study, women who conceived with IVF treatment went through an average of 2.7 cycles. Additionally, the odds of success for women all ages after three IVF cycles were between 34 and 42 percent.

Most doctors recommend that you plan on doing multiple cycles since this increases the odds of a successful pregnancy

Wondering what your odds for success with IVF are?

IVF success varies from person to person, and it depends on many different factors. Some factors you can control: maintaining a healthy weight, staying away from cigarettes, whether or not donor eggs (or sperm) will be used, and the competency of the IVF clinic or lab. However, there are others you cannot control, like genetics, your age, prior pregnancies, etc. Read more on the five success factors to consider when going through IVF.

Looking at national averages will give you an idea of the success rate you might want to expect, but it won’t be an accurate predictor of your probabilities.

The good news is that the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) has created a patient predictor tool that will give you more personal odds depending on specific factors you need to input like your age, height and weight, how many pregnancies you’ve had, your cause of infertility, and whether you plan on using your own eggs.

The best part of all? The tool is entirely free to use.

Also, you can visit SART’s website to get a more accurate number for the national success rates for IVF or find specific rates for individual clinics.

Having said this, IVF success rates are always unique to the individual and there are some variables that you can manipulate in order to improve your odds.

Carlos RDo you know your chances of IVF pregnancy success?
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IVF-Factors
Factors to Consider for IVF

IVF success factors to consider

IVF can be a complex process, here are some lifestyle factors to consider when deciding to go though in vitro fertilization:

Age

There is an undeniable correlation between age and IVF success rates. According to the CDC statistic center for In Vitro Fertilization, patients age 35 have an embryo live delivery success rate of 27%, needing at least 5 embryos to have an 80% chance of success. Patients age 38 have an embryo live delivery success rate of 23%, needing at least 6 embryos to have an 80% chance of success. Finally patients age 41 have an embryo live delivery success rate of 18%, needing at least 8 embryos to be above 80% chance of success. The number of eggs needed to achieve this amount of healthy embryos varies from 8 to 26 depending on the age.

Fertility issue

Fertility issues most commonly responsive to IVF are:

    • Ovulation issues

 

    • Endometriosis

 

    • Fallopian tube blockages

 

  • Low sperm count

Issues less likely to respond to IVF are:

    • Uterine abnormalities

 

    • Fibroid tumors

 

    • Ovarian dysfunction

 

    • Dual #infertility (both partners struggling with separate infertility issues)

 

  • Long term infertility

Former pregnancy

Previous pregnancies could increase the likelihood of success during your IVF treatment. On the other hand, pregnancies that ended on a #miscarriage might in some cases lower the chances of success. In this case professional help may be necessary to identify the causes behind the miscarriage and whether or not is is likely to affect your current treatment.

Donor eggs and/or sperm

Couples may choose anonymous of known #donors during their IVF process to increase their success rates on specific situations.   

Lifestyle

Smoking is detrimental to fertility in both men and women and should never happen during the IVF process. When a woman is over or under weight, it may also have a significant influence on success from the absorption of fertility medicines to the ability to carry a baby to term. People going through an IVF treatment must consider making some life style changes to improve chances of success.

 

For more information on CDC data on In vitro fertilization success click HERE

 

Jenny SMP fertility pharmacist IVF

Questions? #AskJenny

Carlos R5 success factors to consider when going through IVF
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SMP Makes Inc5000 and Receives 10-Time INC Honoree Distinction 

SMP Pharmacy Solutions is thrilled to announce its recognition as one of the fastest-growing companies in America. This award from Inc. 5000 was received with great excitement from all of the employees who work tirelessly to support our patients with the highest standards of quality service. SMP Fertility, Compounding, Specialty and Retail teams work together to achieve our goal of delivering best-in-class results, not only for our patients, but also for each of the doctors, drug developers and strategic allies who have joined us along our journey. We believe that we need to serve as an example, and this is one step in our commitment to achieving continued growth in each of the areas we service and supporting the communities that we call home.

“If entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of an economy, consider Inc.’s ranking of 5,000 companies America’s circulatory system. Our annual report looks at these fast-growing innovators–and how they made our list. Collectively, the companies on this year’s list amassed $206.2 billion in revenue in 2017, up 158 percent from $79.8 billion in 2014. Hover and click below for more on this year’s Inc. 5000–including the top 10 in greater detail”. -Inc. Media

How the 2018 Inc. 5000 Companies Were Selected

Companies on the 2018 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage revenue growth from 2014 to 2017. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2014. They must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent–not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies–as of December 31, 2017. (Since then, some on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2014 is $100,000; the minimum for 2017 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Note: Growth rates used to determine company rankings were calculated to two decimal places. In the case of ties, the companies with more revenue were placed higher.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

About SMP Pharmacy Solutions
SMP Pharmacy Solutions (SMP) is an award-winning pharmacy that provides Fertility, Specialty, Compounding and Retail services nationwide. Since 2003, management has grown SMP from a local retail pharmacy to a nationwide specialty pharmacy with licenses in 45 states and strategic partnerships with leading manufacturers and MSOs. Acting as a trusted liaison between the patient, doctor’s office, drug manufacturer, and insurance provider, SMP has become one of the top and most trusted independent pharmacies in the country.

About Inc. Media
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 15,000,000 today.  For more information, visit www.inc.com.

For detailed information on our INC5000 ranking and previous years achievements please click here.

 

Carlos RSMP Makes INC 5000 10 Time Honoree Distinction
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Health Insurance Marketplace

health insurance marketplace enrollment 2018

health insurance marketplace enrollment 2018

If you haven’t applied for insurance on HealthCare.gov before, here’s what you need to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace (sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange”).

1. 2019 Open Enrollment runs from November 1 through December 15, 2018

  • Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2019.
  • After December 15, you can enroll in 2019 health insurance only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

2. The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people who don’t have health coverage

If you don’t have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered.

  • If you have job-based insurance: You can buy a plan through the Marketplace, but you’ll pay full price unless your employer’s insurance doesn’t meet certain standards. Most job-based plans do meet the standards.
  • If you have Medicare: You can’t switch to Marketplace insurance, supplement your coverage with a Marketplace plan, or buy a Marketplace dental plan. Learn about Medicare and the Marketplace.

3. What you pay for insurance depends on your income

Your savings depend on your expected household income for the year. Over 8 in 10 people who apply are eligible to save.

Get a quick idea if you’ll save. Based on your income estimate, we’ll tell you if you qualify for:

A health insurance plan with savings based on your income

  • You may qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly insurance bill, and for extra savings on out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments.
  • The plans are offered by private insurance companies with a range of prices and features.

Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Medicaid and CHIP provide free or low-cost coverage to millions of people and families with limited income, disabilities, and some other situations.

4. You can apply for coverage 5 ways

Starting November 1, you can apply any way that works for you:

  • Online
  • By phone
  • With in-person help
  • Through an agent or broker
  • With a paper application

Use this checklist to gather what you’ll need to complete your application (PDF).

Carlos R5 Things You Need to Know About the Health Insurance Marketplace
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