Japan is taking the threat of H1N1 very seriously, as evidenced by the new process arriving international flights must undergo.  I experienced this first hand when I went to Japan a few weeks ago to attend my niece's wedding.   As I prepared myself for the flight from the U.S. to Japan, H1N1 was not something that I was thinking about. …

The H1N1 virus is no longer front page news, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has not classified the current outbreak as a pandemic despite 40 countries collectively reporting over 10,000 cases, including 79 deaths. Most epidemiologists agree that widespread transmission of H1N1 is inevitable, and that a more virulent strain may emerge in the fall. This sobering prediction and…

Given the choice, would you rather buy an international health plan that is secure and subject to state regulators' standards, or one that is not? When it comes to international health plans, consumers often encounter products from "non-admitted" insurers that operate beyond the reach of U.S. state insurance regulations. These offshore plans--also referred to as surplus lines policies-are cheap but…

There's been a lot of attention paid to food allergies in the last couple years. But what happens to folks with food allergies when they travel overseas? At least 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies And 90% of all food allergy reactions are caused by 8 foods:  milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.  Country music star…

We've all heard the painful news that Lance Armstrong broke his collar bone in four places after crashing during a road race in Spain, but we are just as troubled that he traveled all the way home to Austin, Texas to receive medical care. As news stories have noted, Lance needs to take it easy after surgery to avoid the…

As the evidence mounts that the H1N1 virus is beginning to stall out at as a "near pandemic" (currently WHO Level 5), what have we learned so far? First, although intense media coverage has sparked the sales of face masks and engendered a great deal of anxiety, CDC and WHO officials and the federal government have managed the outbreak with…

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