The Rise of the Beard Roller

During the 19th century, beards were quite literally mandatory among adult men of all ages. 

Males capable of growing facial hair sported either a full beard, whiskers, or mutton chop sideburns. Beards were so popular in the 1800s that suppliers of wigs for women also offered fake whiskers, full beards, and mustaches to men who couldn’t grow facial hair.

Beards stopped trending during the Roaring 20s and didn’t return to the mainstream male face until the 1950s. Beatniks and the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s cultivated the popularity of the beard before and after the Vietnam War. However, by the mid-1980s, beards were no longer fashionable. Scruffy hippies of the previous decade metamorphosed into clean-shaven, well-dressed, Wall Street types. 

Surprise! It’s the 21st century and beards are back in style. We’ll leave the sociologists to determine why men’s facial hairstyles change from one decade to another and concentrate on the current passion for beard care products and tips for growing a beautiful, full beard.

What is a Beard Roller?

The typical beard roller resembles a handheld paint roller that you actually roll over your beard. But it won’t change the color of your beard. Instead, the roller contains rows of tiny, stainless steel or titanium needles that gently penetrate the outer layer of your skin. The science behind the ability of a beard roller to stimulate beard growth involves the same science behind microneedling–activation of skin cells and follicles to increase collagen production and phases of hair growth.

The term “derma roller” also refers to beard rollers. Initially used in the 1990s for reducing acne scars, derma rollers quickly came under scrutiny by dermatologists who noted the similarity between derma rollers and microneedling. As more men began using derma rollers on their facial skin to promote hair growth, the makers of derma rollers renamed them beard rollers for advertising purposes.

Developed years ago as a general skin improvement procedure, microneedling is now widely accepted as an effective method for treating androgenic alopecia (male and female pattern hair loss) and alopecia areata. When a beard roller is rolled over the skin, needles between 0.25mm and 0.5mm in size puncture the topmost layer of your skin, called the stratum corneum. Consisting of constantly shedding skin cells, the stratum corneum is almost as thin as eyelid skin and provides protection for skin layers directly underneath.

What Does Research Say? Do Beard Rollers Work?

While the efficacy of microneedling to treat hair loss is supported by clinical studies, research regarding beard rollers correlating with beard growth is ongoing. 

One study found that derma rollers improved hair growth in men with androgenic alopecia who failed to respond to treatment with finasteride and minoxidil. In this study, researchers refer to derma rollers as “scalp” rollers that contained titanium needles instead of stainless steel needles. They also suggested that scalp rollers could promote formation of new hair in men with male-pattern baldness after eight to 10 sessions with a derma roller.

Most studies investigating the effectiveness of derma rollers indicate that a combination of minoxidil (Rogaine) and microneedling may help increase beard growth slightly. 

Alternately, using derma rollers and minoxidil on 100 men with androgenic alopecia significantly increased scalp hair growth and was “statistically superior” to a control group who used minoxidil only.

FDA-approved topical minoxidil is frequently prescribed as an off-label treatment for alopecia areata, hair shaft disorders, and improving beard and eyebrow growth. Compared to placebos, minoxidil dramatically enhanced beard growth with minimal side effects, such as redness, itching, and minor inflammation.

Beard Hair and Scalp Hair: What’s the Difference?

Although minor differences exist between beard and scalp hair, both respond positively to minoxidil and derma rollers. For example, beard hair tends to be thicker and stiffer than scalp hair due to beard hair having more cuticle layers. Additional cuticle layers increase the diameter of beard hair, which is one reason why beards are sometimes difficult to shave off without irritating the skin.

The growth rate of beard hair and scalp hair is similar, averaging about 0.3 mm per day. However, hair growth rate also depends on genetics, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Also, did you know that some studies indicate white beard hair grows faster than brown, black, or red beard hair? Dermatologists aren’t sure why but think that natural pigmentation of beard hair somehow affects follicle health and hair growth cycles.

How to Safely Use Derma Rollers on Your Beard

Needle size determines how often you can use a beard roller. For example, only use beard rollers with needles that are 0.5 mm once or twice every seven days. Beard rollers with smaller needles can be used three to four times a week. Always give your skin at least 48 hours to complete most of the healing process necessary to stimulate collagen production.

Other tips include:

  • Don’t press down on your skin with a beard roller, regardless of its needle size. Making your skin bleed won’t make your beard grow any faster. Just apply enough pressure to allow needles to quickly and gently puncture the skin.
  • Start out using a derma roller with the fewest needles. This allows your skin to become tolerant of the microneedling process and reduces skin pulling.
  • Use a derma roller on a clean, dry beard.
  • When beard-rolling cheeks, puff out your cheeks to facilitate movement of the roller.
  • Move the beard roller in vertical and horizontal directions. Don’t go over the same section of beard more than two or three times.
  • Do not use a beard roller on skin irritated by acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis. It will spread bacteria over your face and worsen existing skin problems.
  • Clean beard rollers after every use with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Regardless of needle size or frequency of use, most derma rollers need to be replaced every three to four months.

According to studies, minoxidil may increase the ability of derma rollers to improve beard growth. Rogaine (5% minoxidil) and generic versions are available as a safe and effective over-the-counter medication for treating thinning hair and hair loss.

Can You Buy Medical Marijuana Online?

Marijuana has a complex history in the United States. 

It was once widely used among the upper class and immigrants from Latin America, but anti-immigrant hysteria led to fifty years of people being thrown in jail for marijuana possession. 

Now, people are pushing back, and most states allow marijuana use in some form. However, the country still has a complicated patchwork of marijuana laws that vary from one state to another. In some, you can use marijuana for medical purposes with a prescription from a doctor. Other states have legalized marijuana entirely, to the point that you can order marijuana online. Some states still prohibit using marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, though that’s unlikely to last. 

The entire country is on a steady march towards legalization, especially as younger generations come of age and begin exercising political power. As such, it’s possible that some states will loosen their regulations and that others will legalize marijuana altogether in a few years time. 

As of 2021, however, here’s what you can expect if you want to buy recreational or medical marijuana online. 

Can You Buy Medical Marijuana Online?

Ordering medical marijuana online tends to be somewhat incidental to physical laws. For instance, states that have fully legalized marijuana tend to have no restrictions on buying online whatsoever for recreational or medicinal use. States that only allow you to use marijuana with a prescription can be more strict, either by requiring greater verification or not allowing online purchases. However, you should be able to purchase medical marijuana online in any state where medicinal use is legal.

The major caveat to buying medical marijuana online is that you need to make sure you order from a dispensary within your own state, as crossing state lines with a controlled substance is illegal. This is one of the major hurdles that federal prohibition creates, even in legal states or when moving between two legal states. 

In states where marijuana is illegal, it’s naturally impossible to order online. It may be possible to order Delta 8 THC or other technically-legal substances in these states, but this is often hazardous and inadvisable. 

Where is it Legal to Buy Marijuana Online

In states that have fully legalized marijuana, you can usually buy from dispensaries within your state online with no trouble. Online payment and in-person pickup are an option, as is online delivery. As of autumn 2021, the following states have legalized marijuana for recreational use and allow online purchase of the substance. 

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Guam
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.

In the above states, you don’t need a marijuana prescription at all to use it recreationally or medicinally. However, states that require a prescription are different cases that need to be talked about separately. 

Can You Get a Marijuana Prescription Online? 

Until recently, it would have been virtually impossible to get a marijuana prescription online. However, the SARS-COV-2-19 pandemic has driven a renaissance in telemedicine that makes it possible to receive much of your medical assistance from the comfort of your home. In most cases, receiving a telehealth prescription from your doctor should be grounds for using medical marijuana. Of course, this isn’t a rubber-stamp process and will be at the discretion of your doctor. States that allow the use of medical marijuana with a prescription include:

  • North Dakota
  • New Hampshire
  • Minnesota 
  • Louisiana
  • Florida
  • Alabama
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri
  • West Virginia
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • Maryland

Once you have your prescription, though, can you get marijuana for your prescription online? This is where it becomes more complicated, and you need to dig into the laws on a state-by-state basis. In some states the laws aren’t clear when it comes to online purchase and shipping, and others banned ordering medical marijuana online until recently only to revise the law to allow this practice. 

While all of these states allow conditional marijuana usage, they vary when it comes to online purchasing. For instance, Minnesota currently does not allow people to order medical marijuana online and have it delivered, although pickup is permissible. This is also the case in New Hampshire, Alabama, and Ohio. In other states, the law does not explicitly forbid or allow delivery and online medical marijuana purchases exist in a grey area.

There are seven medical marijuana states where online purchase and homeside delivery are explicitly legal. Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware allow people to order marijuana to their home from a dispensary. Most of these states came around to allowing delivery due to health concerns during the pandemic, and the same pressure may inspire other states to change their policy. 

Where is it Illegal to Order Medical Marijuana Online? 

As mentioned, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Alabama, and Ohio explicitly forbid the delivery of medical marijuana. However, there are also the states that prohibit marijuana entirely. Some are so dedicated to opposing cannabis that they continue to prohibit CBD, even as the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products on the federal level. 

These are the states where there is no legal avenue to obtain any sort of medical marijuana, either via online purchase or in person:

  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Kansas
  • Nebraska
  • Wisconsin

Each of these states have considerable political forces working towards legalization, and it’s likely that they’ll begin opening the door for medical marijuana in the future. For the time being, though, possession and use remain illegal. The only options for marijuana in these states is using a chemically similar product, such as Delta 8 THC.

3 Ways To Get Hearing Aids Online

About 2% of older adults have hearing loss that results in a disruption to their livelihoods. If one or more essential tasks have become difficult for you as a result of hearing loss, buying a hearing aid can make your life easier and far more enjoyable. 

But as anyone who’s gone through the process before knows, buying a quality, brand-new device can be expensive.

One popular way to cut down on overhead costs and doctor’s visits is to get hearing aids online. Here’s how to navigate the process of getting hearing aids online for yourself.

Reasons To Buy Hearing Aids Online

Buying online is convenient and doesn’t require you to book a visit with an audiologist. In the post-COVID-19 era, many older patients with hearing deficiencies may actively avoid making unnecessary doctor’s visits. Visiting with a qualified audiologist, however, is often essential for obtaining the necessary tests and diagnoses that you need to determine which hearing aid is appropriate for you, so skipping a visit shouldn’t be seen as a true benefit of buying online. 

So, why should I buy online if I still have to visit an audiologist? For most, the answer is cost savings. Hearing aids can be expected to cost between hundreds and thousands of dollars. Purchasing online is often the most direct way to buy, and doing so can save you a lot on overhead costs. Dealing with customer service is frequently easier than dealing with audiology clinics for minor fixes and repairs, so buying online can save you both time and money. 

Trade-Offs When Buying Hearing Aids Online

There are, of course, many tradeoffs you make when you get hearing aids online. There are thousands of hearing aids available for purchase online, but a much smaller number of reputable brands with quality products. Brands making outlandish claims about their products’ effectiveness at treating various types of hearing loss are sometimes convincing enough that customers spend years fumbling with faulty technology before opting for a higher quality product. 

Customer Service and Maintenance

When purchasing a hearing aid product online from a relatively unknown company, you’re subjecting yourself to the limits of the customer service of the company in question. While brand-name products are generally expensive, they often feature excellent warranties and customer service and many can be taken into an audiologist’s office for repair or maintenance.

Both brand-name and private-name hearing aids can be found online, so finding the right product from the convenience of your keyboard can sometimes be confusing. Older individuals unaccustomed to searching online may prefer to simply visit with a doctor.


Depending on the type of hearing aid you need, fit can be extremely important to the proper function of your device. In many cases, an improper fit can render a product virtually useless. When buying online, you usually have two options for fitting: buying a product that purports not to require fitting and using a company that provides service as part of the purchase. 

The types of hearing aids currently available include:

  • Open fit
  • Behind the ear
  • In the ear
  • In the canal
  • Completely in the canal

Except for open-fit products, all hearing devices need to be fitted before use. Though open-fit hearing aids don’t require a molded fitting, they can be uncomfortable and may not work properly with your ears. For the vast majority of hearing aids and patients, an unfitted hearing aid is a poor investment. Finding a company that offers either remote or in-person customer service, therefore, is extremely important for getting the most out of your purchase.

Companies that sell adjustable hearing aids online may take different approaches to fitting. Some simply provide fitting tools and supplies, while others allow for minor adjustments in the design of their products. The best choice for you is a matter of preference.

Hearing Tests for Proper Calibration

While laws have fluctuated over the past several years regarding hearing tests, obtaining a hearing test from an audiologist is nevertheless critical for ensuring that your device is properly calibrated to your hearing and circumstances. While some companies accept hearing tests that were performed on a computer at home, these tests are unreliable and are likely to result in a faulty product.

Ways To Find Devices

There are a daunting number of companies online that sell hearing aids. As you should at some point have been in communication with a medical professional at the time of purchase, however, you should have some idea of the type of hearing aid you need, as well as other important personal considerations. 

1. Amazon

Amazon might not be the first name you associate with reliable products, as news of various counterfeit supplements and dubious copies of other items have recently emerged in the news. Fortunately, most of these problems are fairly easy to sort out by simply verifying that the seller listed on a given amazon page is linked to and from a company website.

Obviously, Amazon isn’t a producer of medical devices, but it does have a strong return policy for virtually all of the products listed on the site. If you buy from Amazon and find that a product doesn’t suit your needs, you can return it easily. Keep in mind that buying and returning products can cost you in time and shipping. If the time and money you lose buying and returning items don’t seem worth it, consider making a purchase in person.

2. Individual Company Websites

As Amazon is basically an intermediary for other companies, a more direct way to get hearing aids online is through individual company websites for the products you’re interested in. Since every company is likely to differ in the warranties, guarantees, shipping times, and return policies they offer, it’s impossible to say whether buying from an individual company is preferable to buying devices from Amazon or other major retailers without examining specific examples. Here are a few of the best companies to buy hearing aids from.


Eargo is a respected name in mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss. Eargo products are relatively expensive, but they are also among the most invisible of all popular hearing aids and come with a 45-day guarantee. The company also guarantees fast shipping and links customers to a doctor for necessary adjustments. The company’s support is about as robust as any hearing aid company that does business online. Importantly, its website makes no dramatic or unrealistic claims about its products, and this is always a good sign. 


Otofonix’s website features several products that range in price from a few hundred to well over a thousand dollars, depending on company deals and discounts. Each product is intended to treat a different range of hearing loss, so the full spectrum of choices is likely to satisfy the majority of customers. All products can be fitted to some extent with different tube and dome options, and the company hosts a support line to help with fitting.

Lexie Hearing

Lexie Hearing is a relatively new company whose mission statement is that it seeks to fix “everything that is broken with hearing aids.” Lexie’s devices are fairly discreet and feature Bluetooth settings so volume and pitch can be adjusted from an app on your phone. Interestingly, the app also features a fitting guide and proprietary hearing test to diagnose the extent of your hearing loss.

The company does not accept professional audiograms, which may be a red flag for some. It does, however, provide a video chat with a support specialist when needed. Overall, Lexie Hearing is probably the most comprehensive solution to hearing loss that you can find online, as purchasing, testing, and fitting can all be done remotely. This convenience, however, may come at a marginal cost in efficacy.

3. From Your Doctor’s Office

While your audiologist is likely to have some hearing aids in stock, it is an increasingly common practice to have hearing aids shipped to you from your doctor’s office. This is often the most expensive way to purchase hearing aids, but it allows you to verify the quality of a given product through the expertise of your doctor. It also gives you the chance to ask whether your doctor can adjust or calibrate devices, which can save you money in the long run when the time comes to repair or replace a device.

It’s important to remember that all hearing aids undergo extremely rigorous conditions when being used. As hearing aids essentially live on you at all times, they become exposed to atmospheric conditions, physical impacts, vibrations, UV rays, heat, and cold. This is why every device eventually fails. When considering the cost of a particular model, understand that money spent now can save you on costs later. Additionally, having the option to adjust or repair a device through your doctor’s office or a customer service line can be worth a lot over time.

When you get hearing aids online, you’re investing in your quality of life. There are deals to be had, but there are also scams and predatory companies to watch out for. Use careful discretion and speak with a professional whenever possible.


Medicare, Medicaid, and Insurance Explained

Health costs in the United States are typically covered in one of three ways: Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance. Which is right for you depends on many different factors, including income and age, and you may utilize all of them at one point or another in life. 

Though it’s easy to confuse Medicaid and Medicare in particular, the differences between the three options are clear when laid out. 

Put most simply, Medicare vs Medicaid is:

  • Medicaid covers low-income people of any age. 
  • Medicare covers seniors over 65 and some disabled individuals. 
  • Private insurance can be purchased by anyone.

Here are the details on Medicare vs Medicaid vs private insurance.


Medicaid is a federal and state assistance program designed to serve people who have a low income. It covers nearly all medical services a person might need and usually leaves little for its users to pay out of pocket. Because it’s a program that has both state and federal oversight, how it’s run varies from state to state. The federal government establishes guidelines and then state and local governments operate within those guidelines, with the ability to choose particulars as they see fit. 

Who Is Eligible?

Individuals with low income, pregnant women and children, and people who have disabilities or are 65 or older may all qualify for Medicaid. Guidelines for Medicaid vary from state to state and are based on a number of factors, the primary being household income or how much money all members in a home are bringing in.

In California, for instance, a family with four members could not have a household income that exceeds $33,534 in order to qualify for Medicaid. In Texas, an individual could not have an income that exceeds $25,503 to qualify. Check with your state agency to see what the income guidelines for your area are.

For children whose household income is too high for Medicaid but too low for traditional insurance, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP covers costs of medical and dental care for uninsured children up to the age of 19.

How Can You Apply?

To apply for Medicaid, you need to contact your state Medicaid agency where you are a resident, or you may fill out an application online through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Protocols may vary between areas and ways of applying.

If you decide to apply in person, your state agency may be called the Department of Social Services, the Department of Health, the Department of Insurance or another name entirely depending on where you reside. Some states require that applicants apply in person, while others allow you to submit your application through the mail, over the telephone, online or even at other organizations in the community such as health centers.

Regardless of how you apply, you will likely be asked for several pieces of documentation. These can vary between states and situations, but a typical list includes:

  • Proof of the applicant’s date of birth, such as a birth certificate
  • Proof of the applicant’s U.S. citizenship or legal residence, such as a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, green card or employment authorization
  • Proof of income earned and unearned, such as pay stubs, retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income
  • Proof of resources and assets, such as bank statements, stock statements, property and life insurance policies

Your agency may require other documentation, so check beforehand to make sure you have the proper papers with you to apply. 

If you are using the Health Insurance Marketplace to apply, you may do so over the phone or online. When you use one of these means of applying, you can get your results back very quickly. 

You can also complete a paper application and send it in. If you choose to do this, though, you will have to wait a period of two weeks or more to hear back about eligibility. 

Also, there are only certain periods of the year when the Marketplace is open for enrollment. If you need health insurance because of a significant change such as a job loss, though, there are special enrollment periods you can qualify for that allow you to enroll outside of the typical period. 

What Does Medicaid Cover?

As a state-administered program, what services are covered under Medicaid vary from state to state. Those that are fully covered in one state may be only partially covered in another or unavailable entirely.

Some benefits are mandatory within the federal guidelines. These include physician services, both inpatient and outpatient hospital services, home health services, and X-ray and laboratory services. Examples of benefits that are optional are prescription drugs, physical and occupational therapies and case management.

Typically, Medicaid users pay no costs for medical expenses, although in some cases a small co-payment may be necessary.


Unlike Medicaid, which is a governmental assistance program, Medicare is a national health insurance program that was established in 1965 intended for senior Americans and people with certain disabilities.

Who Is Eligible for Medicare?

Medicare is designed to provide health insurance for those who are 65 and older. There are, however, exceptions to this age minimum for people who qualify for disability with certain medial conditions. This includes those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS and end-stage renal disease or ESRD.

How Can You Apply?

You first become eligible to enroll for Medicare three months before your 65th birthday. Some people are automatically enrolled in Medicare, but most need to contact the Social Security Administration to sign up. When you sign up, you will be given a choice of what plan or plans you wish to enroll in. 

Medicare Part B may only be signed up for at certain times, including when you first become eligible at age 65. If you do not enroll at that point in time, you may have to wait to be enrolled and pay a penalty for late enrollment each month. 

You can sign up for Medicare by contacting your local SSA office or by enrolling online on the SSA website. Before you sign up, you need to create a My Social Security account. 

You may also enroll by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213. 1-800-325-0778 is the number for TTY users. 

For those who are retired from the railroad or whose spouse worked for the railroad, you may contact the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772. 

What Does Medicare Cover?

The full costs of healthcare are rarely covered through Medicare alone. Most individuals who have Medicare also have supplemental private insurance or opt to include an additional Medicare supplement plan. Medicare is divided into four separate plans that can be used together or separately.

What Are the Different Medicare Plans?

Medicare has four different parts:

  • Part A: Part A is hospital insurance. It is intended to cover the costs of inpatient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facility care. It also can be used for hospice care and home health care.
  • Part B: Medicare Part B is used to pay for the services rendered by doctors and other providers, as well as outpatient care. It may also be used for home health care and preventative services, including shots or vaccines, screenings and annual wellness visits. Qualifying durable medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, hospital beds and other items may also be paid for through Part B. With this plan, you can use any provider or hospital in the U.S. that accepts Medicare, so you don’t have to worry about staying in-network.
  • Part C: Also known as Medicare Advantage, Part C is different from traditional Medicare plans. Instead of getting insurance through Part A and B, those with Part C use a Medicare-approved plan that is run by a private insurance company. With Part C, enrollees may have lower costs out of pocket, but they will likely need to solely use doctors who are in the network of their company to have expenses covered.
  • Part D: Part D is drug coverage. It helps to cover prescription drug costs, including various shots and vaccines. If you have Medicare Parts A and B, sometimes referred to as “Original Medicare,” then you can join Part D with it, or you may enroll by joining a Medicare Advantage Plan or Part C with drug coverage. Those plans that allow you to enroll in Medicare drug coverage follow the rules established by Medicare but are run by private insurance companies.


Health insurance is a private system that helps people pay for medical expenses that may arise due to illness or injury. Typically, those enrolled in insurance pay a monthly fee and in turn, the costs of any health services they may need are partially or fully covered by the insurance company. Most people receive their insurance through their job or their spouse’s employer, and sometimes employers pay toward a person’s insurance costs as one of the job’s benefits. Some jobs even offer health insurance that can be retained through retirement. Medicare is a form of insurance, and many of those who are enrolled in Medicare plans also retain private insurance to supplement Medicare. 

Navigating Medicaid, Medicare and insurance can be tricky at first, but with the right information, understanding is easy. 


7 Ways to Save On Healthcare By Going Online

Looking after your health shouldn’t cost a fortune—but it often does. Healthcare costs continue to rise year over year as consumers face higher out-of-pocket prices for medical procedures and treatments. According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, half of U.S. adults surveyed said they had omitted or delayed a healthcare procedure in the past year because they couldn’t afford the costs. 

The good news is that there are many ways you can save money on healthcare, and they don’t even require that you leave the comfort of your own home. In this article, we’ll take a look at ways you can save on healthcare by going online. 

From using coupons or shopping for healthcare plans to consulting an expert insurance navigator or booking a virtual consultation, you can save dollars without compromising on treatment or care. 

1. Get Smart with GoodRx Coupons 

When you pick up your prescription and present your health insurance card to the pharmacist, you may think you’re already getting your medication at the lowest price possible. The truth is that even with generics, you could be paying more than you need to. 

The good news is that with some smart research and generous discount coupons, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars on your prescriptions every year. 

One of the best ways to save money on your prescriptions is through services like GoodRx. GoodRx is a free medical app that has helped millions of Americans make big savings on their medical and prescription drug costs. The cost of prescription drugs varies from pharmacy to pharmacy, often by tens of dollars, and GoodRx makes shopping for the best deal easy. With this app, you can compare prices, get free coupons, and get access to additional features such as prescription reminders and notifications. Find the coupon you need, show it to your pharmacist, and you’re good to go. What’s more, GoodRx coupons are valid in over 70,000 pharmacies in the U.S., including CVS, Walmart, and Rite Aid. 

2. Use a Telemedicine or Telehealth Service

We live in an age where virtual care is becoming more and more popular around the world. Not only has the mobile revolution helped to fast-track the acceptance of virtual consultations, but advances in virtual healthcare software have also helped to make the scheduling and delivery of online appointments easy and convenient.

Instead of making a trip to the doctor’s office for a consultation, patients can schedule a virtual appointment and chat with their clinician from the comfort of their own homes. Many telemedicine providers like make it even easier, with patients interfacing with their doctors by chat rather than even through a phone call. With Rex MD, for instance, guys are getting ED meds online, like generic Viagra and generic Cialis, delivered to their door in discreet packaging. 

The benefits to patients with intermittent issues or those simply needing specific medications like ED meds are obvious, especially when dealing with sensitive issues. 

But there’s another important benefit that virtual care has to offer: virtual ordering costs less than a face-to-face visit in the clinic. Rex MD includes their consultation for free with new members’ first order.

What’s more, virtual care platforms feature built-in billing to make patient payment collections simple and transparent.

3. Invest in Wearable Tech

For many users of wearable tech like smartwatches, these devices are a great way to keep track of performance and fitness goals. Users can compete with and connect with friends, congratulate one another, and take part in fun challenges. In effect, wearable fitness devices and the apps that come with them have changed how we work out by gamifying personal fitness. 

But what’s fun for smartwatch users can also help you save on healthcare costs. Some health insurance providers are offering wearers of fitness tech more tangible incentives, such as discounts on their health insurance or even cash for partaking in more physical activity and monitoring their health. And as wearable tech becomes more advanced, it won’t be long before your watch will help you to prevent and manage chronic disease. 

4. Consult a Health Insurance Navigator 

Health insurance can be complex, especially if you have complex needs or your needs have changed significantly since you last took out a plan. A health insurance navigator is trained to help healthcare consumers shop for the most suitable and affordable health coverage plans available. They can also help you to complete enrollment forms and understand eligibility rules. 

Health insurance navigators are required by law to offer unbiased and free advice when offering their services. They must also have completed federal navigator training, state training, and registration (where applicable) and have undergone criminal background checks before they can begin helping consumers. 

Many health insurance navigators offer their services online and many also offer specialization with specific health insurance providers. Before choosing to work with a health insurance navigator, it is important to check their credentials. 

5. Sign Up For Reward and Loyalty Programs

Many pharmacies offer reward and loyalty programs to patients filling their prescriptions with them. Every drugstore offers a different type of program with different incentives and rules. However, most operate in the same way. Simply sign up for free and accumulate points whenever you complete certain activities. These activities can include filling prescriptions, getting a vaccine, buying qualifying products, and also practicing healthy habits like logging blood pressure or glucose levels, quitting smoking, or exercising. 

For example, the ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program will give you a $5 coupon to use in Target for every 10 prescriptions you fill with Target or CVS Pharmacy. Depending on your prescription needs, you could earn up to $50 in coupons throughout the calendar year. 

6. See If You’re Eligible For a Tax Credit Subsidy

If you’re responsible for purchasing your own health insurance, you could be eligible for what is known as a tax credit subsidy. Known as Advanced Premium Tax Credit, this subsidy helps to reduce the amount you pay for your monthly premiums. When you enroll in a health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will be required to estimate your expected income for the year ahead. If this estimate qualifies you for the tax credit subsidy you can use that credit in advance to reduce your monthly premiums. 

7. Keep an Eye Out For Discounts

If you wear contact lenses or glasses, you don’t have to buy these items from your ophthalmologist or optometrist. Federal law states that your eye specialist must provide you with a copy of your prescription so that you can buy your eyewear and lenses wherever you like. If your health insurance plan doesn’t offer vision coverage, keep an eye out for discounts on contact lenses and glasses. Many can be purchased online at deeper discounts than those found in-store.

Why Arranging Healthcare Online Makes Sense

We live in a connected world, one that thankfully makes life easier and more affordable than ever for consumers. Whether you’re looking for a new car, a mortgage, or the latest deals on fashion, it’s never been easier to compare prices and find some great savings. 

Healthcare is no exception. Where you might have once had only a handful of options, streamlined systems, and online-centric providers are making things easier and more affordable.

For consumers looking to save money (and often time), the opportunities online are boundless.

Hims vs Roman vs Keeps: Hair Loss Subscriptions Compared

Although hair loss affects both women and men, it’s much more prevalent in men. It’s normal to lose 50 to 100 strands of hair on a daily basis, but some people lose a lot more than that, and over time this progressive loss becomes painfully obvious.

There are numerous causes behind hair loss, and understanding them may help determine the best treatment solution. Although there are over-the-counter options for hair growth treatments, they are not specifically designed to help your hair-loss issues. The good news is there are now a variety of companies that can design a plan based on your hair-loss pattern and cause of hair loss.

Since these are subscription-based hair-loss treatments, you receive the products in the mail on a regular basis. Not only is this convenient, but you do not have to remember to go to the store when you run out. It can also save you money. Before comparing Hims vs Roman vs Keeps, let’s take a look at what causes hair loss and some hair-loss prevention tips.

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16 Alternatives to Hims for Hair Loss

16 Alternatives to Hims for Hair Loss

Hair loss can be devastating, and remedies or treatments claiming to help restore it can be unreliable and expensive. 

Some companies such as Hims carry entire lines of products intended to help reverse hair loss. And they can work, too. But as websites like this have gone mainstream in recent years, the question continues to pop up: “what are the alternatives to Hims?”

Hair loss and thinning can happen for a number of reasons, and treating based on the reason or cause is the smartest way to approach hair loss treatment. Using a combination of these 16 low-cost alternatives to Hims can be effective for your hair, so choose which ones might be best for your situation.

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Telemedicine Basics: How To Find a Doctor Online

Over the course of 2020, the novel coronavirus pandemic catalyzed an exponential increase in the need for virtual medicine services. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, the demand for telemedicine services increased by 683% between March 2, 2020, and April 14, 2020, alone. 

Hospitals and health professionals have also ramped up their efforts to make virtual health services more readily available.

While the public health crisis certainly pushed strong growth, this demand increase is really a spike in a long-term upward trend. By 2017, 76% of U.S. hospitals were already incorporating video calls and other technology into their practices. 

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Telehealth vs Telemedicine: What’s the Difference?

Over the last several years, medicine has undergone some major transformations. One of the most significant has been the growth of alternative delivery methods of health services with the use of ever-evolving technology.

Telehealth and telemedicine have radically changed the way that patients receive healthcare. Because providers no longer need to be in the same room with patients, location is no longer a barrier to high-quality treatment. With many services able to be provided without real-time meetings, schedules have also become less limiting. Costs are reduced while access is increased, addressing two of the major issues that can keep patients from receiving the care that they need.

Telehealth and telemedicine are sometimes used interchangeably, but they actually have distinct characteristics that distinguish them from each other. Though they both contribute to the overall care of patients, they do so from different standpoints: clinical and nonclinical. When it comes to telehealth vs telemedicine, there are many benefits and ways to implement both.

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How Does Telemedicine Work? Asynchronous vs. Synchronous

Telemedicine Defined

Historically, if you wanted to see a doctor, travel was a necessary part of the process. Either the doctor would have to come to you, or you would have to travel to the doctor’s office or hospital where you could be treated. In some cases, the physical presence of a doctor is necessary, but as internet access and technological capabilities have improved, possibilities have broadened.

For many interactions between a doctor and patient, physical proximity is irrelevant, especially as video calls have made it possible for the doctor to assess the patient visually without sharing a space. Tools such as email, text, messaging and AI technology have allowed for information to be shared instantaneously with providers and patients regardless of location. These circumstances have resulted in the explosion of telemedicine onto the medical scene — to the benefit of both patients and practitioners alike.

Telemedicine is when health care services are delivered remotely via any telecommunications technology. Telehealth, a term that is sometimes used interchangeably with telemedicine, refers to broader remote services, which can include non-clinical services such as medical training and administrative meetings.

There are two primary types of medical assessments using telemedicine: synchronous and asynchronous. 

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