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Long Island job levels in December

The total, non-farm sector job count on Long Island rose 4,900 to more than 1.357 million in December 2017 compared with the same month a year earlier, according to the state Labor Department. Leading the gains were private educational and health services sector, which was up 7,500 jobs in December, and leisure and hospitality, up 4,200 jobs in December from the year before. Leading the declines were the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which was down 4,000 jobs; professional and business services, which fell by 1,900, and manufacturing, which fell by 1,500. Click on the trend lines below for details on the 10 sectors going back to 1990. To eliminate some of the lines, click on the sector name in the color key. The table below gives details for the 2017 and 2016 levels. Read more. Posted Jan 18, 2018.

Jobs in the 10 sectors on Long Island

More detailed breakdown of 2017 vs. 2016

Industry            (job levels in thousands)Dec. 2017Dec. 2016Change in year
TOTAL NON-FARM1,357.11,352.20.4%
TOTAL PRIVATE1,155.51,149.90.5%
Total Goods Producing 144.8144.10.5%
   Construction, Natural Resources, Mining
         Specialty Trade Contractors 54.352.33.8%
      Durable Goods 38.039.5-3.8%
      Non-Durable Goods 31.831.80.0%
Total Service Providing1,212.31,208.10.3%
Total Private Service-Providing1,010.71,005.80.5%
   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities288.0292.0-1.4%
      Wholesale Trade 71.872.4-0.8%
         Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods 34.734.02.1%
         Merchant Wholesalers, Non-durable Goods 27.327.20.4%
      Retail Trade 168.5173.3-2.8%
         Building Material and Garden Equipment
         Food and Beverage Stores 37.437.01.1%
            Grocery Stores 30.730.41.0%
         Health and Personal Care Stores 13.813.80.0%
         Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores 20.021.4-6.5%
         General Merchandise Stores 29.730.8-3.6%
            Department Stores 23.124.2-4.5%
      Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities 47.746.33.0%
         Transportation and Warehousing 42.941.53.4%
            Couriers and Messengers
         Broadcasting (except Internet)
   Financial Activities71.271.9-1.0%
      Finance and Insurance 53.653.20.8%
         Credit Intermediation and Related Activities 20.320.5-1.0%
            Depository Credit Intermediation 11.511.6-0.9%
         Insurance Carriers and Related Activities 26.026.5-1.9%
      Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 17.618.7-5.9%
         Real Estate 14.014.2-1.4%
   Professional and Business Services 176.7178.6-1.1%
      Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 82.781.51.5%
            Legal Services 17.418.7-7.0%
            Accounting, Tax Prep., Bookkpng., & Payroll Svcs. 14.814.33.5%
      Management of Companies and Enterprises 16.516.40.6%
      Admin. & Supp. and Waste Manage. & Remed. Svcs. 77.580.7-4.0%
   Education and Health Services275.6268.12.8%
      Educational Services 43.942.82.6%
      Health Care and Social Assistance 231.7225.32.8%
         Ambulatory Health Care Services 90.888.72.4%
         Nursing and Residential Care Facilities 35.734.53.5%
         Social Assistance
   Leisure and Hospitality121.7117.53.6%
      Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 20.318.112.2%
         Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries 15.313.711.7%
      Accommodation and Food Services 101.499.42.0%
         Food Services and Drinking Places
   Other Services 58.358.30.0%
         Personal and Laundry Services 23.923.32.6%
Government 201.6202.3-0.3%
   Federal Government 16.016.9-5.3%
   State Government 25.325.4-0.4%
      State Government Education
      State Government Hospitals 1.31.4-7.1%
   Local Government 160.3160.00.2%
      Local Government Education 108.7108.10.6%
      Local Government Hospitals

Long Island job levels in September

The total, non-farm sector job count on Long Island rose by 8,800 to more than 1.34 million in September 2017 compared to a year earlier, according to the state’s Labor Department. Leading the increases were the private educational and health services sector, which rose by 9,500, and leisure and hospitality, which rose by 2,000 compared to September 2016. Construction, mining and natural resources lost 2,300 jobs. Click on the trend lines below for details on the 10 sectors going back to 1990. To eliminate some of the lines, click on the sector name in the color key. The table below gives details for the 2017 and 2016 levels.

Jobs in the 10 sectors on Long Island

More detailed breakdown of 2017 vs. 2016

Industry            (job levels in thousands)Sept 2017Sept 2016Change in year
TOTAL NONFARM1,343.51,334.70.7%
TOTAL PRIVATE1,151.01,142.50.7%
Total Goods Producing 148.2152.3-2.7%
   Construction, Natural Resources, Mining 78.080.3-2.9%
         Specialty Trade Contractors
      Durable Goods 38.540.1-4.0%
      Non-Durable Goods 31.731.9-0.6%
Total Service Providing1,195.31,182.41.1%
Total Private Service-Providing1,002.8990.21.3%
   Trade, Transportation, and Utilities274.6274.8-0.1%
      Wholesale Trade 70.369.80.7%
         Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods 33.833.9-0.3%
         Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods
      Retail Trade 159.1161.4-1.4%
         Building Material and Garden Equipment 13.013.1-0.8%
         Food and Beverage Stores 36.736.50.5%
            Grocery Stores 30.330.30.0%
         Health and Personal Care Stores 13.313.20.8%
         Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores 17.918.9-5.3%
         General Merchandise Stores 26.726.12.3%
            Department Stores
      Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities
         Transportation and Warehousing 40.438.84.1%
            Couriers and Messengers 5.35.6-5.4%
         Broadcasting (except Internet)
         Telecommunications 8.38.6-3.5%
   Financial Activities72.572.6-0.1%
      Finance and Insurance 54.354.4-0.2%
         Credit Intermediation and Related Activities 20.420.5-0.5%
            Depository Credit Intermediation 11.611.60.0%
         Insurance Carriers and Related Activities 26.427.2-2.9%
      Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
         Real Estate 14.314.30.0%
   Professional and Business Services 179.7178.50.7%
      Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 81.480.61.0%
            Legal Services 17.418.8-7.4%
            Accounting, Tax Prep., Bookkpng., & Payroll Svcs.
      Management of Companies and Enterprises 16.516.40.6%
      Admin. & Supp. and Waste Manage. & Remed. Svcs. 81.881.50.4%
   Education and Health Services268.8259.33.7%
      Educational Services 38.738.31.0%
      Health Care and Social Assistance 230.1221.04.1%
         Ambulatory Health Care Services 91.387.34.6%
         Hospitals 66.564.03.9%
         Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
         Social Assistance
   Leisure and Hospitality128.8126.81.6%
      Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
         Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries 19.718.56.5%
      Accommodation and Food Services 102.7102.30.4%
         Food Services and Drinking Places 96.596.50.0%
   Other Services 59.759.01.2%
         Personal and Laundry Services
Government 192.5192.20.2%
   Federal Government 16.216.5-1.8%
   State Government 25.925.70.8%
      State Government Education 13.913.34.5%
      State Government Hospitals 1.31.4-7.1%
   Local Government 150.4150.00.3%
      Local Government Education 96.495.41.0%
      Local Government Hospitals

Polar – The Online Degree Entrepreneur – amny

The Online Degree Entrepreneur

Promoted by CUNY

Promoted by CUNY

For working adults, the decision to return to school may be a personal one—some students decide to continue their education in order to advance their careers; others pursue a field of study in order to change their careers entirely. And some are following a passion in order to realize their potential.

Whatever the reason, there are now higher education institutions that offer the flexibility, convenience, and affordability that working adults require. And, one of the best ways for professionals to pursue a college level (or post-college level) education is online. You can find practically any type of academic program offered in a fully online format. With online education, no matter where you live, you have many options.

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) provides online and on-campus programs that meet the needs of adults who are looking for a seamless way to finish or transition into a bachelor’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, advance in the workplace, or change careers.

CUNY SPS recently asked their students to share the stories of their educational journey. For anyone working to create a better life for themselves and their families, Glaudy Triunfel is a great example of strengthening entrepreneurial spirit with business savvy. Here, she shares her experience of continuing her education to further her dream of owning her own business.

Meet Glaudy Triunfel

Working and Working on a Dream

As an assistant manager at Radio Shack, I know a lot about how a business runs. But working for someone else is different than working for yourself. One day, I would like to have my own business—an online woman’s clothing site. But, in order to be my own boss, I knew I needed to hone my skills and get a degree in business administration.

Making Them Proud

I decided to return to school for a Bachelor of Science in Business, although I didn’t have a lot of time or money. In addition to my own drive, another motivation for returning to school was my children. I wanted to set a good example for them and continue my education, so they can see that they can do it when it’s their turn.

A College That Respects Work/Life Balance

I chose to continue my education at CUNY SPS because of the affordability and flexibility of its programs. The classes are easy to follow and I am able to focus on the readings and assignments. While it’s hard to choose, my favorite courses are business, math, and English. 

As a student at CUNY SPS, I feel that I have acquired the knowledge I need to make it in the business industry. I now feel prepared to run my own business and be successful at it.

Make Time for Your Future

For students who are considering applying for admission—and especially those juggling work and family, I would recommend that they take my story into consideration. I was able to hold a job, attend an excellent school, and take care of my family because of the way the online programs are structured at CUNY SPS. Another piece of advice I would give to someone considering admission to my degree program, is to learn how to manage your time. Give yourself enough time to apply yourself fully to the courses. Don’t leave your assignments to the last minute; you don’t want to find yourself falling behind or over-loaded with work. 

I’ve received a lot of great advice while at CUNY SPS, but none so much as that you are never too old to achieve a degree. Giving up on your dreams should never be an option. I took that advice to heart and now I’m on my way to earning a Bachelor of Science in Business!

For more information on enrolling at CUNY SPS and read other inspiring stories from CUNY SPS students, click here.

The news and editorial staff of amNewYork had no role in the creation of this content

Polar – Earn a Degree Anywhere, Anytime – amny

Earn a Degree Anywhere, Anytime

Promoted by CUNY

Promoted by CUNY

Online learning has proven to be a great option for today’s multi-tasking students, especially those that need a more accessible, flexible, and affordable way to earn their degrees. Online education is also widely endorsed by faculty. In fact, nearly half the educators surveyed for a 21st Century Campus Report shared that quality distance and virtual learning courses are essential in today’s higher education arena.

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS), one of the top providers of online degree and certificate programs in the nation, offers programs that meet the needs of adults who are looking for a seamless way to finish or transition into a bachelor’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, advance in the workplace, or change careers.

CUNY SPS recently asked their students to share the stories of their educational experiences. For anyone working to leverage a current career, Youqing Xiang is a great example of someone who knows how to parlay existing business knowledge into more marketable skills for career advancement. Here, she shares her experience about pursuing a master’s degree.

Meet Youqing Xiang

From the Markets to a Master’s

I have been actively involved in the stock market and managing my own investment accounts for ten years. I read all kinds of numbers, but I mainly rely on my intuition to make crucial decisions. I’ve learned that emotions can conflict with intuition, which may cause problems, especially in the middle of a volatile market. That’s why my goal is to bring more math and computer science strategies and techniques into stock analysis, and the initial reason why I chose the MS in Data Analytics online degree program at CUNY SPS.

Before I joined the Data Analytics program, I spent one semester taking two online undergraduate courses at CUNY SPS and had a very positive experience. In addition, I am a stay-at-home mom and need to take care of my son. So, when I decided to apply for a master’s degree program in data analytics, I only considered quality online schools with low tuition. CUNY SPS was the only school I found that covered these two crucial requirements and I luckily got into the program.

Online Learning Fits into My Busy Life

Online learning was a totally new and exciting experience for me. First, the course schedules are very flexible and convenient because you never have to be in a specific place at a specific time for class. All study materials are on Blackboard, including videos, links, files, etc. Even live meetings are available on Blackboard shortly after they’re recorded. I never have to worry about missing classes and I am able to study based on my own schedule.

Second, I have a lot of opportunities to interact intellectually with my classmates, which was the biggest surprise for me. If I ask questions on Blackboard, there is always a good chance that one of my fellow classmates will answer, even before the professors jump in. We work on projects and collaborate as a group, which is very similar to the traditional classroom experience and the online courses are still as challenging as an on-campus course.

Classes That Fit My Schedule and Furthered My Knowledge

I have enjoyed all the classes I’ve taken so far. Every class is unique and I learn different skills from each one. However, if I had to choose, I would say that DATA 605 (Fundamentals of Computational Mathematics) and DATA 606 (Statistics and Probability for Data Analytics) are my favorite courses because they taught me math and statistics from a programming perspective, which made the topics more interesting and easier to learn.

We work on all kinds of projects in class and, for most of the classes, we have the opportunity to do a final project based on our own interests and ideas. Last semester, I did Twitter (TWTR) stock analysis as my final project. After that project, I realized how much I learned from the program and how the knowledge/skills I gained changed the way I look at the stock market. In fact, I would tell any entering data analytics student that programming skills are very important. And the free workshops in the Bridge Program really helped me prepare for the degree.

After CUNY SPS I Am Ready for My Future

I learned that there are four key success factors for a data analyst: computer programming and mathematical skills, domain knowledge, communication, and teamwork. CUNY SPS has prepared me in all of these areas. I am very interested in stock analysis and I am hoping to become a stock analyst in the near future.

For more information on enrolling at CUNY SPS and read other inspiring stories from CUNY SPS students, click here

The news and editorial staff of amNewYork had no role in the creation of this content

Polar – Changing Careers Through Online Education – AMNY

Changing Careers Through Online Education

Promoted by CUNY

Promoted by CUNY

Act Two

For some students, knowing ‘what they want to do as an adult’ is not immediately apparent, even after attending college and/or joining the workforce. Higher learning at any age has become a growing trend in education, as students look to better themselves, improve their job prospects, or follow their passion.

CUNY is the nation’s largest urban university system with 24 campuses throughout the five boroughs of New York, serving over half a million degree/credit students. The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) provides online and on campus programs that meet the needs of adults who are looking for a seamless way to finish or transition into a Bachelor’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, advance in the workplace, or change careers.

CUNY SPS recently asked their students to share the stories of their educational experiences. For anyone contemplating a career shift or pursuing a professional area of interest, Victor Ty is a great example that it is never too late to change your career. Here, he shares his experience in moving from a 20-year career in fashion, to becoming a nurse after his son was diagnosed with autism.

Meet Victor Ty

From Necklines to Nursing

I was a dBase III+ programmer by trade, and spent more than two decades in the fashion industry. Initially, I developed software to manage an inventory of silk yarns and moved on to designing textiles and apparel. Finally, I managed manufacturing and marketing for the whole vertical operation. But in 2011, I returned to school at age 40 to learn a new language and a new set of skills.

I had been around nurses for most of my life. I am married to a radiation oncology nurse and our circle of friends consists of nurses from different areas of medicine. My motivation to become a nurse stemmed from the diagnosis my son, Nicholas, received at 18 months: Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning. ASD affects over 3 million people in the US. The latest analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD.

An Avocation Becomes an Occupation

When Nicholas was five years old, my wife and I got a call: Nicholas’s school bus had been involved in a fender bender. No one was hurt, but all of the kids were brought to Elmhurst Hospital for evaluation. When we got to the ER, we observed that the attending doctors were perplexed as to how to assess the special needs children. Given the unfamiliarity of the ER, they made noises or offered a gamut of different non-verbal cues to signal their distress and anxiety. The medical professionals seemed to have little exposure to individuals with developmental delay. I knew then that I could help, not only Nicholas, but countless other children. My goal was to bridge the gap between patients, physicians, radiation therapists, nutritionists, psychologists, and social workers—especially for those individuals with special needs. As a parent of an autistic child, I understood that as the diagnoses of developmental disabilities continue to rise, more patients with special needs would be in the health care system and need help.

I was already immersed in the special needs community, collaborating with academes from Queens College, in what they called the NY State Task Force for Autism. But after Nicholas’s ER incident, I heard of plans to create an online nursing program within the CUNY system and immediately wanted to sign up. I met two of the professors during a presentation at Maimonides Medical Center and asked, “When can I start?” I had a Monday to Friday work schedule, which disqualified me from a “traditional” RN-BSN program in the city, including those with night schedules, because a clinical schedule would cut into my work schedule. CUNY SPS allowed me to study online at night, and still gave me ample time to sleep and be ready for the workday ahead.

So far, my favorite courses are Community and Global Health. The professors give me even more fuel to continue my endeavor in promoting sensitivity to the needs of individual patients. They immerse students in the culture of caring, taking into consideration all the aspects of our community—locally and globally. They give me the ambition to develop ideas to help improve the delivery of health care to everyone.

I now know that in order to continue your education, you need a commitment to learning and time, and an understanding that learning is an experience. I encourage aspiring nursing students to learn the language of medicine and map the human body. I advise them that it is possible to get a nursing degree without going into debt. I encourage them to network early on in their schooling and engage in volunteer experiences.

A Family Affair

Today, my wife and I are both radiation oncology nurses in two different institutions, so we get to brainstorm about best practices and share our great success stories. My plate is full from 7 am to 2 am with work, school, and play, and I enjoy every minute of it because I feel that I accomplish so many things every day. I even find time to be involved in my community by volunteering at my son’s school, where I established a simulated outdoor playground experience in an indoor gym that is a safe and accepting venue for kids with Autism. I design and create models of imaging machines such as MRIs, PET/CTs, and radiation delivery machines to be used as teaching tools for pediatric oncology patients and some adults, too. My other son, Benjamin, and I are also developing a Braille system for prescription labels to make it safer and more efficient for the visually impaired to manage their medication.

Learning Never Ends

This is my sixth year of practice, all in radiation oncology; however, my passion is to teach. I know that the experience at CUNY SPS has given me more motivation in achieving my goal to teach nursing students one day. I am now 46 years old and slated to complete my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) in 2017. I plan to proceed with a Master’s in Public Health and teach on the college level. I look forward to training new nurses on the true calling of the nursing profession, and return community involvement in schools, hospitals, and churches in order to change the paradigm of preventative care.

For more information on enrolling at CUNY SPS and to read other inspiring stories from CUNY SPS students, click here.

The news and editorial staff of amNewYork had no role in the creation of this content

Polar – Making Things Work for Your Business – Newsday

Making Things Work for Your Business

PSEG Long Island

PSEG Long Island

From the start of your work day to the moment you power down, it’s our job to make sure you don’t have to think about the power that made running your business possible.

At PSEG Long Island, we think about it 24/7, because our round-the-clock world demands it. 

Across our roughly 100-mile long service area, we keep an eye on more than 15,000 miles of electric wire and 300,000 poles that keep life on Long Island and the Rockaways powered up.  There’s a good chance you’ve seen our crews out in the field working to strengthen the energy grid to better withstand severe weather like heat waves and storms.

“It’s a big task,” says PSEG Long Island’s John O’Connell, Vice President – Transmission & Distribution. “The majority of the Delivery & System Charges on your bill are invested back into the system to ensure there’s reliable power every time you switch on your lights or HVAC system.”

Over the past two and a half years, PSEG Long Island has invested $500 million system-wide on upgrades and new equipment, including stronger poles and wires, to make sure reliable energy is there whenever you need it.

We’re also managing a multi-year storm hardening program, funded by FEMA, that’s focused on those areas most damaged during Superstorm Sandy. 

There’s a lot that goes into maintaining PSEG Long Island’s industry-leading electric reliability.  We’re energized by seeing what our customers get out of it – even if they don’t think about it.

For more information about how we can help your business, please visit or call our Business Solutions Center at 1-800-966-4818.

The news and editorial staff of Newsday had no role in the creation of this content

Polar – Shining a Light on Small Business – Newsday

Shining a Light on Small Business

PSEG Long Island

PSEG Long Island

Small businesses are the lifeblood of Long Island, making up close to 90 percent of all businesses in Nassau and Suffolk counties according to the Long Island Advancement of Small Business, a local advocacy and support organization. In fact, Long Island leads New York State in businesses with fewer than 20 employees, according to the New York State Comptroller’s March 2016 report, “The Economic Impact of Small Business in New York State.”

Small businesses face many challenges as they strive for success and they benefit from support from organizations like PSEG Long Island, which offers a wide array of energy efficiency programs to small business customers across Long Island and in the Rockaways.

“We are proud to do business with Long Island companies and help them find ways to stay and expand here on Long Island,” said Dan Eichhorn, Vice President of Customer Service, PSEG Long Island. “Since day one, we have worked hard to connect personally with business owners through our Main Street Outreach program that keeps them informed about how to save money and how we can work together to support the local economy.”

Through PSEG Long Island’s energy efficiency programs, small businesses can receive a free energy consultation that will identify energy and money saving opportunities. This free consultation consists of a facility walkthrough and detailed cost-saving recommendations based on existing equipment and any potential energy efficiency upgrades.

“We also offer generous rebates for installing energy efficient technologies,” Eichhorn said. “We’ve helped thousands of Long Island businesses reduce their energy costs; projects ranging in size from your favorite local storefront bakery to Canon’s U.S. headquarters. Our economic development electricity rates have kept more than 5,600 jobs on Long Island while adding more than 3,000 new jobs as existing businesses expand.” 

To keep the lights on for 1.1 million customers, PSEG Long Island also relies on more than 900 Long Island companies for goods and services – large and small.  In all, PSEG Long Island invests more than $120 million right here in the local economy.

Supporting the local economy is just one part of PSEG Long Island’s larger mission to provide homes and businesses with outstanding electric reliability and customer service. To find out more about what PSEG Long Island can do for you, please visit or call their Business Solutions Center at 1-800-966-4818.

The news and editorial staff of Newsday had no role in the creation of this content

Polar – The Five Questions You Should Ask Before Selecting Health Insurance – Newsday

The Five Questions You Should Ask Before Selecting Health Insurance

CareConnect Insurance Company, Inc.

CareConnect Insurance Company, Inc.

No matter who you are and what you do for a living, chances are you are already asked to make too many decisions. Today, everything from the privacy settings of your social media accounts to the menu in your neighborhood coffee shop, is stacked thick with choices that are often confusing and anxiety inducing. This is especially true in a field like health insurance where we all want the best care for our families and ourselves, with the security of knowing that we are covered in the case of an emergency. Unfortunately, choosing the right health insurance plan may seem easier said than done.  Given the glossary of terms that are sometimes difficult to understand, your eyes may glaze over and discomfort may sink in as you consider the choices. There’s no reason for any of that: to make an informed decision and choose the best plan for you and your loved ones, simply ask yourself the following questions.

1. Am I eligible for a subsidy?

Under the Affordable Care Act, low- and middle-income people buying insurance are eligible for government subsidies that can reduce the amount you have to pay to the insurance company each month. These subsidies are available to those using the state health care exchanges, if their income is between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. You can determine your eligibility for subsidies by using this tool or by checking directly with health insurance carriers like CareConnect.

2. How frequently does my family need to see a doctor?

We get it, you want the coverage your family needs at an affordable price. To figure out the right balance between coverage and cost, it’s helpful to know about how often your family tends to visit the doctor. That information is important because all health insurance plans involve a trade-off: the lower the premium, the more you pay at the time of the doctor visit for things like out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. Before you pick a plan, consider the needs of your family: if you are a relatively young and healthy bunch, for example, you may opt for a plan that charges lower premiums and higher deductibles. If you or your family members have chronic conditions and other needs, a higher premium and lower deductible may make more sense.

3. What kind of network do I need?

When you’re considering a plan, check the network of doctors and hospitals that it offers. You may think you want to go with the biggest network you can find – but biggest isn’t necessarily best if you end up paying extra for doctors you won’t use. After all, when it comes to our physicians and caregivers, we tend to think very locally and select people who are part of our community. Just like in real estate, what matters is often “location, location, location.” Because of this, a plan with a narrow network may offer an advantage by giving you access to a limited and carefully curated community of physicians and caregivers at a more modest price tag. Check it out; you may find that the right narrow network has a wide array of physician choices in your area – including your current doctors – at an affordable price.

4. Will I receive good customer service?

Chances are that sooner or later, for one reason or another, you will need to communicate with your insurance provider. You’ll want to ensure that quality customer service is available and hassle-free. This means having rapid access to attentive and knowledgeable representatives who can answer your questions, assist you in finding the right doctor, and help you with whatever billing issue you might have. In a nutshell, you’ll want your insurance provider working as closely as possible with the doctors and hospitals you need. Some carriers will even go as far as helping to make your doctor appointments. Here’s a simple test to judge what kind of customer service you can expect to receive when you call: If the person on the other end answers quickly and is courteous and helpful, you know you’ve got a match.

5.  Have I done my homework?

Let’s face it: finding the right insurance plans requires research and due diligence.

As in most things in life, knowledge is power, and being familiar with various insurance providers and what they offer can be a real benefit to making the best decision. Take a few minutes and check the websites of the various companies that serve your area. On CareConnect’s website, for example, you can check out prices and features, see which one works for your family, and even compare their costs to your current plan using their cost calculator.

The news and editorial staff of Newsday had no role in the creation of this content

Polar – Looking to Save Money on Health Insurance? Think Narrow – Newsday

Looking to Save Money on Health Insurance? Think Narrow

CareConnect Insurance Company, Inc.

CareConnect Insurance Company, Inc.

Health insurance, as everyone knows, can get very costly, very quickly. That’s why consumers, researchers and policy makers alike are constantly trying to find new ways to get quality care without breaking the bank.

Recently, a team of researchers, including an economist, a political scientist and a professor of medicine, took a look at different models of health insurance and their overall performance in the state of California. Their goal? To find out whether plans with narrow networks—those being health care networks designed to offer access to a limited, carefully curated and more modestly priced community of physicians and facilities—could really provide affordable access to top-quality care. They concluded that narrow plans saved their members money on premiums and also offered access to care that was just as high quality—or higher!—than plans with more extensive networks. This led the researchers to suggest that one advantage of narrow networks is the ability for insurers to cut out all but the best-performing hospitals from the plans they offer patients.

These findings are more than just an academic curiosity: they promise real savings to real people. For example, the most popular family plan offered by one narrow network provider in the New York area would cost you $800 less per month* in premiums than a comparable plan from one of the big insurance companies offering a traditional network. That amounts to savings of almost $10,000 a year.

Is a narrow network right for you? If you see a number of doctors at a wide variety of institutions and can’t imagine switching, then the answer may be “no”. But if you’re flexible and interested in saving money, then a narrow network may be just the right fit.

Here’s how to get started.  First, check just who the narrow network covers: one centered in your community may already include your local hospital, physician and other health care professionals you already know, see and trust. Then, request a quote online; one company that offers narrow network plans in the New York area is CareConnect. At, you can compare plans, prices and features, as well as find out which doctors and hospitals are in the plans, to decide which one works best for you and your family.

*Estimate is based on a comparison between publicly available rates.

The news and editorial staff of Newsday had no role in the creation of this content

Polar – Study Finds Acupuncture Reduces Hot Flashes, Improves Sleep in Breast Cancer Survivors – Newsday

Study Finds Acupuncture Reduces Hot Flashes, Improves Sleep in Breast Cancer Survivors

Jun Mao, MD, Chief, Integrative Medicine, Memorial Sloan

Jun Mao, MD, Chief, Integrative Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering

For women with breast cancer, hot flashes can be an unpleasant side effect of treatment. But new research points to electro-acupuncture — a type of acupuncture that uses tiny needles gently activated by a current — as a possible source of relief.

We asked Jun Mao, MD, Chief of Integrative Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), to elaborate on a study he led to evaluate whether this type of acupuncture helps women suffering from hot flashes and sleep problems due to breast cancer treatment.

Why do women with breast cancer often experience hot flashes?

Hot flashes can be induced by chemotherapy or premature menopause due to surgical removal of the ovaries, a procedure that women with breast cancer sometimes have in order to avoid ovarian cancer. In addition, many cancer drugs that affect the hormones, like tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, can make hot flashes worse and more persistent. The existing drug approaches for treating hot flashes are partially effective, but not for all patients, and some of them cause troublesome symptoms like weight gain and sexual side effects. Patients need more options.

What did the study look at?

We know that hot flashes can cause sleep disruption. People’s sleep is fragmented and they feel very tired. So we compared electro-acupuncture with gabapentin, a drug that has been shown to be effective for hot flashes in people with breast cancer.

We found that electro-acupuncture actually produced a better overall sleep quality than gabapentin, and also produced better results in specific areas such as sleep latency — the time it takes to fall asleep — as well as sleep efficiency, meaning how much of the time in bed you’re actually sleeping. These data are very encouraging and offer the potential that women with breast cancer may have another tool to help them manage hot flashes, as well as sleep related to hot flashes.

Would regular acupuncture have the same effect as electro-acupuncture?

Our study can only demonstrate that electro-acupuncture, a type of acupuncture we offer at MSK, is helpful. The way it works is not just by putting needles in the skin — some of the needles are paired with electrodes to stimulate a current. Those currents provide very gentle stimulation. Patients often say it feels like a gentle tapping of their skin. I would say acupuncture is something worth trying. A course of acupuncture treatment — six to ten sessions — may stabilize the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. Ideally, someone should initially come in once a week for treatment.

What’s the next step in this research?

The next step is to do a large trial with a long-term follow-up to understand the effects of acupuncture versus the effects of conventional therapies, including drugs for hot flashes, sleep, and fatigue. We want to examine the long-term durability of those therapeutic effects because I think a lot of women want to know if it will work for them and if the effect lasts. Those are all really important, patient-centered questions that require research.

Acupuncture is offered at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s outpatient cancer center in Commack. To learn more, call 646-888-0800.

The news and editorial staff of Newsday had no role in the creation of this content