Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 8th, 2014

Sign Up for Obamacare: Flagging Down the 200,000 uninsured health Taxi Drivers

Dan Ware has been driving a taxicab in Chicago for more than a decade, but he still doesn’t have what many jobs offer: health insurance.

“I’m without health coverage,” he says.

 posted this March 4, 2014

Flagging Down Taxi Drivers To Sign Up For Obamacare

And that’s not unusual, says Chicago Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair. “What we know in Chicago is that around 70% of taxi drivers are uninsured,” Choucair says.

That means about 8,000 cabbies could be eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Nationwide, there are more than 200,000 taxicab drivers, and so in a few big cities — including Chicago — supporters of the Affordable Care Act are working to recruit them to sign up before this month’s open enrollment deadline.

Choucair says a couple of years ago, a study showed taxi drivers in Chicago had plenty of health problems, largely due to the long hours they spend behind the wheel.

“They don’t eat as healthy, they don’t exercise as much and those are definitely risk factors for diabetes, for heart disease, for strokes,” Choucair says.

Add to that chronic back issues that can come from sitting and health problems caused by traffic accidents.

Enrollment workers in Chicago are signing up taxicab drivers for Obamacare at the facility where cabbies obtain or renew their city chauffeur’s license.

“We’ve been enrolling an average of between 5 to 9 people on site,” says Salvador Cerna, an outreach manager for the state. He says others make appointments to get help enrolling, and there are plenty here who want assistance.

Ejaz Waheed has gone without health insurance for nearly a decade. “Back until 2005, I was with a regular job, so I had it. Then I became self-employed and I lost insurance,” he says.

Ghulam Memon began driving in 1994 and shares a similar story. “My wife has Medicare and Medicaid both because she’s 65-plus. I’m like 60 years, and I don’t have anything,” Memon says.

So he’s exploring his options, as is Orkhan Askarov, 24. Askarov was applying for his first taxicab license, and he says he’ll also apply for health insurance “and guarantee that if anything [happens] to me I’m going to be [in] good hands.”

The nonprofit Enroll America is running similar cabbie programs in Austin and in Philadelphia. The group’s president Anne Filipic says it’s trying different ways to reach out to the uninsured as the March 31 deadline nears.

“Our focus right now is an all-hands-on-deck effort to get the word out. We know that a lot of people still don’t have all the facts and don’t know, for example, that financial assistance is available, so we want to meet them where they are and get them the information that they need,” Filipic says.

In Philadelphia, where there are about 5,000 taxi drivers, many cabbies are getting their information at the headquarters of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania. President Ronald Blount says until now many simply couldn’t afford health insurance at all.

Most drivers in Philadelphia are earning less than $5 per hour. They are working 12 to 16 hours per day, 6 to 7 days per week,” Blount says.

He calls the Affordable Care Act a godsend and says about 700 taxi drivers have already signed up there. “Drivers were finding plans as cheap as $35 to $60 per month, and that’s something they can afford and these are really good health plans,” Blount says.

And that’s a boon for many cabbies who may take an easier route and seek out medical help early for any of the ailments that come from driving a taxi.

Facial Hair Transplants Growing Amid Hipster Beard Craze, Doctors Say

Do you think growing a beard will make you look younger after 40?

Do you think a well groomed beard extend more professional respect and appreciation?

Could a beard hide double chins, weak chins, slight facial asymmetrical deformities…?

Should the terrorists submit to defoliation of the face?

The thick, flowing beards adorning hipsters from Williamsburg, Bushwick and Park Slope neighborhoods are driving “follicly-challenged” New Yorkers to a little-known but growing field of plastic surgery — facial hair transplants.

The hair for beard transplants typically is taken from the patient’s head — roots and all — and then planted through micro-incisions on a bare patch of face, in an 8-hour procedure under local anesthesia, similar to how hair transplants are done, doctors said.

The procedure ranges in price from $3,000 for fill-ins of beard sections to $7,000 for a full beard, doctors said.

Whether they’re filling in a few gaps or doing a complete beard construction, New York City doctors who specialize in the procedure said they’re seeing a growing number of men paying as much as $7,000 to pump up their beards.

Serena Solomon posted this February 25, 2014 @serenaspeaks

Slideshow

 More New Yorkers with depleted beards are getting surgical facial hair procedures, doctors told DNAinfo New York.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

A patient following a partial beard transplant by Dr. Jeffrey Epstein. View Full Caption

“Whether you are talking about the Brooklyn hipster or the advertising executive, the look is definitely to have a bit of facial hair,” said Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a facial plastic surgeon who has performed the procedure for 12 years.

Epstein said he started out doing just a handful of beard transplants each year a decade ago — but is now averaging about 3 beard implants a week through his offices in Midtown East and Miami.

Dr. Yael Halaas, another plastic surgeon who specializes in facial hair transplants, said an increasing number of “hip” and “fashionable” young professionals in their 20s and 30s are seeking the procedure.

“I get a lot of detail-oriented people — artists, architects,” the doctor said, noting that beard-centric neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Bushwick and Park Slope have each delivered four to five clients to her practice in the past year.

In addition to beardless hipsters, doctors said their clients include men who have struggled since adolescence to grow a beard, those undergoing a gender transition from female to male, men with with facial scarring and Hasidic Jews who hope to achieve denser payot, or sidelocks.

A greater awareness of facial hair transplants has also fueled the popularity of the procedure, doctors said.

A 39-year-old New Yorker who works in the catering industry said he got a beard transplant in April 2013 to help him feel younger.

“I couldn’t believe how much I had changed over the years and that I no longer looked like myself,” he wrote by email on the condition of anonymity.

The man said his beard had thinned out as he aged. The beard transplant let him play with all types of looks, from fully bearded to scruffy to clean-shaven.

“I had contemplated [getting a beard transplant] for approximately eight months,” he said, “Knowing the results, I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time deciding.”

While doctors prefer head hair, on rare occasions patients who are balding might be able to use hair from the chest for the surgery, doctors said.

“If they are balding, they might need that extra hair for their heads,” said Dr. Glenn Charles, who is based in Florida but said 30% of his clients are from the New York City area.

Once transplanted, the beard hair takes root gradually. The hair then falls out, but the roots stay and begin to grow new hair within several months, doctors said.

Once it’s fully healed, the new beard can be shaved regularly and will grow back just like real hair.

Surgeons said they are often approached by patients with images of how they want to look.

“They may bring in a picture of an actor or a model,” Charles said. He named George Clooney and Ryan Gosling as repeat facial hair role models.

The Brad Pitt scruff is a common request of Epstein, and occasionally the Tom Selleck moustache.

Peter, a 46-year-old who asked that only his first name be used, had his beard filled out by Epstein 10 years ago. He described the change in appearance as a gradual process.

“It wasn’t like ‘Wow. What happened to you?’ like one day…you dyed your hair,” Peter said. “Nobody really noticed. It is not a drastic change.

Peter didn’t present Epstein with a photo, but instead worked with the doctor to produce an individualized look for a fuller beard.

“Sometimes I am clean-shaven or it’s more scruff and sometimes I let it grow out,” Peter said. “At least I have choices, right?”


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