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Daylight Savings Time is a Good Time to Think about Health Coverage03.10.14

Good morning campers! Feeling a little groggier than usual today? No surprise there… Daylight Savings Time (DST) wreaks havoc on humanity’s beauty sleep every spring and in more than 70 countries across the globe. While you may have had the option to sleep-in yesterday, Monday affords no such luxury.

Beware! DST is no simple loss of shut-eye. Research suggests that the unfortunate interruption in your circadian rhythm actually makes today one of the most dangerous days of the year. Two separate studies conclude that heart attacks are more likely after the shift to DST – and the risk is especially aggravated in patients already taking heart medication.* And another study suggests that DST is associated with an increase in the incidence and severity of workplace injuries. **

Health hazards such as these make enrollment especially significant today. A few extra cups of coffee may keep you going, but a trip to your local Jackson Hewitt could get you a lot closer to having health coverage. And while Hawaii and Arizona residents may be feeling especially lucky today***, the rest of the country has ample cause for consternation.

Remember, the tax industry helps uninsured individuals enroll by using the 1040 information to streamline the application process.  Since 88% of the uninsured who are eligible for the tax credits are already filing taxes,** the tax filing moment may be the best opportunity to enroll these Americans.  We take this role seriously and will continue to help – now and again during the open enrollment period for 2015.

*Culic, “Daylight saving time transitions and acute myocardial infarction,” Chronobiol Int. 2013 Jun;30(5):662-8. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2013.775144. Epub 2013 May 20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23688118 and Janszky et al. “Daylight saving time shifts and incidence of acute myocardial infarction,” Sleep Med. 2012 Mar;13(3):237-42. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2011.07.019. Epub 2012 Jan 30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22285108

** Barnes and Wagner, “Changing to daylight saving time cuts into sleep and increases workplace injuries.”  J Appl Psychol. 2009 Sep;94(5):1305-17. doi: 10.1037/a0015320. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19702372

*** Hawaii and Arizona do not observe DST, as the Uniform Tim Act of 1966 allows for state opt-outs.