Spring is Here, Summer is Near: Plan Your Child’s Summer Sports Schedule

Kids playing Summer SportsSummer is quickly approaching and making sure that your child is ready for summertime fun takes some planning. During the summer months there are sports programs offered through communities, townships, camps, and private programs. The one thing they all have in common is that they will generally require your child have proper documentation to show proof of age and, in some cases, an in-district address. Take the time now to start planning out your child’s summer sports schedule and to talk about which sports your child would like to participate in this year. Here are a few popular summer sports to consider:

  • Tennis is a popular summertime sport for both boys and girls, and can be played on a team or individually. It can help with hand-eye coordination and is great for children who enjoy a ‘quick on their feet’ type of activity.
  • Swimming is another great sport that goes hand in hand with summertime! Your child may be able to join a swim team that swims in pools, lakes, or both depending on what environment makes them most comfortable. There are so many swimming techniques for your child to choose from that they will never be bored and will enjoy the fun throughout the season. Swim team can also continue through the school year, making it a fun sport that doesn’t have to end when school starts.
  • Sports summer camps are also popular and offer the typical sports you would find throughout the school year like soccer, field hockey, basketball and more! They tend to be longer events and may include more social activities in parallel with the game practice. Sports summer camps are great for the social butterfly and the busy parent alike!

Find out about your towns’ summer sports programs by talking to your town hall or community center. You should also make sure that you have your child’s birth certificate so you don’t run into any problems with sign-ups. Go to VitalChek.com to order your child’s vital records before it’s too late for summer sport sign-ups!

 

Top Five International Film Festivals

international film festivalsFilm festivals are large events where new movies in different genres are presented for the year, bringing together the best in directors, producers, and celebrities. Not all film festivals are created equal and there are 5 that typically stand out from the rest. The largest film festival in the world is the Berlin International Film Festival, but a few other well-known festivals are the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival.

Most film festivals are a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those of us outside the inner-circle, but they are viewed as luxury by celebrities as well. They allow for the most creative minds to come together in a beautiful landscape to present their artwork and be received by thousands. Many of these festivals include outdoor viewings that simply enhance the experience to make it even more moving and inspiring.

  • Berlin is an international hub for arts, culture and creative minds, so it is no surprise that it is the biggest in film festival events. The “Berlinale” sells roughly 300,000 tickets to people from over 124 countries and has over 500,000 admissions. It holds prestigious parties, has networking events, and presents about 400 films each year.
  • The Venice Film Festival started in 1932, making it the oldest film festival. It takes place every year between August and September in Venice, Italy and is arguably the most prestigious film festival.
  • The Cannes Film Festival brings together fashion and film in the most perfect of ways. It encourages people to leave behind their inhibitions and enjoy themselves and the films they are surrounded by for over a week. The Cannes Festival is also an invite-only event.
  • The Toronto International Film Festival, also known as TIFF, brings together 400,000 visitors. They use 34 downtown locations to premiere films, which have included ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘The Kings Speech’.
  • The Sundance Film Festival is held right here in the U.S., in Utah, every year. It highlights the independent film makers in the industry who may not be as well known in mainstream film production. They feature documentaries, short films, and feature length films.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel to one of these international film festivals? If you have, you should make sure that you have your passport ready! You never know when you may just find yourself with a Berlin International Film Festival ticket in your hand. Learn more about how VitalChek can help you get a copy of your vital records.

Understanding Dependent Eligibility for Health Insurance

health insurance dependent eligibility Health insurance policies can leave many people scratching their heads in confusion. Insurance policies are long, use terms most of us don’t easily understand, and the weight of their importance looms over us. Understanding the rules on covering dependents is one of the very important parts you do not want to skim over, whether you have a spouse and/or a children on your policy there are rules to be followed. Not complying with dependent eligibility could result in added stress from a dependency audit from your employer or health insurance provider. Avoiding an audit is easy to do by providing the right documentation to prove your dependents are eligible for coverage on your health insurance.

At VitalChek we realize that understanding dependent eligibility can be difficult. There are common questions like “who is eligible to be considered a dependent?” or “how do I prove my child’s dependent eligibility?” and we want to help you answer these questions with a comprehensive guide to understanding dependent eligibility.

What does dependent eligibility mean?

Dependent eligibility refers to who can be added onto an insurance policy that is held by someone else. This is normally seen with spouses and children.

Who is considered an eligible dependent?

An eligible dependent can be a legal spouse or a child. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans are required to provide coverage to adult dependents up to the age of 26 years old. This means that a child can stay on their parent’s health insurance plan until their 26th birthday. Some health insurance policies may allow you to cover children older than 26 under your policy; however, you will need to ask your insurer about their age limits.

My insurance requires proof of dependency, what documents will I need?

Proof of dependency may vary given your personal situation, but many times there are common forms which will typically be required to prove your dependent is eligible to be or stay on your policy, as shown below.

Acceptable forms of proof for a spouse:

  • Government certified Marriage Certificate and most recently filed tax return or proof of joint ownership (bank statement or lease)

OR

  • Signed marriage license and proof of joint ownership

Acceptable forms of proof for a partner:

  • Government certified Civil Union Certificate and proof of joint ownership that is no more than 6 months old

Acceptable forms of proof for a biological child:

  • Government certified birth certificate

OR

  • Hospital issued birth certificate if child is being added onto the policy after a recent birth

Acceptable forms of proof for an adopted child:

  • Adoption certification

OR

  • Adoption placement and petition for adoption

Acceptable forms of proof for a stepchild:

  • Government certified birth certificate, and government certified marriage certificate, and most recently filed tax return

OR

  • Government certified birth certificate, and government certified marriage certificate, and proof of joint ownership that is no more than six months old

OR

  • Government certified birth certificate, and government issues civil union certificate, and proof of joint ownership that is no more than six months old

OR

  • Government certified birth certificate and signed marriage license

OR

  • Government certified birth certificate and government certified Civil Union Certificate

Acceptable forms of proof for a legal ward or foster child:

  • Government certified birth certificate and court ordered document of legal custody

OR

  • Government certified birth certificate and foster care documents


Do you need any government certified vital records so you can add an eligible dependent to your health insurance policy? Contact us at Vitalchek.com and place your order quickly and easily. We look forward to being able to help you obtain the necessary vital records to take care of your closest loved ones.

Top Five International Sporting Events

International Sports FansSports can bring many different people together around the world. We all want our teams to win and we want to share in the pride of our nation’s big win. There are many major sporting events outside the US which bring the attention of nations worldwide. Events such as the FIFA World Cup, ICC World Cup and the Tour de France bring together nations from all over the world for both competitors and spectators. For many Americans, attending one of these international sporting events can be a once in a lifetime experience. If you aren’t sure what events to choose for your next big trip, here’s a list of the top 5 most popular international sporting events.

  • FIFA World Cup- the largest world soccer event brings 32 national teams together over the course of a month. These sporting events are serious – fans know routine chants and dances, body paint is regularly used, and country flags are a must! The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia, so get your warm clothes ready if you plan on seeing a live game!
  • ICC World Cup- Cricket isn’t a highly popular sport in the United States, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it isn’t one of the most popular international sports. This year, both Australia and New Zealand are hosting the championships and expect to have over 1 billion people watching the games between TV, online and at-game spectators.
  • Tour de France- Bringing together riders from nearly every nation around the globe, it is no surprise that the Tour de France makes the top 5 list. It receives around 4,700 hours of TV coverage each year and brings out roughly 15 million spectators along the Tour route. Talk about a large crowd!
  • Monaco Grand Prix- This premiere auto racing event has been happening since 1929 and is the top racing event for Formula 1 lovers. Roughly 25 million people tune in to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, and if you’re lucky enough to find a spot along the route it is quite exciting. Some of the best views are from the back of one of the yachts situated along the many turns.
  • The Grand Slam- This is actually comprised of multiple tennis events including the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. These events bring together the best individual tennis players for competitions that draw in a few million viewers each.

These are a few of the most popular international sporting events held throughout the year. Most people view them from their local sports bars but if you want to see them in person, you’ll need to make sure you have your passport ready! If you need the proper documents to help get your passport, VitalChek can help you get the government documents you need to make your trip a reality.

Fun Vacations with your Tax Refund

Tax Refund  Inspired VacationsThe day you get your tax refund is a beautiful day. The little extra boost in that month’s spending money can be helpful for home improvements, paying bills, or going on a fun vacation. If you like living life with a little more adventure, chances are you prefer going on a vacation with your tax refund money. Find vacation inspiration through these methods of travel and top destinations.

  • Take a break from winter and find a cruise that departs from the port closest to your home. Visiting a Caribbean destination is like visiting a little piece of paradise, and doing so on a cruise provides for entertainment and many dining options during all hours of your trip. Cruising is a great choice for families, or a group of friends, looking to truly relax on vacation without a worry in the world. Some of the top Caribbean cruising destinations are the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, and the Bahamas.
  • Stay connected with nature and visit Colorado to complete a fourteener at Mount Elbert, the highest summit of the North American Rocky Mountains at 14,440 feet.  Many people love the challenges that hiking can provide and also find it relaxing to be away from the office and disconnected from the digital world. Colorado has the majority of fourteeners (a mountain that meets or exceeds an elevation of 14,000 feet above sea level) in the contiguous United States, and also has luxury lodging options including hot springs at many locations. Hot springs are known for their restorative mineral rich waters that soothe and detox the body. The Mount Princeton Hot Springs will give you the ultimate relaxation experience.
  • Enjoy one of the top entertainment destinations like New Orleans, also known as NOLA, which has so much to offer. It can serve well for families, singles, or couples who are looking to relax, explore historical spots, party, or enjoy some of the best rated restaurants.  You can stay in a modern luxury hotel such as the Lowes New Orleans Hotel, or in a historical Bed and Breakfast such as Avenue Inn. You can visit the Garden District, listen to jazz on Frenchman Street, have a drink on Bourbon Street, view local art work for sale in Jefferson Square, or all of the above.

Tax season just got a lot more fun now that you know you can use your tax refund to plan one of these trips! Make sure that you have all of the proper documentation you need to travel safely – both internationally and within the United States. If you need your birth certificate as part of your travels, visit VitalChek.com to place an order to obtain your personal documentation.

 

Top 5 Spring Sports for Child Athletes

Top 5 Spring Sports

Spring sports are a great way for children to get outside after a stuffy day in the classroom. Some children find that sports act as an outlet for stress and their competitive edge that other activities just don’t provide. Participating in sports also teaches kids about teamwork and other important life lessons, making it a typical part of growing up. Wonder what sports are the most popular come spring time? Here are the top 5 most popular Spring sports.

  • Baseball and Softball are two of the most popular sports. Around 3 million American children between the ages of 5-18 participate in a Little League team. A few of the reasons these are so popular is because they strongly center on team bonding as well as helping young children to practice their balance and hand-eye coordination skills.
  • Soccer is another great sport for children who love to run and who are quick on their feet. While soccer may not be the most popular American past time, it is certainly popular around the world. And, it is slowly gaining more support throughout the US, especially as the US soccer team made it quite far in the 2014 World Cup.
  • Track & Field is another popular after-school sport to get involved with for a few reasons. It is good for children who may be a little more introverted, and it also offers a variety of different sports within one. If your child is good at running, they can join the long distance team, or if running isn’t their forte, they can throw the shot put. There are a lot of options within track to find a good fit for almost any child.
  • Field hockey for is another extremely popular sport. Field hockey is highly competitive but caters to both sprinters and long distance runners with their offensive and defensive positions.
  • Lacrosse is a sport that not every school may have, but it has slowly been gaining popularity across the nation. Another highly competitive sport full of action, Lacrosse is based in agility over size, making it a popular choice for many children.

If your child isn’t sure what Spring sport is right for them, talk to them about the sports on this list. You can also encourage them to try different sports to see what they like and if they don’t like one, they can always try another sport in another season. As Spring approaches, make sure your child is ready for sign-ups with an official birth certificate from VitalChek.

Signing Up For Spring Sports – What Your Child Will Need

Spring Sports Sign-UpsSpring is right around the corner and if you have children you know what that means, Spring sports! Life may get a little hectic between work, dropping Katie off at soccer and making sure Jeff gets to baseball practice on the other side of town. However, it all pays off when you see the smile on your child’s face when they finally get that big win. Since sign-ups will be starting soon for sports, this is the time to make sure your children have the records they need to sign-up and play. Here is a Spring sports necessities checklist so you will be ready come sign-up time!

  • Physical documentation. Your child will be required to show that they are healthy enough to play the sport they wish to participate in this Spring. Depending on the school or league involved, a doctor may be provided on a specified day for these, but normally it requires a visit to your family doctor.
  • Proof of age. A sports league requires proof of your child’s age to make sure they are signed up to participate in the proper division of their respective sport. An acceptable proof of age is an official birth certificate.
  • Proof of address. A sports league will also require proof of address; some leagues may even give a discount for being in-district. In some cases your child may only be allowed to play if they live in a certain district zone.
  • Release forms. Check online to see if your school or league has their release forms and waivers available. If you can print them out and complete them ahead of time, it will help make the sign-up process faster once you arrive.
  • Sports gear. Take the kids out for a sports equipment shopping trip! You want to make sure they have the right gear needed to stay safe and stylish on the field and going a little early means you won’t have trouble finding your child’s size in clothing, shoes, or protective gear.

Be sure to visit your league’s website to find the Spring sports sign-ups dates so you have enough time to prepare. If you need a government certified official birth certificate, VitalChek can help! Simply go online and place an order for your child’s birth certificate and let us take care of the rest.

Fun International Travel Destinations for Singles

Collage of summer beach maldives images

International travel is always exciting! The chance to see new places and new faces is something many people live for, especially thrill seekers. It takes an adventurous person to travel alone internationally, but for many, this is a preferred method of travel. Traveling internationally as a single leaves the door open to make new friends and experience your trip the way you want to, without any outsider input. Does this sound like the type of trip you could see yourself taking? If you answered yes, then you will want to learn more about some of the best international travel destinations for singles.

  • Costa Rica: Did you know Costa Rica was voted #1 as the country with the happiest people according to the Happy Planet Index? If that isn’t enough of a reason to visit Costa Rica, here are a few more perks. This beautiful country has something for the thrill seekers, the relaxation seekers, and everyone in between. Take your pick of zip lining through the tropical forests with volcanoes as your backdrop, boat parties with endless fun in the sun, or beachside spas for detoxing your stress away.
  • Bali, Indonesia: Known for its attention to spirituality through yoga, flavorful foods, breathtaking mountain and beach scenery, along with endless markets, Bali is quickly becoming a hot spot for traveling singles. Again, it caters to the needs of just about everyone. One popular and centrally located place for traveling singles to stay is the Family Guest House in Ubud. These accommodations are known for making guests feel at home while encouraging a true Balinese experience.
  • Montreal, Canada: If you’re looking to keep your travel closer to home, but still want a European-type feel, Montreal is perfect for you. For the solo traveler on a budget, this Canadian province of Quebec will leave you in awe without being a shock to your wallet. Nature lovers can hike Mont Royal, the mountain in the middle of the city, while history lovers can explore old Montreal, one of the oldest North American cities. You can also practice your French – but rest assured if you haven’t perfected it, you will be just fine!

These are 3 great international trips for the single man or woman looking for their next adventure. Before you go, be sure to research the areas to find out more about the must-see locations and to be prepared with any vital records you may need. For any help obtaining required vital records for your travel, visit VitalChek to quickly receive your government verified records.

 

Tips for Women Traveling Alone

Women Traveling Alone

As a woman traveling abroad it can be exhilarating and empowering. On the flip side it can be nerve-wracking to be alone rather than in a group. When traveling alone, safety should be your number one priority. Travel the world, live your life, and experience things you never would have before, but remember a few tips for women traveling solo.

Being alone in a new country means having to be aware of your surroundings and being aware of any safety alerts. Using what most people refer to as “street smarts” is a tip to always keep in the back of your mind.

  • Walk with a sense of purpose and confidence. This will help eliminate the sense that you are in an unfamiliar place.
  • Women who travel alone frequently also suggest carrying a map, phrase book, and money with you at all times. Having the local currency with you will help you enjoy spur of the moment purchases but will also help you hail a cab or purchase a train ticket to get back to your hotel.
  • If you get lost, make sure to stay in well-lit and well-populated areas. If you need to ask for directions, stopping off at a restaurant is in most cases a safe option.
  • Be aware of your bags at all times. This includes a purse or backpack as you are exploring a city or country area. Many people are surprised how easy it is to become a victim of pick-pocketing.
  • Use your hotel or housing during your trip to learn more about what areas you should visit and which ones may be best to avoid as a solo woman. Most concierges will be happy to help keep you on the right path so you enjoy your trip and leave a good review of the hotel.

If you need any help obtaining government records or proof of your identity for your trip, VitalChek can help. We are a leading provider of online ordering for vital records such as birth certificates, so you can worry about one less item on your traveling checklist. Contact us to learn how to obtain your records today.

Travel Tips for International Adoption

My adopted daughters

Making the choice to expand your family by choosing adoption is one heartwarming way to give a new life to a child in need of a home. Adoption can be done both within the country and internationally depending on what is right for your family. For those families who choose international adoption there are a few travel tips you should keep in mind for a successful overseas adoption.

Once you have found a reputable adoption agency, they will help walk you through all of the paperwork needs for your travel. However there are a few other parts of the trip to think about prior to embarking. You should be aware of where you are staying in relation to the adoption site, cultural differences, safety matters, and clothing for your new son or daughter. Use this international adoption guide to help make your process go as smoothly as possible.

  • Make sure you research the area surrounding your adoption site. Plan out transportation thoroughly to make sure you can get to where you need to be on time. It is always a good idea to ask any family or friends who have been to the area for recommendations as well. If you do not know anyone who has visited the area, check with your adoption agency as they may be able to connect you with other family ambassadors.
  • Research the culture of where you will be adopting from, as you will be expected to follow their cultural formalities. This includes making sure your clothing is proper and that you understand the acceptable mannerisms of the culture. Educating yourself and family will help ease any culture shock and will help ease any anxiety you may experience from being in a new place.
  • The adoption agency will provide you with any information regarding vaccines or medications you may need to visit the country you are adopting from. However, you should also look at the CDC and or World Health Organization to make sure you are aware of any and all new health concerns. You can never be too safe when it comes to your health during your adoption trip.
  • Bring different sized clothes for your son or daughter. In different countries, depending on nutrients available, your baby may be smaller than they normally would be at their age or their clothing sizes run differently. It is wise to pack clothes that are for both a younger or older child to make sure you have your bases covered.

VitalChek wants your adoption to run as smooth as possible. We can help provide you with proper government documentation needed for the adoption agency and for your trip. Simply visit us at www.VitalChek.com to order your vital records.