Category Archives: Health Insurance

Braai and Cancer – What now?

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What is this about a Braai giving you cancer?

It’s a Monday morning and throughout this weekend the smell of South African fires filled the air. On top of that was the delectable smell of braaiwors, braai-chops and more. Is there anything more South African than a braai?

Are our “braaivleis” days over?

Studies state that PAH’s (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) are emitted by combusting wood, charcoal and gas. These PAH’s allegedly cause cancer in lab animals. To be more specific, among the types of cancer noted are skin, stomach, liver and other forms of cancer. What about humans?

The study makes the following conclusion: Occupational exposure to PAH’s can be linked to humans due to related epidermiological studies. The reason: Meat contains nitrogen and when this nitrogen comes into contact with an open flame, PAH’s are formed. So, the study claims that grilling meat on a braai may cause cancer and be hazardous to your health.

Another  set of cancer-causing compounds in cooked meat are called Heterocyclic Amines (HCA’s). Studies at UCA (University of California) show that HCA’s are formed when heat and amino acids, as well as the creatinine in animal muscle, mingle.

These experts say that the higher the heat and the longer the cooking time, the more HCA’s are produced. This puts our “vleisbraai”  or BBQ way UP there for HCA’s!

What about National Braai Day?

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This year, our Heritage day, also known as National Braai Day, falls on 24 September. Can we braai more healthy? There should be some way to save our BBQ!

According to Health 24, we can make our BBQ’s more healthy! This is how:

  • Marinated meat reduce HCA’s.
  • Cook your meat in the microwave before you grill it. Get rid of the juices and then only grill your meat  over the open fire.
  • Flip your meat often and reduce those harmful HCA’s.
  • Eat lots of greens with your braai meat to further reduce HCA’s.

Well, thank goodness for THAT! Now we can still enjoy our weekend BBQ! Just be sure to eat lots of greens like lettucue, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber and beans with your favorite meat.

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Why You Need Health Insurance

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Can you afford NOT to have Health Insurance?

Why do you Need Health Insurance?

For you to make a wise and educated health insurance decision, it is important to understand what the value of health insurance is and why you need it. It may sound rather obvious, but there are many people who don’t fully understand the basic function of health insurance or how it works.

In a nut shell, health insurance will help to protect you in the following ways:

Health Insurance will protect your finance

As Insurance companies negotiate rates with health care providers, you will be entitled to discounted rates as a policy holder of that insurance company. For anybody without coverage, the fee charged for a normal visit can be as much as double the norm.

Health Insurance will safeguard you from unforeseen medical costs

Even if there are certain costs you have to pay for in your health plan, having some cover can shield you from bankruptcy that could happen in the case of injury and high hospitalization costs.

Health Cover improves and protects your health

That is because it gives you access to higher quality and quantity care.

As the holder of a health insurance plan, you have access to a wide group of health care providers.

You are provided with critical care

It is true that uninsured patients might often get emergency-room care and receive a bill afterwards, but chances are they may not get essential treatment for a life-threatening chronic condition, unless they pay for it first.

Health Insurance encourages you to live a healthier lifestyle

Because you have Health Insurance you will probably be more likely to take make use of regular checkups as well as preventive care, since you know it won’t clear out your bank savings account.

You may ask: “Is it not far too expensive to buy my own health insurance coverage?”

The answer is: “Not necessarily”. The truth is that Individual and Family health insurance can be surprisingly reasonably priced.

Can you actually afford not to have Health Insurance? 


Dental Care and Health Insurance

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Does your Health Insurance include Dental Care?

Is Dental Care covered by Health Insurance Plans?

Consumers are often confused about their health and dental insurance benefits. What’s covered and what is not, can be long and detailed list. The overlap between health and dental plans is very often unclear.

Most of us know or think we know that somewhere in our health plan something about dental care is mentioned. There is some confusion about dental and vision as part of the crucial health benefits included in every health plan. This confusion can lead to a huge shock when one realises or are told that your health Insurance plan excludes both and perhaps other kinds of care too.

So, do Health Insurance plans include dental care or not?

Well it depends on the kind of care that is needed. Some procedures do fall under major medical benefits in your health insurance, while others are only covered in a dental plan.

TMJ treatment is often included in health insurance cover, but not in dental cover. Wedged wisdom teeth are normally covered by health insurance plans, while erupt wisdom teeth are determinedly covered under dental care. Oral surgery tends to be covered by health insurance.

Just know that various plan have different rules and details, both for dental and medical cover.

Three ways to avoid unexpected costs

1. Get comprehensive coverage – From the onset get dental care and health insurance included in your health care cover to be sure of benefits for major medical and oral health services.

2. Know your benefits – Scrutinize your dental and health plan details when you receive your membership documents. Get to know what is covered and what is not. If there is anything you don’t completely understand contact the insurer to get explanations.

3. Coordinate your care – Before making an appointment for treatment or procedures, make sure the care you are planning to receive and the caregiver to treat you, are both covered by your insurance plan and under which plan it is covered. Call your insurers to confirm benefits.

Get clarity as to what care may be embedded into a major medical plan or should be purchased as a stand-alone plan.

7 Ultimate Rules to save money on Insurance

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Be wise and save money on insurance

Save money on insurance and avoid making serious mistakes when you shop for insurance policies with these 7 rules as a guide.

Rule 1: Financial Risks

Only buy insurance for financial risks you cannot manage on your own. Don’t handle insurance as a way to cover any or all losses no matter how small or insignificant. This is a waste of money. Insuring your home with homeowners insurance is a good choice, but taking out expensive, comprehensive insurance for a very old car is a waste of money.

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Get Third Party only insurance for old cars

Rule 2: Shop Around

Get a few insurance quotes from different Insurance Companies. Most Insurance Companies provide an online quote service, as well as a telephonic quote service via state of the art call centers. Do not immediately accept the first or cheapest quote. Make sure that the policy covers your lifestyle and individual needs.   

Companies that sell directly to the client will also save you additional money for a middleman or broker. Have a look at the benefits the different companies offer, as well as any low-cost Additional Options provided to enhance your basic policy.

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Shop around online for insurance quotes

Rule 3: Never Lie on a Policy Application

Your policy can be cancelled if it is discovered that you have given incorrect information.

Health, life, and disability insurers run severe background checks on applicants through the Medical Information Bureau, so you can get caught when providing inaccurate information.

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Do not give inaccurate information on your insurance application form

Rule 4: Don’t Buy Specific-Risk Policies

Your insurance should provide the broadest coverage you can get. Buying insurance cover against specific illnesses like cancer defeats the purpose of having an insurance policy. If you have ulcers or other medical issues, your cancer insurance will not help you. A much safer option will be to get comprehensive medical coverage instead.

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Broad Cover is safer than Specific Cover

Rule 5: Never Cancel One Policy until You Have a Replacement Policy in Place

You will be uninsured for however long it takes to get a new policy. And if disaster strikes during this period, you could be financially ruined. This rule applies to everyone, but especially for the elderly, since older folks sometimes have trouble getting health and life insurance. Please keep this important information in mind!

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Don’t be caught unawares

Rule 6: Get a High Deductible or Excess

You save money by having insurance policies with high Excess or Deductibles. The premium for high-deductible policies is always lower. Not only that, but you save yourself all the trouble of filing a claim and needing to haggle with insurance company representatives if you have a high deductible and you don’t need to make as many claims.

Lately, most Insurance Companies are offering to pay cash back to policy holders after 4 or more years remaining claim-free. This should be an additional incentive not to claim for any and every mishap.

Note: The more you claim, the more inflated your premiums will become, due toe being viewed as high-risk by your insurance company.

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Don’t claim when you don’t have to. They’re watching …

Rule 7: Rainy Day Account

While you can save money on your insurance premiums by following the rules mentioned earlier, it’s probably a big mistake to use that money for, say, a trip to Hawaii. Instead, use any savings to build a nice-sized rainy day fund that you can draw on to pay deductibles. A big enough rainy day fund can cover both periods of unemployment and your insurance deductibles.

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Save for a rainy day.

Keep these guidelines in mind and you may save more money than you expect on the long run!


Is Cancer Insurance a new trend in Insurance?

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Cancer Insurance

Cancer insurance is an optional supplemental health insurance to assist in managing the risks of cancer. As a relatively new trend, it is meant to ease the costs of cancer treatment and therefore financial support to the policy holder. Support that is based on the terms of a policy. Premiums will depend on the risk related to covering the disease. Cancer Insurance emerged only around 50 years ago to meet demand coming from cancer sufferers.

Cancer insurance is not intended to replace standard health insurance coverage but to supplement such insurance by giving cover for a disease that often results in high medical costs. In recent years, new areas of cover developed such as uterine cancer and breast cancerin males. There are many types of plans that cover various forms of cancer.


Benefits of Coverage

Cancer insurance policies typically offer wellness benefits to help those suffering from cancer or at risk, to change to healthier lifestyles. These benefits can offer financial support for programs such as tobacco cessation, gym memberships, and dietary changes.

The insured may get access to information regarding healthy lifestyles and to wellness tests for early detection of disease. These tests include mammograms, Pap smear tests, colonoscopies and others.

The benefits are often designed to diminish the effects of cancer or encourage the prevention of it. Benefits differ amongst companies. Many benefits relate to medical expenses, which may include cancer treatment. Other benefits relate to non-medical costs such as transportation, food, home and child care and certain bills.

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Does your Health insurance offer Cancer Cover?

Coverage Concerns

Because of the risks of serious health issues such as cancer, Health Insurance companies often exclude coverage. Standard health insurance policies do not offer coverage for cancer. Therefore supplemental insurance policies, designed to cover cancer, will be useful. Eligibility to qualify for cancer insurance, vary from insurer to insurer and could sometimes pose a problem.

Some myths regarding cancer insurance are:

  • If I get sick, my policy will be canceled; which is untrue. As long as you pay the premium there is no reason to cancel your policy.
  • I have to use special health care facilities. This only applies to your health insurance, never to supplemental coverage
  • If I’ve had cancer before, I can’t get this plan, which is also far from the truth. If you’ve been cancer free for at least 5 to 10 years, you can apply for approval.






How statistics determine your insurance premiums

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Statistics determine your insurance premiums

Statistics reveal risk and insurance premiums to be charged 

How well you know your Insurance agent has no effect on the terms of the policy you purchase from him as it used to be in days gone by.

In the days before computers, auto insurance was personal and a policy was individual. Your agent could call in some favors from his colleague in head office to obtain better insurance premiums for you. It was a given that male drivers under 25 paid high premiums and young females were considered as lower risk and charged less.   

Nowadays, insurance companies have large databases containing accident and claims records. By calculations, these records will reveal the type of person likely to be a safe driver and the one likely to be an accident risk.

Generally called ‘Black Box’ technology, it provides the understanding of the background and conduct of people, they think should pay higher insurance premiums. For example, people with less responsibility are actually of higher risk than those with higher liability.  Statistics have shown that the bearers of bad credit scores are more likely to be involved in accidents.

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Know how your insurance premiums are determined

How are auto insurance premiums determined? 

It is a toss of the dice between staying competitive by comparison and making the best profit for shareholders. Now that they have ‘Black Box’ technology, auto insurance companies are scrutinizing every driver. Credit score, career, past record, even the city you live in have an influence on your rates.

Selecting low limits of liability has proven you to be higher risk than those who select higher limits. That means you could lower your auto insurance premiums if you raise your liability limits. 

In some cases the new ‘Black Box’ technology reduced rates by up to 20% compared to companies that aren’t using it. Unfortunately, credit scores play a part in ALL auto insurance rating. A bad credit score results in higher insurance premiums. You won’t have the advantage of ‘discounts’ or ‘loyal customer’ credits any more. You will be rated right down to your shoe size, counted amongst drivers like you, and charged consequently.


Trends and problems in Health Insurance

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Do YOU have adequate health insurance?

Omitting Health Insurance – a trend and pressing problem worldwide

While many people, retired or working, have health cover through employer-sponsored plans, many workers and their families are uninsured because their employer doesn’t offer a health insurance plan and they cannot afford health insurance. Then there are millions of people without employment and obviously no way of obtaining health insurance other than state care, if it is available in their home country.

In some countries there are Health Insurance programs which help fill in the gaps for children from low income families and some of the parents, but the reach of these programs is limited. As a result, the millions without health insurance face undesirable health consequences because of delayed health care.


Snowball effect of no Health Insurance

Extending coverage to the uninsured should be an international priority. The number of people without health insurance is a worldwide calamity today.

Health insurance premiums have become too expensive for even middle class families to afford. In turn the uninsured are incapable to cover medical costs which sometimes result in the financial wreck of a family, and in turn results in the ongoing loss of income to the medical society. In turn the cost of medical expenses is driven higher. In the end it comes back to the insurance companies which then must drive the premiums of health insurance higher to help cover the rising cost of health care. The loss of income to the medical community creates a trend of medical professionals leaving their home country to countries where they will be remunerated according to their skills and knowledge. A sad loss to their countries of birth, both of skills and taxes.


Consequences of no Health Insurance

Conditions that would have been caught before it became severe are only found in a progressed state, because the person didn’t seek treatment due to not having insurance coverage.

If a person becomes capable to afford Health Insurance later on in life, it is more than likely he has developed pre-existing conditions that private insurance companies will exclude from coverage anyway.  An application could even be declined for this reason. Applicants who didn’t have coverage for a certain length of time, are also penalized by the loading of their premiums.

Until a solution is found the only thing that the seeker of health insurance can do, is to compare all of the options to find the lesser of all of the evils. Often the choice is the biggest evil of going without coverage.