Insurance is a kind of risk management that allows the insurer to transfer the potential costs of a significant loss to another entity by exchanging premium, i.e. monetary compensation against it. Taking insurance against assets, such as cars, homes, or life, and greatly help individuals and other businesses create protection mechanisms for themselves, in case of unforeseen financial hardships. The insurance can be gained at reasonable rates; however, the person will have to signify the importance of every item. Insurance is mostly taken on items, losing which will result in a considerable loss for the person. This means that only such items should be insured which have a chance of a significant monetary loss. Life insurance is taken, because the cost of losing the person would be too high, particularly if the person is the sole breadwinner of the family. The same principle is applicable to the different forms of insurance. You should take out insurance on such items on which losing would have detrimental effects for you, from a financial viewpoint. Following are some of the reasons for which insurance should be taken by people:
- Protecting family after loss of income, due to death or disability
- Ensure that all of a person’s debts are settled in case of his or her untimely death
- Protection against the loss of an important employee of your organization, due to death
- Buying out a share holder or partner after their demise
- providing protection to your business from income loss and business interruption
- Providing protection to oneself and one’s family in case of unforeseen health expenses
- Protecting yourself against lawsuits
- Protecting your property against fire, flood, theft, earthquakes, or any other kind of hazards
- Providing protection to yourself in case of a disability
- Protecting your automobile against accidents and thefts
From the aforementioned examples, you can glean the various reasons for which getting insurance is a good idea. Now let us look at some of the fundamentals of insurance.
How Insurance Works
Insurance works by risk pooling. What does that entail, you might ask? It means that a large group of people pay premiums in order to be insured in the case of a significant loss. These premiums are paid in an insurance bucket or pool. As the number of people pooling to get insured is large, the insurance companies make use of statistical analysis in order to calculate the actual losses a person would face in the given class.
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These companies are aware that not all of the insurers will incur losses at the same time, if at all. Some people do not face any kinds of losses during or after their lifetime. This allows insurance companies to pay for claims, if any, while ensuring that they operate profitably. A good example of this would be automobile insurance. While there are many individuals who have automobile insurance, not all of them get into accidents or have their vehicles stolen.
In order for an individual to get insurance, an insurance contract must be drawn up, which includes all the details of the insurance, such as the things it would cover, the features and benefits it would offer, the conditions of the insurance policy, along with the limitations, if any. It is crucial for you to read the contract thoroughly, taking into account every detail and every clause mentioned in it, so that you can have your queries answered. It is important to ask your insurance provider any doubts you might have regarding the clauses, or seek clarity about anything else. Some people make the mistake of not going over the contract, and blindly pay the premium, only to find out later on that the things and situations that they thought were covered by the insurance plan were not actually included. It is better to be aware than to get a nasty shock later on, when you need the insurance money the most.
Types of Insurance
There are 5 different kinds of insurance available, which are discussed in detail below. Knowing which one you require and the requirements for obtaining that insurance will help you decide on the best course of action you should take.
Property and Casualty Insurance
This type of insurance protects you against property losses of any kind. The insurance can be taken for your home, your business, automobile, or against any kind of legal liability that may arise due to an injury or damage, caused to the property of others. This type of insurance has the following types.
This type of insurance covers you, and your family, along with any relatives who might be living with you. It also covers licensed drivers who have been granted permission to drive your car. The policy covers both bodily injury sustained in an accident, property damage liability, and the physical damage caused to your automobile. The damages include any kind of damage that is caused by direct impact either with another vehicle, or due to natural disasters, and such.
Check out: Auto Insurance Reviews
Our homes, and the contents present within, are some of the greatest assets, which should be protected against unforeseen hazardous incidents. This is one of the reasons why it is very important to protect these assets, and their value. Opting for Homeowner’s insurance ensures that your home remains safe, and that you receive compensation in the case of unexpected accidents. This type of insurance covers the personal property of an individual, along with their contents and some kind of personal liability. The insurance may cover losses resulting from property damage, caused by any reason.
Health insurance is extremely important, especially if you want to ensure that you receive proper care and treatment when the need arises. Without proper health insurance plan, any kind of illness or disease may be too much to handle financially. The mental stress alone of dealing with the finances could worsen the effects of an illness. This type of insurance pays off the medical expenses that arise due to any ailment by the collected premiums. When you pay your monthly or yearly premiums, your insurance provider signs a contract with a health care service provider. This contract entitles you to many benefits, which are only provided to the members of that health care institution, at discounted rates. Different hospitals and healthcare institutions become a part of the list present in your insurance provider booklet. The costs are predetermined and cover those of medical exams, drugs, treatments, and operating procedures, which are known as covered services in your insurance policy. According to the types of plan, the coverage of the medical expenses and treatments will vary.
Another type of insurance people should consider having is the disability insurance. It is important because the future is uncertain, and being unprepared can lead to greater problems than being prepared for worst-case scenarios. According to a research, the probability of becoming temporarily disabled during your work life is far greater than the probability of dying. Therefore, it is best to consider all of your options, and opt for this type of insurance, so that you are never caught unprepared by life. Disability insurance replaces part of the salary you received before becoming disabled. You receive a specified amount after you have been declared temporarily or permanently disabled.
Long Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is crucial, particularly for people who are above 65 years of age. Most people, who are over 65, spend some time being nursed back to health, either in a nursing home or in their own home with assisted living. The costs of such care can be quite high, and may use up all of your savings if you are not prepared. Purchasing long-term care allows you to get assistance with some of the daily activities of life. These are functions that all of us perform every day, but with which the elderly require assistance. This type of insurance helps you in paying for the services you receive at the nursing home or by assisted living. Make sure to think carefully about this, so that you do not have to worry about financial constraints, if you ever require such assistance.
Life insurance is one of the most important types of insurances you should have. It is designed to protect the income of families, particularly those which have young children in the event of a sudden death of one of the spouses. These days, life insurance is used for estate tax planning, and wealth preservation.
Check out: Life Insurance Reviews
It protects you from personal risk exposures such as payments of debt after death, providing for the family, and leaving a charitable legacy, which would ensure a better future for the family. Knowing the types of insurance can help you prioritize and decide for yourself which insurance policy is important for you.
Top 10 Insurance Companies
After understanding the various types of insurance available, here is a list of the 10 top insurance companies. This list will help you know your options, and in deciding the best company to handle your insurance for you.
- Liberty Mutual
- Allstate Insurance Company
- State Farm Insurance
- Farmers Insurance Group
- The Hartford
- Prudential Financial
Cheap Insurance Quotes – How to Get Them
For any individual, what matters most is getting the best insurance at the lowest rates. Every person is looking for a chance to avail the best services, while paying as little as possible. Here are a few tips, which will help you in getting the cheapest quotes for insurance.
Do Your Research
It all begins with the research. This means that it is up to you to find some of the best companies out there, providing comprehensive services and insurance contracts at reasonable rates.
Get Different Quotes
Once you have shortlisted the insurance providers, then ask them to give you a quote for the types of insurance you are looking for. Compare the quotes presented by each company, along with the services and the entire package. Weigh each option’s pros and cons, and then decide which one would suit you best, while meting all of your requirements and conditions.
Avoid Add On Insurance Policies
When your goal is to find the cheapest insurance policy, then it is best to avoid getting any add on. What does this mean? It means that when you go to an insurance provider, he or she will provide you different insurance options, and plans, and once you have opted for one they will start showing you other plans. Do not be tempted to buy them, and make sure to choose your insurance coverage wisely.
Single Company Local Agents – Bad Idea
Insurance experts are always better at providing you the advice you need to make the right decisions. However, when you are looking for cheap insurance quotes, then you must avoid the local agents of a single insurance company. Why do we say this? Because these agents are more focused on their company goals, and represent only their company’s interests. However, if they do offer an insurance policy at the lowest quotes, then be sure to opt for them.
Get It Young!
When you buy an insurance policy at a very young age, you will receive low quotes. In short, the healthier you are, the cheaper would your insurance be. Therefore, it is better to not waste any time and get insured now, rather than to wait and see the rates rise.
Another great way to ensure that you receive lower insurance quotes is by bundling different coverage together, like that for your automobile, property, life, etc. Large insurance providers can be quite cheap if you opt for different types of insurance from them. Pick a company that will provide all of your insurances at the best package, then all that remains is to finalize the contract and lead a carefree life. These are some of the ways in which you can get cheaper insurance quotes, and ensure that you get the best rates for quality services.
Life Insurance – the basics! Want to get rich slowly? Need to invest? Begin by investing in yourself first – with life insurance. As important as life insurance is, it is very difficult to get a thorough understanding of the policies and terms of insurance. Knowing how to purchase the right product is tricky. People thus, rely on insurance agents, brokers, advisers and sales representatives to help them finalize of a policy. However, some of them do not rely on these agents owing to prior experiences, feedback and the type of training they receive. There are a number of pointers that one can fall back on, to make the right decision and invest in the right insurance product. These policies last a lifetime and care must be taken to make the right choice.
Understand what you need: You are the best judge of your own financial condition. If you rely on yourself for calculating and deriving the amount of coverage you need, that will work out to be the best possible option. One of the most simple ways of calculating this could be by multiplying your annual income by 5-10 . Use the lower level if debt and number of dependents are not many, while higher levels if debt and number of dependents are many. If you take stock of your own financial policy, you will be in control of it. Sales representatives and insurance agents are trained to sell their policies. However, one must be sure of what policies suit them and what they actually need and what works out to be particularly advantageous for them and their families.
Term insurance versus permanent insurance: It is imperative to know the difference between term insurance and permanent insurance, such as whole life. Once this is known, it is easier to make decisions of the insurance you need. Sometimes you can opt out of a whole life scheme if your term insurance itself covers a major part of your debt and financial needs. As obvious as it is, agents will hard sell permanent policies, as they get more out of it, while lesser out of term insurances. But knowing what you need is important – do not fall prey to the hard selling. Always remember to buy what is necessary. Term insurances have the advantage of renewals. Some of them have the option of making changes to them anytime in the future, commonly referred to as convertibility clause.
Talk to an independent broker: Independent brokers have the knowledge and access to a variety of products across companies. They can guide and explain a mix of products well – makes it easier for you to choose from. Offering the client more than just a company product is what these brokers can easily do.
Keep the search on: Do not freeze on an option just because you have had a single meeting with an agent and he has convinced you to buy a product. Keep the search on-going. Analyze your situation and short-list as many options as possible.
Understand the advisory mode of payment: Try to figure out the mode of an agent’s payment, whether they are compensated through fee, fee plus commission or commission alone. Glance through all the products available, besides the one you have been recommended, especially if commission is involved. The best thing to do is to ask questions about the details of every policy. It is best to just pay for the term insurance and use the cost savings to invest somewhere else.
Insurance ensure protection: It is very important to understand that when you purchase life insurance, you actually sign up for your protection. It is not investment in the real terms. Policies like whole life and universal life policies have a savings component and turn out to be more expensive.
Ask questions: Ask questions of every small or big details involved in the policy. Do not be afraid-ask tough questions. Before buying the product, it is important to have a thorough knowledge of the same. Some of the examples are: can the policy be renewed and/or cancelled, what is the guarantee of these premiums, is there an accidental death rider, what type of exclusions do they have and the liked.
Beware of the ‘know-it-all’ adviser: When an adviser does not refer to his papers, set of references etc. and pretends to know everything about the policy, it could mean that he or she does not know it in and out. Even the best advisers may have to look up or fall back on some source of information, but that is completely justified.
Indulge in product-comparison: Always make sure you compare various products that are similar in nature, for their advantages, disadvantages, riders, premium, clause etc.
Old whole-life policies: Do not replace a whole-life policy especially if it is an old one, as all the premiums paid will be lost, you may have to reset new clauses and new administration fees will be applicable.
Buy reasonable riders: Stay away from riders as much as possible, unless you really need and understand them. Do not indulge in expensive ones though the investor may ask you to do so.
Do your homework well: Before buying the product, make sure you weigh all your options, pros and cons and check its feasibility and suitability in terms of budget. Receive a proper explanation; understand the contract and then sign.
Take a month long free look: You have the option of cancelling your policy at end of your 30 day free look period, during which you can review the policy thoroughly. Once cancelled, you will get your premium back.
Do not complicate it: Keep your financial planning and insurance decisions simple. The insurance policy chosen has to revolve around your needs and not merely around the fancy riders built around it. These steps are good enough for thorough planning. They ensure that you know your product and policy in and out before actually purchasing one.
Term Life Insurance: Want to buy a term life insurance policy? Confused on this not so favorite purchase? It indeed is the best means of investing for the people you love and care.
Tips by AIG Direct to help you buy and save: Some useful pointers always come handy when you are brainstorming on buying the best scheme for the first time.
- Term coverage: One of the most important factors in term insurance is the amount of coverage you get. Be sure to ask for more coverage, never less. Check out companies that claim to offer something called milestone discounts or price breaks for higher coverage. To emphasize on protecting the people you love, always stretch a little and opt for a coverage amount higher than the one you would have just frozen on.
- Renewal options: Any term coverage is offered after a medical test. To avoid taking these tests after the lapse of the policy, check out options to renew them. Though they are based on one’s current age, they are particularly advantageous. Renewal guarantees as they are commonly called, help to save premium and the hassle of buying a term insurance all over again. Another advantage is that your declining health will not cause you worry.
- Payment means: Depending on the company from which the policy has been taken, you have the option of making payments on a monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly basis. If you want to save some money, go in for the yearly payment option; which also frees you from monthly billing fees or fractional premiums.
- Age does matter: It is wise to buy a term life insurance at a young age – the ideal time when you are healthy and the premiums are inexpensive. Youngsters normally do not think in these terms, but it is the best way and time of investing. As one grows older, the cost of the policy only rises and health declines relatively. It makes the situation non-conducive to buy a term insurance.
- Blend with your lifestyle: The best term insurance is the one that suits you and fits your budget well. Consider your lifestyle while making this investment, especially if you are involved in high risk activities like sky diving, underwater welding, flying etc. Different carriers have different ways and means of viewing and pricing risks.
Buy one today! Use the pointers outlined above and take the help of a professional – to guide and run you through different policies, feature, clauses etc. as per your needs and lifestyle. Various quotes are available on the web, but it makes sense to have a one on one conversation with some agent from this field. If not now, then when? Pick the phone and get in touch with your AIG Direct agent and go through the schemes and terms in a professional way. They always ensure they make you save, sometimes up to 70 percent. What are you waiting for? Buy the best available policy at the best offered price!
Buy life insurance and avoid common pitfalls: Ever felt a disconnect in the investment and terms of the policies you have purchased? Be aware! Know your policies well; go through all the terms and conditions that provide transparency and peace of mind. The benefits of life insurance do not meet the expectations of most of the investors. They feel that the outcome is not as expected. While some feel that the initial misunderstanding of terms and conditions is a major issue; the others feel that it is the mis-communication on the agent’s part that is a cause of concern. But by the time they realize any of this, it is already too late. Thus, make sure you review the policy documents thoroughly before signing up.
Know what you have: On a recent stint with a client, while working around developing a strategy to lower his estate tax liability and maintain savings for his future, an estimate analysis was done. It was inferred that the total estate might grow to 10 million dollars in the next 15 years. The client, using his previously purchased 2 million dollars policy, decided to cover the potential estate taxes of 4 million dollars. The famous term insurance policies pay at face value, if the policy-holder dies during his period of coverage. Premiums are either fixed for a decade or two or renewable, depending on the norms at the time of buying the policy. Even for renewable policies, the premium gets reset by the insurer depending on his or her current age. Once they cross the 65-70 years benchmark, there is a significant increase in the yearly premium.
Understand the terms of your policy: Death and return on investment have a direct correlation in these policies. They help replace income due to sudden death of the policy holder. The amount of money that the family or nominee gets out of this – is huge. Thus, it is always advisable to opt for some life insurance scheme or the other. The policies seem to be inexpensive, but as you grow older and reach the age of 65-70, you realize their rates are sky-rocketing! When you invest in term insurance, you are not really building wealth for the future, but you are merely covering the risk of lost income for a period of years. On taking a close look at the client’s policy, we figured that there were fixed premium till 70 years. Beyond this age, he could definitely renew his policy, but that would become too expensive. The only means of gaining a sum out of the investment was if he died before 70 years of age. Who understands this at the time of buying the policy? After a point of time he knew that his business would increase in value and he needed a source of money as funds in order to pay the estate taxes without selling the business. This was the reason he just bought the policy as recommended by his agent, without really taking the norms and conditions into consideration.
Policies that are here to stay: These are permanent policies – ones that will last you for a lifetime. A number of variants and varieties of such policies are available today, commonly referred to as Whole Life or Universal Life. They prove to be particularly advantageous when it comes to having savings as well as building cash value, against which one could redeem or borrow. An added advantage is that the earnings arising out of these savings are not subject to income tax.
Conclusion: Different families have different financial needs and reasons to invest. Thus, there are all sorts of permanent and term policies to cater to every individual’s needs. While term life insurances protect against the risk of lost income for a period of time, permanent policies are made to last for a lifetime. They ensure that a huge sum of wealth is in store for future and unforeseen needs, be it for charity, your family or estate taxes. The endless options that exist in the market today differ in their costs and benefits from one another. The differences and dangers can be taken care of later. As of now, invest wisely in an insurance plan that best suits you.
Health Care While Abroad It is aptly said “We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best that we can find in our travels is an honest friend” by Robert Louis Stephenson, a Scottish novelist. However while travelling one must keep in mind one’s health and aspects of medical treatment. While health care is a necessary element of travel, proper medical care abroad is a variable possibility. While at some places it may be exceptional, on the other hand, it may not be that good at some. Travelling while sick or when suffering from certain chronic conditions should definitely be avoided. However what to do if on gets sick abroad? Many health coverage plans, do cover emergencies and treatment measures abroad, but a traveler must look in the plans policies, and then after elect the plans. A traveler must have beforehand knowledge whether the plan he has opted for covers emergency evacuation. The least a traveler has to do is to carry with him an identity proof, and proof of the insurance, any kind of receipt will just be fine. A traveler must have beforehand knowledge of health care facilities and doctors available at the destination. This could prove to be a crucial knowledge in case emergency medical treatment is required. After reaching the destination one must get in touch with a nearby trusted physician and doctor, especially the traveller is travelling along with a pregnant woman, is travelling to high risk destination or is travelling with serious physical ailments. Nonetheless, one should keep a trusted doctor’s number handy; never know when you need it. The following is a list of health care centers and facilities from around the globe.
- The Department of State (www.usembassy.gov): They help travelers to locate medical services and notify friends or family, during an emergency.
- The International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM): It expertise in maintaining a directory of health care professionals in almost 50 countries worldwide who are genuinely good and for well known for travel medicine.
- The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT): It maintains an international network of physicians and hospitals, as well as clinics that willingly provide care to members while abroad. However Membership is completely free.
- The Joint Commission International (JCI): It aims to improve patient and traveler safety through certification of health care facilities worldwide. Facilities that are accredited through JCI exhibit high levels of quality. A list of these facilities can be handy and are available on at website at www.jointcommissioninternational.org Embassies and consulates in other countries as well hotel doctors may also provide relative data about JCI and its clinics and hospitals near by the destination.
- If a traveller opts for supplemental medical insurance beforehand his or her trip he or she will be eligible to access local providers in many countries through a 24-hour emergency hotline.
Apart from availing to different health services, if a traveler is travelling with chronic illnesses, or has certain physical condition then the travelers to is advised to correctly remember the name of the illness, as well carry the prescription and detailed report of the doctor prior to the current one. Such people should avoid risk prone areas and high risk activities. This without any saying goes for pregnant travelers too. Travelling while being sick should be avoided as far as possible, especially to risk prone areas or high altitude places. However, if travelling is absolutely mandatory due to business issues, and the traveler is expected to stay there for longer extended time then it is advised to undergo a thorough check up while in home country and to consult a trusted physician so that he or she is well aware of the condition before going abroad. This will decline the probability of ‘worst to worst’ situation, and the traveler would be well aware what he has to do id his condition gets worst. Even so travelling abroad when sick should be abstained. Drugs and pharmaceuticals. There is no guarantee about the condition and quality of the drugs and pharmaceuticals company, abroad. Hence it is advised, that if you are travelling for shorter span or even for extended span, do bring with yourself a handful of necessary drugs, more than handful in case of extended tours. Here are some tips for minimizing the risks before travelling.
- Carry all those drugs and medicines which to think are essential, and you will need the most. Frankly speaking, bring as many types of drugs as possible.
- Be cautious while buying medicines abroad, especially those which are easily available and can bought even without prescription.
- If situation demands blood test, or if medicine is directly injected, do ask for a new needle. AIDS, Hepatitis, etc are some of the deadly diseases which can spread through blood transfusions. For those who know that they would be requiring injections are advised to bring their own supplies of syringes to minimize the health risks.
Blood Safety. Though emergency isn’t in our hand even so, a traveler must avoid blood transfusions as much as possible since there is no guarantee of what quality of blood is available for transfusion. Do not forget to ask for blood which has been screened for transmissible diseases, including HIV. Though this is a difficult task, travelers who have a before hand knowledge of medical facilities available at the destination would receive better facilities during emergencies. Travelers may consider registering with agencies such as the Blood Care Foundation that for reliable blood products, and hassle free and safe blood transfusion. (http://www.bloodcare.org.uk/blood-transfusions-abroad.html). It may be late, but better be late then sorry. All travelers must consider getting immunized especially against diseases like Chicken pox, hepatitis B, tetanus etc, to minimize the health risks, as the environment abroad can be way more different than that in home country. It is especially recommended for those who have to travel frequently abroad. It is aptly said that precaution is always better than cure, and one should take proper precautions considering the health risks one has the possibility of having, abroad. Activities which puts a traveler at high risk or activities which can cause serious injuries must be avoided.
Choosing the right health coverage Choosing the right health insurance is not an easy task. With new government reforms, it just got more complicated, especially for those who have wriggle around the choices provide by the employer. Limited options, laws and regulation differences in premiums and the services covered are all have to be kept in mind before choosing the right health insurance for you and your family. So here are some one-liners and tips to clear your doubts about health insurance and to get you going.
- The Grandfather exemption:
If your employer makes absolutely no changes to your insurance plans, then it is one of those plans which are not subjected to health reform laws. Such plans provide coverage for preventive services for blood pressure, immunizations, depression screen, smoke s cessation programs and lot more, all of this without any co pay. Isn’t that great? Going through the plan will suggest whether it is ‘grandfathered’ or not.
- A plan health plan which meets your needs is a health plan indeed:
Out of all those plans available, all of them fall under roughly three categories, namely health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO) and point-of-service plans (POS). Out of these three HMO’s is less flexibly, letting you consult physicians only from a specific network. The rest of the two plans are quite flexible, i.e. letting you stay within the network as well as you can go outside the network. POS combines the elements of the other two health policies, letting you consult a physician from within the network as well as get a referral from that physician before approaching a specialist. While all these plans are available to person seeking health insurance, one must ensure that the plan he chooses, incorporates his and his family’s needs in it. Health insurance plan should be as per one’s need.
- Changes should be indentified:
With time, some coverage for a particular service or diseases may no longer be available; at the same time health care cost have gone up, resulting in sudden out of pocket expenditures. This surely has to be kept in mind before opting for healthcare plan as it could save you from dealing with unexpected costs. Repeated change of plans can however prove to be a costly affair.
- Change is inevitable:
Consider switching of plans, or making changes to your current plan may prove to be quite beneficial. For example, a primitive plan which covers preventive services and treatment for small pox is now an obsolete one. With time one must opt for different healthcare plans or perhaps make changes to their current health care plans.
- Vote for your favorite doctors:
Choose plan which gives the flexibility to consult your own trusted physician or gynecologist. The plan you are opting for must have your trusted family doctor under its, network. One should have the freedom of consulting your own doctor and at the same time do not violate the terms of the plan.
- Product differentiation:
Always compare the costs of the plan you are opting for with other available plans. It might happen that you get a better and more secure plan than the one you elected, with a benefit of slightly less premium. A thorough check of all the available plans in the market can prove to be extremely beneficial especially for a complete layman for whom all these health care insurance a great deal of confusion and chaos.
- Greed can prove to be dangerous:
Never get lured by the ‘freebies’ offer. Is rest assured that nothing comes for free in this world, and a health care company probably wouldn’t be that generous to give away freebies to you. Go through the plans thoroughly; there may more to it that meets the eye.
- Save, save and keep saving:
Consider opening an account to manage your health costs and at the same time saving for premiums of the healthcare plans.
- Prescription coverage:
The plan is to add and drop a few medicines from your prescription. See to it that he pills in your prescription are covered by your health care plan. The larger the number of drugs covered by your plan, the better it is. Choose plan which covers a wide variety of drugs. Opt for online prescription and be sure that the pill you are taking on a regular basis is covered this year.
- Taking advantage of wellness incentives:
Companies and employers, provide wellness incentives as a method to make their employee physically fit and active. One should actively take part in fitness programs or smoking cessation to reverse bad habits and also to reduce premiums for the company and its employees. Nowadays corporations and companies popularize healthy lifestyles. Employers nowadays opt for fresh and healthy foods at their respective company’s kitchen. This has a twin benefit. It increases the fitness level of their employees and at the same time reduces the premiums for the company and its employees.
- Reconciliation of your spouse’s coverage:
Do not forget to reconcile your spouses’ coverage. If your kids and your wife are all under the same healthcare plan then make sure that your employer is contributing equally towards you and your family. Few employers out there charge for each person the plan is covering. This is soon empty your pockets. In such cases it is better to independently opt for health care plans plan. Make sure that your plan is cost effective.
- Last but not the least:
Do Plan for the worst. Amendments’, legal reforms, all these can alter your health care plan. What your health plan offers now, it may happen that it couldn’t offer that 10 or may be 20 years later due to sudden changes in the rules and regulation. While choosing for a health plan see to it that what it can offer in the future. It’s futuristic scopes as well as whether it covers your needs or not. At same time see to it that whether your plan can keep up with soaring prices in health care facilities and weather the premium is affordable or not. Does your plan’s coverage is a lot less as far as it premium is concerned? These are some of the essential plans that would probably help a layman understand the basics of health care plans and health insurances. Life just got busier and health got neglected. People nowadays are more into smoking and alcohol. Sedentary lifestyles have triggered a number of resulted in health issues. Intoxication must be avoided while opting for health care insurance. We have got only one life, lets live it in healthy way.
Travel Insurance: A Secure way to have an enchanting travel experience. It is aptly said that, ‘Travel is the only thing you by, which makes you richer’. Sometimes even a month’s preparation is not enough and one simply can’t hide the excitement of the journey. We generally plan for every possible contingency, however, falling sick at vacation spot is not in our hands. We simply can’t predict the cost of medical emergency. If you are really fond of travelling, then you would consider ruining your entire trip by falling sick? Well emergency is not in our hands; however one can reduce the cost of medical emergencies by buying these 3 types of insurances.
- Travel insurance
- Travel health insurance
- Medical Evacuation insurance.
These insurances can be purchased even before the trip. These not only provide a secure way to travel but also ensure that you have a pleasant vacation and you come back with some mesmerizing memories. These insurances are not only important for elderly people but others who have severe or chronic illnesses must look into these three travel insurances before visiting certain holiday destinations. Travel Insurances. It protects the financial aspects of the trip, from lost baggage to trip cancellation, all comes under this insurance. However, traveler purchasing this insurance is advised to do a thorough research as it may or may not cover medical expense abroad depending on the type of insurance you are availing. One must carefully go through his insurance policy before purchasing. A look into the health services abroad. Generally, attending to medical conditions abroad requires a lump sum of cash, regardless of whether the traveler is medically insured in his home country. This indeed can result in an expenditure that you never expected. Even if there’s nationalized health care policies abroad, it does not ensure that you being a non resident can avail those services. In such cases, one must contact his or her respective country’s consular officer, who can assist the respective citizens by transferring funds. So keep a consular’s number handy. This throws some limelight on ones insurance option. One should therefore be medically insured, if he or she is planning to travel outside home country, especially for extended period of time, or going to travel with severe health conditions or to high risk places. Domestic health insurance, a must. While some insurance companies at your home country may provide for the medical emergencies, if you are travelling abroad, even so, one must go through the insurance policies and do a thorough research, to determine the which medical service(s)is or are covered abroad by the respective insurance policies. The following should be kept in mind before availing or purchasing the insurance policy.
- What kind of medical services are covered during pregnancy?
- Is there a 24- hour physician support center?
- Whether high risk activities are covered in the policy.
- Policies regarding “put of network services.
- Is there a need for second opinion before emergency treatment?
- Does the policy cover the pre-existing illnesses and physical conditions?
Supplemental travel health and medical evacuation. Supplemental or short term health policies are quite common these days, and they are pretty inexpensive. These cover the health care costs, for short term span, especially, for small trips, and are relatively inexpensive. However these may not cover medical evacuation which may result in an out of pocket expenditures of a few thousand to some hundred thousand dollars. If not properly planned medical evacuation may prove to be a costly affair. For frequent travelers, schemes covering medical evacuation are worth a look into. Companies covering medical evacuation have influence in some countries, i.e. they have better experience and facilities in only some parts of the world. Hence before availing for such insurance policies, one must scrutinize all their policies carefully and look for the following
- Hospitals arrangement and guaranteed direct payment.
- Is it providing 24 hours physician backed support center?
- Coverage of high risk activities.
- Is emergency medical transport facility included in the insurance? etc
Even so, travelers should be well prepared for unexpected delay of services especially in remote areas. Insurance providers within your reach. The websites listed below will provide you with enough information regarding travel insurance, schemes and policies. Keep these handy.
- Department of State (www.travel.state.gov)
- International SOS (www.internationalsos.com )
- MEDEX (www.medexassist.com)
- International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (www.iamat.org)
- American Association of Retired Persons www.aarp.org
Pick up a suitable website and get going. Special consideration for medical beneficiaries. There are only some Medigap plans which provide limited coverage for emergency care abroad, only in some few countries. Thus travelers must go through the policies of respective medical insurance plan, and do a thorough research before opting it. Thus to cut it short, a traveler must follow the following check list, especially before travelling abroad for extended days or travelling with chronic illnesses and physical conditions.
- Consider three insurances before travelling:
- Travel insurance, to insure trip cost and cancellation of the trip.
- Medical cost, to insure medical treatment cost, abroad.
- Medical evacuation, to insure emergency medical evacuation.
- Thoroughly go through the insurance schemes and their policies. Consider an insurance plan which covers most of medical and travel related issues abroad. Scrutinize their domestic health policies. Look for what services they are providing to you abroad, and are you feeling secured by opting for such that insurance?
- Have thorough information about the medical services and hospitals at you r destination. Predict your medical budget accurately so that there is not any sudden out of pocket expenditure. Have a thorough knowledge of the area and keep a nearby physical’s number handy.
- Do carry copies of bills, receipt or any kind of proof that you have availed or purchased such kind of travel insurance. This is an important part to be kept in mind.
- Retain copies of bills or receipts or any kind of payment proof for the medical services you had availed for.
It is aptly said that “The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are”. After all life is all about enjoying and living to the fullest.