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Comparison of Health Insurance Schemes for Senior Citizens By Shankar P Nath

April 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

It is absolutely vital that as one approaches old age, one has a substantial  health insurance cover. The probability that one’s health care expenses would  increase substantially is almost a given. In this piece we look and compare the  different health insurance plans that are available in the market for senior  citizens. While every health insurance company wants to insure the young (and  almost by definition, more healthy), there are very few plans which provide  health insurance to people beyond 60. Another interesting thing to note here is  that most of the health insurance plans for senior citizens is offered by the  public sector general insurance companies.

The health insurance plans available for senior citizens are:

  1. Varistha Mediclaim by National Insurance
  2. Senior Citizen plan by Oriental Insurance
  3. Mediclaim for Senior Citizens by New India Assurance
  4. Senior Citizen Plan by United India Insurance
  5. Red Carpet Plan by Star Health Insurance

 

Varistha Mediclaim by National Insurance: This policy can be  bought by anyone between 60 and 80 years of age. Renewals can be done upto the  age of 90. Between the age bands of 76-80, premiums have an added factor of 10%  and between 80 to 90 years of age, premiums are grossed up by 20%. The sum  insured under this policy for hospitalization is Rs 1 lakh. For critical  illness, the sum insured is Rs 2 lakhs. Under the critical illness cover,  diseases such as cancer, renal failure, stroke, organ transplants etc are  covered. If the person has already been insured for 3 years through a health  insurance policy, then he or she does not have to undergo a medical test, else  there has to be a medical test under the prospective customer’s costs. For  domiciliary treatment, the maximum claim is fixed at 20% of the sum insured.  Ambulance charges upto Rs 1000 are covered under this policy. For a mediclaim  cover of Rs 1 lakh and a critical illness cover of Rs 2 lakhs, the premium  varies between Rs 6200 (for a 60-65 year old) to Rs 9200 (for a 75-80 year old).  One interesting feature of this policy is that pre existing hypertension and  diabetes are covered from the 1st year itself of the policy by paying 10%  additional premium for each of the two diseases. Pre existing is of course not  available for the critical illness policy. Other pre existing diseases are  covered after 1 policy year. Dialysis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy for  preexisting ailment is never covered. Claims are paid only for events that occur  within India. Claims which occur within the first 30 days of the commencement of  the policy will not be covered, unless in the case of the person being insured  with an Insurance Company without break for the past 12 months. For the purpose  of this policy, pre existing diseases such as cataract, piles, fistula, hernia,  benign lumps, joint replacement etc will not be covered in the first 12 months.  War related medical claims, vaccination, spectacles cost, plastic surgery,  corrective dental surgery, venereal disease, vitamins and tonics which are not  part of the treatment, nuclear disaster related health claims, alternative  treatment like homeopathy etc are excluded.

Opinion: We think it is one of the best policies for senior  citizens, except that the sum insured is low. They are quite generous as far as  the norms for entry age and pre existing diseases are concerned.

2. Senior Citizen Specified Disease Plan by Oriental  Insurance: In this plan, the policyholder has the option to choose sum  insured of Rs 1 lakh, 2 lakhs, 3 lakhs, 4 lakhs or 5 lakhs. One restrictive  feature of this policy is that 20% of any claim amount has to be co-paid by the  insured. Cashless payment through TPA is restricted to Rs 1 lakh. This plan  covers 10 specified diseases: cancer, renal failure, heart diseases, liver  related diseases, COPD (lung ailment), stroke, prostrate, orthopaedic disease,  ophthalmic disease, accidental injury and knee replacement. The amount that one  can claim for a particular disease is restricted as a percentage of the sum  insured (for e.g., 50% of the sum insured can be claimed for cancer, while 20%  of the sum insured can be claimed for stroke). A sum insured of Rs 1 lakh will  cost Rs 4500 for a 65 year old, while it will cost Rs 6400 if one is eighty  years old or beyond. While this may seem cheaper than National Insurance’s  Varistha medical scheme, it is less wide in scope. This policy has an  interesting refund of premium clause if one withdraws from the policy: if the  policyholder gets out of the policy within the first month, 75% of the premium  is returned and if he opts out between 3 to 6 months of the policy, 25% of the  premium is returned. In this policy, pre-existing diseases are not covered for a  period of 2 policy years. Other exclusions are very similar to those of  National’s Varistha medical scheme.

Opinion: a good scheme in terms of the level of sum insured  and price, but the scope of diseases covered is restrictive. Another issue is  that pre-existing is covered only after 2 policy years.

Mediclaim for Senior Citizens by New India Assurance: This  policy is available for senior citizens between 60 and 80 years, and the sum  insured can be Rs 1 lakh or Rs 1.5 lakhs. Pre existing diseases are covered  after 18 continuous months of coverage, while for diabetes and hypertension to  be covered, additional premium needs to be paid. Pre hospitalization is covered  for 30 days, while post hospitalization is covered for 60 days. An insurance of  Rs 1 lakh for a 65 year old will cost Rs 3850 while it will cost Rs 5150 for an  80 year old. Thus, premiums are very competitively priced. If one wants to  extend beyond 80 years, then loading of 10% or 20% has to be paid. For pre  existing diabetes or hypertension, an additional premium of 10% each has to be  paid. One interesting feature is that there is a 10% discount if one’s spouse is  also covered under this policy. This policy also has the same partial refund  norms on cancellation as Oriental’s Specified Disease Plan. Claims would be paid  only for medical treatment in India. The exclusion conditions are standard, and  are very similar to National’s Varistha Mediclaim.

Opinion: Attractively priced. Sum insured ceilings are low.  The product brochure is silent on co-pay, and thus there is no co-pay  requirement in all probability.

United India Insurance’s Specified Disease Plan: In this  policy, sum insured of Rs 50,000 to Rs 300,000 is available to people between 60  to 80 years of age. Sum insured of Rs 1 lakh will cost Rs 3715 for a 65 year  old, and Rs 8613 for an 80 year old. So while it is cheaper for the younger age  bands, it is a bit expensive for the older age groups. An interesting feature of  this policy is that there is a hospitalization cash payment from the 3rd day of  hospitalization on payment of a particular additional premium. While other  exclusion features of this policy are comparable to that of the previous 3  policies that we have discussed, the biggest problem of this policy is that this  has a pre-existing waiting period of 4 years.

Opinion: Pre -existing waiting period of 4 years is  restrictive

Star Health’s Red Carpet Plan: This plan has been a good  marketing success. While one barely gets to hear about the reasonably broad,  well priced schemes of the 4 nationalised companies, the market is quite excited  about Star Health’s Red Carpet scheme. The sum insured under this policy can be  for Rs 1 lakh, Rs 2 lakhs, Rs 3 lakhs, Rs 4 lakhs or Rs 5 lakhs. Age of entry is  restricted between 60 and 69 years. Pre existing diseases are covered from the  1st year itself, except for those preexisting diseases for which the insured  received payment in the preceding 12 months. Subsequently, these pre-existing  diseases are covered. There are sub limits under this policy wherein different  diseases have different limits as a percentage of the sum insured. Sum insured  of Rs 1 lakh will cost Rs 4900 at entry, while a sum insured of Rs 5 lakhs will  cost Rs 20000.. The biggest catch in this policy is that there is a 50%  co-payment for pre existing diseases and 30% co-payment for other diseases!!  Other exclusions are very similar to what is there for the nationalized  companies.

Opinion: Simple, well marketed claim. But the co-payment  terms are a huge negative! The ceiling for maximum age at entry is quite low (69  years), though the guaranteed renewal feature is a big positive. Also, the sum  insured levels of Rs 5 lakh is quite high and attractive in these days of  escalated medical costs.

In summary, we feel that National’s Varistha Plan is the widest in scope. The  only issue with the plans of the Nationalised Insurance companies is that the  sum insured levels offered might not be adequate for today’s high healthcare  costs. On the other hand, they are at least offering senior citizen health  plans. It is very difficult to locate any meaningful health insurance scheme for  senior citizens offered by any private health insurance company, except Star  Health. The only problem that we see with Star Health’s Red Carpet plan is that  of the Co-pay restriction.

Shankar Nath is the founder of http://www.PolicyTiger.com,  a leading online insurance comparison site in India. http://www.PolicyTiger.com helps user compare health  insurance, life insurance and car insurance policies in an unbiased manner so  that they can get the best price on their insurance, sometimes saving as much as  50% of the quoted price.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Shankar_P_Nath

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6330093

Five Easy Steps to a Low Maintenance Eco-friendly Landscape

February 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Gardening expert Melinda Myers provides a step-by-step plan to transform your landscape while saving time, money and a natural resource

It’s possible to create a beautiful landscape and be kind to the environment even with a busy schedule and while staying within budget. “All it takes is a bit of planning and a few low maintenance strategies,” says gardening expert and author Melinda Myers.
Myers recommends these five strategies to create a low maintenance eco-friendly landscape this season.

Be Waterwise

Save money on the water bill, time spent watering and this precious resource, water. Start by growing drought tolerant plants suited to your growing environment. Once established they will only need watering during extended dry spells. Mulch with shredded leaves, evergreen needles, woodchips, or other organic matter to conserve moisture, reduce weeds, and improve the soil as they decompose.

Fertilize with a low nitrogen fertilizer, like Milorganite, that promotes slow steady growth instead of excessive greenery that requires more water. Plus, it won’t burn even during drought.

Put rainwater to work all season long by using rain barrels to capture rainwater off your roof or directly from the sky.

Recycle Yard Waste in the Landscape

Minimize the amount of yard waste produced, reuse what can be in other areas of the landscape and recycle the rest as compost. These are just a few strategies that will save time bagging, hauling, and disposing of yard debris. And better yet, implementing this strategy will save money and time spent buying and transporting soil amendments, since it will be created right in the backyar

Start by leaving grass clippings on the lawn. The short clippings break down quickly, adding organic matter, nutrients and moisture to the soil. Grow trees suited to the growing conditions and available space. That means less pruning and fewer trimmings that will need to be managed.

Make Compost at Home

Recycle yard waste into compost. Put plant waste into a heap and let it rot. Yes, it really is that simple. The more effort put into the process, the quicker the results.
Do not add insect-infested or diseased plant material or perennial weeds like quack grass, annual weeds gone to seed, or invasive plants. Most compost piles are not hot enough to kill these pests. And do not add meat, dairy, or bones that can attract rodents.

Manage Pests in Harmony with Nature

A healthy plant is the best defense against insects and disease. Select the most pest-resistant plants suited to the growing conditions and provide proper care.
Check plants regularly throughout the growing season. It is easier to control a few insects than the hundreds that can develop in a week or two. And when problems arise, look for the most eco-friendly control. Start by removing small infestations by hand. Consider traps, barriers, and natural products if further control is needed. And as always be sure to read and follow label directions carefully.

Energy Wise Landscape Design

Use landscape plantings to keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Homes will have a more comfortable temperature throughout the seasons and energy costs will be reduced.

Plant trees on the east and west side of a house to shade windows in the summer and let the sun shine in and warm it up through the south-facing windows in winter.
Shade air conditioners, so they run more efficiently and be sure to collect and use any water they produce for container gardens.

Incorporate these changes into gardening routines and habits over time. Soon these and many more strategies that help save time and money while being kind to the environment will seem to occur automatically.

Nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 115 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and writes the twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda also has a column in Gardening How-to magazine. Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. She has written articles for Better Homes and Gardens and Fine Gardening and was a columnist and contributing editor for Backyard Living magazine. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. Her web site is www.melindamyers.com

Incontinence and Senior Falls (Nevada Senior Guide)

September 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles 

Seniors who have urinary incontinence have been shown to have 3 times the risk of falls as compared to seniors without urinary incontinence. The connection between urinary incontinence and falls is surprising but studies do show that when you are able to care for your bladder issues you will have a less likely chance of dealing with falls. Falls in the elderly can lead to severe problems like hip fractures and in many cases hip surgery may be too hard to recover from and can lead to death.

There are close to 1.9 million emergency room visits each year due to senior falls. If managing your urinary incontinence problems will prevent or decrease your risk of senior falls, it is important to figure out how you can start taking control of these urinary issues. So why are senior falls and urinary incontinence linked in some way? Most of the studies indicate that there is an issue with falls when a senior is rushing to get to the bathroom. They may trip over furniture and even over their own feet in their rush to relieve their bladder before it starts to dribble. Not only are the bladder muscles to blame for incontinence they are also to blame for senior falls. Weak bladder muscles actually aid in controlling our balance and when they are not strong, they will lead to serious issues.

What can you do in order to prevent falls in the home? It helps to make the home into a safer environment by installing safety devices like railings and using a walker to help you get around. It is also important to keep the home clean and organized in order to prevent piles from getting in the way when you are walking around. Grab bars in the bathtub and next to the toilet will also be able to help prevent falls from occurring when you are rushing to get to the restroom.

Strengthening the pelvic core muscles will also aid in managing urinary incontinence along with helping to prevent falls from occurring. Studies done on women dealing with urinary incontinence and balance problems find that when a woman is able to strengthen her pelvic core muscles she will have a lower change of dealing with dribble throughout the day and her body will respond quickly if she does slip or trips over something.

Muscles do get weak but they can be strengthened and retrained at any age, allowing you to fix bladder control problems even if you have dealt with them in the past. Some seniors find relief when they start to exercise but they do notice they still have dribble when they laugh or get excited. This is completely normal and it helps to have some urinary incontinence products that can make living with urinary incontinence easier.

Some of the best exercises you can do in order to improve the pelvic core muscles include Kegel exercises. These exercises are commonly used during pregnancy to help prepare a woman’s body to give birth by making her lower region stronger. What you will focus on doing is squeezing the muscles that are used to stop the flow or urine. They are great for building muscle tone around your urethra and will aid in controlling the flow or urine when the bladder tries to release it.

Another exercise to do is to lie on your back with your knees at a 90 degree angle (feet flat on the floor) and to lift up your entire lower region and hold it tight for 10 seconds and release it back to the floor. Do this exercise daily to help strengthen your lower region as it will aid in providing you with stronger pelvic core muscles and preventing falls and problems with senior falls.

About the Author:
Incontinence products
Dianna Malkowski is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained nutritionist specializing in diabetes, cancer, wound healing, therapeutic diets and nutrition support.
Visit the Care Giver Partnership for more info on Incontinence supplies

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dianna_Malkowski

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6560115

  • Senior Industry Network Group Events

    Monthly SING Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at our NEW location below:

    Desert Canyon - HealthSouth
    9175 W. Oquendo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89148

    S.I.N.G. Agenda:
    - Coffee and bagels will be served
    - A time to show gratitude by thanking those who have sent you referrals
    - Announcements around the room
    - One minute commercials
    - Open Discussion on topics of Self Empowerment

    * When? The 1st Thursday of every month. Networking starts at: 8:00am | Meeting starts at: 8:30am

    * How Much? It’s free!