CAN YOU USE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE IN EMERGENCIES?

HEALTH INSURANCE IN EMERGENCIES

Medical emergencies can happen at any time. Without insurance cover, you may find yourself in need of medical attention that will leave you out of pocket.

However, even if you do have medical insurance, certain insurers may not cover your emergency bills, depending on the contract you have with them.

So, what constitutes an emergency?

There are no actual ‘definitions or parameters’ to what constitutes a medical emergency, as this is usually determined on the spot by medical professionals such as the ambulance personnel or the medical doctor who responds to the event.

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Is Health Insurance More Affordable Than Medical Aid?

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Health insurance and medical aid seem quite similar, but there are distinct differences which set them apart. These differences are also responsible for the disparity of the price points at which they are being offered to customers.

Even the cheapest medical aid is usually a bit pricier than a medical aid insurance premium.

SO, WHY IS MEDICAL INSURANCE CHEAPER THAN MEDICAL AID?

Medical aid, which is regulated by the Medical Schemes Act, is essentially Cover based on tariff codes and procedures. It often has a shortfall due to the difference between the National Recommended Price List and the South African Medical Association rates which is what healthcare professionals charge. Affinity Health wrote in January that Medical Aid must, by law, cover Prescribed Minimum Benefits.

Medical Aid has specified yearly limits for procedures and health events do not need to be specifically stated; it also does not include any personal accident disability and loss of limbs cover.

Medical Aid is also not authorized to include death and/or funeral cover as part of the Medical Aid Scheme. It pays in-hospital benefits according to the National Recommended Price List limiting benefits as per the plan.

This is why medical aid premiums usually start at around R750 per person per month.

What Is The Cost Of Medical Aid?

Are Cheap Healthcare Plans Worth It?

affordable medical aid schemes
Because medical insurance is still a fairly new product in South Africa, there are many questions about its validity and overall effectiveness.

A major concern of potential clients is the very low pricing of most medical insurance plans, compared to the premiums in the better known ‘medical aid’ market.

Why is it So Affordable?

Medical Insurance is usually very affordable, which can often deter people who believe it to be “too good to be true”. And of course, as with all products, there are scams and knock offs. Affinity Health is, however, affordable as well as reliable, with a track record of covering medical bills for remarkably low monthly premiums.

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What Is The Cost Of Medical Aid?

What Is The Cost Of Medical AidThe Grant Thornton Capital Medical Aid Survey for 2018, which compares local medical aid schemes on the cost to members across various levels of cover, was released to the public in July.

According to Business Tech, for the 2018 review, GTC screened 22 medical aids (21 open and 1 closed scheme – Profmed) offering 272 plans.

Medical aid prices are usually calculated depending on your salary, various your specific needs.

Health insurance and medical aid seem quite similar, but there are distinct differences which set them apart. These differences are also responsible for the disparity of the price points at which they are being offered to customers.

Even the cheapest medical aid is usually a bit pricier than a medical aid insurance premium.

What Is The Cost Of Medical Aid?

 

 

What To Have In Your First Aid Kit At Home

A first aid kit is a good decision for every home, but there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to these kits. There are certain factors to take into account when building your own home kit.

When deciding what to include in your first aid kit, consider the level of medical and first aid training you and the people who will have access to this kit have, or are willing and able to get. For example, most first aid kits contain a triangular bandage, but someone without first aid training would probably not know what to do with it.

Other potential problems with medicines included in kits are allergic reactions, overdosing and interactions between different medicines. You should know what your household can and cannot take and tailor your kit to your family. You know your family’s health conditions, so consider how you can best cater for them.

Where you live and whether there is a doctor or pharmacy nearby are also factors to take into consideration. You’re less likely to need a big, wide-ranging first aid kit if you live in the city as opposed to far from doctors and pharmacies.

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Should You Vaccinate Your Infant?

Vaccinations are a preventive method of disease control. They’re essentially a trial-run to prepare your body to fight specific diseases. While human body is truly amazing and works very hard to fight off infection, vaccines help this process by exposing the body to specific diseases in minuscule amounts.

When diseases are introduced in this way, the body produces antibodies to counteract and fight these specific disease antigens.

It takes a few days to create the necessary antibodies the first time a disease is introduced. The next time your body is exposed to the specific disease, it will be able to create antibodies much faster and prevent the disease from running rampant and causing damage. This is why vaccines are so powerful.

Vaccines are typically made of dead or weakened antigens so there is no risk of true infection when they are administered. However, the immune system still sees them as an enemy and produces the necessary antibodies in response.

Many people claim vaccinations cause long-term damage; research is still being conducted to determine whether or not this is true. It has been proven, however, that vaccines have eradicated serious, life-threatening illnesses. Polio and smallpox are no longer prevalent; there have been no documented cases of these diseases in years.

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How Your Phone Spreads Bacteria

On each square centimetre of your skin there are about 1 500 bacteria. Five of the most common ways to spread germs are centred around our hands and touching. From unclean hands touching food; working with raw food, then touching other uncooked foods; shaking hands and touching animals.

But throughout our day, there is one common device we are constantly clutching in our hands, our phones. Fun fact: each square inch of your cell phone contains roughly 25,000 germs, making it one of the filthiest things you come in contact with on a daily basis, according to Mashable. However, toilet seat contains around 1201 bacteria per square inch.

The same study showed that a door knob contained even more bacteria, at 8643 per square inch. Many people typically use a door knob each day, yet it still doesn’t come close to the amount of germs you find on your screen.

That is a lot of germs to press to your face daily. Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, says this is not surprising. “Nobody ever cleans or disinfects their phone, so the germs and bacteria just keep building up,” he explains.

But what type of germs would you find on your screen? Well, germs such as E. coli, as well as influenza and MRSA, a germ that causes rashes and skin infections, were present in studies.

Gerba added: “With the advent of touch-screen phones, the same part of the phone you touch with your fingertips is pressed right up against your face and mouth, upping your chances of infection.”

A study involving 200 phones as published in the “Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials” stated “94.5 percent of the phones were contaminated with some kind of bacteria, many of which were resistant to multiple antibiotics.”

A large amount of germs are transferred from our hands to our phones and vice versa, according to the study 30 percent of the bacteria on the phones ended up on the owner’s hands.

“Because people are always carrying their cell phones even in situations where they would normally wash their hands before doing anything, cell phones do tend to get pretty gross,” says Emily Martin, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Time reported.

Germs get passed on to your phone every time you check a text or send an email, but most of the organisms found on phones are not pathogens that will make you sick, Martin added.

So the next time you’re holding your phone think about how many germs are in your hand. However there are ways to minimize the amount of bacteria that’s on your phone. Firstly, the path to a clean phone begins with not taking it into the bathroom. Whether you wash your hands or not, germs still find a way to latch on, so try not taking it along. Other tricks would include wiping it with a micro cloth, etc.

But if you are like most of us, and take your phone EVERYWHERE, invest in insurance not only for your phone, but for your health too! Medical insurance in South Africa is as simple as going to www.affinityhealth.co.za and signing up and we will call you.

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Five Exercises For Great Abs

Your body’s core consists of a group of muscles in and around the abdomen, and its key function is to stabilise the body while it moves. This is why having a strong core is so important – to keep you from getting injured while doing normal, everyday things.

These exercises are not just great for strengthening your core – they’ll help you beat the bulge and create beautiful abs in the process! The best part is that you don’t need any expensive equipment or a gym membership – you can practice these great ab moves in the comfort of your own home.

The Abdominal Hold:

All you need to complete this fantastic ab exercise is a chair, and after a few seconds you’ll start feeling the burn!

  1. Grab a sturdy chair and sit at the edge with your hands flat down, right beside you and your fingers pointed out towards your knees.
  2. Tighten your abs and push yourself upwards, so your butt lifts a few centimetres off the seat.
  3. Hold yourself in that position for 10 – 15 seconds and remember to breathe!
  4. Lower yourself slowly and sit normally for a few seconds – That’s one rep.

Try to do 5 or 6 reps per workout.

High Arm Partial Sit Up

This one is something between a crunch and a sit up – but with an interesting twist!

  1. Lie flat on your back and knees bent at 90 degrees – like you would during a normal sit up.
  2. Raise your arms and point them towards the ceiling, try to keep them pointed up throughout the exercise.
  3. Do a half sit up (or crunch) and then lower yourself to the ground. That’s one rep.

Do as many of these as you can within a minute in your workout.

Flutter Kicks

This seems easy enough, but packs quite the punch due to the rapid movements of your legs.

  1. Lie flat on your back and raise both your legs off the ground
  2. Kick your feet up and down in a scissor-like motion, but make sure they do not touch the ground.
  3. Do this for about a minute, and then rest. This is one rep.

Aim to do 5 – 6 reps in your workout.

The Plank

You’ve definitely heard of this one – it’s well known for shredding cores!

  1. Begin by lying face down on the ground with your hands below your shoulders and your elbows up – like the beginning of a push up.
  2. Push yourself up into the full push up position with your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders and your knees off the ground.
  3. Hold it for 30 seconds, with your abs contracted, your arms and legs extended, and your head aligned with your spine.
  4. As you build strength you can hold this position for even longer, try to aim for a minute at a time.

There are even more difficult variations of this awesome ab exercise, so once you’ve mastered the basic form you can take your workouts up a notch and try a one-handed variety.

The Hundred

This deceptive move looks like a breeze but will have you panting in no time. Just keep breathing.

  1. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your arms at your sides.
  2. Tighten your abs and lift your head up off the ground while simultaneously lifting your feet – at this point your arms should still be supporting you.
  3. Lift your arms and point them straight out in front of you – so your whole-body rests on your bum.
  4. Vigorously move your arms up and down, reaching with your fingertips.
  5. Keep your abs tight and your chin tucked under your head while you do this.

One minute of this is one rep. Try to incorporate 5 – 6 reps into your workout.

Incorporating combinations of these workouts into your exercise routine will get you some stronger core and tight, sculpted abs in no time. Be sure to compliment your workouts with an energy-controlled diet, plenty of water and enough sleep for truly spectacular results.

Before adopting any workout regime, speak to your doctor about what best suits you.

There are many affordable medical aid schemes and medical insurance plans that will ensure you are covered by the best doctors with the best advice on which lifestyle changes to make, that will ideally suit your specific needs.

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FIVE FACTS ABOUT HIV

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains one of the world’s most significant public health challenges. HIV is the virus that causes HIV infection; AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV.

HIV is the virus that causes HIV infection. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.

HIV is spread through contact with the blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, or breast milk of a person with HIV. It’s treated with Antiretroviral therapy, which is the use of HIV medicines to treat the infection. People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines each day.

HIV can be prevented and treated with the proper knowledge. Here are five facts about HIV you need to know:

1) HIV infects the immune system, decreasing its ability to fight off other infections and diseases. It results in progressive deterioration of the immune system. HIV attacks and destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells of the immune system. Losing these cells makes it difficult for the body to fight infections and certain cancers. HIV can gradually destroy the immune system and advance to AIDS, if not treated.

2) You cannot get HIV through contact such as shaking hands or hugging an infected person. Nor can you get infected using dishes, toilet seats, or doorknobs used by a person with HIV. Its not spread through insect bites and HIV is not an airborne virus.

HIV is spread through fluids, but also through pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. This is called mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

3) Globally, an estimated 36.7 million people were living with HIV in 2015, and 1.8 million of these were children, according to WHO. A huge majority of people living with HIV are living in low-and middle-income countries. An estimated 2.1 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2015. Its also been estimated that 35 million people have died from HIV-related cause so far, including 1.1 million (940 000-1.3 million) in 2015, WHO statistics state.

4) Effective Antiretroviral therapy results in reduction in the amount of virus in the body greatly. If the duplication of HIV stops, then the body’s immune cells are able to live longer and provide the body with protection from infections. If the HIV positive partner in a couple is on effective Antiretroviral therapy, the likelihood of the HIV-negative partner contracting HIV through sexual transmission can be reduced by as much as 96%. HIV treatment contributes to HIV prevention efforts.

5) Progress has been made in some areas such as prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and keeping mothers alive. In June 2016, three countries: Armenia Belarus and Thailand were validated for eliminating mother-to-child HIV. Before that, in 2015, almost 8 out of 10 pregnant women living with HIV-1.1 million women-received antiretroviral worldwide. Also in 2015, Cuba was the first country declared by WHO as having eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.

While there are constantly improvements in treating and handling HIV, prevention is just as important. Understanding the basics in prevention, as well as being covered by an affordable medical aid scheme could save your life.

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Are eggs good or bad for your health?

Poached. Fried. Boiled. Deviled.

Eggs are a staple in most households, either as a quick meal or part of a larger, baked dish.

Filled with protein, eggs have also been used by body builders and gym enthusiasts, giving the impression that eggs are a superfood.

Then, for a while, cholesterol nuts argued that eggs were very, very bad for you.

Now, researchers are saying they are good again.

So what is the truth?

The Truth: Not only are eggs a fantastic source of lean protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but they contain some pretty important nutrients, says Jillian Michaels, a celebrity personal trainer and nutritionist.

She says; Whole eggs are a nearly perfect food, with almost every essential vitamin and mineral our bodies need to function. It is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D and contains 7 grams of high-quality protein. Whole eggs are also full of omega-3 fatty acids and deliver many of the B vitamins and nutrients — B6, B12, riboflavin, folate, and choline — that, in fact, are believed to help prevent heart disease.

L-arginine, an amino acid found in eggs, is critical to the body’s production of protein and the release of growth hormones. Another amino acid found in eggs, leucine, also helps the body produce growth hormones as well as regulate blood sugar levels. The yolk itself contains most of these vitamins and minerals, plus half of its protein. When you eat only the egg whites, you’re missing out on all of these nutritional benefits and are getting only 3.5 grams, or half, of the protein.

So can you eat eggs every day?

Yes.

A single medium sized egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol. This is 62% of the recommended daily intake.

Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, but people are under the impression that if you eat cholesterol, that it would raise cholesterol in the blood.

Healthline.com says it isn’t that simple. The more you eat of cholesterol, the less your body produces instead.

Eggs had a bad reputation because yolks are high in cholesterol, but the truth is that cholesterol is a very important part of the body. It is a structural molecule that is an essential part of every single cell membrane.

Peter Schulman, MD, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Connecticut told Health.com, It’s true that eggs have a higher level of dietary cholesterol than many other foods—about 185 mg in one large egg. Not too long ago, eggs were even branded “as bad for you as smoking.”

“Now we know that what really raises your cholesterol is saturated fat in the diet and not so much the cholesterol in foods,” Dr. Schulman explains.

“When we eat cholesterol, it’s broken down in the gut; it’s not absorbed as a whole cholesterol molecule,” he says. Saturated fats, meanwhile, are broken into short chains of fatty acids that can become linked in the body—and that’s what has been shown to increase cholesterol levels significantly.

So, what does raise cholesterol?

Common culprits are:

Canola Oil and Other Processed Vegetable Oils.

Potato Chips and Other Packaged Foods.

Cookies and Other Sugary Treats

Milk and Other Conventional Dairy Products

Refined Grain Products

Grass-Fed Beef

Dark Chocolate

 

Suffering from high cholesterol is very serious, and can cause many heart problems, among other health issues.

A good hospital plan, and medical aid or medical insurance is essential in the event that you present with a dreadful condition.

And having great cover doesn’t have to break the bank. Research about which plan is right for you.

Affinity Health will offer you a hospital plan quote, as well as cheap medical cover.

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