AS AN AFFINITY CLIENT, WHICH HOSPITALS CAN I GO TO?

Health Medical Insurance

As an Affinity Health Medical Insurance client, or on the Hospital Plan, you will have access to a preselected list of private hospitals in your area.

The great thing about an Affinity Health Hospital Plan is that you get a much wider choice of hospitals and doctors than if you were a public patient.

With an extensive list of the best hospitals in the country, you can make an informed decision about which facility will be responsible for your care, while being fully covered financially in any event.

It may seem like a difficult task to find an Affinity-approved hospital near you, but it doesn’t have to be!

Affinity had made finding a hospital in your area simple and fast.

All you need to do is to find a preferred hospital closest to you, please contact our Customer Care line on 0861 11 00 33 and select option 4. We are continually adding new hospitals to our preferred list.

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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 You Just Really Tired Or Is It A Sign Of A Larger Issue

ARE YOU JUST REALLY TIREDWhile being tired 24/7 is a bitter part of adulthood, at what point does it indicate a more serious issue? There are many factors that affect your sleeping habits, but sometimes you’re more than fatigued.

You should be aiming to get in the around seven to nine hours of sleep a night to be fully rested. Most people struggle to make the minimum hours. Your pre-bedtime habits can affect how you sleep; these denominators could make the eight hours a night you sleep, feel like four. However, it’s not normal to feel persistently fatigued for more than a week, according to Jenepher Piper, M.S.N., a certified registered nurse practitioner tells SELF.

Eating before bed, exercising right before bed, your phone and mattress can all factor into the fatigue you feel the next day. On the other end of the scale, going to bed hungry and not exercising enough can also impact your sleep negatively.

There are many ways in which you could be sabotaging your sleep with, leaving you tired the next day.

In some cases you need to flag your fatigue to your doctor, but when? And what could your fatigue be a sign of?

“Sleepiness is simply the drive to sleep. Falling asleep during concerts, sales meetings, or intercourse are sure signs of excessive sleepiness,” board-certified sleep medicine doctor and neurologist W. Christopher Winter, M.D, of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, says.

And, of course, you could also feel wiped even though you know you got enough sleep. This is when you should consider you may just be more than tired.

Your excessive fatigue could be caused by something as minor as PMS, in female’s cases, or getting over a virus. Your immune system works hard to fend off an infection and can leave you feeling fatigued after being sick. Another cause of fatigue could be allergies. Feeling winded, coughing, and a runny nose are all common signs of allergies, but your immune system is kicked into high gear fighting off allergens and can leave you feeling worn out.

Clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D, confirms your mental health can take a toll on your energy too. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness associated with depression can drain you. Clarks added: “If you aren’t sleeping well then you may be more tired, and in turn have more trouble sleeping,”

“Insomnia and mental health challenges are closely related and can exacerbate each other.”

According to Clark “anxiety in particular can be draining” and leave you just as fatigued. If you suspect you’re suffering from these symptoms, you should reach out to your mental health care professional.

If you suffer from diarrhoea, gas, and vomiting once you ingest gluten, or if you don’t feel well after having wheat, barley, or rye products, you talk to your doctor about getting tested for celiac disease. Feeling weak or fatigued, even without other symptoms, could also be a sign of celiac disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Extreme fatigue could also indicate Chronic fatigue syndrome – a disorder that causes extreme and unexplained fatigue. It gets worse with physical activity but doesn’t get better once you rest. Another condition that would leave you feeling fatigued, is anemia. Other symptoms can include pale or yellowish skin, shortness of breath, and cold hands and feet. Anemia can be determined by your doctor and resolved by taking an iron supplement.

Fatigue can also be a sign of a Thyroid problem. Your thyroid helps impact several important functions of your body and an under-active thyroid, known as hypothyroidism, can slow down your bodily functions and leave you feeling tired.

Hyperthyroidism on the other hand, a thyroid condition when your thyroid is overactive, speeds everything up and can cause insomnia and an inner restlessness.

Aging can affect the quality of your sleep, as you get older you may wake up more often and have a less consistent sleep pattern. If your fatigue is coupled with other symptoms or disrupts your daily life, it’s best to speak to your GP.

Affinity Health offers a range of competitively priced health insurance products that are designed to protect you and your family against unforeseen medical expenses… Affinity Health also offers hospital cover for individuals and families in the event of a medical emergency or severe illness.

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Fighting The Flu Naturally

The air is cold, the wind is blowing and the rain is pouring, that’s right, its flu-season.

Winter rolls around every year bringing the dreaded cold into our homes. People often turn to prescription treatments, but is it really more effective than home flu remedies?

Natural remedies may not be a cure-all, Cape Kingdom Nutraceuticals‘ researcher, professor Patrick Bouic, says “going natural is always first prize”.

“What’s great is that the natural options are endless and they can also be used long-term with no side effects.”

You can nip your flu in the bud naturally, getting yourself feeling better faster, while boosting your immune system. As the saying goes, Prevention is better than cure. When you’re giving the body what it needs and keeping a constant supply of nutrients, it will ensure the body can resist any virus it comes across. However, what can you do once you’ve already caught the virus?

The number one way to fight common colds and flu’s is to boost your immune system. People with a weak immune system or nutrient deficiencies may be more prone to catching the flu or a cold. Stress, lack of sleep and exposure to toxins can worsen flu symptoms.

Restis very important, you need to remove other obstacles in front of your immune system and let your body focus on fighting the flu only. Rest and sleep as much as you can.

Drink plenty of fluids,such as water, at the first sign of the flu and not just a glass or two, but a lot of water. Hot fluids, such as hot water with lemon and honey, herbal teas and lots of homemade chicken soup or bone broth, will help the body’s immune system. To stop the rise of the virus sip your hot fluids until you can’t even look at it anymore. Remove carbs and sugars from your diet until your symptoms subside. Sugars are toxic.

Hot liquids also “relieve nasal congestion and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat,” according to Vicks’ site.

Detox baths are a quick way to relax, clean your system of toxins and absorb minerals that will strengthen your immune system. Add Epsom Salts or magnesium flakes and 2 tablespoons of baking soda (which is optional. It helps promote elimination of toxins and clean unfiltered water) to a hot bath and enjoy. This remedy is also safe for kids, visit 75 Amazing Healthy Reasons Why Your Children Need Detox Baths to read more on this.

Vitamin C is an excellent flu-fighter. You can find vitamin c in citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges and grapefruit; and in fruits such as Kiwi, Mango, Papaya, Watermelon, Pineapples, Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cranberries.

Ginger is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, as well as an antioxidant. You can use ginger to reduce your pain and fever and to sooth your stomach, nasal passages and throat. Homemade ginger ale from real ginger is the way to go when using ginger to fight the flu.

Raw honeycan also be used to fight colds and flu viruses. Raw honey is a natural immune system booster, studies show that children who get a dose of raw honey cough less and sleep better than children treated with cough and cold medicines.

A dose of garlica natural antifungal and antibacterial, can help against almost any illness. However, it loses effectiveness when cooked, when you’re sick its best to be taken raw.

You can also make a herbal steam treatment with kitchen herbs. Just boil 1-2 cups of water in a large pot. Remove from heat; add 2 teaspoons each of thyme, some rosemary, and oregano.

Then cover for 5 minutes with a lid, and remove lid and put face directly over pot with towel covering your head to hold in the heat and breathe in the steam as long as you can. This remedy will help loosen congestion and kill viruses and bacteria in the lungs or sinuses. A 1/2 cup vinegar in the steam will help fight the illness, although it won’t smell good.

At the first sign of illness, remove foods that suppress immune function. These foods slow your body’s healing ability. You should completely remove all white foods from the diet. This includes grains, sugars, milk, cheese, dairy, sweeteners and fizzy drinks.

The secret to kicking the flu to the curb is to catch it in the beginning; attack it with these natural weapons and rest until you are symptom free.

A flu vaccine is also advised.

Most medical insurance plans like Affinity Health and Clientele Life have a selection of doctors for when you need a little extra help to kick the nasty flu germs out the window.

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How Does One Really Catch Pneumonia?

Pneumonia Effect

 

For years, people have been warned that if they have the flu, they should watch out for the dreaded pneumonia.

Moms warn their teenage kids about walking around with wet hair, even doctors warn patients to stay warm to avoid the dreaded condition…

Pneumonia can occur in anyone, even young and healthy people, however, it is most dangerous for older adults, infants, people with other diseases, and those with impaired immune systems.

But do we actually know what pneumonia really is?

Pneumonia is lung inflammation caused by bacterial or viral infection, in which the air sacs fill with pus and may become solid. Inflammation may affect both lungs (double pneumonia) or only one (single pneumonia).

The lungs become inflamed, and the tiny air sacs, or alveoli, inside the lungs fill up with fluid.

Medical News Today states that it is the leading cause of death due to infection in children younger than 5 years of age worldwide.

The first symptoms of pneumonia usually resemble those of a cold or flu. The person then develops a high fever, chills, and cough with sputum.

Common symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • rusty or green phlegm, or sputum, coughed up from lungs
  • fever
  • fast breathing and shortness of breath
  • shaking chills
  • chest pain that usually worsens when taking a deep breath, known as pleuritic pain
  • fast heartbeat
  • fatigue and weakness
  • nausea and vomiting

There are also many other symptoms.

It also causes confusion or delirium, especially in older adults

Some people experience a dusky or purplish skin color, or cyanosis, from poorly oxygenated blood.

Symptoms can vary depending on other underlying conditions and the type of pneumonia.

How is it treated?

Bacterial Pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. Treatment can be quite costly, so it is always best to be armed with an affordable health insurance provider like Affinity Health.

Also, it is a smart decision to shop around for the cheapest medical aid rates on the market, to be safe if you’re ever in the unfortunate circumstance of catching a dreaded illness.

Web MD says that if you have viral pneumonia, antibiotics won’t be enough. You’ll need to rest, drink a lot of fluids, and take medicines for your fever.

You may need to go to a hospital if your symptoms are severe or if you have other conditions that make you more likely to have complications. A hospital plan will be best to cover any bills you accumulate during your stay.

With any kind of pneumonia, you’re going to need lots of rest. You might need a week off your usual routines, but you might still feel tired for a month.

When are you most likely to catch it?

Smokers are at a higher risk of catching pneumonia

Also, when your immune system is compromised, for example if you have the flu, you are susceptible to catching it.

The majority of the germs that cause pneumonia are spread from person to person through droplets, from coughing or sneezing.

People who are frequently in close contact with others, such as college students and military personnel, are also more susceptible to the disease, Everyday Health reports.

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Preparing Your Immune System for Winter

Judging by the recent cold front that has dominated the weather reports for Cape Town and Johannesburg, (and quite honestly most of South Africa), it is pretty safe to say that winter is coming.

After a very hot summer and water restrictions, the rain is most welcome… but winter is known for bringing something much more ominous too… colds and flus! This is why investing in some of the most affordable medical insurance plans in South Africa is so important these days. You can choose from trustworthy providers such as One Plan Medical Insurance, Affinity Health Insurance, and many other reliable sources.

Now, the argument these days is that “germs make you sick, not cold weather”. This is true, but then why do we get sick more often in the winter months?

The Chicago Tribune reports that as winter drags on, so does the season for colds, stomach viruses, strep and the flu.

“It’s not clear why winter brings so many health woes”, says Pritish Tosh, an infectious-disease physician, and researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

“The reason one virus is a wintertime virus may not be the same reason another virus is a wintertime virus,” Tosh says. “We’re finding more and more that it’s not one size fits all.”

Tosh continues that people have observed seasonal illness spikes for centuries, dating back at least to the ancient Greeks. Since then, studies have documented some distinct patterns.

For example, winter is prime season for influenza, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But why?

Well, according to Healthline.com, In terms of infectious illnesses, germs make you sick, not cold weather itself. You have to come in contact with rhinoviruses to catch a cold. And you need to be infected with influenza viruses to contract the flu.

Rhinoviruses peak in spring and fall, and influenza viruses peak in winter.

While the cold can’t be the only reason, there is a connection between being chilled and getting sick: cold air may contribute to conditions that lead to illness.

So what can you do now, to prevent being sensitive to the influx of these viruses?

Well, start with loading your body with Vitamin C.

Vitamin C has long been known to be the number one flu fighter. Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and guavas are great natural sources of the vitamins.

Fruit in general is a good immune system builder.

Perhaps, while the weather is still a bit sunny, enjoy a fruit salad, or a lovely homemade smoothie, packed with all of your favourite natural flavours.

The best thing to do, before the flu season hits is to get vaccinated.

Most chemists offer the vaccine in the months leading up to winter, however the most convenient way to get the shot is to visit your doctor’s office. This way, you could also get a full check-up, to see if getting the shot is the best choice for you. Investing in affordable health insurance is very beneficial.

Get enough rest!

Sleep is the body’s way of rejuvenating the cells. People who do not get enough rest are way more likely to get run down, which leave the door open for nasty colds and flus to attack your immune system.

Protein is key

Douglas Kalman, PhD, RD, director of nutrition and applied clinical trials at Miami Research Associates says “Research shows that diets that are too low in protein can deplete the immune system. So I make sure to get protein-rich foods throughout the day, especially fish, eggs and yogurt.”

Philip Tierno, PhD, author of The Secret Life of Germs says that you should sanitize your officie space!

“I clean everything that gets touched by lots of people—microwaves, fax-machine keys, doorknobs, elevator buttons, the armrests on my chair—with a good disinfectant at least once a week, even if it looks clean. It’s just basic hygiene. Rhinoviruses can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours!”

Cleanliness is also a very important role player in whether or not you get sick.

Washing your hands before you eat and after you leave public places can help you ingest fewer germs.

The World Health Organisation says; Influenza can spread quickly between people when an infected person coughs or sneezes, dispersing droplets of the virus into the air. It can be also spread by hands contaminated by the virus.

Precautionary measures should be taken to limit transmission.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing, then throw it out and wash their hands thoroughly and regularly. It is also courteous, for when you have the flu to not spread it to someone else!

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Health Insurance options in South Africa


Health insuranceIf you are in South Africa for the last few years, you have probably heard of many companies offering medical aid, medical insurance and various hospital plans.

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to healthcare, with big players in the industry like Affinity Health, Clientele Life, Discovery, One Plan, Get Savvi, Essential Med and the list goes on. Continue reading “Health Insurance options in South Africa”