Sunday 12th March, 2006


Prepare for the unknown future

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The story is told that Moses had met a great teacher whom the townspeople had denied food, but who had rebuilt a wall in that town, free of charge, for someone else’s future benefit.

The principle expounded in the lesson for Moses was that a future exists, whether or not we can see it or even understand it.

In the realm of the mundane, to prepare for an unknown future is to examine possibilities, while keeping your feet on the ground.

This means to know what the caveats are likely to be, as well as the exceptions.

Today we will examine some of the common exceptions in the definitions of some of the “covered” diseases in individual health insurance.

In general coverage extends to total and permanent disability, or the diagnosis of a major or critical disease. There is generally some period during which the patient must survive with the illness, having had a diagnosis, in order that the cash benefit is realised.

Typically, to qualify for the total and permanent disability benefit, there must be “irreversible incapacity” in performing any income-earning activity, for a consecutive number of months in the first instance.

According to certain policy contracts, the following circumstances, or causes of injury, would normally disqualify an injured person who is totally disabled, from receiving the benefit: war, riot, revolution, or military coup. Others are: failure to follow medical advice, and disease arising from infection or treatment in respect of HIV/ Aids.

In addition, employment or service in the armed forces or injury resulting from self-infliction could disallow those benefits.

The insurer will reserve the right to an investigation whether it be through medical consultations or legal inquiry.

Cancer exclusions can relate to certain skin cancers, and non-invasive types of cancer.

Stroke tends to exclude attacks of vertebrobasilar ischaemia and transient ischemic attacks.

Heart attacks should usually be characterised by changes in enzyme levels, as well as ECG changes, and some medical history. Of course coverage is only extended to applicants for health insurance who have no medical history.

Another commonly covered disease is kidney failure. Some contracts define kidney failure as end stage failure of both kidneys requiring long term dialysis/ haemodialysis or organ transplant.

Blindness is covered if it affects both eyes, and is irreversible. Burns must normally be third degree status, over at least 20 per cent of body surface. Alzheimer’s is also covered in most policies, with exclusions for psychiatric conditions or neurosis.

This list is not exhaustive, but serves as a reminder that we have to prepare for the contingencies. Hence the best savings plan is one that gives you some insurance protection, as well as some cash accumulations, simultaneously!

This strategy works, exclusions, or none.

Of course lifestyle changes, a health-conscious diet, fresh air and exercise are strategic interventions to implement now, in order to prevent the occurrence of disease.

In any event such measures can reduce the severity of disease.

The new trends include the avoidance of processed foods, and chemical concoctions. Note too that processed foods and chemical concoctions are much more expensive than natural foods and spices.

In this niche, one may find significant savings in terms of better estate creation and the ability to transfer a phenomenal trust fund to your heirs. And, this is in opposition to you consuming a lifetime’s savings on drugs, expensive homes and strange women.

Don’t get me wrong, the drugs are the pharmaceuticals, the homes are nursing homes and the women, but nurses!

Remember, in Moses’ story great wealth was buried under the wall, but no one knew!

Continued next week

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

Designed by: Randall Rajkumar-Maharaj · Updated daily by: Sheahan Farrell