Monthly Archives: August 2016

Greater Benefits For Health Professionals

The HSU NSW is an organization that was created for the sole purpose of serving in the best interests of health professionals and allied health workers Australia. The Health Services Union has been instrumental in bringing forward several new initiatives and benefits for those in varied professions associated with the healthcare industry in the country. The membership to this organization is open to professionals in both the private and public sectors. It is also applicable for those who work with the ACT, NSW, or NSW Ambulance service. The HSU also offers memberships to those who work in the sectors of aged care, disabilities, and finance, administration, food services, security, psychology, social work, interpreting, medical records, IT, etc. It also offers coverage for professionals in fields such as nuclear medicine, radiography, dentistry, dietetics, physiotherapy, pharmacy, etc. This ensures that a wide range of professionals who work in the healthcare sector are covered under this organization and enjoy the diverse benefits that arise from the membership.

Members are offered Continued Professional Development for free or at a hugely discounted rate. There is a very comprehensive online resource library which members have free access to. This library offers an exhaustive resource of the latest updates and news as well as classic references in different fields that members may be interested in.

Through the umbrella of the HSU NSW, health care professionals and allied health workers are able to collaborate and negotiate for better working conditions and other benefits. Standing together as a unit, there is greater strength and efficiency to achieve common goals than if it were worked for individually. This is one of the greatest advantages of joining the HSU.

One of the latest membership benefits is an indemnity insurance of up to $20 million which is offered as part of the membership. Other member benefits include journey insurance, worker’s compensation, education incentives, bereavement benefits, bonuses for signing up a friend or colleague, Jervis Bay holiday cabins, etc. All of these benefits have gone a long way to make life easier and smoother for members and their families. Whether it is to invest in higher education for one’s own career progression or that of a child, to plan a holiday with loved ones, or to seek legal counsel for a personal or professional matter, the organization helps its members with resources that make it easier to take the right decision and live a happier life.

Insurance Company Loyalty Doesn’t Pay

I had a conversation with a friend the other day that gave me inspiration for this topic. My friend, who I will call an insurance company loyalist, said “I have been with my insurance company for 52 years. When I call they jump.” We discussed this belief for a little while as I wanted to get a little more insight from his perspective. For the purpose of this week’s topic, it is coming from the perspective of being in CA, considering CA insurance law. If you are from another state, your laws may be different, and I am not an attorney so this is not legal advice.

In 1988 California voters passed Prop 103, which was a insurance reform proposition. It is my understanding that this law, while primarily focused on regulating rates, protects insurance consumers by preventing the use of discriminatory tactics by insurance companies. What this means is that insurance companies have to treat a 1 day customer, with the same service as a 52 year customer. If the insurance company gives preferential service to the older customer over the newer customer they are subject to penalties and fines if the Department of Insurance were to investigate complaints of this nature. Typically the penalties far exceed the value of any client, so insurance companies do not waiver in their treatment of their customers regardless of tenure. So for my friend, while the company may listen a little more politely, their policy for him is the same as a new customer. If they jump for him, they jump for everyone. As an insurance shopper, just know that your treatment is the same no matter how long you are with a specific company.I am not privy to the world of corporate leaders, but I would bet in the insurance company boardrooms, and executive meetings, the opposite of ‘jumping’ is the case. Given how much insurance companies study the business for profit, I would bet loyalist customers are the most profitable customers for insurance companies. Once the insurance loyalist is set in their comfort zone, they can be taken advantage of with changes in policies or direction. These corporate leaders don’t talk about special privileges for loyalists, but rather take the insurance loyalist for granted, assuming that no matter what they do as a company, or how they treat their customers, the loyalists will stay. Similar to some sports teams, where no matter how bad the product is, the fans stick around in faith for their team. In the meantime the executives get healthy bonus payment and the company makes healthy profits on the back of these consumers. Since my goal is to give good tips or advice on insurance shopping, it makes sense to get you to think about these things.

What I did tell my friend was he, like any insurance consumer, should shop his insurance regularly or talk to his agent about pricing other companies, to could confirm his pricing is the best. Why throw money away over a brand? I told him the primary factors in determining his best rate are: his driving record (tickets and accidents), the number of years of driving experience he has, and how far he drives each year.

There are other factors that insurance companies may use in determining rates and those are the important ones for insurance shoppers and finding the best price. Did his company offer a loyalty discount of some type? Yes. I asked him, what his 52 years of loyalty was worth to his company. We did some math and his loyalty discount was worth about 7%. Moving forward, knowing that your 52 years of brand loyalty to an insurance company was worth about 7%, would you stick around especially if there were greater discounts elsewhere?

In the category of these other factors, there are companies with discounts for college degrees or targeted professions worth 15% or more. Did his company have something like that? No, he said. From the perspective of being an insurance shopper over a company loyalist, in just this one discount he potentially was sacrificing an additional savings of 8%. This is only one example of potential savings for insurance shoppers. Companies advertise discounts for alumni associations or organizations you belong to, or extra discounts for having an ‘extra’ clean driving record. The key for insurance shoppers is to be willing to look around. It doesn’t take much to shop for comparison quotes, and the insurance shopper and the insurance loyalist both may save some money.My take on the matter, you don’t have to shop your insurance every year, but I would look for the triggers indicating you should. Did your rate change from one policy period to another but your primary rating factors did not? Is there a change that your company or agent pass off as simply ‘new rates’? Does the explanation you hear not make a lot of sense? Not every company raises their rates at the same time, or changes discounts that you qualify for, so if that happens to you, use your triggers to be a new insurance shopper.

Health Insurance – Protection for your Family

Life is by far the most precious thing humans have in their hands, as someone has truly said-“Health is Wealth”. One can lose out on their money, on a job, or on any other materialistic or non-materialistic thing, but losing out on health is probably the worst, as this could seldom be gained back. And therefore, no amount of persuasion could ever justify the importance of a health insurance policy. A health insurance covers you and your loved ones from any of the unforeseen emergencies that life may throw at you. This includes contracting a disease unexpectedly or falling ill at an unexpected time, or even meeting with an accident while totally unprepared.

While getting an insurance just for your self is one thing, but wouldn’t you want to extend the same benefit for those near ones, whom you love dearly? By introducing family health insurance plans at a marginally higher cost, health insurance companies such as Aviva Insurance, Bharti AXA Insurance, Max Life Insurance, etc. have earned themselves brownie points. Few of the features of these health insurance plans are as follows.

Reimbursements on day care treatments – In cases of day care, when a hospitalization is not required, but the patient still has to undergo a treatment for some time at the hospital, it is still possible to claim for health insurance cover.
Domiciliary Hospitalization – This refers to the treatments carried out at home, when a patient is unable to recover, and the treatment needs to be carried out for a period of over 3 days. This applies alike towards illnesses, injuries, and diseases.
Critical illnesses – There are a number of critical diseases that one may contract, in case of which health insurance cover can be availed:

 Cancer

 First Heart Attack

 Coronary Artery Disease

 Coronary Artery bypass surgery

 Heart Valve Surgery

 Surgery to Aorta

 Stroke

 Kidney Failure

 Aplastic Anemia

 End Stage Lung Disease

 End Stage Liver Failure

 Coma

 Major Burns

 Major Organ/Bone Marrow Transplantation

 Multiple Sclerosis

 Fulminant Hepatitis

 Motor Neurone Disease

 Primary Pulmonary Hypertension

 Terminal Illness

 Bacterial Meningitis

One needs to note that if they contract any of these diseases in less than the first two years of getting a health insurance, then there may be some complications in getting the cover. For all cases exceeding the initial period of two years, these are included without any conditions.