# Wednesday, 23 August 2006
                 

Child Obesity and Health

Recent Canadian surveys are showing an alarming rate in the increase in child obesity. It has been estimated that over 500,000 Canadian children are obese or grossly overweight. Although medical factors can be to blame, lifestyle choices are also a common cause. Children are now spending more time playing video games and on the computer rather than participating in physical activities. As well, with time demands and financial concerns, nutrition seems to sometimes fall by the wayside.

The impact of child obesity can be a life-long obstacle that your child will be forced to overcome. Obese children tend to develop into obese adults. The health risks associated with obesity are alarming; these children are high-risk candidates for early disability, as well as premature deaths. Obesity also contributes to a decreased quality of life, as health issues may prevent the individual from pursuing their goals.

Childhood obesity can also affect your child's future insurance rates. As health status determines your health insurance, as well as life insurance rates, your child's health is important. Weight related health issues could potentially affect your premiums as much as smoking does. It is important to remember that while your Provincial healthcare assumes most health-care costs, they do NOT cover all costs.

For more information on childhood obesity, visit the Childhood Obesity Network at http://www.obesitynetwork.ca.

It is important for Canadians to be aware of their health, and to take positive steps in ensuring that the next generation of Canadians have the tools necessary to be as healthy and successful as we hope for them to be.
   

posted on Wednesday, 23 August 2006 15:10:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 01 August 2006
                 

Severe Illness and Insurance

Critical Illness insurance is designed to alleviate financial stress when a person becomes severely ill and unable to continue working. Recuperating from a critical illness is stressful enough, without having to worry about paying the bills.

Canadian citizens should be cognizant of the fact that government health plans and employee benefit plans are limited. These plans only cover medical and hospital care. Disability insurance, while also an important plan, only pays a monthly benefit when a person is unable to work. Critical Illness insurance differs in that it pays out a lump sum even if you are able to go back to work. For most critical illness benefits, you must survive your illness for a set period of time (usually 30 days) in order to receive benefits.

Your critical illness benefits are flexible in what you choose to spend the money on. During your time of need, you will receive a lump sum of money in order to spend as you see fit. With critical illness benefits, you no longer have to worry about paying the mortgage, credit cards, and monthly household expenses. You can budget for how long you will be unable to work, and spend your money accordingly.

Critical Illness insurance often covers the following conditions (this depends on the carrier and plan):

  • Cancer.
  • Heart Attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Kidney Failure.
  • Major Organ Transplant.
  • Dismemberment.
  • Blindness.
  • Deafness.
  • Loss Of Speech.
  • Major Burns.
  • HIV.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Parkinson’s Disease.

However, there are two important points to note about "traditional" Critical Illness insurance:

  1. It is only available to healthy Canadians, who do not have a family history of any of the listed illnesses. For a "virtual" guaranteed issue product see below.
     
  2. CI insurance can have high premiums (for an affordable alternative you might consider Manulife Financial's Flexcare plan that has a Catastrophic option, described below).

As an alternative for people who need guaranteed issue critical illness insurance we offer Ontario citizens the Ontario Blue Cross Critical Illness Assistance benefit, which is part of the Blue Vision Express Plan. This benefit has the following features:

  • Amount of coverage varies, from $5,000 to $15,000.
  • Covers adaptation costs to your vehicles, principal residences, etc.
  • Covers travel expenses incurred when receiving care or follow-up.
  • Costs for household help and/or childcare.

As an affordable alternative there is the Manulife Flexcare plan has a Catastrophic option, which is offered as an Add-On or as a Stand-Alone product. This coverage provides the following benefits:

  • Unlimited, complete coverage for name brand and generic prescription drugs.
  • Additional coverage for Homecare, Durable Medical Equipment (wheelchairs, syringes for diabetics, etc.) as well as Prosthetic Appliances. 
  • There is a maximum of $100,000 (lifetime).
  • Unlimited Chiropractor/Physiotherapist coverage for one year following an accident that required a hospital stay of a minimum of 24 hours.

Note that the Flexcare Catastrophic option does require a medical questionnaire be filled out.
  

posted on Tuesday, 01 August 2006 17:59:59 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
RSS 2.0