Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dengue Insurance: A Necessity In Tropical Regions?


If you live in a tropical region where the healthcare system is not as good as “Obamacare”, is dengue insurance a good option?

By: Ringo Bones 

Filipino nurses in the United States who have benefited from Obamacare often wonder why the Philippine government isn’t working hard enough have a healthcare system as good as one established. But given that something like this is still currently “science fiction”, will a kind of dengue insurance like the Pioneer MediCash Dengue Insurance be the next best thing? 

Given that dengue fever has financially devastating consequences when it afflicts fixed income people in the Philippines, a disease specific health insurance policy with an affordable premium would be an excellent option. Recently, I’ve checked out if one is locally available in the Philippines and as luck would have it, I’ve stumbled upon the Pioneer Pioneer MediCash Dengue Insurance. It is basically a disease-specific health insurance that provides a lump-sum payout of PhP 10,000 (which is equivalent to a little over 200 US dollars) medical assistance in the event that the policyholder is diagnosed with dengue fever – even if the diagnosis does not require a hospital stay. 

And even if you already have an HMO like Philhealth, there is still value in availing oneself of Pioneer MediCash Dengue Insurance. You still get your PhP 10,000 lump-sum payout on top of your HMO and Philhealth benefits to take care of other medical expenses. Receipts or hospital bills are not required as MediCash pays with just a valid doctor’s diagnosis accompanied by the diagnostic test results. The Pioneer MediCash Dengue Insurance only costs PhP 350 a year – which works out to an insurance premium of less than one peso a day to be your basic health insurance against a common tropical disease like dengue. 

It is relatively easy to apply for the Pioneer MediCash Dengue Insurance, you just need to pay for an activation form at SM Bills Pay and complete the personal information form. No medical questionnaires are required. And when it comes to the beneficiaries, you, your family members, friends and household staff are eligible. When it comes to age requirement, applicants ages 1 to 70 are eligible. 

Unfortunately, like most health insurance policies, there are preexisting condition restrictions. Someone who already sick with dengue are ineligible for the PhP 10,000 benefit because the Pioneer MediCash Dengue Insurance has a 15-day waiting period, which means that the insured should not be feeling the symptoms of dengue, not be showing signs of dengue, not have consulted a doctor for dengue and not make a claim for dengue. 

To get the PhP 10,000 benefit, once you are insured over the 15-day waiting period and start feeling the symptoms and signs of dengue, you should consult a doctor. And then ask the doctor to complete the Claims Supplementary Medical Report (CSMR) which is like a medical certificate and comes with your Pioneer MediCash Coverage Summary. Then take a digital photo of your CSMR and the diagnostic results with your smartphone and then send the photo via email to reatail@pioneer.com.ph or viber to +63 917 5317213. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Should There Be A Donald J. Trump Presidency Insurance?


Given that Donald J. Trump winning the U.S. presidency has been deemed one of the top 10 risks facing the world, should there be a “Donald Trump Presidency Insurance”?

By: Ringo Bones 

American billionaire, reality show host and current U.S. Republican Party’s U.S. presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has just been deemed as one of the top 10 risks facing the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit or EIU. The research firm warns that Mr. Trump could disrupt the global economy and further heighten political and security risks in the United States. However, the Economist Intelligence Unit does not expect Mr. Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton who it sees as “his most likely Democratic contender.” 

The Economist Intelligence Unit rates a Donald J. Trump presidency riskier than Britain leaving the European Union or an armed conflict in the South China Sea. According to the EIU, the events it sees are more dangerous than a Trump presidency are Mainland China encountering an economic “hard landing” or sharp economic slowdown and Russia’s interventions in Ukraine and Syria that could reignite a “New Cold War”. “Thus far, Mr. Trump has given very few details of his policies – and these tend to be prone to constant revision,” the EIU said in its global risk assessment, which looks at impact and probability. The EIU ranking uses a scale of one to 25, with Mr. Trump garnering a rating of 12, the same level of risk as “the rising threat of Jihadi Terrorism destabilizing the global economy.” 

Given Lloyd’s of London’s willingness to underwrite unique risks whose adequate actuarial figures of probability are not available – i.e. damage to dancers’ legs, rain-outs of public events and even the appearance of the Loch Ness Monster – it seems that Lloyd’s would probably be issuing a Donald Trump Presidency Insurance policy anytime soon. And the Economist Intelligence Unit already has the pertinent probability figures to please Lloyd’s “actuarial pool”.   

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Allstate’s Safe Driving Bonus Check: Caveat Emptor?



Despite being around for almost 10 years now, should one read the proverbial “fine print” before availing themselves of Allstate’s Safe Driving Bonus Check? 

By: Ringo Bones 

When I first saw the Allstate Safe Driving Bonus Check advert back in 2007 and the related TV ad featuring The Unit’s Dennis Haysbert, it seems that Allstate’s scheme to drag more customers to avail themselves of their “novel” Car Insurance / Auto Insurance policy scheme seems too good to be true for giving you a bonus if you don’t have an accident claim for six months – and it really is by the time you read the fine print – it is not available in all states in the United States, especially in the state of California. But if the “positive aspects” of Allstate’s Safe Driving Bonus Check is available in your territory, is it a really beneficial bonus of one’s car insurance / auto insurance policy? 

The Safe Driving Bonus Check provides a credit to Allstate insured drivers that do not have a claim within a specified policy term for at least six months. The allotted credit is up to 5 percent of the policy insurance premium, applied to your renewal policy. For example, if you pay $500 for six months of car insurance, you are eligible to receive a $25 credit for your next six-month policy term. In other words, you would only have to pay $475 for your next six months with Allstate. This may seem to do wonders to your car insurance premiums, but as always, there are some minor catches. 

The minor catches are: In order to qualify for any of this, you must first be enrolled in Allstate Your Choice Auto program. Allstate Your Choice Auto requires you to have a clean driving record and good credit – i.e. insurance score. If you are eligible or already enrolled, the Safe Driving Bonus Check may not be available until your next policy renewal and additionally, any bonus under $5 will only be applied to your renewal premium. So if you don’t stay insured will Allstate, all bets are off. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Do You Really Need Payment Protection Insurance?



Even though it gained a rotten reputation as one of the most frequently mis-sold insurance products of the past few years, does one really need payment protection insurance?  

By: Ringo Bones 

During the housing bubble that lead to the subprime mortgage crisis and the 2008 global credit crunch, payment protection insurance gained a rotten reputation as one of the most frequently mis-sold insurance policies of the last decade. It is supposed to cover your debt repayments if you can’t work, but many policies were mis-sold alongside legitimate financial products. If you’ve ever taken out a loan, mortgage, credit card or store card, or bought something on credit, then there’s a chance you were mis-sold a payment protection insurance policy at the same time. But what is payment protection insurance? 

Payment Protection Insurance, also known as PPI, is a type of short term protection. This type of policy covers you for a loan payment if you are made redundant in your current job or find yourself unable to work due to illness or accident. The right policy means you will be able to meet your payment obligations if something goes wrong. Unlike credit insurance, which was developed to protect businesses against undue credit losses but does not cover credit transactions between retailers and customers, payment protection insurance is designed to help you keep up with a loan or credit repayment if you are unable to work because you have become ill, had an accident or made redundant in your current job. Most people use payment protection insurance to cover financial commitments such as their mortgage, credit card payments or loan repayments, thus making sure that you are able to cover these debts and will help you in keeping out of debt if you do find yourself unable to work.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Would The “Snoopers’ Charter” Affect Your Health Insurance Premiums?



Though it is still a draft UK bill, would such legislative maneuverings eventually affect your insurance premium rates if your “city-state” decides to adopt such laws? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Sometimes the rule of law can be a wonderful thing given that most of them are legislated to protect us working class folks from the alleged tyranny of “big government” and “big corporations”, but in this day and age, political lobbyists – especially in affluent countries – more often than not, wield powers that would allow them to legislate laws that could exploit the working class. And the Draft Communications Data Bill – otherwise known as the Snoopers’ Charter – though still a UK based legislative bill, could serve as a template to be followed by powerful political lobbyists the world over to legislate laws that could maximize their respective corporate interests’ profits at the expense of their ordinary working class clients. 

A case in point is when your health insurance provider suddenly increases your insurance premiums when they managed to find out, via the “Snoopers’ Charter” or a law modeled after it because they can now data mine your search engine’s history – especially if you searched for cardiovascular related health topics during the last twelve months. Your health insurance provider could use your search history or your “cyber-hypochondria” as a “valid reason” to jack up your monthly insurance premiums. 

Though the UK’s Draft Communications Data Bill or Snoopers’ Charter had been “championed” by UK Home Secretary Theresa May citing terror attacks – i.e. the 7/7 Terror Attacks - and the “UK’s burgeoning online paedophile scene” despite protests from various civil liberties groups across the UK. Even though the retained data may only be obtained via top-tier judicial warrants, various unscrupulous insurance providers could hire Black Hat Hackers to snoop on your retained search data of the last twelve months to spy on your “online lifestyle” and use it as an allegedly valid excuse to jack up your insurance premium rates.