Wednesday, January 23, 2013

0 South African Medical Scheme Giants Thwart Co-Payments

Discovery Health and Bonitas Medical Fund have introduced measures to slash punitive co-payments.

Cape Town, South Africa (PRUnderground) January 22nd, 2013

Two of the largest open medical schemes in South Africa, Discovery Health and Bonitas, have introduced innovative measures to slash punitive co-payments.

Members will no longer be expected to accept liability for funding shortfalls as regards hospital admissions and specialist diagnoses and treatments.

The ground breaking developments are not only targeted at assisting hard pressed consumers. Specialist health care providers will benefit from a ‘locked-in’ client base and a sizeable increase in scheme tariffs.

Discovery Health Medical Aid initiated its plan as long ago as 2007. Its aim is to secure payment arrangements with all medical specialists in South Africa. At last count the medical aid scheme giant had signed up almost 90 percent of specialists in the country.

 “We have introduced initiatives to pay specialists more, reduce gaps in members’ cover and ensure a spirit of cooperation and transparency between healthcare funder and healthcare professional,” said Neville Koopowitz, CEO of Discovery Health recently.

“At Discovery Health we firmly believe in the cornerstone role healthcare professionals play in the delivery of the high quality private healthcare available in South Africa today. We have consciously set out to take positive steps towards paying doctors more. In that process, we must also ensure that our medical scheme members are not exposed to co-payments and gaps in their cover.”

Bonitas Medical Fund implemented a Specialist Network in 2012. Its strategy is quite simple; to engage and partner with health care professionals with the aim of empowering members to access high quality health care at affordable rates.

To date, the Bonitas Specialist Network comprises over 1 800 contracted specialists in a wide range of disciplines including obstetrics and gynaecology, cardiology, neurosurgery, paediatrics and plastic and reconstructive surgery.

According to the official Bonitas website; “Participating network specialists have agreed to render their services at a negotiated rate.”

“This means the specialist network partner will bill Bonitas members at an agreed rate. The immediate benefit to members is there will be no additional co-payments or levies due for all services rendered both in and out of hospital.”

“Once a member’s benefits are depleted and their condition is one of the legislated prescribed minimum benefit conditions (PMB’s), members can be assured their condition will be covered in full with no co-payments or additional levies as long as they consult a Bonitas specialist network partner.”

To learn more about Discovery Health and Bonitas Medical Fund, to conduct a finger tip medical aid comparison or to request a medical aid quote, visit

About Medical Aid Quotes

IFC ( are a South African medical aid guide. The online medical aid portal provides a range of free tools and services to consumers. Amongst these are the ability to review in-depth profiles of medical aid providers and their medical aid schemes. A medical aid comparison tool provides the opportunity to compare the benefits and features of specific schemes from different providers easily. A chronic conditions search engine allows users to discover which health insurance plans cover specific conditions. IFC also offer a completely free quoting service to consumers and will acquire medical aid quotes from any provider and for any scheme. The portal also lists a wide range of useful and relevant South African health insurance resources.

0 Protect Your Bubbles Top Gadgets to Get Fit and Stay Fit in 2013

 PR Web

(PRWEB UK) 23 January 2013

Fitness, health and weight loss are frequently top the list of resolutions for New Year’s but if the gym visits are already decreasing in frequency then technology could be the saviour. Protect Your Bubble, specialty insurance company, has a list of some technological gadgets that are not only fun but can also help keep that resolution right through to summer time.

1. Zumba Fitness for Xbox 360 – Zumba is the latest exercise craze, and game manufacturers have picked up on the idea. The premise of Zumba is a fast, Latin dance that incorporates exercise and fun, which should take some of the drudgery out of fitness. Follow the instructor and during the game it makes small tweaks to increase the effectiveness of the workout. Two players may face each other or workout as a group in a large number of different venues: night club, industrial warehouse, rooftop or stadium. The Xbox 360 version needs the Kinect system for game play.

2. Kinect 2 – Still in the hush-hush stage with Microsoft but leaked onto the Internet, the Kinect 2 has the technology world buzzing about potential usage. Not 3D and not virtual reality glasses, the new Kinect 2’s primary technology gadget will be something between the two and considerably better. Imagine the virtual world and the real world that melds together almost perfectly and thus, the Kinect Glasses project. Kinect 2 will also track four players at time instead of two, but the glasses are certainly the big thing to look for.

3. The Burn Machine – Rocky Balboa hammered a side of beef and then on a speed bag. Sadly, unless access to a processing plant or boxing gym is in the neighbourhood, the chances of either are limited. Enter the Burn Machine, a 7kg gadget that replicates the actions of boxers and speed bags, working the body’s core and cardiovascular system simultaneously. As the actions of a speedball are completed, work lunges, walk or run with the Burn Machine and get benefits of a full body workout.

4. Wii Fit & Balance Board – Nintendo’s primary machine is being replaced with the WiiU, but Wii Fit is still popular with the adults.. Wii Fit is the game, but the Balance Board makes the game an exercise. Workouts range from Obstacle Course to skateboarding or flapping arms to make a virtual chicken fly. Each can be customized to a particular user, estimate caloric bur achieved. Have fun working out and not even realize it.

5. BodyMedia Core 2 Armband – Put this gadget on an arm and start a workout or daily routine. The gadget tracks caloric burn, activity levels and sleep patterns. Sensors run a full gambit of measuring tools such as: temperature, heat flux, heart sensor, galvanic skin response and a 3-axis accelerometer. The accelerometer is a comprehensive measure of fitness and health. Bluetooth ready, it is easily combined to an app on a smart phone. Interchangeable faceplates, straps and cuffs are available for the fashion conscious workout fan.

6. Fitbug Orb Watch – One of the most difficult parts about exercise and changing lifestyles is motivation. This watch is a pocket coach of motivation that monitors activity and sleep patterns. Bluetooth sends stats to iOS or Android devices and the app crunches the numbers of caloric burn, steps taken, sleep efficiency and walking pace. The gadget and website acts as a personal trainer with targets, games, challenges and motivation, with a small monthly fee. The Orb is schedule to for release in late spring 2013 in the U.K., just in time for summer.

Getting in shape is a good thing; losing a gadget that helps get into shape is a bad thing. Protect Your Bubble offers gadget protection for smart phones, cameras, games consoles and all at wallet-friendly prices. Visit Protect your bubble for additional information or a free quote.

Protect your bubble is an online gadget insurance provider, offering great value insurance cover for smartphones, mobile phones, iPhones, cameras and more.

Get an instant quote for your gadgets via the following URLs: Games Console Insurance - Mobile Phone Insurance: iPhone Insurance: Camera Insurance:

Find Protect your bubble UK on the following social networks: Facebook: Twitter:

Read the full story at

0 Insurance News - New Website Design Provides Shoppers Easy Access to Quote and Buy Health Insurance, Dental Insurance and More

Minneapolis, Minn. (PRWEB) January 21, 2013

The IHC Group is excited to announce the re-design and re-launch of its consumer direct shopping website, Designed as a vehicle to assist customers preparing for the current and coming changes within the health care system, the website provides easy to understand health insurance plan comparisons and resources.

Health insurance quotes provided on the website include individual major medical, guaranteed issue basic care plans, hospital and surgical insurance coverage, temporary insurance, dental insurance, critical illness insurance and Medicare supplement. Travel insurance and pet insurance are also available, rounding out coverage for every member of the family.

Consumers with questions about the Affordable Care Act can find in-depth articles on the health care reform law, including timelines and resource information on required essential benefits at Health eDeals. There are also top tips for buying health insurance in the health insurance 101 section of the site. Situational life event suggestions and healthy lifestyle and wellness articles are also available, in addition to the Health Insurance Trends blog.

About is a website offered by IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., a member of The IHC Group. With more than $1 billion in assets as of June 2012, The IHC Group is comprised of insurance carriers, and marketing and administrative affiliates committed to providing excellent service and offering competitive health, life, disability, stop-loss, short-term medical, travel and dental insurance products to groups and individuals. IHC Specialty Benefits is a customer-driven company differentiating itself through knowledge, experience and integrity. We, in conjunction with our trusted insurance carriers, share a mutual desire to provide important benefits to our customers and to meet their needs in an innovative, hassle-free manner.

Read the full story at

Copyright:(c) 2013 PRWEB.COM NewswireWordcount:


0 Women wait six months for diagnosis of ovarian cancer

Almost a third of women with ovarian cancer had to wait six months for a diagnosis after they first went to see their doctor, according to a new study.

75% of women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer after it has spread

Cancer of the ovary is the fifth most common cancer among women, and can affect women of any age. As the symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague it has traditionally been known as the "silent killer".

Women diagnosed at the earliest stage of the disease have a five year survival rate of 92%. However, the UK has one of the worst ovarian cancer survival rates in Europe, with only 36% of sufferers living for five years after diagnosis.

If the UK could match the best rates in Europe, 500 lives a year could be saved. But charity Target Ovarian Cancer warn that women in the UK are “facing delays that are costing lives” when it comes to diagnosis.

According to the charity’s Pathfinder Study, almost a third of women surveyed with ovarian cancer had to wait six months for a diagnosis after they first went to see their doctor.

58% of these women were misdiagnosed- 30% with irritable bowel syndrome, 15% with ovarian cysts, and 13% a urinary tract infection.

To further increase delays, one in ten GPs have had diagnostic tests refused in the past year for their patients. Annwen Jones, chief executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said:

"75% of women are diagnosed once the cancer has spread. This is unacceptable."

"We must improve symptom awareness with women, improve GP knowledge and ensure they have prompt access to diagnostic tests."

All private health insurance policies offer cover for private diagnostic tests. This means that after going to see a GP with your symptoms, you will have access to the necessary scans without waiting on a list.

If specialist cancer treatment is important to you, compare health insurance quotes with full cancer cover. Full cancer cover will cover the cost of private surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy with no monetary or time limits.

Save money on your health insurance

© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2013

0 A fragile recovery

The recession isn't over for Mary Santana.

It didn't end for Richard Baron, Bonni Drye and Elaine Hebestreit, either.

Crowded around a table sharing pizza on paper plates and plastic forks, each of the four Flagstaff residents has a story of how life changed forever after losing a job and the sometimes long, winding road to finding work again in northern Arizona.

The common thread among the foursome isn't the sacrifice of the small creature comforts they used to enjoy, like dining out every week or extended, out-of-town vacations.

Instead, it is loss of faith in the overall economy -- it isn't enough just to work hard or to have 30 years invested in a family business.

Each person knows how fragile the economic recovery has been, and they are constantly looking over their shoulders for signs of the next downturn.


Santana was caught off guard when the family-owned medical billing company where she worked for years closed permanently in December.

"My (old) company had a contract with the state government for 30 years and the state decided, 'Nope, we are not going to renew the contract,'" Santana said.

She found her way to the Coconino County Career Center shortly after learning she would be laid off, connecting with the Center's Cindy Wilson.

Wilson, who herself was laid off by NAU four years ago, convinced her to apply for a similar position with another local medical billing company.

Santana considers herself lucky.

"I have been blessed," she said. "It was the first interview I did and I got the job."

A former Valley resident, Santana wanted to keep her family here in northern Arizona.

"Defeat for me would have been to go down to the Valley and find work," Santana said.

Finding work locally meant taking a job that pays $20,000 less than she used to be making, and the entry-level position doesn't include health care benefits.

But she is not discouraged.

"I am coming in at the bottom and I have to work my way back up," she said. "But I also see that with the company I am with, the sky is the limit."

She could get on her husband's insurance plan, but they cannot afford the $300 a month it would cost to add her.

"We are barely making ends meet," she said, hoping the $30 flu shot she recently got will keep her from getting sick.

"I cannot afford to be off of work," she added.


Neither can Richard Baron.

The father of two has been laid off twice in the last four years, first from Northern Arizona University and again when the nonprofit he worked for, the Arizona Manufacturing Extension Partnership, folded up shop.

Baron has found temporary work with Coconino County, but it also does not offer health insurance.

So Baron carries "catastrophic" health insurance in case of a major accident. It is less practical, however, for seeing a general practitioner.

"I haven't gone to a doctor for a year and a half," he said.

He is grateful the county has extended his temporary contract until this spring, but working for the government without benefits has some drawbacks.

For example, government holidays are unpaid days off for temporary employees.

"I've had, in the last three paychecks, where I was getting 30 percent less pay," Baron said. "That hurts. It is a very real thing."

To stay in Flagstaff, Baron tapped a home equity line of credit to keep creditors at bay. He knows it is a risky gambit.

"You are living off your assets but digging yourself deeper in debt," he said. "I've got two kids at home."

The premise of finding long-term employment while working at a temporary job leads to divided loyalties, Baron said.

"You are loyal from 8 to 5 because you are dedicated to (your current) employer, but at night you look at want ads, go to networking meetings," he said. "You think, 'Well, I like that day job but it is not permanent.'"


Drye saw the handwriting on the wall for the family's plumbing business and its emphasis on new construction after the housing bubble burst.

"We saw the economy starting to turn a couple of years ago," she said.

Jobs became scarce even after repositioning to focus on repair work, with the numbers dwindling from the pre-recession height of eight people down to just to the two of them.

The business is still viable, she says, but her husband now answers the phones and she only comes in once a week.

Drye eventually found work with the county but needed assistance filling out job applications after helping to run the plumbing business for three decades.

"It had been 30 years since I filled out an application," Drye said.

A short internship arranged through the Career Center helped her find full-time employment, including working for Supervisor Carl Taylor.


The head of Coconino County's Career Center, Curtis has her own story of being laid off some 30 years ago.

Her story ends well, finding work at the County and slowly rising through the ranks until becoming a department head. Her former boss, she says, landed in prison.

Sitting around the table, Curtis believes the slow recovery of the national economy is far more fragile and few jobs are truly designed to last a lifetime.

"The recession hasn't ended. Even for the economists, the recovery is tenuous," Curtis said.

Baron nearly interrupts Curtis, noting he cringes when he hears someone say the economy is recovering.

"For all of us around this table, the recession has not ended," Baron said, eliciting a small chorus of agreement from his peers.

"We should use the term 'recovery' in quotes," Curtis said.

Joe Ferguson can be reached at 556-2253 or

0 Bozell Column: Obama 'Cements His Legacy'

Newsweek stopped its print edition at the end of 2012, but they still tried to scandalize the country by producing a fake cover honoring Obama’s second inauguration as “The Second Coming.” This absurd attempt at myth-making is a natural progression. The “cover” story was written by Evan Thomas, who proclaimed on MSNBC a few years ago that Obama was “sort of like God” in being above the gritty political fray.

It was just as absurd when Newsweek writer David Frum, the formerly conservative Bush speechwriter, tweeted this piece of media-elite nonsense: “First term Obama: punchee, 2nd term Obama, puncher.”

No one calling himself a “political observer” can say Obama was some sort of mute victim, consistently under fire, on defense over the last four years. Quote Obama from anywhere, and he’s fiercely bashing the GOP. In April 2011, he said the House GOP budget plan would force “poor children,” “children with autism,” and “kids with disabilities” to “fend for themselves.” In another 2011 speech, he described the Republican plan as “let’s have dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance.”

These aren’t even the Obama-Biden 2012 TV ads. They were pure gutter sleaze.

In truth, the media elites want Obama to destroy conservatives. Too far-fetched, you say? published an article by John Dickerson on January 18 headlined “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.”

This “reporter” is the political director of CBS News. The spirit of Dan Rather remains.

Dickerson said Obama doesn’t want to rest on his first-term laurels. So “Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents.” He needs “clarifying fights over controversial issues,” so “he can force Republicans to either side with their coalition's most extreme elements or cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in disarray.”

We’re informed that “extreme” conservatism, as defined by the Tea Party or the NRA, should be “illegitimate.” This is precisely what CBS was selling about Ronald Reagan 32 years ago. Dickerson wants Obama to be liberal enough to spur “more tin-eared, dooming declarations of absolutism like those made by conservatives who sought to define the difference between legitimate and illegitimate rape – and handed control of the Senate to Democrats along the way.”

In imagining a slow political suicide of the American right, Dickerson isn’t so much out in front of Obama as helpfully channeling Obama. On Saturday’s “Early Show” on CBS, Dickerson explained Obama’s thinking: “We heard in his press conference this week – which is, confrontation has to be the order of the day. He’s tried to work with Republicans and as he said, you know, I could have more parties with them but it doesn’t change the way they behave.”

It’s preposterous that a “journalist” would say all this. It is mind-boggling to consider he actually believes this.

Another CBS star, Bob Schieffer, demonstrated the media’s impatience with anything but a fervently leftist Obama in a second term. After the president made a speech for more gun control, Schieffer leaned on history to insist that beating the “gun lobby” has to be easier than killing Osama bin Laden or “defeating the Nazis.”

Schieffer argued, “the president is going to have to do more than just make a speech about it. This is one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard him deliver, but it’s going to take more than that from the White House. He’s going to have to get his hands dirty.”

Liberal journalists don’t want lofty oratory in the second term. They want conservatives defeated and “delegitimized.” They want a smash-mouth Obama who accomplishes their agenda of “responding to the threat of climate change,” and marriages for our “gay brothers and sisters” in all 50 states, and amnesty for “bright young students” so they “will be enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.” All of these and more were promised to liberals in Obama’s second inaugural address. 

Richard Stevenson at The New York Times passed along the Orwellian echo of Obama’s “unapologetic argument that modern liberalism was perfectly consistent with the spirit of the founders.”

The battle is joined. The only question left is whether the Republicans will have the will to fight.

0 Muscatine's Iowans for Tax Relief oppose gas tax increase

A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest for Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013:

GAS TAX OPPOSITION: Officials with Muscatine-based Iowans for Tax Relief are reiterating their opposition to any increase in the state’s gas tax. The group says Iowans already are overtaxed and a proposed gas tax increase fails to provide solutions to any problems that may exist on Iowa’s roads and bridges. Iowans for Tax Relief cite a study by the Public Interest Institute that found it costs $600,000 to $800,000 to repair one mile of farm-to-market road; $600,000 to repair one mile of rural highway; and $4.4 million to construct one mile of new rural highway. Under a 10-cent per gallon increase in the state gas tax, the institute calculated that each Iowa county would receive less than a $400,000 annual increase for farm-to-market roads -- less than $200,000 for most counties. ITR leaders say that “does not even come close to covering the costs to repair, let alone build, rural roads in Iowa. It is time that Legislators look for a real solution rather than burden the taxpayers,” according to the group’s Watchdog publication.

ABORTION CHANGES UNLIKELY: Gov. Terry Branstad said he does not expect any abortion-related legislation to make it to his desk during the split-control Iowa Legislature’s 2013 session. The governor said he was aware there were efforts in the past two years by House Republicans to restrict abortion access and public funding but nothing was approved. Commenting at his weekly news conference Tuesday, he said he believed chances for passage would be similar now to the last General Assembly. Last weekend the GOP governor joined hundreds of Iowans who participated in a pro-life rally at the Statehouse to mark the anniversary of the 40th anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court that legalized abortion procedures under certain circumstances.

BICYCLE REGISTRATION REVENUE: Don’t look for the Iowa Department of Transportation to raise revenues by collecting a registration fee from bicycle owners. It would be a “significant administrative burden,” Director Paul Trombino III told the House Transportation Committee Jan. 22. “That’s typically why you don’t see (registration) in most states,” Trombino said in response to a question from a lawmaker who said he was not advocating bicycle registration fees.

AMENDED MILITIA: Sen. Mark Chelgren, R-Ottumwa, who turned 45 this week, told his Iowa Senate colleagues on Tuesday he will seek to amend Article VI of the state Constitution which says the state’s militia shall be composed of all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 18 and 45, with some exceptions, shall be armed, equipped, and trained as the General Assembly may provide by law. Chelgren called the age and gender restrictions “unfortunate,” and indicated he planned to file a resolution seeking to amend the provision to allow all citizens above the age of 18 regardless of gender to participate in the militia.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m sure I signed it, so fire me. Sorry, I guess I’m getting an attitude.” -- Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss apologizing for not recalling details of a report on health care insurance costs. After eight years as commissioner, Voss is retiring in 10 days.


cheap health insurance quotes Copyright © 2011