5 Steps to Healthy Eating

General government expenditure on health as a percentage of total government expenditure is 9.4 percent in the UAE, as of 2013, according to the Nutrition Landscape Information System by the WHO. Apart from getting medical insurance, it is also necessary to take care of your health on a daily basis, and an easy way to do this is by eating right.

Eat Healthy, Be Healthy

One of the two most important things that affect your health on a daily basis is what you eat and your level of physical activity. Listed below are five healthy eating habits that you can follow.

  1. Eat a variety of nutrient rich foods – You need 40 different types of nutrients and no single food can provide them all. Therefore, you need to add variety to your diet to get the required nutrients. You must include bread and other whole grain products, vegetables, fruits, as well as meat, fish, poultry and other protein rich foods. The amount you must include in your diet depends on your calorie requirements.
  2. Enjoy plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetable – It is necessary for each individual to have a daily portion of whole grains, fruits and vegetable, with the quantities based on various physical factors, such as age, height and required calorie intake, and so on. You can use a food guide pyramid for reference.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight – The right weight for you depends on a host of factors, such as your gender, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases the risk of many diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes and many types of cancer. Stroke and other critical illnesses are generally covered under medical insurance but nobody wants to experience them in the first place. If you are too fat or too thin, you need to consult a dietician for proper weight management.
  4. Eat regular meals and moderate portions – Eating regular meals and moderate portions keeps you full and satiated. On the other hand, skipping meals can lead to overeating at one time and eating nothing at all at other times, which in turn can have an adverse effect on your health in the long-run.
  5. Know your diet pitfalls and make changes gradually – Assess your diet and know what is missing. However, you must be ready to revamp your eating habits overnight as it can get in the way of success. Start with modest changes by eliminating the deficiencies and gradually increase the portions.

Apart from making lifestyle changes and changes in your eating habits, it is also essential to cover yourself with the right medical insurance. It keeps you protected from financial crises during periods of medical emergency.

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5 Helpful Tips to Choose a Health Insurance Plan

The majority of healthcare users are satisfied with services in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah but not happy with the cost, according to a new survey which interviewed more than 1,000 residents aged between 18 and 56 of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, across genders and nationalities, according to an article published in arabianbusiness.com in June 2015. Our health is one asset that we depend on all our lives. Health insurance has become all the more relevant with increasing health-care service costs and rapidly changing lifestyle habits.

Choose the Right Plan

Getting yourself health insured will help you wave off the worry of future healthcare costs and will enable you to avail the best of services without worrying about payment and the effect of treatment costs on your future financial goals. Here are some tips that might come in handy while you shop for an insurance policy.

  1. Choose the Type of Cover Carefully – The cover provided under a policy may be basic that is only providing for medical treatments during hospitalization which are in-patients treatments. Look for a plan that will also pay-up for day-to-day consultations and medical bills.
  2. Look for the Geographical Cover – You must know that whether the policy provides cover only in the UAE or outside the UAE as well. The policy may also provide cover region wise such as the middle-east, Africa or the Indian Sub-continent. Some even pay for medical expenses globally. Choose a policy according to your needs.
  3. Know the “Network” – The network is the list of pre-approved healthcare providers. These healthcare providers will be able to provide you “cashless treatments” as the insurance company directly pays them. The network can have a considerable effect on the premium depending on the services provided and the quality of the providers.
  4. Look for Critical Illness Cover – Buy a health insurance plan that has a critical illness cover. The critical illness cover allows you to receive reimbursements for the salary or the earnings you lose while you receive medical treatment and miss work commitments. You can also add a critical illness rider to enhance the cover provided by a policy.
  5. Read the Policy Document Carefully – Read the terms and conditions carefully. Also, read the benefits provided by the policy so that you can take advantage of all the provisions you are paying for.

How to Buy a Good Medical Insurance Plan?

Ever increasing medical expenses and deteriorating health conditions make it essential to have medical insurance cover. A good health policy can protect you and your family against unforeseen medical expenses.

Medical Insurance Checklist

The Dubai Health Advisory has made it mandatory for all Dubai companies to provide health insurance for their employees. The government of Dubai will provide cover for all emiratis. Although this comes as good news and a relief but the downside is that it only provides cover for employees and not the employees’ families. Buying health insurance that provides cover to your entire family as well is one of the essentials of a good health cover. Here is a list of things to check while buying a health policy

  • Cover Amount – Your insurance should be adequate to cover all major and minor unforeseen diseases. Being underinsured is no less than being uninsured. Choose a plan according to your needs.
  • Illnesses Covered – Always look into the expenses covered under a said medical insurance policy, such as hospitalization bills, surgery bills, medical bills, doctor visits, terminal illnesses and more.
  • Premium – Do not choose a plan based only on the premium amount. Although a low premium might leave more money in your hands, it also might keep you underinsured. Use the premium calculator available online to calculate the exact and most appropriate premium for your cover amount, depending on your own and your family’s health, income, lifestyle habits, etc.
  • Information Provided by You – Always provide correct information regarding your health while buying insurance. Tick the smoker column even if you are an occasional smoker. Hiding information about lifestyle habits and existing diseases might diminish your chances of claim settlement.
  • Travel insurance – You might plan to travel to other countries for vacations and business purposes. Check if the insurance offers cover for medical expenses that you might incur while travelling.
  • Know the Policy – Go through all the terms and conditions of the policy carefully.

You can also add riders to your plan at a nominal cost. Riders are additions that enhance the cover by providing benefits not previously included in the plan. Buy medical insurance when you feel you are at your healthiest, preferably as early as possible, because most often health insurance plans do not cover existing diseases. You can use the financial health calculator available online, which helps you calculate your financial requirements for the future according to your present financial condition and lifestyle.

Property Loans for NRIs: Special Features to Check For

Did you know that for being eligible for NRI home loans in India, salaried employees need to complete one year of stay abroad and self employed professionals need to complete at least 3 years? If you are working in the UAE, you will also need to show annual earnings of 48,000 dhms for being eligible for a 6 to 10 year loan term. This amount will double if you happen to be self employed. Once you clear the eligibility clauses, you will need to look for home loans with special features so that the entire process can be managed with ease.

Special Features your Loan Proposal must Incorporate

Some of the features you need to look out for should include:

  • Interest to be calculated on monthly reducing balance: When the interest is calculated on a reducing balance, it is a more accurate replication of the cost of borrowing. Besides, this is also considered to be a much more transparent method and NRIs can be more at ease.
  • Documentation needs to be hassle free: Owing to the fact that the borrower is residing outside India, he will need highly proficient and hassle free proceedings for filing the documentation. In most cases, NRIs are allowed to make an online application for home loans. They can even place a call or leave a number for a call back. Most of the documentation is processed online for complete convenience. Some lenders provide door to door pick up for documents in India.
  • Waiver of fees on part payment: In case part payments are made by the borrower, the lender must seek a complete waiver of fees.
  • No cost of foreclosure: In case the borrower wishes to foreclose the loan or decides to pay up before the completion of the full loan tenure, there should be no foreclosure charges applicable. Normally, every lending bank charges an additional amount if the lender wishes to close the loan earlier in lieu of the interest it has lost.

Non resident Indians must also look for a waiver on legal and transactional fees. The idea is to be able to cut down on associated costs as much as possible and secure home loans at the most attractive rates of interest. The NRI should be able to manage all proceedings from the UAE and be able to contact all concerned representatives at the touch of a button.

When should you buy Medical Insurance?

Here’s a look at the top 5 factors to look at while also looking at your need when buying medical insurance:

  1. Age: It is often said that you should buy health insurance when you don’t need it because you will not get it when you need it. The best time to purchase a policy is when you are young and without any medical disorders, as is starts getting more expensive as you grow older. It will be more expensive to buy a plan, let’s say, at the age of 40, than to buy it when you are 30 years old. With every passing year, you will end up paying higher premiums for the purchase and for subsequent renewals.
  1. Initiation of Coverage: Coverage against all specified medical expenses doesn’t start from day one. Most insurance policies have varying waiting periods for different types of diseases and benefits. You should assess your current and future requirements while deciding to purchase protection.
  1. Maternity Benefit: The maternity benefit provided under most plans has a waiting period attached to it. This waiting period differs from company to company. Most insurance companies have a 2-3 years’ waiting period for availing maternity benefits. You can’t be an expecting parent already and then purchase the plan to cover for expenses. Thus, it is important you be insured before you plan a baby.
  1. Old-Age Diseases: As you start growing old, diseases and health issues related to ageing start developing. Most insurance companies exclude coverage for such diseases if they are found existing in the person being insured or they increase the amount of premium significantly. The right time to buy health insurance is before you have developed any such diseases so that you are covered against the risk without paying too much.
  1. Hereditary Diseases: There are some diseases that run in families and one can be almost sure of developing the disease at some point in their life. If there is a history of any disease in your family, then you should purchase insurance for yourself before you have developed that disease yourself.

Factors Affecting Resale Value of a Car

Whether you are planning to buy a new car or want to sell the old one, you should be informed about some important factors that determine the resale value of a car. How you have been taking care of your vehicle over the years and whether you have been paying the premiums of your vehicle insurance regularly are some major factors that are taken into consideration.

9 Factors That Determine Your Car’s Resale Value

Here are some areas that require your attention to make sure that you get a good resale value of your vehicle.

  1. Mileage – Lesser the kilometres recorded, better will be the price. In general, 10,000 – 12,000 kilometres per year would be considered as a maximum limit. Anything over it will fetch you less price.
  2. Condition: It does not require mentioning that the condition of your car’s interior and exterior would have an impact on the bid value. One good idea would be to repair any dents, scratches, chipped paints in the exterior; and fix any issues in the door panels, seats, headliner, carpet, and console in the interiors. This will help you increase the value significantly.
  3. Make and model: Certain make and model, such as, Maruti’s Swift and Alto, Honda’s City and Hyundai’s Accent have high demands in the used car market. Moreover, the imported versions are also priced high.
  4. Accessories: If all your accessories, such as, power windows and door locks, the radio or CD player, interior lights and heater or A/C controls are functioning well, you can expect a higher resale value.
  5. Vehicle history: If your car has a clean history in terms of accidents, police cases and other collisions, you can expect to land a profitable deal.
  6. Colour: When buying a car, you should opt for ‘safe’ colours, such as, white, silver and black. Many consumers prefer those colours. This means that when you go for a resale, your car will have a higher chance of getting sold.
  7. Economic conditions: Though market conditions are beyond your control, yet it does affect the lifestyle of people and subsequently govern their buying decisions as well.
  8. Single handed or multiple drivers: A car handled by a single driver will usually be in a better working condition than one driven by multiple drivers. It’s no brainer that the former will fetch a better price.
  9. Car Insurance: If your vehicle is under the cover of a comprehensive motor insurance policy, it deserves a higher resale value. Make sure that you pay premiums regularly and do not make a default.

Apart from these factors, the season when you are reselling your vehicle could also have an impact on the value being offered. In India, you can expect a better price during festive seasons, such as, Diwali, Dhanteras, and New Year. Remember it is always a great idea to go for regular servicing to maintain and enhance the performance of your car.