Sunday, January 26, 2014

Black Caps vs India Third ODI, Eden Park

Wait, a tie?

How am I supposed to feel?

How are the Indian supporters supposed to feel?

None of us knew. Attending the third cricket One Day International at an almost sold out Eden Park was an experience. The sun was baking, the atmosphere generated by the 28,800 supporters was intense, and the cricket itself was the craziest, most amazing game I'd ever seen.

Brendon Mccullum and the Black Caps, not quite sure how to react to the thrilling tie.

For those who don't know the machinations of cricket, having a tie occur after both sides have batted is exceedingly rare. In this case, it was even more strange given the massive scores both teams managed to achieve. But happen it did. The ground was packed with great Indian supporters, who just judging by the sound, outnumbered us Kiwis 3 to 1 on the day. Every Indian boundary or six was greeted with a deafening sea of cheers, waving Indian flags and chanting. Every New Zealand wicket was greeted by a round of muted applause and some scattered cheering. Oh well, now I know what a cricket game on the subcontinent would be like!

The game swung to India. Then it swung back to New Zealand. Then back to India. I looked at the tickets, and they made no mention of people with heart conditions needing to be careful, which seemed like a tremendous oversight. (I hope they had medical cover :) ) In the end, as I was leaving the ground, I supposed a tie was the fair result for a game when neither side could quite get on top enough to finish the other one off.

Relive all the action here with the highlights and massive amounts of respect to India and the Indian supporters for showing us how to be passionate about our team.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Crucial Health Insurance Tip for New Parents

If you're a new parent, one thing thing that can be sometimes overlooked in all the joyous hysteria of a new addition to the family is making sure your child is covered. We recommend getting onto it ASAP though, because there are some little known benefits to doing so that can help you hugely in the long run.

1. If you add your child within its first 3 months to a Sovereign health insurance policy (eg. Absolute Health or Majorcare) and you already have one child included on the policy, your premiums will not increase. So you will be getting another child covered under your existing policy without having to pay a cent more.

2. If your health cover is with another insurer, the same advice still applies. If you add your child to your policy within its first three months, any pre-existing conditions your child has will be automatically covered. If you leave it much longer than this, the exemption may not be available.

3. Even in a general sense without the great perks, it's a good idea to get your child covered as quickly as possible anyway. You never know what could crop up unexpectedly and having a newborn, though one of the best experiences of our lives, can be stressful enough without the financial burdens of medical bills.

Making sure your babies are protected earlier comes with considerable benefits you won't get by waiting.

Remember too, that if you have queries about a specific policy you may already have, we can help you out anytime. Good luck and as always, may your children be fit, healthy and happy.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Staying Healthy: Weight Loss Tips

Trying to lose weight? Here are some info and resources that can help.

- Take Vitamin D. Obesity has been linked by research to low levels of Vitamin D, which acts as a support for metabolism and insulin secretion. It also promotes healthy absorption of calcium and phosphorous and improves the communications of cells throughout your body. Vitamin D is different from other vitamins as it is the only one the human body can manufacture itself with the aid of exposure to sunlight. Sources other than supplements include milk and fish such as salmon or sardines.

- Replace refined sugars. More natural alternatives include honey, which helps your body digest fats more effectively. If possible, change from consuming white bread, white rice and white pasta to brown bread with grains, whole grain pastas and brown rice.

- Ensure you aren't potassium deficient. Potassium deficiency produces fatigue and muscle weakness, which can prevent you from burning the calories you need to start dropping the kgs. Potassium also has numerous other benefits to your body including brain function, bone health and maintaining healthy blood pressure.

Citrus fruits are an important source of potassium, as well as avocados, bananas, grains, salmon and chicken.

- Tracking the amount of calories consumed versus the amount burned is surprisingly fun and motivating. Aim to burn 500 more than your intake for the day to produce effective results. A great source of information on most foods and their calorie count is here, and a handy tool for calculating the amount you've burned is this calorie burn calculator. I've used both in the past and they definitely help. Weight loss for me just doesn't have enough numbers to it beyond the scale. Knowing for sure what you've taken in and what you've burned gives you a sense of progress and accomplishment even when you can't see the results visually straight away.

- Become an '80/20' eater. If you can make 80% of the foods you consume beneficial healthy foods and keep 20% reserved for the fun stuff you're craving, you can achieve a good balance which will promote weight loss if maintained.

- Sleep a lot. No, seriously. Sleep has a massive impact on your body, weight loss, storing fat and your general weight maintenance. Do your best to get at least 8 hours a night.

Don't set that alarm too early. Good sleep is imperative for weight loss programs.

- Do your level best to snack on low calorie foods. Packets of chips and the like can be tempting, but even the small ones have 200+ calories. This is a cool and handy list of foods only have 40 calories or less. Try some of them out.

Other Entries in the Staying Healthy Series:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Insurance MythBusters: "You have to be critically ill to claim on your Trauma Insurance"

I hope everyone out there had a fantastic Christmas and New Year. The weather was disappointingly a little iffy, but the spirit of the occasion endures beyond surface level things like that, so I hope you valued your time with family and friends.

Mythbusters is one of my favorite shows. Science, interesting facts, big explosions and old wives tales being put to the test. What's not to love? I brought it up in the office and asked our team what they thought the biggest myths are regarding insurance that are out there, and this one was among the first they mentioned (stay tuned for more!).

Busting insurance myths may not involve as many cool explosions, but they could result in an explosion of cash in your wallet!

A lot of people think that Trauma insurance cover means just that. 'Only for significant trauma'. Significant trauma as in, life threatening or critical ailments and conditions. Certainly these conditions are usually covered, but there are often far more that you can claim for that most people are completely unaware of.

Conditions such as deafness and procedures such as an angioplasty are mostly not critical conditions, and yet you can sometimes make a claim for them just as readily as the others. The actual conditions that you can claim for may differ depending on the insurance provider, but we've had many people we're connected to surprised when they've brought up a condition, and we ask them if they've claimed for it. One in particular had a cancerous mole removed from their arm. He didn't think much of it and during our annual review with them, he just brought it up to us in casual conversation. He was more than happy when we consulted and found it met the conditions on their policy for a claim they didn't even know he was entitled to!

So if you do have a Trauma Policy, take a close look at the policy wordings so that you'll know exactly what's covered and what's not (it can differ between insurers and between plans). OR, if the confusing technical language is a bit too much for you, good news. We have a user friendly, easy to understand brochures that can help. Just let us know and we can send you one out free of charge. If you have any other questions, let our expert admin staff know.

Conclusion: Squarely busted. There are literally all sorts of conditions and procedures that are not critical or life threatening that may be covered under your Trauma Insurance. So if you don't have a policy and this belief was holding you back, don't let it any longer. If you do have a policy, take a look at precisely what's covered. You might have a pleasant surprise in your future.