Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Term Plan Can Deliver Priceless Advantages In Your Family's Darkest Hour!

Term Insurance is the most basic form of life cover and is a fixed-term contract between you and the insurance company wherein you pay regular premiums and the company agrees to pay your nominee.

Getting a Term Insurance is extremely important because in case of a tragedy during the policy term, the policy payment will financially protect your family and help them maintain their lifestyle & take care of liabilities in the form of loans etc.

Do note that you may select a term plan variant with monthly income along with the lump sum payout, further helping your family with day-to-day expenses. Moreover, Term Plans can be extended to include disability & death due to accidents by opting for riders.

Let's also debunk some myths about term insurance. First and foremost, term insurance is not a waste of money or unaffordable.

For most individuals, term insurance premium would cost less than an egg daily. A term plan is a pure protection plan and it offers no maturity benefits, but consider the priceless benefits and "peace of mind" that comes from knowing you have taken a step that will financially protect your family even if you are no longer around. Along with the base cover, you can opt for additional coverage for accident, disability and disease with riders. Add to it the tax exemptions you get for the premium amount and this make it even more attractive.

Some term plans offer the option for monthly income along with lumpsum payout, covering immediate as well as day-to-day expenses, making term plans more comprehensive.

A Term Plan will financially safeguard your family against all financial liabilities along with an option to opt for day-to-day expenses cover. Anyone from 18 years till the specific eligible age can opt for a life cover. Experts recommend that you should get life insurance early on in life, as you start working, to avail the benefits of lower premium and the policy term should ideally cover your working years, understanding the fact that eventually, at some stage in life, you would need to plan for your family's financial security, even in your absence.

Some people have a mistaken notion that buying Term Insurance Online is a complicated process. In reality, buying term plans online is a stroll in the park and can be done in minutes on a site like

A term insurance is particularly relevant if you are the sole breadwinner of the family. In your absence, your family's financial security could be seriously hit. As the only earning member, all the current household expenses and your family's future goals are dependent on your ability to continue earning. In case of your untimely death, the income would stop, leading to an uncomfortable situation for your family. You can opt for a term plan with monthly income option that pays a lump sum amount as well as monthly payouts for 10 years to your family to cover the day-to-day expenses and continue to maintain their lifestyle.

Experts insist that a term plan is a definite requirement if you are servicing a loan or any other liability. Consider you have availed a Rs. 1 crore home loan and tragedy strikes. How will your family continue to pay the EMIs? This is where a term plan with a Rs. 2 crore life cover can help your family pay off the Rs. 1 crore liability and still maintain their lifestyle with the other Rs 1 crore.

"The “term” in a term insurance plan also lends flexibility. Continuing with the above case, if the tenure for the outstanding loan is 15 years, you can opt to discontinue the policy after the liability has been settled. However, you should ideally continue for a tenure that is at least equal to the no. of years left before retirement, to cover for your income," according to an well-known insurance company.

To summarize, a term insurance plan can be the reliable safety net you are looking for. A term insurance policy ensures your family is well taken care of financially in case of your sudden demise. You pay a small premium every year for a certain period of time to buy a ‘life cover’, and if you pass away during this time, your family is paid the amount promised to you by your insurer. PolicyNation understand that everyone’s needs differ, which is why you can select from a broad range of term plans from multiple companies. Have a look at your options and choose the one that fits the bill.

- B. John Bosco

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Majority of Indians have no health insurance

In fact, 76% of Indians do not have health insurance! This is as per data from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, IRDA. Grim news indeed! Add to that, India has one of the lowest per capita healthcare expenditures in the world. Government contribution to insurance stands at roughly 32%, as opposed to 83.5% in the UK.

The high out-of-pocket expenses in India stem from the fact that most Indians do not have health insurance. Which is why it's important to ensure that you and your family are adequately covered with insurance from a trustworthy and credible source. Today it's possible to compare, select and buy the ideal insurance in minutes online.

Meanwhile, rising population, inadequate resources and insurance are key roadblocks for India’s healthcare industry, according to a report from IndiaSpend, the country’s first data journalism initiative.

On the population front, the news is not very rosy either. India has the world’s second-largest population, rising from 760 million in 1985 to an estimated 1.3 billion in 2015. Migrants from rural areas continue to flock to urban settlements; roughly 32% of them inhabiting cities–although estimates of this migration vary–that are already bursting at the seams.

India’s existing infrastructure is just not enough to cater to the growing demand for affordable quality health care, say experts from IndiaSpend (

While the private sector dominates healthcare delivery across the country, a majority of the population living below the poverty line (BPL)–the ability to spend Rs 47 per day in urban areas, Rs 32 per day in rural areas–continues to rely on the under-financed and short-staffed public sector for its healthcare needs, as a result of which their healthcare needs remain unmet.

Moreover, the majority of healthcare professionals happen to be concentrated around urban areas where consumers have higher paying power, leaving rural areas underserved.

India meets the global average in number of physicians, but 74% of India’s doctors cater to a third of the urban population, or no more than 442 million people, according to a KPMG report.

India compares unfavourably with China and the US in number of hospital beds and nurses. The country is 81% short of specialists at rural community health centres (CHCs), and the private sector accounts for 63% of hospital beds, according to Indian government health and family welfare statistics.

The rural healthcare infrastructure is three-tiered and includes a sub-center, primary health center (PHC) and CHC. Indian PHCs are short of more than 3,000 doctors, with the shortage up by 200% over the last 10 years to 27,421, as reported in 2016.

There are, however, potential catalysts to improve the quality of healthcare in India. IndiaSpend has identified three: The government, information technology and innovation

The Union Budget 2017–18 includes measures to boost rural development, infrastructure and macroeconomic stability, and although the health budget has been increased 27%, allocations could have been matched more holistically with the government’s ambitions, particularly when considering adjustment against inflation and new health-program announcements.

Analysts argue that the national insurance scheme (the Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Yojana) is a minor improvement on the existing one, with the annual limit per family increased from Rs 30,000 to Rs 100,000, with an additional “top-up” of Rs 30,000 for senior citizens. IndiaSpend estimates suggest that enrolling all BPL families in the country in health-insurance programmes would cost anywhere from Rs 2,460 to Rs 3,350 crore, or less than the cost of two French Rafale fighters.

Information Technology (IT) is set to play a big role with IT applications being used for social- sector schemes on a large scale. Beneficiaries are issued a biometric-enabled smart card containing their fingerprints and photographs. Hospitals empaneled under the government insurance scheme are IT enabled and connected to servers in districts. Beneficiaries can use a smart card that allows them to access health services in any empaneled hospital across India.

Additionally, the ministry of health and family welfare launched several new computer and mobile-phone based e-health and m-health initiatives on World Health Day in 2016. These include the Swastha Bharat mobile application for information on diseases, symptoms, treatment, health alerts and tips; ANMOL-ANM online tablet application for health workers, e-RaktKosh (a blood-bank management information system) and India Fights Dengue.

Individual states are adopting technology to support health-insurance schemes. For instance, Remedinet Technology (India’s first completely electronic cashless health insurance claims processing network) has been signed on as the technology partner for the Karnataka Government’s recently announced cashless health insurance schemes, according to IndiaSpend.

India added 450 million people over the 25 years to 2016, a period during which the proportion of people living in poverty fell by half. This period of rising prosperity has been marked by a “dual-disease burden”, a continuing rise in communicable diseases and a spurt in non-communicable or “lifestyle” diseases, which accounted for half of all deaths in 2015, from 42% in 2001-03.

The result of this disease burden on a growing and ageing population, economic development and increasing health awareness is a healthcare industry that has grown to $81.3 billion (Rs 54,086 lakh crore) in 2013 and is now projected to grow by 17% (compounded annual growth rate, or CAGR) by 2020, up from 11% in 1990, IndiaSpend added.

Just visit to experience the ease, convenience and price advantage of online health insurance.

- B. John Bosco

Monday, June 5, 2017

World Environment Day reconnects you to nature

Just go outside and show us that you’re #WithNature. Breathe in the beauty and remember that by keeping our planet healthy, we keep ourselves healthy too.

Connecting people to nature is the theme for 2017. From your backyard to your favorite park, nature is closer than you think. It’s time to get out and enjoy it.

World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events, from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests.

Our personal transportation choices have a huge impact on air quality. What we drive and how we drive impacts the environment. Motor vehicles give off more than half of all carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions in many cities. These emissions, including microscopic particles, can contribute to breathing and heart problems along with an elevated risk of cancer.

Since most pollution from cars and trucks is due to the burning of fuel, you can reduce pollution from these sources by burning less fuel, burning fuel cleaner and burning cleaner fuel.

  • Next time you purchase a vehicle, buy the most fuel efficient vehicle that meets your average daily needs. 
  • Use transit and car- or van-pool as often as you can. Doing so three times a week can reduce your fuel consumption up to 50%.
  • Bike or walk to avoid fuel use entirely.
  • Telecommute (working from a home-based location via phone or Internet) to reduce driving
  • Minimize driving by working and playing closer to home.
  • Plan errands to avoid unnecessary driving.
  • Accelerate gradually — a smooth start uses less fuel
  • Burn fuel cleaner

Here's another set of guidelines from experts.

  • Keep your vehicle well-tuned and tires inflated properly to reduce exhaust emissions.
  • Combine errands into one trip — cars pollute less when they are warmed up.
  • Avoid idling — idling exhaust contains more pollutants than running exhaust.
  • If you purchase a new car, look for a low emission vehicle or LEV (see under-hood sticker) 
  • Low-sulfur gasoline reduces pollutants by 10-15%
  • 85% ethanol fuel (E85) can be used in flexible fuel vehicles.
  • Other alternative transportation fuels such as natural gas or bio-diesel are most practical for fleets of vehicles.

In recent decades, scientific advances as well as growing environmental problems such as global warming are helping us to understand the countless ways in which natural systems support our own prosperity and well-being.

For example, the world’s oceans, forests and soils act as vast stores for greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane; farmers and fisher-folk harness nature on land and under water to provide us with food; scientists develop medicines using genetic material drawn from the millions of species that make up Earth’s astounding biological diversity.

Billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.

Nature’s gifts are often hard to value in monetary terms. Like clean air, they are often taken for granted, at least until they become scarce. However, economists are developing ways to measure the multi-trillion-dollar worth of many so-called ‘ecosystem services’, from insects pollinating fruit trees in the orchards of California to the leisure, health and spiritual benefits of a hike up a Himalayan valley.

Wherever you are, you could vow to pick up 10 (or 100) pieces of trash, or take inspiration from the citizens of Mumbai and organize a mass beach clean-up.

In the age of asphalt and smartphones and among the distractions of modern life, connections with nature can be fleeting. But with your help, we can make it clearer than ever that we need harmony between humanity and nature so that both are able to thrive.

- B. John Bosco

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Exercise Makes You Younger at the Cellular Level

The more exercise people get, the less their cells appear to age. In a new study in Preventive Medicine, people who exercised the most had biological aging markers that appeared nine years younger than those who were sedentary.

Researchers looked at the telomeres from nearly 6,000 adults enrolled in a multi-year survey run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People were asked what physical activities they had done in the past month and how vigorously they did them. They also provided DNA samples, from which the researchers measured telomere length.

Telomeres, the protein caps on the ends of human chromosomes, are markers of aging and overall health. Every time a cell replicates, a tiny bit of telomere is lost, so they get shorter with age. But they shrink faster in some people than in others, explains study author Larry Tucker, professor of exercise science at Brigham Young University.

“We know that, in general, people with shorter telomeres die sooner and are more likely to develop many of our chronic diseases,” says Tucker. “It’s not perfect, but it’s a very good index of biological aging.”

After adjusting for smoking, obesity, alcohol use, gender, race and other factors, Tucker found in his study that people who exercised the most had significantly longer telomeres than those who were sedentary. The most sedentary people had 140 fewer base pairs of DNA at the ends of their telomeres, compared to the most active: a difference of about nine years of cellular aging, he says.

To qualify as top-tier exercisers, people had to do the equivalent of at least 30-40 minutes of jogging a day five days a week. Doing less was also linked to aging benefits, but they were not as powerful. People who did vigorous exercise had telomeres that signaled about seven fewer years of biological aging, compared to people who did moderate levels of activity.

Tucker says he was surprised to see so big of a difference between moderate and high levels of exercise. “Moderate exercise was still valuable and it had some benefit, but it was really those high levels of physical activity that made the real difference,” says Tucker. The top exercisers were vigorously working out 150 to 200 minutes a week, or engaging in light- to moderate-intensity activity for longer periods. Research continues to suggest that more exercise means deeper reductions in risk for chronic disease, to a certain point.

The current study relied on self-reports about physical activity and was only able to show an association—not a cause-and-effect relationship—between exercise amount and telomere length. It wasn’t able to account for factors like depression, stress, sleep disturbances and dietary practices that could affect exercise habits, genetic changes, or both.

But a link between physical activity and cellular aging makes sense, says Tucker. Experts believe that telomere length may be linked to inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which exercise has been shown to ease over time.

While there’s no guarantee that people with longer telomeres will live longer, healthier lives, the odds may be in their favor, says Tucker. “We all know people who seem younger than their actual age,” he says. “We know exercise can help with that, and now we know that part of that may be because of its effect on our telomeres.”

- B. John Bosco