Heritage Health Medical Aid Fund Newsletter 2 for 2019
In this Newsletter we will introduce you to the Trustees of your Fund and address matters which is of importance to you as a member of Heritage Health Medical Aid Fund. We look forward to being of service to you.
Introducing YOU to YOUR Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees, duly appointed at the Annual General Meeting held in June 2019, are:
- Zeshaan Dinaith
- Elder Felipe
- Abré Maree
- Chiedza Maxwell
- Shapwa Kanyama
- Grant Kloppers
- Principal Officer: John Faul
Heritage Health Medical Aid Fund is a juristic person capable of doing all such things as may be necessary for or incidental to the exercise of its powers or the performance of its duties or functions in terms of the Medical Aid Funds Act, 1995 and the Rules of your Fund. The Fund belongs to all its members and the Board of Trustees represents the members, you. As a member you play an important part and where you also have certain duties and responsibilities. It is important that you ensure that you are an informed Heritage Health member.
YOU need to familiarise yourself with the Rules of Heritage Health and which you can view on the website at www.heritagehealth-namibia.com. To become more informed, YOU should also study the USER GUIDE 2019 also on the website.
PatientEDonline is a patient-focussed online platform that provides valuable medical information, procedural guidance and educational material to inform Heritage Health members on their medical conditions and guide behaviour towards a healthy lifestyle. Members are empowered to actively take part in effectively managing their health and wellness by improving their understanding of a specific medical condition, diagnosis or disease, as well as the methods and means to best manage treatments, medication and associated risks.
By registering at https://patiented.online you will gain access to the specially developed education platform which is available to Heritage Health members only – another first.
You will also find various interesting articles providing important information on topics such as Headaches, Sugar as a stumbling block, Bites by spiders, snakes, ticks etc, Sprains and Strains, Burns, Halitosis, Packing a healthy lunch box, Gout, Do we need minerals, Sunshine Vitamins D, Healthy Lifestyle etc. Let us show you how to become an informed Heritage Health member by visiting the newly developed online education platform.
Did You Know?
It is ONLY Heritage Health members who have this benefit.
Telemedicine implies “healing at a distance”. It is the use of technology to overcome geographical barriers and increase access to health care services after hours including week ends and Public Holidays. In a situation where you require admission to a hospital or casualty division you will be referred to the nearest hospital and which may include EMED transport pending the clinical risk.
Only after-hours, Weekends & Public Holidays
- By using the “doctor.me” icon on your Heritage Health Application on your smartphone.
- You may also call via WhatsApp: +27 662683959
- Email to: https://doxy.me/nursekobiecoetzee
YOU play a Key Role When it comes to Annual Increases
Affordability, Accessibility and Accountability determines the level of medical aid cover. Comprehensive plans where both hospital and day to day benefits are included have been replaced by hospital plans only whether young or old. Members now seek peace of mind for major medical costs (hospitalisation) and out of hospital benefits is being managed as an out of pocket cost in times of need – no longer a “must have” and its all about affordability.
Affordability remains a key concern without sacrificing quality clinical outcomes. The cost of treatment in general and medicine in particular is an important barrier to healthcare access, with the rising cost and availability of medicine contributing to the growing pressure on affordability.
YOU play a key role to maintain costs which directly affects the annual increases. It is important to always consider the following TIPS to manage healthcare services and relating costs:
- Know your Benefits, Rules and the Terms and Conditions of your medical aid cover prior to seeing your healthcare provider. Understand your benefits and the sub benefit limits. Make sure the benefit plans you choose will fit your needs.
- When referred to screening/scanning tests it is important that you always ask the costs prior to going for the tests. It is incorrect to assume that because you have medical aid cover the costs will be covered. Different plans have different levels of cover. The treating doctor is not aware of your available benefits for a specific test.
- When being sent for pathology tests, know what and why tests are taken and ask the costs as these tests are costly and you may have insufficient benefits and need to pay out of own pocket for the remaining shortfall.
- When receiving a prescription understand the contents by asking your pharmacist.
- Always establish whether a less costly test is available and thereby extend your benefits for the year. It is also important for you to know upfront what your out of pocket payment will be where the tests exceed your available benefits.
- Make smart lifestyle choices. You can reduce your chances of developing a chronic condition or needing to be hospitalized by eating a balanced diet, staying active and avoiding risky behaviours, such as smoking.
- Your medical aid fund will not pay for pre- admissions (one day early admission in a hospital prior to the procedure) as the costs are not clinically justified.
- Your medical aid fund will not allow admissions in a hospital for mere tests to be undertaken. Admissions are based on a clinical diagnosis and a treatment plan.
- Have the right attitude and do not think that because you have medical aid cover you can randomly use it. All costs have a direct impact on the monthly contributions that you pay. Don’t request medical care when it is not required.
- Always check your invoices and ensure that what is being invoiced is what you received.
- Fraud and abuse are a reality and members have a responsibility to report such incidents.
- You play a key role as a member of your medical aid fund and when uncertain, always ask before incurring the costs.
Technical Assistance: Did YOU Know?
Heritage Health members have a responsibility to manage their benefits and to ensure a healthy lifestyle. To assist you with your responsibilities you have the following two tools:
Heritage Health Application
Very few members have downloaded the Heritage Health Application onto their smartphones, and which has several smart applications which members may use. One of these applications allows members to snap pictures of their invoices and which is directly submitted onto the system. No more scanning of invoices and making life so much easier for all the members. You may also view benefits, payments and you will have a virtual medical aid card – please download the Application from your APP store free of charge.
You can acquire a Biometric Wristband/Fit Bit from the office of the Fund. This allows you to manage your vital signs. By exercising and taking control of a healthy lifestyle you can improve your quality of life. Members who track their diet, physical activity and weight will achieve better results than those who don’t. The wristbands provides feedback that reinforces personal accountability for your own health and promotes a healthy lifestyle. It also assists with early detection of certain chronic diseases enabling proper attention and preferred outcomes.
Widespread Ignorance of Links between Diet and Cancer
Many adults fail to understand the links between diet and cancer. According to the World Cancer Research Fund survey, only 58% of baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – know that what they eat, and drink could lead to cancer. In contrast, only a third of 18- to 24-year-olds don’t understand the connection between what they are putting in their mouths and their cancer risk.
The report says the World Cancer Research Fund survey asked more than 2,000 adults in the UK how much they knew about the links. The results left experts issuing a stark warning, that the lack of knowledge could indirectly link to their long-term health.
According to the results, 64% of 18- to 24-year-olds knew alcohol increases cancer risk, compared to only 59% of baby boomers. However, the over-55 group were more aware of the dangers of processed meats such as ham, bacon and sausages, with 62% aware of the associated cancer risk. The report says Generation Z – people born in the mid-1990s to early twenties – did not do well in this section of the survey with fewer than half (48%) knowing about the dangers of processed meat.
Head of research at the WCRF, Susannah Brown, said that the way people are being educated about food could be the reason for the generational gaps. “The different age groups seem to be aware of different risk factors and it could potentially suggest that the sources they are using get this type of information from could perhaps be influencing them,” she said.
According to the report, Brown noted that it is possible younger generations are, in fact, forming opinions based on information from social media, instead of traditional news sources. In a shock result, nearly one in five (18%) Millennials didn’t know that smoking was a huge risk of cancer, whereas only 9% of baby boomers were unaware.
A massive 80% of over-55s understood that cancer can be caused by your genetics, but a smaller 74% of 25 to 34-year-olds did.
The report says the survey also found that those who are wealthier appeared to have a better understanding of their health – with 69% of middle-class people understanding the links between poor diet and cancer, and only 52 per cent of working class.
Brown added: “We are aware that socioeconomic status does affect health outcomes, and perhaps it shows that it is from awareness right through to actually what the lifestyle patterns are that could perhaps be influencing that.”
She also noted that it was encouraging that a poor diet was a “modifiable” risk for cancer, so if people become more aware of what they can do to improve their health, their risk may lower.
Health Lunch Boxes and the Results
All parents want their children to do well at school, yet very often children’s concentration span at school are diminished because of the food they eat.
- Healthy food choices are essential to help children grow, develop, feel good and do well academically.
- Today children are consuming more and more added sugars, fast foods and sodas and their diets are often low in nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats and grains.
- Bad eating habits lead to low energy levels, inactivity and obesity.
- Parents have the power to guide children and help them to develop healthy lifestyles, have sustainable energy and reduce the risks of developing certain chronic diseases.
- Childhood obesity cuts across all communities and all categories of race, ethnicity and family income.
- Research indicates that almost 10% of children aged 2 to 5 are obese. The obesity rate for children 6 to 11 years old are around 18% (four times higher than 40 years ago) and 21% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 are obese.
- A staggering 33,3% of the children born in 2000 will develop diabetes during their lifetime.
- Since 1980, the obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.
- Obese children are already demonstrating cardiovascular risk factors typically not seen until adulthood.
- Children and adolescents with obesity have a greater risk of social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self-esteem, which can continue into adulthood.
- Children with weight issues are more likely to miss school and repeat a grade than children who are at a healthy weight.
- Children with obesity have three times more healthcare expenditure than children at healthy weights.
A balanced diet for children is the same as for adults, however the quantities are different and during a child’s development their nutritional needs changes.
To ensure adequate nutrition, children's meals and snacks should include a variety of foods from each of the five food groups in portions appropriate to the child's appetite and needs:
- Grains e.g. bread.
- Vegetables e.g. tomato, carrots.
- Fruits e.g. oranges, apples.
- Proteins e.g. meat, eggs.
- Dairy products e.g. milk, cheese.
Apart from the food options, children must also drink lots of water.
Proteins are the building blocks needed for cell growth, provide energy, fight infection, formation of hormones and several other important functions in the body.
Good sources of protein for children can be derived from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and beans and diary.
Grains and carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the body's most important source of energy. Together with fat and protein, they help to build and repair tissue.
Carbohydrates come in several different forms and children should eat complex carbohydrates (like potatoes and brown rice) and stay away from simple carbohydrates like chips and sweets.
Good carbohydrates sources mainly come from grains like brown rice, oats, whole grain pasta, whole wheat bread and potatoes.
Children need to consume fat as it is essential in the formation of the membranes around the cells in the body. Fat is also a good source of energy, especially in the absence of simple carbohydrates like sugar.
There are however good fats and bad fats and it is important to provide kids with the unsaturated fats, which are good fats. Good fats can be found in vegetable oils e.g. olive oil, fish, avocado, nuts and free-range chicken.
Fruit and vegetables
The first place to start when trying to improve a child's nutrition is to add more fruit and vegetables to their diet. These two groups should make up the majority of what a child consumes daily.
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of many nutrients. They contain the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, starch and fibres.
In summary, a child should eat:
- Lots of fruit and vegetables for vitamins and fibre.
- Carbohydrates from complex carbohydrates such as whole grains (brown rice, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta) for energy.
- Lean meat and fish (especially oily fish) for proteins.
- Nuts, seeds and avocados for fats.
- Low-fat dairy products for calcium.
Play with colours
Different colours of fruits and vegetables contain different combinations of nutrients.
Think of foods in colours - green, white, yellow, orange, blue, purple, red. Get children involved and ask them to build a rainbow in their lunch box. Let them choose a food with each colour or as many as possible.
Play with shapes
Get creative in the kitchen – make food fun. Cut food into funny shapes, make faces out of the food and let the children experiment with the different flavours and textures of food.
Let children choose
Let the children choose what they want in their lunch box from the chosen group of foods. Children love to be involved in decision making.
Take them shopping
When children are involved in the shopping process, they are more likely to eat the food they selected.
Explain that the different food options will:
- Help growth.
- Increase concentration span.
- Increase energy levels.
- Improve brain function.
- What children eat daily will have a huge impact on their health throughout adolescence and adulthood.
Eating food containing important nutrients helps children grow and is essential for their mental and physical development. Parents have the responsibility to ensure that children grow up eating healthy food, to prevent chronic diseases later in life.Source: Essentials Source: SPAR Go Back To Newsletters