“Your report says, you have CANCER”… can you just imagine what would have gone under Yuvi’s head when he heard these dreaded words from a doctor? Although treatable, but still the word Cancer, is enough for anyone to imagine the death bed and last rituals. This gives us a clear message that a complete annual health check up should be on your must to do list.
These are unavoidable circumstances, but they have deep impacts on one’s social and professional life. Yuvraj comes from an affluent family, his father being a cricketer himself and Yuvraj himself a youth icon with crores of income from the game and the endorsements. He can even earn from his illness- check out his advertisement for a life insurance company.
Message is right but product is wrong… Anyways it fits well with yuvi’s current situation. A person who was man of the series in world cup is facing such a bad phase of his life. What about a common man? Think if you face similar situation at peak of your career… (Read: Financial Planning Lessons from Cricket)
Yuvi can afford to get treated in one of leading hospitals in cancer care and Government and Cricket Board came to his rescue, but can we afford the same? I know some of you can, and few of my smartest friends would have taken a Health Insurance policy & Critical Illness insurance for them self and family to avoid these circumstances. Believe me this write up is not about Health Insurance or any of the illness plans, but this is about the first step before the insurance itself. We all have heard the proverb “a stitch in time, saves nine”. So why don’t we just recollect a few facts, so that we have a lesser chance to come under “Surgeons knife” or before “popping the pills”.
How can you avoid Health Hazards?
You know we can save a lot of money, by following certain health rules. These are not 100% scientific rules but yes they can be very helpful. These rules are:
1) Know your Heredity: these are generic transmissions from parents to kids. There will be days in future when you would be able to change the structure of your biological traits, but for the time being you can just follow these rules. Observe two things: one your appearance like you are plump, athletic, obese etc . Second watch for any disease history, which can be genetically, be transmitted. Major common ones are Diabetes and Hypertension. Once you are done with these two things, just follow what rationality suggests. Of course give up sweets if your family history is “sweety”. If you can’t give up at least curtail the intake. After all we are planning to save some money here and each penny counts!!!
2) Avoid: even if your chromosomes permit, avoid these below listed things:
- Junk food. Oily food particularly the deep fried dishes.
- Stress. Mismanaging the routine chores.
- Undisciplined food and sleeping habits.
- Life on couch. Nor using your physic.
- Alcohol, Nicotine and other brothers & sisters of this illustrious family.
Simple 5 things but not so simple to follow.
3) Live in a Healthy environment: live with people who lead a healthy life. Get inspired from healthy people. Gain positive energy from them. Instead of watching movie trailers in morning, tune the channel which airs the fitness program. Subscribe a fitness magazine & take action. Watch live sports or matches. Develop friends who are fitness freaks. Do not neglect the fitness topic.
4) Must do: these are again very small things and you will have to spend also on these a bitbut this works in longer run and will cut your medical bills to a large extent. These are:
- Exercise regularly: Walk, Jog, Swim, join a Gym or a sport like tennis or badminton. But shake those legs.
- Eat on time and eat healthy.
- Plan life and your work. Be smart.
- Develop a De-stress mechanism. Meditation may help before medication. Spend some time on something, you wish for.
- Go for complete health Check up.
Good Health in your Budget
Complete annual health check up
Just heard – that Yuvraj’s father has advised – the cricketers that they should regularly go for Health Check-ups. Why only cricketers Sir? This should be for everyone. Our Army follows this system. Each of the grounds-men, be it any rank, has to go for a regular health checkup after a fixed interval of time. They are even graded (shape 1, shape 2 etc.). Even after retirement they go for annual health check up. Army men, cricketers are tough guys, as they are surrounded by medicines, injections, pain-killers etc., but we are not. For us doctors are like “devdoots” on a mission. We avoid them till the last moment as we all know, “emergency unit is open for 24 hours”. So why plan for a regular health checkup? Just see around yourself and ask people how many of them go for a regular check-up? People who can afford also do not go for simple reason of fear and laziness. You know Government is planning to add a 10% cess in your income tax, if you do not provide an annual fitness certificate!!! Just a joke!!! For those who believe that they will only go for regular checkup when it is “Mandatory”.
Free Health Check up
Do you know that Health Insurance policies also provide you a free complete health check up at regular intervals? Normally these are given if there is no claim made in certain number of years. Rationally this should not be point for Health Insurance Portability. Check few such offers – they can depend on the policy variant so please read your policy document:
- Apollo Munich – Cost of health check up are covered up to 1% of sum insured, subject to a maximum of Rs.5,000/- per insured person and provided only once at the end of a block of every continuous three claim free years.
- Iffco Tokyo – Health check up costs are covered once in a block of 4 claim free years.
- United India Insurance – Cost of health check up at the end of block of every three years where no claims made during the block.
- ICICI Lombard – Free health check-up coupon for any one insured family member, valid for the policy period.
Even the diagnostic labs (Religare, Apollo, SRL etc) also organize free Health Seminars and provide discounts on comprehensive health checkups. Participate as these are good for us, even though it means spending a few bucks.
Health is Wealth
There is a very philosophical relationship between money and Health. I meet lot of clients who say they lose health because they are earning money. A sales person says he skips lunch and adjusts on a Samosa since he is on constant move. A doctor says he works at odd hours to comfort his patient. Normally when I get a mail after 12 AM & if client is from India – I reply with health tips. (Hi Doc are you reading??) Recently I met a PSU bank manager who said that he consume 35-40 cups of tea as water is contaminated in their region and tea is a boiled so he will not have water-borne ailments. Yet on the other side, I also hear from senior people that they did a mistake of not taking care of their health and even though now they have money but they do not enjoy life because of health related issues. (Also Read: HDFC click 2 protect)
But we require both Money and Health, and that is a tradeoff. Very few people have managed both. Health and Critical Insurance policies and other things can take care of financial burden but do feel secure about our health. Hence we need to feel healthy and that can be achieved by following certain rules as mentioned.
Also, a point here that to save medical bills you will have to shell a small amount today. Fruits are luxury and joining yoga will cost you & some time you may get it free in Baba Ramdev’s camps. Annual health check up will be an expense and some of your friends will also discourage to continue for next year. But, believe me it is not a waste of money and it exceeds the money spent when your doctor with a smile says “Excellent Health, you are fit”.
I am not a doctor so take my advice with pinch of salt. I will love to hear your views on annual health check up.