Tag: Policy

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It's a well-known fact that smoking causes an adverse effect on your health. You must have seen the warning message on all cigarette boxes – 'Smoking is injurious to health'. Smoking tobacco is a root cause of 30% of all cancer deaths and causes 16 times higher risk of heart attack.

There are almost 120 million smokers in India. As per World Health Organization, India accommodates around 12% of the world's smoking population. The number of men smoking tobacco has increased from 78 million in year 1998 to 108 million in the year 2015. Tobacco consumption is accountable for the death of 6 million people each year. Direct tobacco consumption accounts for over 5 million deaths and 0.6 million deaths are due to exposure to second-hand smoke. Considering serious public health risks, the Government has banned smoking in public places from 2nd October, 2008.

Not only your health, it also causes you to pay higher premiums for a health insurance policy, due to increased health risks and shorter life expectancy. A nonsmoker however, gets premium discounts as a reward to lead a healthy lifestyle. Being a smoker, it is advisable not to hide your smoking habit from your health insurance company, as it helps you to cover the smoking-related health issues.

There is a wide curiosity among people, how smoking impacts the health insurance and its cost. Let's educate yourself about smoking and its impact on health insurance policy.

Smoking – What It Includes

Smoking includes inhalation of of the smoke of burning tobacco in the form of cigarettes, cigars and beedi. Whether you are an occasional smoker or frequent smoker, you will be considered as a smoker under the health insurance policy.

Smokers can buy health insurance, however an insurance company may charge extra premium or reject your application for insurance, depending on the number of cigarettes you smoke on a regular basis. A smoker may also have to go through additional health check-ups that can help an insurance company to ascertain the risk factor and then charge the premium amount accordingly.

How Smoking Affects Your Health and Insurance Premium

Smoking makes the serious impact on your health, some of them are detailed below.

Circulatory System: Smoking results in increased risk in the heartache and blood pressure. Building up of fatty acids could resulting to atherosclerosis.

Immune System: Smoking results in severe and long lasting illnesses. Smokers are more prone to develop ulcers, cancer, pneumonia, high blood pressure, bronchitis, and other viral / bacterial / fungal infections.

Respiratory System: Smoking may damage lung functions and breathlessness. It may cause damage to the air sacs of the lungs, increased chance of developing chronic bronchitis.

Oral Health: Smoking can lead to tooth loss, tooth staining, gum disease which may increase the risk of tooth decay.

Cancer: Smoking for a long time also causes cancer to various body organs.

When it comes to a health insurance policy , an insurance company considers the magnitude of illnesses and deaths caused due to smoking and that's why, smokers need to pay higher premiums to avail health insurance cover. Typically, the insurance companies charge around 15 to 20 percent higher from a smoker policyholder. Those who smoke would need to undergo additional medical checks, before the insurer issues you the policy.

Let's understand the difference of premium between a smoker and non-smoker individual.

Ritesh (non-smoker) at 30 years of age buys an individual health plan with Rs 5 Lacs coverage, for 1 year policy term, the chargeable annual premium amount is Rs 4,656. However, Raj (smoker) is buying an individual health plan, he is charged with an annual premium amount of Rs 7,552. An increase in premium amount is only due to the fact that Ansh lies in the smoker category of premium. We can see Raj is paying Rs 2896 extra on account of smoking.

Smoker with Existing Health Problems

If you are a frequent smoker that has caused the symptoms of the declining health condition and getting puzzled whether you can get a health insurance. The answer is yes, the only thing required is to make honest and proper disclosures.

The insurance company will then assess the risk associated with your profile …

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A Health & Safety (H&S) policy is a written promise of the Business Owners and the Senior Management to provide a healthy and safe workplace. The starting point, the foundation of Health and Safety in the workplace.

Many Occupational Health & Safety Regulations require that policy is developed, all workers are aware of and be trained on the policy (document, document, document). The policy is posted in the workplace, reviewed at least annually and a program is developed and maintained to implement the policy. This statement provides the regulatory requirement for a Health and Safety Management System (HSMS) in the workplace. Check your local regulatory requirements. We will review the Health and Safety Management System (HSMS) requirements in further detail later in this article.

Policy Examples

A quick Google search can provide thousands of examples of Workplace Health & Safety policies to obtain some suggestions to start yours. Please note that this exercise is to view different policies and commitments – We should not just Copy, Cut and Paste. That said, please search Google for these three policies to view a variety of policies. (Not allowed to have links in this article – sorry)

Bruce Power (Nuclear Power Company) Occupational Health & Safety Policy

Shell (Oil & Gas Company) Health, Safety & Environment

IHC (Advocates and Support Services) Health & Safety Policy Statement

You will notice that these policies from Companies all over the world and vastly different sizes and sectors, but they do have many similar sections.

Commitment: To provide a healthy and safe workplace for everyone their workers, contractors, and visitors. Meet or exceed the legal requirements.

The Goal: To eliminate all injuries and illness towards zero harm or injury free.

Responsibility: Management has accepted their responsibility to provide a healthy and safe workplace. Define that safety is everyone's responsibility – all employees

The reason for the similarities is due in part by most of these sections being defined in the various regulations and international standards.

ISO Standard 45001

One of the international standards that will help improve workplace health & safety is the new ISO (International Standards Organization) 45001. Here is a section taken from the draft standard on the subject of Health and Safety Policies.

Top management shall establish, implement and maintain an OH&S policy that includes a commitment to provide safe and healthy working conditions for the prevention of work-related injury and / or ill health and is appropriate to the purpose, the size, and context of the organization and to the specific nature of its OH&S risks and OH&S opportunities.

The standard provides very similar direction contained in the various regulatory and highlights the requirement to ensure the policy is based on the organizations "specific nature of its OH&S risks and OH&S opportunities. While similar in some sections the workplace health and safety policy needs to be workplace specific based on your identified risks, from your risk assessment.

Health & Safety Management System (HSMS)

In addition to developing a workplace health and safety policy, the employer is required (in some jurisdictions) to have a program to implement the policy. An HSMS is a collection of policies and procedures based on the specific workplace risks.

Common Sections – Worker Orientations, First Aid, Wellness, Fire Prevention, Worker Training, Workplace Inspections, Incident & Near Miss Investigations, Hazard Reporting, Indoor Air Quality, Ergonomics, Safe Lifting, Violence & Harassment, Safety Meetings, etc.

The other sections would be workplace hazard specific and could include sections on, Confined Space Entry, Hot Work Permits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Arc Flash, etc.

The expectation would be that a commitment to provide a healthy and safe workplace is made with the policy and the HSMS is the how you will achieve this.

Signing Authority

The policy is signed by the person or persons responsible for ensuring the health and safety of the employees – usually the most senior person – President, Chief Operating Officer, etc. If your company is large with many locations, have the President sign and the most senior person at the facility. You can also invite Union Representatives sign on to the policy and all of your employees.

The policy should be reviewed and signed each year. Review the policy …

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Health is Wealth, if you have it you should take care of it because pretty much it is a deciding factor in having an enjoyable life. Life as we know is full of surprises. Health as a facet of life has a number of factors to consider. A good health now is no guarantee of a good health later.

As much as we would want to be healthy, we really do not have total control over it. We would like to think that we really are in control, and to a certain extent we do have control.

We have control in the sense that we can decide what to eat, what activities to do, the kind of lifestyle we would like to live and the type of environment that we would like to live in. When we talk about these things definitely we have control, but as to what will happen to us in the future is really beyond our control.

It is in this light that getting individual health insurance makes sense. To state briefly for early clarification and appreciation; an insurance is a means of indemnity against a future occurrence of an uncertain event. Since we are talking about health, then indemnity for reasons relating to health would be the main focus of the insurance.

There are a lot of insurance providers in the market today and that is to the advantage of the individual. If an individual has more options to choose from then the market becomes competitive and forever evolving. All of the providers certainly have their own strengths and offers that they are likely to push.

It is up to the individual there before to discern on what to get. Most of these providers would gladly give a free quote for the plan that you would ever choose. But before crossing that line, we have to understand the very nature of the need for it.

Here are a few guidelines in deciding to get individual health insurance before actually being quoted.

First of all, you must understand and know what you and your family need in terms of the health topic. Everything boils down really on this fact. This is provided to be the main reason why you are even getting health insurance. Of course you should primarily look at your family's medical records and medical requirements.

Second, you have to know what the market has to offer. To simply put it, you have to look around. If you want to get the best of looking around, then you have to put in more time in finding. This is the only way for you to get the best that any provider can offer.

Thirdly, ask for a free quotation. Having known what you need and pair that with the best offer a particular insurance provider can offer, and then seek for their assessment or evaluation.

Lastly, having diligently done steps 1-3 then the final and most important step now is to enroll or get the plan. Doing this culminates actions 1-3 and therefore makes you insured.

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Source by Chaitanya Rane

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