Thursday, September 26, 2013

Places to visit in Jamaica

Devon House

A very famous spot in Jamaica located in the heart of Kingston. This beautiful mansion was built in 1881 by the first Jamaican millionaire George Stiebel. Devon House hosts several shops and the most popular of them all is the Devon House I-Scream shop. Devon House Ice Scream is loved islandwide and it is a household name for Ice Cream in Jamaica because of its mouth-watering ice cream which comes in a variety of flavors and sizes.

Dunn's River Falls

The Dunn's River Falls is a famous attraction here in Jamaica for both locals and tourists. This unique site is located in Ocho Rios, St. Ann. The fall flows from a spring protruding through the dome-shaped limestone rocks. The experience of climbing the falls and having the forceful fresh water massaging your body is one to be desired. An exclusive feature of this attraction is that the beach lies at the foot of the falls. So it's like a two in one experience. Remember, if you're ever in Jamaica, please do not leave before visiting this amazingly beautiful attraction.

Blue Mountain Peak

It's is a great hiking experience on the Blue Mountain Peak in St. Andrew. The highest point of the peak is over 7000 ft and on the peak, you will have an exclusive view of the island. Hikers normally start walking in the night where it is cooler so that they can reach the peak at sunrise. The Blue Mountain is also known for its rich coffee plantations. You can stop by the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory to experience the processing of the famous Jablum coffee.

Now, this is just a few of the many attractions to see here in Jamaica. But if you're ever here these places should be apart of your schedule. Stay tuned for some more interesting highlights of Jamaica's attraction.
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Understanding Health Insurance

What is Health Insurance?
Health insurance is typically one form of personal insurance providing compensation for a wide range of illnesses by way of an extensive credit facility or on a pay and claim back basis. The arrangement usually covers the principal insured referred to as the subscriber together with his or her dependents, which can only be a spouse and children. The vast majority of health insurance coverage is issued under employee group policies and is often extended to association groups. Additionally, individuals can make their own purchase usually at a higher rate of premium when compared with that of a group and with more stringent underwriting considerations.

Health Insurance

How it works
The nature of this insurance requires the cooperation of some key participants to ensure that quality care is given to the subscriber and his or her dependents in the most convenient way and at a competitive price. Chief among these is a network of doctors, pharmacies, laboratories, diagnostic centers, and hospitals. These providers as they are usually referred to, offer a wide range of medical services and they can choose to participate in an agreement with insurance companies.

Employers are also important participants as they often provide the financial assistance in whole or in part for the payment of premiums under contracts of indemnity. This type of contract allows for the transfer of the risk from the employer to the insurer who accepts the loss or gain in any one contractual year. Employees under such policies have to meet certain eligibility requirements before coverage is granted. The employer usually shares in the premium. Where the employer pays the entire premium, the plan is said to be non-contributory and all employees are required to participate in the coverage provided they meet certain eligibility requirements such as being actively at work on a full-time basis when the plan is being installed. In cases where the employees share in the premium, the participation requirement is usually 75% and all this is to ensure a spread of the risk. Employers may choose to assume the entire risk of the plan by opting to be engaged in an ‘Administrative Services Only’ plan in which the cost of all claims is paid together with a fee to the insurer to provide administrative services.

The Provisions
Provision of health insurance requires an elaborate and efficient computerized system to ensure smooth administrative functioning that will provide the various on-line linkages between providers and insurer. Ideally, a subscriber should be able to access health insurance credit given by a provider on an online real-time basis or to pay and receive reimbursement in the shortest possible time without undue financial burden. An efficient system will also ensure the delivery of service at the most competitive cost. Some benefits under health insurance are claimed for by an instant online adjudication system while others will require the provider to complete a claim form for the process of adjudication to take place at a later date. Whichever one is employed, there is the need to have a system to ensure that whatever is promised by the insurer, is delivered to the client.

Benefits of Health Insurance
The benefits of health insurance are wide and varied and can be offered under a basic plan of insurance. A basic plan, however, will very often not be able to provide for extreme medical cost and conditions and so there is the provision of a major medical facility attached to basic plans and this can be accessed by first satisfying a stipulated deductible. There is also a third level of coverage, so to speak, which can be offered in a package of comprehensive major medical providing for the extensive medical care and unlimited benefits. Benefits in health insurance are not usually given at 100% of the cost. The subscriber is required to share in the cost by way of a co-insurance factor, which is an out of pocket expense. Some benefits offered under health insurance are as follows:

  • The need for health insurance is beyond question. Good health requires that we not only treat a physical condition that can arise but also preventative care in order to avoid major illness in later years. A family coverage can include coverage on a newborn baby of two weeks and will continue up to age eighteen in the first instance and to age twenty-two provided the child is attending school. Any number of children can be covered under the plan together with the spouse of the subscriber. Persons who opt for self-insurance will find that this is not a suitable approach to deal with unexpected illnesses that require huge financial expenditure. Instead, a small outlay of premium will ensure that medical treatment is available when it becomes necessary.

  • The cost of providing health insurance increases each year due in part to medical inflation and the extent to which the benefits are utilized. Increased administrative cost is also another factor and they all combine to determine the additional premium that employers very often have to pay for employees. There is, however, the chance that premiums, will not have to be increased and this happens when there is a favorable loss ratio that is sufficient to balance other increases. This, therefore, brings into focus the need for subscribers and dependents to properly manage their access to medical expense credit and to ensure that only those persons covered under the plan gain access to services. The largest share of health insurance premiums goes to pay claim hence there is always a need for utilization management to reduce overall cost.

There is still a need for more Jamaicans to be part of a formal health scheme as only approximately 20% of the population is insured. More individuals and self-employed persons should seek ways to obtain health insurance as very often they fall outside of the formal employer-employee relationship in which most persons are insured.

Author: Carlton Raymond CLU, FLMI, ACS
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

7 Benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant

VA Benefits

The Virtual Assistant business is an expanding phenomenon today, mainly because it is proven that there are many great benefits in having a reliable support system for your small business needs and the flexibility to call on that support only as the need arise.

Small business owners and busy professionals; even students who are pursuing their studies part-time; all have something in common. They need the extra help at particular intervals so they can better utilize their time. This is exactly what a virtual assistant does; they help you make the most of your time to achieve your goals, only when you need them.

Here are seven benefits in collaborating with a virtual assistant for your business needs.

1.  No need to worry about high salaries.
Considering the monthly activities that your small business generates. Naturally, there will be peaks where work volume increases during the month. On the other hand, regardless if there is much work to do, you still need to pay your employee their contracted salary. How much more you could improve your bottom line by reducing unused expenses. You can with a virtual assistant because you only pay for hours used, nothing more.

2.  No need to worry about staff benefits.
In addition to salaries, if you are operating according to the standards required by the labor laws in your area, you may also be required to pay staff benefits such as pension, insurance etc. Again, with a virtual assistant, all you pay for is a job well done. That’s it.

3.  No need to worry about sick leaves.
So your employee is ill and unable to work, understandable they are not able to function effectively leaving you to manage that extra workload because the work must be done. In addition to that, you still maintain the expense of paying the employee for those sick days (depending on the labor laws in your area). With a virtual assistant, you won’t need to pay for lost hours.

4.  No need to hire any full-time employee.
With the aforesaid, you now realize that you don’t really need any full-time employee for your small business. The cost to hire a qualified full-time employee who will add value to your business will be too much for your small business. Alternatively, a virtual assistant can add great value to your business and you don’t need to “break the bank”.

5.  No need to pay for vacations.
Similarly, your business could grow considerably more if you rid it of these expenses. This is how you can compete with the giants in your industry. While they can afford to hire full-time employees and still make profits. As a small business, you need to strategize and make optimum use of your resources by utilizing the services of a virtual assistant on a need to basis.

6.  No need to buy extra office equipment.
Let’s face it; a full-time employee will need tools to get the job done. Will they bring their computer, software, stationery and other items to do the job? No, but a virtual assistant will.

7.  No need to increase your office space.
In order for your full-time employee to function efficiently, they need an ergonomically designed space, which will cost you more for rent and equipment. This is an additional expense that you could avoid using a virtual assistant, they function remotely from their own office. 

If you are just starting your small business, you can consider establishing a business relationship with a virtual assistant who can help you achieve your business goals. Or maybe you have already established a business but struggling to get ahead. It is still not too late; you can always re-evaluate your position and look at alternate options that could increase your profits.

Be in the know… a lot of small businesses and professionals are reaping great benefits with the help of a virtual assistant. Fast track your business, contact Executive Virtual Aide, today!
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Let's Talk... Family Indemnity Insurance

Family Indemnity Insurance

Life is precious in spite of the everyday challenges we encounter. We never intend for any of our loved ones to die but death has a way to visit our home whether we are black or white, rich or poor. For some of us, aside from the pain of losing someone we love, we have to make arrangements to lay their bodies to rest and this cost for those who have no insurance can be very daunting.

Suppose you were told that in Jamaica today, there is a family indemnity insurance plan that provides coverage for up to six (6) family members for one (1) monthly premium. Let me repeat it, instead of purchasing insurance for each individual member of the family; you can now cover all members for one premium. This is a very attractive plan for low-income earners or anyone who sees it fit to make provision that they do 'Rest In Peace' when they die.

Most working individuals receive insurance through their employer's group insurance plan. However, what about those persons who are self-employed or independent contractors who are not covered by a company plan and need protection for themselves and their families. The Family Indemnity Plan by the Cuna Mutual Group marketed by credit unions in Jamaica can provide that added peace of mind. One can access coverages ranging from J$80,000 to J$400,000 with premiums ranging from a low of J$422.40 to J$2,112.00 monthly.

Don't delay, get started with a family indemnity plan today! Ask me how by sending an email to [email protected] You will be glad you did.

"A naive person only make plans for their future successes but a wise person plans for both their successes and the unexpected" - Susan Scarlett.
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Are you on the ROAD to SUCCESS?


How do you define success? For some people success is absolute, finite, an attainable destination. However, for others success is redefined or re-engineered as each milestone is achieved thus resulting in a phenomenon of reconstruction. Though our perspective of success may differ, there are two main constants that determine our progress.

The first constant leading to the road to success is your Strategy. Now, I am not saying that the strategy is always the same but the concept of mapping out a plan is. It is important that you pause to examine your position and consider the best possible strategy to follow. Always bearing in mind that in whatever you wish to achieve, believe that you can. Often times, we have a lot of great ideas but lack the motivation to convert them.
Therefore, Execution - is the second constant leading to the road to success. During execution, we may fail, but don't be disheartened and give up, instead use it as a compass to direct your next move. Remember, as the famous quote says, one has to pay to learn and sometimes failure is the price. But you pay twice the cost when you miss the lesson, so use it to your advantage.

There is no one route to success. If your goal is to be successful in business, you cannot do it alone. It is best to admit your weakness and remedy them using the best available means and thereby step by step, minute by minute you will be closing in on the gap to success. But most importantly, the prime factor to your success is YOU!
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Outsource or DIY

Outsource of Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
Now I like to take things into perspective before making an absolute decision, and today is one of such times. We are now living in a time intensive world that determines how far and strong a business can grow based on how time and resources are scheduled. But, there is also an important factor to consider, and that is the matter of cost.

Every business owner’s dream is to drive the profit margin through the sky and as the famous saying goes “It takes money to make money”. However, others might not share this view and may believe that the Do It Yourself (DIY) concept can lead to a successful business just as well in the present fast-paced competitive marketplace that presently exists. Let’s put the matter into perspective and see which one promotes a more opulent business capacity.

Firstly, let’s look at outsourcing. Outsourcing is the act of contracting the expertise of a professional for specialized tasks. At a glance, this would seem like a very costly method of operation. But that’s not exactly true. Outsourcing has its benefits; it allows the business owner to focus on core business, improve quality, foster innovation and reduce cost. This is because time is put to optimum use to focus on driving the business while paying for specialized services only when required. Consider the alternative; hiring a full-time employee for specialized tasks… this will incur a greater recurring cost and as a small business owner time can be better spent driving the business than doing repetitive routine tasks yourself.

Secondly, we can examine the DIY concept. Do It Yourself is just as the term says “Do it yourself”. This concept might be good if your business is very small and young. The benefits that may be derived may result from the ability to have hands-on experience. Other than that, in today’s business environment there is virtually hardly any other benefit that can be derived from this method of operation. Even more so if your business requires a varied range of expertise. Moreover, the cost of equipment and tools would be too overwhelming for a small business.

So what say you? What is the better way to business success? Outsourcing or DIY? Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish but really put things into perspective first. Depending on the nature of your business the DIY concept might just be the option in your reach. However, outsourcing is proven to be a competitive way to do business today. It’s all about developing relationships with other businesses that provide the product and services your business require at a competitive cost. As a business owner, your primary goal is to expand your business and outsourcing is just that bridge that will assure you that milestone whilst saving you time to make strategic plans and money and it also affords you the ability to focus on your SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Share your comments freely.
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