Happy Members – FEMCO

How a switch to Luma health insurance changed FEMCO Thailand’s company culture


Health is important for everyone. And when today’s top talent are choosing an employer, one benefit they consider is health insurance. What kind of package does the employer offer? Is the insurance plan from a premium provider?

FEMCO Thailand, which is a branch of the Taiwan multi-divisional steel company, manufactures CNC machines. While the Taiwan headquarters offered Life, Accident, and Health insurance to their employees, the Thailand branch only rely on Social Security. 

The Office Manager, Khun Soraya Charoenthong, was assigned to find get an insurance for Thai employees that align the branch’s benefits with the Taiwan headquarters.

Southeast Asia’s most common deadly illnesses: are you at risk?

Southeast Asia is a tropical region. And as such, you may think the most common, serious diseases people are afflicted with here all relate to the climate. The tropics are, of course, home to some very unique diseases that are not found in much of the western world. With that said, are they the most common?

To find out, we interviewed author and medical expert Dr. Lalande; and what we discovered was surprising. While we assumed diseases unique to Southeast Asia would be the most common reason for critical medical treatment, the reality is far different. The majority of deadly diseases here are similar to that of Europe, North America and Oceania. Below are the top 3 critical illnesses in Southeast Asia.

#1 – Stroke
Most commonly affecting males and females over the age of 60, strokes are the most common deadly illness in Southeast Asia. A stroke typically occurs when an artery clots in the body, or bursts in the brain. This can result in temporary or permanent paralysis, memory loss, numbness in the body or even death.
While generally older individuals are more at risk for stroke, younger people can also be afflicted with an acute stroke. This typically happens to younger people between the ages of 35 – 45 and is related to a ruptured aneurism, which occurs when a portion of an artery wall weakens, balloons out, and then bursts.

Risks for stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, your age, and smoking. To prevent a stroke, it’s recommended to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercise weekly, and maintain a healthy weight. If you do drink alcohol, we recommend doing so in moderation.

#2 – Cancer
While cancer is becoming increasingly common in younger individuals, the disease has typically affected individuals who are 60 years or older. Types of cancer include bladder, skin, lung, prostate, and breast cancer among others. As for the cause, cancer occurs because of gene mutations to the body’s DNA, which cause cells to divide uncontrollably. Metastatic cancer occurs when these cells spread throughout the body and destroy healthy tissue.

Your age, lifestyle choices, exposure to chemicals and family history all affect your chances of developing cancer. To reduce your risk, it’s recommended to exercise regularly, avoid smoking, protect your skin from the sun, eat less processed meats, and consume a mostly plant-based diet.

#3 – Cardiovascular disease
The number one cause of death globally, cardiovascular disease ranks as the third most deadly disease in Southeast Asia. Also commonly referred to as heart disease, cardiovascular disease is a group of diseases that affect the blood vessels and heart, which include heart attack, heart failure, aneurysms, cardiac arrest and stroke. While cardiovascular disease can affect people of all ages, it is most common in men over 45 years of age and women over 55.

Risk factors of heart disease include obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, family history and a diet high in sugars, fat and salt. A few ways to prevent this serious illness include regular exercise and a diet rich in fruits, grains, vegetables, fish and nuts.

How common are mosquito borne illnesses?
When many people think of Southeast Asia, mosquito borne illnesses are likely one of the first types of diseases that spring to mind. While they are certainly a risk here, you may be surprised to hear that people living in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Hanoi and other large Southeast Asian cities have little chance of contracting most mosquito borne diseases. Dengue, however, is the exception.

Dengue, which is a viral infection that causes sudden fever and acute joint pain, is a problem in all of Southeast Asia—including Bangkok and Singapore. Other mosquito borne illnesses, such as Japanese encephalitis and malaria are typically resigned to rural areas.

Expats and locals of all ages can contract mosquito borne illnesses, however, children under four years old have the highest risk of the disease turning fatal. The best way to prevent these diseases is to avoid mosquito bites and be aware of symptoms commonly associated with mosquito borne illnesses: vomiting, sweats and chills, high fever, or sudden bleeding anywhere in the body. If you or your child suffer from any of these symptoms, we recommend visiting a hospit

11 unique Asian foods that supercharge your health

For the past decade, superfoods have been all the rage. Kale, acai, flax seeds and other power foods have made headlines, being heralded for their numerous health benefits. But often lost in the shuffle are superfoods that are cultivated outside of western nations. Specifically, Asian foods. So you may be wondering, “are there any notable Asian superfoods that can provide an extra boost to my health?” Below are 11 we recommend including in your diet.

Shiitake mushrooms
The world’s second most commonly produced edible mushroom, shitake mushrooms have a savoury, somewhat meaty flavor that make them a popular addition to soups, stir-fries and other Asian cuisine.
Often used in herbal remedies, shiitake mushrooms can lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and boost your immune system. As this mushroom is rich in zinc, selenium and vitamin B2, shiitake mushrooms can also help fight cancer.

A popular spice seasoning many Asian dishes, ginger is a gnarly looking herb that adds a splash of zest into your meal.
Ginger has a wide range of benefits that can do everything from reducing inflammation to relieving gastrointestinal problems and indigestion. If you like to hit the gym regularly, you’ll be happy to learn that—when eaten every day—ginger can reduce muscle pain and soreness.

Commonly served in Japanese restaurants as an appetizer, edamames are boiled green soybeans stock full of proteins and complex carbohydrates.
As this salty, finger-licking good snack is composed of soy, it offers health benefits that can lower cholesterol as well as prevent cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. The beans are also a great source of iron and vitamins A and C.

Mostly red in color, this traditional Korean dish is a delicious blend of fermented radish, scallion, pickled cabbage and cucumber.
Kimchi’s fermentation process produces probiotics that promote good digestion and better absorption of nutrients in your body. Kimchi is also high in vitamins A, B, and C.

While seaweed can be a popular addition to some Asian dishes, not all types are created equal. Arame—a brownish-black seaweed that is added to traditional Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian dishes—stands out from the pack and is known for its range of health benefits.
Abundant in iron, magnesium, folate, iodine, zinc, and vitamins A and K, this dark and stringy seaweed can boost your immune system and is even said to increase your sex drive. As Arame is also rich in Chlorophyll, it has a unique ability to detox the body by flushing toxins out of your system.

Mung bean sprouts
Often added as a topping to many Asian soups and stir-fries, you may be surprised to hear these small white sprouts are packed with nutrients.
An excellent source of vitamin C and K, B vitamins, folate, iron and manganese, mung bean sprouts can help your body look and feel younger. Not only can this crunchy, nutty tasting sprout strengthen your cartilage, skin and connective tissue, but its antioxidants can also help fight cellular aging.

Bok Choy
Part of one of the healthiest groups of vegetables (the cruciferous family), bok choy has been grown in Asia for centuries.
Brimming full of nutrients, bok choy is loaded with vitamin A and C, fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron and even omega-3 fatty acids. The super green can also help decrease your risk of cancer, build strong bones, and give your skin a youthful glow.

Goji Berries
Slightly bitter but with a sweet aftertaste, this delicious fruit snack is often associated with traditional Chinese medicine.
Loaded with a high amount of vitamin C, vitamin A and selenium, goji berries can help prevent cancer, protect your heart and improve vision.

With a mild, nutty taste, taro is a purple root vegetable that, when cooked, has a consistency similar to a baked potato. As it’s native to India and SE Asia, you could just call it a “tropical potato”.
Full of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants, Taro can do wonders for your health. The purple power plant can reduce your risk of diabetes, improve your vision and boost your immune system.

Also commonly referred to as Chinese radish, mooli, Satsuma radish and Japanese radish, this unique East Asian vegetable looks like a white carrot. In reality, it’s actually a white radish.
As part of the cruciferous vegetable family, Daikon is loaded with health benefits. The radish is high in fiber, vitamin C and A, and potassium; and it also provides a good dose of beta-carotene, iron, phosphorus and calcium. While Daikon can improve your health in many ways, perhaps most notably the white vegetable is known for improving digestion. It contains an enzyme called diastase that can alleviate heartburn, indigestion and even help speed up recovery from hangovers.

Umeboshi plums
Sometimes added to soups and stir-fries, these tiny Japanese plums have a sour taste and offer some remarkable health benefits.
Low in calories and full of manganese, potassium and fiber, the pickled plum helps reduce fatigue and eliminate toxins. Studies have also revealed that Umeboshi can stop the growth of cancerous cells, reduce liver damage and improve digestion.

Whether you live in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Japan or anywhere in Asia, finding and regularly incorporating these Asian superfoods into your diet can have a dramatic affect on your health. Many can prevent cancer, heart disease and other critical conditions that can not only save you money on health care expenses (by keeping you out of the hospital), but can also save your life.

At LUMA, our mission is not only to protect your health, but also to proactively improve it. Preventative health care is the secret to reducing premiums and creating a sustainable, affordable health care system for all of us. To learn how we help you achieve your glowing health while providing you comprehensive coverage, get in touch with us today at consult@lumahealth-prod.loc.

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