Sports Bodies Urged to Enrol Athletes in Gov’t Insurance Plan

Jamaica News: Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, is imploring sports associations and federations to enrol eligible athletes in the Government’s Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan.

“The Ministry has constantly called for sporting associations to join the plan to insure national athletes or those in development squads preparing to represent Jamaica. I make the appeal, persons in my Ministry have made the appeal, but still there are many eligible athletes who have not been registered,” she lamented.

Miss Grange was speaking at the recent opening of the expanded administrative building of the Aquatic Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) at Independence Park, Kingston.

The Sport Minister pointed out that athletes with severe health problems frequently turn to Government for help “and we have provided assistance in just about every case.”

“But it is very troubling to realise that some of those very same athletes could have benefited from coverage under the Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan if only they were registered through their associations or federations, or had made direct contact with the Ministry to initiate the process,” she noted.

Miss Grange explained that the Jamaican Athletes’ Insurance Plan provides basic group health, life and personal accident coverage for beneficiaries aged six to 70, who are members of a national association or federation.

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“We spend more than $5 million per month in premium payments for the Plan. Currently, upwards of 1,300 athletes are on the Plan. For Jamaica which is a country that has such outstanding athletes, we should have more than (that number),” she said.

Sports persons eligible to be covered under the Plan must be a member in good standing with the national association or federation, and they must be enrolled in the national development programme for a specific sporting discipline.

In addition, persons must participate in at least two Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission training sessions per year.

“Most important is the fact that an athlete will continue to receive coverage under the Plan while recovering from injury as long as he or she remains on the national squad,” Miss Grange said.

She further explained that if the injury prevents the athlete from returning to competition and it is determined by the national association or federation that the athlete will be dropped from the squad, that athlete will continue to receive coverage until that person’s place on the squad is taken.

Under the plan, the Group Life Coverage is $2.25 million per athlete; and the Group Personal Accident is $2.5 million for any Accidental Death and Dismemberment or Permanent Total Disablement.

 

Source: JIS News

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