Athletes Welcome Insurance Plan

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (right), presents paralympian, Alphanso Cunningham his health card and certificate for life insurance. Occasion was the launch of the Jamaica Athletes’ Insurance Plan (JAIP) at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on January 28. Looking on is Reggae Girl and 2015 Rhode Scholar, Sherona Forrester.

Story Highlights

  • Athletes have given their full endorsement of the Jamaica Athletes’ Insurance Plan (JAIP), which was launched by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on January 28.
  • Ms. Forrester said the plan is a step in the right direction towards protecting athletes, and investing in the success of sports.
  • The Government contributes 95 per cent towards the cost of premiums and the remainder is provided by the national sports associations and federations.

Athletes have given their full endorsement of the Jamaica Athletes’ Insurance Plan (JAIP), which was launched by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on January 28.

“I salute the Government for implementing this plan,” said Reggae Girl and 2015 Rhodes Scholar, Sherona Forrester, at the launch held at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in Kingston.

She said JAIP will give athletes peace of mind in the event of personal accident or injury, through the provision of health and life insurance.

Ms. Forrester said the plan is a step in the right direction towards protecting athletes, and investing in the success of sports.

She commended the providers, Guardian Life Limited and Allied Insurance Brokers, and made a special appeal for other investors to support JAIP in order to widen the reach of the plan.

For his part, Taekwondo athlete, Bruce Rickman, described the insurance plan as a “game changer” and an indication that the Government cares about the athletes’ contribution to nation building.

“As national athletes, we have to push our bodies past their limits when competing at the highest level in order to remain the best in our field. This means that we will get injuries. The plan will allow sporting associations to utilise money that was once used on injuries to invest in other areas of the athletes’ development and the overall sport,” he pointed out.

He noted that the assistance is needed, as many athletes are still in school and some do not have full time jobs.

The establishment of the Insurance Plan, which becomes effective February 1, results from the National Sports Policy, which was introduced in 2013.

Out of a series of consultations with sporting associations, athletes, the private sector, youth clubs, tertiary institutions, among other stakeholders, the need for the provision of medical expenses for athletes was highlighted.

Through Guardian Life, the plan will provide group health insurance for some 1, 323 athletes from 28 national sports associations and federations, which are registered, while group life and personal accident insurance will be provided by Allied Insurance Brokers, through Sagicor.

The Government contributes 95 per cent towards the cost of premiums and the remainder is provided by the national sports associations and federations.

With the launch of the plan, Jamaica has become one of the first developing countries to provide life and health insurance coverage for its national athletes.

JIS Social