PM launches life and health insurance for athletes

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January 30, 2016
Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer Paralympian Alphanso Cunningham (left) accepts his athlete's health insurance card from Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller during the contract signing and press launch of the Jamaican Athletes' Insurance Plan at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday. Looking on is Sherona Forrester, a member of the Jamaica senior women's football team who also collected a card. The insurance plan becomes effective next Monday, February 1.
Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer Former Jamaican sprinter, Olympian Donald Quarrrie (left), making a point to Prime Minister Portia Miller (right) and Natalie Neita Headley, Minister without Portfolio, Office of the Prime Minister (Sport) at Thursday's contract signing and press launch of the Jamaican Athletes' Insurance Plan.
Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer Natalie Neita Headley (standing) Minister without Portfolio, Office of the Prime Minister (from left seated) Eric Hosin, president of Guardian Life Limited, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, Elaine Foster Allen, permanent secretary, Office of the Prime Minister; Claudette Ashman, vice president legal compliance and risk Guardian Life limited; Alicia Foster, vice president sales and marketing employee benefits Guardian Life Limited at Thursday's contract signing and press launch of the Jamaican Athletes' Insurance Plan. The signing took place at the Office of the Prime Minister.
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KINGSTON, (JIS):

Jamaica has become one of the first developing countries to provide life and health insurance coverage for its national athletes, with the launch of the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller on Thursday.

At the press launch, held at the Office of the Prime Minister, Simpson Miller said the initiative represents real progress and is a profound demonstration of the Government's investment in the people and particularly the youth of Jamaica.

"In launching the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan, Jamaica is within the best practices of the international sporting community. We are also trailblazers in this area among developing nations. It is a noteworthy national achievement," she said.

sports stakeholders

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 sports stakeholders, for the establishment of the Policy, the need for the provision of medical expenses for athletes was highlighted.

Through Guardian Life Ltd, 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 collectively.

Agreements were signed with the Sports Development Foundation, the National Health Fund and the Tourism Enhancement Fund, for the provision of funds over the next three years to support the plan.

Noting that Jamaica has a long and distinguished local and international sporting history, the Prime Minister said the Plan is supported by the Jamaican people who are grateful to the athletes.

"Our athletes are not only sources of great pride and joy. For us, sport also represents an integral part of the cultural and creative industries of the Jamaican economy," she said.

She expressed thanks to the institutions for financial support and hailed the Minister with Responsibility for Sports, Hon. Natalie Neita Headley, for her work in getting the programme to this point.

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