Fri | Sep 22, 2017

PA Group, Maritime Insurance Brokers partner to sell health plans

Published:Sunday | February 5, 2017 | 2:00 AMNeville Graham
President of Premier Assurance Group Charles Jorge (centre) speaks at the launch of two health insurance products to be distributed in Jamaica by partner Maritime General Insurance Brokers at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, February 2. Jorge is flanked by Maritime’s managing director Thomas Smith and General Manager Kimm Daley.

Premier Assurance (PA) Group has entered the Jamaican market with two new health insurance products through a partnership with Maritime General Insurance Brokers.

The launch of CaribCare and CaribCare Plus follows a year-long collaboration, the partners said on Thursday.

PA Group Vice-President of Accident and Health Oscar Michel pitched his company's entry as an 'opportunity' that not all foreign companies get.

"I know we've been given the opportunity with great responsibility. Not too many companies have had the opportunity to be locally registered in Jamaica and, by saying that, we won't let you down," Michel said at the launch of the products in New Kingston.

Insurance products, whether foreign or locally based, have to be approved by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) for distribution in Jamaica.

"Jamaica is seen by many overseas companies as a very important market for this type of product," Michel said later to Gleaner Business at the event.

"We see that there are not many locally registered. We're one of the few international companies that have come into Jamaica and say we want to invest in the country, we want to be approved by the FSC and authorised to write business here, we want to help local health care providers, and we want that business to come and stay here," he said.

 

CUSTOMISED FOR CARIBBEAN

 

PA Group, which operates out of Florida, says the new FSC-approved products have been customised for the Caribbean marketplace and that the plans will provide healthcare coverage for inpatient and outpatient services locally and internationally at health facilities in more than 200 countries. Similar plans are offered in other regional jurisdictions, including Venezuela, Grenada and Barbados.

CaribCare protects against unexpected medical costs, including hospitalisation, urgent care, and emergency medical services, and it covers oncology, dialysis, maternity care and pregnancy complications. Premiums range from a low of US$485 up to US$10,112, depending on age, spanning 20 to 75-year-olds.

CaribCare Plus is a more comprehensive protection package with additional outpatient benefit options, such as physician visits, prescription medication, rehabilitation, and diagnostic testing. Michel says this design feature is to promote health-seeking behaviour among the target population.

"We want to create wellness packages. We want to create awareness, not about the company, but about health and keeping healthy and how important wellness checkups are," Michel said.

CaribCare Plus premiums range from US$797 to US$15,062, spanning 20 to 75-year-olds.

Maritime will act as exclusive lead broker in Jamaica, but other local brokers are also expected to participate in the distribution of the plans. Maritime General Manager Kimm Daley says negotiations with the other brokers are ongoing and that Billy Craig Insurance Brokers and Thwaites Finson Sharpe have already signed on.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com