Credit unions offer new life and health coverage – Jamaica Observer
Credit unions provide new access to group life and health insurance benefits.
EIGHTEEN credit unions have negotiated an agreement with Guardian Life that will provide their members with additional life, health and other insurance benefits in a new personalized package.
Independent credit union members who were previously unable to access group health insurance benefits will now have access through monthly premiums at the level usually associated with group offerings.
the Jamaica Observer was also informed that members who have plans with other life insurance companies can use the credit union’s offer as a way to increase overall family coverage.
Guardian Life, one of the Big Six companies dominating the insurance landscape in Jamaica, is looking to grow its market share by tapping into community savers which last reported had 1.048 million members in June 2021, up from 1.015 million in June 2020.
The offer is part of the Credit Union Gold Series with the slogan “Cover you for life, health and personal accident”.
Specifically designed for members of credit unions, it provides access to health care as well as life insurance and personal accident insurance coverage of $1,000,000 each.
Membership ages for the scheme are 18-70 and members have the option of adding dependents (spouse and children).
The major medical plan offers $6,000,000 of coverage, including hospitalization and surgeries, with $250,000 of life insurance coverage included. The plan also covers chemotherapy, radiology and kidney dialysis. Other plans that offer payment for regular doctor visits range from $1,500 to $1,800.
Monthly payments for the main medical insurance plan range from $2,328 (one member), $3,365 (one dependant) to $4,195 per month (two or more dependants).
Participating credit unions are Educom Co-op Credit Union, Broadcast & Allied Co-op Credit Union, C&WJ Co-op Credit Union, COK Sodality Co-op Credit Union, First Heritage Co-op Credit Union, First Regional Co-op Credit Union, Gateway Co-op Credit Union and Grace Co-op Credit Union.
The others are Insurance Employees Co-op Credit Union Jamaica, Broilers Co-op Credit Union, JPS & Partners Co-op Credit Union, Lascelles Employees & Partners Co-op Credit Union, Manchester Co-op Credit Union, NCB Employees Co-op Credit Union, Palisadoes Co-op Credit Union, PWD Co-op Credit Union and Trelawny Co-op Credit Union.
The insurance industry itself continues to grow, but Jamaica is reportedly underinsured in both health and life, relative to the total population. Industry growth has been somewhat anemic in 2021.
FSC data as of June 30, 2021 values the life insurance industry at $335.4 billion, after a 3.1% increase from $325.2 billion in June 2020.
Guardian, through new marketing and product offerings, is focusing on the credit union sector which as of the last June 2021 update reported an asset base of $143.63 billion.
Marcia Osborne, group HRD and chief administrative officer of the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League, said last year that unions, with 1.04 million members out of the 1.26 million employed workforce, should not be overlooked.
Member savings were $108.53 billion as of June 30, 2021, compared to $100.61 billion in June 2020.
For the new insurance offering, premiums are paid monthly and credit union members will need to establish a standing order with their credit union to facilitate premium payment.
Eligible dependents can be either a spouse (whether married or not), children, stepchildren, legally adopted children or children for whom one has legal guardianship. Coverage is extended to children up to age 27 who are not working or unmarried.
An additional rider plan provides greater coverage for additional payments.