Seniors could soon have new insurance plan

The organization that champions the well-being of Barbadians aged 50 or above may finally have found a replacement for its Golden Health Insurance Plan cancelled last year by the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL).

The Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) has identified likely options and the over 2,000 seniors affected by last year’s cancellation “are about to get new coverage”, BARP President Edward Bushell confirmed to Barbados TODAY.

However, he was keeping the details close to his chest for now.

“What we can say is that we are actively seeking to replace the medical insurance scheme that was lost, and that we have been working on it since we lost that . . . last year. We are very close to getting a new scheme and we intend to meet with the members of BARP on January 14 to advise them about the new scheme and to get their approval as to whether or not they want to proceed with it,” Bushell said.

BARP had disclosed in the first quarter of last year that ICBL had decided to discontinue the plan which was up for renewal in August 2016.   

The 40,000-strong membership has since been searching for a suitable replacement, the BARP head said.

Bushell told Barbados TODAY BARP members had had difficulty coping since the cancellation of the Golden Health Insurance Plan, adding that those with medical conditions have had to foot their full medical costs, causing significant deterioration in their financial standing.

“We are very keen to get a new scheme back in place. It is critical that people in this age group be able to access some form of medical insurance, otherwise an illness without coverage, one illness can make you a pauper. You could go from living fairly comfortably to being a pauper,” he explained said.

8 Responses to Seniors could soon have new insurance plan

  1. Hal Austin January 4, 2017 at 3:50 am

    BARP needs a provider that provides a comprehensive range of insurance, from medical, health, home and contents and protection.
    With 40000 members BARP is in a position to self-insure, re-insuring the potentially most expensive products.
    Barbadians must not allow insurance companies to cherry pick; the basis of insurance is smoothing, taking the rough with the smooth (no pun intended).
    I have said here before, insurance companies stake ordinary Barbadians to the cleaners while the regulators look the other way.
    I am still waiting to see companies publish their claims records|: how many claims are made and what percentage are declined, and the reasons.

    Reply
    • Marc Menard January 5, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Yes, sir!

      Reply
  2. Aneta January 4, 2017 at 7:09 am

    I’m in total agreement Austin

    Reply
  3. william January 4, 2017 at 10:40 am

    It is worth noting that of the 40 000 members only 2000 were members of the Health Plan. Such numbers don’t give much bargaining power. I hope that BARP will be able to secure new coverage with major medical as priority even if some of the other benefits offered by the previous policy are lost.

    Reply
  4. Hal Austin January 4, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    William,
    This is a flawed analysis. There maybe 2000 fore the Golden Health |Plan, but with a membership of 40000 mature people, there is a lot of scope from everything from protection, to motor insurance (most of them will be drivers), annuities, home and content insurance, to funeral plans to critical illness and other forms of private medical cover.
    It calls for good management, packaging and either doing a deal with an existing provider, or self-insuring as I have pointed out.
    Further, BARP’s members will be the wealthiest in the country as a group: mortgages already paid for, low household debt, low credit card debt, high savings and disposal incomes.
    Big providers in developed economies wil give an arm and a leg for such people.

    Reply
  5. william January 4, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Hal
    I could agree with you if you were able to convince the majority of those 38 000, most of whom are comfortable with their existing arrangements, to switch from what most are comfortable with to join this noble venture. Have my doubts but would be willing to hear from those who have conducted the necessary research to establish the feasibility of your plan. I suspect BARP might have had its own research done, not only on the feasibility of such a plan but also on the equally important component of attracting the numbers needed to establish its viability.

    Reply
  6. Mikey January 4, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Hal is correct.
    Additionally, corporate Barbados apparently does not like the idea of ‘reverse mortgages”.
    Spoke to a Manager of a Trust Company and the idea was “boo-booed”, simply because ordinary working class citizens who are asset rich but cash poor can survive by reducing their assets before
    young staving relatives get hold of their wealth before they die.
    Sadly if the seniors die, a lot of unworthy recipients line up (distant relations, attorneys-at-law etc.).

    Reply
  7. Hal Austin January 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Mikey,
    You are right. The politics of inheritance is full of rows and even blood. Reverse mortgages (equity release), allow asset rich but cash poor people to enjoy some of their wealth.
    The other issue is making claims on life insurance before death. If someone is on their death bed there is no reason why the life office cannot pay out early.

    Reply

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