New BARP health plan to offer greater benefits

A new health insurance scheme negotiated by the organization that champions the well-being of Barbadians aged 50 or above will offer greater benefits than the Golden Health Insurance Plan cancelled last year by the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL).

Details of the plan are to be released on February 1. However, President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) Ed Bushell told Barbados TODAY the new plan would offer members options and benefits such as GP Connect, a programme which aims to support better clinical care by opening up information and data held within the electronic systems of general practitioners for use across health and social care.

“This one is really in three tiers. One is GP Connect, which is a form of case management. If you are a member of BARP and you apply for [it] you can become a member of GP Connect at no cost,” Bushell disclosed without revealing the name of insurance company with which the non-profit organization had struck the deal.

“The second phase is . . . a health savings account, where a member who might not be eligible for insurance in the normal way . . . can use the money that they save as points to pay for their medical costs.”

In announcing its intention to cancel the Golden Health Insurance Plan effective last August, ICBL had said it had been paying out more in claims than it was collecting in premiums.

The insurance company had previously raised premiums for dental coverage by 38 per cent, while coverage for vision had increased by 12 per cent, before dropping coverage for both altogether.

Bushell said the new plan would include vision and dental benefits at the discretion of the insured member and at additional costs.

“So the plan going forward would depend on the members saying yes . . . . We have been trying nearly two years to get a plan to put in place . . . and it is nearly next to impossible given our demographics to get a plan. So the members are going to have to make a decision as to whether or not they want it. I mean, there is no other valid game in town,” he stressed.   

Bushell, who met with members on Saturday to advise that a new plan had finally been secured with a different company, said the ball was now in their court to ensure its success.

The BARP head said because of the ages of the clients, this type of deal may never come their way again.

“We want to have the plan to be available to sign up on from the [first of] February, and hopefully if the members agree to the plan, then it would be operational from March 1,” he told Barbados TODAY.

Only about 2,100 of BARP’s over 40,000 members had been part of the ICBL health plan.

6 Responses to New BARP health plan to offer greater benefits

  1. Victorious Darrel
    Victorious Darrel January 20, 2017 at 2:35 am

    what a broke country needs immediately is more freeness….

  2. Hal Austin January 20, 2017 at 4:11 am

    BARP is sitting on an insurance gold mine. If they do not know how to exploit it, then get proper advice: life insurance, protection, medical insurance, home and contents, motor insurance, funeral insurance, free will writing, etc. They can issue BARP credit cards, legal advice.
    With 40000 members, BARP can wipe the floor with the ‘big’ insurance companies in the nation.
    The CEO of a leading friendly society in Britain just spent Xmas in Christ Church and was willing to talk to local groups. No one took u his offer.
    I told him to go to Oistins on the Friday night and Martins Bay on the Thursday lunch time then return to London.

  3. Sanky January 20, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    I agree with Hal Austin. With such a huge membership base, BARP can do much more than collect fees.

    Every business in Barbados is competing for a piece of the BARP membership pie and BARP can use that to its advantage other than 5% off $20.00 spent…..Real benefits for real people man.

  4. Mikey January 20, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Again, Hal why not show your knowledge, experience and expertise ??? Why sit back and be RE-ACTIVE ???
    Do you want somebody to go to Oistins, Martins Bay or Brownes Beach to broker a business deal for the people of Barbados ???
    Come on Hal, You wasted your time at Secondary School in Barbados, and now trying to pull down every thing back in your home-land ??? Is it not done like this as in London, Newyork, Toronto, Sydney or Jakarta ???

  5. Tina-Audrey Taylor-Roberts January 21, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Ed Bushell is doing a great job and we must support him and wish him success in this vey critical endeavour

  6. Hal Austin January 22, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Suggesting how BARP could monetise its membership is a positive proposal, unless you think any suggestion is negative. I know Bajans like will suggest being negative, but I suggest you get rid of your blinkers and re-read my submission.
    As for experts, I am not one. I am like |Michael Gove, get rid of experts. Look at the mess they have gotten us into.


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