Marcia Browne, Guardian Life insurance advisor, spoke about the benefits of health insurance at the Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange last week. ()Photo: Naphtali Junior
Young Jamaican men are urged to purchase critical illness insurance policies to cushion the astronomical costs of care and treatment that come with devastating illnesses, such as prostate cancer.
Guardian life insurance adviser Marcia Browne says a policy worth $1.5million may be small, given processing costs, but it could be the difference between some protection and no coverage, for men who end up with prostate cancer. — the deadliest cancer affecting the population.
“However small — start small, because the cost to you of supporting treatment will be much higher than if you try to be proactive and consider a plan now. The treatment is very expensive, but at least it’s something rather than having nothing at all,” Browne pointed out.
She was on a panel of medical specialists at the conference last week Jamaica Observers Monday Exchange who highlighted the serious realities of prostate cancer in Jamaican men and the importance of early and systematic detection. The experts were speaking in the context of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which is being highlighted by the Jamaica Cancer Society through screening promotion activities.
Browne said if people buy critical illness plans at a younger age, premium payments are cheaper.
“A lot of young people will say that it’s not necessary for me to buy a critical illness insurance plan, and I say to them ‘what if later on something happens?’ You can buy this plan, and they’ll pay that same $1,000 for years if they don’t choose to increase it. [although] they can scale it up to coverage that makes sense, when they’re able to pay more,” she explained, indicating that her company’s critical illness plans can be purchased between 18 and 60 years, which means that a policyholder can access this plan even at a later age.
Although older people pay more, there are different types of critical illness insurance plans, which allow clients between the ages of 50 and 60 to potentially afford insurance, depending on their disposable income, she said. underline.
“We have a plan, for example, that covers 10 critical illnesses that’s cheaper than one that covers 23, so it’s entirely possible,” she said, noting that the minimum for those policies is lowered to give access to those who need it. earnings.
Meanwhile, Browne dismissed the notion that whenever it’s time to pay, recipients struggle to access benefits or have their claims denied.
“We have a lot of complaints that come in every year — in fact, complaints have increased compared to last year — and there are many people who have benefited from these claims. Sometimes people use it as a [reason] not buying the insurance out of fear, or they don’t even want to express that they probably don’t have enough money,” she told the Swap.
Browne said often potential customers, who are hesitant or skeptical, gain a different perspective when insurance agents explain that in some cases where others have had difficulty accessing benefits, it could be related to issues. such as the client not providing the required documents.
“So the insurance is not a scam. There are more people who benefit from it than people who probably don’t benefit from it in the end,” she claimed.
Guardian Life, the National Health Fund and the Jamaica Urological Society are working with the cancer society to offer free screening to hundreds of men throughout September at multiple locations around the island. The campaign is part of a campaign to encourage more men to get screened for prostate cancer, starting at the recommended age of 40.
Treatment for prostate cancer is very expensive, so having health insurance coverage is better than having nothing at all.