Othneil Blagrove, Senior Manager for Sales, JN Life Insurance, is urging Jamaicans to make Critical Illness insurance a part of their financial planning because of the high cost associated with caring for persons with Critical Illnesses such as breast cancer.

Mr. Blagrove explained that the need for families to invest in a Critical Illness insurance policy was paramount in light of a World Bank Study which stated that in the average Jamaican household, if there is a member of the family diagnosed with a Non-Communicable Disease, they are likely to spend a third of their disposable income on treating that ailment over time.

Othneil Blagrove, Senior Manager for Sales, JN Life Insurance

“When you examine the cost of healthcare locally, an illness such as breast cancer that may require surgery, chemotherapy and other forms of treatment can set back a family millions of dollars. Also, if the family member who is ill passes on, the surviving members may be left to foot the outstanding bills. These costs have placed many families in difficulty even long after their loved one has passed,” said Mr. Blagrove.

“Many persons may say they have savings for such an eventuality, but the money set aside is sometimes not enough. As such, a Critical Illness Insurance policy can provide the cushion needed to undergo treatment. In fact, sometimes the payout from the Critical Illness allows you to keep your savings because it is adequate to cover the cost of the treatment,” he added.

Mr. Blagrove added that because the probability of a Critical Illness increases with age, more persons needed to prepare.

 “Research suggests that one in three Jamaicans will be diagnosed with a critical illness by the age of 60,” Mr. Blagrove pointed out.

“And, as we mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is worthy to note that the median age for diagnosis of that disease among women in Jamaica is 52. We therefore encourage our women to get screened after the age of 40. Also, if their older sister or mother was diagnosed in their 40s, we recommend they do so 10 years less the age of their loved one’s diagnosis.”

Mr. Blagrove said JN Life Insurance was committed to giving Jamaicans peace of mind when it comes to financial planning for Critical Illnesses.

 “As a ‘life company,’ we are dedicated to giving our clients peace of mind in these difficult times; therefore we introduced two critical illness products to assist families who would have had a critical illness plan before diagnosis to take care of those expenses,” he stated.

He added that the Critical Illness plan has two components: a family plan and one for individuals. These critical illness plans are marketed as “JN Life Aide” and “JN Life Family Aide.”

The JN Life Aide is an individual Critical Illness plan, which offers coverage for 13 illnesses including: cancer, stroke, heart attack, partial kidney failure and major burns. This plan also offers coverage for JN Life Insurance policy holders even after an initial diagnosis of breast cancer or any other Critical Illness, provided that the premiums are being paid.

This exciting feature is called the re-occurrence or additional occurrence benefit. This means that “after you have received payment, you continue to remain our client, and you are still covered for the sum for which you were insured. While Critical Illnesses are part of the facts of life, they do not have to mean the end,” he assured.    

The JN Life Family Aide also covers 13 illnesses and includes coverage for children. Both plans offer coverage of up to $6 million. The family plan covers up to six persons with eligibility ages being between 0-60 years old; while the individual plan covers persons starting from age 18.
 
He added that the current plan allows for parents or in-laws to be covered.

“Another feature of the product is that, once the client is eligible, he or she is covered up to the age of 75 years old or on the 20th policy anniversary, whichever is later,” he stated.