The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is appealing for student athletes to sign up for the Jamaican Athletes Insurance Plan (JAIP).
JAIP provides basic group health insurance, group life and personal accident insurance coverage.
Director of Sport Policy in the Ministry, Suzette Ison, said many student athletes are not covered or are even aware of the plan.
“We find that there isn’t enough knowledge out there among student athletes, especially about this plan and what is available to them and what the resources are,” she said.
She was speaking with JIS News during the inaugural ‘More than an Athlete: Not Just a Player’ symposium held on Thursday, April 12 at Jamaica College, St. Andrew.
Ms. Ison said it is important that student athletes, several of whom are on the national development squad, have insurance coverage.
“What we are aiming for is once they are in training, they are covered, because we know that there is the risk of injury and many of them would not have any other kind of insurance if it were not for this plan,” she pointed out.
She said the objective is to provide a wholesome environment for athletes to thrive.
“That is the focus of this part of the Sport Policy; to ensure that the athlete is protected and their well-being is secure and that they are given (every) opportunity to perform and do their best. We want to encourage all athletes to check with your national sport association or federation to find out if you are registered. Once you are on the development squad or the national team you should be registered,” the Sport Director encouraged.
Covered under the scheme are doctors’ visits, optical, dental, prescription drugs, hospital stay, and maternity benefits for female athletes.
It also provides emergency overseas medical services valued at up to US$100,000 and a personal accident component with coverage up to a maximum of $2.5 million.
The plan also provides coverage amounting to $2.25 million for accidental death and dismemberment or permanent total disability.
The National Sport Policy (2013) establishes a framework for the development of sport and enhancement of its contribution to the process of national development.
It is designed to foster greater participation in sport as a means of enhancing intellectual and physical health and facilitating the pursuit of excellence.
Part of the policy includes providing sustainable health and life insurance and a pension and retirement plan for all eligible national athletes.