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Jan 25, 2018

Why You Need Health Insurance

Should you or shouldn’t you invest in health insurance? We have all heard stories of families who after one major medical trauma have incurred major debt. Right here in our nightly newscast, we’ve aired many public pleas for assistance when families simply have nowhere else left to turn.  So is investing in healthcare a practical option? We seek one senior adviser’s advice.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

There are some people who view health insurance as a necessity and many others who view it as a luxury. Some believe it’ something to look into when you’re pass a certain age. Senior Insurance Adviser Marsha Gill says these common perceptions are simply not true.


Marsha Gill

Marsha Gill, Senior Insurance Adviser

“Mom, dad, children…everybody needs to have health insurance.”


Marsha Gill has been and insurance adviser for over a decade.  She says it is very common to meet people who feel that health insurance is out of reach for them.


Marsha Gill

“The attitude is that it’s too expensive. That’s the first thing people would say but then when you look at the cost of healthcare. Do you really think that health insurance is expensive So that they first resistance to it. It even prevents persons from inquiring into what it’s all about because they figure they can’t afford it.  NHI will cover certain conditions and up to certain limits. It will also limit you to just Belize. So if it is required that the person needs a treatment that is not available in Belize then NHI would not cover that. So that is where the need for the health insurance come in.”


If you are looking for a plan for you and your family, here are three of Gill’s expert tips.
Number 1: Work within your budget


Marsha Gill

“Persons have the option to control how much they pay for health insurance because if you go with a high deductible that can reduce the cost of what you pay for insurance. There are ways that your insurance agent can assist you in order for you to get a plan that that suits your budget. If you’re looking at cost. There are many ways you can tweak your police and ask for what your really want. For example when we talked about NHI a person who is covered by NHI they have basic benefits that they can access if anything happens so that may not be of concern to then when they are purchasing a health plan. So they can look at the bigger things and give up the smaller things cause those can be covered by the NHI and focus on the more serious conditions that if they were to occur then the plan would pick up what that point what the NHI program would not.”


Number 2: Know what’s in your plan


Marsha Gill

“You need to know what your plan has. When you use it you need to know what you’re expected to contribute towards your healthcare. Your deductible is your out of pocket. So that is the amount that you will pay before the insurance starts to reimburse you. After you have satisfied your deductible then you go into the sharing – the copy. Where the insurance will – it depends on the type of plan you have – whereby the insurance will pay an amount and you will pay an amount. For example, the situation of eighty-twenty after you have satisfied your deductible the insurance will pay eighty percent and you will be required to pay twenty percent. That’s your copy. You need to know what you’re covered for. Sometimes, clients don’t take the time out to review their policy and it’s not until something happens and then you need you need to use it. That is when they realized what they have and what they don’t have.”


Thirdly, get a policy sooner rather than later especially when youth and health are on your side.


Marsha Gill

“Health is what buys your policy. So you have to access it when you’re still healthy. You don’t want to wait until we start to develop illnesses. It will make us not insurable. So definitely usually younger means healthier – not all the time – but in most cases it does. So that is when you want to buy your policy and of course the younger you are the more affordable the premiums are.  I can say that having health insurance definitely you get to catch things earlier. Any symptom you would consult a doctor cause you have the health insurance while if you didn’t then you might delay or try to self medicate and try to fix the problem and the problem festers and fester until it grows into something bigger. So having your insurance does allow people to access health care at an earlier phase and that can make the difference between life and death.”


Gill estimates that an individual comprehensive plan can cost you less that 200 dollars monthly but she urges people to take advantage of group plans – like those that are offered at your work place – as it will cost a lot less.


Marsha Gill

“You can’t lose. It gives you the peace of mind to be able to access healthcare wherever you are.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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