Press Release:-Castries, Saint Lucia – 2 nd March 2017 – In an unprecedented move to deliver the best group medical insurance coverage for hospitality industry workers, the SLHTA announces a strategic alliance with local insurance broker Sterling Insurance Services (St. Lucia) Ltd. The strategic alliance which was forged last month came into full effect on 1 st March 2017, with the introduction of a NEW SLHTA GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN being offered exclusively to employees of SLHTA member companies.
SLHTA Chief Executive Officer Noorani Azeez explained that “the new plan was designed around a keen consideration of which medical insurance benefits are in the best interest of our industry employees and built according to the demands of industry workers.”
The SLHTA now offers members access to health and medical insurance with the best schedule of benefits covering vision, dental and other medical care including but not limited to Private Duty Nursing Care, Hospital Room and Board, Prescribed Drug Benefits, diagnostic (X-ray & Lab) benefits, Psychiatric Services (Out of Hospital), Physiotherapy Benefits, Chiropractic Benefits, radiotherapy/Chemotherapy, Airfare and Emergency Air Ambulance, Congenital Birth Defects,Aids/Aids related Illnesses and Preventative Care Benefits.
“Our team members are our greatest allies in growing our industry,” said Azeez, “it is therefore an imperative that our Association negotiates the absolute best medical insurance access for our member employees and their families. Our group medical insurance plan must therefore be second to none. Our tourism industry workers work very hard to deliver our promise of the best vacation
ever for our guests. They therefore, deserve the very best group medical insurance coverage we can provide. The SLHTA believes that we now provide exactly that.”
At the heart of the strategic partnership is a commitment to continuous improvement of the plan over the coming months. The SLHTA has committed to continue monitoring the pulse of industry workers and expand the plan to meet their growing needs.
Azeez added that “The coverage is being offered exclusively to SLHTA members because collectively we can leverage the strength of numbers to negotiate the best benefits. Our goal is to double the number of persons on the plan by the end of this year, thereby exceeding 2000 workers and beneficiaries.”
Mrs. Diane Smith, Director of Sterling Insurances (St. Lucia) Ltd., commenting on the contribution of her company to the partnership stated that “we understand the importance of this plan not only to the SLHTA but to the individual employees and we want to ensure that integral in the implementation process is the education of the employees on the operation and benefits of the plan. In these challenging economic times a Health Plan is worth more than just the cost of the premium. It is important to strike a balance between the need for better coverage and the affordability of the premium.”
The new plan is insured by The Beacon Insurance which will soon introduce a cutting edge technological platform allowing SLHTA members the opportunity to monitor and track the status of their claims via a secure on-line portal. Azeez noted that “The ability to also use this platform to facilitate direct deposit of claims to their bank accounts will prove immeasurably convenient to our workers saving them time, transportation and telephone costs to follow up on claims which can prove to be frustrating.” Among the core benefits of the plan is a commitment from the broker to submit all claims to the insurers within 24 hours of receipt, a commitment from the insurers to process claims within 5 working days of receipt of the claim and special attention provided to major medical claims.
Azeez concluded that “this gathering of strengths from three industry giants comprising SLHTA, Sterling Insurances and the Beacon Insurance will immediately harmonize exclusively to the benefit of tourism industry workers who are members of the SLHTA.” The plan is the only approved health and medical plan endorsed by the SLHTA.
The new initiative forms an integral part of the SLHTA’s ongoing mission to enhance its value for membership proposition for over 200 member companies. It builds upon the Association’s existing human development programs ranging from community after school support for kids, foreign languages training for the general public, hospitality skills training and certification for industry workers, hospitality apprenticeship program for unemployed youth and strengthening agro-tourism linkages with farmers and agro processors.