Employers face harsh penalties if they fail to provide health insurance for workers.
An Amendment to the Health Insurance Law detailing the penalties passed Monday in the Legislative Assembly.
Minister of Health, Gilbert McLean, who brought the bill to the House, said he was concerned.
‘I know of some cases where employers have deducted amounts for health insurance from employees’ pay and then not paid the premiums,’ he said. ‘This could be theft.’
Mr. McLean said there have been cases where people have gone to a healthcare provider for treatment only to find out later they were not covered.
He said people in these cases can sue their employers for their losses. ‘But it’s usually not viable.’
Notwithstanding Mr. McLean’s comment about a possible criminal liability in cases where premiums are deducted from an employee’s earnings and not paid for premiums, any employer who does not provide health insurance to employees could face fines up to $10,000.
Additionally, an employer could face additional fines up to $100 for continued non-compliance.
Should the fines not be paid in full, the new law allows for the recovery of the amount in a court of summary jurisdiction as a debt from the person fined.