The Cayman Islands government has been “double charging” itself in relation to payments made on behalf of those who cannot afford healthcare coverage.
Premier Alden McLaughlin announced corrective steps Wednesday that involve no longer charging the public purse for payments made into the Cayman Islands’ Segregated Insurance Fund.
The segregated insurance fund is set up to receive donations each month from all those who have healthcare coverage in the Cayman Islands. Each person on a healthcare plan makes either a $10 per month or $20 per month donation into the fund to help cover the community’s uninsured members.
The Cayman Islands government makes healthcare payments on behalf of all its civil servants, civil service pensioners and indigent residents. In past years, Mr. McLaughlin said, the government paid the $10 or $20 monthly charge to the Cayman Islands Insurance Company on behalf of those people.
CINICO then collected the money and paid it straight back to government’s segregated insurance fund, where it was paid out to cover healthcare costs for the uninsured.
In short, the government counted the expenditure twice – once when it was paid to CINICO and again when it was paid out for healthcare coverage.
“So the government’s expenditure was increased,” Finance Minister Marco Archer said.
Premier McLaughlin said Wednesday that government has changed the system to “eliminate the right pocket to left pocket transfer of funds between government and CINICO.”
The change would result in the government no longer “paying twice” for the same healthcare fund. However, Mr. McLaughlin said it would also result in a lower amount of cash being placed overall into the segregated insurance fund.
Typically, government collects between $5 million and $6 million per year for the insurance fund.