Government will be starting a new round of its Health Insurance Premium Payment Assistance Programme, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour has announced.
At Thursday’s COVID-19 media briefing, Seymour said the Ministry and the Health Insurance Commission, together with the approved insurance companies, have agreed to the new programme, which is “focused on assisting those in the tourism and hospitality industries who have suffered job loss and severely reduced income from their businesses.”
The Compass has spoken to several taxi, water-sports and tour operators who said they had given up their health insurance policies because they simply could not afford to pay the premiums.
Seymour stated that from April until June last year, the Ministry and Health Insurance Commission had offered help to those who needed that extra boost to pay their health insurance premiums.
During that period, some 1,250 people received assistance at a cost of approximately $400,000, Seymour said.
He said the HIC has consulted with the eight approved insurers who have pledged their support to the Premium Payment Assistance Programme and Cabinet has given its consent to the initiative.
The programme, in its last cycle, encountered challenges in paying out premiums and those who signed on said they were left without coverage or had general problems accessing their benefits.
However Seymour stated those challenges have been addressed.
He said the HIC and the Ministry met with the eight insurance providers and all prior issues have been ironed out.
“We have worked on a mechanism where it is almost like a pre-payment and they’re fine with the cycle we have agreed on,” he said responding to queries from the Cayman Compass.
The government has committed to paying health insurance premiums during the months of March, April, May and June this year for approved applicants.
“Applications should be made through the Health Insurance Commission. Persons may contact the Health Insurance Commission via email to [email protected] or by phone on 345 946 2084 for additional details. The application form may be downloaded from the Commission’s website at dhrs.gov.ky or hardcopies are available at the lobby on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building,” Seymour said.
The deadline for receipt of applications is 12 Feb.
The programme is being offered from 1 March to 30 June.