New basic insurance postponed until June

WILLEMSTAD — The introduction of the new basic medical insurance is postponed once again, namely until June 1st. The Social-Economic Council (SER) has a few comments on the enactment.

In first instance, the law regulating the basic medical insurance was to become effective on April 1st next.The Council of Ministers recently rejected the enactment following the advice from the SER. In a short document of two pages, the advisory organ advises to include uniformity in the law and procedures by formulating several matters univocally. For instance, the terms midwife and obstetrician are used alternately. The SER thinks the government should use professional names when it comes to authorities and rates. The government hasn’t created a basis yet to introduce the basis insurance. Consultations with the colleagues, including the Organized Consultation in Civil Servant Affairs (GOA) are pending.

The government should also launch an information campaign to announce the changes. All residents of the country Curaçao with a maximum income of 90,000 guilders and currently insured with the Bureau Medical Insurances (BZV) or the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) and those who are 60 years or older with an annual income of over 90,000 guilders but unsuccessful in finding an affordable private insurance, fall under the new basic medical insurance. Also non-residents working on the island and earning a maximum annual income of 90,000 guilders fall under the basic medical insurance. The introduction of this insurance involves a premium increase from 10.4 to 12 percent in 2012, of which the employer pays 9 percent and the employee 3 percent. Those without an employer will pay the entire 12 percent irrespective of their income.

The intention is that the National Regulation Basic Medical Insurance becomes effective per June 1st next. The postponement of the new basic medical insurance puts pressure on the budget. The basic insurance also has consequences for the liability side of the budget where an upward change was implemented on Social Security of 11.5 million guilders. This was due to the subsequent commencing date of the basic insurance, which should have been implemented on January 1st but was then postponed until April 1st 2012. The financial consequences of this new postponement are unknown as yet.

2 March 2012

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