|NHIB answers questions on insurance changes||| Print ||
|Monday, 02 April 2012 15:08|
Changes to the National Health Insurance Plan Ordinance that took effect March 1 have raised among stakeholders during consultation across the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The executive team compiled the following list of answers to the most frequently asked questions:
Answer: Only one parent has to register children/dependants. The form can be downloaded from the NHIB website (www.tcinhip.tc), completed and presented with requisite documents to your employer who will begin deductions for up to three children/dependents per family.
Question: Some people were uncertain about who falls into the category of dependant.
Answer: A dependant is your child or children up to 18 years old, and can also be your child or children up to 25 years old who is enrolled full time in tertiary level educational facility; i.e., college. A dependant is also considered an individual whom you have adopted or have legal guardianship to who falls within the above described age perimeters and situations.
Question: The new ordinance says that at least three dependants have to be paid for by a parent, but does this mean your other dependants are not covered in your health plan?
Answer: Once a parent is paying for at least three children/dependants per family, the remaining children/dependents will be covered by the plan. However, all children must be listed on the application in the registration process.
Question: As an employer, am I obligated to also make a co-pay for my employees’ children?
Answer: No, parents should pay the full amount of $10 each for their own children/dependants. However, as an employer, you are obligated to make the deduction for payment to the NHIB.
Question: What if I have a second or third job? Do I also pay for my children/dependants again?
Answer: No, as the parent taking on the responsibility to pay, you are required to pay only once at your main employer.
We recognize at NHIB that there is always the potential for contributors to find ways to avoid meeting that monthly payment. However, we strongly advise against it and we encourage parents to take the responsibility to ensure children are protected by this generous and affordable health care plan.
Remember, unregistered dependants will be charged the full costs of medical care and will not be able to access benefits which come only for contributors to the plan.
Question: I have heard that there is a new minimum monthly contribution to the plan. Is this true?
Answer: Yes, this is true. It is now expected that every worker in the country will make a minimum contribution of $50 share; $25 by the employer and $25 by employee.
Question: I am already paying NHIB at one job. Do I still have to pay at the other?
Answer: Yes, contributions are due from all jobs that one may have. The contribution rate is 6 percent per month, with 3 percent by the employer and 3 percent by the employee paid up to an income ceiling of $7,800. The minimum contribution for NHIB is $50 per month.
Question: What if I am on vacation and away from the TCI? Do I still have to make NHIB payments?
Answer: Yes, as long as you remain employed in the Turks and Caicos, you are required to continue payments as usual. In you absence, these would come from your vacation pay.
Question: What happens if I do not register my children/dependants in time?
Answer: Due to the amendments in the ordinance, all children/dependants are required to be registered and a payment of $10 per dependent/child up to three per family is expected. Failing to register your children/dependants will result in them being medically terminated from the NHIB plan. Parents are encouraged to register children/dependants immediately.
Question: If my wife is not working, will she be covered by my personal payments to the plan?
Answer: Yes, you can pay, but there is a spousal rate for your unemployed wife of $25 per month. As long as you have registered your wife as your spouse, which means you are legally married, (as this rule does not apply to common law marriage) and are paying the requisite $25 per month, any spouse is covered.
Question: What if I am terminated from job? Would I still be covered and expected to pay NHIB?
Answer: If you are terminated from your job, there is provision for coverage to continue up to 90 days. However, one must file for unemployment with the Labour Department and the NHIB. The NHIB gives you one month to make it aware of job termination in order for you to qualify.
Question: As a work permit holder, what do I need to do to ensure I am registered with the NHIB?
Answer: All contributing legal work permit holders are covered under the plan. NHIB also advises this category of employees to move quickly to renew work permits long before they expire — 90 days prior to expiration is stated in the ordinance. NHIB is required to only permit legal workers into the plan.
“The NHIB is an important partnership between contributors, the government and the public and it will be around for a very long time,” said Zaneta Burton, CEO of the NHIB. “The funds contributed keep this private public partnership going and ensures there is quality, accessible, affordable health care for all.”
For more information, visit the NHIB website at www.tcinhip.tc.
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