TCI News

NHIP averaging $10 million over budget annually; latest Actuarial Review tabled in Parliament

#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – September 25, 2019 — In a matter of just four years, the National Health Insurance Plan is expected to bust its own budget to the tune of $43.1 million dollars according to Premier and Finance Minister, Sharlene Robinson.

The National Health Insurance Board this month made a final presentation to Cabinet on its latest Actuarial Review and during House of Assembly meeting on Monday, Premier Robinson laid the review including its recommendations on the table.

“Coming out of this actuarial review are various recommendations for the national health insurance program to implement in order to address the estimated accumulated deficit of $43.1 million over financial year 2018 to 2022.”

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The National Health Insurance Plan has grown over 40 percent since it started in 2010; from under 24,000 to now over 35,000 beneficiaries which accounts for 84 percent of the taxable population according to the Finance Minister. The need for medical care paid for by the social health care plan has also grown significantly.

“To this end Mr. Speaker, an actuarial review of the period April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017 was conducted.  I will provide a status update of the responses to the recommendations from the review.  As mentioned already Mr. Speaker, a new actuarial review for the period post April 1. 2017 to March 31, 2019 has been commissioned and of course this will advise the minister and the board on the sustainable health care financing strategies to be pursued in the short, medium and long term.”

The NHIP actuarial of 2018 is a forensic review; aiming to expose whether or not the plan is adequately supported by the salary-deducted and employer-matched contributions; in other words, it gauges whether the plan is financially able to do what it promises it will do.

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The revelation on Monday by the Premier confirms that the National Health Insurance Plan is falling short by an average $10 million, plus each year but she said the next Actuarial Review is when the Minister and the Board will determine the way forward.

“The evaluation is to take into account, health are financing strategies under consideration by the Board as well as any need to increase the stipulated reserve as outlined in Section 28 of the NHI ordinance,” the Premier explained that the new review will likely commence in the third quarter of 2019 and added, “The 2019-2020 budget catered for sums to address these recommendations such as the development of a funding policy and a risk management policy which are detailed among the recommendations listed below.”

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Among the recommendations are enhanced staff efficiency measures, a human resources study, creation of a three-year strategic plan, renegotiated fees for more competitive treatment abroad services prices and a Claims Verification Officer has been hired.  

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