BHeC On Health Insurance Premium Concerns

June 10, 2015

Following concerns raised by the community regarding health insurance rate increases, the Bermuda Health Council said they wish to clarify the process to set the Standard Premium Rate annually.

“The standard premium is the premium for the Standard Health Benefit [SHB]. This is the basic health insurance package that forms the base for all health insurance products in Bermuda. The SHB ensures that most hospital services and some other benefits are covered for every insured person in Bermuda,” as spokesperson said.

“The premium for the SHB is determined through an independent actuarial analysis of all health insurance claims made by Bermuda’s adult and senior population.

“The analysis looks at the amount of services used, their fees, any new services added, and transfers to access programmes. This total cost is divided by Bermuda’s insured adult and senior population, which produces the premium amount. The Figure below illustrates this process.

“The Health Council publishes the Actuarial Review every year. The most recent Report can be found on their website. In addition, the Health Council also produces a brief explanation of the premium and standard health benefit changes each year. This year’s can be found here.

“Premium changes are derived with careful consideration of the cost of paying for the services used, and the impact to policy holders. Every action is taken to minimize the premium adjustments each year.

“For example, coverage of the professional fees that some people, particularly seniors, had to pay out of pocket was added to the premium to protect persons on the lowest cost plans. In the context of increased use of services, essential benefit additions, and a smaller population size, it was not possible to sustain the premium at current levels.

“The Health Council would also like to invite the public to view the National Health Accounts reports. These reports show that the Government subsidizes health coverage for seniors and indigent in excess of $100 million per year.

“Providing services for these populations exceeds this amount, so it is necessary to supplement it with premium contributions. This is in an effort to share the cost with the beneficiaries and curtail the impact on the consolidated fund. Queries about the actuarial review process can be submitted to healthcouncil@bhec.bm

‘What You Need To Know’ from the BHeC follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (9)

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  1. clearasmud says:

    This is the second Health related policy issue that has caused public controversey that the Health Council is at the forefront of. This is not a good trend because again we see public representatives complaining of not being properly consulted!

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      It is a case of too many chefs in the kitchen, we can’t have massive consultation on this issue, otherwise nothing would get done and it would only get worse. The fact is, there has never been extensive consultation on the base premium rate, because it is determined more by actuarials than politics, it is a result of projected payees for projected utilization, not by what we would like to have. We also can’t change the current fact that less people are paying into a fund that more and more people are utilizing, so of course the costs sure going to go up.

  2. Kim Smith says:

    And no mention of the cost/overrun/interest burden of the new hospital. What proportion of the increase is attributable to those costs?

    • Sara says:

      We are being kept completely in the dark over this over sized overinflated new hospital. The whole “this is why it matters” bs commercials didn’t get them enough money so now they must force us to pay. Thoughtless decision making on the part of the PLP again coming back to hunt us.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Actually, those were released in the House with the breakdown on the rate increases, an added fee of $23 and change was added to SHB as a payment toward the new hospital. That is $23+ dollars out of the total $36 that the SHB went up this year, nearly 2/3′s of the increase. Perhap’s the PLP would like to explain what their plan was to pay for the hospital, before they complain further about the high rise in the SHB this year? I really do want to know what their plan was for paying for the hospital, it has to be done, surely they were aware that someone was going to have to pay for it… that someone was inevitably going to be the taxpayer. So either the PLP did not see this coming, making them incompetent, or they choose to hide this truth from the people, making them liars; but the fact is, this cost has been seen coming for the last 5 years, so nobody should be surprised about it.

      • Don’t anyone hold their breath for any kind of explanation/s from the Progressive Labour Party Members, for any of their “short comings”…It too will never happen :-(

  3. Legal Eagle says:

    Stop being distracted by who ’caused’ the problem! The real issue is the disgusting way Govt proposes to fix it-by increasing taxes on LIFE+HEALTH ESSENTIAL needs! Many simply do not have enough $$ to pay for the increase Govt tax has already added to BElco!! Now Govt is increasing tax on ‘life essential’ healthcare premiums! People who can’t pay will go without-lack healthcare-become more sick-+ even meet an early death! Govt–pls get the extra $$ from NON life essential funding! Cut all GPcars,politicians+CS overseas conferences–+pay/pensions! Even reduce grants to culture+sports etc etc! The above costs are NOT ESSENTIAL! Electricity+medical IS ESSENTIAL!! A drastic lack of perpective OBA -that will cost you dearly at the next election!!