Video: MP Kim Wilson Suggests Raising Penalty

December 2, 2015

Shadow Minister of Health Kim Wilson said that while the Opposition supports the proposed amendments to regulations, the Government should consider increasing the penalty so that it “provides further deterrent” for employers that are not providing health insurance for their employees.

Ms Wilson said the concern is that the penalty “is no more than $500,” and said “consideration ought to be given to provide a further deterrent to employers that are unscrupulous and not abiding by the law by providing the requisite compulsory health insurance.”

Speaking outside the House on Friday, Ms Wilson told Bernews, “The PLP is prepared to support any type of legislation that the Government advances that has as one of it’s objectives streamlining a particular process.

“As such we did support the proposed amendments to the regulations, however one of the comments that I think that was made, that were asking the Government to consider, is with respect to Section 20 of the Act.

“Section 20 provides for situations in which employers are required to provide compulsory health insurance for their employees. However, the concern that was raised is that the penalty is a summary, a Magistrate’s Court matter, and the penalty, the fine, is no more than $500.

“What we were raising is that it could be deemed as the cost of doing business. A person employs persons, and they make the deductions, or they don’t even pay for health insurance, and then unfortunately the employee finds themselves in need of attending a hospital, or their family member attending a hospital, or the doctor, only to be informed that they have no health insurance, which they thought they did.”

“The penalty for such is a $500 fine. We just think that the Government should consider perhaps looking at the fine, and looking at reviewing that, and perhaps increasing the penalty so that it provides further deterrent for those employers that are not providing the requisite, legal requirement of health insurance for their employees.

“There’s also a penalty that, I think, could perhaps be considered as well, which is where an employer, makes a deduction from their employee, from health insurance, and doesn’t pay it. That is a maximum fine of $1,000.

“We’re just saying that perhaps consideration ought to be given to provide a further deterrent to employers that are unscrupulous and not abiding by the law by providing the requisite compulsory health insurance.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Question, is the $500 a flat fine, or per infraction? Because if it is per infraction, that is that the employer has 3 employees and hasn’t paid their health insurance for 3 months, that is technically 9 infractions so the resulting fine should be 9 x $500, plus the back payment required to get the employees up to date.

  2. Jus' Askin' says:

    People should be in charge of paying their own insurance. ;-)
    Keep squeezing and You will have more unemployed people. :-(

    • Sara says:

      Sorry no, it’s the law. What a company can do if they are on hard times is offer downgrading to HIP before laying people off? Then allow the employee to have full coverage if they want to cover the rest? Group policies are much more affordable than individual policies. An individual policy is almost double the cost of a group policy and covers less. Not really a solution at all.

  3. hmmm says:

    How about if people don’t pay their parking tickets……

    Forgot about Parking ticket gate anyone.

  4. Whistling Frog says:

    What the government needs to do is make the insurance companies pay back half the money a person who has paid for insurance and never made a claim. And the returns should be on an annual bases.

    • Kat says:

      That’s not how insurance works. If you claim and end up costing the insurance company more than you’ve actually paid for your insurance, would you expect them to charge you the difference?