‘Increase In Employers Not Providing Insurance’

February 9, 2017

The Bermuda Health Council said they have noticed “an increase in employers who are not providing their employees with health insurance coverage” saying there are currently “46 non-compliant employers, affecting 261 employees and non-working spouses”.

Ian Cameron, Compliance Officer, states: “The increase in non-compliant employers is concerning because health insurance provides access to healthcare. At a time when Bermuda is seeing an increase in chronic diseases in patients, this access becomes vitally important.

“These employees are having to pay out-of-pocket or are not receiving adequate and necessary healthcare because they cannot afford it. It is also illegal to deduct money from an employee’s pay check for health insurance and not use that money to purchase health insurance for that employee.”

BHeC said, “The Health Council monitors and enforces compliance with Section 20[1] the Health Insurance Act 1970. The Act requires every employer to provide health insurance for employees and non-employed spouses of employees. There are situations in which employers are exempt from having to provide health insurance such as when employees:

  • Work 15 hours or less weekly
  • Are employed for 2 months or less
  • Are students employed during weekends, public holidays or half term holidays

“The Health Council also requires local insurers to provide monthly updates of companies who have inactive health insurance policies as summarized in the chart below.

Inactive policies affected insureds Bermuda Feb 9 2017

BHeC posted a list of ‘Non-Compliant Employers’ on their website, which they said will be “updated in real time as employers provide evidence of an active health insurance policy which is verified by the insurer.”

“If you have evidence that a business has been printed in error, or if you would like to enquire about your rights in regards to health insurance, please contact the Health Council by emailing healthcouncil@bhec.bm or calling 292-6420,” BHEC added.

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Comments (20)

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  1. San George says:

    They can’t afford to pay for civil servants to have all of the benefits. We are over governed in this country, it is killing small businesses and it has to stop.

  2. Karen says:

    Terrible! This name and shame should make these employers pay up!!! Sure hope so!

    • Really says:

      How can SO many people dislike this comment, do you not want health insurance? Some of us pay for all your visits to the hospital, that by the way is not paid for either!

    • Paradise Reclaimed says:

      They should be named, so people who do business with them no they are not compliant, and their bank accounts should be frozen until they are compliant. People first. Why should some employers have to bear the burden when others cheat.

      • Spit Bouy says:

        @ Paradis Reclaimed,

        That would be fine if we could catch the companies that are cheating, like illegally using people here that are supposedly ‘on vacation’. That is epidemic in construction, landscaping, probably cleaning and painting as well. I had a staff member come back a few days ago and there where at least 30 of his countrymen on the flight coming here for ‘vacation’. Because of this theses companies can underbid on work, pay cash to these people and what are the legitimate companies able to do about it?.

        For starters they also have to bid lower, and sometimes they lose money which is why some are in arrears on payroll tax, social insurance and insurance. What of the cheaters? well they aren’t behind in any of the areas highlighted and nothing is being done to check it. But what the heck, lets shame these other companies instead, maybe even put them out of business. Yeah That’ll help wont it?!

    • Spit Bouy says:

      @ Karen,

      Name and shame? You cant pay what you don’t have. Hundreds of businesses have gone bust in Bermuda these last several years and you think naming and shaming will change why these businesses can’t or haven’t paid insurance. Clueless!

      • Zevon says:

        They do have the funds. They stopped it from their emloyee’s pay checks. But rather than using it to pay for insurance, they kept it. Dishonest.

        • Spit Bouy says:

          @ Zevon,

          That may be true of some but I doubt it will be all of those businesses. I’d bet many are likely just making payroll and hoping to catch up another day. Been in that position myself and It’s not fun and while I’m not in that position today I have empathy for those owners and businesses that aren’t just filling their pockets but just trying to stay alive. Maybe they should just shut down and send another 200 plus people to the unemployment line, yeah that’ll help. Things are getting better but it’s a long hard road for many.

          The real kicker are those businesses that have shut down and those funds are never going to be retrieved for the staff members affected.

  3. Really says:

    I am also interested in the fact finding of whom is not paying payroll tax and social insurance, before the budget is released it would be interesting to know, considering some with no doubt will be paying more for those that don’t.

    • Spit Bouy says:

      Really,

      The majority of those companies will be small black owned businesses. You know the same ones that have little access to much needed $$$ and who pay a disproportionate amount of revenue on their payroll tax etc… in relation to sales/receivables. Most would’ve been struggling to pay their payroll tax when it was 4.75% so the govt increases it to 6 % to continue to pay for a civil service that the island can’t afford. Just great. I’m sure they’ll pay that without trouble. But what the hell shame them all.

  4. Cris m says:

    Do they also check to see if any of those business still are in business??

  5. Just saying says:

    Bermuda, should protest against the Government thinking it is good to shame small business. Ian Cameron shame on you and your department.

  6. Ben Rothschild says:

    I would personally paid these companies bills, as this government is wrong, they should look at the people of Bermuda hard earn money that has been given away to AC and that very bad airport Deal. I’m deeply sadden for the island of Bermuda.

  7. hmmmmmm says:

    There is also a new trend it is to hire employees as Temps and have them sign a contract stating that they are responsible for all benefits including taxes and insurance.

    All companies are doing this and engagement can last for years. With the employee having no benefits.

    I thought this was illegal. But thus us a loophole companies have found and exploit.

  8. Devonshire Bermudian says:

    SO when are they in court???

  9. Meredith says:

    Do people realize what it cost to employ someone. Big companies hire consultants like they did at the hospital. Drywallers carpenters you name it all hired as consultants don’t have to pay health insurance, social insurance For any employee. And believe me gov. Knows full well what they are doing. They protect them even and you hitting up the local companies that are struggling to survive. No wonder the people are going to roar loud.
    In case you were wondering my husband has a business on Front Street.
    He has his health insurance paid up. Would like to hire a Helper but can’t afford to.

  10. Albie says:

    And what about those who are employed as independent contractors? These individuals obtain work through agencies. The agency offers no benefits. No Social Insurance, no health insurance and of course no payroll tax is paid either. On top of that the workers only receive about half of what the client is being charged.

    So next time you need a cleaner, caregiver, landscaper take a few minutes and talk with that person and find out the conditions of employment. What the agencies are doing may be legal but how they treat the workers is immoral.

    • Spit Bouy says:

      Albie,

      So how much should they receive? Your comment may be valid where the people are ‘subcontracted’ and supply all their own equipment etc but as a business owner who supplies every single thing that they company and staff needs to operate how much should one be paid compared to what they are charged out at?.