BHeC: Health Insurance During Probation Period

December 17, 2014

The Bermuda Health Council and Bernews have teamed-up to answer your questions about the island’s health care system. Visit to submit your queries and look for the response on Bernews.

December MiH


I have a new job and so I am on a probation period. I understand that I cannot take holiday or even sick leave while on probation, but my employer has also said they don’t need to provide me with health insurance until I complete the probation period. Are they allowed to do that?


If you are a full-time employee, your employer, by law, must provide you with health insurance from the first day you begin work for them. This requirement is explained in Section 20 of the Health Insurance Act 1970. The law states that an employer must have and maintain an active health insurance policy for themselves, their employees and their employees’ non-employed spouses.

Your first day of employment, according to Section 5 of the Employment Act 2000 is the first day you start work for an employer and includes any probationary period. That said, however, there are a few types of employees that are excluded from these requirements. The Health Insurance [Exemption] Regulations 1971 outline these exemptions.

According to these Regulations, an employer is not legally required to provide health coverage for the following type of employees:

  • Full-time students who are employed on a Saturday, public holiday or period of vacation
  • Casual or Part-time workers who are employed for less than 45 hours per month
  • Temporary employees hired for 2 months or less
  • And other categories not immediately relevant to your case.

If you don’t fall within these categories of employment, then your employer is responsible for providing you with an active health insurance policy offering at least the standard hospital benefit coverage. If you have spoken with your employer and you remain concerned about your health insurance coverage, you should contact us. For more information and our contact details visit our website:

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Comments (2)

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  1. mj says:

    shouldn’t we be given a receipt of payment every week to verify that it has actually been not only taken out of the paypackage but submitted as well… Employers can give any date when signing up employees and submit a detachment of earnings but that doesn’t verify that it is paid.. why should the public be subjected to calling to find out whether something that is by law is fulfilled.. A receipt of payment to the employee will actually eliminate any controversy of payment.. I have had employers in the past who submitted a fictitious date of employment and was in arrears of payment..For every payment there should always be a receipt, and a full explaination of entitlements under the particular coverage..

  2. Think twice says:

    More information on what you are entitled to in your first year of employment is covered by the Employment Act 2000. There is no paid sick leave or vacation in your first year unless the employer offers it.