Michael Scott: ‘Greed, Not The Government’

May 7, 2019

“While BF&M’s increase is being falsely blamed on the government, their decision is being driven by the primal forces of greed rather than anything else,” MP Michael Scott said, while BF&M said they remain “focused on serving our customers and keeping them informed of the factors impacting their rates.”

MP Michael Scott statement

MP Michael Scott said, “’Greed, not the Government’ – The real reason health insurance costs are going up

“When Health Minister Kim Wilson announced that there would be no increase to the Government’s Standard Health Benefit Premium or to HIP or Futurecare premiums, most Bermudians gave a sigh of relief.

“The news that BF&M has decided to increase their health insurance rates by a huge margin while trying to blame the government is ridiculous and not what already struggling Bermudians want to hear. Especially from a company that recently boasted of healthy profits.

“Despite the government making hospital funding more efficient, holding the line on premium costs and the overwhelming mandate to take on the forces that are keeping the cost of living high, BF&M has made a move that every Bermudian should decry.

“The facts are that the Government refused to raise premiums while ensuring that there was no need for any company to further burden Bermudians with extra costs that many of us can’t afford.

“BF&M also claimed that there was a 225% increase in taxes. This is totally and completely untrue. The standard premium rate and the mutual reinsurance fund premium are not a tax, They are actuarially derived premiums to pay for catastrophic, illnesses and there has been NO increase this year.

“The premium increases made by BF&M are a business decision based on their desired profit margins and shareholder interests. The extra premium they are charging is not to pay for hospital care – the Government is protecting that – it’s to fund their profits. Corporations are not entitled to Health insurance premiums particularly the Government set premium for minimum standard health benefits.

“While BF&M’s increase is being falsely blamed on the government, their decision is being driven by the primal forces of greed rather than anything else.

“The change the Government is making to the way we fund the Bermuda Hospitals Board is to ensure that the government’s set and mandated Standard Health Premium, pays only for the healthcare of its citizens and for oversight, and does not, go to insurance company profits.

“The new streamlined model makes hospital funding more efficient and takes out the middle man of claims adjudication. This reduces administration, protecting and dedicating healthcare dollars for healthcare.”

BF&M CEO John Wight’s statement

Mr. Wight said, “The BF&M team remains focused on serving our customers and keeping them informed of the factors impacting their rates. Ours is a highly regulated business. We have an obligation to be able to pay valid claims and we do not take our obligation lightly. That is why we hold an “A [Excellent]” rating by A.M. Best.”

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Comments (27)

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  1. A Bermudian in the UK says:

    In my estimation, Michael Scott has always been one of the good guys… a smart man with plenty of grey cells and a way of getting to the heart of any matter. While I’m no expert in the situation being discussed, I would consider it very important to listen in detail to what he has to say. May 7, 2019. #

    • CHRIS says:

      he is a nice man. but he doesn’t have a clue what’s going on here.

  2. inna says:

    Man the circus just gets more entertaining by the day!

  3. DeOnion says:

    Or …. is this an unintended consequence of poorly thought out policy?

  4. David says:

    I wonder how the government didn’t see this coming? It’s like the sugar tax effect on groceries or the increase in land tax on rental rates. All it does it push up the cost of living and exacerbates the divide- the “Two Bermudas” if you will.

    All this is doing is creating a two-class health system. Those who can afford the “perks” of Dental, Vision, RX and Major Medical (overseas care) coverage, and those who cannot.

    And nothing from the government about the over-utilization of health care or on immigration (i.e. how unhealthy we are as a society, and how that burden is being spread among a dwindling population).

  5. question says:

    So when the Brown Darrel Clinic states it wants to operate at a profit, we have to assume that is “driven by the primal forces of greed rather than anything else”.

    These people seem to be constantly lying about everything.

  6. Joe Bloggs says:

    “When Health Minister Kim Wilson announced that there would be no increase to the Government’s Standard Health Benefit Premium or to HIP or Futurecare premiums, most Bermudians gave a sigh of relief.”

    I agree. But most people I know have Major Medical, not just “Standard Health Benefit” or HIP.

    How can you say that there is no reason to increase premiums at all? What are your reasons for saying that? What evidence is there that BF&M’s premium increase is solely driven by profit? Do you sit on the board of BF&M?

    Simply repeating a mantra does not make something true.

  7. Mr. Apathy says:

    The glaring irony of a politician whose party has increased the cost of living on the population via taxes to feed the lumbering civil service/government payroll monster decrying a company as being “greedy” is beyond hilarious.

  8. Miss Smith says:

    Pull the other one.

  9. Former Union Member says:

    With respect, why doesn’t Government just call this ‘efficiency’ what it really is…a move to national health insurance? There has been no consultation on this move, just announcements about the great things Government is doing for us all. I simply don’t believe them. I am not happy about BF&M’s new rates either…and they will most certainly be followed by Colonial and Argus. We get the Government we deserve it appears.

  10. Guy Carri says:

    This is going to end in tears…

    BF&M owes its shareholders a return, not policy holders. To policy holders they owe meeting claims obligations. It’s that simple.

    And exactly what has the gov of the day done to help the population and control costs? PLP has invented and increased every tax there is. They have NO CLUE on how to help unless its friends and family. Its right in front of our eyes!! WAKE UP BERMUDA!!!

  11. Clueless Amareur Clowns says:

    OMG what an utterly clueless statement from another Government Minister. Is he honestly trying to drive business away from Bermuda or stop people from investing in Bermudian companies or is he just plain ignorant? Does this Government honestly expect that all their increased taxes and healthcare costs won’t be passed onto consumers? Is this Government so ignorant that they think the shareholders of Bermudian companies should just absorb increased Government costs. This Governments complete lack of business sense and incompetence becomes more evident each day. Their inability to manage the economy is staggering!

  12. give me a break says:

    Minister Scott states that government ensured there was no need for any company to further burden Bermudians. This is just not true. Its clear that the change to the MRF will impact private insurers. The government is expecting the private sector to pick up the bill for government AGAIN. What is government doing to address the poor health of our country? What are we doing to address the poor service at the hospital? I have heard nothing on this. All I have seen from Minister Wilson is a sugar tax on sugar free drinks.

  13. spittal pond Skink says:

    This Government are the masters of repeating non-sense over and over. If you say it often enough you actually begin to believe it to be true and sadly the blind followers who love ridiculous battle cries jump right on it.
    Sadly at the end of the day the Government’s Smoke and Mirrors financial policies always come back to haunt this poor island probably for generations to come.
    Read the BF&M annual report and one will see that their profits do not come from the Health Insurance but from other well run insurance entities. They offer Health as they are a responsible local firm helping the community.
    Guessing MPs Scott and Wilson would rather not do that as it would not support the drivel they keep spewing.

    Really should not try to fool all the people all the time. We get tired of it. Put your energy into sorting out the education system and the buses. Not holding my breath…

  14. It's Business says:

    Michael, it is not up to you in government to criticise the profits of a private business. Yes the health costs need to come down, but it is competetiveness that does that. There is a lot more the current Bermuda Government can do to reduce health costs, but criticising annual profits is not one of them. These are comments I expect from Moscow not Hamilton.

  15. Politricks says:

    No Mr. Scott, the budgetary changes to the MRF did increase and is feeding directly into these increases. BF&M aren’t the only insurers that has had to drastically raise rates due to these changes. Also, the Government’s decision to increase the Financial Services Tax is also factored into these premium hikes.

    When passing the FST increase the PLP representatives in the House acknowledged that these tax increases will more than likely be passed down to the consumer. Unfortunately, the were correct.

    Sorry Mr. Scott, you cannot tax a country into prosperity and every action has a reaction.

  16. unconscionable says:

    Hey Minister how about dealing with important stuff like:

    1) wasting tax payers money challenging same sex marriage;
    2) the EU blacklist
    3) Bermuda’s black eye because of Arbitrade
    4) Huge fiscal deficit
    5) shrinking and ageing population
    6) lack of progress on comprehensive immigration reform
    7) lack of a coherent fiscal stimulation strategy; and
    8) titty milk

    Blessing abound!

  17. cedar stump says:

    Looks more like Government greed to me.

  18. Micro says:

    Being driven by being in the business of making a profit and delivering on obligations to shareholders and customers. That’s how business works.

  19. Mark says:

    From the Government that can’t even make up a bus schedule? As they say the empty drum makes the most noise.

  20. Jason says:

    Wow we are really in trouble with this clueless government

  21. Jason says:

    Greed was thinking arbitrade was real

  22. Belco Feral Cat says:

    Greed? something the plp know about.

  23. Ringmaster says:

    All those millions of dollars (around $3m?) spent on Government communications staff, Ministers and consultants should be used to benefit Bermudians. Instead another Minister comes out of the woodwork to put his name to the same spin and misinformation.

  24. MsFedUp says:

    Does the Government not know how businesses work? The Government needs to reign in their spending, stop enacting ridiculous taxes that only serve to make life harder for most Bermudians and stop attacking private businesses. I’m so over this Government. They must take us for fools or else they are wholly incompetent. Either way they are really turning the screws for the average Bermudian.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      “Does the Government not know how businesses work? … They must take us for fools or else they are wholly incompetent.”

      Is it not possible that Government has a grand plan and this is all pert of it? It may simply be that you do not know about the grand plan or that you refuse to accept it.

  25. Student says:

    I think having 3 quarters of the country being overweight/obese doesn’t help the situation tbh