The Health Insurance Act 1970 mandates how health insurance is governed in Bermuda. The Act also gives the Bermuda Health Council (BHeC) responsibility for licensing health insurers and monitoring employers’ compliance with the Act.
Here are some key points from the Act that employees and employers should know.
- Every employer must make health insurance available to all employees (full-time and some part-time employees) and their non-employed spouses through a licensed insurer.
- Self-employed persons are also required to have health insurance.
- Health insurance coverage must include a minimum of the Standard Hospital Benefit.
- If a spouse becomes employed, the employer is no longer required to provide insurance for that spouse.
- It is the responsibility of the employee to inform his/her employer when a spouse becomes employed.
- An employer is required to pay the insurer the entire cost of the health insurance premium for each employee and their non-employed spouse, but may deduct from an employee’s salary (or wages) up to half the cost of the standard premium.
- Promptly after an employee is hired, the employer must provide the employee with the name of the health insurer who is offering the health insurance contract and the insurance number of the health insurance contract.
Employers’ Compliance with the Health Insurance Act 1970
The Bermuda Health Council monitors employers’ compliance with the requirement to provide employees and non-working spouses with health insurance under the Health Insurance Act 1970. The Act requires that insurers report to BHeC any failure on the part of an employer to comply with requirements under the Act. BHeC and the Department of Social Insurance (DOSI) investigate reported employers to confirm delinquent cases. Failure to comply can result in a fine between $500-$1000 or 6 months imprisonment, and liability for medical bills an employee may have incurred during their employment.