Second District Representative Hon. Mitch Turnbull announced that some health-care providers are abusing the National Health Insurance by increasing their fees among other things, and the Legislator has pledged to assist in putting an end to the abuse.
While speaking during the 23 September continuation of the House of Assembly sitting, Hon. Turnbull announced that some of the health-care providers who are abusing the insurance were at one time against the implementation: “It is absolutely ridiculous that we have some of the same companies and persons that would say that NHI would bankrupt this Territory and that it would fail, and this and that, and these are the same ones abusing the system.”
Hon. Turnbull also noted that some insurance companies are also party to the abuse of the public system: “If I have ABC insurance and I produce that card after getting tended to by a physician, that is exactly who I want to pay my coverage. I did not provide my NHI card, but for these insurance companies to write back to the physicians and say they will not pay until NHI covers it is absolutely an abuse of the system,” the Legislator explained.
In calling out the perpetrators the Second District Representative said: “My difficulty is trying to understand how is it that we have something that we can now call our own, that we have an avenue where we have covered members of the society and this Territory that do not usually have access to insurance, and those of us that are in a position to work alongside the system are the very ones who take advantage of it.”
“Whatever needs to be done to address this direct abuse of the NHI, whatever regulations, whatever fines we need to put in place, we must do so. We cannot continue to allow persons and businesses here in the Territory to continue what they are doing. At the end of the day, the only people that would feel hurt is our people,” Hon. Turnbull further told the House of Assembly.
NHI Paid $16,070,608 in Claims so far
During the Questions and Answer section of the 22 September sitting of the House of Assembly Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton announced that the total paid out from the National Health Insurance Fund as of 31 August 2016, excluding any payments to the BVI Health Services Authority is $18,028,881.
The Minister noted that $12,969,306 of the total was paid to settle claims issued by local private providers. While $3,101,302 was paid towards claims from overseas providers.
Overall Hon. Skelton announced that the total value of claims paid (i.e. payments to local and overseas providers) is $16,070,608 as of 31 August 2016.
He also mentioned that additional claims amounting to $2,410,586 have been submitted for processing in the month of September, and are subject to verification. Hon. Skelton noted that updated financial reports are generated at the end of each month.