(CNS): The CEO of the government-owned insurance company, CINICO, confirmed that it is no longer using AIS Cayman Ltd or its Jamaican parent company, AIS, to verify and clear payments for its clients at the Cayman Islands Hospital. Lonny Tibbetts told CNS that, following a request for proposals in 2013, the payment systems are now being handled by a Michigan-based company, ABS-Automated Benefit Solutions, which is the network access provider to UnitedHealthcare, which operates out of Minnesota.
The former chair of the Health Services Authority, Canover Watson, was convicted last month for corruption and sentenced to seven years in jail. During the trial it was revealed that he and his friend, Jeffrey Webb, a convicted fraudster in the FIFA scandal, were the beneficial owners of AIS Cayman Ltd, which won the HSA payment system contract.
The AIS contract cost the Cayman Islands treasury millions of dollars, but as well as becoming the centre of the HSA corruption scandal, the system itself never worked properly.
Tibbetts said that on 1 January 2014, ABS began amalgamating the processed HSA claims from AIS Cayman, as well as processing the non-AIS claims that CINICO deals with, such as other providers in the private sector, claims for treatment in Jamaica and the US, plus claims that need to be reimbursed where CINICO clients have paid upfront for medical care.
“In the middle to late part of 2014, the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and CINICO informed AIS that we would be reducing the use of their services and limiting the groups processed to the SHIC (Standard Health Insurance Contract) Group only. In response to this, AIS ceased the processing of all claims for CINICO and the CIHSA on 5 December 2014,” he said. “ABS, per the original contract executed in December 2013 with CINICO assumed the processing of the CIHSA claims for no extra cost to CINICO or the CIHSA. This produced an approximate savings of CI$ 2.1M per year for both entities,” he added, confirming that CINICO has not used AIS for any claims processing or any other services since 4 December 2014.