$6M more voted for healthcare costs

| 19/09/2018 | 73 Comments
healthcare costs, Cayman News Service

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour

(CNS): The opposition member for Bodden Town West, Chris Saunders, urged the health minister to consider a national health insurance plan for the Cayman Islands, after Finance Committee voted last week to give the ministry another $6.5 million to cover indigent healthcare costs for the remainder of this year. Saunders said that the current situation was unsustainable, with a 51% increase in these costs to the public purse in just three years. Saunders asked Minister Dwayne Seymour what policy plans were in place or being considered to tackle the problem.  

The minister has recently announced plans to create a special benefits plan for elderly people seeking insurance in the private sector and a way to cover all children for free, but he has made no indication that he plans to abandon the current system of mandating health cover through employers.

There are currently seven private sector insurance providers who can cherry pick who they cover and are together making an annual profit of more than $50 million, while CINICO, the government health insurer, must cover those rejected by private firms and pay the medical bills of those people who are under-insured or not insured at all.

When Seymour asked for the increase of $6.5 million to cover tertiary healthcare care costs, Saunders pressed him on plans for tackling the “growing problem”, which has seen the members of the Legislative Assembly voting more money each year, while the private insurance companies are “dumping people on the government”, which he said was unfair to the tax payers.

Seymour said it was a good question but he did not have a clear answer. He said caucus was battling with the issue and they were “looking at ways” and “having conversations among ourselves and others, and that “the intent of the ministry is to have some resolve”. He said caucus was uncomfortable with the situation and it was his full intention to stem the tide.

Seymour said that at present there are 1,600 indigents who are receiving health support from government plus 951 seamen and veterans.

Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller questioned whether the additional funding would be enough, given how many medical bills government is covering for uninsured people. Seymour said the figure was an estimate that officials were comfortable with to cover the rest of the year, but he appreciated Miller’s comments and accepted it was not a line item that could be accurately predicted.

Health insurance FAQs on HIC website

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Category: Government Finance, Health, Health Insurance, Politics

Comments (73)

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  1. Dirk D ebanks says:

    Who do I need to contact to have my pension sent abroad& what paper work do I need to fill out to have get this done? For lilith a ebanks the spouse/widow of Alfred e ebanks

  2. Anonymous says:

    Few seem to get it.3.37 did. Why so many sick people in this so called “paradise”? Your people should be the healthiest on this planer. Sun, sea and fish- can’t go wrong here. So why people die from cancer here? Why do people go to doctors here? Unless you know, no money in the world would fix it.
    Start from the bottom. Who ( age, occupation) and why ( acute illness, chronic illness, cancer, injury etc.) goes to doctors. No actual names needed. Analyze it. And go after the causes.

    STOP running for cure, START running FROM causes.

    So far everything is done backwards. That applies to education.

  3. Anonymous says:

    jon-jon …perfect example of why expats must let let run for office…..

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      MacAlden wouldn’t go for that , because they say they have Cayman islands at heart and they wants to stay in power . But I think that both has a big surprise coming year 2021 .

  4. Anonymous says:

    So basically economics genious Saunders wants to take the HSA and CINiCO financial disaster and make it a disaster at the national level.

  5. B says:

    Just more proof on top of the mountain of proof that CIG is unsustainable.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Talk about a complete disaster and train wreck! From the time Alden put together this unity government and made Dwayne Minister of Health & Environment…. it all went to hell! No way in a million years should Dwayne be a minister let alone the minister of health & environment. And the proof is in the pudding….. listen closely to LA sessions and when he is asked questions in which go completely over his head! The only how he somehow manages to slide by is with the help of his CO. Talk about the lights on and nobody home! His classic response is “I will commit to the member to provide the information in writing”! I wish to God Chris Saunders or Ezzard was the health minister….. more would definitely get done! #prayforMLAS #Godhelpus

    • Anonymous says:

      So, you should really be asking WHY Alden gave him this portfolio, if not to sink him!

      Alden is the one who you should be upset with.

      • Anonymous says:

        Anonymous 7.56am Don’t ask Alden , ask Ezzard and Arden why they refused the chance to form the Government and make Ezzard Minister of Health.That is the reason that both Austin and John John are now part of the ruling coalition.

        • Anonymous says:

          Why put one’s self in a position to where they have to accomplish anything, when they can just sit back and bloviate?

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      Anonymous 9:25 pm , you have hit the nail on the head . Now look very carefully in your assertions and you will see who the Premier has at heart , not the Islands , because if it was the Islands , he would have appointed the right/qualified person regardless if he/she is opposition or paty member . Like you said please don’t tell us that Mr. Seymour is more qualified than Mr. Miller to be the Minister of Health & Environment , but just because he wouldn’t have been able to control the opposition is why Mr. Seymour is appointed Minister .

      So do we see the Premier has made the appointment of Mr Seymour more for the purpose of PPM party , rather than for the benefits of the Cayman islands ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ron Ebanks : They say ignorance is bliss; if that is true then you must be a very ‘blissed’ man. Your ignorance of what happened after the May 2017 elections is made clear from your post.Ezzard, Arden and Alva in particular have to be blamed for the fact that Alden was returned as Premier thus putting him in position to select the Minister of Health. These guys were in position to form the Government and turned it down because they didn’t want to work with certain other politicians.They had an agreement to form the Government but reneged . So if you want to blame anyone blame the opposition, don’t blame Alden; FYI Ezzard and Arden in particular did not want to be Ministers in a cabinet led by Alden therefore they should have grabbed the opportunity to form the Government and choose their own Minister of Health. Get your facts straight.

        • Ron Ebanks says:

          Anonymous 7:31am , you can say what and how you want , but when the the government was being formed , the fight to form it was between Mac and Alden , those other men didn’t have the ruling thumbs over the other two Mac and Alden . Who had the majority of the elected members on his side at the time ? Who tried to get more elected members on his side at the time ? Premier Alden .

          • Anonymous says:

            Wrong again Ron. With only three members returned McKeeva was not in position to fight anyone.If anything the fight was Alden and the PPM vs Alva and the Independents.In fact the first coalition Govt announced after the elections was between PPM and CDP; that was dissolved shortly thereafter and a new coalition of CDP and the Independents was announced, then that was dissolved because Ezzard and Arden allegedly did not want to work with McKeeva.. Remember the panic that caused Ron? People were scared to death that we were going to have a government comprised of novices. What we got in the end was the same coalition that had been announced first, with a couple of Independents being invited to join so as to form a more inclusive Government.So Ron,. Alden and Mac were not fighting You simply got that wrong. And one more thing Ron; Caymanians were relieved when this new coalition was formed, saving us from uncertainty. However since we now live in the social media age and the era of instant gratification, theses saviours quickly became the scapegoats for all our frustrations and some voters are ready to throw them away at the toss of a hat if they don’ t get their pet peeve attended to. What I would like CNS to do is publish a list showing the position each current member of the LA took on the campaign trail with regards to the Port facilities. ( you told us that Austin was against it, would like to know how the others campaigned).

    • Tresa says:

      I am in agreement with you and broke the like button 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        Unbelievable. From baggage handler to minister of health and the environment. Alden should have known better but just so he could string together this so call unity government he gave no thought to the disaster he was creating. The befuddled Speaker is no better. On a few occasions I have watched a certain senior member of the LA scribbling notes and sending them to him, I guess advising him what his next move should be. Sometimes it is quite entertaining and embarrassing what the TV picks up.

        • Anonymous says:

          So what is wrong with someone improving themselves in life and moving up to a better position. Perhaps you have and want to deny the have nots the chance to get theirs.Your disdain for those you see as inferior to yourself is so obvious.

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh but he didn’t improve himself, he dragged the Cayman Islands and the health services down.

          • Anonymous says:

            That’s not the point. It’s about qualification, not about one bettering himself. Sheesh.

    • Anonymous says:

      Doesn’t have a clue, it is painful to hear and watch him try to explain anything. He should copy capt. Eugene’s, David Wight’s and Barbara Conolly’s mantra – yea or no. That is pitiful but a bit more palative.

    • Anonymous says:

      9.25pm Blame Ezzard, Alva, Arden, Chris,and Tony, for Ezzard not being Minister of Health. These guys had the opportunity to form the Government and blew it.

      • Ron Ebanks says:

        4:55pm , that’s what you and Alden is saying , I didn’t learn that those men had any say or had the opportunity in forming the present government . And stop drinking that PPM white rum coolade , that’s bad for your brain .

        • Anonymous says:

          Ron, if you dont believe a poster check out the compass or CNS from that period. That is exactly how it turned out…

          • Ron Ebanks says:

            3:20pm , it is funny that you would refer me to the News Medias in which I read every day .

    • Anonymous says:

      Disagree with 50% of this comment, no way those other two clowns would be much better.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think this suggestion really needs to be looked into. The fact of the matter is many people do not have insurance because of one reason or another, when they become unwell the only place they’ll be going is the GT Hospital.

  8. Anon says:

    3:23. …hello. At least you have a health insurance plan.
    Dont you get it? It is simply a pot of money that is used by those that need it when the time comes.
    I was caught in the safety net of health insurance one year when I had three surgeries and a pregnancy. The total costs would have wiped out my entire estate.
    You have to have health insurance in this day and age.
    Stop being cheap and resentful because you have expenses for health insurance. You pay for cars and food and booze and vacations. Why are they not free.
    Health insurance costs are high. Health care is not a right.
    The British and Canandian systems suck. They have tons of immigrants sucking up their money and they are too stupid to stop the flow of incoming freeloaders.
    That is not American to think that way.
    I am not from that Country.
    You live in a time of new medicines and new machines. Things cost money bo bo.

    • Anonymous says:

      The British and canadian systems suck? Oh really? Whilst they’re far from perfect, and at least in the uk it has been chronically underfunded by successive governments, I know if it came down to a choice between being in Cayman, the States or the uk for healthcare in the case of cancer treatment… I’d be in the uk. Serious illness should not be left untreated because you’re not rich.

    • Caymanite says:

      They’re not the only ones who need to stop the incoming freeloaders. Visit GT Emergency room and see where most of the persons looking free care are from. Was there the other night and thought I was at KPH. Longed to see a fellow Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        Liar @5:12! I’ve been there several times for my ongoing condition and most people are my fellow Caymanians..drunk, knifed, shot, mentally ill, car wreck and so on. Stop lying.

  9. The Voting Public says:

    Mr. Seymour, how about making the insurance companies pay a percentage of their huge profits into a fund set up to offset the indigent insurance costs. How about also regulating insurance premiums to ensure coverage is attainable . If the current trend is not addressed the government will need more than 6 million to cover the growing population of uninsured.

  10. Anonymous says:

    With that amount of additional money needed, wouldn’t it be prudent to make this issue a priority…Why is Government afraid of the Insurance companies..Institute laws and regulations..Why should Government (We) have to continue to pay these large sums and allow the Insurance companies to reap large profits..

    It’s not that difficult Mr. Minister..

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am simply astonished when I look at the quality of members elected
    Especially looking at some of these ministerial allocations and portfolios
    We are really scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to candidates

    The people of BTE probably never thought in their wildest dreams they would end up voting for the Minister of Health, Environment, Culture and housing
    I guess anyone can get any position in the CIG with a couple hundred votes

    • Anonymous says:

      Some of us in BTE did not vote this last time because not one single one of the candidates running amounted to anything like a person who should be an MLA, far less a Minister.

  12. Unpopular Opinion says:

    Dwayne, McKeeva and Eugene are all prime example of those who should not allowed in the Assembly, among others.

    If you lack a proven track record in curtailing issues such as the one highlighted in this article, you shouldn’t legally be allowed in the LA.

    Too many of these idiots are getting paid more than the geniuses in the private sector.

    And we, the taxpayers, are funding their salaries.

  13. Anonymous says:

    How hard is it to set up a universal health care scheme in a country this size?

    Lots of countries do it, but we have some odd quasi American nastiness.

    Charge everyone a flat premium. Insist on health insurance for tourists.

    Yes, it will cost, but if we start accepting that healthcare should be a right, rather than an option, that’s a start.

    Oh, and charge the fatties, smokers and heavy drinkers. Though admittedly that would then exclude about 50% of the population, but hey ho.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Universal Healthcare” is a set of naughty words down here

      I can hear the Caymanian response now it’s just another invention by the “faithless European socialists who have sold their souls to bureaucrats and human rights councils who are trying to destroy our traditional Christian values and culture”

      • Thoughts and Prayers says:

        All the people who still believe in the magical man in the sky can be removed from any healthcare coverage, since they can use the power of prayer. Everyone left can then benefit from what remains.

  14. Anonymous says:

    As many reports have prescribed, CIG should scale back it’s freebie medical perks to a means-based test and total comp basis, of say, those earning less than $40k per year. Those earning $100k+ a year to polish a chair should have to shell out $6000 in private copay insurance like everyone in the private sector. The general public shouldn’t be bailing out middle-class hospital deadbeats driving away all entitled in their late-model Mercedes.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Fix immigration and you will fix half this problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      4:33pm, you hit the nail on the head, and top of the list would be those status grants to people who will never ever be in a position to pay any bill. Our government has created the dependency. Not every person is warranted STATUS, and then seated at NAU for assistance.

  16. Anonymous says:

    more money down the drain…..
    means test all social welfare recipients…

    • Anonymous says:

      and ask Immigration how and why so many were able to come here and stay…

      • Anonymous says:

        I think the answer you will likely hear is “Either vaginal birth, or Cesarean section out of a Caymanian’s womb”

        Because the majority of these monies I assure you is going to Caymanians

        How much longer are we going to blame the “great other” or the immigrants for all our problems???

        Last time I checked CAYMANIANS have been in the LA passing the laws and setting the educational, economic and development policies since they have been legally be able to do so

        When are we going to start holding our own accountable???

        • Anonymous says:

          How do you, or the HSA, know the indigents are Caymanians?

          • Anonymous says:

            9:06am, you only need to go by the pharmacy at the HSA, and observe the situation.

          • Anonymous says:

            9:06 am, sit in the Pharmacy at GTH or in the atrium as they call it outside and listen to the accents of the so called indigents on “free” medical, grumbling disagreeably about HSA staff while they check their smart phones, for what God only knows, while they complain about how “Government does nothing for we Caymanians”. You will discover that nearly all of these accents, certainly over 95%, are born and bred Caymanian. For that matter, you will probably know most of these people and their extended families, also on “free” medical of course, because they are for a variety of reasons well known to those of us born and raised here. It should also be said, however, that there are a significant number of Caymanians you will find there who are NOT like that, who are pleasant and cooperative with the HSA staff and who are grateful for the “free” medical.

            • Anonymous says:

              Being born here and having a Cayman accent is of no relevance to the question of whether someone is Caymanian. Plenty of people from the Bay Islands, the mosquito coast of Nicaragua and San Andreas have “Cayman” accents and even Caymanian names, and are not Caymanian. Then there are the foreign spouses of Caymanians. I do not suggest most people benefitting are not Caymanian, only that I would hope the checks and balances of who is getting free help and why depends on more than place of birth and perceived accent.

              • Anonymous says:

                1:01, just try telling a Caymanian on free medical that his/her foreign born spouse cannot get it and see wha’ ya get.

          • anonymous says:

            9.06am I have lived here long enough to recognise a local accent when they continually try to beg off people outside the banks and supermarkets.

          • anonymous says:

            I have not seen many Philipinos queuing up at Social Services.

  17. Crab Claw says:

    Follow the money, maybe it is time to lift the lid on who the shareholders and benefactors of these local insurance companies are, with the insatiable greed they have in pushing the premium cost that they do onto the citizens of this country also lastly, anytime you as the insured demands you have a policy with US coverage your monthly policy jumps from worldwide without US coverage being around $500 or less a month to $1500.00 a month or more with US coverage, I’d suggest taking the worldwide and buying US coverage as a travel option on a need be basis, CIG need to be looking at providing regular flights to alternative countries that have world class medical care as a backup for its citizens like eg: Panama with it’s John Hopkins facility.

  18. Anonymous says:

    quote ” “having conversations among ourselves” real Knights of the Roundtable they have going on, I can’t understand why they can’t come up with a viable solution

  19. Anonymous says:

    cat chasing his tail…fix the dump man…then we have less health care cost? and keep mold out of new building….as the ol glass house was full of it, thereby subjecting most caymanians who worked there to unnecessary health risks???????

  20. Anonymous says:

    For the record, this casual bailout is over TWICE the annual headcount revenue CIG collected from record Cruise ship passengers last year.

  21. Contributor says:

    I would like to know when these 651 seamen and veterans last went to sea/war, they seem to live for ever – does anybody check?.
    As far as the indigent are concerned it might help if our hordes of civil servants contributed to their medical expenses like every single employee in the private sector does.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have they all been verified as card carrying Caymanians?

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no card that verifies one’s status as Caymanian
        A very stupid comment
        The government doesn’t really know who is Caymanian, because it is a term we made up not an actual nationality

        Until we are independent it is nothing more than a denonym

        • Anonymous says:

          That’s funny. I have a stamp in my passport that confirms I am Caymanian, and there is a law that confirms who is Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some seamen marry 22 year old Filipinas and Hondurans in their later years. They go out with a smile, and their widows get the benefit for life. Quite a good gig. 80 can be sexy as hell in the Brac!

      • Anonymous says:

        8:11 you are right about old men and young wives, but that’s the Government fault, for the seamen rules and regulations says the wife had to be married to the Caymanian Seaman during his sea career, and living in the Cayman Islands to get the Seaman benefits. Also there are too many men getting the benefits that never even heard of the Cayman Islands when or if they ever went to see, a lot of Johnny”s come lately are getting the money and health benefits and a lot never was a Seaman and some only went for a couple of weeks.. If the Government people was not so lazy and make a good check there would not be so many getting the Seamen benefits.

  22. SSM345 says:

    This is what happens when a “Yes” man gets the job; absolutely nothing is accomplished and the problem is 10 times worse.

    The mandatory health insurance that we have to pay each month is extortion and robbery; plain and simple.

    I could buy a new car every year with the money I have to pay for myself and family to be insured; it equates to another mortgage payment each and every month.

    What really gets me is that I have paid almost 35k over the last 2yrs for insurance and when I make my first claim last week I still have to fork over more for the procedure that cost less than 2.5k


    • Anonymous says:

      Insurance is the second largest scam of all time.

    • Victoria says:

      3:23 please. It costs alot for health insurance. Get used to it.
      You dont live in the Cayman of 1959 with just an aspirin. You are paying for MRI equipment and other things like caring for immigrants, prisoners and all the others that McKeeva gave citizenship to. Welcome to higher costs for eveeything in GC.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Way to throw money at a problem Jon jon smh what a useless minister

    • Anonymous says:

      3.08pm What a useless comment. Proposing a solution would be better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because they cant do there own job? It would hilarious of the goverment used this webiste to make decisions, but hey, anything with a bunch of yahoos is possible.

    • GOAB 4th Flr says:

      Jennifer Ahearn is the real minister of health ask Dwayne Seymour Osbourne Bodden, Mark Scotland and Franz Manderson. There is no policy for anything.

      • Anonymous says:

        We might be a little better off with her as opposed to Jon Jon
        I would rest a little easier at the very least

      • No solutions and they don't care says:

        Yep expats run things. They will leave when the money is done.

        • expatriot says:

          6.33am That won’t be long.

          • Ben zenussi says:

            To be fair, you are probably on the money so to speak. The healthcare deficit, pension stealth raid and the looming government loan repayments due next year … start converting any assets into more stable jurisdictions folks.

      • Anonymous says:

        5:41pm, the elephant in the room that not even an hurricance can take back to sea.

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