Health insurance reforms move forward
New health insurance regulations have been formally Gazetted, paving the way for reforms to insurance claims payments.
The legislation passed in the House of Assembly and Senate despite scepticism from members of the Opposition, who warned of possible unintended consequences to the Health Insurance (Health Service Providers and Insurers) (Claims) Regulations 2012.
The regulations are aimed at removing up-front payments to healthcare providers.
Effective August 1, providers cannot ask for patients to pay for the insured portion of treatment in advance.
Providers must also submit claim details to insurers, either electronically or on paper, no later than 30 days from the procedure.
Insurers, in turn, are required to give providers details of insurance policies and policy holders at the time of the procedure.
Insurers must also notify providers of receipt of claim by the following day, and must pay their share on data-compliant claims no later than 30 days after receiving it.
The regulations are backed by penalties, which the Bermuda Health Council can impose on providers and insurers - all of which are to be paid into the Consolidated Fund.