House: immigration fees hike approved
Legislation to up the cost of immigration fees has been approved by the House of Assembly.
Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, said the 5 per cent increase would mean almost $1 million in additional revenue.
Mr Dickinson said: “This is to ensure there is reasonable cost recovery for the provision of the various enhanced services offered by the Department of Immigration.
“Based on the general increase of 5 per cent, the overall financial impact of these revision is estimated to be an increase in yield of between $800,000 and $900,000.”
The House also approved amendments to the Health Insurance Amendment Act at its sitting last Friday.
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said the amendments would double the time insurers had to pay the mutual reinsurance fund premium into the fund from 30 days to 60.
The legislation will also require the companies to provide a daily list of who they cover to the Health Insurance Committee.
Ms Wilson said the changes would improve the efficiency of the Health Insurance Amendment Act 2019, which came into effect on June 1 last year.
Last year's amendment was drawn up to allow the Government to pay an annual grant to the Bermuda Hospitals and replaced the fee-for-service arrangement.
Ms Wilson said: “Early in the transitional period of the change, the insurers requested an extended time to pay the mutual reinsurance fund premium as they believe they needed more than the legislated 30-day deadline.
“They needed more time to reconcile their books before they could make the payment to the MRF.”
Ms Wilson added that she used her powers as minister to temporarily extend the deadline and the 60-day limit has been a success.
She said the requirement for insurers to provide their eligibility lists every day would not be a problem because the companies already supplied them on a daily basis to the hospitals board.
Ms Wilson said: “So for them to also provide it to HIC would not be a duplication of effort.
“It will also ensure that the numbers reflect the amount that is being paid for on a daily basis.