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Healthcare cost increases and PRCs up for debate in House

Sessions House (File photograph)

An increase in government healthcare premiums and proposals to ease permanent residency rules for long-term residents are expected to be on the table in the House of Assembly today.

MPs can expect a marathon sitting for the last session before the House breaks until November.

The Health Insurance Amendment Act 2021 will form a major part of the proceedings.

If approved, it will raise the standard premium rate, as well as the cost of the Health Insurance Plan and FutureCare for seniors, from November 1.

The SPR rate will be upped by $45 a month and the others will go up $30 each.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, tabled the legislation on September 10 and highlighted a variety of healthcare expenses that had forced the increase.

These included the impact of Covid-19 on the Government purse, rising costs for dialysis care, extra expenses for Bermuda’s hospitals and a drop in the number of insured adults who paid into mandatory premiums.

Jason Hayward, the labour minister, will lead a debate on the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2021.

The Bill sets out fees and procedures to grant Permanent Resident’s Certificates as part of a programme of changes to immigration procedures.

Mr Hayward will also open discussions on Financial Assistance rules, including a proposal for an employment plan for able-bodied recipients of government aid.

The Invasive Alien Species Act 2021, tabled by Walter Roban, the home affairs minister, was designed to introduce tough penalties for people who imported or propagated invasive plants or animals.

Legislators will also consider a proclamation from Government House for a one-off public holiday for October 18 to honour the historic Olympic gold medal won by triathlete at the Toyko games.

Lawrence Scott, the transport minister, will make a statement on disruptions to public transport as a result of the surge in Covid-19 cases.

Ms Wilson will also outline updates to the Quarantine (Covid-19) (No. 3) Order 2020, drawn up to govern mandatory quarantine rules for travellers based on their coronavirus vaccination and test status.

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Published September 24, 2021 at 7:58 am (Updated September 24, 2021 at 2:34 pm)

Healthcare cost increases and PRCs up for debate in House

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