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Enhancing Compliance with the Health Insurance Law

Published 17th November 2016, 8:18am

The Cayman Islands Department of Immigration (DOI) and the Health Insurance Commission (HIC), are working together to implement changes to the application process for work permits to increase compliance with the Health Insurance Law (HIL).

As part of the process, the Department of Immigration will soon require proof of compliance with the Health Insurance Law for all temporary work permits exceeding a period of 30 days.

By law, all person resident in the Cayman Islands, Caymanian and non-Caymanian, must have at least the minimum coverage under the Standard Health Insurance Contract (SHIC). The employer must provide health insurance for their employees and their resident dependents.

Under the revised application process, employers must provide the Department of Immigration with a completed health insurance Certificate of Compliance Form for all applications dealing with a grant of a work permit, renewal of a work permit, temporary work permit or an extension of a temporary work permit.

"This plan is to introduce this health insurance Certificate of Compliance that will require employers and their approved insurer to complete when seeking health insurance a new employee. For a temporary work permit, the applicant (employer) will be required to provide the proof of application for insurance coverage," the Superintendent of Health Insurance, Mervyn Conolly, said.

"If a work permit application is submitted without proof of application for insurance or proof of health insurance coverage, the Department of Immigration will consider the application incomplete and the application will be rejected.

Once a work permit is approved, it is the responsibility of the employer as the work permit holder, to provide and maintain health insurance coverage for their employee and their resident dependent(s).

The law states that the employer will be liable for any medical expenses incurred by an employee, if they fail to take out the required health insurance coverage for their employee(s) and resident dependent(s)".

"What we are introducing isn't something new as we currently require a declaration from employers and employees about health insurance and pension details," Deputy Chief Immigration Officer Samantha Bennett added. "All work permit holders should have health insurance coverage once they commence work. Status holders and permanent residency holders should also have health insurance. What we are trying to do, is to ensure that it is now part of the employer's checklist even for temporary work permits. The completion of the Certificate of Compliance will require forward planning, just like the 14-day advertisement requirement along with police clearances and medical required documents, in order to ensure the applications are complete.

The new initiative of compliance will be implemented in the New Year on 1 January, 2017.