Good afternoon and thank you for joining us as we make these important announcements updating you about our plans on COVID-19.
I am pleased today to also be announcing further assistance to displaced tourism workers – this time to assist with a new round of Health Insurance Premium Payment Assistance Programme.
As you know, following the onset of the COVID
-19 disease in March last year Government undertook various measures to minimize the threat of the virus in the Cayman Islands. Those included closing our borders, which had a direct impact in terms of economic activity throughout the Islands, but specifically in the tourism and hospitality industries.
From April until June last year the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Health Insurance Commission offered an initial assistance programme to those persons who needed help paying their health insurance premiums. During that period, some 1,250 people received assistance at a cost of approximately $400,000.
For some time now we have been considering how best to continue with health insurance assistance and I am pleased to confirm that the Ministry and the Health Insurance Commission, together with the Approved Insurance companies, have agreed to this new programme focused on assisting those in the tourism and hospitality industries who have suffered job loss and severely reduced income from their businesses.
As is the case with those receiving benefits from the Tourism Stipend, those seeking health Insurance Premium assistance will need to apply. Applications should be made through the Health Insurance Commission. Persons may contact the Health Insurance Commission via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 345 946 2084 for additional details. The application form may be downloaded from the Commission’s website at dhrs.gov.ky or hardcopies are available at the Lobby on the ground floor of the Government Administration Building.
The deadline for receipt of applications is 12th February and the Programme is being offered from March 1st to June 30th of this year.
The Health Insurance Commission has consulted with the eight approved insurers who have pledged their support to the Premium Payment Assistance Programme and Cabinet has given its consent.
As you can see from the development of this second phase of the assistance programme, the health and well-being of all remain the Government’s highest priority. This programme will once again assist those employees in the tourism and hospitality industries by helping them maintain their insurance coverage.
I am pleased once again to see the Ministry of Health, through the Health Insurance Commission, deliver on my vision of providing assistance to members of our community with payment of their health insurance premiums during the months of March, April, May and June.