On March 31, 2022, Parliament of Sint Maarten approved the amendment of the National Ordinance accident insurance (OV) and National Ordinance sickness insurance (ZV), by adjusting the wage limits. This means that employees who now have private insurance and annual wages between NAF 67,816.32 and NAf 120,000, may qualify for accident insurance and medical insurance from SZV. The amendment in the law will have no impact on persons who are now already SZV insured.
Minister of VSA, Omar Ottley commented: “This much needed legislative change is another important milestone for us as a country and protecting the access to health care for our people. With more employed persons being insured via these funds, the principle of solidarity to contribute to the health care funds is strengthened. As I’ve mentioned before, this is just one of the many priorities I’ve been addressing to protect and improve our local health care system. This is a short-term measure, step 1 of 3, for updating the health care laws.”
The amendment of the ZV and OV laws will go into effect as of the 1st day of the month following the date of publication, which is not yet known. Approximately 1761 persons, consisting of employees and their family members, will now be able to qualify for SZV medical insurance. The projected financial impact includes an estimated additional annual income of NAf 15.2 million towards the ZV and OV health care funds.
SZV has been preparing to welcome these new clients since November 2021, starting with the reminder to employers to be sure that their employee registry at SZV is up to date. Once the law goes into effect, SZV will contact these employees directly to welcome them and provide details on how to make the switch online, by using the MySZV client portal. A representative of the Sint Maarten Insurance Association has been in dialogue with representatives of SZV to manage the smooth transition for these employees to step over to the SZV package. This transition includes consideration for persons who are already undergoing approved medical treatment plans via their private insurance and those who have already paid for their private insurance package. Approved medical treatment plans are not expected to be interrupted by this change and the reimbursement process for pre-paid private insurance fees will be communicated in a timely manner.
“I feel confident in the preparations being made to make sure that these amendments are being implemented by SZV in a smooth manner. A lot of the process will be digital and include information sessions and customized customer service support from SZV. Health insurance is a very personal manner and I commend SZV for taking great care to ensure that this change is handled as such for these employees and their family members. I’d like to thank the different work groups of the Ministry and SZV for their diligence throughout this process and our stakeholders for collaborating with us to make this outcome a reality.” - Minister of VSA, Omar Ottley
In the coming weeks, respective employers and employees will be receiving information directly from SZV about the next steps.