Insurance Executives Gerald Simons and Alison Hill attended the Throne Speech on Friday morning, where they will have heard Governer Sir Richard Gozney say “No one who is paying for health insurance should have to forgo medical  attention because they cannot afford to pay a physician up front and  then wait to be reimbursed.” *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Insurance Executives Gerald Simons and Alison Hill attended the Throne Speech on Friday morning, where they will have heard Governer Sir Richard Gozney say “No one who is paying for health insurance should have to forgo medical attention because they cannot afford to pay a physician up front and then wait to be reimbursed.” *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, NOV.4: Upfront payments for health care could be axed as Government looks to reform the health care system.

Governor Sir Richard Gozney, who delivered the Throne Speech on behalf of Government today, said: “Such payments are a source of hardship to many seniors and others.

“No one who is paying for health insurance should have to forgo medical attention because they cannot afford to pay a physician up front and then wait to be reimbursed.”

Other measures designed to help the elderly include consideration of an end to the automatic exclusion from Financial Assistance for seniors who own their own homes.

Sir Richard said: “This review has been prompted by some anomalies in a strict application of the eligibility criteria, which are seen as unduly punitive.

“The Government recognizes that this is a time when there is a need to ensure the appropriate safety nets are in place for those who are unable to work and provide for themselves.

“The mere fact of home ownership may not justify the denial of Financial Assistance.”

Government also signalled that the rising cost of basics like fuel and food could be eased by legislation designed to help people struggling with bills in the harsh economic climate.

Government also plans to expand a scheme to allow people to access their pension funds in some circumstances to the public sector.

Means testing for non-contributory benefits will also be introduced, so scarce resources can be targeted where they are needed most.

The standard hospital benefit is also set to be overhauled to target the “excessive” overseas healthcare costs.

Sir Richard added: “Further, in seeking to provide greater access to basic health services, Government is assessing whether it is more efficient and affordable to the community to assist persons seeking financial assistance for dental and medical expenses by providing the access to these services in Government clinics in the eastern, western and central parishes.”