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March Madness 2019

All options being explored in civil service health insurance issue

Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson says all options are being explored to ensure civil servants are not burdened by health insurance changes that will take effect in 2018 including a co-pay for health insurance something which Mr. Manderson admits would reduce the benefit of a newly announced pay increase for civil servants.

“It is my intention not to be cutting people’s salaries for them to have to pay,” Mr Manderson says.

The Deputy Governor says he’s working to ensure civil servants’ pay increases doesn’t go for naught because they’re slated to start co-pay health insurance in 2018.

“We are looking at how we will implement that it will not mean people’s salaries getting reduced that would be counter productive,” Mr Manderson says.

One of the measures, he says, being contemplated to offset the co-pay cost is a cost of living increase which he explains hasn’t been done since 2010.

“A portion of that could go towards your health care and the rest could go to your salary. So all of those things we are looking at,” Mr Manderson says.

Meanwhile Civil Servants Association president John Bothwell agrees a co-pay policy will be an additional strain for government employees, but he says more discussion is needed.

“It is just a question of how many issues the government wants to tackle when they make these changes and we look forward to hearing what they want to deal with over the next couple of months,” Mr Manderson says.
Finance Minister Hon. Marco Archer has set a 2018 deadline for the health insurance changes to kick in to address the growing health insurance liability in the public service.
Mr. Manderson says the civil service will be rolling out a five-year strategic plan in January and a main component will be succession and progression planning.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 18 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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