Health Insurance scheme denied to expats in BVI

Published:  19 Dec at 6 PM
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Local politicians in the British Virgin Islands aren’t happy about newly-arrived expats accessing the territory’s National Health Insurance plan.

One Opposition representative has raised the issue in the BVI parliament, voicing his objection to newly-arrived expats having access to the scheme after just one month whilst locals are unable to have immediate access to much-needed healthcare. The politician’s main concern seems to be that incomers may already have conditions which need immediate treatment and are blocking the way for locals who have urgent healthcare needs.

According to the healthcare service’s official website, it provides medical coverage for all the British Virgin Islands’ legal residents and is based on provisions against the costs of a specifically designed package of healthcare aimed at improving the health of residents as well as treating them when sick or in need of an operation. The first of its two principles states that shared contributions are calculated according to ability to pay and do not depend on health risks including age, occupation or any previously existing conditions.

Expats living, working and paying tax in the BVI are understandably angry about the representative’s comments, especially as a good number are pointing out that a mandatory medical is necessary to get a work permit. Most agree the recently-introduced scheme would benefit from a make-over, with others stating the BVI’s healthcare isn’t good enough to attract medical tourists or expats arriving simply because of the scheme. Several comments note that expatriate workers are good for the economy, but are being locked out of essential services.
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