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– questioned over programmesHead of the Presidential Secretariat and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Dr. Roger Luncheon, has said that the scheme is not about policy making, but rather it is guided by statutes.He was explaining the difference between a policy making and statutory regime before a Parliamentary Committee on economic services. This committee is chaired by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Member of Parliament (MP), Gail Teixeira.Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, PPP MP, Gail Teixeira, members of the Economic Services Committee and representatives of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) at the Meeting at Parliament BuildingNIS General Manager (ag), Doreen Nelson, listed some of the changes that were made in the scheme since the last time it was before a Committee in November 2009. These changes include: increase in funeral benefits from $18,Gordon Hayward Jersey, 840 to $27,025, six percent increase in minimum wage for public servants and pensioners, an increase in the insurable earning ceiling from $113,660 to $126,504 and an increase for minimal insurable earning for self-employed contributors from $35,000 to $39,000.To the question of the events that led to the disbandment of the Extended Medical Care Programme posed by PPP Member of Parliament, Kwame Gilbert, the HPS responded that initially the programme was intended to address pensioners and offer the convenience of accessing their medication faster and easier at no cost,Cheap Buffalo Bills Jerseys, as opposed to long waiting lines for the same service at public health.This arrangement resulted in what became known as the medications for certain chronic conditions to be made available to pensioners as well as contributors.However, this process became out of control in terms of costs and breaches in the dispensing of medication. As such, the decision was made to disband the programme, since it was not funded.Consequently,Cheap NFL Jerseys, the abandonment of the programme led to persons having to comply with the Sickness Benefit Medical Care requirement that resulted in a fixed percentage of reimbursement as opposed to receiving the drugs free of cost.Nelson added that the programme consists of three components: free spectacles, dentures and medication. However, after the age of 60 a $12,000 waiver is offered on these components.PPP parliamentarian Mohamed Khan said that most; if not all of the medical specialists recommended by the NIS, are based in Georgetown.This places contributors from outlying areas at a disadvantage, since it is usually more economical for them to pay to for the services of a private doctor than to travel to the city.The HPS said that in order for this issue to be addressed, interventions would have to be put in place at the level of the Ministry of Health.People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), MP, Dave Danny,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, questioned the reasons for discontinuing the medical coverage for persons over 60 if they contract new diseases resulting from pre-existing diseases.To this question, Dr. Luncheon said that Sickness Benefit Medical Care (SBMC) is paid to an insured person who is over 60 only if it was confirmed that the medical condition existed prior to the person attaining the age of 60.This follows that the person must have been diagnosed by a Registered Medical Practitioner, must have worked on the day prior to the day of incapacity, must have made at least eight contributions during the period of 13 weeks prior to the week of diagnosis.Once these conditions are met, SBMC would be reimbursed for as long as such medication is required.PPP MP, Dharamkumar Seeraj,Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys, also a member of the Committee,Cheap NFL Jerseys, urged members of the scheme to be wary of some contributors who tend to take fraudulent steps to ensure that they secure medical coverage, and in so doing put deserving contributors at a disadvantage.On the question on whether NIS would consider sending its contributors an annual report on the status/record of their contribution, Nelson said that the scheme has been sending annual contribution statements to employers for distribution to contributors for a number of years. Contributors who are approaching the age of 60 are sent a record, so that discrepancies can be corrected before the pension claim is processed.She added that 2009 contribution statements are already printed to be sent out to employees whose contribution schedules have already been fully secured into the system.Teixeira said that Government is concerned about the policies of the scheme, as well as the implementation performance and the viability of the agency for Guyanese in terms of investments.She added that there is no problem with the policies but rather focus should be placed on the way it is being translated to the citizenry.A report based on the meeting will be tabled in the National Assembly.
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