Health Insurance Fund review (FOI)
Health Insurance Fund review (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 23 September 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please confirm the following:
1 - The Social Security Review of Social Spending: The Minster of Social Security, in a response to a letter from the Friends of Our New Hospital about the future of the Health Insurance Fund (HIF) stated that there was to be a review of social spending within her department “during the summer” of 2021:
When will the terms of reference of this review be published.
When will the review be completed?
As the outcome from this review, which affects every islander and their primary care, will the review report be published as a Report and Proposition to the States Assembly? If so, when?
2 - The Future of the Health Insurance Fund (HIF): The Treasury Minister said in a statement that the HIF might be passed to HCS or absorbed into the General Fund:
Is this still the plan?
If so, when is it likely to happen?
Bearing in mind that the HIF is a contributory fund whose primary purpose is to defray the cost of doctors appointments and is an element of the annual cost of living rate, one that has not been revised for over 10 years, what steps are being taken to:
(i) Review the HIF rate of defrayment of doctors appointment costs?
(Ii.) Assist those on low incomes afford their primary care treatment?
(iii.) Ameliorate the recognised issue of those on low incomes, who cannot afford a doctor’s appointment cost, attending the General Hospital Emergency Department for free medical treatment?
A, B, and C.
The Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 gives a right to request information that is held in recorded form, unless exempt. This Freedom of Information request poses a question rather than seeking information held in recorded form. In any event, this information is not held. Article 3 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
D and E
There is no plan to pass the HIF to Health and Community Services or to have the HIF absorbed into the general fund.
(i) The purpose of the Health Insurance (Jersey) Law 1967 has been inaccurately described in the request. The description offered overlooks pharmaceutical benefit, governance and the creation of contracts to provide health services. The law may be viewed in full on the Jersey Legal Information Board website:
Health Insurance (Jersey) Law 1967 (jerseylaw.je)
The Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 gives a right to request information that is held in recorded form, unless exempt. The information requested is not held. Article 3 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied. Although information is not held, discussions continue between officers and the primary care body about improving patient services and outcomes.
(ii) and (iii) The Minister for Social Security, with the support of Jersey General Practice, has introduced a new scheme called the Health Access Scheme, to support people with a low income afford Primary Care Treatment. This is available on www.gov.je. As the information is accessible by other means, Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
Health Access Scheme (gov.je)
Article 23 - Information accessible to applicant by other means
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.
(2) A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information.