Persons earning their salaries on minimum wage will also have to pay into the mandatory National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.
The Social Security Board (SSB), had made it clear that every legal resident in the BVI must register under the scheme, including pensioners.
"The minimum wage in the Territory is presently $4.00 per hour, which equals $640.00 per month. Employees and employers in this category would each pay $24.00 per month for the employee’s NHI coverage," the board stated.
Adding, "The maximum income on which NHI premiums will be assessed is two times the upper wage limit for Social Security contributions; which presently equals $6,578 per month. Therefore the maximum amount payable monthly by employees and employers would be $247.00 each.'
The board has explained that under NHI, for persons (of any age) who are employed, NHI premiums will be assessed at 7.5% of insurable earnings, which will be evenly split between the employee and employer (i.e. 3.75% each).
Further, self-employed persons will pay 7.5% of their insurable earnings; and unemployed persons with alternative sources of income will contribute at the rate of 7.5% of insurable income.
Registration for NHI begins on September 1 and contributions into the scheme begins on January 1.
The board has also warned that there will be a penalty for late registration.
"There will be a three month waiting period together with full payment of outstanding contributions before any benefit can be accessed by an individual who did not register within the specified timeframe (i.e. within one month from the date the Regulations come into to force, or subsequent residence in the Territory)."
"However, in a case where a person has obtained prior approval from the NHI Division regarding a lapse in membership (e.g. if one is away from the Territory for an extended period of time), the penalty will be waived."
- Source: BVIHotpress.com