New medical tariffs to be introduced in January 2013 on St. Maarten


~WIMA: 'No changes' with card ban~

PHILIPSBURG--Government intends to introduce new medical tariffs in January 2013, Health Minister Cornelius de Weever announced on Wednesday.

The new tariffs will take into account inflation, the minister informed the St. Maarten Insurance Association (SMIA), the Windward Islands Medical Association (WIMA) and the St. Maarten Medical Association (SMA) in a letter dated October 9.

In an invited comment, WIMA Chairman Hidde Deketh confirmed that his association had received the letter from the minister. He said WIMA is studying the letter and "can respond at a later date." He said for now there would be no changes as it relates to the private insurance cards not being accepted.

De Weever said the ongoing discussion between SMIA and the general practitioners was brought to his attention last Monday. "The situation of private insurance cards not being accepted by the general practitioners is a discerning situation and prompted this office to immediately contact representatives of both parties to get a better understanding of the situation."

He said the general practitioners have indicated that they have not fully benefited from annual cost-of-living adjustments since 2003. "Subsequently a request for a retroactive cost-of-living adjustment to the current tariffs was submitted to the private insurance agencies. The private insurance agencies in turn responded by indicating that they adhere and therefore will not exceed tariffs as stipulated by government," De Weever said in his letter.

"The Policy Department of Public Health is currently in the process of finalizing a tariff structure that will include services rendered by general practitioners, in which inflation will be taken into consideration. This tariff structure has been developed in collaboration with the various health care providers, including the general practitioners."
The minister had consulted with representatives of SMIA and the general practitioners regarding cost-of-living adjustment to tariffs.

Cards that are not accepted as of September 27, are NAGICO, ENNIA, Fatum, Sagicor and Alico. Doctors who are not accepting medical insurance cards are Dr. A. Arrindell, Dr. P. Arrindell, Dr. Bouman, Dr. Bus, Dr. Datema, Dr. Deketh, Dr. Dennoui, Dr. Douglas, Dr. Foeken, Dr. Herles, Dr. Knol, Dr. Mercuur, Dr. van Osch, Dr. Perez, Dr. A. Raghosing, Dr. R. Sanchit, Dr. Simmons, Dr. Spencer, Dr. Swanston and Dr. Tjaden.