The National Insurance Board (NIB) will not merge with the National Health Insurance Board (NIHB) says Governor Ric Todd in a statement released to the media. There is however a potential merger of the collection functions of the two bodies.
According to the governor, the NHIB system of collection is more modernized and makes better use of electronic record keeping. Therefore, studies are underway to review this possibility. The two funds will not however be merged; only the collection function and even that has yet to be decided.
Todd admitted that, if this does take effect, collections staff for the NHIB may be laid off.
The possibility of the two statutory bodies merging, resulting in the layoff of 75 employees, along with an additional 1 percent increase in the health care income tax rate, has been circulating. If a 1 percent raise is implemented, this would bring the health related income tax from its original 5 percent to 7 percent. Currently the rate is 6 percent.
Within one year of start up, the rate jumped 20 percent to the current rate. However, the tax rate as planned only covers less than one-third of the cost of the national health system. The rest is made up by other taxes and by borrowing.