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14.09.2005 Health

SSNIT will not pay premiums for NHIS on behalf of defaulting customers.

By GNA

Nsawam(E/R), Sept. 14, GNA - The Management of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) on Tuesday said it would not pay premiums for customers of defaulting institutions and establishments under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Mrs Ekua Amoah Eastern Regional Area Manager of the Trust, said the decision was to protect the integrity of SSNIT and safeguard its investments, the increasing indebtedness of some institutions and establishments to the Trust.

Addressing participants at a semi nar organized by the Trust for Employers at Nsawam, Mrs Amoah regretted 16 establishments based at Nsawam owed the Trust about 733 million cedis.

She said despite this indebtedness, SSNIT was expected to deduct 2.5 per cent out of the 17.5 per cent of workers' contributions paid by the employers towards their pension fund to the NHIS as a premium. Mrs Amoah said because SSNIT's contribution to the NHIS was not being paid by customers the viability of the Trust could be compromised if it paid the premiums without the defaulting companies settling their debts.

"As much as SSNIT is conscious of its social responsibilities, it is wary about venturing into activities that would compromise its viability and sustainability." she added.

The mandate of SSNIT as spelt out in the Social Security Law of 1991 includes paying the pension of contributors in the event of old age, invalidity, and death to contributor's surviving dependants as spelt out in the Children's Act or some other laws.

Mrs Amoah said SSNIT was taking stringent measures to protect its portfolio, because some of its social policies in the past such as provision of rental units to workers failed to yield the necessary dividends because of some negative attitudes from beneficiaries. Among the difficulties she mentioned, included incurring huge debts in maintaining the units at the expense of the Trust because of poor maintenance.

Mrs Amoah announced that sale of the flats to public institutions had elapsed therefore, the offer now was for sitting tenants after which the sale would be made available to the public.

Mrs Felicia Klu, Mampong Akuapem Branch Manager of the Trust, expressed concern about some employers who submitted false data to SSNIT which adversely affected processing of contributors' benefits.

She said among the false data submitted were, employers providing incorrect and incomplete statistics at different times to the SSNIT and the Internal Revenue Service to falsify their operations. Mrs Klu advised employers to desist from these vices because offenders would be prosecuted.

Mr Joseph Alhassan, Eastern Regional Deputy Area Manager of SSNIT asked employers to refrain from double registration of their workers and impersonation. 14 Sept.05

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