Court rejects multi-million claim BZV Curacao against St. Maarten (Social healtcare insurance)

POSTED: 09/27/13 3:07 PM

St. Maarten– The Court in First Instance in Curacao has rejected a multi-million claim from the bureau for medical expenses facilities (SZV) in Curacao against Country St. Maarten in a court ruling that was published on Monday.

BZV claimed 16 million guilders from St. Maarten. This is the total of three different claims: 9.7 million guilders from the division of assets of the AVBZ-Fund Netherlands Antilles, almost 4.8 million for management, accountant and healthcare cost from 10-10-10 until January 1, 2011, and a bit more than 1.5 million guilders for subsidies that have been paid in the same period to several care-institutions in St. Maarten.

The first claim is the balance of what St. Maarten should have received from the division of assets of the AVBZ-Fund Netherlands Antilles. St. Maarten stood to received 24.3 million guilders, but it had 34 million in premium arrears.

According to the court documents, St. Maarten made an agreement about this division with Curacao and the Netherlands on September 7, 2010. The court accepted St. Maarten’s argument that BZV is not a party to this agreement and that it also cannot be identified with the AVBZ execution bureau on the Netherlands Antilles with the same name.

“BZV is a foundation based on Curacao-law and executes its duties in and for the benefit of curacao; her predecessor was a foundation based on Netherlands Antilles-law that executed tasks for the Netherlands Antilles,” the court pointed out.

The court also ruled that there is no proof that BZV acts as the representative of Curacao. “The current problem is covered by articles 8 and 9 of the mutual regulation (for the division of assets – ed.).” Those articles contain a provision for putting disputes to the parties involved, who then have the option to appoint a mediator who will give a binding advice.

BZV claimed in the court case that St. Maarten had never asked for consultation or a mediator, but the court pointed out that this option is open to all parties. The court found that the agreement about the division of assets contains no grounds to award any amount to SZV in Curacao.

The second claim is for almost 4.8 million guilders. This is what the BZV paid between October 10, 2010 and the end of that year for management, accountant and healthcare cost for civil servants that had transferred to St. Maarten and for pp-patients (unemployed citizens) living in St. Maarten. Because St. Maarten was unable to make these payments it was decided to continue with the existing payment-structure for a couple of months. After that period, the invoices would be presented to St. Maarten.

BZV’s predecessor in the Netherlands Antilles had an agreement with St. Maarten about the administrative handling of healthcare cost regulations. St. Maarten called on an article in that agreement to point out that disputes about its execution should be submitted to the Court in first Instance in St. Maarten. The court deferred this part of the claim for handling to the court in Philipsburg.

The court gave BZV the opportunity to provide proof for the payments of a bit more than 1.5 million guilders in subsidies to several care-institutions in St. Maarten between October 10, 2010 and the end of that year. St. Maarten has not disputed that it did not pay any premiums to BZV in Curacao since 10-10-10, or that the country became responsible for patient-care from 10-10-10.

But St. Maarten did contest that the claim is about expenditures the institutions were entitled to at the time; it also contested that the payments were really made.

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