The National Health Insurance programme has secured reinsurance through the Canada-based Munich Reinsurance Company, which will help cover some of the territory’s more expensive health care cases, the Social Security Board’s NHI division announced last week.

Under the reinsurance agreement, which was signed on Jan. 9 but not announced until Friday, the MRC will assume liability for benefits between $250,000 and $750,000 paid out in a single year, while the NHI fund assumes liability for benefits outside of that range.

The maximum lifetime benefit that reinsurance will cover for a beneficiary is $1 million, according to the SSB. The lifetime limit for NHI is also $1 million.

In Friday’s announcement, NHI officials touted the agreement with MRC as a way to protect NHI from having to pay too many large obligations resulting from excessive benefit claims.

“Having reinsurance ensures that the NHI can remain financially sound because the risks and costs are spread,” stated SSB Chairman Ian Smith.

SSB Director Antoinette Skelton added that even though the reinsurance contract was signed on Jan. 9, the SSB and the reinsurer had reached an agreement prior to Jan. 1, “successfully securing the Board’s financial position,” according to the announcement.