§ Sir P. DAWSON
asked the Minister of Health whether, in the event of it being impossible to transfer additional benefits with persons terminating their membership of one society and becoming members of another, under Section 14 of the National Health Insurance Act, 1918, it can be arranged that societies should have freedom to reject or admit any such persons applying for transfer who have paid the necessary contributions and been insured for the requisite period of five years?
Approved societies are free to admit or reject any persons applying for membership, either by transfer from other societies or otherwise.
§ Sir P. DAWSON
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the additional benefits provided under Section 37 of the National Health Insurance Act, 1911, are withheld for five years from persons transferring from one friendly society to another; and whether, in the event of such transfer, it could be arranged to transfer with the membership not only the transfer value but, in addition, the amount due to the member for additional benefits?
The position with regard to the title of insured persons to participate in additional benefits on transfer from one approved society to another is as stated by the hon. Member. As regards the second part of the question, the National Health Insurance Acts prohibit the transfer to the new society of any sum in respect of the insured person's title to additional benefits in his old society. Such benefits are provided out of the surplus arising from the favourable experience and good management of the old society, and it would be inequitable that any part of that surplus1158W should be paid over to other societies to which individual members may choose to transfer their insurance.
§ Mr. W. HENDERSON
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that workmen over 70 years of age who are in employment pay their national health insurance contributions, though they are not eligible for sickness benefit; and whether, seeing that these men are afraid of losing their employment if they disclose their age, he will include in the terms of reference to the committee of inquiry into the national health insurance the desirability of permitting persons to draw sick benefit irrespective of age, so long as they continue to pay the insurance contributions?
My right hon. Friend is aware of the point raised by my hon. Friend. The terms of reference of the Royal Commission would enable the question of the extension of the title to sickness benefit to persons over 70 years of age to be considered.