Age Concern: No Mention Of Health Insurance

November 16, 2015

[Written by Don Burgess]

Age Concern gives Government a ‘pass’ for the initiatives outlined in the Throne Speech but it’s “biggest regret” was there was no mention of dealing with the rising cost of health insurance.

Claudette Flemming, executive director for Age Concern, said there were was obviously some thought given to the programmes outlined.

“Overall, I gave it pass for the tone and the initiatives for seniors,” she said.

One of those ideas was the Office for Public Guardian who will look out for seniors who can’t speak up for themselves because of dementia and Alzheimer’s and have no relative to do so for them.

20-minute video of the Convening of Parliament and Throne Speech

Ms Flemming said, “There is obviously a gap in protecting the vulnerable that way. We do need some form of protection beyond the Seniors Abuse Registry Act as it currently stands. It is a good step in the right direction.”

She said it was a good idea to modify the regulations of the residential care homes but the new regulations would just be setting minimum standards.

“We would like to see are certification and accreditation, which are international standards of excellence,” Ms. Flemming said.

Age Concern’s executive director said there was no mention on health insurance costs and the rising premiums for seniors which has seen the amount they have to pay go from $330 a few years back to $504 this past September.

“This is a major concern as the costs of premiums continue to escalate while pensions are decreasing because of deductions.”

She did say the initiative to get some relief on medication costs through the Pan American Health Organization’s Strategic Fund would be a help.

“This is something that makes sense because the costs of medication are a big part of maintenance of health payments in general.”

Ms. Flemming said this will help seniors to be able to stretch their health dollars a bit further but “we do have to keep an eye on health insurance premiums because they are getting to unsustainable levels and it’s not uncommon for us to come across seniors who do not have cover and can’t afford it. It’s one of our biggest regrets that it wasn’t mentioned.”

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Comments (21)

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  1. watching says:

    As Min Richards so eloquently stated to our seniors “Money doesn’t grow on trees”.

    • hmmm says:

      If only your beloved PLP had realized that, now we are all paying for their ignorance.

      • watching says:

        At least our beloved PLP believed in taking care of seniors by providing them with COLA rather than uttering disparaging comments to them. the OBA has no regard nor respect for this segment of the population.

        • hmmm says:

          PLP increased the costs of healthcare !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • filobedo21 says:

            And some will never belive that the cupboard is bare; they would rather the OBA do what the PLP just keep spending. They just refuse to belive that the country is between a rock and a hard place. Just keep spending what we don’t have. And they think the electorate of this country will return them after one term of the OBA. It ain’t going to happen.

        • Come Correct says:

          You rather politicians lie?

        • Come Correct says:

          Not saying they don’t lie on both sides, just going off this single comment

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          PLP policies were responsible for some of the highest increases to our healthcare, echoing even as far as this most recent budget, and almost all as a result of the PLP failing to actually create financially viable and sustainable programs. They were great for coming up with social programs, but their means for funding them was borrowing and more borrowing… how’d that work out for us?
          They allowed private practices to set up their own labs and diagnostic clinics… a practice shunned in other democracies as it results in a culture of doctors over utilizing these services as they have a vested interest in them making money.
          They built a brand new hospital wing, that we did need, but without establishing a means to pay for it.
          They created a 2 tier FutureCare, except, everyone was receiving the same benefits, it just that some people were paying nearly double the rate.

          In the last budget, we saw the OBA present a couple of strategies to tackle the rising healthcare cost, and they were rejected, because the opposition was representing prescreening for non-emergency diagnostics as some sort of death by committee strategy and women of low risk, not getting a mammogram screening every year, unless it was for an emergency diagnosis. Now they intend to try group sourcing for decreasing costs to drugs… and you are saying they aren’t doing anything, they don’t care. They are trying, which is a 100% more than the PLP ever did.

    • Onion Juicer says:

      Read the auditors report to see what the real truth is….and it’s got nothing to do with Min. Richards or trees.

  2. enough says:

    Health Insurance for the Elderly should be free anyway after everything they have contributed to society during their lifetime. They are struggling out there in a time when they shoudl be enjoing life

    • This Government is PATHETIC.

      • hmmm says:

        Your pitiful attacks on Bermuda and the present Government are what is Pathetic.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      I don’t disagree, however, nothing is free, and when statistics show that you will spend 2/3rds of the healthcare money it would cost you for your life, in the last 1/3 of your life, that money has to come from somewhere. The only effect strategy would be to create a maturing earning fund, it would require contributions with minimal pay out early on, then in maybe 10 years the payout could be increased some, another 10 years after that an increase again… eventually in maybe 50 or so years we could have a sustainable fund that would support free healthcare for seniors. The ultimate goal would be to have a fund that can earn more in contributions/investment/interest than what would be required in say 5 or so years down the road… it would need to be a huge fund. It’s funds cannot be removed for any other purposes than the beneficiaries healthcare coverage, with the exception that any monies taken for investment again do not contribute to the total value of expenditures exceeding the value of monies contributed.
      It will mean that our children might eventually be able to have free seniors healthcare, anybody telling you they can do it now is selling you bad snake oil or a huge steaming pile of manure.

  3. Family Man says:

    Everything should be free ‘in a time when they shoudl be enjoing life’ (sic)

    They should get free wine so they can sit off and relax.
    And lobster. Free lobster too.
    And steak. I like steak. Free steak.

    Free everything. The rest of you pay. Once I hit the “Elderly” stage, I want everything free.

  4. Navin Johnson says:

    Imagine if we did not have the $200,000,000 in interest payments on our debt created by the PLP….that would help with insurance costs….

  5. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    What makes you people so dense…Govt. cannot tell insurance companies how much to charge for health care…The insurance cabal is the one who needs to be disciplined…good luck with that.
    Taxi drivers in Cuba make more than Doctors do…I wonder why…plus they are far more superior than those that emerge out of USA…there’s a reason for this but apparently ya’ll not interested in the truth enough to research this information for yourselves.

    • filobedo21 says:

      And if we had the guest workers that left, insurance rates would definitely be down for every one including seniors. Until those numbers go up there will be no change in health insurance for all of us.

  6. had enough says:

    Most Fools don’t know
    The gov’t before the previous gov’t did not spend $ on social programs for its people. That gov’t mainly considered making money.
    $ spent on social programs for the people was direly needed (and still today) – hence PLP spending on this issue.
    (Eg – don’t know if any one can recall the state of the Lefroy house back then – with tress were growing from the roof)
    signed an OBA supporter

  7. some beach says:

    Something else ennit?…there are overseas solutions though….

  8. Legal Eagle says:

    Bermuda’s known for treating it’s Seniors badly-except for retired CSs on absurdly low GEHI premiums etc of course! The 0BA hasn’t increased SIS pensions for years-but almost doubled FCare costs from $330-to over $500-trying to justify it by reference to increased health benefits! Unspoken is howmany Seniors can no longer afford FCare so are now TOTALLY uninsured No increased benefits or even previously BASIC benefits now!! The OBA’s Senior abuse will continue until Seniors organise like the CS+Unions + vote as a block!!