Ministry Seeks Feedback On Proposed Changes

August 16, 2019 | 18 Comments

The Ministry of Health is urging the public to view the proposed Bermuda Health Plan, and said that there will be “four months of public dialogue” to “ensure we have the broadest consensus on the changes to come.”

A spokesperson said, “As a follow-up to last week’s announcement of the public consultation to improve healthcare access, the Ministry of Health is reminding the public to view the proposed Bermuda Health Plan at www. gov.bm/healthplan

Interview with Health Minister Kim Wilson from earlier this week:

Minister of Health Kim Wilson said, “The Ministry of Health has begun this important consultation period to receive the public feedback about our plan to improve healthcare.

“There will be four months of public dialogue, although the discussions with many stakeholders began earlier this year and will continue into the new year to ensure we have the broadest consensus on the changes to come. We welcome you input and encourage all citizens to participate in the discussion, in addition to the online citizen forum we will host town hall meetings in September.”

“To learn more about the plan see the frequently asked questions below and visit here.

The Ministry provided these ‘Frequently Asked Questions’

“Why is the Government making these changes?

  • “Our current system of healthcare is expensive and families are struggling to pay healthcare premiums. As a population, there are too many people who have, or are at risk of having serious diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • “The healthcare reforms enhance the overall minimum healthcare coverage provided to everyone – whether it is a Government or private insurer plan. The new coverage will include enhanced benefits such as greater access to primary care and certain prescription drugs. The new Bermuda Health Plan is designed so that Bermuda’s residents are able to access preventative care and early treatment.
  • “Finally, by creating efficiencies in how essential healthcare is financed, healthcare premiums will be maintained at an affordable level, and co-pays will be limited to approximately $25.

“How do these reforms improve health outcomes?

  • “Working families are struggling to pay food, electricity and housing bills. There is little left over for healthcare. As a result, too many families have limited access to coverage for family doctors and must pay high co-pays. These hard working families then delay seeking medical care. In some cases, patients wait until they need expensive emergency care. Therefore the current system contributes to too many people not receiving early medical care which would have prevented sickness or expensive emergency procedures.
  • “By redesigning the essential health benefit plan, under the Bermuda Health Plan, residents will have insurance coverage for services that have sometimes been unaffordable. The services covered under the Bermuda Health Plan, where co-pays are required, will be in the order of approximately $25 thereby reducing another barrier to seeking appropriate care.

“What do better health outcomes look like?

  • “Better health outcomes mean less days missing work, fewer days missing school, less trips to the hospital, and more time just enjoying family and friends. Of course this will look different depending on an individuals’ circumstances. Overall, it means that more people will live healthier lives, free of preventable diseases, such as high blood pressure and the complications which can occur as a result. Better health outcomes will reduce the need for emergency care and if in-patient care is required, the length of stay at the hospital will be shorter.
  • “Over the past few years, the Health Insurance Department has piloted the Enhanced Care Programme targeted at accomplishing precisely the goals we want to achieve for the entire population. The Enhanced Care Programme has demonstrated that providing greater access to family doctors combined with care management focused on achieving better health outcomes, is highly effective.

“How will this affect my current insurance plan?

  • “There will be no immediate changes to your current plan. Over time, we believe the introduction of redesigned benefits will allow us to improve healthcare coverage.
  • “If you are currently covered by Health Insurance Plan HIP or FutureCare, you will retain your current benefits and when the Bermuda Health Plan is launched you will receive the enhanced level of coverage such as more doctors’ visits, chronic care management and some prescription drugs. As well, healthcare providers will be compensated in a way which limits co-pays to approximately $25.

“I am currently on the Health Insurance Plan [HIP] or FutureCare. Can I retain my plan or do I have to change to the Bermuda Health Plan?

  • “You can retain your current plan, but will receive the enhanced minimum benefits provided under the Bermuda Health Plan when it is launched.

“I am currently being insured by a private insurer [e.g., Argus, BFM, Colonial]. Can I remain with my plan or do I have to change to the Bermuda Health Plan?

  • “You can retain your current level of coverage but you will need two health plans: the mandatory Bermuda Health Plan and separate supplemental benefits. This is similar to the case with pensions, where you have the Social Insurance pension and a mandatory private pension. Individuals and employers will continue to be able to select the supplemental benefit plans which best suit their requirements.

“How will these changes affect seniors currently covered by FutureCare or people on HIP?

  • “When Bermuda Health Plan is launched, the immediate changes to seniors covered by FutureCare or people on HIP will be reduced copays for primary care. For HIP policy holders it also means more primary care visits, significantly lower copays and $400 prescription drug cover.
  • “Over time, it is envisioned that a comprehensive set of benefits under the Bermuda Health Plan will eventually replace current HIP and FutureCare – while ensuring no one is made worse off by the reforms.”

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Comments (18)

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  1. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Like you listened to the people on feedback with LAND TAX! You’ll push through what you want to push through feedback or not. It’ll come back to haunt you at the next election. People are hip to your ways now!!

  2. Me says:

    Why would I need two
    Plans if I have health insurance already

  3. Question says:

    So we will have the inefficient, costly, expensive, but compulsory government tax-levy health plan, and we still have to buy private insurance on top to get anything decent.
    The worst possible outcome.

  4. Things a Gwan says:

    Now you want input???? If the last two years have taught us anything it’s that you have an agenda and you are going to do what suits you. Don’t waste our time and insult us by pretending to listen and care. Just do what you are going to do …tell us how this is going to save us money and then charge us more money! We know the routine.

  5. Potato juice says:

    Another situation that will get put off. This govt can’t. Make decisions.

    • Mark says:

      They can make decisions; just ignorant ones. Hope OJ is stocking up on Pedigree.

    • Rick says:

      Your oba aka UBP made decisions without talking to the PEOPLE. Look where that got them 25 vs 11.

      Government works for the PEOPLE not the UBP. Now go change the name again.

      • Question says:

        Only problem is the PEOPLE will end up paying twice for everything because the IDIOTS are in charge.

    • Berneice says:

      Please. Give your input for a better solution so that we would all be the wiser. Constantly complaining helps no one.

      I was perusing the Japanese Healthcare system and would like an actuary to look at the feasability of implementing something comparable here in Bermuda.

  6. Trump supporter says:

    Now you want input!! I’m going get some bunker sand..

  7. aceboy says:

    My feedback is that government needs to stay OUT of the insurance business as they have shown they cant even get a bus schedule right.

    This is just an effort to get everyone else to pay for their supporters’ health care.

  8. Triangle Drifter says:

    Looks like yet another “done deal” to me.

    Need to do some research. See if health insurance is available from an overseas source? Need something with international coverage to deal with the occasional medical need in Bermuda. Schedule all of the regular medical visits overseas. Get dental, annual checkup, bloodwork, any other preventative medicine done all in one trip.

    To hell with local insurance companies, local medical care, &, most of all, to hell with Government & it’s surcharge on medical care to cover those who do not pay.

    Just think how many locals will get thrown out of jobs when enough people go overseas for healthcare. Think of all the elective procedures, currently done at KEMH, will go overseas.

    Think of all that revenue lost to the local economy. This is yet another lame poorly conceived, pie in the sky idea dreamt up & rushed through by the PLP. Basically nothing but a money grab & making jobs for the faithful in the civil service.

  9. Stevie Wonder says:

    Using the Colonel’s logic, since the Hospital is in Paget, will the Minister only listen to comments from people who live in that parish?
    And like Minister Burch, if there is OVERWHELMING support against the changes, will they be ignored?
    These changes will result in more expenses for the middle class.

  10. Reality Check says:

    That brilliant sugar tax idea has driven up the cost of food across the board . That brilliant idea to change how Gov funds the hospital has driven up medical insurance on average 15% . How many more bright ideas from this Gov can we possibly afford ?

    • Berneice says:

      Please. Give your input for a better solution so that we would all be the wiser. Constantly complaining helps no one.

      I was perusing the Japanese Healthcare system and would like an actuary to look at the feasability of implementing something comparable here in Bermuda.That system seems to take into condiderstion everyone’s station in life.
      Remember folks the bible says we must look out for the poor. Instead of alwsys grabbing for ourselves when the going is good, let us share during those times. Because we do not know the time when we will one day need the assistance of others.
      Come on Bermuda! We are small enough to get it together.
      End the me me meism.

      • Question says:

        So the only ‘idea’ you have is one which you have not researched at all. And you have no idea whether it could stand any chance of working here. You’re not the Health Minister, are you?

  11. I already have health care….you can keep your added expence!Stick it where the sun don’t shine!!

  12. Me says:

    Well i guess we need to make sure all the bums on front street are covered

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