Crushed by soaring cost of healthcare
I wish to get something off my chest. I am a chartered engineer who retired from Belco a couple of years ago. As a Bermudian, I am appalled by the shocking cost for the low level of specialist healthcare on the island.
My healthcare insurance costs more than $1,000 per month, which is a substantial amount of my pension, but on two recent visits to specialists my copay has been unreasonably high.
My first visit was to an eye doctor. I was referred to the eye institute as I had experienced some blurred vision. I explained my symptoms and what had occurred. I also explained that I had been checked by an optician while on holiday two months previously. I explained what they found and asked them to confirm the diagnosis.
Instead of seeing a consultant, I was given the exact same tests that were performed by the optician. I was frustrated, but I eventually got to see an optician, not an eye specialist, who confirmed the diagnosis of the optician in the States.
Then came the shock of payment. I was told that this visit, which lasted no more than 30 minutes, cost more than $500 and my insurance would cover only about 60 per cent. My copay was more than $160!
That was my first bad experience, but I thought it was a one-off and that this institute was obviously unscrupulously ripping people off. I vowed never to return.
A month or so later, I went to see a dermatologist about a skin issue that I had seen him about before. After the diagnosis, I went to the receptionist to settle up. Here I was both appalled and shocked again. The visit that had lasted no more than 15 minutes was again more than $500 and my copay was again in excess of $160.
I have to ask, how can local people who are not earning large amounts of money afford to live here?
The tests performed by the eye institute were exactly the same as those in the States. The cost in the States was $80. The cost here was more than $500! I know there are overheads, but this is ridiculous.
The dermatologist is a one-man show with a receptionist. Two years ago, the copay was $75. It is now more than $160. Is this the pandemic greed causing the increase?
This dermatologist just charged me at an hourly rate of more than $2,000 per hour. This is the most expensive healthcare in the world. Can anyone explain why this is and how we can allow this to continue?
I am a very concerned Bermudian who does not know how much longer I can afford to reside here.