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We need to go back to drawing board on health care

April 9, 2013.

Dear Sir,

In reference to today’s Letter to the Editor (

The Royal Gazette April 9, 2013) signed Changed, thanking the Health Minister Patricia Gordon Pamplin for the change in the FutureCare payments, to put all FutureCare participants on the same $440 per month premium.

I beg to differ. When the announcement was made during the OBA’s election campaign that there would be a change to even out FutureCare payments for all enrolled in it sounded great. What I’m concerned about is the sudden increase from $385 to $440 which is $55 more than what many seniors can ill afford to pay, including this writer.

It was mentioned by the Health Minister to those who are not able to meet the FutureCare increase to apply for Government financial assistance which poses another problem if your savings account is more than what qualifies one to receive financial assistance. So what is one to do? Wait for savings to run out, which is bound to happen in a very short time if one doesn’t have a source of income to balance things out.

There are no employment programmes in place whereby a senior who is physically able can earn a few extra dollars a week to help toward that $55 increase in FutureCare payments and who much more will the cost be to Government if a thousand or more seniors apply for Government financial assistance. The Hospital Emergency Department has their hands full at the present time because of the many people, young and seniors who use the hospital emergency facilities because they cannot afford to go to a doctor and are unable to pay the Future Care increase.

I’m not a mathematician, not by a long shot, but the math behind this FutureCare increase seems all backward to me which brings the HIP insurance to mind. The HIP payment to all enrolled is $390 per month without the benefit of prescription benefits as opposed to the $385 FutureCare premiums which offers eight percent prescription coverage to all Future Care participants.

The Health Ministry needs to go back to the drawing board on this one by combining HIP and FutureCare under one umbrella. Two National Government Health insurance policies makes no sense to me at all.

Another one of the OBA’s election promises was to be a compassionate and caring Government; I think they fell short on that promise when it came to health insurance payments for us seniors.

No doubt there are many who will blame the many who are unable to pay the FutureCare increase as a fault of their own making which could be true in many cases but there are equally many more I’m sure, due to unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances who are unable to do so through no fault of their own.

In closing, I hope many more seniors will have the courage to voice their opposition to this lack of compassion for their financial being.


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Published April 20, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 19, 2013 at 6:31 pm)

We need to go back to drawing board on health care

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