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Opposition claim seniors are getting big FutureCare bills

Opposition Seniors spokeswoman Louise Jackson claims FutureCare clients are being handed bills for thousands of dollars.

In a statement this afternoon, she said: “Government has a responsibility to ensure seniors are informed about FutureCare’s different levels of coverage to minimise confusion, misunderstanding and shock. Our research shows this has not been the case.

“We have found that FutureCare clients are shocked to be handed bills of many thousands of dollars for overseas care, professional services and other benefits.

“They are facing significant co-payments for overseas care because FutureCare coverage is limited to 75% of Emergency and Recommended Treatment. This means seniors are being asked to pay $12,500 on a $50,000 operation or procedure, or $25,000 on a $100,000 operation. Most serious procedures cost within this price range.”

She said that in a FutureCare brochure on Frequently Asked Questions, question 7 asks: "Will I be covered for overseas treatment?" The answer was: "Yes, overseas care will be provided for emergency procedures or for procedures not offered in Bermuda at rates approved by the Bermuda Health Council."

Mrs Jackson added: “Unfortunately, FutureCare forgot to state that it seniors will have to pay 25 percent for procedures as well as hotel and airfare costs. This information was also missing in the original FutureCare brochure listing benefits. It was corrected in a brochure for FutureCare’s second launch, but the Government should have initiated a targeted mailing to inform seniors who may have been misled by the first brochure.

“There are other levels of shock. Seniors who have come over to FutureCare from the Health Insurance Plan (HIP), which costs $384 a month, thought they were getting the same overseas care they got with HIP. But they are paying much higher rates $635 a month for 70 year olds and older or close to the same price $375 a month for 65 years and older but getting less for their money.

“The issue of FutureCare’s affordability for many seniors will be addressed in another press statement. The first step is to make sure seniors have the best understanding of what FutureCare can and cannot do for them. That has not been the case to date.

FutureCare was launched in 2009 as a flagship Government policy to give affordable healthcare to the Island’s seniors.

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Published November 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm (Updated November 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm)

Opposition claim seniors are getting big FutureCare bills

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