Zane DeSilva calls for a ‘balanced’ approach to FutureCare premiums
Shadow Health Minister Zane DeSilva asked the Government to reconsider changes to FutureCare premiums after hearing an outcry from the public.
Mr DeSilva called on Government to reconsider rate increases for those enrolled in the first phase of the programme, or increase the benefits offered seniors.
Government has announced that it will establish a single premium of $440 for all enrolled in the programme.
The move would end a two-tier system in which those enrolled in later phases of the programme paid significantly more for identical benefits.
The changes, set come into effect on May 1, will save those in the second and third phases of the programme $195 a month, but increase premiums by $55 per month for those in the first phase.
Those who are unable to pay the rate can apply to Financial Assistance to have their FutureCare included as part of their Financial Assistance package.
The Progressive Labour Party MP said yesterday: “The recent decision to increase premiums on our most vulnerable seniors has been met with shock, outrage and disappointment.
“I have been swamped with calls, e-mails and been stopped on the street by seniors who have seen their premiums skyrocket by more than ten percent and their financial burden increased.
“We hope that the OBA (One Bermuda Alliance) will consider the impact of this decision and rethink their position. The PLP suggests a more balanced approach.”
The Shadow Minister said that if premiums must increase, then the support for prescription drugs should also increase.
“For some seniors, the prescription benefit is too low to meet their needs and with the premium increase adding to their expenses, may be forced to forgo their medication,” he said.
“Historically many of our seniors use up the $2000 benefit long before the time for replenishment arrives.
“We suggest raising the prescription benefit from $2000 to $3000 per year as well as using generic medication where possible, to address this problem.”
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