WEDNESDAY, OCT. 31: I listened intently to the Gina Spence show on 89.1FM on May 16 and her guest was Louise Jackson, Opposition spokesperson for seniors.

Whilst listening to her two of her statements jumped out at me.

1. That is was unfair that future care (FC) clients had to pay 25% of their own overseas costs as FC only covers 75% of overseas cost.

2. That the OBA would end FutureCare in its present state, as it was unsustainable.

I turned up the volume to try to figure out what the heck I just heard.

Mrs Jackson went on to explain that it was blatantly unfair that persons had to pay two different scales of FC and the OBA would put an end to that.

Fearing my mother’s wrath, I immediately did some research.

Here are my findings.

FutureCare is funded by several sources;

1. Government budget allocation; Capital Injection of about $6M in fiscal 2012/13.

2. MRF (Mutual Reinsurance Fund); about $2M per year. 

3. Client Premium payments; roughly about $10M in fiscal 2010/11.

4. Aged Subsidy, which would add roughly another $15M in financing

5.  Diagnostic Imaging and Overseas Subsidies, which would add another few million.

About 3,000 seniors currently are clients. That’s nearly ½ of our current senior population. Or 5 percent of our total population.

So what is the real impact of Future Care on the government Budget?

FutureCare funding generally is about 0.6% of government spending. (That is not even 1%).

I repeat FutureCare is 0.6% of the national budget. So how again is it unsustainable?

The OBA will say Health Minister Zane Desilva stated: “We expect Future Care’s claims to increase significantly in future years and the positive results of the first two years of operation are not an indication that the fund will continue to be successful in the absence of careful planning and prudent actuarial analysis.”

Map it out

Let me break it down. My boy Zane said we have to map it out properly and it will keep working.

The question that the OBA has never answered is this: What will they do about the issue of the high cost of overall health care? You know, doctors’ fees, cost of MRI, CAT scans, and prescription drugs. The same unavoidable details that the US struggles with.

This is what is truly unsustainable.

Their only answer is to kill FutureCare? A programme that benefits 3,000 seniors — like my dad, my aunts and many if not most of your parents. If it is not you yourselves.

FutureCare costs $600 per month. Private Insurance costs $1,500+ per month. Did the PLP do right by seniors?

Prior to Future Care, many seniors with pre existing conditions were denied coverage by private insurers. Did the OBA mention that?

Further, if any senior truly cannot afford FutureCare then Financial Assistance (FA) will cover their payments.

What is the OBA plan for our parents? Tell them go to Colonial Insurance? More austerity? No ideas, no solutions.

Seniors, stand strong.