82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, August 14, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesCLINTON HEALTH PLAN PRESENTED TO V.I. SENIORS

CLINTON HEALTH PLAN PRESENTED TO V.I. SENIORS

The massive health care proposal announced last week by President Bill Clinton — and its impact on Medicare — was discussed with Virgin Islands senior citizens Tuesday by V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christian-Christensen.
Clinton has asked Democratic and other supportive members of Congress to speak to residents of their districts about the proposal, which, according to Christensen, may be sent to Congress as early as next week.
"The most important parts of the plan for us are reduced drug costs, reduced co-payments and the restoring of some money to certain programs like home care," Christensen said after speaking to a group of seniors at the Knud Hansen Complex Tuesday morning.
"Most every senior here is on Medicare and a lot of them take more than one or two medications and it's very expensive. I know a lot of senior citizens who cannot afford a whole month's supply of the medicines they need," she said.
Christensen spoke to a group on St. Croix Tuesday afternoon.
Clinton's "Plan to Modernize and Strengthen Health Care," would establish a voluntary prescription drug benefit that would have no deductible and pay for half the beneficiary's drug costs from the first prescription filled up to $5,000 each year by the time it is fully implemented by 2008.
The $5,000 would account for $2,500 in Medicare payments.
The drug cost reduction plan would also have no cost-sharing and eliminate premiums for beneficiaries below 135 percent of the poverty level ($11,000 for singles/$15,000 for couples); those between 135 and 150 percent would also receive premium assistance.
Beneficiaries would also receive price discounts similar to those offered by many employer-sponsored plans even when they have surpassed the $5,000 limit. The plan would also provide financial incentives for employers to develop or retain retiree health coverage if it contains prescription drug benefits equivalent to the new Medicare benefits.
The federal government estimates the cost of the reduced drug cost plan would be $118 million over the ten years beginning in 2002.
"The other important area is preventative care visits would have no co-payments," Christensen said.
The money seniors could potentially save could help them deal with other costs of living, Christensen told the group.
"We're going to try and relieve you of some of the burdens some other place," she said.
Though not addressed by the plan, some seniors complained about having to pay out of pocket for doctor's visits. Christensen said this is isn't always the doctor's fault, but the insurance carrier's.
"If Medicare doesn't consistently reimburse them, they're not going to accept it," she said. "Whether a doctor gets paid on time, whether a doctor gets paid at all… results in patients having to pay up front."
Christensen also reminded seniors all doctors must fill out Medicare forms completely, whether the doctors accepts it or not. Christensen also reminded seniors they can be, and often are, a powerful voting bloc.
"The politicians need you're vote, so you have a lot of power," she said.
Many of the seniors who listened to Christensen's presentation responded positively to Clinton's health care proposal.
"It's a very nice plan for seniors. Drugs are very expensive, visits to the doctor are very expensive," senior Mildred Sille said. "I'd be very happy if the plan passed, not just for myself, but for all seniors.
"We don't want to be given more promises and promises. We want everything that's due to seniors," Sille said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
The massive health care proposal announced last week by President Bill Clinton -- and its impact on Medicare -- was discussed with Virgin Islands senior citizens Tuesday by V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christian-Christensen.
Clinton has asked Democratic and other supportive members of Congress to speak to residents of their districts about the proposal, which, according to Christensen, may be sent to Congress as early as next week.
"The most important parts of the plan for us are reduced drug costs, reduced co-payments and the restoring of some money to certain programs like home care," Christensen said after speaking to a group of seniors at the Knud Hansen Complex Tuesday morning.
"Most every senior here is on Medicare and a lot of them take more than one or two medications and it's very expensive. I know a lot of senior citizens who cannot afford a whole month's supply of the medicines they need," she said.
Christensen spoke to a group on St. Croix Tuesday afternoon.
Clinton's "Plan to Modernize and Strengthen Health Care," would establish a voluntary prescription drug benefit that would have no deductible and pay for half the beneficiary's drug costs from the first prescription filled up to $5,000 each year by the time it is fully implemented by 2008.
The $5,000 would account for $2,500 in Medicare payments.
The drug cost reduction plan would also have no cost-sharing and eliminate premiums for beneficiaries below 135 percent of the poverty level ($11,000 for singles/$15,000 for couples); those between 135 and 150 percent would also receive premium assistance.
Beneficiaries would also receive price discounts similar to those offered by many employer-sponsored plans even when they have surpassed the $5,000 limit. The plan would also provide financial incentives for employers to develop or retain retiree health coverage if it contains prescription drug benefits equivalent to the new Medicare benefits.
The federal government estimates the cost of the reduced drug cost plan would be $118 million over the ten years beginning in 2002.
"The other important area is preventative care visits would have no co-payments," Christensen said.
The money seniors could potentially save could help them deal with other costs of living, Christensen told the group.
"We're going to try and relieve you of some of the burdens some other place," she said.
Though not addressed by the plan, some seniors complained about having to pay out of pocket for doctor's visits. Christensen said this is isn't always the doctor's fault, but the insurance carrier's.
"If Medicare doesn't consistently reimburse them, they're not going to accept it," she said. "Whether a doctor gets paid on time, whether a doctor gets paid at all... results in patients having to pay up front."
Christensen also reminded seniors all doctors must fill out Medicare forms completely, whether the doctors accepts it or not. Christensen also reminded seniors they can be, and often are, a powerful voting bloc.
"The politicians need you're vote, so you have a lot of power," she said.
Many of the seniors who listened to Christensen's presentation responded positively to Clinton's health care proposal.
"It's a very nice plan for seniors. Drugs are very expensive, visits to the doctor are very expensive," senior Mildred Sille said. "I'd be very happy if the plan passed, not just for myself, but for all seniors.
"We don't want to be given more promises and promises. We want everything that's due to seniors," Sille said.