Survey seeks to determine health insurance needs of elderly

How can Cayman best meet the unique healthcare needs of its elderly population?

That is a question that members of the public will have a chance to answer over the next few weeks.

The Health Insurance Commission and the Department of Health are conducting a survey asking the general public how Cayman can best care for its elderly population in the years to come. The deadline is April 15, and forms can be downloaded from the Department of Health Regulatory Services website.

The survey is part of a recent study on the possible development of a Standard Health Insurance Contract, known as SHIC, for people aged 65 and over.

Harvey Stephenson, chairman of the Health Insurance Commission, said, “In 2016 there were some 4,000 people aged 65 and over in the Cayman Islands, with an average life expectancy of 82 years. Our aim is to better understand this population’s unique needs.

“Questions we will be looking to answer include whether to create a special plan for them, how we might go about doing it, and whether there are other ways to achieve the same goal.”

Mr. Stephenson pointed out that the existing SHIC offers such things as maternity benefits, while older people might benefit instead from increased coverage for prescription medicines or outpatient visits.

Mervyn Conolly, Cayman’s Superintendent of Health Insurance, urged all Cayman Islands residents to speak up about their preferences before the process is completed.

“The aim of this survey is to allow older persons and those who will eventually become older persons to articulate their needs and opinions concerning the affordability and sustainability of health insurance coverage,” he said.

A separate poll, said Mr. Conolly, has already been sent to local health insurance brokers.

The project is expected to be completed by early summer and is known as SHIC 65+.

“The Cayman Islands recently adopted its first older persons’ policy,” said Health Minister Dwayne Seymour in an official statement. “As that document makes clear, Government is committed to ensuring that this vulnerable but much valued section of our population has access to coverage that is affordable, sustainable and allows them to enjoy a high quality of life.”

The survey contains 22 questions, and it is expected it will take about 20 minutes to complete.

Interested people may download the survey form or complete it online at the Department of Health Regulatory Services website: www.dhrs.gov.ky.

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