Medicare provides substantial cover to policy holders. However, depending on individual cases, you may be required to obtain additional medical or health attention. This calls for Medicare Supplemental Insurance. The plan is designed to alleviate the burden of elderly people who are vulnerable to complex health conditions. While it is well intended, there are ethical issues that arise out of its design and implementation. They revolve around eligibility, level of cover, existing conditions and change in status, among others. Below are some of these ethical concerns.
- Private Plan– the fact that the plan is run by private health insurance companies is considered an indication that the government has abdicated on its role to provide health services to the masses. Governments operate for the common good as opposed to private institutions whose target is profit. This means that private institutions have hijacked the role of the government and are making money out of it. This happens at the expense of elderly people who have toiled all their lives for the same nation. This is acts as a call to the government to resume its duty of providing health care services to the lowest classified individual.
- Increase in Premium with Age– the design of the medigap is such that premiums increase as the client advances in age. It is common knowledge that at an advanced age, everyone becomes weaker which comes with a reduction in productivity. This plan does not recognize such a fact. In fact, it works in reverse. A person whose contribution was immense during his or her energetic years is forced to contribute more as he or she gets frail. This amounts to failure to recognize the realities of life and may be considered as abandonment of the elderly at their point of need.
- The Exemptions – some conditions are covered by the plan while others are not. This exposes some people to a greater health care burden than others. Persons with disability and those with existing conditions are placed under special categories. The variation in premiums points at a plan whose design lacks a humane approach. Some of the disabilities are in the course of national duty and should be recognized as such. In other cases, disabled people have to deal with numerous challenges and therefore should be considered for a lighter health care burden.
- Exclusion of Prescription Drugs- it is impossible to imagine health care without drug prescription especially at old age. Medigap plans require the clients to pay extra for the prescriptions. This arraignment defeats logic. In fact, prescription drugs are considered among the largest out-of-pocket burdens for the subscribers of these plans. It defeats logic to pay for a plan that does not guarantee comprehensive cover.
- Convenience- some Medicare packages restrict the hospitals and doctors you can visit whenever you need medical assistance. These doctors are not readily available in neighborhoods. As such, it is challenging and an additional burden on subscribers. This denies the patient an opportunity to visit a health professional who he or she is comfortable with.
- Out of Pocket Limits– despite paying premiums throughout the year or period, there are limits on the amount that can spend out of pocket. This is a principle that defeats the essence of insurance cover. In reality, a person is exposed to health conditions that are restricted to humans. Placing a limit on the amount you can spend is therefore unethical. It should be considered that some of the years go by without clearing your cover. Such should cover for the days when the cover hits the cap.
There is a call to address the unethical issues about supplemental insurance. The government should be at the forefront protecting the health interests of the masses. Abandoning the elderly at the point of need amounts to abdicating it duty.