Alberta Seniors Benefit Drug Program
The Alberta Seniors Benefit Drug Program provides coverage for non-senior dependents, such as partners and dependents under 65. By March 2020, that coverage for dependents will end. Income testing for seniors’ drugs will also be explored.
NDP health critic David Shepherd called the changes shortsighted and said up to 46,000 people could lose drug coverage.
“When seniors are not able to afford their medications, that’s going to create other costs throughout the health-care system, that’s going to put them in emergency rooms, that’s going to put them in hospitals and once seniors arrive in hospital, they often don’t get back out and that’s going to create more cost in our continuing-care system,” Shepherd said.
For Joel French, executive director of Public Interest Alberta, the change to income testing for seniors’ drug benefits comes as a surprise. Both the previous Progressive Conservative and NDP governments faced fierce opposition when they floated the idea.
“We organized a bunch of seniors’ groups back when the PCs were in power to protest they were going to do that and the PC government backed off once seniors spoke up and we’re ready to do that again if we need to,” French said.
French said advocates had occupied a previous health minister’s office about the issue. They’ll do it again if the government insists on going ahead with the cut.
He said the budget hurts the most vulnerable people and asks them to pay more.
“I think it’s embarrassing for governments to have to admit that they’re actually targeting the most vulnerable, especially when it comes to seniors,” French said.
However, Shandro said in a statement that changes to seniors’ drug coverage haven’t been finalized.
“We’re exploring income-testing to ensure the sustainability of the program, which is the largest of our drug programs, costing over $600 million and growing by eight per cent a year.”
The Seniors’ Health & Wellness Forum, presented by Age Friendly Edmonton, is a new, free, one-day event that gives organizations and businesses a forum where seniors, their families and caregivers can obtain information and resources pertaining to health, wellness and social supports vital to aging in place. The Seniors’ Health & Wellness Forum will follow the same event format as the annual Seniors’ Housing Forum.
Sessions for the Forum have been developed with the Thinking About Your Future: Plan now to Age in Place checklist, produced by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors, as a framework to identify the most appropriate information and topics for seniors to consider.
Where and When?
Saturday, November 2, 2019
9am – 2:30pm
Central Lions Seniors Recreation Centre
11113 113 Street, Edmonton, AB
Participant registration opens October 1
Register by phoning (780) 809-8604 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Netherlands and Denmark have the best pensions systems in the world, according to a global study that shines a light on how nations are preparing aging populations for retirement.
The countries took the top two slots in the Melbourne Mercer Global Pensions Index published Monday, both earning an A grade for the level of financial security provided in retirement. Australia came in third, with a B+ grade, while the top 10 was rounded out with Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and Chile all on B.
The survey of 37 nations, which covers almost two-thirds of the world’s population, uses 40 metrics to assess whether a system leads to improved financial outcomes for retirees, whether it is sustainable and whether it has the trust and confidence of the community.
Alberta is angry. So is Saskatchewan. They are ticked that the Conservatives didn’t win Monday’s federal election. They feel left out of the new Liberal minority government. They think there will be no one in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet to stand up for their interests.
I get the emotion. I’ve lived and worked in Alberta and understand its deep sense of alienation from central Canada.
But what did people from these two provinces think would happen when they voted monolithically for Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives? There are no Liberal MPs from Alberta or Saskatchewan available to serve in Trudeau’s cabinet for a very simple reason: None was elected.
Whose fault is that?