It's wonderful to read in Harry Bernstein's column ("Health Plan Seeks to Plug Gap for Elderly," Sept. 17) that union retirees have a new Union-Med plan to protect them and "plug the gap" as to climbing insurance costs. But most of us didn't belong to unions. In my case, I found the private social agency's group plan was not as good as that of the American Assn. for Retired Persons. And when I added the major medical back-up for catastrophic illnesses sold by an organization to which I belong, I believe I'm protected.
Now Bernstein says that I may be one of the elderly who "wastes" $3 billion of the $13 billion we pay for medi-gap insurance. The problem is we dare not be unprotected for long-term illnesses.
What's disturbing is that those who make the laws and should protect us are protecting themselves with government-paid insurance, while ours gets cut back.
As letter-writing is the only voice I have, I write. Others must do likewise. And our elected representatives must know how we feel. The margin for safety is too close for the overwhelming majority. Call! If unions can strike a deal with medical services, why can't government?
HYMAN H. HAVES