PhilHealth supports bill on mandatory membership for seniors-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) expressed approval to the proposal in the Senate to provide automatic coverage to all senior citizens of the country.
In a statement, PhilHealth President Alexander Padilla said they support the proposal of Senator Ralph Recto, which will not distinguish indigent senior citizens or not.
“The Senate Bill bodes well with the Government’s objective of ensuring better health care for the older population, whose labors have been benefiting us in the present generation. We are definitely in support of it,” said Padilla.
He explained that under the present system, senior citizens that belong to the poorest and near poor segments of the population are the only ones given automatic PhilHealth coverage.
Their PhilHealth memberships are sponsored either by the national government for DSWD-identified households or the Local Government Units for LGU Sponsored families.
Earlier, Recto filed Senate Bill No. 712, which is looking to remove the present limitation granting automatic health benefits only to those who are considered indigent senior citizens.
Meanwhile, Padilla said PhilHealth is already providing free lifetime membership to senior citizens as long as they meet the requirements of the state-run health insurance agency.
“Members who have reached the age of retirement as provided for by law and paid at least 120 monthly contributions shall be entitled to lifetime coverage, which means they remain covered for life even if no longer paying contributions,” explained Padilla.
Covered by the rule, PhilHealth stressed, are retirees and pensioners from private or government service as well as other members that have reached 60 years old and accumulated the required contributions, provided they are not engaged in gainful employment.
Records show that there are presently about seven million senior citizens in the country, including 1.3 million that are considered as indigent. (HDT/Sunnex)