A House bill has proposed that senior citizens, indigent or otherwise, should be automatically made members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Rep. Mark Villar of Las Piñas has filed House Bill (HB) 4517 which provides for the removal of the limitation on the mandatory PhilHealth coverage for senior citizens by enrolling all senior citizens under the PhilHealth, with the fund coming from the National Health Insurance Fund.
A Filipino citizen is deemed a senior citizen if he or she is aged 60 years old and above.
“A significant feature of the existing law is the mandatory PhilHealth coverage for indigent senior citizens. With the qualifying condition of indigence, many senior citizens are deprived of the benefits provided by the government,” Villar said his explanatory note.
Villar said his proposal was in accordance with the Philippine Constitution that provides that the state should prioritize the needs of the underprivileged, sick, disabled, women, children and the elderly.
HB 4517 also tasks the local government units to ensure that their senior citizens are allocated the necessary funds, following the existing laws and regulations.
In 2012, there were 5.9 million senior citizens in the Philippines.