The Insurance Commission (IC) should punish private health-maintenance organizations (HMOs) that discriminate against senior citizens, according to a lawmaker.
Rep. Roman Romulo of Pasig City said that several HMOs impose an age ceiling that automatically disqualifies individuals who are at least 60 years old. Other HMOs also refuse to renew the coverage of plan holders when they reach the age of 60, he added.
“This constitutes strong age discrimination, which is totally unfair and simply unacceptable,” said Romulo, who is running for the Senate next year.
“We must stress that the State and the private sector have a shared duty to improve the welfare of our senior citizens,” he added, citing Section 11, Article 13 of the Constitution which mandates the State to make essential health services available to all at affordable cost.
The provision also states that there shall be priority for the needs of the under-privileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children.
Romulo filed House Bill 6348, or the proposed Anti-Healthcare Age Discrimination Act, which imposes administrative fines of up to P300,000 on HMOs that refuse to sign up those who are 60 years old and above.