Phlhealth has failed covering senior citizens

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

 

Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay, Senior Citizens partylist, said the Philippine Health Insurance (Philhealth) has failed to fully implement its mandate to provide adequate health care coverage as intended by law.

 

The Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage for Senior Citizens Act (RA 10645) mandates the universal coverage of the Filipino elderly above 60 years of age as automatically enrolled in the national health insurance agency. Proceeds of RA 10351, the Sin Tax Law, were meant to finance the coverage.

 

Upon the first enactment of RA 10645 in 2015, 2 million eligible senior citizen beneficiaries were excluded from the total budget allocation for enrollment as mandated by the Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage Act.

 

The total premium allocation for the RA 10645 under the National Expenditure Program proposed by the Department of Health for PhilHealth was P6.7 Billion, which only covers 2.8 million senior citizens under the program.

 

In 2015, the full implementation of the PhilHealth Primary Care Benefit Package to include senior citizen enrollees was deferred for unclear reasons.

 

Until now, the elderly enrollees of the national health insurance agency are not receiving the Primary Care Benefits afforded to them as announced in PhilHealth Circular No. 006-2015 (Implementing Guidelines for the Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage for Senior Citizens).

 

“Philhealth is merciless in its failure to serve seniors,” said Rep. Magsaysay.

 

Implementation of PhilHealth Circular No. 006-2015 was supposed to formally include senior citizen enrollees for the Primary Care Benefit Package of the national health insurance agency, touted as “Tamang Serbisyo sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya” or “Tsekap”, which provides free outpatient check-ups and laboratory works for its enrollees.

 

Given these developments in the first few years of implementation of the Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage for Senior Citizens, Rep. Aquino-Magsaysay said she is concerned about the sustainability and the effectivity of the law.

 

She said she will endeavor to ensure the sufficiency of budget allocation for the full implementation of RA 10654and other health programs for the elderly to ensure that the most vulnerable segment of our society be guaranteed of health security.

 

 

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