Friday, November 21, 2014

SENIOR’S MOMENT: Mandatory Philhealth Coverage For All Senior Citizens

By Siesta-friendly

This November 2014, the government enacted Republic Act No. 10645 (“An Act Providing For The Mandatory Philhealth Coverage For All Senior Citizens, Amending For The Purpose Republic Act No. 7432, As Amended By Republic Act No. 9994, Otherwise Known As The “Expanded Senior Citizens Act Of 2010″)  thereby providing Philhealth coverage to all our senior citizens.

Prior to the amendment, only indigent seniors were automatically covered by Philhealth.  Now, all seniors are automatically covered.

The new law amends Section 5, sub-paragraph h(2) of RA 7432, as amended by RA 9994, and now reads as follows:

“SEC. 5. Government Assistance. – The government shall provide the following:

x x x

(h) Additional Government Assistance

(1)   xxx

(2) Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage

“All senior citizens shall be covered by the national health insurance program of PhilHealth. Funds necessary to ensure the enrollment of all senior citizens not currently covered by any existing category shall be sourced from the National Health Insurance Fund of PhilHealth from proceeds of Republic Act No. 10351, in accordance with the pertinent laws and regulations.

(3) x x x.”

That’s the only amendment of the new law and so the rest of the rules apply, meaning, the same identification requirements apply. Under Art. 5.5 Rule III of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9994,   our seniors need only present any of the following proofs of identification:

“5.5 IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT – refers to any document or proof of being a senior citizen which may be used for the availment of benefits and privileges under the Act and its Rules. It shall be any of the following:

a)      Senior Citizens’ Identification Card issued by the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in the city or municipality where the elderly resides;
b)      The Philippine passport of the elderly person or senior citizen concerned; and
c)      Other valid documents that establish the senior citizen or elderly person as a citizen of the Republic and at least sixty (60) years of age, which shall include but not be limited to the following government-issued identification documents indicating an elderly’s birthdate or age: driver’s license, voters ID, SSS/GSIS ID, PRC card, postal ID.”

The aged do matter and this is the time when they need coverage the most.

An early Happy Christmas to all Seniors!