All Philippine Senior Citizens Now Covered by Philhealth

PhilHealth insurance coverage has been expanded to cover all Filipino senior citizens.

President Benigno Aquino III has signed into law Republic Act 10645, which amends the RA 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 which only covered indigent senior citizens. The new law, which was signed on November 6, consolidates House Bill 4593 and Senate Bill 712 passed by both houses of Congress in September.

The new law includes Philhealth coverage for all Filipinos 60 years old or older.

According to Senator Ralph Recto, one of the authors of the bill, only 3.9 million of over six million senior citizens are covered by PhilHealth.

By the end of 2013, the health insurance agency has 31.27 million registered members and 45.63 million dependents. An annual budget of P5.2 billion is needed to provide adequate health insurance to PhilHealth members.

According to Israel Francis Pargas, PhilHealth vice president for corporate affairs group, the next step is to coordinate with agencies on guidelines, rules and regulations to implement the law.

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