MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation announced on Monday that it is positioned to implement a Lifetime Member Program (LMP) to benefit over six million senior citizens in the country.
Alexander Padilla, PhilHealth president and chief executive officer, made the announcement at the social protection forum for the elderly organized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as part of the activities for “Elderly Filipino Week” from Oct. 1 to 7.
Padilla explained that LMP is “open to those who have made 120 monthly contributions to the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), and have reached the age of retirement.”
He added that the program would offer lifetime-coverage to senior citizens while eliminating premium payments, but clarified that seniors who are still gainfully employed at the age of retirement are not yet qualified to avail of the LMP.
The LMP is covered by Senate Bill No. 712, which mandates PhilHealth to provide insurance for all qualified senior citizens in the country. The bill has already been approved on third and final reading in the Senate.
At the forum, several government agencies came behind the program; with the DSWD, PhilHealth, Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) signing a manifesto for the promotion of adequate social services and protection for elderly Filipinos.
Representatives from the DSWD explained that there are many benefits offered to seniors by PhilHealth, GSIS and SSS. Seniors, however, are not talking full advantage of these benefits; tending to focus more on availing of discounts offered by their senior citizen identification card.