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I have good news to an estimated 300,000 Filipino-American senior citizens in the United States with an estimated 100 Fil-Ams retiring everyday.

A news item in another Fil-Am newspaper captioned “Approval of U.S. Medicare portability seen in 2012” by Daniele Clara P. Dandan datelined Manila states that Filipino-American group U.S. Medicare PH, Inc. is optimistic that its drive to make U.S. Medicare services portable in the Philippines for Filipinos will see fulfillment by December next year.

The news item continued that Eric Lachica, organizer of U.S. Medicare PH, revealed that his group is targeting to have U.S. Congress’ approval by December 2012.

Lachica said this is why it is important that major hospitals in the Philippines adjust their capabilities and level of services a notch higher to be acceptable in the standards of U.S. Medicare.

“This means training among the hospitals in the Philippines is a must. The hospital quality is very vital to get U.S.’ yes,” he said.

According to Lachica, the main factor which the U.S. Medicare PH is emphasizing to the U.S. Congress is the hefty cut for the U.S. Government, especially now that President Barack Obama declared the need to save trillions of dollars.

According to the group’s data, U.S. Medicare will only spend $8,000 for an open-heart surgery in the Philippines, as compared to the $34,801 in the United States.

Total hip replacement will only amount to $1,500 in the Philippines as opposed to $23,588 in the United States.

Additionally, the initial clinic visit in the U.S. is $135, but when done in the Philippines will cost only $20.

The follow-up visit in the U.S. costs $87, while Philippine hospitals charge only $10.

U.S. Medicare will only spend $30 for both clinic visit per member when done in the Philippines as opposed to the $222 total fee in the U.S.

Lachica said the proposal’s huge benefit will not only be felt in the U.S. but in the Philippines as well as his group predicts job creation of 400,000 jobs in the Philippines.

The proposal is also believed to contribute to the Philippine economy, as this will prompt Filipino pension holders in the U.S. to return to the Philippines and permanently reside in the country of their birth.

Amendment to the Social Security Act of 1965

Medicare is a social insurance administered by the U.S. Government providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or those who meet other special criteria.

The U.S. Medicare program was included in the Social Security Act of 1965 which was signed into law on July 30, 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

For the U.S. Medicare PH to be portable in the Philippines, the Social Security Act of 1965 must be amended and signed into law by the U.S. President.

Lachica’s group have previously met with two U.S. lawmakers, namely U.S. Rep. Steve Austria and U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, member of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.

Austria is very interested in the proposal because the savings in cost.

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