Filipinos Push for Medicare Portability to Philippines

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LAS VEGAS—A Filipino-American group pushing for the portability of U.S. Medicare insurance to the Philippines has asked community leaders in Las Vegas for support.

Meeting with Filipino veterans and representatives of several Las Vegas–based Filipino-American organizations on May 14, members of US Medicare PH called for government-administered Medicare to be used in the Philippines for eligible Filipino-Americans who are considering medical treatment there.

Medicare provides health coverage to U.S. citizens 65 or older and others with certain medical conditions. The program covers hospital and other medical costs and drug prescriptions within the U.S. The Medicare system is facing growing financial pressures as costs have risen dramatically— from an average of $6,000 per beneficiary in 2005 to $12,000 per beneficiary in 2010.

Supporters argue that Medicare portability makes fiscal sense because medical care in the Philippines costs less. Portability would help the Filipino veterans of World War II as well as the estimated 100 Filipino-Americans who retire every day, the group claims.