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FACT CHECK: Ads for ‘DOH’ senior citizens’ medical insurance FAKE

The Department of Health is giving away free medical insurance for senior citizens.

Facebook page Nearby drug store 2024-04-13 Fake

The ad for a supposed free medical insurance for senior citizens from the Department of Health came from a source not affiliated with the health department.

A website shared on Facebook (FB) claimed that the Department of Health (DOH) is offering free medical insurance for senior citizens. This is a fake advertisement and its source is not affiliated with the health department.

Posted on April 13 but still drawing interest among netizens, the link shared on FB bore the caption:

“Can the Philippine government provide free health insurance? Click and select the menu.”

The link’s thumbnail is a graphic with the logos of the Republic of the Philippines and the DOH. It also carried the text:

“From April 1, 2024, The Philippine government will [make] Available to seniors aged 55 and over Free medical insurance.”

Netizens are directed to click a link to view various packages for specific age brackets. The website carries the domain name PRIVATEHEALTHCARE884.FUN that contains affiliate links which ultimately lead netizens to various legitimate private insurance companies.

This is fake. In its April 18 advisory, the DOH debunked a post carrying the same false claim that it is offering free medical insurance.

“The DOH cautions the public against posts of this nature using the agency’s name. The said page is FAKE as well as any affiliate links and/or posts,” a part of its statement read.

VERA Files Fact Check - THE FACTS: The ad offering senior citizens free medical insurance from the Department of Health is not from any government agency. The website carries affiliate links that lead netizens to private insurance companies.

The DOH also reminds the public to only get information from reliable sources such as its official website (doh.gov.ph) and social media pages.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), a government corporation attached to the DOH, provides health insurance coverage and health care services for Filipino citizens. Its website can be accessed here (philhealth.gov.ph).

Senior citizens can enroll as a PhilHealth member through its Office for the Senior Citizens Affairs or Local Health Insurance Offices.

The fake ad uses affiliate links of private companies’ websites, which may, in turn, give the posters commissions for every click or traffic they receive. Several FB pages are running similar fake ads as of writing.

VERA Files Fact Check has debunked other posts that used the health department and its officials’ names to gain profit. (Read DOH, Ted Herbosa NOT endorsing a product for osteoarthritis)

The fake ad circulated more than a week after Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said he is exploring a separate insurance fund under PhilHealth to address the healthcare financing gap when it comes to senior citizens.

The post by FB page Nearby drug store (created on Jan. 24) garnered 1,400 reactions, 504 comments and 310 shares. Several netizens also separately shared the links to the website.

 


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(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)