The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recently gave updates on hastening the process to register all Filipinos in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP). Under the Universal Health Care Law (UHC), all Filipino citizens are automatically eligible to avail the government’s health benefits packages.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the UHC Law last February 20, 2019 to ensure that every Filipino, with the inclusion of overseas Filipino workers, has access to a comprehensive set of quality and cost-effective, promotive, preventive, curative, palliative, and rehabilitative health care, without causing financial hardship, and prioritizing those who cannot afford such services.
With the Universal Health Care Law (UHC), about 110 million Filipinos, based on the Philippine Statistics Authority consensus, are now eligible to receive universal healthcare. They will also be granted access to all health care services in accredited public facilities, as well as basic accommodations in accredited private health care institutions (HCI).
“As of August of this year, about 85.4 percent of the total Filipino population are registered members of PhilHealth,” explained Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire. She added that this is composed of 51,785,474 members as well as 42,352,559 dependents. It is the government’s objective to fully register the entire population in the NHIP, from 95 percent in 2021 to 100 percent in 2022 so that all Filipinos will have access to health services and benefits. Though not all Filipinos are registered in the PhilHealth database, they may still benefit from PhilHealth coverage at the point of service.
This development is in line with the provisions for a nationwide universal healthcare system that will be executed, together with the implementation of a whole-of-government, whole-of-system, whole-of-nation approach in the program.
Updating your PhilHealth registration
Filipinos who are already members of PhilHealth can update their member data record, and employers or members with financial means must keep their premiums updated.
PhilHealth is also committed for all Filipinos to secure their PIN (PhilHealth Identification Number) by updating their membership records, particularly for their dependents.
Direct contributor members will need to register and apply for PIN using the PhilHealth Member Registration Form (PMRF), declare their monthly income, and submit their supporting documents. Indirect contributor members, or those subsidized by the government, need only to register and apply for PIN; they may also need to present their certificate of financial incapability. For updating of records, both direct and indirect contributor members need to submit their PMRF as well as the required supporting documents.
Expanding UHC’s coverage
With the broadening of its coverage under the UHC Act, the health sector is mandated to provide sufficient and high-quality individual-based and population-based health services. Philhealth has accredited a combination of public and private healthcare providers who can offer sufficient and accessible individual-based health services.
OIC-Undersecretary Singh-Vergeire also explained the DOH efforts in implementing the UHC in the provinces and cities. She said, “DOH has contracted province and city-wide health systems with minimum components like a reliable primary health care provider network who gives free consultations and assessments. Epidemiologic Surveillance Systems monitor the status of every community and gather data on diseases like COVID-19 and polio. A proactive health promotion campaign also makes the community aware of the health protocols.” (DOH)