The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation urged residents who are twenty-one years old and above to register at the nearest branch office of the State insurance firm to enable them to immediately avail of the benefit packages in the accredited hospitals and other health care facilities for their illnesses.
Janet Palaez, chief social insurance officer of PhilHealth Baguio, claimed that the mandatory registration of all Filipinos to the State insurance corporation is in compliance to the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 11223, otherwise known as the Universal Health Care Act of 2019.
She explained that prior to the effectivity of this law in November 2019, PhilHealth members were required to pay their contributions for a certain period of time before they can claim PhilHealth benefits for their confinement in a health facility, but now, individuals being treated for their illnesses are immediately eligible for coverage once they pay their initial contribution of P300 representing the first month of membership to the corporation.
Palaez called on residents who are not yet registered members of the insurance firm to register the soonest to be able to avail of the lower rate of contribution amounting to P300 per month as the firm is inclined to increase the contribution of members by next month to P400 per month.
Last year, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of the proposed increase in the contribution of PhilHealth members as part of a government initiative to help in mitigating the serious negative impact of the pandemic to the sources income of people.
For PhilHealth members who failed to pay their contributions religiously, the PhilHealth official disclosed they will be required to pay their contributions dating back to November 2019 when the Universal Health Care Act took effect and still continue paying the same for them to be provided with the immediate eligibility coverage.
According to her, most individuals are compelled to pay their membership contribution or settle their back contributions when they are already confined in the various health care facilities for them to be able to avail of the benefit packages for their diagnosed illnesses.
Palaez said the accreditation of various district health centers as primary health care providers pursuant to the Universal Health Care Act will help in providing more facilities where patients can seek treatment.
She expressed hope that residents who are already 21 years old and above will be convinced to register as member of the insurance firm and religiously pay their monthly contributions for PhilHealth to sustain the payment of the various benefit packages it developed for the different illnesses.
Initially, the PhilHealth formally accredited some 10 district health centers in the city as primary health care facilities that could provide prospective patients with consultation packages for certain diagnosis and 13 laboratory examinations.
The accredited primary health care facilities in the city are the Asin, Atab, Aurora Hill, City Camp, Engineers Hill, Irisan, Lucban, Pacdal, Pinsao and Quirino Hill district health centers.