DAGUPAN CITY (PIA) – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will expand this year its coverage for outpatient hemodialysis from the current 90 sessions to 156 sessions.
PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Ledesma, Jr. said this is part of their commitment to implement several enhancements in the benefit packages for 2023.
“This increase in the number of sessions covered is based on standards for adequate dialysis which requires three four-hour sessions every week for chronic kidney disease stage five patients,” Ledesma said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
PhilHealth senior vice president Israel Francis Pargas said the state insurer targets to finish guidelines on the expansion around August.
“Basically, the 90 sessions will end up around the second semester or at least until August. So we have the time until the second semester to make sure the guidelines on the 156 sessions are released,” he said.
Ledesma encouraged concerned members to avail of other renal replacement therapy offers to achieve better quality of life.
“PhilHealth is providing P270,000 in financial support to patients who are on peritoneal dialysis or what we call PD-First. And for those who have organ donors, PhilHealth pays P600,000 for renal patients qualified under our Z benefits for kidney transplantation,” he said.
Last year, PhilHealth also increased its coverage for outpatient hemodialysis from 90 to a maximum of 144 sessions.
PhilHealth also mentioned its plans to introduce this year the outpatient benefit package for mental health, the outpatient package for severe acute malnutrition for children below five years old, and strengthening of the Konsulta package.
Meanwhile, it will review the COVID-19 benefit packages, aiming to rationalize particularly the inpatient packages, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and rapid antigen tests and isolation packages.
PhilHealth’s plan to introduce new and expanded benefits comes even as it had to defer the scheduled hike in membership contributions this year, in compliance with the order of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
The premium rate for PhilHealth was supposed to increase this year to 4.5% from 4%, based on Section 10 of the Universal Health Care Act.
Despite this, Ledesma assured the public that PhilHealth’s finances remain robust and strong.
PhilHealth said it posted a record net income of P46 billion, as of September 2022.
That brought the corporation’s total assets to P394 billion, which is 13% higher than the December 2021 figures.
This February, the country is observing the National Health Insurance (NHI) Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1400 s. 2007 which underlines the important role of social health insurance in every Filipino’s life.
PhilHealth, being the administrator of the National Health Insurance Program as provided for in Republic Act 7875 as amended, spearheads the nation’s observance in parallel with its 28th anniversary on February 14.
The theme for this year, “Pinalawak at mga Bagong Benepisyo para sa Mamamayang Filipino”, amplifies its commitment to continuously expand and to make the benefits even more responsive to the changing medical care needs of the Filipino people. (PIA Pangasinan)
PHILIPPINE INFORMATION AGENCY
Pangasinan Information Center
G/F Astrodome Bldg., Tapuac District, Dagupan City
Telephone Number: (075)-522-1914