New PhilHealth program to cover all indigent Negrenses

BACOLOD CITY, Feb. 21 (PNA) – A total of 491,550 Negrense families, including those from Bacolod City, will be enrolled to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to ensure them access to government hospitals.

The coverage of beneficiaries under the “Point of Care” program at P2,400 each annually will cost the national government P1,178,400,000.

They will be identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its National Household Targeting System.

Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. said the number will certainly cover all indigent Negrenses.

The governor, however, said there is a need to verify the names of the identified beneficiaries so that there will be no duplication with those covered by the provincial government’s Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program (NOCHP).

Marañon said the provincial government has allotted P2.5 million in case the budget from the national government will not be enough.

“We are confident that the national subsidy will be more than enough,” he said.

Negros Occidental Third Rep. Alfredo Benitez said the national health program is aligned with NOCHP.

He added that PhilHealth’s “Point of Care” program and the National Household Targetting System (NHTS) strengthen’s the NOCHP.

“As a matter of fact, other provinces are looking at the NOCHP as a model. This expands our NOCHP even more,” Benitez said.

NOCHP is a provincial government-run health insurance program for indigent Negrenses, which, in the past, received Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocation from the six congressional representatives of the province.

Marañon said that with the abolition of the PDAF, the provincial government will continue the NOCHP using local funds.

Records show the provincial government had previously paid P99,279,335 for the PhilHealth premiums of 55,679 indigent families in Negros Occidental last year.(PNA)