14.7-M poorest households to get PhilHealth coverage

MANILA, July 20 (PNA) — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P35.3 billion as subsidy for the health insurance coverage of indigent families enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) or PhilHealth.

This is in line with the Aquino administration’s continued commitment to extend quality health services, especially to the poor and marginalized.

The release covers the health insurance premiums of a total of 14,706,524 household beneficiaries — identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) — for January to December this year.

“Bringing universal health insurance is still a priority in the Aquino administration’s reform campaign. Central to our health agenda in the country is ensuring that the poorest have access to quality medical and health services. We therefore allotted a significant amount for the health insurance benefits of our indigents and their families this year,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said.

“We’ve already secured a list of beneficiaries who are qualified to receive PhilHealth support. The release also allows these families to enjoy health care services otherwise unavailable to them. We’re also looking at boosting health security for those whose well-being are compromised by their environments or lack of resources,” he added.

As the Department of Health’s (DOH) budget under the NHIP was transferred to the Budgetary Support to Government Corporation (BSGC-Others), the P35.3 billion has been charged against the latter under the 2014 National Budget.

The Bureau of Treasury will be releasing the subsidy to PhilHealth based on actual billings; the number of identified families per region, municipality, and barangay; and the names of each enrolled beneficiary identified by the NHTS-PR.

All indigents identified under the targeting system are automatically enrolled under the PhilHealth’s indigent program.

“Our focus on achieving inclusive growth is propelled by our commitment to further empower the less privileged through healthcare and other basic social services. To this end, it is only fitting that we extend health insurance to those who need them the most,” Abad said. (PNA)