PhilHealth plans maternal, child health advocacy in Cebu, Bohol

By Azer Parrocha

MANILA, (PNA) — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is planning its next advocacy activity for rural health units — this time in Cebu and Bohol.

After conducting a similar advocacy activity in Negros Oriental and Siquijor, PhilHealth wants to further encourage support in national effort towards improving maternal health and reducing child mortality.

During the last advocacy, participants from 19 local government units in Negros Oriental and from all six Siquijor towns attended the activity in Dumaguete City.

Once a rural health unit participates as Maternity and Newborn Care provider, members or their qualified dependents giving birth in the facility can avail of an P8,000 and a P1,750 PhilHealth coverage for mother and child, respectively.

The Maternity Care package covers pregnancy care from pre- to postnatal.

The prenatal care component amounting to P1,500, is payable to the member upon presentation of receipts for prenatal services.

Meanwhile, the Newborn Care package covers newborn screening, hearing tests and essential newborn care (including among others, Vitamin K administration, BCG vaccination and first dose of Hepatitis B immunization).

PhilHealth applies the No Balance Billing policy in all accredited lying-in clinics so when members avail of these two benefit packages, no other amount will be charged for the normal delivery and the newborn care.

This is especially beneficial to poor constituents enrolled under the Sponsored Program, which includes those identified in the National Household Targeting for Poverty Reduction of the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development and, consequently, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program beneficiaries.

Rural health units largely serve poor constituents.

If it participates as Maternity and Newborn Care provider, it will receive reimbursement from PhilHealth for pregnancy care services rendered to poor patients.

This is because they are no longer charity cases but paying individuals.

They have PhilHealth coverage through local and national government sponsorship of their premium contribution.

According to accountant-advocate for the National Health Insurance Program, Bindoy Mayor Valente Yap, expectant mothers should be served and whether they have the capacity to pay or not, a reimbursement can be taken from it.

The mayor also shared that, as of 2012, Bindoy has received a total of P1.29 million from PhilHealth as reimbursement for Maternity Care services it provided to members.