PhilHealth: Making Healthcare Accessible to Filipinos

Many companies in the Philippines help keep their employees healthy by providing health-centric benefits, such as health maintenance organisation (HMO) memberships, paid sick days, and annual physical exams, among many others; however, not all employers are as fastidious when it comes to taking care of their employees’ health. Then there are the cases of unemployed Filipinos living under the poverty line; with barely enough money to cover their daily needs, leaving them to wonder how they can afford to have regular health checkups.

This is where Republic Act 7875, also known as the National Health Insurance Act of 1995, comes in handy. Signed by then-President Fidel V. Ramos on February 14, 1995, this Act paved the way for the creation of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (commonly known as PhilHealth or PHIC). The Act mandates that “…the State shall provide comprehensive health care services to all Filipinos through a socialized health insurance program,” a tall order that yet seems to be attainable, considering that, as of December 2013, eight out of every ten Filipinos were registered as PhilHealth members, with the 2013 membership roster tallying 77 million members.

Employees are docked anywhere from P100 to P437.50 each month for their PHIC contributions, with their employers shouldering the same amount, depending on their salary bracket. For instance, workers who earn P30,000 to P30,999.99 per month are docked P375 for that period, while their employers also pay P375 towards their premium. For kasambahay helpers (housemaids) who earn less than P5,000, employers shoulder both the employee and employer shares, as stated on the premium schedule.

Now, for a small portion of a person’s salary, what can they expect from their PhilHealth contributions? Apparently, there are numerous benefits to being a PhilHealth member, among them the Tamang Serybisyong Kalusugang Pampamilya (TSeKaP) program, which “aims to assign every entitled family to a primary care doctor for annual consults, provide diagnostic tests (as needed) as well as preventive and promotive services in rural health units.” Unfortunately, today this program is only available to indigent members, land-based overseas workers, and iGroup Gold members and their qualified dependents, although the government is looking to expand this service across the board.

Perhaps the most significant among PhilHealth’s current programs would be the Z Benefit packages, which aims to shoulder parts or the entire treatment of medically difficult and expensive treatments, such as kidney transplants, coronary artery bypass procedures, childhood leukemia, and cervical, breast, and prostate cancer, among others. Each condition has a corresponding maximum amount of coverage.

Of course, PhilHealth offers other services such as affordable birth delivery packages. To know more about its other programs, checkout PhilHealth online. Or contact one of our payroll geniuses via genius@philpay.ph

 

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