Indigents urged to use health insurance

ILOILO – Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. is encouraging all who have been enrolled in Philippine Health Insurance Corp., especially the sponsored poor, to maximize the use of their health insurance benefits.

This developed following reports that only 5.61 percent of 378,312 enrollees under the National Household Targeting System and Local Government Unit Sponsored Program availed their insurance.

For the governor-sponsored members alone, only six percent or 857 of the 14,291 availed of PhilHealth hospitalization benefits as of August 2014. This means that of the approximately P30-million budget for their premiums, only P2.056-million was utilized.

Defensor believed that the reason for this very low utilization is the out-of-pocket expense during hospitalization which the poor is often afraid of.

“What they do not know is we have a No Balance Billing (NBB) policy in effect in all our district and provincial hospitals. There is no need for this out-of-pocket expense,” he said.

Under the no balance billing policy, doctors and hospitals are prohibited from charging their patients of more than the rates set for 23 cases and surgical procedures specified by PhilHealth.

The policy also covers outpatient packages for treatment of tuberculosis, malaria and human immunodeficiency virus.

To optimize the coverage of PhilHealth, a “Point of Care” is also introduced to include barangay tanods, barangay officials (captain, kagawad, secretaries, treasurer, etc) and indigent families not covered by NHTS.

Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, also the Officer-in-Charge of Hospital Management Office, explained that the target beneficiaries can avail of the Point of Care of PhilHealth once they are in the hospital.

“So even if they do not have insurance during their admission, they do not have to worry since the hospital will automatically enroll them to PhilHealth,” Banias stressed. #2015News


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