Archive for October, 2009

Philhealth asked to expand actual benefits

Posted on October 24, 2009. Filed under: News |

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 6, 2009
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/davao/philhealth-asked-expand-actual-benefits

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is asked to expand and strengthen actual benefits of its members which can result in lowering of the share of out-of-pocket expenses in terms of total health expenditure.

This was the position of “Ayos na Gamot sa Abot-Kayang Presyo (Agap)” Coalition, a non-governmental organization, presented during the Fair Trade convenors’ group meeting.

“The presence of social insurance seems to be non-responsive to the health problems of the members because based from the total health expenditure, ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses still comprises almost half of the total health spending,” Agap secretariat member Joyce Filomeno said.

Filomeno believes that the proposed amendments to Republic Act 7875, otherwise known as National Health Insurance Act of 1995, taken all together will surely work to improve the current health insurance program.

She said these push expanded benefits which include out-patient benefits as well as preventive health care services like annual physical examinations. Assistance to health care providers and benefit packages relating to women and their needs are also pursued.

The provisions that present the concept of fair and reasonable pricing in the reimbursable cost of medicines will also be useful to achieve these goals, she added.

“We hope that the Corporation will not only expand benefits according to the mandate of Republic Act 9502 (Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicine Act of 2008) but also strengthen its existing benefits,” she noted.

Moreover, Filomeno said there should be nothing that will prevent PhilHealth from increasing the coverage up to at least 90 percent of the total population or persisting to attain 100-percent coverage.

“With regard to achieving a universal coverage, it is essential that all Citizens of the Philippines be covered and enrolled in the Program,” she said.

Senate Bill (SB) 1992 and House Bill 988 push for automatic enrollment of all Filipinos as opposed to the current enrollment scheme of Philhealth.

SB 3154 likewise seeks to have mandatory universal health coverage by immediate and automatic enrollment of all Filipinos which shall be funded by the national government through the inclusion of the required contribution in the General Appropriations Act annually. (Philexport)

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