Gov't OKs P35-B health insurance coverage for poor

By Delon Porcalla, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 22 2014 08:15 AM | Updated as of Jul 22 2014 04:15 PM

MANILA - The Aquino administration has released P35.3 billion in government funds for the health insurance coverage of 14.7 million poor families enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program or PhilHealth.

In a statement released yesterday, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the amount covers the health insurance premiums as identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s national household targeting system for poverty reduction from January to December this year.

Last March, President Aquino led the launching of a comprehensive health program, which he promised when he was a candidate in May 2010. The program will provide primary health care for the country’s poorest of the poor.

The state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the Department of Health (DOH) have launched a multisectoral campaign called “Alaga ka para sa Maayos na Buhay (Alaga Ka),” which aims to give families access to health care services.

“Central to our health agenda is to ensure that the poor have access to quality medical and health services. We allotted a significant amount for the health insurance benefits of our indigents and their families this year,” Abad said.

He said the releases would allow poor families to enjoy health care services that were not available to them before.

“We’re also looking at boosting health security for those whose well-being is compromised by their environments or lack of resources,” Abad said.

The Bureau of Treasury will release 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.

Poor families identified under the targeting system are automatically enrolled under PhilHealth’s indigent program.

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