Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Eastern Visayas regional vice president Acisclo Militante shares to schoolchildren in Tacloban City the country's health insurance program. (Photo courtesy of PhilHealth)
TACLOBAN CITY -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has paid a record-high of PHP3.9 billion for benefits in Eastern Visayas last year, up by 6 percent than the previous year’s payment.
The state-run health insurance had 457,290 claims in 2018 as more members became more aware of healthcare benefits intended for them, said PhilHealth Eastern Visayas regional vice president Acisclo Militante.
“The higher payment is driven by membership coverage expansion and high awareness level especially among poor families in the region,” Militante told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.
In 2017, PhilHealth paid PHP3.6 billion for medical care of members. Benefit payments from 2013 to 2018 have been increasing at an average of 17 percent.
The implementation of the point of service also contributed to higher payment, according to Militante.
The program allows non-PhilHealth members who are financially incapable and confined in government hospitals to avail of PhilHealth benefits.
“Increasing benefit payouts mean that more members have availed of the PhilHealth benefits and this is consistent with the mandate of providing financial risk protection for the Filipino people,” he added.
The PhilHealth in Eastern Visayas is among the top in the country in terms of fast claims processing last year. The region processes claims at an average of 24 days, way below than the 60 days allowed by the law and 30 days ideal period, according to Militante.
For December alone, the turnaround time was only 14 days, the third fastest nationwide.
“Contributing to the faster processing time is the implementation of the electronic claims system, wherein health facilities are submitting their claim documents electronically,” he added.
At least 322 hospital and non-hospital facilities, comprising 89 percent of the region’s health facilities are already adopting the e-claims.
Of the 4.7 million PhilHealth members and dependents in Eastern Visayas, 58 percent is composed of indigent members followed by informal sector members at 14 percent, private sector employees and senior citizens at 9 percent each, government workers at 7 percent, and migrant workers at 2 percent.