PHILHEALTH BACKS UHC LAW; 136K CORDILLERANS TO BE ENROLLED
BAGUIO CITY — An official of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in Cordillera sees the enrolment of the remaining 8 percent of the 1.7 million residents in the region, who have yet to be covered by the state-owned health insurance.
“In Cordillera, we are targeting 100 percent enrollment. A total of 92 percent of the 1.7 million population in the region are already enrolled in Philhealth,” Noland Sabling, planning officer of PhilHealth in the Cordillera Region, said during a press conference Tuesday.
He added that they are still trying to reach the remaining 8 percent, which comes from the self-employed and senior citizens sector.
He also said that out-of-school youth would also be enrolled in PhilHealth.
Sabling said: “everyone should have a PhilHealth because it’s formidable to go to the hospital not having your PhilHealth, it is very costly. That is why we are doing everything we can to give access to the ‘unreached’ and under ‘served’.”
He said the agency has three major projects to cover the remaining 8 percent of the region’s population.
These are: “Finding the 21”, “Reaching Every Barangay” and “Project 60”.
Finding 21 involves residents who are 21 years old; Reaching Every Barangay is scouring the villages to find the unregistered and Project 60 is locating senior citizens.
“Finding 21 was first piloted at St. Louis University [in Baguio city] on March 9, 2018 where 101 students were enrolled and registered as new members,” he said.
The project will be expanded to cover all 55 universities and colleges in the Cordillera — 34 private and 21 state-owned.
Sabling said 20 of them are in Baguio; six in Abra; nine in Benguet; eight in Kalinga; six in Ifugao; three in Mountain Province, and two in Apayao.
For the “Reaching Every Barangay” project, there are only 74 barangays left with a PhilHealth registration rate that is below 90 percent. Cordillera has 1,176 barangays.
He said that “reaching very barangay is a concept where PhilHealth officers in the Cordillera go to the barangay level to look for citizens who are not yet enrolled.”
Project 60 or the senior citizen expanded program will cover all senior citizens.
“We are coordinating with provincial offices to gather all senior citizens and this is in partnership with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), their data will be used to validate information coming from the senior citizens,” he said.
He said that they are targeting to enroll all 12,774 senior citizens to PhilHealth, with only a few still to be covered.
On February 20, 2019, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the Universal Health Care Bill into law, which automatically enrolls all Filipinos under the government’s health insurance program. (PNA)