PhilHealth to expand coverage to 11,000 more households in conflict areas

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 29 Jan) – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will expand to 11,000 households this year the coverage of its health insurance program for residents in various conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

Ramon Aristoza Jr., PhilHealth executive vice president and chief operating officer, said Thursday the move was based on the additional allocation received by the agency for the program’s implementation for 2015.

He said the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) has allocated a total of P128.9 million for the initiative through the PAyapa at MAsaganang PAmayanan (PAMANA) and the Sajahatra Bangsamoro programs.

“This will enable us to provide health insurance coverage to 11,000 Sajahatra Bangsamoro and PAMANA program beneficiaries until Dec. 31, 2015,” he said in a statement released by PhilHealth Region 12.

Aristoza, who is a former PhilHealth regional vice president for Region 12, said OPAPP specifically earmarked P47.7 million for beneficiaries under the PAMANA program, P26.4 million for the renewal of Sajahatra Bangsamoro program enrollees, P50.4 million for the targeted beneficiaries under the socio-economic component of the normalization process and P4.4 million for the 3,698 enrollees in 2013 under the Sajahatra Bangsamoro.

He said targeted new enrollees will come from conflict-affected areas in Region 12, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the neighboring areas.

Owing to this, the official advised PhilHealth regional offices, local health insurance offices and the agency’s Sajahatra Bangsamoro focal persons to update and renew their membership and member data records.

He said new or additional enrollees who would want to avail of the benefits prior to the issuance of PhilHealth identification cards and member data records are required to go to the nearest PhilHealth office for the issuance of the certificate of eligibility form.

“The issuance of the PhilHealth identification cards and member data records will be based on the master list of enrollees that will be issued by OPAPP,” Aristoza said.

In case the names of the enrollees are not included in the OPAPP master list, the agency will require them to submit an endorsement from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or the specific combatant group they belong, he said.

The official added that other sponsored and indigent members whose coverage expired last Dec. 31, 2014 and whose enrolment were not renewed by their sponsors are required to continue their membership by amending their records to informal sector economy and by paying their annual contribution of P2,400 payable on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis.