ARMM’s poor receives free PhilHealth cards

COTABATO– Free Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) cards were distributed simultaneously to 1,173,435 poor and indigent beneficiaries in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in other parts of Mindanao.

On Saturday, October 29, President Rodrigo Duterte who visited ARMM’s regional center here led the ceremonial turnover of the PhilHealth cards to selected beneficiaries.

In 2016, the national government allocated P2.8 billion for PhilHeath cards in the ARMM alone. Other PhilHealth card recipients come from conflict-affected areas in Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao and Central Mindanao, which are also part of the President’s Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda (CRDA).

The distribution is under PhilHealth’s National Health Insurance Program, which was established to provide health insurance coverage and ensure affordable, acceptable, available and accessible health care services to all citizens of the Philippines.

The free PhilHealth cards, agency officials explained, covers the health insurance of the recipients for a year. The cards, they noted, are renewable.

Recipients who are identified poor families, or whose income is insufficient for family subsistence, have been identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction .

The PhilHealth card serves as a passport in receiving medical benefits. This socialized insurance program serves as means for the healthy to help pay for the care of the sick and for those who can afford medical care to subsidize those who cannot.

It also includes a sustainable system of funds constitution, collection, management and disbursement of financing the availing of a basic minimum package and other supplementary packages of health insurance benefits by a progressively expanding proportion of the population.

It is limited to paying for the utilization of health services by covered beneficiaries and prohibited from providing health care directly, from buying and dispensing drugs and pharmaceuticals, from employing physicians and other professionals for the purpose of directly rendering care, and from owning or investing in health care facilities.

The following also enjoy PhilHealth coverage without additional premiums:

  • Legitimate spouse who is not a member;
  • Child or children – legitimate, legitimated, acknowledged and illegitimate (as appearing in birth certificate) adopted or stepchild or stepchildren below 21 years of age, unmarried and unemployed;
  • Children who are 21 years old or above but suffering from congenital disability, either physical or mental or any disability acquired that renders them totally dependent on the member for support, as determined by the Corporation;
  • Foster child as defined in Republic Act 10165 otherwise known as the Foster Care Act of 2012;
  • Parents who are 60 years old or above, not otherwise an enrolled member, whose monthly income is below an amount to be determined by PhilHealth in accordance with the guiding principles set forth in the NHI Act of 2013; and,

Parents with a permanent disability regardless of age as determined by PhilHealth, that renders them totally dependent on the member for subsistence.

Qualified dependents must be declared by the principal member. Their names must be listed under the principal member’s Member Data Record to ensure hassle-free availment of benefits. (Bureau of Public Information)