Legarda Hails Enactment of Universal Healthcare Law

June 24, 2013

Twenty-five (25) million indigent Filipinos will now have access to basic healthcare services through the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) with the enactment into law of the measure amending the National Health Insurance Act, Senator Loren Legarda today said.

Legarda, principal author of Republic Act 10606 or the National Health Insurance Act of 2013, said that affordable and accessible healthcare coverage will now be made available to all citizens, especially to the poorest Filipinos.

“This is a great leap towards achieving universal healthcare coverage for Filipinos. We have to ensure that this law, which mandates the government to subsidize the annual required premium contributions for the Philhealth coverage of indigent Filipino families, will be implemented properly,” she said.

As of 2012, the national government has enrolled to PhilHealth the poorest 5.2 million families identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

These families are entitled to no-balance billing (no additional co- payment) for 23 identified medical and surgical conditions (dengue, appendectomy, caesarean section, pneumonia, etc.) when they are admitted in a ward bed in any government facility.

“What is crucial now is to make these healthcare benefits known by the poorest households who are the intended beneficiaries. As health affects productivity and consequently, the future of Filipino families, this law will really go a long way in alleviating hardship and poverty,” Legarda concluded.***