DAVAO CITY (PIA) - Following major policy changes related to the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law late last year, Philhealth XI has planned out massive information dissemination especially at the grassroots level.
Field Operations Division Chief of Philhealth XI Fiilbert Bryan L. Sollesta bared during the Media Forum held Friday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel that the office is joining barangay caravans to reach out members and be able to explain the changes and benefits as it ensures that universal coverage and financial risk protection is delivered to all Filipinos.
Philhealth XI admitted that communicating these policy changes to the public is a big challenge.
It hopes to maximize all of its PhilHealth AKOs or Advocates and Knowledge Officers who are barangay health workers as their voice down at the grassroots. The PhilHealth AKOs will be updated on these policy changes and will be dispatched to help residents in their respective barangays understand the policy changes.
One of the changes in its policy is the granting of "immediate eligibility" to its members who are now classified as either direct or indirect contributors.
Contrary to the previous policy on the "9/12 month rule" that requires members to have at least paid nine months within the past year for them to avail the benefits, with the UHC Law all Filipinos get automatic availment to a range of PhilHealth benefits.
" However, we need to make it clear to everyone that while it is true that we already follow immediate eligibility, those who have not yet registered with PhilHealth should first register with us. Also, we emphasize that since the IRR of the UHC Law was approved last November 22, 2019, premium contribution should have been paid starting November 22," said Germaine Tan of Philhealth XI.
In the media forum, PhilHealth also tackled the need to religiously pay the premium contribution especially for its direct contributors.
Starting January, an adjustment of 3 percent based on monthly basic salary or income was implemented. This now requires members to pay the lowest rate at P300 per month or the highest rate of P1,800 per month.
The premium adjustment come in increments for the next years until the 5 percent will be reached.
" We assure our members that while these adjustments are being implemented, the PhilHealth as cited in the UHC law and the implementing rules and regulations that we institute packages that provide more benefits to the members," PhilHealth XI Acting Regional Vice-President Dr. Hector P. Malate said.
Part of the information that the PhilHealth wants the public to know is its efforts to expand the benefits under UHC.
The benefits will eventually cover all other areas to include preventive promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative care.
One of the first few packages soon to be launched is PhilHealth's KonSulTa package or enhanced package for primary care services.
Public Affairs Unit Head Johanna T. Blason explained that this package will answer the long clamor of most members seeking for a package that would allow any member to avail free consultation and even free medicines at any PhilHealth accredited facility. (PIA/FGM)