The Local Government of Balanga City, Bataan headed by Mayor Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia conducted its 3rd year “PhilHealth Alaga Ka Para sa Maayos na Buhay” event. The activity intended to intensify the National Government Program in giving free Health Insurance through PhilHealth for the members of the National Household Targeting System (NHTS). The program was facilitated by the City Health Office.
In the City of Balanga alone, there were 3,588 beneficiaries. All over the province of Bataan, a total of 53, 076 NHTS families were awarded with free PhilHealth membership.
In behalf of the Mayor, City Councilor for Health, Jernie Jett Nisay welcomed the participants. On his message, the Councilor emphasized that having a sponsored health insurance was a great help especially for the poor families. He added that it was important for the beneficiaries to know how and where they can use their PhilHealth Membership.
This message was strengthened by Mr. Edmund M. Manuel, Officer in Charge and Local Health Insurance Officer (LHIO) for PhilHealth Bataan and other LHIOs who were invited in the said event to give updates on how the member can use the health insurance.
Mr. Manuel discussed the Primary Care Benefit Package ( PCB) among 800 NHTS beneficiaries who graced the event. PhilHealth Alaga Ka stands for PhilHealth: Alamin at Gamitin. Most beneficiaries don’t know how to use and where they can use the health insurance.
On his discussion, he informed the beneficiaries that the PhilHealth can now be used on the Hospitals and Rural Health Units.
During enlistment and profiling, the benefits include Primary Preventive Services such as free consultation, visual inspection and acetic acid wash, blood pressure measurement, breastfeeding, breast self-examination, counseling for lifestyle modification and smoking cessation, body measurements and digital rectal examination.
On the Rural Health Unit level, there are now free laboratory examinations for NHTS sponsored PhilHealth. The lab exams include complete blood count, urinalysis, fecalysis, sputum examination, and fasting blood sugar. However, these laboratory examinations should be recommended by the Rural Health Physician before they can avail the free services.
There were also free medications for asthma, acute gastroenteritis, upper respiratory tract infection, pneumonia (medium and low), and urinary tract infection.
In Hospitals, the “No Balance Billing” policy was only applicable on Department of Health-retained Hospitals and accredited public hospitals. The patient should also be admitted into Public rooms or PhilHealth wards. Medications and consultations were all free during the hospitalization. However, this does not include take-home medications.
On an interview, Mr. Manuel said that the most common problems encountered by PhilHealth members were the unavailability of medicine in hospitals. With this, the NHTS sponsored member has the right to insist for the medicine during confinement. He added that updating of the PhilHealth dependents was a great issue before. Today, the member only needs to update the PMRF with no documentation required but proper documentation will be asked as needed.
He added that this activity will be conducted by the different municipalities in Bataan from February 15 to February 24, 2016.
On the other hand, Ms. Helen Grace Aquin, Social Insurance Officer 3 of Bataan focused in discussing the updates of the indigent membership under the PhilHealth Insurance.
The NHTS member can include the following dependents: Legal Husband/ Wife, Children (illegitimate/ legitimate), foster children, stepchildren, and adopted children. Mentally or physically disabled children should have a medical certificate.
Children of NHTS beneficiaries who got pregnant before the age of 21 will also be given an instant PhilHealth membership. While, 4Ps beneficiaries are automatically a PhilHeath member; they just need to fill up and submit a PMRF.
A closing remark was given by Dr. Bhen Anthony P. Bautista, Rural Health Physician. The Program was concluded by a commitment wall signing ceremony. City Officials, PhilHealth Officers, Rural Health Physicians, Rural Health Nurses, Rural Health Midwives, and DOH Nurses joined the signing.