ASIDE from the poorest of the poor, kasambahays (household helpers) will now be covered by the No Balance Billing (NBB) policy of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

According to PhilHealth, they are already extending the NBB policy to household helpers under the improved enforcement of the scheme.

"In order to provide more Filipinos with adequate financial protection against health risks, PhilHealth has extended its NBB policy to household helpers," said PhilHealth President and CEO Alexander Padilla in a statement.

Prior to covering household helpers, the NBB was made available to the poorest of the poor, specifically the Indigent and Sponsored members, as well as the iGroup Gold members with existing Group Policy Contract (GPC) until the contract with PhilHealth expires.

Padilla said the decision is based on the provisions of Republic Act 10606 or National Health Insurance Act of 2013, which says, "No other fee or expense shall be charged to the indigent patient, subject to the guidelines issued by the corporation."

"Every person has the right to access adequate health care and we want that dream of universal health care for all Filipinos fulfilled through NBB," said Padilla.

The NBB policy guarantees qualified members that they will no longer have to pay any amount beyond what PhilHealth pays for when admitted in ward-type accommodation in government hospitals.

RA 10361 or the Kasambahay Law made PhilHealth contributions mandatory for all household helpers with those with salaries below P5,000 requiring employers to shoulder the whole cost of the contribution while those with salaries above P5,000 having employees and employers share on the premium.

Padilla, meanwhile, urged household helpers to update their respective Member Data Records to ensure that all their legal dependents are included in their benefits.

"Employers of Kasambahays must promptly remit their monthly premium contributions to ensure hassle-free availment of benefits,” Padilla further said. (HDT/Sunnex)