THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has proposed a P101.51 billion budget for the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) in 2024, an increase of P1.28 billion from the current budget.
This is to allow the state insurer to cater to an increased number of beneficiaries as well as to more than double the annual premium rate for persons with disability (PWD) to P5,000 from the current P2,400.
The proposed 2024 budget would benefit more than 21 million people, of whom 1.31 million would be indigent and financially incapacitated patients who cannot afford quality healthcare services, Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said in a statement Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.
Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act, signed in 2019, mandates PhilHealth to provide health insurance coverage and ensure affordable and accessible health care services for all Filipinos.
The proposed 2024 budget would “strengthen primary healthcare facilities in the country, including medical assistance amounting to P22.26 billion to 1.31 million indigent and financially incapacitated patients who are unable to afford nor access quality healthcare services,” said Pangandaman.
The proposed PhilHealth program benefits are expected to reach some 12.75 million indigent members as identified by the National Household Targeting System under the Department of Social Welfare and Development, as well as 8.26 million senior citizens. Senior citizens were granted mandatory PhilHealth coverage under Republic Act 10645 of 2014.
In addition, 15,000 financially handicapped patients, 136,000 unemployed PWDs and 25,512 persons as identified in the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) Peace and Development Program are also target beneficiaries.
Pamana was launched in 2011 as a priority program of the National Government to support the Peace and Development Agenda, particularly on the implementation of “peace-promoting, catch-up socio-economic development in conflict-affected and conflict-vulnerable areas,” according to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity.