Only 2/3 Of Philhealth Members Make Use Of Their Coverage
In 2017, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) stated that 97 million Filipinos or 93% of the entire population is covered by PhilHealth. However, the PhilCare Wellness Index 2019 shows that only 63.5% of Filipinos with sick household family members take advantage of Philippine Health Insurance. In addition, a 2019 study showed that only two-thirds of those covered actually use their health insurance.
Majority of the respondents use their savings to pay off their medical bills, while 25% seeks help from others. Only 16.73% said they use their salaries for medical bills and only some 15.14% use HMOs.
On a different light, out of the 1,350 interviewed respondents, 40% are unsure if they can even pay for their medical bills and some 35% said they are unsure if they can afford a regular medical checkup. On the average, medical bills of the respondents would amount to ₱30,000.
Former Department of Health Secretary Dr. Enrique Ona also used this data during the media launch to emphasize how public information dissemination of the Philhealth coverage is very inadequate.
The Lead researcher of the study Dr. Fernando Paragas also affirmed this with his statement suggesting the need to clarify to the public the coverage of Philhealth and the step-by-step process when the Philhealth member is in the hospital.