Last year, members of our family were frequent visitors in the hospital ranging from consultations to confinement. Such incidents did not only drained us physically and emotionally but more so, financially. The most difficult process in dealing with hospital confinements was how to pay the hospitalization fee especially when you were short of cash and you did not have any health insurance to cover such expenses. My sister and her husband were self-employed individuals, earning not much to cover their family's daily needs thus an extra expense for a health insurance was obviously not in their budget. It was too unfortunate that during that year, my sister, her husband and their son badly needed medical attention due to various illnesses that struck their family. The three of them were hospitalized one after the other that we as their immediate family had to rescue them financially. I never regret that I had to lose money to help defray the hospital expenses. I would rather lose money than lose a family...but, what I regret was that they never had the chance to avail of health benefits that could have been a big help to them. So while we were settling the bills at the hospital, we found out that Philhealth could have spared her at least 30%-40% of the total amount but since she was not a member, we needed to find that money to pay for it.
1. At the PhilHealth online registration site, she filled out an online membership registration form (you can also fill out a manual form downloaded from their site then submit it together with supporting documents at the PhilHealth office.)
2. She then attached a scan copy of her documents such as their marriage certificate and birth certificate of her dependents. (You can also opt to submit the documentary requirements directly at their office or send them through mail.)
3. After successfully submitting the form online, an email was sent informing her that her application was received and will be processed.
4. After several days, another email was received with her PhilHealth Identification Number and a copy of her Member's Data Record (MDR). Included in the email was an instruction to pay for the monthly contribution and the terms of coverage.
5. She then went to the nearest SSS office to pay for her initial payment. At first she tried to pay for it at PhilHealth accredited collection partner but was declined when she said that it was an initial payment. The cashier advised her to pay directly at PhilHealth so that was what she did.
For a minimum amount of 100 pesos per month (it has now been increased to 150 per month for those earning 25,000 and below), she and her family is insured of health benefits. That is only about five pesos everyday, cheaper than a bottle of soda :-) An advance payment covering one whole year is accepted but if you are short on budget, you can opt for monthly or quarterly payments. You only need to be sure to pay your premiums on time to be assured of continued coverage. I hope that heads of the family who are not yet members of Philhealth resolve to be registered in this National Health Insurance Program of the government. Philhealth may only pay a portion of your hospital bills but that is better than nothing at all. That Philhealth benefit could save you lots of monies and woes than borrowing money from loan sharks that would trap you into deep debt because of high interest and get you into more troublesome days.
If you have friends or relatives who are not yet member of PhilHealth, give them a favor by informing them of this health insurance program. This will give them less worries and an assurance that appropriate medical attention will be given to them when an incident arises.