In the Philippines, healthcare insurance can come in two categories: governmental and private. The two aren’t exclusive and many Filipinos opt for both. A startling realization however is that even more Filipinos choose neither, being largely unaware of the nature and importance of insurance.
Governmental insurance is in the form of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (better known to the public as PhilHealth). It is a government owned and controlled corporation which was founded in 1995 and is available to all Filipinos regardless of age, class, or employment. The premiums go into a national pool and subsidized across districts. The insured are categorized into groups (i.e., indigents, senior citizens, overseas workers, etc.) that each have varying benefits and premiums.
On the other hand, Filipinos may also choose to avail of one of two private insurance options. There are those traditional insurance plans provided for by private companies. Such plans are generally more comprehensive and exhaustive than PhilHealth and premiums are considerably more costly.
There are also similar insurance plans offered by Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) which extend access to healthcare professionals in a network. Although these plans are similar in depth to private companies, the contributions are capped annually. These are more common in large companies who require employees to avail of HMO insurance on top of PhilHealth.
There are several hundred insurance companies in the Philippines ranging from government-subsidized to foreign brands and local companies. Despite the availability of insurance through a progressive premium payment scheme, only 38.9-million Filipinos have insurance, leaving out about 70-million others in 2018.
As of February 2019, the passage of the Universal Healthcare Law will allow PhilHealth to exponentially improve upon its services with a larger budget. On top of many other things, the law seeks to provide mandatory healthcare insurance to all Filipinos. As of this writing, implementing rules and regulations are yet to be finished.
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