Q:

What is PhilHealth?

A:

According to its official website, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation program, PhilHealth, was created to provide all citizens of the Philippines with accessible and affordable healthcare options that meet a high minimum standard of care. PhilHealth is a government-owned and operated tax-exempt corporation administered by the Philippine Department of Health.

PhilHealth states that the program is able to fund itself by collecting insurance fees from Filipinos capable of paying. This subsidizes the cost of the program for those who cannot afford it. The Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage reports that PhilHealth was created in 1995. The program has undergone several reforms to further increase accessibility, hasten provider payments and provide expanded subsidies for the poor.

According to the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage, PhilHealth is available to all Filipinos, but enrollment in the program varies among different sectors of the nation's population. PhilHealth provides a comprehensive set of medical services, including emergency care, outpatient visits, surgeries and preventative care for participants with limited financial resources. By law, the cost of PhilHealth premiums is limited to 3 percent of a person's annual income. Those who cannot afford the full cost of premiums pay as little as 1,200 pesos a year, which is equivalent to $25.


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