Philhealth member ka na ba?

You may not realize it now, but one of our greatest fears is that of having a dreaded disease and not having the money or health insurance to pay for treatment.

Luckily, we have Philhealth as a National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) to cover some expenses if ever the case arises. Philhealth claims to have 85% of the population covered. But is this accurate?

What about you? May I ask if you are aware of Philhealth? Are you a member of Philhealth? Do you know how to avail of your Philhealth benefits? Have you ever used your Philhealth entitlements? If yes, what benefits have you used?

If you are not yet a member of Philhealth, you are qualified to be one if you belong to one of the following categories which can be found in their website

Employed – These are employees in the government and private sectors, as well as household employees and sea-based OFWs whose premiums are jointly shouldered by the employee and the employer.

Overseas Worker – These are land-based overseas contract workers whose premiums are paid prior to departure.

Individually Paying – These are self-practicing professionals who voluntarily contribute to the program.

Sponsored – These are the marginalized and less privileged families whose coverage is jointly shouldered by the National Government and the LGUs or by private individuals and companies, members of Congress and other philanthropists.

Lifetime – These are retirees and pensioners who are entitled to lifetime coverage once they reach the age of retirement and have made at least 120 monthly contributions.

What are the benefits members can avail of? In-patient coverage include subsidies for hospital room and board fees, drugs, and medicines, x-ray and other laboratory exams, operating room and professional fees for confinements of not less than 24 hours.

There are certain limitations as prescribed in the table of rate ceilings and maximum allowances.

Out-patient coverage include day surgeries, dialysis and cancer treatment procedures such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

There are also special benefit packages and exclusions which we will feature later.

Meanwhile, it is my dream that our Philhealth will become like what they have in Malaysia where their citizens only pay 1 Ringgit for medical check-ups or treatment.

They are able to do this because their program is heavily subsidized by the government. Fortunately, we may be nearing the realization of that dream if what I read in the front pages is right — President Benigno Aquino III’s advocacy to provide healthcare to more and more Filipinos is one of his priorities and part of his health agenda.

For comments and suggestions on Philhealth, you may text me at  09184138744 or 09176251963, or email me at

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