Persons with disability are now automatically covered by the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., according to La Union Second District Rep. Sandra Eriguel.
This became possible after President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law on Feb. 22, 2019 Republic Act 11228 which provides mandatory PhilHealth coverage for all PWDs.
The new law amended R.A. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability.
“This new law will guarantee that PWDs have equitable access to medical and healthcare services,” Eriguel, chairperson of the House Committee on Social Services who led the deliberations by the committee of the original House bill and sponsored the committee-approved version in the plenary, said in a press statement.
Together with the other principal authors of the bill, Rep. Micaela Violago and Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., Eriguel also represented the House in the discussion with their Senate counterpart to come up with the final bicameral version of this significant piece of legislation.
R.A. 11228 is a consolidation of House Bill No. 8014 and Senate Bill No. 1391.
Eriguel said that under the new law, the PhilHealth premium contributions for all PWDs would be paid for by the national government.
However, the premium contributions of PWD members in the formal economy would be shared equally by their employers and the national government, she added.
The funds needed for the implementation of the law would be sourced from the proceeds of R.A. 10351 or the law that restructured the excise tax on alcohol and tobacco products.
PhilHealth will develop exclusive packages for PWDs to address their specific health and development needs, while the Department of Health will maintain an updated database on PWDs and their health and development needs.
The law also requires the DOH to coordinate with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Labor and Employment, the National Council for Disability Affairs, local government units and other relevant government agencies to conduct a periodic monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the new statute.
The agencies will craft the implementing rules and regulations within three months upon the effectivity of the law.