MANILA, (PIA)–The Department of Finance–National Credit Council (DOF-NCC), Insurance Commission (IC) and Department of Health (DOH) are putting the microinsurance stake deep in the ground so that every low-income Filipino, including the informal sectors, would have access to relevant and cost-sensitive healthcare financing.
The National Capital Region consultation on March 27 at New World Manila Bay Hotel was the final round in the series of five regional Health Microinsurance (HMI) consultations held in major cities across the country.
So far, close to 500 participants from public and private providers and practitioners in health and insurance sounded out on the HMI document. The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) continues to provide the support for HMI Policy and Regulatory Framework consultations which will culminate at the NCR.
It is expected that the final leg of discussions right at the seat of Philippine government would be dynamic particularly on the Philippine initiatives on microinsurance, updates on the social health insurance (SHI) and the proposed draft of HMI policy and regulatory framework.
NCR accounts for 37.2% of the gross domestic product of the Philippines and remains the premier center for finance and commerce.
Moreover, Metro Manila is known as the Philippine’s global power city with 25 million Filipinos who impact various fields in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment.
Hopefully soon, it will include inclusive insurance.
At present, health issues remain one of the key concerns in Metro Manila along with poverty and population pressures. It is the second most populated region among 17 regions in the country and seventh most populous metropolitan area in Asia.
The proposed HMI framework is intended to support the Universal Health Care (UHC) outlined in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP 2011-2016) which safeguards equitable access to health care for all Filipinos, particularly the poor. The HMI framework sets to address the health needs of more than 12 million Filipinos who considered their present state poor according to 2014 SWS survey.
The PDP envisions a National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) that encourages public-private partnerships to respond to the current gaps in healthcare risk protection in the country. Philhealth is the government’s current frontline health insurance provider along with a handful of licensed Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).
At present, 82% of Filipinos have some form of health coverage; the gap remains wide for healthcare financial risk protection, particularly to the most vulnerable low-income and informal sectors. Philhealth provides basic health care packages but has not covered medical transport, drugs and medical supplies outside of the hospital.
According to DOH, 54 percent of the total health expenditure comprised out-of-pocket expenses.
Addressing the gaps thru public-private partnership, the government’s founding triumvirate (DOH, DOF-NCC, and IC) and the health and insurance industry key representatives collaborated in a Technical Working Group to work on the draft of the HMI framework.
The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) through its regional program on microinsurance, the Regulatory Framework Promotion of Pro-poor Insurance Markets in Asia program (GIZ-RFPI Asia) provided the technical and financial support.
As such, the HMI framework is envisioned to augment the UHC program through a viable and sustainable private sector microinsurance industry. HMI is expected to provide every Filipino with greater coverage and wider access to simple, affordable, appropriate and effective HMI products and services.
Microinsurance responds to the needs and paying capacities of the low-income and informal sectors. Products have affordable premiums, the benefits correspond to the risks, and claims settlement is fast.
The Luzon consultations were split in two consecutive consultations in Laguna and Pampanga. The Visayas and Mindanao consultations were held in Cebu and Davao respectively last year. More than three hundred providers and practitioners from health and insurance sectors participated in these regions.
Inputs from the consultations will be collated and reflected in the final framework which will be launched to the public in the second quarter of 2015.(DOH/DOF-NCC/GIZ/PIA-NCR)
– See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/231427438091/gov-t-agencies-partners-eye-ncr-stance-on-health-microinsurance#sthash.jr86oiEy.dpuf
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