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One Dream: One card for every Filipino's HealthSeptember 5, 2011

With this theme, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) today launched a new identification card that will soon enable members to avail themselves of health and wellness benefits at participating merchants nationwide.

The new card is being introduced to encourage non-members, especially those who have the means to pay for their premium contributions, to sign up under the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) and enable the state insurer to meet its goal of providing coverage to all Filipinos by 2013.

"We are employing another approach to further expand our membership base and help achieve our government's goal of Universal Health Care," said PhilHealth President and CEO Dr. Rey B. Aquino. Noting that the agency plays a vital role in the attainment of the UHC, Aquino stressed that "it is important for us to exhaust all possible means to bring all Filipinos into the NHIP, especially now that we have less than two years to achieve it."

Operating under the concept of Public-Private Partnership (PPP), the PhilHealth tapped corporate partners from the private sector to give the new ID card more value without requiring cardholders to be hospitalized. The cardholders may avail themselves of special privileges such as discounts when buying branded or unbranded, generic medicines, vitamins and medical equipment and devices, as well as health services like eye exams, drug testing, or vaccination at participating merchant stores and branches nationwide.

The new ID card will be available at 307 SM and 1,067 Bayad Center branches all over the country. A minimal fee will be charged for the registration services, cost of the card and one quarter's worth of premium contributions.

Existing members may also avail themselves of the cards where the permanent PhilHealth Identification Number (PIN) is indicated. It has a magnetic strip that will enable the merchants to verify whether or not the cardholder has sufficient premium contributions to PhilHealth before granting the discounts or privileges.

Aside from SM and Bayad Center , other corporate partners of PhilHealth in this undertaking are All Card Plastics Philippines and e-Soluzione for card production services; Prime IT Source, Inc. and 1abx for connectivity especially during onsite registration activities; Globe Telecom and Smart Communications for advocacy efforts; and Unilab for the provision of cards to senior citizen-members of PhilHealth. GlaxoSmithKline, Qualifirst Health, Inc., PQ HealthShield, Watsons Pharmacy, Rose Pharmacy, South Star Drugstore, Fresenius/FMS Renal Care Corp., Vivian Sarabia Optical, and JNW Drug Testing, Inc. are providing the member-discounts and incentives.

Both SM and Bayad Center will be ready to accept applications for new memberships, as well as provide limited member updating services starting Monday next week. (END)

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