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Sen. Escudero allocates P66.7M for Sorsogon's Universal Health Coverage May 14, 2012

AN additional 37,047 indigents and their dependents from the Province of Sorsogon are now eligible to avail of health insurance benefits after Senator Francis Escudero committed to enroll them into the Sponsored Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) for the next two years.

The enrolees are less privileged families who are not included in the National Household Targeting System (NHTS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and who are not covered by the enrolment of the Local Government Units (LGUs).

This recent development was a result of the negotiations led by PhilHealth Region 5 Vice President Orlando D. Iñigo, Jr, Field Operations Division Chief David I. Escandor and Sorsogon Service Office Head Alfredo J. Jubilo.

Escudero expressed his full support to the Universal Health Care Program of the National Government and allocated part of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to implement the Sponsored Program in the Province of Sorsogon. His sponsorship is valid for two years since he availed of the two-year, lock-in period which entitled him to the discounted premium rate for the indigents. Under the discounted scheme, a sponsor shall only pay P600 per enrolled family for 2012 and in 2013, the annual premium is pegged at P1200 per enrolled family.

Overall, Escudero allocated P66,684,600.00 from his PDAF for the premium contributions of 37,047 families in Sorsogon, which covers 14 municipalities and one (1) city.

From 12,570 sponsored poor families in December 2011, the Province of Sorsogon has now reached universal coverage after the committed enrollees for CY 2012-2013 under the Sponsored Program of the National Health Insurance Program shoot up to 64,556. The higher number of enrollees for this year was a result of the support of all the LCEs in the Province as they all allocated funds from the public coffers for the enrollment of their uninsured constituents. Of this number, 22,963 families were to be sponsored by the respective municipalities while the remaining portion of the population yet to be enrolled totaling 37,047 was committed to be sponsored by Escudero. This made Sorsogon rank 2nd among the provinces of Bicol Region to have the highest number of enrollees for CY 2012-2013 with a 514% coverage of the total population.

Through Escudero's sponsorship, beneficiaries and their qualified dependents may avail themselves of PhilHealth benefits at accredited facilities. For the Sponsored Program members, aside from the In-patient Benefits that can be availed of during confinement, an Out-Patient Benefit Package is also available at accredited Rural Health Units in the province.

“We fully appreciate the support given by Senator Escudero to the Sponsored Program. His enrolment is indeed significant in achieving universal coverage in the Province of Sorsogon, and will ensure that these poor families will be provided with financial risk protection and access to affordable and quality health care services though social health insurance,” said Iñigo. (END)

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