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Only 63.35% of Filipinos with sick relatives have ever used PhilHealth, study says

Only 63.35% of Filipinos who have sick family members within the household have ever used their Philippine Health insurance, according to the PhilCare Wellness Index 2019.

In 2017, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) stated that 97 million Filipinos or 93% of the entire population is covered by PhilHealth.

Despite this however, the 2019 study showed that only two-thirds of those covered actually use their health insurance.

When faced with medical bills, majority of respondents use their savings to pay it off, while at least 25.10% ask help from others. Just 16.73% use their salaries while the very smallest population — only 15.14% — use their HMOs.

According to the study which interviewed 1,350 respondents from different sectors and regions, 40% are unsure if they can even pay for their medical bills while 35% are unsure they can afford regular medical check ups.

Majority of the respondents had to pay up to P30,000 for their medical bills.

Former Department of Health Secretary Dr. Enrique Ona said during a media launch on Wednesday, "Right away the study tells you that most likely public information of the coverage that PhilHealth is giving our population is very inadequate."

Lead researcher of the study Dr. Fernando Paragas added, "Kailangan talaga natin linawin kung ano ang pwedeng i-charge sa PhilHealth, ano ang hindi pwedeng i-charge, ano ang proseso pag nasa ospital ka na at saan ka pupunta."

PhilhealthCare, Inc. President Jaeger Tanco also said that only 5% of the population is covered by Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO)

"5% ang covered by HMO based on our statistics and based on our population it is a very very low percentage," Jaeger added. — LA, GMA News