Senate OKs bill on PWDs’ mandatory Philhealth coverage on 2nd reading
The Senate on Tuesday night passed on second reading a proposed measure providing mandatory Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) coverage to persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Senate Bill No 1391 mandates that all PWDs are automatically enrolled and covered under the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP).
“I am happy with this development. I laud the Senate’s commitment to ensure that PWDs will be given better access to long-term medical care,” Hontiveros, author of the bill, said in a statement.
“There are 1.4 million Filipinos with disability, comprising 1.53% of the country’s population, according to a 2010 census. The majority of PWDs are poor and cannot keep up with the rising costs of medical care,” she added.
Under the proposed measure, which will amend Republic Act No 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled persons, the national government will pay the premium contributions of all PWDs.
However, the premium contributions of those employed in the formal economy will be shared by the employer and the national government.
The national government will source the premium payments from the sin tax collection.
“Persons with disability face many barriers in availing of the government’s healthcare services. This bill, once enacted into law, will remove some of those barriers,” Hontiveros explained.
“With this measure, we hope that our PWDs will be able to fully enjoy their rights, freedom and dignity,” she added. /je
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