Press Release
November 27, 2018

Bicam approves consolidated version of UHC bill

The Bicameral Conference Committee approved today the consolidated version of the Universal Health Care (UHC) bill.

Salient features of the UHC bill:

1. Automatically enroll all Filipinos under the National Health Insurance Program of PhilHealth, either as direct or indirect contributors.

2. Provide all Filipinos the immediate eligibility and access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care for medical, dental, mental and emergency health services, including out-patient drugs by registering them to a primary health care provider of their choice. Primary health care providers will act as the initial and continuing point of contact in the health care delivery system.

3. Provide all Filipinos improved benefit packages that will reduce the out of pocket expenses of members.

4. Improve public health facilities for better health service delivery and encourage the private sector to become partners in the UHC implementation.

5. Improve the entire health system by addressing the gaps in facilities, equipment, human resource, among others and instituting reforms in the system.

The following are some of the major amendments introduced by Senator Recto, the principal author of the UHC bill in the Senate:

1. Provide all Filipinos automatic Philhealth coverage. No Philhealth ID needed.

2. Additional benefits for paying members as incentive for the increase in premium rate. The additional benefits will incentivize those who pay higher premiums and will encourage those who are voluntarily paying to keep paying.

3. Gradual premium rate increase at .5% per year and gradual adjustment of income ceiling by P10,000 per year.

4. Phased transition to service delivery networks so as not to disrupt the delivery of health care services while the implementing agencies are still instituting the reforms necessary for them to fulfill their respective mandates with regard to the implementation of the UHC.

5. Patient's/member's choice of his primary care provider. A patient/member-centered approach in UHC that allows every Filipino to choose his/her own primary health care provider, whether public or private.

6. Pooling of funds for UHC (total incremental sin tax collection, 50% National Government share from PAGCOR; 40% PCSO charity fund, net of Documentary Stamp Tax payments, national subsidy in GAA).

7. Increase in benefits for every increase in premium and the guarantee that benefits currently being enjoyed by PhilHealth members shall not be reduced.

8. Lesser requirements for private sector which means lesser pass-on charges to patients.

The Bicam was headed by Senator JV Ejercito and Rep. Angelina Helen Tan.

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