Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Hontiveros Bats for Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage for PWDs
Senator Risa Hontiveros filed on Tuesday a bill providing persons with disabilities (PWDs) mandatory health insurance under the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
The proposed legislation known as an "Act Providing for Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage for All Persons with Disabilities" seeks to provide PWDs better access to long-term medical care.
Hontiveros, who is also a former PhilHealth director, said her bill is an "equalizer." She said PWDs must have a law to strengthen their medical rights to ensure their full participation in society on an equal basis with others.
"While PWDs get 20% discount on medicines, medical and dental services, it is not enough to cover their array of health concerns. Majority of them are poor and cannot afford the rising costs of medical care. Given their condition, their likelihood to need medical assistance is greater," Hontiveros explained.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that there are 1.4 million PWDs in the Philippines. However, Hontiveros said the number of PWDs might be bigger since benefits afforded by current laws to the sector are not enough to encourage universal registration under local government units or PhilHealth.
Hontiveros cites revenues from sin tax collection for her proposed legislation.