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PhilHealth clarification: We don’t offer loans

February 12 ------ The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) warned the public against fraudulent entities using its name to offer loans after a local online lending company wrongly claimed that qualified members could borrow money from the state health insurer. “To our members, there is no PhilHealth loan. Your PhilHealth benefits may immediately be availed [of] in the thousands of PhilHealth-accredited facilities in the country to pay for your medical condition or surgical procedure,” it said in an advisory on its official Facebook page. It added that outpatient procedures and primary care services, including consultations, health risk screenings, and selected laboratory tests, were provided under its Konsulta program. 


The health state insurer made the clarification after, a local online lending company, came out with a step-by-step guide on how to avail of the nonexistent PhilHealth loan. In an article titled “PhilHealth Guide in the Philippines” on its website, Digido claimed that “PhilHealth also offers loans for qualified members to help them with medical expense coverage, as well as other financial aid for health-related needs. These loans are interest-free and are offered with flexible payment terms.” “To qualify for a loan through PhilHealth, members must meet certain income requirements, be up to date on their premium payments, and have no outstanding claims or debts to the company,” it said. 


Firm withdraws wrong info 

As of Thursday afternoon, the article could no longer be accessed on the lending firm’s website. PhilHealth offers inpatient and outpatient benefit packages paid to accredited healthcare institutions through its case rate system. The accredited hospital shall then deduct the case rate amount from the total bill, including hospital charges and attending physicians’ professional fees before the patient is discharged. Under Republic Act No. 11223, or the Universal Health Care Act, all Filipinos are automatically enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), which PhilHealth implements. 


At the start of the year, the state health insurer increased the premium of its direct contributors —from 4 percent to 5 percent. Indirect contributors, or those incapable of paying premiums, are also automatically enrolled in the NHIP. These include indigents identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, senior citizens, unemployed persons with disabilities, and other adults “without [the] capacity to pay premiums.” 




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