The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has determined that college students need to have PhilHealth coverage now that more colleges and universities will conduct face-to-face classes in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students under the age of 21 are still dependent on their parents are members of PhilHealth.
“‘Pag 21 and above, ‘yan dapat primary members na sila,” according to Dr. Shirley Domingo, PhilHealth vice president for corporate affairs.
PhilHealth members who have a job or earn a living must pay a contribution of P300 per month.
Unemployed students can enroll as “indigent,” even those who cannot afford to pay contributions.
Some parents favor enrolling their children in PhilHealth if the government pays their contribution.
“Yung bayad siyempre hindi naman natin alam, galing tayo sa pandemic magbabayad pa tayo ng PhilHealth so baka puwede na yung gobyerno sumagot no’n,” said father Reymar Mascarinas.
The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) said the government should not pass on the burden of health insurance to students.
College students need PhilHealth to join face-to-face classes
“Yung financial burden ay napapasa sa individual sa mga estudyante instead of the government answering the budget to provide free medical treatment if ever may nagpositive. Kukuha ka ng barangay certificate of indigency, may bayad din ‘yun. Kukuha ka ng medical certificate, may bayad din ‘yun. Kukuha ka ng hospital bill na ipi-present mo saka ‘yung form, siyempre, may mga bayad siya,” said Jandeil Roperos, national president of NUSP.
“So instead na magiging accessible ang transition for face-to-face classes, mayroong ganitong additional requirements,” he added.
PhilHealth said they are only following the Department of Health (DOH) mandate and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). It is also for the welfare of the students and will also serve as their protection during the pandemic.
“Hindi po tayo ang nag-decide po nun. Sumusunod tayo sa DOH and CHED joint memorandum pero sa atin naman, ang masasabi natin is the protection na rin ‘yun ng ating mga estudyante,” said Domingo.
Under Universal Health Care, all Filipinos are members of PhilHealth. As a result, they can take advantage of its benefits, including hospitalization benefits, COVID-19 benefits, and even death benefits.