Consistent with its aim to provide its members and qualified dependents with access to high-quality medical care, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) continues to find ways to further expand its array of social health-insurance benefit packages for every Filipino.
In 2006 PhilHealth launched the Newborn Care Package (NCP) in support of Republic Act 9288, or the Newborn Screening Act of 2004, to ensure that every newborn baby undergoes prevention and early detection of any possible disease that may develop during his or her growth.
Over a 10-year period, the number of claims for NCP steadily increased, and last year, the NCP placed second among the top 10 procedures with the highest number of claims paid for by PhilHealth, after hemodialysis.
In 2016 PhilHealth paid P1,318,849,430 for 818,465 NCP claims, representing an increase of 21.19 percent from the previous year’s P1,088,191,145 it paid for 679,256 claims. This significant rise can be attributed to members’ awareness of PhilHealth’s benefit package for the newborn child.
The NCP includes BCG vaccination (immunization against tuberculosis), umbilical cord care, eye prophylaxis, administration of vitamin K, thermal care, first dose of Hepatitis B immunization, hearing test, newborn screening test, and professional fees. Only accredited healthcare providers may deliver the necessary services offered in the said package.
Amie Bandola, a first-time mother who has availed herself of the NCP at the Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City, expressed her great appreciation to PhilHealth.
“Sa tulong na ibinigay ng PhilHealth, masisiguro ko ang kalusugan ko at ng anak ko. Ramdam naming mga mahihirap ang alagang dala ng PhilHealth sa panahon ng pangangailangan. PhilHealth, maraming salamat dahil makauuwi na kami ng baby ko,” she said.
The NCP may be availed of by PhilHealth dependents delivered in accredited Level 1, 2 and 3 government hospitals, lying-in clinics, birthing homes, rural health units, health centers, and private clinics that are licensed and certified as newborn screening facilities by the Department of Health (DOH) and accredited by PhilHealth.
The PhilHealth benefit rate for NCP is P1,750, which includes the professional fee, and shall be paid directly to the institutional health care provider. The claim for NCP is independent from the mothers’ claim for delivery.