Reminder to college students in F2F classes to register for Philhealth, medical insurance

MANILA, Philippines — College students taking in-person classes must register with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) or any medical insurance company that covers COVID-19-related expenses, a PhilHealth official said Thursday.

Health insurance has become mandatory for graduate students taking face-to-face classes, PhilHealth vice president for corporate affairs Shirley Domingo said during a Laging Handa briefing on Thursday, citing a circular joint between the Department of Health and the Higher Education Commission. Education.

The joint circular formed the basis for part of Resolution 164, issued March 10, 2022 by the Inter-Agency Infectious Disease Management Task Force (IATF), which stated that higher education institutions should ensure that students who participate in limited face-to-face classes are registered with PhilHealth or equivalent medical insurance that covers medical expenses related to COVID-19.

“It’s important for students [to register with us]. If exposed to or infected with COVID-19, they may receive COVID benefits [offered by Philhealth]“, said Domingo.

Beneficiaries of PhilHealth are entitled to several benefits such as discounts on surgeries, hemodialysis, and hospital care, among others.

Students over the age of 21 – with no visible means of income – can enroll in PhilHealth as indigent members. Persons under the age of 21 may be identified as dependents of their parents and legal guardians, in accordance with Resolution 164.

Domingo said those under 21 whose parents are already registered with PhilHealth do not need to register again. “They just have to show their [parents’] MDR (member data record) to their schools.”

Domingo, however, was unable to give figures on the number of applications from college students participating in face-to-face classes.

As more parts of the country are placed under the lowest alert level – Alert Level 1 – classrooms at higher education institutions are allowed to accommodate full capacity. Only fully vaccinated teachers, students and non-teaching staff may enter the facilities.

Meanwhile, students who have not yet completed their vaccination schedule and those who have not yet received their COVID-19 injections have the opportunity to continue their education through online courses.

The country recorded a total of 1,674 new COVID-19 cases from April 11 to 17, down 12% from the previous week, according to Health Ministry estimates.

Since then, local health authorities have reported more than 3.68 million COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic. — Angelica Y. Yang

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