<p>The fraction of health-care costs financed from prepayment sources is a critical indicator of progress toward Universal Health Coverage. But it does not tell how prepayment varies with the level of health-care costs and between poorer and richer patients. This paper used survey data from the Philippines to estimate inpatient costs paid by the National Health Insurance Program (aka PhilHealth) in 2013–2017 when attempts were made to extend population, service and financial coverage. The mean fraction of the inpatient bill paid by PhilHealth increased by 21 percentage points. Expansions of population coverage do not appear to have been primarily responsible for this increase. Despite the introduction of a catastrophic cover benefit package, the fraction of inpatient costs that were prepaid increased more at lower costs than at higher costs. PhilHealth payments for inpatient care were pro-rich but became substantially less so, possibly because hospitals were no longer permitted to charge poor patients in excess of reimbursement ceilings. Overall, prepayment of inpatient costs increased and became more pro-poor, reflecting gains in insurance and equity.</p>

doi.org/10.1080/23288604.2021.1911473, hdl.handle.net/1765/135955
Health systems and reform
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Joseph Capuno, Aleli Kraft, & OA (Owen) O'Donnell. (2021). Filling Potholes on the Road to Universal Health Coverage in the Philippines. Health systems and reform, 7(2). doi:10.1080/23288604.2021.1911473