Country of Operation
- Primary care
- Secondary/tertiary care
SummaryThe Remittance-By-Air (RBA) Facility was launched in December 2009 by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. This new scheme aims to provide convenient and hassle-free remittance among the informal workers using their mobile phones.
Unlike the formally employed wherein the PhilHealth premiums are withheld automatically from the month salary, premium collection among the informal sector is difficult. The long procedures may be one of the reasons why informal sector workers are not enticed to sustain their membership. According to PhilHealth rules, members need to have 3 monthly contributions in 6 months to receive hospitalization coverage. Sustainability of PhilHealth enrollment among the informal employees is vital in achieving universal health coverage. A significant portion of the Philippine workforce is informal, and thus it is deemed necessary that programs should be in place to facilitate and attract enrollment and contribution payment.
Key program components
The Remittance-By-Air (RBA) Facility was launched in December 2009 by PhilHealth to encourage more informal economy workers to enroll and sustain their membership under the Individually Paying Program (IPP). Through a designated facility, premium contribution was made more affordable with the implementation of monthly mode of payment using text messaging. The Philippines was once called the “text-messaging” capital because the majority of its population have access to cellular phones. The competitive nature of the cellular phone industry has also maid obtaining mobile phone service very cheap. Thus, even the lower quintile groups can enjoy the benefits of cellular phone. PhilHealth exploited this use of cellular phones as a conduit of paying monthly contributions. Based on PhilHealth data, only 255 members of IPP used RBA to pay their premiums. However, there is a notable increase from December 2009 to December 2010 (13 users in 2009 to 255 users in 2010).