Over P100 billion will be spent on the government’s national health insurance Program next year, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Friday, Oct. 27.

Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said a total of P101.51 billion budget will be allocated to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) in 2024,an increase of P1.28 billion from the previous budget.

This amount will accommodate the expansion of beneficiaries and double the annual premium rate for persons with disabilities from P2,400 to P5,000

“Given the lessons from the pandemic, the Fiscal Year 2024 proposed budget will continue to strengthen primary healthcare facilities in the country, including medical assistance amounting to P22.26 billion to 1.31 million indigent and financially incapacitated patients who are unable to afford nor access quality healthcare services,” Pangandaman said.

The proposed program will benefit 12.75 million indigent members; 8.26 million senior citizens; over 15,000 financially handicapped point-of-service patients; 136,000 unemployed persons with disabilities; and 25,512 Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan Peace and Development Program beneficiaries.

The Universal Healthcare Law mandates access to health services by automatically enrolling all Filipinos in PhilHealth’s health insurance program.

Earlier, the DBM will set aside over P49.75 billion for the Department of Health for the upgrade of regional hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

While a total of P22.98 billion will be allocated to the health department’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program.