The UPecon HEFPA Project seeks to assess the impact of the Philippines’ National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) on the welfare of the poor and the informal sector, and to inform policy. The evaluation of the NHIP shall focus on the insurance coverage, health care utilization, out-of-pocket payments, and financial protection from risks of the target households, and on health service delivery and financing at the local government level.
To meet these objectives, four research studies will be undertaken, namely:
- PhilHealth Prepaid Premium (3P) Study – this is a randomized experiment undertaken to assess the effectiveness of pre-paid premium subsidy and basic information on the voluntary participation of the self-employed workers and those in the informal sector in PhilHealth’s Individually Paying (IP) Program.
- Evaluation of the “Remittance by Air” Payment Facility – this is an assessment of a recent PhilHealth payment facility introduced for renewing IP members to remit their premium contributions using their cellular phones on regularity of payments, and on the risk profile of IP members.
- Households’ Vulnerability to Shocks and Financial Protection of Health Insurance – this shall assesses the susceptibility of households, especially the poor and those in the informal sector, to health, economic and other shocks, the consequences of these shocks to household welfare, and their coping mechanisms, including insurance coverage.
- Assessment of Local Government Participation in the NHIP – this will identify the determinants and consequences to health service delivery and financing of the participation of local governments in PhilHealth’s Sponsored Program and Capitation Program.
Initial results of the four studies are expected to be available by mid-2011. The final results will be published as working papers, articles in peer-reviewed journals and policy briefs. They will be disseminated to policymakers, scholars and researchers, and other stakeholders, both in the Philippines and abroad.