Palace: College students need PhilHealth, medical insurance for F2F classes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 11) — College students returning to limited face-to-face classes must be registered with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp or any medical insurance covering expenses for COVID-19, Malacañang announced on Friday.

In his briefing, Acting Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Kristian Ablan cited Resolution 164 of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases which requires medical insurance coverage for students returning to in-person classes.

"HEIs (higher education institutions) shall ensure that students who will participate in the conduct of limited face-to-face classes are registered with PhilHealth or with equivalent medical insurance which covers medical expenses related to COVID-19 , as either direct or indirect contributor," a portion of the resolution read.

The IATF resolution also said students above 21 years old may enroll in PhilHealth as indigent members, with the basis that the student has no visible means of income. Those below 21 may be classified as dependents of their parents or legal guardians.

The resolution cited as basis section H of the joint memorandum circular no. 2021-004 of the Commission on Education and the Department of Health which stated guidelines on the implementation of limited face-to-face classes for all programs of higher education institutions.

"In case of a violation of this provision and it is shown that a student gets infected by COVID-19 brought about by his or her participation in the limited face-to-face classes, the HEI shall facilitate the necessary medical treatment/procedures for the affected student/s," the provision read.

Classrooms under Alert Level 1 are now allowed 100% seating capacity. Only fully vaccinated teaching, non-teaching personnel and students will be allowed to enter the premises.

Schools are authorized to choose applicable learning modalities, as long as there will be continuity of flexible learning subject to conditions. They may also take a self-assessment checklist on their self-reopening capability and get technical assistance from their respective localities, the local IATF, and CHED.