Can I Apply for PhilHealth Even if I’m Unemployed?

Yes. As per the Universal Healthcare Law or RA 11223, all Filipinos are automatically eligible to avail of benefits from the National Health Insurance Program or PhilHealth. However, as stated in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the National Health Insurance Act of 20131, Section 24: 

“A member separated from formal employment or whose coverage as a Sponsored member or as an Indigent or as a migrant worker has ceased should pay the required premium as self-earning individuals to ensure continuous entitlement to benefits.”

This means you can register to PhilHealth to avail of the benefits, but if unemployed and not a sponsored member/indigent, you still have to pay premiums as a voluntary member. 

If you are unemployed, your status will fall under voluntary membership. Already a formal member but shifting to voluntary? Here’s a comprehensive guide to changing your membership category from employed to voluntary.

If you cannot pay your premiums, consider applying under Indirect Contributor Membership. These are members subsidized by the government. If you are an indigent member listed under DSWD, a senior citizen based on RA 10645, or a PWD covered by RA 11228, you are eligible for this membership and shouldered by the government. If applying as an indigent, you will be required to get a certificate of indigency from the barangay local government unit. PWDs and senior citizens may also be asked to show identification. 

Disclaimer: This article has been published for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor FilipiKnow is affiliated with PhilHealth, so specific queries about your membership and insurance benefits must be forwarded to the proper authority. 

Return to the main article: How To Register in PhilHealth Online: A Complete Guide for New Members


  1. Official Gazette. The Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the National Health Insurance Act (2013).

Camille Lamera, MD

Camille Lamera is a medical doctor with clinical and government work experience. She has always been passionate about health education and public service, having worked in two government offices and as a part-time educator in Preventive and Community Medicine. She is currently working as a doctor in public health while also doing freelance academic and scientific writing.

One thought on “Can I Apply for PhilHealth Even if I’m Unemployed?

  1. Hello Dr Lamera,

    I appreciate you for creating this blog. I have 2 questions;

    1) My parents don’t have income and they can’t afford the philhealth contribution, both are below 60 years old. Can they apply for indigency status?

    2) I’m married, my plan is to buy both my parents health cards which covers private hospitalization for one-time use. If the insurance requires philhealth coverage, will their indigency status (if approved) in Philhealth be accepted?


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