Background. The primary goal of providing social protection to informal sector workers is to guarantee a minimum level of income and dignity that allows for better protection against income shocks and other vulnerabilities. With the passage of the Universal Health Care Act in the Philippines, the determination of factors affecting enrollment and retention into social health insurance among informal sector workers in the Philippines is crucial to design appropriate policies and programs fit to their needs.
Methods. This study aimed to identify factors that affect social health insurance enrollment and retention of the informal sector in the Philippines through qualitative research methods of face-to-face, semi-structured focus group discussion and key informant interviews.
Results. The analysis identified five broad themes that affect informal sector enrollment and retention in social health insurance: 1) overlaps in categorization, 2) insufficient or inappropriate social health insurance initiatives for the informal sector, 3) awareness and understanding of social health insurance, 4) supply side factors, and 5) convenience and amount of premium payment.
Conclusion. Informal workers are individuals who are not covered by protective labor laws and tend to not belong or contribute to a national health insurance scheme. In the case of the Philippines, the diversity of informal work and dynamic nature of the sector works against an ideal one-size-fits-all solution to increasing informal sector enrollment and retention to social health insurance.