16 Aug 2018
REPRESENTATIVE Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero said government employees and their dependents should avail themselves of the CNMI health and life insurance programs.
âThis administration emphasizes the importance of healthcare coverage to promote healthy lifestyles and allow employees to be productive in their work environments,â he said.
He added that employees who are eligible have until Aug. 16 to enroll; otherwise they must wait until Jan. 2019.
Deleon Guerrero said first-line supervisors should encourage employees to enroll.
Based on the 2016 CNMI non-communicable diseases risk survey, one of five adults did not see a medical provider for an annual check-up, and only 35 percent of adults in 2015 did so.
Moreover, nearly 50 percent do not have healthcare coverage.
Even with coverage, 15.7 percent of adults avoided an annual check-up, Deleon Guerrero said.
âSome of our folks do not have health coverage because they feel there is nothing wrong with them.Â But a yearly check-up could reveal otherwise,â he said.
Deleon Guerrero said the survey results indicated that non-communicable diseases or NCDs are the leading causes of morbidity and deaths inÂ U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands such as the CNMI.
These diseases include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
The five leading risk factors attributable to NCDs are an unhealthy diet, a lack of physical activity, excessive consumption of alcohol, obesity and tobacco use including betel nut chewing.