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PhilHealth eyes premium contribution adjustments

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. is considering adjusting premium contributions of members to ensure the sustainability and viability of the National Health Insurance Program. File

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) is considering adjusting premium contributions of members to ensure the sustainability and viability of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP).

In a statement, PhilHealth said it recently consulted with the national employers’ organizations to discuss the proposed measures, including the premium adjustment.

Representatives from the Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc., Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines and European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines attended the meeting.

According to PhilHealth officer-in-charge executive vice president and chief operating officer Ruben John Basa, the proposed adjustment in premium contribution rates is “necessary to sustain the viability of the NHIP.”

Basa noted that PhilHealth has expanded and introduced several benefit packages, such as the 14 Z Benefit Packages for catastrophic illnesses, without any premium adjustments in the previous years.

Discussed during the meeting were the “strategies to increase the membership coverage to 100 percent, expansion of PhilHealth benefits to include the implementation of the Primary Care Benefit Package to other member sectors and the increase of PhilHealth’s support value to 70 percent of the member’s hospitalization expenses.”

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The revised contribution scheme, which was approved by the PhilHealth Board of Directors, shall take effect in 2018.

Under the new scheme, PhilHealth will be implementing a 0.25 percent upward adjustment for the formal sector from its current contribution rate of 2.5 percent.This adjustment will be applied straight on the employees’ salary and will be divided equally between the employer and the employee.

The 0.25 percent adjustment will be implemented every year thereafter, until PhilHealth reaches the mandated five percent premium contribution rate.

PhilHealth added that to make the contribution structure more equitable, they removed the salary brackets “since the 2.75-percent adjustment will be applied directly on the monthly basic salary of the employees; thus, there will be no more contribution table to follow.”

The salary floor and ceiling will then be P10,000 and P40,000, respectively. Similar adjustments will also be implemented across all other member sectors.

PhilHealth has underscored that the impending adjustment “needs the support of all its members in order to achieve its mandate to provide social health insurance coverage to all Filipinos and to sustain the NHIP.”

In 2016, PhilHealth paid P101 billion for the benefit expenses of its members and collected P103.7 billion in premium contributions.

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