PhilHealth premium hike still under review — Palace

PhilHealth premium hike still under review � Palace
This file photo shows a logo of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation outside one of their offices.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The implementation of the hikes in PhilHealth premium contributions is still being reviewed, the Malacañang said on Friday.

Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has yet to greenlight any increase in PhilHealth’s premium rates to ensure the fairness of any additional cost for its members.

“The review is still ongoing. The President wants to ensure that any increase in premium will substantially be much more in value in terms of benefits and coverage to Philhealth members,” Garafil said.

This comes after PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said the Office of the President “pose[s] no objection” to the 5% increase in premium contributions scheduled in January this year.

In January, DOH Secretary Ted Herbosa asked Marcos to delay the implementation of PhilHealth’s 5% premium rate increase, saying that PhilHealth has enough reserve funds to continue providing members with benefits.

Republic Act 1123 or the Universal Healthcare Law mandates the increase in the PhilHealth contribution rate to increments of 0.5% every year starting 2021 until it reaches 5% from 2024 to 2025.

Marcos previously suspended the implementation of PhilHealth’s increase in premium rate and income ceiling for 2023.

A lawmaker from the House of Representatives early this week filed a resolution seeking to suspend the Philhealth contributions of minimum wage earners to give them an estimated additional P400 increase in their daily salary.

Rep. Stella Quimbo (Marikina, 2nd District) said that the state insurer can pull from its reserves — which are expected to reach P463 billion in 2023 — to subsidize the premiums of low-income members.

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