MANILA - Health maintenance organization (HMO) Caritas Health Shield is financially stable and none of its planholders are at risk, the head of the agency regulating HMOs said on Monday.
Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said Caritas' capital deficiency was only P175 million and not P7 billion as earlier reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
"Based on what we have, we see that the company is actually solvent and does not have any financial problems," Funa said.
He also denied allegations that the commission was downplaying the issue.
Funa explained that when the regulation of HMOs was moved to the Insurance Commission (IC) from the Department of Health last year, there was no capital standardization yet for HMOs.
This meant that the commission had to come up with a new standard after gathering data on the existing capital of HMOs.
Caritas was not able to submit its capital data to the IC then because it was embroiled in a boardroom dispute between the company's main shareholders and its then-president, Teodoro Jumamil.
Jumamil, who was reportedly removed by the Caritas board last year, figured prominently in the online report on the issue, claiming Caritas products were "unsustainable."
Funa said Caritas can still operate even if it has yet to meet the new capital requirement. He added that the capital requirement can be revised downward to be more fair to Caritas, as it wasn't yet considered when the cap was set.
Caritas Health Shield is engaged in medical and health maintenance services. Its subsidiaries include Caritas Life Insurance Company and Caritas Financial Plans. -- with a report from Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News