'We have to sustain PhilHealth': Insurer explains need for rate hike

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2022 08:39 AM

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MANILA – State health insurer PhilHealth on Thursday said rate hikes are needed to ensure the sustainability of their operations, following their announcement that they would implement a contribution hike in June.

“Naiintindihan natin na ngayon lang nag-ge-gain up talaga yung ating economy ‘no, but we have to sustain the program of PhilHealth kasi marami tayong natutulungan dito eh,” said vice president for corporate affairs Dr. Shirley Domingo.

(We understand that the economy is only starting to gain up now, but we have sustain the program of PhilHealth because we are able to help many people here.)

“Nung COVID time nga eh, gumastos tayo ng around P22 billion for COVID benefits pero hindi po tayo nagtaas ng premiums po noon,” she added. 

“We have to sustain, marami po tayong nakalinya po na benefits for our members.”

(During the COVID-19 pandemic, we spent around P22 billion for COVID benefits but we didn't raie premiums. We have to sustain, we have a lot of benefits lined up for our members.)

Domingo also said the hike in contributions is also in line with the Universal Healthcare Act, which mandates a 0.5 percent increase in PhilHealth contributions every year until it reaches the 5 percent limit in 2025.

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted authorities to defer the rate hike in 2021, following public uproar over some P15 billion in PhilHealth funds that reportedly went missing, which it denied.

The 4-percent premium rate means that for those earning P10,000 and below, a P400 monthly premium would be collected. 

The premium ranges from P400 to P3,200 for those with a monthly basic salary of P10,000.01 to P79,999.99. It is a flat P3,200 for those who earn P80,000 and above. Employers shoulder half of the PhilHealth contribution.

--TeleRadyo, 26 May 2022