THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is pushing through with its premium rate adjustment in 2021 despite the difficulties brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a statement, PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Dante Gierran said the adjustment is required by the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law to finance the various reforms specified under the law.
"PhilHealth fully recognizes the current pandemic situation that is taking its toll on many businesses and livelihood of many Filipinos. However, it is bound to implement the UHC Law," said Gierran.
"PhiiHealth is therefore implementing the scheduled contribution rate and adjustment in income ceiling for 2021 to ensure sufficient funding for the healthcare benefits of its 110 million members," he added.
For 2021, PhilHealth said all direct contributors who are earning below P10,000 shall have their premium rate fixed at P350 per month.
Those earning P70,000 per month or higher will remit a fixed premium contribution of P2,450 per month.
Those earning P10,000.01 to P69,999.99, meanwhile, will have to contribute 3.5 percent of their salary as premium.
Contributions of employed members shall be equally shared between employees and employers.
For self-paying members, professional practitioners, land-based migrant workers and other direct contributors with no employee-employer relationship, contributions are computed based on their monthly earnings and paid wholly by the member.
Among the reforms under the UHC law is the automatic membership of all Filipinos into the National Health Insurance Program, thereby ensuring access to healthcare as a fundamental right and not for the privileged few.
Gierran also cited the immediate eligibility of all Filipinos to PhilHealth benefits each time they seek treatment and confinement in any accredited hospitals in the country and even overseas.
Gierran said the fund is also needed for the assignment of every Filipino to a primary care provider (PCP) of their choice, initially in pilot areas to be identified in each region in 2021.
The funds are also necessary to continue the "no balance billing" policy for confinement in basic or ward accommodations in both government and private healthcare facilities.
Gierran added that the funds will help ensure lifetime PhilHealth coverage for all members upon reaching the age of retirement and after contributing at least 120 months to the program.
"Everyone's heartfelt contributions to the National Health Insurance Fund is each one's share in the health and well-being of all. This is Bayanihan at its best," said Gierran. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)