AN executive from Philippine Health Insurance Corporation in Davao Region (Philhealth-Davao) said that the suspension of the premium rate hike will have an effect on their yearly collection and health care benefits.

Filbert Bryan Sollesta, field operations division chief for Philhealth-Davao, said during the Media Forum at Habi at Kape on January 25, the temporary pause of the premium rate hike might affect the benefits they can offer under the Universal Healthcare Care (UHC) program.

Last year, with Philhealth implementing a 4 percent collection from the contributor’s Monthly Basic Salary (MBS), the department collected around P3.61 billion.

With President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. also suspending the expansion of the income ceiling to P90,000 from P80,000, Sollesta said he is expecting the collection amount will be the same for this year.

“Of course we’ll lose a certain amount, we can’t say it right now how much the exact amount is... what we actually miss right now is the chance of collecting the 0.5% (scheduled increase), kasi supposed to be 4.5% tayo ngayon (because supposed to be we’re on 4.5% increase this year),” Sollesta said.

Meanwhile, he also said the supposed increase for this year can be beneficial for expanding their benefits not just for Philhealth members but also for all Filipinos.

He mentioned one of the benefits that can be improved from the supposed increase is mental health therapy for persons with mental health conditions.

“We have these in-patient benefits right now that are transitioning to DRG [Diagnosis Related Groups], in short mas maganda at relevant ‘yung aming benefits na ibinibigay (we give better and relevant benefits) when it comes to hospitalization,” he said.

“But more importantly we open our out-patient benefits... the Konsulta Program, [in which] lahat na ng mga Pilipino ay (all Filipinos) will be serviced by this,” he added.

Sollesta said that Philhealth will have a lot of opportunities to improve and develop more benefits addressing other health conditions not covered by their current programs.

“Iyon iyong effect ng paglimit ng ating collection [sa Philhealth] kasi nalilimit din iyong ating benefits na pwede natin ibigay (The effects of limiting our Philhealth collection will also limit benefits that we can give),” he said. ICE