5% hike for program, benefit expansion
FOLLOWING the implementation of a five-percent premium rate increase of the Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) for this year, an official from the Philhealth- Davao Region clarified that the said increase targets to widen and improve its benefits.
“The purpose of this (increase) is really to expand our programs and benefits and to sustain the funds of Philhealth of its benefit payments so even without the adjustments or meron tayong (we had) deferment or suspension last year, we still rolled out our benefits,” Kleah Gayle Guevara, Public Relations Officer II, Public Affairs Unit of PhilHealth-Davao Region, said during the Habi at Kape on Wednesday morning, January 17, 2024, at Ayala, Abreeza Malls, Davao City.
The clarification also comes after its Board of Directors confirmed that they are suspending the premium rate increase from four percent to 4.5 percent and the increase of income ceiling from P80,000 to P90,000 in CY 2023 based on the directive order from the Office of the President of the Philippines last January 4.
PhilHealth Corporation central office central office already confirmed that the five percent increase took effect on January 1 but was officially announced in public last January 12, this year.
Upgraded benefits include "PhilHealth Konsulta Package," which highlights the national government's commitment to bolstering primary care and the institutionalization of the 156 hemodialysis (HD) treatment.
Meanwhile, it also expanded the illnesses and health conditions covered in the Z benefits package, particularly the Outpatient Therapeutic Care for Severe Acute Malnutrition, and the introduction of the Outpatient Benefits for Mental Health which provides coverage for mental health issues that have risen during the Covid-19 pandemic, among others.
“[Our] target is to really impact all of the population, all of the Filipinos. Our target [also] is to cover the 5.5 million estimated population here in the region” Guevara added.
Based on Section 10 of the Republic Act 11223, also referred to as the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act, or Instituting Universal Health Care for All Filipinos, Prescribing Reforms in the Health Care System, and Appropriating Funds, PhilHealth is required to carry out the final premium contribution adjustment every year.
This is also the same law that establishes the "five percent" contribution rate and an income floor of P10,000 or income ceiling of P100,000 for the years 2024 and 2025, respectively. DEF