THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) said on Friday, January 12, 2024, that members’ premium contribution rate has increased to five percent since January 1, in compliance with the Universal Healthcare Law.
PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Ledesma said the hike was implemented as President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. did not halt its implementation unlike in 2023 when he ordered the suspension of the members’ premium contribution rate increase from four percent to 4.5 percent due to “persistent economic challenges” being faced by the Filipinos amid recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The increase will affect members earning P10,000 to P100,000 per month.
Ledesma said that those earning P10,000 will be paying a P500 monthly premium while those earning at least P10,000.01 to P100,000 will contribute a minimum of P500 to a maximum of P5,000.
“Kailangan natin ng pondo para matugunan ang ating mga nasimulang magagandang pagbabago sa mga benepisyo ng PhilHealth (We need funds to support the positive changes we have initiated in the benefits provided by PhilHealth),” Ledesma said in a press conference.
PhilHealth earlier saidthat the increase in contributions will help fund additional benefits that the agency is currently developing, including expanded coverage for free consultation fees, laboratory tests and other diagnostic services.
Under the Universal Health Care Law, all Filipino citizens, including overseas Filipino workers, are enrolled automatically in the state social health insurance.
In December, Ledesma announced that PhilHealth would increase financial coverage for hospitalization expenses of its members by a maximum of 30 percent across all cases, expecting to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for both in- and out-patients.
“It is about time that PhilHealth adjusts its rates in order for our members to cope with the increasing cost of medical care. We want our members to feel the value of their benefits which translates to meaningful financial risk protection. Dapat ramdam ng mga kababayan natin ang benepisyo nila sa PhilHealth,” Ledesma then said.
In 2023, the state health insurer expanded its dialysis coverage to 156 sessions from the previous 90 sessions while coverage for ischemic stroke increased from P28,000 to P76,000, and hemorrhagic stroke from P38,000 to P80,000. (SunStar Philippines)