PhilHealth: Malacañang shows no objection to 5% premium rate

PhilHealth logo.
PhilHealth logo.File photo

THE premium rate of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is now five percent.

This was the declaration of PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emmanuel Ledesma, saying no less than Malacañang had posed no objection to such an increase in its premium rate for 2024.

In a press conference, Ledesma on Friday, January 23, 2024, said he was able to receive a letter from Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, saying that they "pose no objection" to the premium rate hike.

"We wrote a letter to them seeking guidance, and they said they pose no objection to the increase," said Ledesma.

He said one reason is that PhilHealth is merely implementing the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act.

"It's in the law, and we are only implementing the law," said Ledesma.

He also said the increase must push through since they have started implementing the five percent premium rate.

"Since January 1, we informed them (Malacañang) that we have already implemented the increase," Ledesma said.

He said the increased premium rate is expected to provide PhilHealth with some P35 billion in income.

"With the increase from four to five percent, about P35 billion will be gained by PhilHealth," he said.

The head of the state-run health insurer said this would provide the agency with more funds to improve member benefits.

"We will have improved benefits and services that they can avail of in exchange for their hard-earned contributions," said Ledesma.

RA 11223 mandates the increase in the premium rate from 2.75 percent in 2019, to three percent in 2020, 3.5 percent in 2021, four percent in 2022, 4.5 percent in 2023 and five percent in 2024.

PhilHealth said it had implemented the five percent premium rate beginning January 1, 2024 as stated by the law.

Subsequently, Department of Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said he believes that the suspension of the premium rate hike back in January 2023 should be maintained.

In January 2023, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. directed PhilHealth to suspend the scheduled increase in the premium contribution rate to 4.5 percent from four percent, to provide financial relief to Filipinos still suffering from the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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