PhilHealth urged to suspend members’ contribution hike amid economic woes
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) should defer its scheduled members’ contribution increase this month amid the country’s ongoing economic woes, returning Senator JV Ejercito said Thursday.
He said any increase in the contributions would be “insensitive” to the plight of Filipinos “who are still struggling to recuperate and stabilize their economic well-being.”
“Premium hikes should only be implemented once the country finally recovers. Likewise, interest on missed PhilHealth contributions should also be waived for self-earning individuals, professional practitioners, and OFWs,” he said in a statement.
PhilHealth increased premium rates from three percent to four precent starting this month as mandated under the Universal Health Care law.
This means workers and employees will be seeing higher benefit-related deductions on their payrolls in the coming months, while those who voluntarily contribute to PhilHealth will have less cash left in their pockets, Ejercito said.
Instead of raising premium rates, the Senator-elect proposed that the Department of Health request for supplemental funding for the full implementation of the said law.
“The additional funds should sufficiently cover the amount that should have been collected due to the proposal to defer the increase in PhilHealth premium,” he said.
“There is still uncertainty for many Filipinos, particularly our workers, here and abroad. We are still in a health crisis and therefore we have to adapt to the situation,” Ejercito added.
The set increase in contributions this month would be retroactive from January, according to PhilHealth’s Advisory No. 2022-0010.
The 4-percent premium rate means that for those earning P10,000 and below, a P400 monthly premium would be collected.
The contribution will range from P400 to P3,200 for those with a monthly basic salary of P10,000.01 to P79,999.99. It is a flat rate of P3,200 for those who earn P80,000 and above per month.
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