PhilHealth to implement new premium rates this month

Written by Philippine News Agency

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced Friday, January 05, that the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will raise the premium contributions of its members starting January.

"Magtataas tayo ng (We will raise PhilHealth’s) premium contribution, 0.25 percent, effective January 2018," Duque said during the Clean Forum held at the Manila Hotel.

The health chief described the adjustment as timely, saying PhilHealth has already expanded its benefit packages but has not increased its premium contribution in a while.

In its Circular No. 2017-0024 published last Oct. 27, PhilHealth announced the adjustment, which it said is part of its strategy to ensure the sustainability of the National Health Insurance Fund.

The contribution rate will be adjusted by 0.25 percent from the current 2.5 percent to 2.75 percent, applied straight to the monthly basic salary of employed members. The salary floor and ceiling will be pegged at PHP10,000 and PHP40,000, respectively. The monthly contribution will still be equally shared by the employee and the employer.

The premium contribution of kasambahays is solely shouldered by their household employers, but those receiving a monthly salary of PHP5,000 or more have to pay their proportionate share.

According to PhilHealth interim officer-in-charge/president, Dr. Celestina dela Serna, the premium adjustment is necessary to sustain the provision of present benefits and enable the agency to develop new and better packages for its members.

“We need to respond to the needs of our 100 million-strong membership base, especially where providing financial risk protection against emerging, re-emerging, communicable and non-communicable diseases is concerned,” dela Serna said.

“The adjustment in premium contribution rates will provide us with enough fiscal space to introduce more benefit packages, such as offering the Primary Care Benefit package to all other member-sectors, and to enhance existing ones,” she added.

Republic Act (RA) No. 7875, as amended by RA 10606, also known as the National Health Insurance Act of 2013, allows PhilHealth to collect up to 5 percent of an employee’s basic monthly salary. (PNA)