Lawmaker says 30% PhilHealth benefit package would be the “ultimate Christmas present” for Filipinos

AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee is calling for an increase in PhilHealth’s benefit packages to 30 percent across the board, which he believes would be the “best Christmas gift ever” for Filipinos. Lee expressed this sentiment just 10 days ahead of the scheduled meeting of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Board of Directors.

The pending proposal to increase PhilHealth’s benefit packages from 10 percent to 30 percent across the board is believed to be on the agenda for the upcoming board meeting.

In a letter to PhilHealth dated Oct. 23, 2023, Lee recommended a 20 to 30 percent across-the-board increase in all benefit packages and coverage, emphasizing the high costs of quality medical care that cause constant worry for Filipinos.

On Oct. 26, he also filed House Resolution (HR) No. 1407, urging PhilHealth to update and increase its coverage to 20 to 30 percent, citing the inadequacy of the current case rate in addressing the hospitalization costs of beneficiaries.

During a Nov. 29, 2023 hearing of the House Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle, PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. disclosed that the agency was working on increasing the benefit packages across the board from 10 to 30 percent. While the proposal has passed the executive committee, it still requires approval from the PhilHealth board.

The 11-member board, chaired by Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Teodoro Herbosa and including Cabinet members such as Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, and Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, holds the authority to approve this critical change in PhilHealth’s benefit packages.

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