Palace still reviewing proposal for PhilHealth premium increase

The government is still in the process of reviewing the proposed increase in PhilHealth premium contributions, according to the Malacañang. Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil stated that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has not yet approved any hikes in PhilHealth’s premium rates to ensure fairness for its members.

Garafil mentioned that the review is ongoing as the President wants to guarantee that any increase in premium will result in more value in terms of benefits and coverage for PhilHealth members. This development comes after PhilHealth president and CEO Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. indicated that the Office of the President has no objection to the planned 5% increase in premium contributions set for January of that year.

In January, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Ted Herbosa requested Marcos to postpone the implementation of the 5% premium rate increase, citing PhilHealth’s sufficient reserve funds to sustain member benefits. Republic Act 1123, also known as the Universal Healthcare Law, mandates a yearly increase in the PhilHealth contribution rate by increments of 0.5% starting from 2021 until it reaches 5% in 2024 and 2025.

Marcos had previously halted the implementation of PhilHealth’s premium rate and income ceiling increase for 2023. A lawmaker from the House of Representatives recently filed a resolution aiming to suspend PhilHealth contributions for minimum wage earners, potentially giving them an additional estimated daily salary increase of P400.

Representative Stella Quimbo of Marikina, 2nd District, suggested that the state insurer could utilize its reserves, expected to reach P463 billion in 2023, to subsidize the premiums of low-income members.

Leave a Reply