September 27, 2023

There will be no increase in the premium rate contributions for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation following President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s directive for the state health insurer to suspend the planned increase in contributions.
PhilHealth intends to increase this year the monthly premium contribution rate from four to 4.5 percent, supposedly to finance the expansion of benefits under the Universal Health Care Act.
But the President ordered the deferral of the increase, to “provide financial relief to our countrymen amidst these difficult times.”
In a statement, PhilHealth said the Board of Directors have agreed to suspend the scheduled hike in contribution, pursuant to Marcos’s orders.
PhilHealth added the new benefit packages will be rolled out despite the deferred implementation of the increase in contribution.
“The new benefit packages for rollout, which were scheduled to be sourced from the premium increase, shall be implemented as planned,” PhilHealth said.
The additional PhilHealth benefit packages are outpatient therapeutic care for severe acute malnutrition, outpatient package for mental health, and comprehensive outpatient benefit, among other packages.
Saying it was directed to employ the necessary strategies to ensure the implementation of the added benefits, PhilHealth assured the current benefits enjoyed by its members will not be affected by the suspension.
“We reiterate that PhilHealth’s financial standing remains strong. The management is confident that notwithstanding the suspension of the increase in premium rates, PhilHealth is more than able to meet its obligations to its members and to partner health care providers,” the statement added.
The Universal Health Care Law mandates in increase in member contributions by 0.5 percent every year, starting 2021 until it reaches its five-percent limit in 2025.
Had the 4.5 percent increase in premium contributions not deferred, an employee receiving the region’s minimum wage of P10,400 a month would have to contribute P234 deducted their pay slip while their employer would have to contribute an equal share of P234.
At four percent, the monthly contribution of a minimum wage earner is P416, equally shared with their employer at P208. – Jane B. Cadalig