THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recently consulted with national employers' organizations on proposed measures, including adjustment in premium contributions, to ensure the sustainability and viability of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP).
Present in the public consultation, which was held in the PhilHealth Head Office in Pasig City, were representatives from Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc. (PASEI), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines (HRAP) and European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
PhilHealth OICExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ruben John A. Basa explained that the proposed adjustment in premium contribution rates is necessary to sustain the viability of the NHIP. He also clarified that PhilHealth has expanded and introduced several benefit packages, such as the 14 Z Benefit Packages for catastrophic illnesses, without any premium adjustments in the previous years.
PhilHealth OlCSenior Vice President for Actuarial Services Nerissa R. Santiago presented the Universal Health Care (UHC) goals and PhilHealth's role in the achievement of UHC. Also discussed were the strategies to increase the membership coverage to 100 percent, expansion of PhilHealth benefits to include the implementation of the Primary Care Benefit Package to other member sectors, and the increase of PhilHealth's support value to 70 percent of the member's hospitalization expenses.
Santiago also discussed the revised contribution scheme which was approved by the PhilHealth Board of Directors effective 2018. Under the new scheme, PhilHealth will be implementing a 0.25 percent upward adjustment for the Formal Sector from its current contribution rate of 2.5 percent. The said adjustment will be a straight application on the employees' salary and will be divided equally between the employer and the employee. The 0.25 percent adjustment will be implemented every year thereafter, until PhilHealth reaches the mandated five (5) percent premium contribution rate.
To make the contribution structure more equitable, PhilHealth removed the salary brackets since the 2.75 percent adjustment will be applied directly on the monthly basic salary of the employees, thus there will be no more contribution table to follow. The salary floor and ceiling will be Php 10,000.00 and P40,000.00 respectively.
Similar adjustments will also be implemented across all other member sectors.
PhilHealth emphasized that it needs the support of all its members in order to achieve its mandate to provide social health insurance coverage to all Filipinos and to sustain the NHIP. In 2016, PhilHealth paid PhplOl billion for the benefit expenses of its members and collected PI 03.7 billion in premium contributions.
The representatives of the different employers' organizations aired their concerns and invited PhiHealth representatives to present the proposed premium increase in one of their meetings. PhilHealth will also hold other public consultations in major cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with other member sectors in the succeeding months.
Also present during the consultation were Rey Balena, Senior Manager for Formal Sector and Atty. Ma. Teresa Alibanto, Senior Manager for Protest and Appeals Review Department.