Solons call for deferment

Solons call for deferment of

PhilHealth contribution hike

Several lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Tuesday filed a joint resolution seeking to defer the implementation of the increase in Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) contribution rates this year.

Over 50 lawmakers across party lines filed House Joint Resolution 33 to defer the scheduled increase for 2021, noting that the economic impacts of the pandemic should be considered as a “fortuitous event basis” for the suspension of the premium rate contribution by the state insurance firm.

“The rough estimate is that PhilHealth will be postponing less than PHP500 million worth of incremental premiums on an annual basis from direct contributors, which is certainly a big reprieve for PhilHealth members who have lost their jobs during the pandemic,” the resolution read.

They said PhilHealth could dip into its reserve fund during the postponement of the rate increase this year in the extreme situation where claims and administrative expenses might exceed contribution collections during the pandemic.

Among the authors of the resolution include Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Michael Defensor, Surigao del Norte Rep. Ace Barbers, Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Macapagal Arroyo, Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, and Marikina City Rep. Stella Quimbo.

In a public address late Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte directed PhilHealth CEO and President Dante Gierran to suspend the contribution hike to lessen the burden of Filipinos affected by the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, PhilHealth announced its plan to push through with the scheduled contribution rate adjustment this year to ensure sufficient funding for its healthcare beneficiaries.

The premium is supposed to increase 3.50 percent of monthly basic salary from the current 3 percent which means that those earning below PHP10,000 will have a fixed contribution of PHP350 a month starting January 2021 while those earning PHP70,000 and higher per month will pay a fixed rate of PHP2,450 monthly.

Under the UHC law, the premium rate shall increase to increments of 0.5 percent every year starting 2021 until it reaches 5 percent in 2025. 

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