Home Marcos considers request to suspend PhilHealth premium hike

Marcos considers request to suspend PhilHealth premium hike

marcos considers request to suspend philhealth premium hike

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is considering the request from Health Secretary Ted Herbosa to suspend the 5-percent premium hike on PhilHealth contributions, according to Malacañang on Wednesday, January 17.

“The President is studying the request,” Secretary Cheloy Garafil of the Presidential Communications Office told reporters.

Herbosa had sent a recommendation letter to Marcos on Tuesday, arguing that delaying the premium hike would not significantly affect the financial health of the state insurer.

“If ever the President agrees to the contribution, my recommendation is to resume from where we left off, not the current 5%. If we stopped at a 2% or 3% increase, we should start there. That’s the logical approach to lifting the suspension. We don’t jump to a very high rate because it’s unfair to the people,” Herbosa said.

“Delaying the increase in premium will not harm the insurer. I need to see good actuarial calculations on this one,” Herbosa added.

Meanwhile, Senators expressed their support for Herbosa’s request to delay the PhilHealth rate increase.

Senator Risa Hontiveros stated that postponing the PhilHealth rate increase would significantly help Filipinos struggling with inflation.

“With the continuous rise in food prices, water and electricity bills, transportation, and others, and the decrease in our countrymen’s income due to inflation, the delay in the implementation of the PhilHealth premium rate hike is not only considerate but also sensitive to our countrymen’s economic burdens,” she said.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go highlighted that, despite the lifting of the State of Public Health Emergency, people are still dealing with economic challenges.

“Even though the State of Public Health Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been lifted, our countrymen still feel its effect on our economy. For them, every peso is important. They use it to buy rice and food,” he said.

“Many of our countrymen are still struggling. Let’s not add to the burdens they’re already carrying,” Go added.

Senator JV Ejercito also backed Herbosa’s proposal as the principal sponsor of the UHC.

“As the principal sponsor of the UHC, I support Secretary Ted Herbosa’s proposal to suspend the increase in Philhealth contributions. There is a pending bill I filed on amendments to the UHC to adjust premium rates as we are still recovering from the pandemic,” he said.

The proposed hike in PhilHealth rates is aligned with the Universal Health Care (UHC) signed by then-President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019.

The premium rate was initially set to increase to 4.5% last year, with the basic monthly salary ceiling at P90,000. The law stipulates gradual increases in PhilHealth contribution rates, aiming to reach 5% by 2024.


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