Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has called for the deferment of the proposed hike in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) contributions.
Go’s call came on the heels of PhilHealth announcement that its monthly premiums will rise by 0.5% starting next year. The present contribution is 3% of monthly income.
Under the Universal Health Care (UHC) law (RA 11223) those with monthly basic salary of P10,000 and below will have a fixed contribution of PHP350 a month starting January 2021. Those earning P10,000.01 to P69,999.99 will pay a monthly premium between P350 to P2,449.99, while those earning P70,000 and higher per month will pay a fixed rate of P2,450 monthly.
Go said higher PhilHealth contributions would be an additional burden to Filipinos, especially those who have lost their livelihood amid the prevailing pandemic, and that deferring the increase may be possible should a third Bayanihan law be enacted.
“Let’s not give them an additional burden. We can study making amendments in the law or deferring it through a provision in Bayanihan 3,” he said.
Go said he sees the need to have higher contributions to assure enough funding for healthcare benefits of its 110 million members as mandated by the UHC law, but it would to expect Filipinos to pay higher contributions while struggling to feed their families.
“We also cannot afford to sacrifice the UHC because we don’t want to reach the point where PhilHealth won’t have funds to pay for healthcare services,” he said adding he will raise to President Duterte the possibility of the government shouldering expenses needed to sustain PhilHealth’s services.
Go reminded and warned PhilHealth officials allegedly involved in corruption in their agency. A whistleblower earlier claimed that certain alleged insider mafia members have pocketed some P15 billion of the government’s health insurance firm.
Photo courtesy of Senator Bong Go facebook page