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PhilHealth defends contribution rates

MANILA, Philippines — Defending its current contribution rates, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. yesterday said PhilHealth’s existing premium contribution rates are based on what is mandated by law.

Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo earlier saw the need to “re-calibrate the premium rates,” adding that the “premium rates are simply too high.”
   “We are just implementing the law... We are ready to implement whatever will be mandated by our laws,” PhilHealth vice president for corporate affairs Rey Baleña said in an interview.
   Baleña added that PhilHealth’s implementation of the current contribution rates is in line with the provisions of the Universal Health Care (UHC) law.

He clarified, though, that PhilHealth is ready to work with lawmakers in amending the law, especially if the rates are seen as “too high.”

“We leave it to the wisdom of Congress to amend the contribution rates as they deemed it fit,” said Baleña. “We have and will always support all efforts towards making the UHC Law more responsive to the needs and situation of the people.”
    Baleña revealed that PhilHealth is already in the process of enhancing about 8,000 benefit packages that included acute stroke, high-risk pneumonia and hemodialysis.

Under the UHC Law, the premium rates of PhilHealth are mandated to increase annually from 2020 to 2024. Currently, PhilHealth’s premium rate stands at five percent, and will continue to be at that level until 2025.
   Earlier, Quimbo called for the lowering of the PhilHealth premium rates saying premium rates are simply too high for its members.
  She said the state-run health insurer “is earning too much because the premium rates are high, but those who pay the premiums – the workers – are at the losing end.”