Marcos Jr. orders PhilHealth to suspend rate hike in 2023
MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has directed the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to postpone the increase of premium rates and income ceilings scheduled to take effect this year, noting that the pandemic has caused many socioeconomic hardships for Filipinos.
A memorandum from the Office of the President, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin and shared with reporters on Monday, ordered the deferral of a scheduled hike in the PhilHealth premium rate from 4 percent to 4.5 percent. It likewise halted the increasing of the income ceiling of members paying the highest contribution from P80,000 to P90,000 in 2023.
“In light of the prevailing socioeconomic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide financial relief to our countrymen amidst these difficult times, please be informed that the President has directed the PhilHealth to suspend the above mentioned increase in premium rate and income ceiling for Calendar Year 2023, subject to applicable laws, rules and regulations,” it read.
PhilHealth argued that the impending 4.5-percent increase in premiums would enable the state-run insurance corporation to sustain the benefits currently enjoyed by its members.
READ: PhilHealth justifies 4.5% hike in premium
The Universal Healthcare (UHC) law mandates increases in member premiums by 0.5 percent every year, starting 2021 until it reaches its 5-percent limit in 2025.
In 2021, Marcos’ predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, postponed the increase in PhilHealth member contributions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
READ: Duterte holds off PhilHealth contribution hike, says Bong Go
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