PhilHealth charter review, more benefits pushed | Inquirer News

PhilHealth charter review, more benefits for members pushed

/ 02:53 PM February 13, 2024

PHOTO: PhilHealth counter with members STORY: PhilHealth charter review, more benefits for members pushed


MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has asked a House of Representatives panel to review the charter of state-run health insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth),  and possibly expand the benefits extended to members.

In a statement on Tuesday, Romualdez said the House committee on health has been tasked with the review, as the House leadership aims to explore more ways to increase the benefits received by Filipino patients.


Romualdez said PhilHealth should function like a health maintenance organization (HMO) or a private health insurance firm which focuses its resources on the healthcare provision for its members rather than in investing.


“With substantial annual allocations from Congress and regular contributions from private employees, there is no excuse for PhilHealth to scrimp on coverage,” Romualdez said.

“The effectiveness of the Universal Health Care system depends on our ability to provide for our citizens, ensuring they receive the medical attention and preventive care they deserve,” he added.

A hearing for the committee has been scheduled on Wednesday, February 14.

Romualdez said that the target is to increase benefits and cover at least 50 percent of costs in private hospital wards, while providing free examinations for certain cases — like the early detection of deadly diseases such as cancer, preventive measures including diagnostic exams like x-rays for lung cancer, mammography for breast cancer, and the provision of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

“The review seeks to address and eliminate any barriers to quality healthcare, ensuring that PhilHealth’s operations align with the best interests of the people it serves,” Romualdez said.

“This initiative […] underscores the government’s dedication to strengthening the healthcare system, making it more responsive to the needs of its citizens, and ensuring that every Filipino has access to the care they need, when they need it,” he added.


PhilHealth drew flak early this year after it announced that its members’ premium contribution will increase from four percent to five percent in 2024.

While the increase is in line with the Universal Health Care (UHC) law, people asked why there is a need for the increase when PhilHealth’s income has increased annually without hikes.

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Due to this, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa has recommended to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the increase be deferred.

TAGS: Martin Romualdez, Philhealth

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