Tulfo: Continue PhilHealth contributions, but provide more benefits

Tulfo: Continue PhilHealth contributions, but provide more benefits

/ 06:47 PM May 28, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Erwin Tulfo prefers that the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) increase the coverage of its benefits packages, instead of proposals to stop the collection of premium contributions.

Tulfo in an interview on Tuesday said that PhilHealth, during a previous meeting with lawmakers, maintained that contributions must not be stopped as it provides a lifeblood to the benefits program.

Instead, the state-run insurer would enhance the services — like providing free mammograms and the proposal to increase the coverage for hemodialysis from P2,600 to P5,200 per session.


“Initially, in our first meeting, PhilHealth appealed that the contributions should not be reduced or stopped.  This is why they have been able to come up with ways to address concerns, like free mammograms, free ultrasounds.  Now, they would try to double the [coverage for] hemodialysis,” Tulfo said.


“Before, I talked with Congresswoman [Stella] Quimbo and the Speaker (Ferdinand Martin Romualdez) about PhilHealth and the DOH (Department of Health) statements that contributions should not be reduced or stopped.  It will continue, but more benefits will be provided,” he added.

Quimbo previously suggested doing away with premium contributions of members — or an amount of money deducted from workers’ salaries as PhilHealth contributions — because the contributions have outweighed the benefits provided by the state-run insurer.

The Marikina-based lawmaker said PhilHealth is earning too much but is shouldering only a little of the patients’ hospital expenses.

READ: Quimbo: PhilHealth profit is too high, but benefits members get are too low

PhilHealth executive vice president Eli Dino Santos, who was present in the interview with Tulfo, said that PhilHealth’s assets amount to P589.5 billion.  However, Tulfo emphasized that this does not include its pending payments to hospitals, which he said only proves the point that contributions to PhilHealth must continue.

“Well, let’s not forget also, ladies and gentlemen, PhilHealth still has payments to make to private hospitals.  I talked to the Private Hospital Association of the Philippines a while ago, and they are saying that PhilHealth has debt to pay.  So, they’re in the process of paying these,” Tulfo said.


“What Cong. Stella is saying is good, but I think we should not stop contributions or lessen it.  It may be good for contributions to continue, but we will find ways for people to use their PhilHealth cards more often,” he added.

Earlier, Santos told reporters that PhilHealth is studying the proposal to increase its dialysis package to P5,200 per session so that medications needed for the procedure will also be covered.

Tulfo said the proposal came out after diabetic patients sought assistance from the Speaker regarding medication that has to be bought before getting dialysis, which costs around P900 to P1,500 per vial.

Tulfo explained that the P2,600 package supposedly includes the medicines, but these are only provided in government hospitals — which means patients have to buy these vials first before getting a hemodialysis treatment.

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READ: PhilHealth studying possible expanded dialysis coverage

TAGS: Erwin Tulfo, Philhealth

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