The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has suspended the upcoming increase to premium rate and income rate that was initially planned for release this year. This postponement came from a memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin.
Bersamin delayed both the increase of the PhilHealth Premium rate from 4 percent to 4.5 percent and the income ceiling from P80,000 to P90,000 for 2023. The decrees of this memorandum are from Section 10 of the Universal Health Care (UHC) act, which first mandated the Premium Rate Increase. This act was the one to implement the yearly increase in member premiums, beginning at 0.5 percent in 2021 up to the five-percent limit in 2025.
The act states that “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 PhilHealth to suspend the above-mentioned increase in premium rate and income ceiling for Calendar Year 2023.”
PhilHealth explains that the price hike was meant to help in sustaining the level of benefits that members currently enjoy, but the government’s statement on how Filipinos are still affected by Covid-19 convinced the corporation to delay their plans.