The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Monday assured members that it has enough money to fund all the health services it provides apart from the health packages for patients infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“We started the year with the reserve of about PHP130 billion, our estimated price tag for Covid-19 is PHP40 billion. So far, actually ang nabayaran namin up to end of this April is about PHP52.5 billion,” said PhilHealth President and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales in a virtual public briefing.
“Yes, we have money. We’ll be fine for the year 2020 and maybe up until the middle of next year,” Morales added.
Earlier, the PhilHealth said assistance for members who are giving birth and needing chemotherapy, dialysis, and other treatment will be continued amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“‘Yung immediate eligibility, kahit ‘yung mga hindi nakakabayad ng premium makakatanggap ng (With the immediate eligibility, even those who are unable to pay premiums will receive) healthcare. So, we’re fine this year,” Morales said.
In a congressional hearing last week, Morales called for a “general delay” of the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act and the expansion of primary health care benefits under the law, citing lack of funds.
Reacting to Morales’ statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reminded him that President Rodrigo Duterte certified the UHC as urgent to assure its passage in the Congress, and urged him instead to address corruption issues within PhilHealth.
Morales clarified that the decision on the implementation of the UHC would not come from him but from the policy makers.
Morales said he made the suggestion because a decline in the collection was observed while they were checking the cashflow of the corporation.
“Dahil tumigil ang ating ekonomiya, walang pumapasok, hindi nakakatrabaho ‘yung ating mga directly paying members, so nagsa-suffer ang ating collections. So, ‘yun ang dahilan kung bakit minabuti natin ipaalam sa policy makers na baka mayroon tayong hinaharap na problema (Because the economy stalled, our directly paying members are unable to work, so our collections suffered. So, I thought it best to let the policy makers know we have potential problem),” he said.
The law, signed by the President on February 20, 2019, automatically enrolls all Filipinos in the government’s health insurance program. (PNA)