The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has assured residents of Negros Occidental of improved and immediate eligibility to benefits under the new premium schedule for direct contributors as provided in the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law of 2019.
Janimhe Jalbuna, head of PhilHealth 6 (Western Visayas) Public Affairs Unit, said on Thursday that the new contribution schedule would take effect on December 7, which is 15 days after the publication of Circular 2019-0009.
“We ask our media partners in Bacolod to help us disseminate the information,” Jalbuna said during the agency’s “Media Pasalamat” held at L’Fisher Hotel here.
She said the new rates would ensure the sustainability of the National Health Insurance Fund, which will guarantee that all Filipinos can avail of outpatient benefit packages and immediate eligibility to benefits during confinement.
Those who will pay the adjusted premium rates are direct contributors, which refer to those who are gainfully employed and bound by an employer-employee relationship, as well as domestic helpers (kasambahay), self-earning individuals, practicing professionals, and overseas Filipino workers.
PhilHealth Circular 2019-0009 sets the premium for the membership category at 2.75 percent of the monthly basic salary, with an adjusted ceiling of PHP50,000.
Starting in 2020, PhilHealth will increase the rate to 3 percent and will be adjusted to increments of 0.5 percent every year until it reaches the 5 percent limit in 2025, as provided in the UHC Law.
Income floor is fixed at PHP10,000 during the five-year period while the salary ceiling will gradually increase by PHP10,000 each year until it reaches PHP100,000 in 2025.
Under Republic Act 10631 or the Kasambahay Law, employers will pay the premiums of their domestic helpers in full, except when their monthly salary exceeds PHP5,000, wherein the employee shall then be deducted of their equal share in the monthly contribution.
For employed members, the new premium schedule will be applicable in December 2019, which is payable in January 2020.
The rest of the direct contributors may still avail of the existing rate of PHP2,400 per year, or PHP3,600 per year for those earning PHP25,000 or more per month, for a maximum of three years until December 6, 2019 only.
During the media forum, Jalbuna was joined by other PhilHealth executives, among them Dr. Amalia Fernandez, medical specialist II; Romel Dilag, head of the Local Health Insurance Office – Bacolod; and plan planning officer Garry Zabala. (PNA)