UHC does not intend to burden OFWs – PhilHealth

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    TO allay misconceptions brought about by concerns over the increase in premiums under the Universal Health Care (UHC), state health insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) said the adjustment in its contributions is provided for by law to guarantee fund sustainability and to effectively implement the UHC.

    According to Republic Act 11223, premium rates of direct contributors, to which land-based migrant workers belong, will gradually increase from the current 2.75% to 5% toward the end of 2024. Likewise, salary ceiling will also increase from the current P40,000 to P100,000 over the five-year period, with income floor pegged at P10,000.

    “The increase is necessary to strengthen our fund’s ability to sustain and expand the benefits for the members. It should not be seen as unnecessary expense, but rather an investment in the health of their family,” Ricardo C. Morales, PhilHealth president and chief executive officer said in response to concerns of certain OFW groups on the issue of contributions.

    He added that maintaining an active PhilHealth membership through regular payment of contributions is a sure way of protecting themselves against the financial burden of treatment.

    The agency also said that talks are underway with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration to develop guidelines on how to best address the issue on premium increase as well as systems for easy payment.

    “Such integration and streamlining hopes to promote efficiency and convenience, and is consistent with President Duterte’s call for greater ease in doing business with the government,” Morales said.