PhilHealth recently released an official statement – its official response to the increased premium rates affecting Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). It can be recalled that the agency has imposed a mandatory premium contribution of 3% to Overseas Filipino Workers.
It can also be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte has suspended the said premium among the overseas community and makes it voluntary instead, as relayed by Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
“PhilHealth fully understands the sentiments of our OFW regarding the increase in premiums. We have explored several possibilities to cushion the impact of the increase through flexible payment terms that are embodied in the recently published Circular,” begins PhilHealth’s official statement signed by BGen. Ricardo C. Morales, AFP (RET.) FICD, President and CEO of the said agency.
Moreover, the agency reiterates that the increase in premium rates is in accordance with the specific provisions of the Republic Act 11223, also known as the Universal Health Care Act of 2019. The Universal Health Care Act of 2019 will automatically enroll all Filipino citizens in the National Health Insurance Program and prescribes complementary reforms in the health system. This also gives citizens access to the full continuum of health services.
“The purpose of the Universal Health Care Act, as in other societies with the same program, is to provide affordable and adequate healthcare to all Filipinos. Such a program requires funding collected through premium contributions,” continues the statement.
The premium rates were announced last year (2019) in PhilHealth Circular No. 2019-0009 entitled ‘Premium Contribution Schedule in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) and further clarified by the recently published PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0014.
Read the full statement here: