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Marcos suspends PhilHealth contribution hike

THE scheduled hike in Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) contribution will not push through this year, according to a memorandum released by Malacañang, citing an order by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The premium rate for PhilHealth was supposed to increase this year to 4.5 percent from 4 percent, based on Section 10 of the Universal Health Care Act.

Marcos instructed PhilHealth to defer the hike based on the current economic conditions, the memo said. “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 the PhilHealth to suspend the above mentioned increase in premium rate and income ceiling for CY 2023, subject to applicable laws, rules and regulations,” the memo states. In a joint statement released Monday night, the Department of Health and PhilHealth said they already received the President’s memorandum.

The two agencies said the matter will be discussed on Wednesday, and more information will be made available after. “The DOH and PhilHealth recognize the suspension is intended to help our kababayans cope with the increasing prices of commodities caused by inflation,” the statement read. “Such moratorium in increases in premium contributions have been done in years 2020 and 2021.

This was in accordance with directives of the Office of the President, and in recognition of the effects of the pandemic during those years,” they said. ABS-CBN