Increased PhilHealth Premium Contributions Deferred

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte (PIA) - The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC), or PhilHealth, is deferring until the end of 2013 the implementation of the increase in premium contributions of individually paying, Overseas Workers and Employed Sector members in the National Health Insurance Program.

PhilHealth Eastern Visayas Vice President Walter Bacareza said the PhilHealth Board, through Resolution No. 1677, series of 2012, authorized the deferment in response to public clamor for the reconsideration of the implementation of the premium contribution increase in various PhilHealth memberships.

Bacareza said this will mean that self-employed and voluntary PhilHealth members will not be paying the annual P2,400 premium scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2013. Instead, each member will only be contributing P1,800 premium for the entire year.

Bacareza added the partial deferment was mandated in PhilHealth Circular No. 57, series of 2012.

To recall, late last year, PhilHealth announced that it will implement PhilHealth Board Resolution No. 1571 which increases the premium contribution of self-employed and voluntary members from P1,200 to P2,400 per year.

Self-employed members, according to Bacareza, may pay their contributions, either quarterly, semi-annually or annually at any PhilHealth office as well as through accredited collecting agents such as CIS Bayad Centers, MLhuillier, LBC Express Outlets, Philpost, banks.

He further explained that members under the Overseas Workers Program (OWP) will continue paying P1,200 only per year through PhilHealth offices or via collecting banks abroad like Development Bank of the Philippines and Philippine Veterans Bank remittance centers or their subsidiary branches in Asia, Europe, and United Kingdom.

The Al Ansari Exchange in Dubai and International Banks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Hongkong, Taiwan, Singapore, Canada, Macau, and other iremit branches and partners in Asia Pacific and Europe also accept the same contribution from OFWs.

Moreover, the same circular also announced that the new premium rate of three percent total deductions from basic salary of employed sector is also partially deferred.

The premium contributions for the employed sector starting January to December 2013 only shall be in accordance with premium schedule using baselines such as the 2.5 percent premium rate of the basic salary; use of salary bracket; with the salary bracket floor starting at P7,000 and the salary bracket ceiling is P35,000.

Thus, members receiving a salary of P7, 999.99 and below will be paying P175 total monthly contribution, comprising of P87.50 personal share and P87.50 employer share.

On the other hand, those receiving salaries of P35,000 or more will be paying a total monthly contribution of P875.00 or P437.50 personal share and P437.50 employer share.

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