Workers group slams PhilHealth premium hike
LABOR center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the premium hike implemented by government-owned health insurance corporation PhilHealth, saying the latter’s announcement that the hike was deferred is a lie aimed at deceiving the public.
Despite PhilHealth’s announcement that the scheme to hike members’ premiums has been deferred to 2014, premium contributions of individually paying members and those in the employed sector have been increased, as shown by PhilHealth Circular No. 057 Series of 2012 signed last Nov. 22, 2012 by Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon, PhilHealth CEO and president.
“PhilHealth is trying to deceive the public by announcing that it has deferred the implementation of its scheme to hike members’ premiums. It knows that this move won’t be popular amidst worsening unemployment, poverty, hunger and indebtedness among our people and its members,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“PhilHealth is showing just how anti-poor it is in hiking the premiums of the lowest-paid employees and of individually-paying members who come from the ranks of the self-employed. These are the section of our people who are being denied by the government of health and other social services,” he added.
Individually paying members’ premium contributions will be increased from last year’s P1,200 to P1,800 starting January this year – a P600 increase per year, or P50 increase per month.
A comparison of PhilHealth’s premium contribution table last year with that contained in PhilHealth Circular No. 057 Series of 2012, reveals that premiums of those belonging to the lowest salary brackets in the employed sector have also been hiked starting January this year.
The following are the employee share in last year’s premium contribution table: P50.00 for those in Bracket 1 (P4,999.99 and below), P62.50 for those in Bracket 2 (P5,000.00 to P5,999.99), and P75.00 for those in Bracket 3 (P6,000.00 to P6,999.00).
In the circular, all three brackets have been subsumed under a new Bracket 1, covering those within salary range P7,999.99 and below in which employee share will be P87.50.
This amounts to a P37.50 increase in employee share for those in the former Bracket 1, P25.00 increase for those in the former Bracket 2, and P12.50 increase for those in the former Bracket 3.
“How this premium hike will redound to the interest of PhilHealth members is questionable, to say the least, in the light of the Aquino government’s privatization of public hospitals. Workers’ payments for health services will surely be increased in the coming months and years,” Labog said.
“Is the Aquino government trying to increase its war chest for the 2013 elections at the expense of PhilHealth members? Will big capitalists pocket a section of this premium hike through PhilHealth’s investments in various businesses?” he asked.