Bill allows President to stop PhilHealth premium hikes

A BILL filed at the House of Representatives seeks to empower the president to suspend the increase in premiums of direct contributors of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

House Bill 6772 was filed by Speaker Martin Romuldez, House Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, and Tingog Representatives Yedda Marie Romualdez and Jude Acidre.

The bill seeks to amend Section 10 of Republic Act 11223 (the Universal Health Care Act), which provides the schedule of the premium rate increase.

If the bill is passed into law, the president “may, upon the recommendation of the PhilHealth Board, suspend and adjust the period of implementation of the scheduled increase of premium rates during national emergencies or calamities, or when public interest so requires.”

Under the law, direct contributors are “those who have the capacity to pay premiums, are gainfully employed and are bound by an employer-employee relationship, or are self-earning, professional practitioners, migrant workers, including their qualified dependents, and lifetime members.”

Meanwhile, the law defines indirect contributors as “all others not included as direct contributors, as well as their qualified dependents, whose premium shall be subsidized by the national government including those who are subsidized as a result of special laws.”

The bill was filed on Jan. 13, 2023.

On Jan. 23, 2023, the House resumed session after a congressional break and referred the bill to the House Committee on Health.

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