PhilHealth Benefits Up By 35 Percent

Published by rudy Date posted on March 9, 2009

MEMBERS of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will enjoy increased subsidies for hospitalization fees and professional charges of physicians for confinements starting May 1 this year.

In a media briefing held in Quezon City on its 14th Anniversary recently, PhilHealth President and CEO Dr. Rey B. Aquino said that the PhilHealth inpatient care benefit ceilings have been raised substantially, such that the aggregate effect on annual benefit payments is expected to increase by 35 percent.. This is the first in seven years since its last upward benefit increase in 2002. “We have recognized the fact that rapid inflation has somehow reduced the significance of our existing benefit levels. There is an urgent need therefore to adjust our subsidies to meet the rising cost of hospitalization among our members,” explains Aquino.

He said that while the increase in allowances for hospital room and board fees is moderate, “…increases in some of the other benefit items are more than 100 percent, as in the case of drugs and medicines for Case Type B illnesses in Primary hospitals, where an increase of about 260 percent is demonstrated, from P2,500.00 to P9,000.00 per single period of confinement.”

Under the new inpatient package, allowances for x-ray and other laboratory exams grew by as much as 76 percent, while maximum benefit amounts for the professional fees of accredited physicians rose by as much as 136 percent for general practitioners and specialists combined. “These benefits were increased in varying degrees across all case types (or illness types) as applicable, in participating tertiary, secondary and primary hospitals nationwide,” Aquino stressed.

He added that anaesthesiologist and surgeon’s fees were also increased to amounts that are more meaningful to availees based on PhilHealth’s recently- approved tiered payments for professional fees and the revised valuations for certain surgical and medical procedures.

Aquino also emphasized that the increase in benefit ceilings comes without any increase in premium contributions “so as not to burden our members especially now that the country is feeling the pinch of the ongoing global economic crisis.” He also called on its 1,500-strong partner hospitals to further improve their services and refrain from unnecessarily jacking up their fees so that PhilHealth members can fully enjoy these increases in benefits. (END)

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