• Insurance Commission supervision of HMOs backed

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    Health maintenance organization (HMO) pioneer PhilCare is supportive of government plans to have the Insurance Commission (IC) regulate the HMO industry, saying that such a move would improve the industry as a whole and making quality healthcare accessible to more Filipinos.

    “It’s very sensible on the part of the government to turn to the competence of the IC to regulate the industry,” said Noemi Azura, PhilCare president and chief executive officer.

    PhilCare echoed the sentiment of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima who said that having the IC regulate HMOs will ensure that providers will remain reliable and financially strong, especially as the country moves to implement a universal healthcare system.

    Purisima said that the move would also address cases of “fly-by-night” HMOs, which are notorious for poor service and nonpayment of claims.

    Azura said an IC-regulated HMO industry would promote a culture of financial viability among players. This would also prevent the occurrence of bankruptcy similar to what happened to many preneed companies, which suffered from inability to settle claims by the time the IC started regulating them.

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