The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on Friday advised the public of a possible increase in premium contributions for next year because of continued expansion of coverage for senior citizens and indigent members.
In a news briefing, PhilHealth president Alexander Padilla disclosed that they are projecting around P86.9 billion in collections, and almost P100 billion in expenditures for next year.
This projection, he noted, would cost them a deficit of P12 billion if they will not reach their target collections of around P105.3 billion.
According to Padilla, the increase in expenses will be allocated to senior citizens and indigent members who have not registered with PhilHealth.
As of June 2015, PhilHealth recorded more than 15.3 million indigent members out of the total 45.4 million beneficiaries, while 4.8 million senior citizens were registered members out of 5.9 million beneficiaries.
“Eventually, pag sa tingin naman ninyo ay nakakapagbigay naman kami ng konting benepisyo [if you think that we are able to give some benefits], and we want to give more, dapat rin isipin na ng publiko na mag-i-increase na rin ang [we hope that the public would be able to accept that we may have to increase]premium contributions,” Padilla said.
From January 1 to June 30 this year, PhilHealth has covered around 89.4 million members or 88 percent of the projected population of the country, where the highest number of members covered were indigents with 40 percent.
It released Z Benefit Packages for colon and rectal cancer, and increased the sessions of hemodialysis from 45 days to 90 days this year.
Within the same period, PhilHealth paid more than P44 billion in health services within the first six months of the year, which spending will rise to around P88 billion by the end of the year.
Padilla noted that this will be higher than the P78 billion expenditure from last year, citing collections from “sin” taxes coming from cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.
He disclosed that their approved budget for 2016 will be around P43.43 billion.
Padilla said he hopes that in the coming year, they can improve their services for all members, especially the senior citizens and indigent members.
“We want to show to the people how much benefits we can give and how easy it is to be a [PhilHealth] member,” he added.