Firms to pay for half of ex-employees’ PhilHealth share in January-May

STATE-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) said it will no longer collect the employees’ share or half of their 1-percent premium rate differential from January to May this year if they have resigned, separated or retired from their company during the period.

Speaking before a virtual forum last Monday, PhilHealth Division Chief of the Employed Segment Jennifer F. Enriquez said only the employers of these employees at that time are required to pay their share in the rate differential for the covered months.

According to Enriquez, they presented such proposal to the board on account of the employee has already resigned and there’s no means of locating again the employee and be asked to pay for the half of the 1 percent. She said the PhiliHealth board decided to forgo the resigned employee’s payment. To note, PhilHealth premium contributions of employed members are equally shared by the employer and the employee.

“They approved it na hindi na obligated si resigned employee na magbayad,” Enriquez said.

She added, however, that employers have until December 31 this year to settle their share in the 1-percent differential of the premium contributions of their employees without interest.

To note, PhilHealth announced last month it will increase the premium contribution rate to 4 percent from 3 percent starting June; but the increase would be retroactive from January this year.

In the same forum, PhilHealth Senior Manager Rex Paul Recoter revealed that incoming Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Susan V. Ople met on Monday morning with PhilHealth President and CEO Atty. Dante A. Gierran to appeal the deferment of the hike in premium contribution this year.

“The message was to really to understand the plight of OFWs. And of course, most of us relatives who are also OFWs so the appeal was to maintain the status quo of 3 percent,” Recoter said during the forum hosted by American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines North Luzon chapter.

Pressed on the possibility of the deferment of the increase in the premium contributions, Recoter said he personally believes that this matter still lies in the hands of Congress since PhilHealth is bound to implement what is stated under the law.

Under the Universal Health Care law, premium rates should gradually increase starting from 2.75 percent in 2019 until it reaches 5 percent for both 2024 and 2025.

PhilHealth last year agreed to postpone the premium hike to 3.5 percent from 3 percent in 2020 under an “interim arrangement” that will be good only until Congress passes a new law allowing for the deferment.

However, Congress was not able to pass a new law, prompting the PhilHealth to push through with the retroactive implementation of the premium hike starting January this year.