PhilHealth to tweak aid for mental health among others due to rate hike delay

Rey Balena, senior manager, said implementation of new benefits will still push through but not without some modifications.

Beatrice Pinlac

Beatrice Pinlac

Philippine Daily Inquirer


PhilHealth signage. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

January 5, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will adjust some of the benefits it will provide to members as the scheduled increase in contributions has been suspended.

Specifically, aid for mental health, therapeutic care for malnutrition, and healthcare consultations will need “some adjustments.”

Rey Balena, senior manager of PhilHealth’s corporate communications team, said implementation of new benefits offered by the state health insurer will still push through but not without some modifications.

“The new benefits – following our benefit plan – might be affected in terms of implementation. These new benefits, just like our outpatient benefit for mental health and the outpatient therapeutic care for severe-acute malnutrition, which are both due for rollout this year, will continue to be implemented but with some adjustments,” he said over ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.

Balena added that PhilHealth’s Konsulta Benefit Package, wherein members are assigned to an accredited Konsulta provider that will check and take care of their health needs through consultations, will likewise need to be recalibrated.

“We are already heavily invested in this program, so this program will definitely push through. Perhaps we will just be adjusting on the percentage of the population that will be initially covered by this but definitely, the Konsulta program will push through,” he explained.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier ordered to defer the scheduled increase in the monthly contribution and income ceiling of PhilHealth members for 2023.

A memorandum from the Office of the President – written and signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin – to PhilHealth and the Department of Health justified the decision “in light of prevailing socioeconomic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide financial relief to our countrymen amidst these difficult times.”

Prior to the issuance of the memorandum, PhilHealth’s premium rate was expected to go up from 4 to 4.5 percent this year. The income ceiling for its contributors, on the other hand, was supposed to be raised from P80,000 to P90,000.

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