Ian Alfredo Magno
BARELY a month after the advent of 2018, certain reactions and queries have been raised by the general public seeking clarification whether or not Philhealth increased (and as to what extent) its premium contribution requirement for the employed sector – that is involving employees and employers.
Pursuant to Circular 2017-0024 on the Adjustment in the Premium Contributions of the Employed Sector to Sustain the National Health Insurance Program, which was published on Oct. 27, 2017, it would appear that the increased premium is indeed tangibly real.
Part IV of Circular 2017-2014 categorically provides: “Effective the applicable month of January 2018 and onwards, the monthly premium contributions shall be at the rate of 2.75% computed straight based on the monthly basic salary, with a salary floor of P10,000.00 and a ceiling of P40,000.00, to be equally shared by the employees and their employer.”
Computation is to be based on the following with the removal of the salary brackets:
Monthly basic salary x 2.75%: P10,000 and lesser; Monthly Premium: P275; Personal Share: P137.50; Employer Share: P137.50;
Monthly basic salary x 2.75%: P10,000.01 to P39,999.99; Monthly Premium: P275.02 to P1099.99; Personal Share: P137.51 to P549.99; Employer Share: P137.51 to P549.99;
Monthly basic salary x 2.75%: P40,000 and more; Monthly Premium: P1,100; Personal Share: P550; Employer Share: P550.
The logical query would most probably touch on why such an increase would seem necessary. The need for such increase lies in the necessity to sustain the various enhancements to program benefits introduced in recent years and to further come up with and sustain future benefits to effectively respond to the growing health care financing needs of all members, such as:
- Benefits of senior citizens
- Expansion of Z-benefits
- Primary Care Benefit for Non-indigents
- Enhanced Case Rates
Then who are covered under Circular 2017-0024?
Part III provides:
“This circular covers all employed members in the Formal Economy, including Kasambahays, Family Drivers, and Sea-based Overseas Filipino Workers, and all employers in the government and private sectors.”
The Circular further provides:
“In accordance with RA 10361, the premium contributions of the Kasambahay shall be shouldered solely by the household employer. However, if the Kasambahay is receiving a monthly salary of five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) or above, the Kasambahay shall pay his/her proportionate share.”
This issue is intended to guide and apprise both employers and employees accordingly. It is, thus, hoped due notice is taken.
(Lawyer Ian Alfredo T. Magno is a legal officer at Philhealth in Cagayan de Oro.)