THE Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) announced last Monday it will launch next year a benefit package that would address Filipinos’ growing mental healthcare needs.
PhilHealth Senior Manager Rey T. Baleña said the state-run insurance corporation will launch mental health services next year under its Universal Health Care plans.
“It is one of the things we will be deploying this coming 2023. And that will be part of the benefit plan of PhilHealth,” Baleña said during a news briefing.
“We will have an outpatient package for mental health. And we have been preparing this because we know that we have fellow countrymen that are in need of this service because of their mental health issues,” Baleña added.
He, however, did not provide any further details about the proposed plan. Nonetheless, Baleña noted that it will be bankrolled by the funds raised from the increased contributions of PhilHealth members.
Contributions to PhilHealth, a government owned and controlled corporation, will now be at 4.5 percent of the monthly salary of members starting next year from the current 4 percent as stipulated by the Universal Health Care Act.
Baleña addressed the criticisms against the impending contribution hike, saying that at the end of the day the increase in PhilHealth’s fund would result in wider and more efficient healthcare services to Filipinos nationwide.
“We understand the situation of our fellow Filipinos, even those of the employers, especially since employers and companies are still recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said. “But let us think that our contributions are health investments.”
Baleña said that last year, PhilHealth paid P88-billion worth of claims. From the January-to-October period of this year, the state-run firm has already paid P110 billion in health claims by its members.
Aside from the mental health service package, PhilHealth will also roll-out its transition to diagnostic related groups that would rationalize the payment system to patients depending on their health status and risk profile, he added.