State agency Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) announces today that it is well on its way to regaining financial stability as evidenced by its total cash position of P37 billion as of May-end this year, citing encouraging financial prospects in contrast to its 2017 performance as contained in a Commission on Audit report.
The COA reported that PhilHealth incurred net operating loss of P4.7 billion in 2017.
For the first five months of the year, PhilHealth recorded cash inflow of P54.7 billion consisting of premium contributions collection of P45 billion; and proceeds from matured bonds at P6.9 billion, investment income of P2.7 billion, and other income of P140 million all amounting to P9.7 billion.
On the other hand, its cash outflow totaled P51.3 billion, of which P38.4 billion and P2.3 billion comprise the biggest spending items for benefit claims and operating expense, respectively.
The resulting net inflow of P3.4 billion and its starting cash position of P33.5 billion in January of this year amounted to total cash of P37 billion which PhilHealth said is enough guarantee that it has the liquidity to pay its obligations to accredited providers serving its members.
It even noted that premium collection and benefit payments ratio is starting to show early on a reversal of its 2017 year-end performance of higher payouts than premium collections.
The state agency’s Acting Chief Dr. Roy B. Ferrer expressed high hopes that its relentless efforts will continue to stabilize their financial condition and be more resilient in order to sustain not just its growing benefit payouts but also in introducing more benefit packages for the members.
“We attribute this positive trend to our concerted efforts at improving collection efficiency especially in the private sector, heightened members’ consciousness to pay their dues particularly those in the informal sector, and prudence and austerity in spending.” explained Ferrer, adding that “members and stakeholders alike can very well rely on our commitment to our lawful mandates.”
Among the benefits that it recently launched are four Z Packages for Children with Disabilities which address developmental disabilities, mobility impairment, visual disabilities, and hearing impairment; and an expanded primary care package consisting of consultation with a doctor and a set of primary care services, diagnostics and medicines. The package was initially being provided to indigent, sponsored and kasambahay members.
PhilHealth said that it acknowledges the COA report which was one of the highlights of the recent two joint congressional oversight hearings on the implementation of the National Health Insurance Law.
While the report correctly pointed out its net operating loss at P4.7B against the P8.9B which was widely and erroneously reported in the media, the state agency said that they owe it to their 97-million strong beneficiaries to continue working hard to achieve excellent financial health.
To continue the positive financial trend that it already posted for the first five months of the year, PhilHealth has committed to further strengthen its accounts management operations to ensure that employers are remitting regularly and correctly to the National Health Insurance Fund, alongside efforts to go after the few erring ones who either refuse to remit, remit selectively, or under-declare salaries to remit lower premiums.
It is also beefing up its anti-fraud program to prevent fraudulent activities, and to aggressively penalize erring members, employers and health care providers to the fullest measure of the law.
PhilHealth said that it is also poised to collect more to improve its financial portfolio with the support of the Department of Budget and Management. For this year, Congress has approved additional appropriation for the adjusted premium rates for the employed sector and subsidy for senior citizen members. PhilHealth is now working with the DBM to increase premium rates for indigents and senior citizens as recommended by the COA.
On the spending end, PhilHealth said that it is currently reviewing its case rates and is closely collaborating with its partners and stakeholders in the health delivery sector to arrive at payment rates that are adequate and appropriate to cover the basic services that its accredited providers perform for insured patients. (END) (Rey T. Baleña)