Thursday, March 10, 2016

PhilHealth says its finances remain robust, healthy and substantial

MANILA -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) clarified on Thursday there is no truth to the report that its operating funds will run out in six to 10 months.

“PhilHealth’s finances are still robust, healthy and substantial as ever,” PhilHealth President and CEO Atty. Alexander A. Padilla said as he stressed that the report emanating from Legazpi City in Albay was baseless and the PhilHealth official cited in it was probably misquoted.

The report said PhilHealth Board Member Eddie Dorotan made the statement in his speech at the inauguration of a new PhilHealth Office at the Pacific Mall-Gaisano Complex in Legazpi City on Tuesday.

Dorotan was reported as saying that the operating funds of PhilHealth are good only for six to 10 months unless the government pays its past billings for government hospitals amounting to billions of pesos.

“The six months mentioned in the report is really impossible. First of all, our reserves are huge — Php128 billion, and these comprise our biggest reserves for the past so many years,” the PhilHealth president said in a press briefing.

He explained that while PhilHealth has shelled out bigger chunks for the benefit payments to members as the agency improved the package benefits, he also assured that their financial reserves are not depleting.

“Our collections are also increasing at the same time... Our investment rates are also good, all Triple A (government securities that are guaranteed),” he said.

He cited that PhilHealth has investments on Treasury bills, fixed securities (Triple A securities) and is not even entering in doubtful transactions.

Padilla said that upon examining the news story, it was mentioned that in 2015, PhilHealth premium collections were Php96 billion while the benefit payments amounted to Php97 billion, insinuating that they lost Php1 billion in a year.

He said that granting they lost Php1 billion in 2015, since they have reserves of Php128 billion, that will mean PhilHealth will be running out of funds in 128 years and not in six months, which is also impossible since the agency is earning continuously.

He also said that actually, PhilHealth has not at all lost Php1 billion in 2015 because they still have at least Php7 billion surplus.

According to Atty. Padilla, he had already talked to the concerned PhilHealth board member and that Dorotan said he had been misquoted.

“I repeat, PhilHealth is stable, our funds are robust. There is no doubt about that,” he said as he stressed that PhilHealth keeps on enhancing its system of benefit packages.

He added that PhilHealth continues to innovate as it hopes to reduce out-of-pocket expenses of its members. (By Leilani S. Junio, PNA)
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