PhilHealth warns less benefits from lower sin tax revenues

Posted at 10/19/2012 11:13 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) warns it will reduce its projected benefits for new members if the revenue target of the sin tax bill is lowered to P40 billion.

PhilHealth president Eduardo Banzon explains a higher allocation from the sin tax bill will enable the agency to provide deeper and more sustainable financial protection for its members.

He adds that if lawmakers retain the Palace's original revenue target of P60 billion, PhilHealth will get an allocation of P10 billion, which should translate to 15 million new members.

"Then we scale down the benefits. It will be sad, unfortunate. Mas gusto ko mas mapaganda natin ang mga benepisyo talaga para pati pedicab driver kanina masagot natin pati out-patient drug. Chances are when we talk about out-patient drugs, we may not be able to scale it up na mas masagot natin mas maraming gamot," he said on ANC's Headstart. 

"When we talk about Z benefits baka ang macover, kasi ngayon ilang cancer lang, and we're expanding it. Baka hindi natin ma-expand. Baka hindi natin ma-cover ang ganun karaming sakit na gusto nating i-cover when it comes to in-patient benefits baka hindi natin yan ma-raise to a price na mas kumportable ang mga private hospitals na pumayag na hindi rin sila sisingil," he added.

The Palace earlier said it was willing to accept a lower revenue target of P40 billion from the sin tax reform bill, now being deliberated at the Senate. - ANC