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All HMO firms compliant with capital requirements

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A nurse checks a patient's blood pressure in this 2009 file photo taken in Manila. BW FILE PHOTO

ALL health maintenance organization (HMO) firms in the Philippines remain compliant with requirements set by the Insurance Commission (IC), the regulator said, noting that brewing dispute within one provider remains an internal issue.

IC Commissioner Dennis B. Funa said a brewing dispute within the board of Caritas Health Shield remains a boardroom quarrel over a question of solvency, as the regulator said the firm remains armed with cash.

“We note that based on the unaudited quarterly report, its financial position as of June 30, 2017, total assets are valued at P8.2 billion while liabilities are at P8 billion. Therefore as it stands, Caritas has sufficient assets to cover its liabilities,” Mr. Funa said in a press briefing at the IC headquarters in Manila.

Assessments made by the IC also showed that all 28 HMOs operating in the Philippines have complied with the minimum capital requirements set by the regulator since 2016 or when it began supervising such firms.

HMOs were placed under the insurance industry regulator’s watch through  Executive Order No. 192 signed by former President Benigno S. C. Aquino III on Nov. 12, 2015.

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Previously, it was the Department of Health which monitored HMOs in the country.

An IC circular released in July 2016 adopted a risk-based capitalization requirement covering HMOs, as it sought to cap the maximum amount of policies they sell based on a firm’s paid-up capital. Those operating with a capital of P50 million or less can only sell products worth a maximum of five times its capital buffer.

The multiplier is higher with a bigger capitalization, with the IC imposing no limit for HMOs backed by capital worth above P500 million.

Zooming in on Caritas Health Shield’s case, Mr. Funa said they cannot trace where the alleged P7-billion deficit stems from, noting that the regulator cannot step in to address Caritas’ boardroom drama.

“We cannot intervene in their intra-corporate dispute – that is a matter that should be before the courts. We are only looking at the financial strength of the company,” Mr. Funa said.

At the center of the squabble are Caritas’ former president Teodoro M. Jumamil and incumbent head Ronnie U. Collado.

Ferdinand George A. Florendo, Deputy Insurance Commissioner for financial examination, said separately that Caritas’ problem as far as the regulator is the delayed submission of financial and actuarial reserve requirement reports, alongside three other HMOs. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez

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