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  • PhilHealth Will Shoulder Hospital Fees For Members Being Tested For COVID-19

    Members can avail of the packages even if they test negative for the virus.
    by Kitty Elicay .
PhilHealth Will Shoulder Hospital Fees For Members Being Tested For COVID-19
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Members can be assured that the testing cost for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in hospitals will be shouldered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles in a statement.

    “The last thing we want is for our citizens to worry about medical costs and expenses. Their only concern should be their well-being and the well-being of their families,” Nograles said.

    The state health insurance agency will also carry hospital fees for quarantine and isolation, added Nograles.

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    According to a Facebook live video with Dr. Shirley Domingo, Vice-President of PhilHealth’s Corporate Affairs group, the insurance agency is offering COVID-19 packages, including an “isolation package” and “referral package” for members and dependents who exhibit possible symptoms of the virus.

    Patients under investigation and are for quarantine in secondary and tertiary hospitals (levels 2 and 3) can avail of the “isolation package” and will be entitled to Php14,000. On the other hand, patients who seek treatment in Level 1 hospitals and are referred to hospitals with higher-level facilities can avail of the “referral package” worth Php4,000. This will be used by the referring hospitals for the initial management, stabilization, and transit of the patient to the referral hospital, according to a report by the Philippine Star.

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    Those who experience complications from COVID-19 like pneumonia will also get separate packages. Patients who contract moderate pneumonia will be given Php15,000 while those with severe pneumonia can get Php32,000.

    Confirmatory tests can only be done at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and hospitals with suspected COVID-19 patients will be forwarding samples to RITM for testing. Members should attach a copy of their confirmatory test to their claim in order to avail the isolation and referral package, according to PhilHealth.

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    Admissions starting January 31, 2020 will be covered by PhilHealth’s COVID-19 packages. Members who test negative for the virus can still claim the packages.

    For vulnerable sectors, such as the poor and the elderly, they will be protected by the No Balance Billing (NBB) policy and will pay no more in excess of their PhilHealth coverage should they be confined in government facilities due to COVID-19, said Dr. Domingo.

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    As of the latest count from the Department of Health (DOH), 49 patients have tested positive for COVID-19. The agency has also reminded that all level 2 and 3 hospitals are to attend to all patients suspected to have COVID-19 and those who have been confirmed with the virus and who exhibit mild symptoms. They should also not refuse patients suspected or diagnosed with the virus.

    If you think that you have had possible contact with COVID-19 patients, seek advice from the Department of Health and call their hotlines at (02) 8651-7800 local 5003-5004 or (02) 165-364. You may also call RITM at (02) 8807-2631, (02) 8807-2632, and (02) 8807-2637.

    Assembling a coronavirus preparedness kit may be useful in the event of community transmission. Click here for the items you need to put inside.

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