COVID-19 patients to get PhilHealth aid during extended Luzon lockdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2020 02:31 PM

MANILA - Medical expenses of Filipinos who acquire the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will continue to be covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation past April 14, the agency's head said Tuesday. 

"We stand by our previous commitment na sasagutin ng PhilHealth ang lahat ng magkakasakit ng COVID-19," Ricardo Morales, PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer, said during the Laging Handa briefing.

(We stand by our previous commitment that PhilHealth will cover everyone who will catch the COVID-19.)

Morales issued the assurance in light of the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the country's main island of Luzon through April 30.

Other areas outside of Luzon have also been placed under ECQ, such as Davao City, which is implementing the measure until April 19; and 44 towns and 7 cities of Cebu province.

Morales said that COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals starting April 15 will get the following insurance coverage, depending on their condition:

- P43,997.00, for those with mild pneumonia;

- P143,267.00, for those with moderate pneumonia;

- P333,519.00, for those with severe pneumonia;

- P786,384.00, for those with critical pneumonia.

On or before April 14, PhilHealth is shouldering the full hospitalization cost of COVID-19 patients, Morales said.

The policy applies to almost 5,000 health facilities across the country.

He said that almost P6 billion has been approved for so far for release, out of the P30 billion allotted by the agency for the pandemic.

But Morales said that while PhilHealth's funds are "sufficient," it is "not unlimited," that is why it came up with a different case rate during the extension of the lockdown period.

"Kaya nga tayo mag-i-impose nitong case rate para medyo meron tayong sustainability sa anti-COVID campaign. Pero kaya naman. We're still slightly ahead sa anti-COVID campaign natin," he said.

(We imposed this (new) case rate so we can ensure the sustainability of our anti-COVID campaign. But we have enough. We're still slightly ahead in our our anti-COVID campaign.)

"Although, yung pondo naman ng PhilHealth although sufficient, ay hindi naman unlimited. Kaya we have to exercise due prudence," he added.

(Although the PhilHealth fund is sufficient, it's not unlimited. That's why we have to exercise due prudence.)

The Philippines as of Monday has recorded 3,660 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 163 deaths and 73 patients who recovered. 

Authorities expect the cases to continue rising as the country's testing capacity improves with the arrival of additional test kits and the accreditation of more testing laboratories.