Angara says COVID-19 hospital bill amounted to P400,000

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2020 08:17 PM

MANILA - Sen. Sonny Angara on Thursday said his hospital bill for "8 to 9 days" of confinement due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) amounted to nearly half a million pesos.

Angara - who was earlier admitted to a private hospital - said his confinement amounted to P400,000, but added that he still considers himself lucky as some patients are burdened with multimillion-peso bills due to the severity of their cases.

"My bill wasn't as big because I was fortunate not be taken into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)," Angara said when asked about his hospital dues in a virtual press conference.

"The stories of these huge million-peso bills were of patients that had to be intubated and had to be in the ICU. I was lucky that wasn't my case," he said.

Angara did not clarify if the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) shouldered the amount as guaranteed under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

The hospital bill of former Sen. Heherson Alvarez, who succumbed to the disease earlier this week, amounted to nearly P5 million, his daughter said in a letter to ABS-CBN. His wife, who also contracted the disease, had a separate P2 million hospital bill.

PhilHealth earlier announced that it would cover the hospital costs of all COVID-19 patients admitted to health facilities before April 14.

"Kung nakapagbayad na siya, just keep these receipts and file the reimbursement directly with PhilHealth. We will reimburse him fully," PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales told radio DZMM.

(If [the patient] has already paid, just keep these receipts and file the reimbursement directly with PhilHealth. We will reimburse him fully.)

COVID-19 patients admitted from April 15 onwards will only receive an amount depending on their respective conditions.