PhilHealth denies overpricing COVID-19 testing packages

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2020 05:56 PM

PhilHealth denies overpricing COVID-19 testing packages 1
Health workers conduct their routine swab testing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on their fellow hospital employees at the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila on April 14, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing packages in the Philippines are not overpriced but are driven by market-dictated prevailing rates, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) said Monday.

The state insurance firm's P8,150 COVID-19 testing package was earlier flagged as "overpriced," a rate that PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales said was based on the "highest" cost for a test in March.

He said, at the time, PhilHealth, also offered a P2,700 testing bundle.

"It was a range of cost of P8,000 bought by the hospital to P2,700 donated. So, market forces ang nagdi-determine niyan," Morales said in a virtual press briefing.

"Ang gusto kong bigyan-diin na walang overpricing ang cost na inilabas," he added.

(There was no overpricing in the costing released.)

PhilHealth, on its website, said it offers a range of prices for coronavirus testing "depending on how the test kits were procured by the accredited testing laboratories."

Malacañang last week said it would look into the issue of allegedly overpriced COVID-19 testing packages of PhilHealth.

With more test kits expected to arrive in the country, Morales said prices of testing packages may decrease beginning July.