Leptospirosis patients are now covered by PhilHealth

By Anna Valmero

MANILA CITY, METRO MANILA—Filipinos diagnosed with  leptospirosis after wading in floods during the recent heavy flooding in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will get health insurance benefits from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Under Circular 39, the health insurance will cover all PhilHealth members and non-members, said Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by the leptospira bacteria found commonly in rats’ urine. Symptoms include high fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rash.

For non-members under 21 years of age whose parents are neither member, one parent shall be automatically covered, the same circular said.

This means they become PhilHealth-sponsored program members who do not need to pay the premiums from August 1, 2012 to July 31 2012. They can use the membership cards for hospital admissions and check-ups.

For those who have moderate leptospirosis cases, they are entitled to a “case rate” of P11,000 when admitted in hospitals. Those with severe leptospirosis will get reimbursements for their hospital bills, according to PhilHealth Circular 40 series of 2012.

Sponsored Program members and beneficiaries are covered by the “no-balance” billing policy, which means there will be no additional payment coming from the member or beneficiary.

These include the 5.2 million poorest families identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

A quick count for hospital admissions of leptospirosis in Metro Manila from August 5 to 22, days after the monsoon flooding, recorded 34 deaths out of 783 cases.

The Department of Health’s (DOH) National Epidemiology Center (NEC) recorded 121 deaths out of the total 2,471 leptospirosis cases for the first eight months of the year.

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