Philhealth new benefit package for Covid-19 testing

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is set to roll out new and more affordable rate for its benefit package for Covid-19 testing.

The state health insurer, in a statement on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, said this adjustment resulted from its continuing consultation with stakeholders and infectious disease experts, increased availability and affordability of testing kits in the market, and increased number of qualified facilities to do SARS-CoV-2 testing.

As approved by the PhilHealth Board of Directors, the new rates are as follows: P3,409 if all services for testing are procured and provided by the testing laboratory; P2,077 given that test kits are donated to the testing laboratory; and only P901 if the test kits are donated to the testing laboratory and the cost of running the laboratory and RT-PCR machine for testing is included in the facility budget.

The original price of PhilHealth’s benefit package was P8,150. This alleged "overpriced" rate was questioned by senators.

"The package is for costs attributable to services related to testing such as clinical assessment, specimen collection, specimen transport and materials such as PPEs and test kits," the state health insurer clarified.

PhilHealth said it will soon issue a circular on pertinent guidelines and the new rates' date of effectivity.

As of now, there are three facilities in Central Visayas certified by the Department of Health as testing laboratories, which are accredited by PhilHealth -- the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu TB Reference Laboratory, and the Allegiant Regional Care Hospitals in Lapu-Lapu City. (WBS)