PhilHealth to pay full cost of treatment for Covid-19 patients until April 14

THE Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will shoulder the full cost of treatment for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients until the end of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in Luzon on April 14, 2020.

After April 14, a "recomputed case rate" will be used by Philhealth in providing financial coverage to Covid-19 cases admitted to all PhilHealth-accredited hospitals in the country.

Arlan Granali, PhilHealth-Central Visayas vice president, said this is due to the novelty and the wide range of severity of the disease in the country which no existing case rate nor package based on accepted protocols have yet been established.

He said before the Covid-19 pandemic, PhilHealth has existing case rate for pneumonia and severe pneumonia.

"Pero naa gihapon siya'y filling. Like for example, pneumonia, ang maximum is P32,000. Pero ni-exceed pa ka so you now have to pay for the excess," he said

Before President Rodrigo Duterte declared a state of national emergency and mandated Philhealth to shoulder the full cost of the treatment for the disease, it already had an initial Covid-19 isolation package of around P46,000 maximum.

Philhealth said that it is confident that by the end of the ECQ in Luzon, more about the behavior of the disease in the Philippines can be learned, a final protocol established, and an appropriate case rate can be developed.

As of Saturday, Granali said they have yet to receive a recomputed case rate approved by their board.

"Most probably naa na ni siya'y update by Monday. What will happen kon ma-extend pa after April 14 ang ECQ, unsay atong recomputed case? Kay naa ra bay kuan karon nga i-extend nila. Now, that goes another analysis sa Philhealth," he said.

The ECQ imposed in Cebu City will end by April 28 or unless further announced.

There is a total of 3,018 Covid-19 cases with 136 deaths as of Friday, April 3. Central Visayas, on one hand, logged a total of 34 cases with six deaths.

With the current pandemic and with the passage of the Universal Health Care Act, all PhilHealth-accredited hospitals are mandated to cater to Covid-19 patients.

Moreover, under R. A. 11469, also known as the Bayanihan We Heal As One Act, all health workers will be covered even beyond the April 14, 2020 cut-off date for all work and Covid-19 related health services.

PhilHealth will also include all other personnel necessary for the operation of a health facility. (WBS)