Philhealth to shoulder medical expenses of hospitalized COVID-19 patients

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) on Thursday said it will shoulder the medical bills of Filipinos who will get hospitalized due to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Philhealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales said the agency will pay for the medical expenses of COVID-19 patients confined in public and private hospitals, especially health workers who are on the frontline of the fight against the viral disease.

He, however, clarified that COVID-19 patients who are under self-quarantine are not covered by the program since the agency could not compute their medication expenses.

“Mayroon tayong mga naka-quarantine sa bahay, hindi natin masasagot yun dahil unang-una, hindi naman natin alam kung ano yung kanilang ginamit na gamot o yung kanilang ginamit na process,” he said in a televised briefing.

“Yung lang nako-confine yung lang ang masasagot ng Philhealth kasi prescribed yung mga gamot at saka yung ginamit na process sa pasyente,” he added.

Morales said the state health insurance agency has so far released P1.6 billion to hospitals as prepositioned fund in response to COVID-19 pandemic. This amount is part of the P30 billion budget that the agency earlier allocated for the public health crisis.

The government earlier ordered the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes to transfer more than P420 million to Philhealth to be used for its COVID-19 packages.

For more information, Philhealth may be reached through its Action Center at 02-84417442. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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