In an official statment, PhilHealth announced that the agency will cover all expenses related to the COVID-19 treatment of all its members including those with no contributions.
In this time of public health emergency, it is important to prioritize the health care access of those who may need it, said PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales. They will be lifting payment contributions and requirements for availment of benefits for the time being, he added, as it can be looked upon later after the pandemic is over. He further clarified that members will still be held liable for the premiums not paid, but not for the medical expenses related to COVID-19.
Medical treatment for pre-existing illnesses of COVID-19 patients will also shouldered by the agency, such as diabetes or hypertension. The responsibility of PhilHeath to cover the medical examinations will be dependent upon the accreditation of the hospital where the patient will be treated as well as the attendance of a health professional.
If in any case that the patient is brought to a health facility not accredited by the PhilHealth, expenses will still be shouldered by them as long as the proper forms for services rendered are signed appropriately by the supervising physician.
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This announcement from PhilHealth came after the implementation of Bayanihan Law which mandates a ‘No Balance Billing’ policy for COVID-19 related treatments.
As the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is about to end on April 14, PhilHealth will rule out a new set of packages applicable from mild, moderate, severe and critical cases, respectively. In case that the guaranteed insurance will not be enough, members may opt to seek additional funding from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Recently, PhilHealth received over Php420 million of funds from the PCSO to be utilized for the COVID-19 medical response.
As of April 3, 2020, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country climbed up to 3,018 with deaths of 136 and 52 recoveries.