The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation announced this Thursday that they will be covering the medical expenses of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with no contributions. This is mandated under the Bayanihan Law’s ‘No Balance Billing’ policy.
PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales explained that they would be waiving conditions for members’ availing of benefits in order to afford everyone access to proper health services.
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“Universal healthcare na tayo ngayon at under pandemic condition, lifted muna ‘yung mga gano’ng delayed contributions,” said Morales in an interview on CNN Philippines. “Saka na tayo magbilangan. Ang importante mabigyan muna ng tulong.”
[We are now carrying out universal health coverage, and under pandemic conditions, stipulations regarding delayed contributions will be lifted for now. Let’s do the computations later. What’s important is that COVID-19 patients are given assistance.]
He clarified that members will still have to pay for their missed premium contributions eventually, but coronavirus-related medical expenses — from testing to treatment — will be covered by the agency. PhilHealth will also be covering expenses for pre-existing health conditions of COVID-19 patients.
“Nag-issue kami ng guidelines today [April 2] sa hospitals na sasagutin ng PhilHealth lahat ng gastusin sa mga pasyenteng tatamaan ng COVID-19,” Morales said. “Alam ng ospital ‘yan. Walang dapat ilabas na pera yung pasyente.”
[We issued guidelines to hospitals today, saying that PhilHealth will cover all expenses of COVID-19 patients. The hospitals know that. Patients won’t have to pay for anything.]
Should the insurance offered by PhilHealth be insufficient for the patient’s needs, they are eligible to apply for additional funding from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Policies are subject to change on April 14, at the end of the enhanced community quarantine.
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