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PhilHealth to roll out ‘improved’ COVID-19 coverage

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) is set to roll out a wider coverage for COVID-19, given the high hospitalization costs incurred amid the pandemic.

According to PhilHealth Spokesperson Dr. Shirley Domingo, the agency has studied increasing the case rate for COVID-19, which is capped at P786,384 based on the case rate released in April 2020.

“Inaaral na po ‘yun ng PhilHealth, meron na tayong pag-aaral don, in fact meron na tayong recommendation don, so anytime soon we will be implementing an improved inpatient hospital care for COVID,” she said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

(PhilHealth is already looking into it, we already have studies on that. In fact, PhilHealth already has a recommendation, so anytime soon we will be implementing an improved inpatient hospital care for COVID.)

Under PhilHealth Circular 2020-0009, PhilHealth covers P43,997 for mild pneumonia in the elderly or with co-morbidities; P143,267 for those with moderate pneumonia; P333,519 for severe pneumonia; and P786,384 for critical pneumonia.

The Philippines on Tuesday, July 6, reported 4,114 additional infections of COVID-19, raising the nation's total caseload to 1,445,832. This includes 49,613 active cases; 1,370,923 recoveries; and 25,296 deaths.

Domingo on Tuesday declined to give an amount as to how much PhilHealth still owed hospitals and healthcare centers, but said the agency has so far recorded P36 billion in claims.

Under its mandate, PhilHealth is tasked to administer the National Health Insurance Program which aims to provide health insurance coverage and ensure affordable, acceptable, available, and accessible health care services for all citizens of the Philippines

In the same briefing, Domingo reiterated the expansion of this year’s outpatient hemodialysis coverage to 144 sessions from 99 previously. -MDM, GMA News