Measles confinement covered by PhilHealth
MANILA, Philippines — With measles outbreaks reported in various regions, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has assured the public that confinement due to the infectious illness is compensable.
Insurance for measles, PhilHealth said, ranges from P7,700 to P25,700, with coverage for uncomplicated cases amounting to P7,700 and for pneumonia arising from measles, up to P15,000.
PhilHealth also reported that confinements due to measles complicated by meningitis are compensated at up to P25,700.
According to PhilHealth, even non-members can avail themselves of benefits when needing confinement due to complications of measles.
This is possible through the Point of Service (POS) program, wherein patients “are instantly accorded health insurance,” acting PhilHealth president Roy Ferrer said.
Ferrer noted that if found to be financially incapable by the hospitals’ social workers, the government will pay for premiums of one-year PhilHealth coverage effective at the time of their confinement.
For those who are financially capable, Ferrer said, patients will be allowed to pay at least a year’s worth of contributions for them to enjoy the benefits.
Ferrer said POS can be availed of at any PhilHealth accredited government-owned health care provider institution.
PhilHealth also reported that indigents, kasambahay or house helpers, senior citizens and lifetime members and their qualified dependents are entitled to the no balance billing policy, which guarantees zero out-of-pocket on the part of the member when confined at the ward of any government facility.
Ferrer urged parents of unvaccinated children to bring them to any government hospital or health center to avail themselves of free measles vaccines.
He said vaccination is still the first line of defense so PhilHealth members are encouraged to have their children vaccinated against measles.
“However, when already confined, we assure our members and even non-members that PhilHealth is here to provide them with the financial protection that they need,” Ferrer said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) has advised those who are going abroad to have themselves vaccinated for measles to prevent the infection from spreading to other countries.
Ferchito Avelino, DOH’s epidemiology bureau director, said it is necessary for Filipinos, particularly those just vacationing in the country to have themselves vaccinated before returning overseas.
Avelino noted that the DOH is coordinating with health authorities in Australia after a Filipino got afflicted with measles.
“(It) is very important for our citizens to have themselves vaccinated before leaving the country because it is possible that the symptoms will only manifest upon arrival abroad,” Avelino explained.
Avelino added that the infection under its incubation period does not manifest symptoms and cannot be immediately diagnosed.
The DOH also stressed that vaccination is necessary to stop the outbreak of measles in various regions.
DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo noted that Mindanao posted low cases of measles last month because they had immunization coverage in 2018.
Domingo added that Mindanao has almost 90 percent immunization rate when the DOH launched outbreak and supplemental immunization in April and October last year.
Based on DOH data, Domingo said, close to two million children nationwide are unvaccinated.
If the number of unvaccinated children continues to increase, DOH said, there is greater likelihood of an outbreak, such as what is happening at this time.
Domingo assured the public that the DOH has sufficient measles vaccines for unvaccinated children.
He added that the DOH is also giving free measles vaccines to adults who want to be protected from the infectious illness.