I know this caused an uproar several months (March 2021) back when some patients who were admitted in makeshift tents outside hospital buildings were informed that the fees for their “admission” must be paid out-of-pocket because PhilHealth does not cover tent and ER admissions. During that time, it was reported that these hospitals would charge up to P1,000 per hour for the use of their tents while patients wait for beds and rooms to be made available inside the building.
Now that the country is once again experiencing surges in positive cases, the PhilHealth is quick to make an announcement in their Facebook page that yes, they will cover patients accommodated in tents and ERs. Is this good enough news?
PhilHealth’s announcement is detailed in PhilHealth Circular No. 35, s-2013. Below are the salient points of the document:
- Patient must stay in ER or within the hospital premises pending availability of rooms. Full payment shall be given, provided the patient stayed in the hospital for 24 hours or more.
- Hospitals are now instructed to expand their accommodation by setting up tents in their premises, when necessary.
- PhilHealth beneficiaries admitted in tents within the compound of accredited hospitals in areas categorized as high or critical risk for COVID-19 shall be compensable starting March 29, 2021 (this was around that time when the news about “per hour charging” for tent accommodations surfaced).
- Private hospitals are required to submit a justification letter together with their claim in compliance with the said policy.
- Patients confirmed with COVID-19 and developed into severe illnesses can avail themselves of inpatient benefits for:
- Mild pneumonia – P43,997
- Moderate pneumonia – P143,267
- Severe pneumonia – P333,519
- Critical pneumonia – P786,384
PhilHealth calls on health care providers to honor all availments including those of patients staying in tents, ERs, or within the hospital premises (private cars, hallways, walkways) where services are provided as part of the inpatient care.
So now it’s clear: you have PhilHealth coverage even if you are admitted in a tent, a hallway, a walkway, your private vehicle, as long as you are within the premises of the hospital. Of course, the best recourse is to still not get sick. Get vaccinated the soonest you can and keep yourself protected all the time, especially when going out for errands, business, or work.
If you have any questions about PhilHealth coverage, you can visit their Facebook page or ask for a callback from them by texting PHIC callback <space> your mobile number or Metro Manila landline <space> details of your concern and send to 0921-630-0009.
Stay safe and healthy!