PhilHealth continues COVID testing coverage for returning OFWs
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) announced on Friday that it would continue covering the COVID-19 test for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning to the country.
PhilHealth said in a statement that the specific guidelines through a circular would soon be made available, with retroactive effect to August 31, 2022.
Earlier, PhilHealth published Circular 2022-0018 to align its COVID-19 testing coverage with the Department of Health Memorandum No. 2022-013 or the “Updated Guidelines on Quarantine, Isolation and Testing for COVID-19 Response and Case Management for the Omicron Variant.”
With the circular, Philhealth will cover the cost of the reverse transcription – polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, either plate-based or cartridge-based, of the following priority groups: A1 (healthcare workers); A2 (seniors), A3 (people with comorbidities and high risk for severe disease), and everyone except A1, A2 and A3 – with symptoms of COVID-19.
Philhealth covers plate-based (RT-PCR) tests from P800 to P2,800 and cartridge-based PCR from P500 to P2,450, depending on the services covered.
COVID-19 testing package is also available to members and their qualified dependents at 230 accredited laboratories nationwide.
The Circular further emphasized that COVID-19 testing is not advised for screening asymptomatic people and asymptomatic close contacts.
Instead, asymptomatic individuals are advised to monitor symptoms. If testing is necessary, it must be carried out at least five days after the last exposure.
PhilHealth then reiterated that symptomatic patients receiving care from COVID-19 Home Isolation Benefit Package and COVID-19 Community Isolation Benefit Package providers are eligible for a facility-based rapid antigen test (RAT) package worth P500.
Patients may also use the RAT package if admitted to accredited hospitals, infirmaries, and dispensaries. —Lyka Farillon, INQUIRER.net intern
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