home | contact us | sitemap | disclaimer


Confined for MERS CoV? PhilHealth Compensates March 9, 2015

THE Department of Health (DOH) announced the first confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS CoV) in the country after the arrival of a Filipina nurse from Saudi Arabia on February 1 of this year. This means that the country is no longer free from the said disease after it registered the first case of the respiratory disease.

There has been a lot of talk recently about MERS CoV, but what exactly is it?

MERS CoV, previously known as novel coronavirus (nCoV), is a viral respiratory illness, which was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The source of the virus is currently unknown, though it is likely to have originated from an animal. MERS CoV cases have since been reported throughout the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that as of February 13, 2015, there have been a total of 978 laboratory confirmed cases of infection with MERs CoV with 359 deaths.**

Most patients with MERS-CoV infection develop severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some people also had gastrointestinal symptoms including diarrhea and nausea/vomiting.

MERS-CoV can spread through close contact with an infected person or through his/her body fluids.

There is no specific medicine proven to treat MERS-CoV and treatment is based upon the patient's medical condition. Several medications have been tried on MERS-CoV without conclusive benefits, and further research is to be done. Management of the individual with MERS –CoV is aided by infectious-disease, pulmonary, and critical-care subspecialists.

As a precautionary measure and to cut down chances of becoming infected, one should avoid large crowds and people who are coughing or have flu-like symptoms while traveling. Protecting one’s self by covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and by always washing one’s hands can also help.

As this developed, airport and quarantine officials have intensified their monitoring of passengers especially from the Middle East as part of the overall action to stop the spread of the MERS-CoV in the country.

For its part, the DOH has issued reminders and advisories and called on the public to observe it. But if a patient is hospitalized due to MERS CoV, can he count on PhilHealth for financial support?

"Definitely, a PhilHealth member hospitalized due to MERS CoV can count on PhilHealth to help reduce out-of-pocket expenses," said PhilHealth President and CEO Alexander A. Padilla. "However, PhilHealth will only be providing benefits for confirmed cases of MERS Cov," he added.

Confirmed cases of MERS CoV are those that have been tested at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). PhilHealth members, whether health or non-health workers, may avail themselves of the benefits in an accredited healthcare institution that has the capabilities and facilities to manage MERS CoV such as those with negative isolation rooms and respirators.

Non-health workers can avail themselves of up to a maximum of P 50,000, while health workers can get as much as P 100,000.00.

Health workers are employees or institutional workers of a health care institution, whether located in the Philippines or abroad, that cared for or had close contact with a MERS CoV patient and may have contracted the infection while performing such duty.

The amount includes payments for room and board at P 1,500/day or up to a maximum of P 10,000; professional fee of attending physician at P 1,000/day up to a maximum of P15,000 and P30,000 for non-health and health workers respectively.

Coverage for medicines, laboratory tests, personal protective equipment as well as ambulance is pegged at P 25,000 for non-health workers. On the other hand, P 60,000 may be availed of by health workers for the same benefit items.

The PhilHealth Chief said that for non-members availing themselves of the benefit, “PhilHealth Member Registration Form (PMRF) must be properly accomplished and submitted for our evaluation. Those who qualify shall be enrolled under the point of care program .”

The No Balance Billing (NBB) policy applies to indigent and sponsored members, meaning, these members need not pay any amount in excess of what PhilHealth already covers for this disease. "Nais nating madama at maranasan ng ating mga kababayan, lalung-lalo na ng mga kapus-palad ang tunay na kahulugan ng financial risk protection, kung kaya’t isinasakatuparan natin ang Walang Dagdag Bayad sa paketeng ito,” Padilla said.

This benefit may be availed of for all admissions starting January 1, 2015.

"Compliance to the required qualifying contribution and 45 days benefit limit are waived for availment of this benefit since MERS CoV is considered as an emerging disease," Padilla added. (END)

News Archives

Confined for MERS CoV? PhilHealth Compensates