Sep 30, 2020

While the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is still reeling from an alleged corruption that led to the replacement of its chief, it is still committed to provide free swab tests to senior citizens and persons at-risk of contracting COVID-19.

[READ: Before it’s buried in sand: PhilHealth corruption controversy and subsequent hashtag, explained]

According to PhilHealth spokesperson Rey Baleña, the agency has a COVID-19 testing package that will cover the cost of swab testing for individuals age 60 years old and above as well as people listed under the Department of Health (DOH)’s guidelines for at-risk persons. 

A health worker performs swab tests at the Philippine Red Cross in Mandaluyong City on Sept. 23. Photo by Grig C. Montegrande/Philippine Daily Inquirer

Based on guidelines released by the health department in June, the following individuals are considered at-risk and are eligible for testing, arranged from greatest to lowest need for testing: 

  • Patients or healthcare workers 
    • with severe/critical symptoms, and relevant history of travel or close contact; 
    • with mild symptoms, with relevant history of travel or close contact and who are considered vulnerable
    • with mild symptoms, and relevant history of travel or close contact;
    • with no symptoms but with relevant travel history and close contact;
  • Frontliners indirectly involved in healthcare provision in the response against COVID 19; and 
  • Other vulnerable patients
    • elders and those with pre-existing medical conditions and comorbidities
    • candidates for high-risk, elective surgical procedures, 
    • pregnant patients who shall be tested during the peripartum period
    • dialysis patients and immunocompromised patients with HIV, those undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy

Said individuals and senior citizens can avail of free swab testing at any of 105 PhilHealth-accredited laboratories around the country.

Posted by Philippine Health Insurance Corporation on Sunday, September 20, 2020

As of Sept. 21, PhilHealth’s COVID-19 test benefits range from P901 to P3,409 depending on whether the test kits and processing are donated or purchased and carried out by private or government-run laboratories.

PhilHealth also offers a COVID-19 Community Isolation Benefit Package of a maximum of P22,449 for patients with mild and non-sensitive cases of COVID-19 who are in private and public community isolation units.



Header image courtesy of Sen. Dick Gordon/Philippine Red Cross

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Read more:

Manila City offers free swab testing for market vendors, tricycle, pedicab and PUV drivers

A guide to all the Metro Manila LGUs offering free COVID-19 tests for their residents

PhilHealth’s corruption controversy continues as Palace orders investigation

TAGS: at-risk covid-19 DOH free swab test philhealth senior citizen