As of writing, there are currently 26,781 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. And while over 6,500 managed to recover, there are at least 1,100 recorded deaths due to the virus. We’re still a long way from flattening the curve, which is why we still need to practice caution to avoid getting infected and infecting others with the virus.
With that in mind, are you financially prepared in case you or someone in your family becomes infected with the coronavirus? Here’s how much you can expect to pay for hospital treatment for COVID-19.
Cost of COVID-19 Treatment in Private Hospitals
Many of the hospitals that have facilities for coronavirus patients are private hospitals. According to news reports, the cost of treating COVID-19 can range anywhere starting at P43,000 and can reach millions in pesos. This depends on the hospital you’re seeking treatment in, the severity of your symptoms, and the number of days you’re confined in.
One 56-year old COVID-19 survivor reported to Rappler.com that her bill totaled to P1.31 million after seeking treatment in a private hospital in Metro Manila for 15 days. The patient had severe pneumonia and claimed that the medication, intubation, laboratory tests, ventilators, and respirators alone cost her P500,000. And according to PhilHealth CEO Ricardo Morales, the highest cost for COVID-19 treatment in the Philippines was at P2.8 million.
Financial Assistance Options
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, state insurer PhilHealth assured Filipinos that it would cover all COVID-19-related expenses. However, this changed as of April 15, 2020 when Morales said the organization would not be able to provide everyone with unlimited COVID-19 coverage. How much financial aid a person would receive depended on the severity of the virus’ effects on the patient:
- Mild pneumonia: P43,997
- Moderate pneumonia: P143,267
- Severe pneumonia: P333,519
- Critical pneumonia: P786,384
If a patient’s hospital bill went over this package, they will have to shoulder the rest of the bill. If the patient cannot pay, they can request for additional funding. If they can, they are willing to work on a case to case basis. Aside from PhilHealth, though, a person’s health insurance plans can soften the blow of huge hospital bills. But without health insurance, a patient would have to pay through out of pocket.
Are Public Hospitals Still an Option?
Some of the available COVID-19 facilities are in national hospitals and medical centers run by local governments. Unfortunately, due to the high number of COVID-19 patients, government-run hospitals may have been at an overcapacity, leading to many patients to seek treatment in private hospitals.
The son of another COVID-19 patient told Rappler.com how his father sought out medical attention in a public hospital, but due to the overcapacity of many government hospitals, they were forced to go to a high-end private hospital. There, they incurred a bill of P1.1 million.
Seeing how much COVID-19 patients have to pay for treatment should be an eye-opener for many to show the difficulties of getting infected is. Apart from the risk it puts on your health and those you might unknowingly infect, it can also take a toll on your family’s financial stability.