PhilHealth lowers rates of COVID-19 testing package

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 3) — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation will soon roll out a revised and more affordable rate for their coronavirus testing packages.

After further consultation with stakeholders and infectious disease experts, PhilHealth has set new prices for their benefit packages, as approved by the corporation’s board of directors.

“The adjustment resulted from its continuing consultation with stakeholders and infectious disease experts, increased availability and affordability of testing kits in the market, and increased number of qualified facilities to do SARS-CoV-2 testing,” PhilHealth said in a statement on Wednesday.

The new rate of the benefit package will be at ₱3,409, given that all services for testing will be procured and provided by the testing laboratory.

This can even go lower to ₱2,077 provided that the test kits that will be used are donated to the laboratory.

Only ₱901 will be charged if the test kits are donated to the laboratory and the cost of operating the RT-PCR machine is included in the facility's budget.

“The package is for costs attributable to services related to testing such as clinical assessment, specimen collection, specimen transport and materials such as PPEs and test kits,” PhilHealth stressed.

PhilHealth said it will soon announce the date of effectivity of the new rates, together with a Circular on pertinent guidelines.

The original price of PhilHealth’s benefit package was ₱8,150. This drew flak from senators, who questioned the “overpriced” rates.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon even worried that the government may lose billions of pesos due to the supposedly costly package.