PhilHealth: Senior citizen, PWD discounts must be applied prior to hospital discharge

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 10) —The state health insurer reminded its accredited health facilities on Friday to deduct the mandatory senior citizens or persons with disabilities discounts from patients' total medical bills prior to hospital discharge.

“PhilHealth received reports that a number of health facilities failed to deduct the senior citizens discounts from their bills, this is why we released PhilHealth Advisory 2023-0036 for our partner hospitals to observe at all times," PhilHealth President and CEO Emmanuel R. Ledesma, Jr. said in a statement.

The Expanded Senior Citizens Act, and the Expanded Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability Act mandate the discounts and privileges. PhilHealth added the discounts are also being provided under the health facilities' performance commitment with the state insurer.

PhilHealth stressed the deductions should be in the following order: 12% VAT exemption, 20% senior citizens or PWD discount, then the PhilHealth benefits.

"Yun pong balanse ang siya na lamang dapat bayaran ng pasyente kung mayroon pa. Kung ang ating senior citizen member ay na-admit naman sa mga pampublikong pasilidad ay wala na silang babayaran dahil sa aming No Balance Billing policy," Ledesma said.

[Translation: If there are balances left then that's the only bills that should be paid by the patients. If the senior citizen member was admitted in a public hospital, then they should not pay anything anymore since we have the No Balance policy.]

The state health insurer also warned of penalties and sanctions faced by health facilities that fail to follow the advisory "including fines and even suspension or revocation of accreditation as provided for in their Performance Commitment with PhilHealth."

However, in some cases when a patient is elderly and a PWD at the same time, only one discount can be applied, it added.

PhilHealth urged its members to report such instances. It also reminded patients to validate their billing statements.

Concerned citizens may report through PhilHealth Callback Channel 0917-898-7442 or to PhilHealth's Facebook and Twitter page.