July 18, 2024

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has increased its benefit packages for neonatal sepsis and bronchial asthma in acute exacerbation.

In a media forum, PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Ledesma said the corporation enhanced the current packages for both diseases as they lead to death and confinement among Filipinos.

“According to the World Health Organization, neonatal sepsis is responsible for three out of 10 neonatal deaths globally. In 2023, more than 57,000 cases were paid by PhilHealth in the amount of P733.86 million,” Ledesma said.

“Asthma remains to be a high-burden disease in the country, despite medical advancements in the treatment of this condition. Based on our 2023 data, asthma ranks eighth in top medical confinements we have paid for with more than P717M for more than 90,000 confinement cases.”

The PhilHealth issued implementing guidelines for the two benefit packages through Circular Nos. 2024-0008 and 2024-0009.

PhilHealth Benefits Development and Research Development Senior Manager Melanie Santillan said the benefit package for neonatal sepsis increased by 120 percent from P11,700 to P25,793 while the coverage for bronchial asthma in acute exacerbation increased by 150 percent from P9,000 to P22,488.

Santillan said they have covered 747,121 claims for neonatal sepsis amounting to P9.66 billion from 2014 to 2023.

The state-insurer also paid P9.208B for 1,119,861 claims for bronchial asthma during the same period, she added.

“For neonatal sepsis, the new rates shall apply to levels 1 to 3 accredited health facility. Blood culture results are needed, CBC (complete blood count) and C-reactive protein, if with negative blood culture result,” she said.

“For bronchial asthma in acute exacerbation, the new rates shall apply to levels 1 to 3 accredited health facility, and complete history and physical examination in claim form 4.”

All admissions due to neonatal sepsis and bronchial asthma in acute exacerbation are entitled to the new package rates effective May 1. – PNA