Detox package for drug dependents

DRUG dependents can now get financial help to kick their drug habit.

With its Medical Detoxification Package for P10,000, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) now covers the cost of medical interventions to safely manage the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use.

This was among the announcements Philhealth officials made yesterday during a press conference at Quest Hotel and Conference Center-Cebu to celebrate the agency’s 22nd anniversary.

The package, which covers the first stage of effective drug addiction treatment, is targeted at those who use shabu and other amphetamine-type stimulants like cocaine and ecstasy who show signs of acute toxicity, said Dr. Israel Francis Pargas, Philhealth vice president for corporate affairs.

It covers the costs of screening and diagnostic exams and medicines, and is currently offered for availment at Philhealth-accredited Levels 1, 2 and 3 government hospitals in Central Visayas (CV).

Philhealth 7 Vice President William Chavez also said that as of 2016, some 93 percent of the people in CV were already covered by Philhealth.

Nationwide, Philhealth covers 91 percent of Filipinos. Of the P92 billion in claims paid out by Philhealth nationwide last year, P5.72 billion was paid out by Philhealth in CV. There are 110 Philhealth-accredited hospitals in the region.

Philhealth is further spreading its coverage this year because under the 2017 General Appropriations Act, some P3 billion has been allocated nationwide to cover the cost of availment or confinement of those Filipinos who are not yet Philhealth members, Chavez said.

Pargas also announced the rollout of the Z Benefit Package for children with disabilities.

To serve the information needs of members, Philhealth launched the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), a communication system that has self-service options for callers. Available 24/7, it has pre-recorded answers for the most common questions of members and an option to speak to a live agent for more complicated questions. The number to call is (02) 441-7442.

Chavez also announced the launch of the Philhealth ACR Mobile App. Downloadable on Android devices through Google Play, it allows members to search for cases covered by Philhealth and find out the corresponding amount of coverage. ACR stands for All Case Rates.

Philhealth is working to make the app available for use on iOS devices.

So Filipinos learn the importance of health insurance early, Philhealth has come up with a learner’s manual on social health insurance principles that can be integrated in the Grade 10 Mapeh (Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health) subjects. The target is to integrate this in the curriculum of Cebu schools in the school year that opens in June.

Philhealth 7 public relations officer Karisma Agraviador said this would help to educate the children’s parents on the importance of health insurance and the requisites for availment, as the children would be given homework that would include asking if their parents had health insurance.
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