Marc lay in a makeshift bed at a public hospital in Manila, wearing a mask attached to an oxygen tank by his side. After testing positive for COVID-19 five days ago, he was now exhibiting fever, malaise, and shortness of breath due to a severe cough—telltale symptoms of the viral infection.
Beyond his worsening condition, Marc also dreaded the growing cost of his hospital bills. He had already racked up around PHP 750,000 the last time he checked, and it was only going to get larger by the hour.
The full toll of COVID-19
Marc is only one of the over 1.8 million confirmed COVID-19 patients in the Philippines, one of the countries most heavily hit by the pandemic in Asia. As cases continue to soar with the spread of the new Delta variant, more COVID-positive Filipinos, especially those with mild to no symptoms, are choosing to recover from home rather than get treated at a private healthcare facility.
According to data from 2020, a patient with moderate COVID-19 should be prepared to shell out over Php 1 million for an 18-day stay at a private hospital in Metro Manila. The Philippine Healthcare Insurance System (PhilHealth) has helped members manage COVID-19-related costs so far, with coverage ranging from Php 42,997 to Php 786,384 depending on the severity of the case. It has also begun providing claims for patients isolating at home.
However, the costs do not end there. For the families of patients that perish from the disease, cremation and burial costs may reach PHP 100,000.
These expenses emphasize the need for a healthcare package that can provide comprehensive coverage in the event a person gets COVID-19. This is very practical at a time when recovering from the disease should be one’s top priority.
360-degree coverage from testing to treatment
Allianz PNB Life, one of the major life insurance companies in the Philippines, is helping patients cover the costs of COVID-19 via Allianz Well! It is a comprehensive health insurance plan that protects policyholders from the debilitating costs of COVID-19 from day one of a confirmed diagnosis.
“It is Allianz PNB Life’s goal to address the varying needs of our customers across different life stages, including COVID-19. Now more than ever, we wish to give our clients the assurance, as well as the confidence, that they are adequately covered and taken care of so they can focus on the things that matter most, namely their health, recovery, and loved ones,” said Chief Marketing Officer Gino Riola.
Allianz Well! covers hospitalization costs, including accommodation, medication, diagnostic and laboratory exams, ambulance fees, and even doctors’ fees. The policy also covers hospital transfer expenses for emergency cases.
Aside from an annual plan limit of PHP 100 million, Allianz Well! offers coverage for expenses outside hospital care, from testing to repatriation services due to death from COVID-19. Additional perks include priority in executive check-ups, discounts for fitness and nutrition services, and reimbursements for over-the-counter multivitamins at up to Php 5,000.
Since recovery from COVID-19 varies per person, Allianz Well! also includes a recovery package that covers flu and pneumonia vaccines and any follow-up medication and procedures that may be prescribed by a doctor.
Policyholders can be assured of a quick and simple claims process which can be done online and within a maximum of 10 working days. Allianz PNB can also facilitate direct settlement of expenses incurred in an accredited medical facility.
“As an organization that genuinely cares for its customers, Allianz PNB Life consistently provides clients with reliable and holistic COVID-19 protection apart from coverage for other critical illnesses. This is part of our commitment to serve as a trusted partner for Filipinos on their journey to better living,” Riola said.