MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- In line with a presidential directive which extended the state of calamity throughout the country because of COVID-19, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) likewise lengthened the period of granting special privileges.

Proclamation No. 1218 issued this year has ordered that the country’s state of calamity be extended until September 12, 2022, and so all Philhealth members, beneficiaries, partner health care providers, and other stakeholders have been duly informed about this development.

“As provided for in PhilHealth Circular 2020-007, the privileges include submission of claims up to 120 calendar days from the date of discharge,” Misael Paigan, PhilHealth provincial manager, said during a Kapihan sa PIA interview Tuesday, quoting from an official advisory.

Another privilege was the exemption from the 45-day benefit limit and single period of confinement, and these will remain in effect until September 12 next year “unless earlier terminated or extended through an official issuance,” Paigan also said.

Meanwhile, the health insurance agency has started to pilot its PhilHealth Konsulta program, or the Konsultasyong Sulit at Tama, this year, by accrediting primary healthcare centers in the public and private sector.

Romulo Carbonilla, provincial PhilHealth information officer, said among the basic requirements is that the health center or clinic must have a dedicated human resource staff of at least one doctor and two support staff, a nurse and midwife.

Thus far, only the Polymedic confirmary in Sogod was accredited, while the city health unit has applied for accreditation, Carbonilla shared. (LDL/MMP/PIA 8-Southern Leyte)