Since 2005, the OFWs have been paying P900 a year as contribution when the Medicare functions of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) was finally transferred to PhilHealth.
The PhilHealth Board approved sometime in 2011 a new premium rate for land-based OFWs under the Overseas Workers Program that was peg at P2,400 per year to take effect in 2012.
This would have been the lowest premium rate for all PhilHealth members to include the poorest of the poor whose premiums are paid for by a sponsor In 2011, (Sponsored Program) had it pushed through.
PhilHealth deferred the full implementation of the new rate to provide ample time for OFWs to adjust to the new premium rate of P2,400 a year after several consultations with the OFWs.
Instead of the P2,400, the annual premium was set to P1,200 per annum in 2012 and 2013.
OFWs who pay the usual P900 per annum premium payments of P900 were still accepted, but their coverage is good for nine months.
The balance of P300 will be collected from the OFWs when they update their contribution for another one to five years so as to complete the one year’s worth of protection.
Philhealth reminds OFWs who still have a balance of P300 to settle it soon so as to to avoid lapses in their contributions or a possible suspension of their benefit entitlements.
PhilHealth encourages OFWs to pay their premiums in full for the entire duration of their job contracts abroad to ensure continuity of benefits/coverage.
In 2012, PhilHealth’s benefit payments covering land-based OFWs and their dependents for local and overseas confinements reached 130.53% more than the premiums collected.
PhilHealth has also increased its benefit packages with the introduction of Z benefits for catastrophic cases, and expanded its primary care benefit coverage to include OFWs and their dependents availing of services in health centers and rural health units.
It also recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) to promote and inform OFWs and their qualified dependents of their rights to access quality health care services through their PhilHealth coverage and benefits.
The CFO was designated by the Inter-Agency Committee on Philippine Schools Overseas to represent the Committee with PhilHealth.
Through online links and portals of official websites and the continuing advocacy with duly registered non-government organizations (NGOs) affiliated with the CFO, OFWs and their qualified dependents covered by Philhealth will be updated of their healthcare benefits, how they can access these with ease, and their responsibilities as members as well.(mbcn/JSME/PIA7-Cebu)
Meanwhile, The Official Facebook Page of Philhealth-Rizal said: “Just like to share this to all hardworking OFWs and their loved ones who are residing in Rizal Province, For your information and guidance, Please feel free to contact our call center at 4417442 or email your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Philhealth-Rizal’s link is > https://www.facebook.com/philhealth.rizal?hc_location=stream