Being an Overseas Filipino Worker is not easy. You need to make sure that you will be able to provide a better and secure future for your family. At the same time, you need to ensure that your family is well taken cared of and that their everyday needs are met.
What about you? Who could take care of you in case you get sick?
Your employer overseas may provide you with health benefits but you are limited there. Once you go back to the Philippines, you are no longer part of the employer’s responsibility.
This is where Philhealth comes in. In fact, the agency can be your “Partner in Health” in case of medical emergencies.
How do you become a member? How can you make contributions? What are the benefits of being a member of Philhealth even if you are working overseas?
Read on to find out.
Who are Overseas Filipino members?
1. Land-based Overseas Filipino workers
2. Seafarers or individuals employed or engaged in any capacity onboard a seagoing ship that is navigating foreign seas other than a government ship used for military or non-commercial purposes.
3. Filipinos with dual citizenship
What are the advantages of being a Philhealth member?
1. Philhealth can pay for OFW or his/her dependents’ hospital confinement and out-patient surgeries in the Philippines through the All Case Rate payment scheme.
2. Reimbursement of fees upon the overseas worker’s confinement overseas. The OFW is given 180 days upon discharge to submit claim documents to any Philhealth offices in the Philippines.
3. Overseas worker’s benefits can be extended to his/her qualified dependents.
4. OFWs are entitled to Lifetime membership, provided that they reach their age of retirement and have paid at least 120 monthly contributions.
5. Easier availment of benefits in case of confinement since most of the accredited healthcare institutions are connected to the Health Care Institution Portal.
6. Coverage of more than 4,000 medical and surgical procedures, including cancer and dialysis procedures.
What are the benefits of Overseas Filipino Workers?
Aside from Philippine healthcare institutions, you can still avail of Philhealth benefits even if you were confined overseas. Consequently, your qualified dependents could enjoy the same benefits you are entitled to.
Nonetheless, below are the specific benefits afforded to OFWs:
This is available to all confinements in accredited Health Care Institutions (HCIs) through All Case Rate. The case rate includes hospital charges and physician’s professional fees, the total of which will be deducted from the total bill.
To avail of Inpatient benefits, OFW-member must have six months contribution preceding the three months qualifying contribution within the 12-month period before the first day of confinement. Submit a copy of Member Data Record and duly accomplished Philhealth Claim Form 1.
You can get a copy of the form here.
This includes day surgeries that could include minor to major surgeries, radiotherapy, hemodialysis, outpatient blood transfusion, and primary care benefits.
Primary care benefits include preventive services, diagnostic examinations recommended by the doctor, and drugs and medication.
This coverage includes medical conditions such as leukemia, prostate cancer, breast cancer, renal disease, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, tetralogy of fallot in children, ventricular septal defect in children, cervical cancer, prosthesis help and rehabilitation, orthopedic implants, colon and rectum cancer, and children with developmental disabilities.
This coverage includes voluntary surgical contraception procedure, malaria packages, HIV-AIDS package, anti-tuberculosis treatment, and animal bite treatment package.
Check out this link for a complete list of Philhealth benefits for OFWs as well the corresponding requirements when making a claim.
To avail of any of the benefits, make sure that:
1. Availment period falls within the validity period of the OFW-member’s coverage.
2. You have not yet consumed the 45-day annual benefit limit for hospital room and board allowance.
3. The healthcare institution and the health care professional are accredited by the Philhealth.
What if you want to claim while you are overseas?
The following documents must be sent to any Philhealth office (main or regional office) or Local Health Insurance Office nearest your Philippine address within 180 days from the date of discharge:
1. Medical abstract or record written in English OR medical certificate stating the final diagnosis, number of days of confinement, and medical services conducted.
2. If an operation was performed, a copy of the operative record written in English.
3. Statement of account
4. Official receipt issued by the hospital or doctor
5. Completely filled out Phillealth Claim Form 1.
How to Register for Philhealth membership:
If you are in the Philippines, visit the nearest Philhealth office, Local Health Insurance office, Philhealth Business Center, or Philhealth Express, whichever is nearest to you. Fill out the Member Registration Form (you can get a copy here) and submit it.
If you are overseas and a landbased OFW, visit any branch of iRemit and Ventaja Corporation. Access the Electronic Registration facility, and follow the procedure. Aldo, download the membership registration form, fill it out, and email the form at email@example.com
If you are a seafarer, submit a completely filled out membership registration form to the Human Resource department of your manning agency. Your manning agency will process your application and give you permanent Philhealth Identification Number (PIN).
How much should I contribute?
The annual contribution rate is P2,400.00, which can be paid in advance for two to five years OR depending on the duration of the employment contract with the overseas employer.
Click here for premium contribution schedule.
Where can I make contributions?
You can pay for your contributions through any of the Philhealth-accredited collecting agents in the Philippines and overseas. POEA also has Philhealth counter where you can pay premiums.
You can also check out this link for a list of tie-ups overseas.
What are you waiting for? Make sure you are a member of Philhealth to avail of these benefits. You’ll never know what could happen so it is best to know that there is someone you can lean on.