Aside from keeping your own savings for emergency purposes and future plans, as an OFW, you also need to consider setting up an insurance account for yourself and your dependents by the time that you can no longer work abroad or are already at an age when you are more prone to acquiring illnesses and other medical conditions.
The most common and most accessible form of health insurance offered by the government is the PhilHealth. However, OFWs are among the groups which are not automatically enrolled in this system along with those that work in the informal sector as well as self-employed individuals.
Guide in Applying for PhilHealth Voluntary Membership for OFWs
For this reason, OFWs must know how to apply for voluntary PhilHealth membership even when they are based abroad.
To start off, it’s important to understand the benefits of becoming a PhilHealth member. Aside from having your own life insurance membership, being a member of PhilHealth entitles you to the following benefits, which can help lessen your financial burden in case you or your dependent/s get sick:
- Inpatient Benefits: PhilHealth shall reimburse a portion of your hospital bill if you get confined for a condition which requires admission in a PhilHealth-accredited facility.
- Outpatient Benefits: PhilHealth shall cover a portion of the cost for day surgeries, where patients are sent home within the same day for post-operative care; radiotherapy; hemodialysis; outpatient blood transfusion; as well as primary and expanded care benefits.
- Z-Benefits: These cater to certain cases of cancer and other serious illnesses for both children and adults living in the Philippines.
- SDG-related Benefits: This coverage includes voluntary surgical contraception procedure, malaria packages, HIV-AIDS package, anti-tuberculosis treatment, and animal bite treatment package.
With the above benefits, PhilHealth certainly is a necessity for every working Filipino whether based in the Philippines or not, to say the least.
So, in order to claim the benefits that come along with the PhilHealth membership, you must first register voluntarily as an OFW, here’s how:
- For landbased OFWs: Apply at any branch of PhilHealth-accredited collecting partners: iRemit and Ventaja Corporation.
- Apply online via the PhilHealth Online Registration Facility through th following steps:
- Visit the PhilHealth Electronic Registration System.
- Click “Proceed”.
- Read the Terms and Conditions, tick the small box at the bottom, and click “Accept”.
- Enter all the required details on the PhilHealth online registration form.
- (Optional) Upload your document in jpeg, pdf, gif, or png format.
- Input the provided Captcha code, tick the small box, and then click “Submit Registration”.
- Check your inbox for an email notification message with the instructions on how to complete your PhilHealth membership application. Copy the transaction number, which serves as a reference to your registration.
- Download and print the PMRF, fill it out completely, and send it via email to email@example.com.
Whichever method you choose, you will have to pay PHP 2,400 at any PhilHealth office, collecting agents, or the PhilHealth Operations Center at the POEA Central Office.
Should you have any concerns or requests, you may contact PhilHealth’s Overseas Filipino Program (OFP) via email (firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com), OFW mobile phone (+63 917 512 9149), or landline (02 441 7442).
Becoming a PhilHealth member is one of the ways you can take care of your future as well as your loved ones’. If you have any reservations, and feel the need to learn more about their member benefits and updates, you can visit their official website.
ALSO READ: OFW Goals for Retirement