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Repatriated OFWs may still be covered by PhilHealth March 17, 2011

OVERSEAS Filipino workers who have been repatriated from the Middle East and North African countries may still be entitled to their health insurance coverage in case they or their legal dependents in the country are hospitalized.

Dr. Rey B. Aquino, President and CEO of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) today said that OFWs may still use the unexpired portion of their PhilHealth coverage as indicated in their enhanced member data records.

"We want to assure our OFW-members that should hospitalization needs arise, they may still avail themselves of their PhilHealth benefits, provided the period of confinement is within the effectivity period of their coverage," he said.

The PhilHealth's Overseas Workers Program (OWP) covers all land-based overseas Filipino workers whose jobs are covered by appropriate job contracts with overseas-based employers. On the other hand, sea-based OFWs are covered under the Employed Sector.

"Employers of sea-based OFWs must ensure that they remit their employees' premiums regularly and on time, including their counterpart contributions as employers, to ensure that these OFWs or their legal dependents, are able to avail themselves of their PhilHealth benefits when they need these most," Aquino said.

Among the in-patient medical care benefits that OFWs and other PhilHealth members may avail themselves of are allowances for hospital room and board fees, drugs and medicines, x-ray and laboratory fees, as well as allowances for the use of operating room complex and for the professional fees of attending physicians. These benefits may be availed of in accredited institutional health care facilities in the country.

At the same time, the OWP-members or land-based OFWs and their dependents are entitled to a menu of outpatient diagnostic benefits in 42 DOH-retained hospitals nationwide. To date, there are over two million registered OFW-members in PhilHealth's database. (END)



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