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Premium Increase for OFWs Deferred March 9, 2012

THE increase in premium contribution rates for overseas Filipino worker-members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has been deferred.

This new development is contained in PhilHealth Circular 07, series of 2012 which amended an earlier issuance prescribing the new contribution rates for the different paying sectors for 2012 and 2013.

PhilHealth President and CEO Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon said the decision to defer the implementation of the increase in OFWs' annual premium was made in light of the global crisis which has resulted to the repatriation of a lot of OFWs. Further consultations with civil society and OFW organizations such as KAMPI, KAKAMMPI, Filipino Migrant Workers, PASEI, KALAHI, CBCP-ECMI, Blas F. Ople Center also prompted the deferment.

"With the deferment of the new premium rate, OFWs need only to pay P1,200.00 as annual payment for 2012. The new rate of P2,400.00 per year will take effect January 1, 2013," Banzon said.

To further encourage OFW-members to engage with PhilHealth for the long-term, Banzon said that OFW-members may opt to agree to a two-year lock-in period for which their annual premium will be computed at P1,200.00, or a total of P2,400.00. "They have to sign a policy contract with us to be able to avail of this special rate," he said, adding that once the policy contract expires, the prevailing rate per year will then be applied.

Banzon also reassured OFW members that the upcoming adjustment in premium comes with additional benefits for OFWs and their legal dependents in the country. He added that priority goes to the roll-out of primary care benefits that will entitle members to basic, quality health care services through accredited public and even private health care providers nationwide.

"The primary care benefits will feature expanded outpatient providers in which every PhilHealth member will be assigned to facilities and primary care physicians. Implementation will be enhanced by introducing a system wherein release of payments is tied to performance, with incentives for additional quality and quantity indicators," he said. (END)

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