PhilHealth to provide medical assistance program for OFWs

A medical assistance program that supplements the benefit provided by PhilHealth will soon be offered to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

This comes after the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and PhilHealth on Thursday inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to implement a Supplemental Medical Assistance Program for OFWs or MEDplus.

The MEDplus is a one-time financial assistance provided to active OWWA and PhilHealth members who are diagnosed with and subsequently hospitalized due to a dreaded disease whether in the Philippines or in their country of employment.

It matches the benefit granted by PhilHealth to its members under its case rate system but not to exceed PHP50,000 per member.

Subsequent availments are allowed for the same dreaded disease but not to exceed the limit. The list of dreaded diseases is jointly identified and defined by OWWA and PhilHealth.

OFWs whose OWWA membership coverage has already lapsed but are still active PhilHealth members are given additional 60 days coverage upon expiry of OWWA membership validity.

Under the agreement, OWWA will implement the program through its 18 Regional Welfare Offices (RWOs) throughout the country.

RWOs will accept and process claims, in accordance with the guidelines to be crafted by OWWA and PhilHealth within 60 days upon signing of the MOA. RWOs will, likewise, maintain a database on availments.

Meanwhile, PhilHealth will provide training and access to MyPhilHealth Portal to authorized OWWA personnel for purposes of online verification of PhilHealth benefit payments to its members as it will be the basis of processing MEDplus claims.

OWWA Administrator Rebecca Calzado said that this collaboration with the PhilHealth will help member-OFWs further reduce their medical expenses. (PNA)

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