Additional medical aid up for active PhilHealth and OWWA members

PASAY CITY — Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are active members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are set to receive an additional medical assistance from OWWA through the MEDPlus Program.

This development came about as PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Alexander A. Padilla and OWWA Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado formally signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the implementation of the MEDPlus program at Golden Phoenix Hotel here recently.

Under the agreement, active OFW members of both PhilHealth and OWWA, who are afflicted with dreaded diseases may avail themselves of additional medical assistance on top of the PhilHealth case rates, but not to exceed Php50,000 per member.

PhilHealth will provide OWWA with access to My PhilHealth Portal and will train authorized OWWA personnel on the online verification of PhilHealth benefit payments to members as basis for the processing of MEDPlus claims. Further, OWWA will ensure the fund viability for the MEDPlus claims payment of OFW members.

The OWWA Administrator clarified that MEDPlus is not a health maintenance organization (HMO). “It sounds like an HMO but it’s not. It is a medical assistance program over and above what they can get from PhilHealth, that is why it has a ‘Plus,’ ” she said in a press conference.

The PhilHealth Chief expressed optimism that the collaboration with OWWA will help the state-run health insurer to reach Universal Health Coverage especially among overseas Filipino workers. “I encourage our kababayans working abroad to be active PhilHealth members by paying their premium contributions to avail themselves of the PhilHealth benefits as well as of the MEDPlus.”

“In recognition of their significant contributions to keep the country’s economy robust, it is but fitting that we provide them with what they need so that they can focus on their overseas jobs,” Padilla added.

The two agencies are currently crafting the program’s implementing guidelines. The MEDPlus is expected to be available within the year. PNA/