PhilHealth offers affordable health care for kin of OFWs

By Mayen Jaymalin, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 09 2012 09:31 AM | Updated as of Jul 09 2012 05:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) can now ensure better health for their families and enjoy a worry-free stay abroad once they become a member of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., an official of the agency said yesterday.

PhilHealth executive officer Eduardo Banzon said at a cost of only P7.50 a day, OFWs can be shielded against unforeseen hospital and other medical expenses for the whole household.

“It would be prudent for them to invest a fairly small amount for the healthcare of their families here, especially their spouses who in most cases are the ones left behind to look after the household,” Banzon said.

He said wives of OFWs can avail themselves of P8,000 for every normal spontaneous delivery (or a total of P32,000 for up to four deliveries) in an accredited lying-in clinic or level 1 hospital.

He said the amount covers prenatal care expenses, clinic/hospital charges, and the professional fee of the attending physician or midwife.

“Our additional P1,750 newborn care benefit also ensures the infant’s screening for potentially harmful or fatal disorders that aren’t apparent at birth, eye prophylaxis, vitamin K administration, weighing, BCG vaccination, initial dose of hepatitis B immunization, and hearing test,” Banzon said.

According to Banzon, PhilHealth pays P6,500 for every normal spontaneous delivery (or a total of P26,000 for up to four deliveries) in levels 2 to 4 hospitals, also inclusive of prenatal care and professional fee.

PhilHealth also grants a fixed amount of P19,000 for a one-time, non-elective caesarian section delivery in accredited levels 2 to 4 hospitals and performed by qualified practitioners.

The prenatal, maternity and newborn care benefits are on top of other existing subsidies due all active members and their dependents.

Banzon said the availment of benefits by the OFW’s wife would not prejudice the rest of the family’s enjoyment of the PhilHealth benefits due them.

“For instance, should another dependent of the OFW be hospitalized due to dengue fever or for any other ailment while the spouse is giving birth to a baby, PhilHealth will still pay for their respective benefits all together,” he said.

Should the OFW himself or principal PhilHealth member be repatriated here or come home for any reason, and require hospitalization or treatment, he too would also be entitled to benefits.

PhilHealth helps pay for the room and board, medicine, laboratory exams, as well as operating room and professional fees for every hospital confinement of not less than 24 hours of the OFW’s spouse and other dependents.