Under the universal healthcare law, overseas Filipinos are classified as ‘direct contributors’.
Starting this year, Filipinos in the UAE and across the world are required to pay three per cent of their income to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), the authority reiterated in its latest circular.
The increase in PhilHealth premiums was rolled out late last year and, on April 22, the corporation published a detailed circular elaborating on the contribution and collection of payment from overseas Filipino members
PhilHealth said expats’ three per cent premium rate will be computed based on their monthly pay, with the range set at P10,000 (Dh730) to P60,000 (Dh4,385).
If one’s monthly salary is higher than Dh4,385, the individual will still pay P1,800 (Dh132) every month, or the three per cent of the income ceiling.
For an entire year, an expat earning Dh4,385 or more will have to shell out P21,600 (Dh1,579).
“While the premium is computed based on the monthly income, payment shall be made every three-month, six-month or full 12-month period,” the circular said.
It added that 2020 will serve as the transition year, so an initial payment of P2,400 (Dh175) can be made to meet the new policy requirements. The remaining balance, however, shall be settled within the year.
“A member who fails to pay the premium after the due date set by the corporation shall be required to pay all missed contributions with monthly compounded interest,” it said.
“By January 1, 2021, the minimum acceptable initial payment is a three-month premium based on the prescribed rate at the time of payment,” it added. “Still, the member has the option to pay the balance in full or in quarterly payments.”
Membership must be updated
Under the Philippines’ universal healthcare law, overseas Filipinos are classified as ‘direct contributors’, therefore, “payment and remittance of premium contributions is mandatory”, as stated in the circular.
Expats should update their PhilHealth membership and submit a proof of income, which shall serve as the basis for the mandatory contribution.
The new policy covers even those who are not employed. “This circular covers all overseas Filipinos living and working abroad, including those on vacation and those waiting for documentation, whether registered or unregistered to the National Health Insurance Program,” the circular said.
Coverage includes hospitalisation abroad
A PhilHealth representative – whom Khaleej Times spoke to through the agency’s hotline – confirmed that members and their dependents can avail of the insurance’s benefits even if they are outside the country.
“Should a member be hospitalised abroad, he or she will just have to submit the bills, medical abstract and filled-out Claim Form 1 and Claim Form 2,” he said in Filipino. Claim forms can be downloaded from the PhilHealth’s website.
“Documents should be submitted within 180 days after the patient has been discharged,” he added.
Premium to increase yearly till 2024-25
Filipino expats’ PhilHealth contributions shall also increase every year until 2024-25, according to the circular.
From three per cent this year, the premium will be at 3.5 per cent in 2021; 4 per cent in 2022; 4.5 per cent in 2023; and 5 per cent in 2024 and 2025.