OFWs worldwide to protest hike in health premiums


An overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) group based in the Middle East yesterday said it would lead a worldwide drive to oppose the 160-percent increase in Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) premiums this year.

Migrante-Middle East described the rate hike, from the current P900 to P2,400 beginning July, as an “unhealthy money-making scheme” which “will only burden our already overburdened OFWs and their dependents.”

The PhilHealth board last month issued a circular imposing an increase in OFWs’ health premiums.

“The hike in premiums will not only bleed us OFWs dry, it will suck our blood leading ‘to death due to deprivation of free and affordable social services.’ The government, through various agencies, is killing us so softly by imposing additional fees on the pretext of better social services,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Mideast regional director, in an e-mail from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he is based.

Signature drive

Migrante-Mideast has started a signature drive against the rate hike. An online version ( has been uploaded to reach out to more OFWs and their families.

The petition, which targets one million signatures by July 2012, would be forwarded to President Benigno Aquino III and the PhilHealth board along with various OFW groups’ position papers.

Monterona said Migrante chapters in the Asia Pacific, Australia, North America and Europe were crafting a coordinated campaign against the premium increase.

Monterona said Migrante and other OFW groups would launch other campaigns and might even file a case in court to oppose the PhilHealth order.

Act prohibits  fee increases

He pointed out that Republic Act No. 10022, or the Amended Migrant Workers Act of 2010, prohibits increases in government fees for services rendered to OFWs and their dependents.

“Besides, there were no consultations with OFW groups conducted by the PhilHealth board so they can’t impose it onerously without a proper dialogue with the stakeholders—the OFWs and their families,” Monterona added.

Monterona recalled that in 2005, the Arroyo administration initiated the transfer of P530 million from the OFW Medicare program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to PhilHealth supposedly without a proper consultation and dialogue with OFWs.

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  • Ricci Santiago

    oh my. KC marry me na lang. dont go for those…ugggghhhhhh. phil showbiz nga naman

  • Victor Cruz

    wawa nman ci KC na inlove lang sa syoke pah,, lab u KC

  • Felix

    Do you know that ofws in certain destinations also pay for health insurance in their host governments? Do you know that a significant portion of ofws does not go to philhealth accredited hospitals? How much of the total contributions and earnings go to administrative expenses?

    • Frank Raposa

      @Felix: tama ka diyan, dito sa Saudi Arabia, we ofw’s pay a certain percentage of amount “as contribution” sa health insurance scheme ng kompanya (say: 10 to 20% or to a maximum of SR.50.00 or depende sa contract agreement ng kompanya at ng health insurance provider). Nag-enquire ako sa PhilHealth directly kung refundable itong “contribution fees” na binabayaran namin dito sa saudi, and the answer is a flat NO from PhilHealth. Saklaw lang daw ng PhilHealth ang hospitalization (as in ma-admit ka sa hospital for treatment of serious illnesses) but not inclusive yun medical check-up and related medicines. In my case kasi hypertensive ako, i have a regular check-up sa physician/doctor para maka-avail ako ng aking “maintenance medicines” and i have to cough-up a maximum SAR.50.00 from my personal funds every month para sa check-up and medicines. Medical Insurance here has different classifications, like: Class-A; Class-B; Class-C; Silver & Gold. Kung gusto mo tumaas ang antas ng iyong medical coverage, that is another story, kasi from your own discretion, you can increase the insurance premium (from your own personal funds too!) ng sa ganoon ang medicall insurance coverage mo ay wide-range of coverage sa medical & hospitalization.

  • Anonymous

     Again another money-making from the PHIC. Let me tell this incident. Sometime in October my child been hospitalized. Diagnosis was Acute Gastrointeritis with some dehydration. When billing comes we we’re so shock upon learning that my child cannot avail of the Philhealth insurance. We we’re so disappointed since me (who is working here in a private company) and my husband (who is an OFW) are both paying the said premiums but still we cannot avail of that said insurance…And now, they’re increasing the premiums for OFW?

    • Frank Raposa

      Mawalang galang po: perhaps ang hospital na pinag-admitan ng baby ninyo ay hindi siya PhilHealth accredited? May mga cases po na kagaya niyan, nade-deny ang pasyente or beneficiary ng kaukulang medical insurance kasi po ang nsabing hospital ay hindi accredited ng PhilHealth.

      • Anonymous

         Mr Frank Raposa…that hospital is Philhealth accredited… FYI PHIC claims is actually beside the billing section… So, the incharge of the billing section told me that I have to attached all documents required for PHIC claims, so I did. I submitted all the documents required for processing of my PHIC claims. But unfortunately, when I went back to the billing section they told me that we we’re not able to avail of the said claims for there is new policy (a policy which we really don’t know because it was not even consulted to the PHIC members).

      • Frank Raposa

        @DisappointedAko: thank you, your answer is noted. When my mother got hospitalized at nag-ke-claim na kami ng PhilHealth benefits from the hospital, at kung sa tingin namin yun PhilHealth refund billing ng nasabing hospital ay hindi tugma or accurate sa kaso o sakit ng pasyente, nag-ko-consult muna kami sa PhilHealth directly bago kami magbayad ng bills namin sa hospital. In your case sana nag-consult din kayo sa PhilHealth directly ng sa ganoon mapaabot sa kanila yun case ng baby ninyo na na-deny siya ng insurance benefits, and in that way also maliwanagan ang bago nilang policy.

      • Anonymous

        I actually called the PHIC office, they told me that there are diagnosis which is not covered by PHIC. One of those is the diagnosis of my son. First & foremost, the PHIC premiums is mandatory to those who are employed and even to the OFW’s. So, I expect that PHIC could lessen our burden from our hospital bill but to no avail. This is very disappointing.

      • Frank Raposa

        In this regard and in my opinion, ang may discrepancy dito ay ang attending physician ng baby ninyo. In the first place alam ng doctor na yun case ng baby ninyo (as per Doctor’s diagnosis) ay Acute Gastrointeritis ay hindi covered ng PhilHealth, the doctor or yun nag-pa-process ng hospital bill ninyo made another diagnosis/case na related sa mga gamot prescribed ng doctor ng sa ganoon naka-avail sana kayo ng benefits sa baby ninyo. The doctor and the billing assistant should done their research/assignments sa contextong iyon para matulungan nila ang member/pasyente na maka-avail/claim ng PhilHealth benefits.
        Again, I will sight the case of my hospitalized mother. Noong una first time sya ma-admit sa hospital yun case niya is pulmonary (mejo malaki ang aming na-avail na PhilHealth), however, on the same month na-admit ulit siya for the same case, pero hindi ginamit ng kanyang doctor ang pulmonary case sa pag-claim ng PhilHealth, kasi ang same case ay pwede lamang ulit i-charge sa PhilHealth after 45 days. So ang ibinigay ng doctor na diagnosis ay  ‘Infection’ naman (at ito ay base naman sa mga gamot na na-prescribed), in other words, naka-avail kami ulit ng PhilHealth (though mejo maliit ang benefit na na-avail, pero malaking bagay na din). The third time na na-confine ang mother namin sa same hospital in same month (syempre hindi na pwedeng gamitin ang Infection at Pulmonary cases), ‘Sepsis’ naman ang bagong diagnosis na inilagay ng doctor/billing section sa PhilHealth claim naming (again, ito ay base na rin sa mga gamot na na-prescribed ng doctor), at naka-avail ulit kami ng PhilHealth benefit, 3-in-a row sa iisang buwan lamang.
        What I am trying to say is, sana ang doctor o ang billing section ng hospital should done some research sa ganitong scenario, ng sa ganoon maka-avail ng Philhealth benefit ang kanilang pasyente. They should know better kung anong klase ng mga diagnosis ang pwedeng i-charge at hindi pwedeng i-charge para sa availment ng PhilHealth benefit.

  • Anonymous

    PhilHealth Insurance is useless for OFWs especially those who do not have access to information such as this. Not all OFWs know or have limited access to the information on how this insurance works because not all have access to internets at home or office especially the lowly domestic helpers and utility employees. It is more of a burden rather than of a relief when it is needed. Government/Hospitals requires a lot of documents as proof and lot of efforts until one OFW gets tired of claiming his/her refund and just forced to forgo or forget about the claim. Puro pahirap na lang ang ginagawa ng mga taong gobyerno sa aming mga OFW. I bet only one percent or less of all OFWs have benefited with this insurance kaya laking kita na naman ng mga buwaya sa gobyerno. Why can’t the government just make this philhealth fee as voluntary? Allahu Akbar!!!

  • Frank Raposa

    In previous years, PhilHealth Insurance claims ay ang mga pasyente/member mismo ang siyang nag-ke-claim ng hospital/medicall bills (it was a sort of long process and have to wait for at least 3 months na matanggap ng pasyente/member and insurance funds – in the form of Cheque). Nowadays, ang hospital na mismo ang nag-ke-claim in behalf ng pasyente/member. Kaya paglabas ng pasyente sa hospital ay worry-free na pag-claim ng medical insurance dahil paglabas ng billing binabawas na ng hospital ang kaukulang PhilHealth insurance. Pero sa nakikita kong ganitong sistema, ang hospital ay magkakaroon ng share of benefits (monetarily) from PhilHealth na sana ay mapupunta sa member/pasyente….Bakit??…well your wild guess is as good as mine…

  • Anonymous

    this the most robbed off to OFWs and to the whole Filipino people… once they imposed we will go backdoors of sending remittances…

  • Anonymous

    once they imposed Philhealth Fee.. Pag ibig follows… too early funds for a campaign, or a funding to pay NAIA 1… grabe ka corrupt

    • Frank Raposa

      @JeffHenson: Indeed, i anticipated this one, Pag-Ibig Funds will follow suit kaya nga ginawa nilang mandatory sa mga OFW’s ang maging member dito. Taking a cue from both SSS & PhilHealth, mababasa natin sa paunang pahina ng Pag-Ibig Funds website na sa tagal ng panahon na nag-e-exist ang programa ay hindi pa daw sila nag-i-increase ng contribution premiums sa mga miyembro nito. It is the same “littany” na nabasa ko sa website ng SSS at ng PhilHealth, ang SSS ay nag-increase na ng 2X or 3X na contribution sa mga miyembro, and here comes PhilHealth, its their turn para mag-increase ng Premium…..Pag-Ibig Fund susunod na diyan.

  • Jim De Garman

    these is clearly a kotong to the OFW’s, Philhealth is a money making scheme by the higher up’s
    and would not serve the interest of OFW, every year they had to pay these contributions as they cannot take their OEC. 

    a hold up style..OFW lagi ang nakikita  sa pagkakaroon ng dagdag na pondo ng mga buwaya.


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