Starting this year, all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), including land-based and sea-based workers, are required to pay three percent of their income to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) as mandatory premium contribution.
As per the authority’s latest circular issued on 22nd April 2020, the contribution increase was rolled out last year. The circular discusses the contribution and collection of payment from OFWs, which are classified as direct contributors under the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.
PhilHealth Increases Contribution from Members, Including OFWs
PhilHealth Circular 2020-0014 covers all OFWS, including those on vacation and those waiting for documentation, as follows:
- Land-based OFWs;
- Seafarers and sea-based workers;
- Filipinos with dual citizenship;
- Filipinos living abroad;
- Overseas Filipinos in distress; and
- Other overseas Filipinos not previously classified elsewhere.
3% Premium Rate Starting January 2020
According to PhilHealth, the OFWs’ three-percent premium rate will be computed based on their monthly income, with the range set between PHP 10,000 (income floor) and PHP 60,000 (income ceiling). Premiums must be paid in their Philippine Peso equivalent.
Notably, 2020 is considered as a transition year, during which an OFW can make an initial payment of PHP 2,400, then opt to pay the remaining balance in full or quarterly payments, within a one-year settlement period.
Starting 1st January 2021, however, an OFW needs to make a three-month premium initial payment before opting to pay the remaining balance in full or quarterly payments within the year.
For example, an OFW earning a monthly basic salary of PHP 20,800 must pay three percent or PHP 7,488 as total annual PhilHealth premium. He/She can make PHP 2,400 as initial payment, then opt to pay the remaining balance of PHP 5,088 in full or quarterly payments in 2020.
The following year, 2021, the same OFW earning PHP 20,800 per month must pay 3.5 percent or PHP 8,736.00 as total annual PhilHealth premium. He/She must make an initial payment of PHP 2,184, then settle the remaining balance of PHP 6,552 in full or quarterly payments.
The circular stated that members who fail to pay premiums within the due date will be required to pay all missed contributions with monthly compounded interest. Likewise, all members are required to update their Member Data Record (MDR) by submitting a PhilHealth Member Registration Form (PMRF) and a proof of income as basis for their monthly contribution.
Yearly Increase Until 2024-25
PhilHealth’s latest circular also mentioned a yearly increase in premium rate and income ceiling between 2019 and 2024-25, as follows:
2019 – 2.75%
2020 – 3.0%
2021 – 3.5%
2022 – 4.0%
2023 – 4.5%
2024 – 5.0%
2025 – 5.0%
2019 – PHP 50,000
2020 – PHP 60,000
2021 – PHP 70,000
2022 – PHP 80,000
2023 – PHP 90,000
2024 – PHP 100,000
2025 – PHP 100,000
The annual increase in premium rate and income ceiling, in turn, would also mean a yearly increase in PhilHealth contribution. For more information about the latest circular, check out PhilHealth Circular 2020-0014, which talks about premium contribution and collection of payment from OFWs.
While the increase in PhilHealth contributions will certainly be heavier on our pockets, let us keep in mind that it is part of a wider Universal Health Care (UHC) Law, which seeks to provide health care to all Filipinos, regardless of class or status.
At the same time, let us also hope for greater and better health coverage for all members. If you are wondering about the authority’s package for a certain illness, for example, you can use the new PhilHealth mobile app to check different case rates.