To provide relief from the financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) has extended anew the deadline of payment of contributions for self-paying members until June 30, while its flexible and deferred payment scheme remain an option for Overseas Filipino Workers.
In its Advisory No. 2020-038, the Agency sets the payment extension for self-earning individuals, professional practitioners and those belonging to group enrolment schemes until June-end this year without interest. They may pay their contributions at any of its accredited collecting agents (ACAs) and PhilHealth local health insurance offices (LHIOs) nationwide.
Employers in the public and private sectors have also been advised that their premium remittances for the applicable months of February, March and April can be paid until June 22 without interest, in line with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. They may also pay at any LHIOs and ACAs including CIS Bayad Centers and their third party agents, or through the electronic premium remittance system (EPRS) online.
Meanwhile, PhilHealth also issued Advisory No. 2020-037 to prescribe “rules (that) may be observed by Overseas Filipino Workers affected by the enforcement of the Universal Health Care Act.” It said that OFWs “may pay at the previous rate of P2,400 as initial payment” and are “granted one year or 12 months from the date of their initial payment to complete their balance for the year.
The Advisory clarified that “premium payment shall be voluntary (for OFWs) for the duration of the pandemic,” and that although temporarily suspended, the provisions of the UHC Law still apply pending its amendment by Congress.
PhilHealth said that repatriated migrant workers or OFWs in distress are advised to present a certification from the Overseas Workers and Welfare Administration to the local social welfare officers for them to be considered as Indirect Contributors of the program. Under the UHC Law, contributions of indirect contributors are subsidized by the national government.