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PhilHealth reiterates premium rate hike for OFWs amid calls for repeal of measure

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) said it will pursue the rate hike of 3 percent for the contribution of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from their salary despite the growing calls to repeal the measure online.
PhilHealth published a circular on April 2 which states that contributions will increase to 3.0% from 2.75 percent for OFWs with a monthly income that ranges from P10,000 to P60,000.
The new circular covers all migrant Filipino workers including land-based OFWs, seafarers, Filipinos with dual citizenship, Filipinos living abroad, and even OFWs in distress or undocumented Filipinos, GMA News reported.
“The premium of overseas Filipinos shall be computed based on their monthly income, to be paid in Philippine Peso equivalent, in accordance with the terms of payment and corresponding due dates as prescribed by the corporation,” it read.
The state insurance firm said that the year 2020 is considered as a transition year, with a P2,400 initial payment prescribed which can be settled in full or in quarterly payments with a settlement period of one year.
Furthermore, the circular stipulates that from January 1, 2020, the minimum acceptable initial payment is a three-month premium, based on the prescribed rate at the time of payment.
Those members who will fail to pay the premium after the due date set by the Corporation shall be required to pay all missed contributions with monthly compounded interest.
The circular was met with an online petition that seeks the removal of the measure.
“I believe that we OFWs and our dependents have been already struggling amidst this Pandemic and yet Philhealth had issued a very unfair memo regarding premium payments,” the petition read.
The petition added that it is very unfortunate that they call OFWs modern heroes and yet they penalize us with such directives.
The petition which was launched on Change.org has amassed 48,000 signatures as of this posting.

Staff Report

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