The Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) has taken significant steps to ensure the safety and protection of its member Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). In this pursuit, OWWA has launched the Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs (MEDplus) Program. This program aims to provide one-time financial assistance to support the hospitalization of active OWWA member OFWs who may contract a dreaded disease while working abroad.
OWWA MEDPlus Program: Medical Assistance Benefits – Application Guide
Developed in partnership with PhilHealth, the OWWA MEDPlus Program provides essential support to OWWA member-OFWs by offering a one-time cash grant as supplementary medical relief. This program aims to assist individuals who require hospitalization due to a serious illness. To ensure a thorough understanding of the program, this article will outline its coverage, benefits, necessary requirements, and step-by-step application procedures.
Coverage of the MEDplus Program
The MEDplus Program extends its support to OWWA member-OFWs who have contracted a dreaded disease while working overseas. These diseases may include but are not limited to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), avian influenza or bird flu, Ebola virus disease, and other similar ailments that pose a significant threat to public health.
Benefits of the MEDplus Program
Under the MEDplus Program, eligible OWWA member-OFWs will receive a one-time cash grant to assist with their hospitalization expenses. This financial assistance aims to alleviate the burden of medical costs and provide support during a challenging time. The amount of the cash grant may vary depending on the severity of the disease and the necessary medical treatment.
Requirements for the MEDplus Program
To qualify for the MEDplus Program, individuals must meet certain criteria. The following requirements must be fulfilled:
- Membership: The applicant must be an active OWWA member-OFW at the time of contracting the dreaded disease.
- Hospitalization: The OFW must have been hospitalized due to a dreaded disease covered by the program.
- Overseas Employment: The OFW should have been working abroad during the time of contracting the disease.
Application Procedures for the MEDplus Program
To apply for the MEDplus Program, eligible OWWA member-OFWs should follow these steps:
- Contact OWWA: Inform OWWA about your hospitalization and provide the necessary details regarding your condition and medical treatment.
- Submit Documents: Prepare and submit the required documents, which may include medical certificates, hospitalization records, proof of OWWA membership, and other relevant supporting papers.
- Application Review: OWWA will review your application and assess its eligibility based on the provided documents and information.
- Cash Grant Disbursement: If your application is approved, OWWA will proceed with the disbursement of the one-time cash grant to your designated account.
What is OWWA MEDPlus
The Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs, also known as the MEDplus Program, is a collaborative initiative between the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). It was launched in 2016 to provide additional medical support to eligible OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who are members of both OWWA and PhilHealth.
The main purpose of MEDplus is to offer a one-time medical or financial assistance to supplement the PhilHealth benefits for OFWs in the event of hospitalization due to serious diseases, whether in the Philippines or abroad.
Under this program, active OWWA and PhilHealth member OFWs can receive assistance similar to that provided by a health maintenance organization (HMO). The amount of assistance will be equivalent to the PhilHealth case rate benefit system and will be applied when OFWs or their eligible dependents pay for hospital or medical bills. The key distinction of MEDPlus is that it provides a one-time grant exclusively for active OWWA member OFWs and PhilHealth members. The program is accessible through 18 different provincial offices in the Philippines, ensuring widespread availability for OFWs and their eligible dependents.
The MEDPlus Program affords active OWWA member OFWs the following benefits:
- One-time financial assistance amounting to a maximum of Php 50,000.00 per member with dreaded disease on top of the PhilHealth benefits
- Medical assistance to cover for medical and surgical procedure
- Coverage for the following dreaded diseases
- Heart Diseases,
- Liver Disease (e.g., Hepatitis),
- Chronic Kidney Disease,
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,
- All Forms of Cancer
- The Php 50,000.00 can be used for treatment of dreaded diseases multiple times until it runs out.
The following criteria must be met to qualify for and enjoy the benefits of MEDPlus:
- Must be an active OWWA member with active PhilHealth Membership
- Afflicted with or is hospitalized due to a dreaded disease, whether abroad or in the Philippines.
- Must be able to present necessary documents certifying such diagnosis.
If you meet the eligibility requirements for the program and believe that it will be beneficial for your hospitalization, you must gather the following documents before proceeding with the application process:
- OFW Membership Record (MR): This document serves as proof of your membership as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
- MEDPlus Application Form: You need to fill out this application form to apply for the program.
- One (1) Passport Size Picture: Provide a recent passport-sized photograph.
- Valid Passport: Submit a copy of your valid passport.
- Government-issued or any valid Identification (ID) Card: Include a photocopy of a government-issued or valid ID card.
- Member Data Record (MDR) from PhilHealth: Obtain your Member Data Record from PhilHealth, which contains your healthcare information.
- PhilHealth Benefit Payment Notice (BPN): Include a copy of the PhilHealth Benefit Payment Notice, which details your previous benefit payments.
- Medical Certificate issued by attending physician or healthcare professional: Obtain a medical certificate from your attending physician or healthcare professional, which verifies the need for hospitalization.
- Proof of active OWWA membership: Provide evidence of your active membership with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
- Membership Record secured from the OWWA RWO: Obtain your Membership Record from the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO).
- Official receipt of most recent OWWA membership contribution: Submit the official receipt for your most recent OWWA membership contribution.
- OFW E-Card: Include a copy of your OFW E-Card, if applicable.
If the family of the OFW will claim the assistance on behalf of the OFW due to the following circumstances:
If the OFW is overseas:
- Duly-notarized Special Power of Attorney executed by the OFW: Prepare a notarized Special Power of Attorney executed by the OFW, granting authority to the family member to claim the assistance.
If the OFW is deceased:
- Death certificate of deceased OFW: Provide a copy of the death certificate of the deceased OFW.
- PSA-issued birth certificate of NOK-claimant: Include a copy of the PSA-issued birth certificate of the Next of Kin (NOK) claimant.
- Birth certificate of applicant, if the applicant is the child of the OFW: Submit a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, if the applicant is the child of the OFW.
- Marriage certificate of applicant, if the applicant is the spouse of the OFW: Include a copy of the applicant’s marriage certificate, if the applicant is the spouse of the OFW.
- Birth certificate of applicant and Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) of OFW, if the applicant is a parent or sibling of the OFW: Provide a copy of the applicant’s birth certificate and the Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR) of the OFW, if the applicant is a parent or sibling of the OFW.
MEDPlus Application Procedure
To apply for the benefits of the MEDPlus Program, simply follow these steps:
To secure an appointment at the OWWA Regional Welfare Office (RWO) for local applications or at the POLO OWWA office in your country of employment for applicants abroad, follow these steps:
- Visit the OWWA website (appointment.owwa.gov.ph) or use the OWWA Mobile App, which has an appointment scheduler feature.
- Use the appointment scheduler to select a preferred date for your appointment. Choose the OWWA RWO that is closest to your permanent address or the POLO OWWA office in your country of employment.
- On the day of your preferred appointment date, go to the selected OWWA RWO or POLO OWWA office and proceed to the designated area for appointments.
- Secure a queuing number or priority number (ticket) and wait for your turn to be accommodated.
- Once called, proceed to the Counter of the Social Benefits Unit and present your valid identification (I.D.) for verification of your Membership Records.
- If your membership and PhilHealth MDR (Member Data Record) are valid, you will be provided with a MEDPlus Application Form.
- Complete the MEDPlus Application form and gather all the necessary requirements as specified by the OWWA.
- Submit the accomplished MEDPlus Application form and the required documents to the designated personnel.
- After submission, you will be given a claim stub, which you will need to present when claiming the financial assistance.
- Proceed to the specified area to claim the financial assistance through a check or cash pay-out, depending on the OWWA’s process.
- Once you have claimed the check, go to the Cashier at the Releasing Window to process the transaction.
- To receive the check or cash assistance, present any two (2) of the following valid IDs:
- Postal ID
- Voter’s ID
- Company ID
- Driver’s License
- Senior Citizen ID
- NBI Clearance (Original / Valid)
- PRC License
For interested MEDPlus applicants or claimants, here are a few other guidelines that you’d want to keep in mind:
regarding the processing and requirements for applications with OWWA (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration) and PhilHealth, specifically for the MEDPlus program. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:
- Incomplete Requirements: OWWA and PhilHealth will not process applications that have incomplete requirements. It is important to ensure that all the necessary documents and information are complete and ready for submission.
- Processing Time: The processing of MEDPlus applications can take up to three (3) days. This duration starts from the submission of requirements and confirmation of PhilHealth benefit payment.
- Active OWWA Membership: Applications for the MEDPlus program can only be made while the Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) has an active OWWA membership status. This means that the OFW should have a valid and current membership with OWWA.
- Inactive OWWA Membership: Applications by or with inactive OWWA OFW membership status will only be accepted within 60 days after the membership expires. This means that if an OFW’s membership with OWWA has expired, they still have a 60-day window to submit their application for the MEDPlus program.
OWWA MEDPlus Explainer Video
To learn more about OWWA MEDPlus and its benefits,
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most common questions and answers you may have about OWWA MEDPlus:
1. Who is qualified to apply for the MEDPlus program?
The MEDPlus program by OWWA and PhilHealth caters to OFWs and their qualified dependents who are active members of OWWA and PhilHealth, and have been diagnosed with a severe or chronic illness classified as “dreaded” by PhilHealth.
2. Is the OWWA MEDPlus an HMO?
No. MEDPlus Program is not an HMO and it’s not a replacement for one even though it seems a lot like one. Plus, unlike HMOs, MEDPlus is not commercially available, but is exclusive to active OWWA OFW members and their qualified dependents.
3. If I already have PhilHealth and an HMO insurance, can I still apply for this program?
Yes. You may maximize the opportunities offered by PhilHealth and all your other healthcare insurance forms by combining it with the MEDPlus program. It will help cover for your medical and hospitalization costs for you or your beneficiary’s dreaded illness.
4. Can I use MEDPlus multiple times or for different dreaded diseases?
Due to the program’s limitations and the numerous applications being reviewed and approved by OWWA and PhilHealth, applicants can only get the grant for one dreaded disease per member. If the member has more than one dreaded disease, he or she can be redirected to other healthcare insurance policies and initiatives.
5. How long does it take for my application to get processed?
Applications for the program take up to three (3) business days upon submission of requirements and confirmation of PhilHealth benefit payment before it gets processed. Having said that, make sure to submit your application with complete requirements and be ready to present your PhilHealth Benefit Payment Notice (BPN) once you’ve been notified of your application’s approval.
it’s because most of us have the urge to immediately decline offers to avail of insurance programs. It’s not necessarily arrogance that leads us to do so; rather, health has historically not been a priority in many Filipino households. OWWA Medical Assistance Benefits (MEDPlus) Fortunately, the government recognizes the importance of health and aims to address the need for equal access to healthcare programs through initiatives such as PhilHealth.
However, when it comes to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the situation is different. In addition to the benefits provided by PhilHealth, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) offers the Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs (MEDPlus) Program. This program is specifically designed to provide financial assistance to OFWs and their dependents.
While the MEDPlus Program serves as a safety net for OFWs, it may not be sufficient to cover all potential emergencies. Therefore, it is advisable for OFWs to have a backup plan in place to ensure adequate coverage in case of unforeseen circumstances.
For more information on the MEDPlus program, you may visit their website at www.owwa.gov.ph or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial. You may also download the OWWA Mobile App on Google Play or App Store to stay updated. You may also reach out to OWWA directly.
Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA)
Office Address: F.B. Harrison St, Pasay, Metro Manila
Tel. No.: 8891-7601 to 24
OWWA hotline number: 1348, (02) 1348 (Regional), (+632) 1348 (International)
OWWA Email Address: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
OWWA Facebook page: https://web.facebook.com/OWWAofficial
OWWA website: https://owwa.gov.ph/
In case you still have other questions or concerns, you also have the option to reach out to OWWA 24/7 Operations Center is located at: OWWA Building, 7th corner F.B. Harrison Sts., Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines and can be contacted through the following contact information:
Landline: (+632)833-OWWA or (+632)833-6992
Globe Hotline: 2917 (Press “3” for OWWA)
Mobile/SMS text messaging: (0917)TXT-OWWA or (0917)898-6992
Email address: email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org