The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) has a medical benefit called MedPlus Program or the Supplementary Medical Assistance for OFWs which allows an Overseas Filipino worker to get up to PHP 50,000 as cash assistance if they are diagnosed with a severe disease while at work abroad.
This is a project designed in partnership with PhilHealth in 2016 that aims to provide financial assistance to OFWs and their dependents who are hospitalized or suffering from severe and chronic illnesses such as diseases in the heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs, in hopes of covering a significant amount of cost for hospitalization, treatments, surgeries, medications, or other medical costs.
If you are an active OWWA OFW member abroad who’s undergoing medication, or you know any of your dependents who may need it, the MedPlus program application is open all year long. Let this article guide you through the process to ensure your smooth transaction.
A big portion of our workers depends on some sort of assurance in order for them to fully perform their duty and make the most of their job. But while it pays to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios, the inevitability of accidents and emergencies may disrupt, delay or even halt our progress, and it is in these times that we can take advantage of some of these insurances.
The grant, which can reach up to PhP 50,000 per member, supplements the benefits provided by PhilHealth, but do note that while the program may have a similar function as a health maintenance organization (HMO), it is only a one-time grant catering exclusively to active OWWA OFW members and PhilHealth members.
Approved beneficiaries of the MedPlus program are entitled to a one-time cash aid amounting to a maximum of PhP 50,000 per member for one dreaded disease, on top of availed PhilHealth benefits.
To be deemed eligible for the program, an applicant must have an active membership status in OWWA and PhilHealth and must have been diagnosed with a severe or chronic classified as dreaded by PhilHealth, and must be able to present necessary documents certifying such diagnosis.
Eligible applicants must prepare the following documents as required for the program, in order to continue in their application:
- Duly accomplished MedPlus Application Form
- One copy of Passport-size ID photo
- Valid Passport
- Government-issued or company ID
- Official receipt of OWWA membership contribution, or any proof of active OWWA membership status
- PhilHealth Benefit Payment Notice (BPN)
- Member Data Record from PhilHealth
- Medical certificate issued by attending physician or healthcare professional
- For applicants who are next-of-kin of the OFW abroad: Duly notarized Special Power of Attorney as executed by the OFW contact
- For applicants whose OFW contact has deceased: OFW’s death certificate, along with any of the following to certify applicant’s relationship with OFW:
- Birth certificate of applicant, if the applicant is the child of the OFW
- Marriage certificate of applicant, 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
How to Process OWWA Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs
Once the applicant has completed all of the documentary requirements, follow these steps to complete the application process:
- Go to your designated OWWA Regional or Satellite Office, for local applicants, or the POLO OWWA office in your country of employment, for applicants abroad.
- Accomplish the necessary documentary specifications.
- Submit your requirements along with supporting documents.
- Wait for an authorized OWWA representative to correspond to you regarding your application.
- Only applications with complete requirements are processed by OWWA and PhilHealth, so make sure you have them complete and ready upon submission.
- Processing of MedPlus applications can take up to three (3) days upon submission of requirements and confirmation of PhilHealth benefit payment.
- Applications for the MedPlus program must be made within the active membership status of the OFW. Otherwise, applications by or with inactive OWWA OFW membership status will only be accepted 60 days after membership expiry.
Video: OWWA Medical Cash Assistance Application
Here’s a video testimonial from a YouTube OFW about how she was able to claim her Medplus benefits from OWWA. Please check it out below:
Here’s another video about the Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You may check out these common questions and answers you may have about OWWA MedPlus:
1. Who are 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 (i.e: diseases of the heart, liver, lungs and kidney, and cancers).
2. Is the OWWA Medplus an HMO?
The MedPlus program is not an HMO and not a replacement for one. As such, it is not commercially offered to the public and is exclusive to active OWWA OFW members and their qualified dependents.
3. If I already have PhilHealth and HMO insurance, can I still apply for this program?
Yes, you are free to maximize your opportunities with other healthcare insurance forms along with the MedPlus program, should you need further assistance in covering the medical costs for you or your beneficiary’s dreaded illness.
4. Can I apply on behalf of two beneficiaries?
Unfortunately, due to the program’s limited budget as well as multiple applications being reviewed and approved by OWWA and PhilHealth, an applicant can only get the grant for one dreaded disease per member. Should a member have more than one dreaded disease, they can be redirected to other healthcare insurance policies and initiatives.
5. How long until my application is processed?
Applications for the program take up to three (3) business days to be processed. In order for you to get the grant right away, be sure to submit your application with complete requirements and prepare to present your PhilHealth Benefit Payment Notice (BPN) once you’ve been notified of your application’s approval.
While health insurances do come in handy at times of crisis, and we would still advise our OFWs and dependents to get one for themselves, the OWWA MedPlus program makes for a great supplement in ensuring optimal healthcare assistance for you or your loved ones.
For more information on the MedPlus program or other OWWA programs, you may visit their website at www.owwa.gov.ph or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OWWAofficial. You may also download the OWWA Mobile App on Google Play or App Store to stay updated