The Philippines’ ‘health for all’ policy will soon extend to qualified foreign nationals and former Filipino citizen retirees, who can avail of PhilHealth coverage by July as part of efforts to promote the country as a prime destination for foreign retirees.

In 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Philhealth and the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) to boost its campaign to lure retirees to the Philippines.

Health insurance has always been a concern of citizens who are looking at the Philippines as a retirement haven because their health policies from their home countries does not extend to overseas coverage.

As retirees approach old age and may require hospitalization and regular medical check-ups, they feel that much of their savings may be used up for their health needs thus pass up retiring in the Philippines.

Under the MoU, enrollees under this category will be listed under the Informal Economy membership. This will entitle them to in-patient, outpatient and other special benefits.

Members who fall under the Informal Economy category include migrant workers, those working in the informal sector, self-earning individuals, Filipinos with dual citizenship, naturalized Filipinos, and citizens of other countries working and/or residing in the country.

Foreign nationals wishing to retire in the Philippines and get health coverage must have a Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV) and have been granted permanent residency status in accordance with Section 9 of Executive Order No 1037, or the Philippine Retirement Park System.

They must then fill out and submit the Philhealth Member Registration Form for Foreign Nationals to the PRA office, which shall then facilitate their enrolment to the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP).

“Citizens of other countries residing or working in the Philippines with a valid Alien Certificate of Registration Identity Card (ACR I-Card) issued by the Bureau of Immigration may submit their PMRF for Foreign Nationals to the nearest Local Health Insurance Office (LHIO),” according to PhilHealth.

However, unlike Filipino citizens enrolled in Philhealth, foreign members cannot avail of the so-called Z Benefit packages – which are benefits aimed for catastrophic conditions requiring prolonged hospitalizations and expensive treatments, reimbursements for all confinements abroad and benefits for women about to give birth (WATGB).

At the same time, the designated annual premium contribution for PRA-listed foreign retirees is Php 15,000, and Php 17,000 for other foreign citizens.

As with all Philhealth members, contribution payments may be paid quarterly, semi-annually or annually. MIMS

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