Is PhilHealth available for foreigners? On May 21, 2015, PhilHealth, the national health insurance company of the Philippines, released the following bulletin: “The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will soon provide health care benefits to foreign nationals and former Filipinos who wish to retire in the country.”
This development came about as it formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Philippine Retirement Authority, PRA, in Pasig City.
Under the agreement, the PRA will facilitate the enrollment of foreign nationals under the Informal Economy member-category of PhilHealth.
“We intend to cover each and every Filipino, whether retiree or not, foreigner or Filipino,” PhilHealth President Alexander A. Padilla was quoted in Filipino.
PRA General Manager and CEO Veredigno P. Atienza thanked PhilHealth for its support to help the agency attract more foreign nationals to permanently reside, retire and invest in the country.
If you are currently unemployed or either self-employed, you can register as an Individually Paying Member. This is also being referred as “voluntary member.”
To become a member, you must submit the following requirements at the Philhealth office near you.
(If you are a FOREIGNER living in the Philippines, you can also become a member classified under this type.)
- PMRF (Philhealth Member Registration Form) – Accomplished and properly filled out. This form can also be downloaded online for free.
- Photocopy of NSO, National Statistic Office, authenticated Birth Certificate or valid IDs or any supporting documents to prove identity (required for Filipinos.)
- Photocopy of supporting documents for your beneficiaries (My wife, a Filipino citizen, only had to submit an NSO-certified copy of our marriage contract in the Philippines.)
Photocopy of Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) issued by the Bureau of Immigration (for foreigners only.)
- You will then be given and issued your Philhealth Number and will be asked to pay your contributions.
Keep your PhilHealth Number because this will be used for life.
Make sure you will be paying your premiums continuously to ensure you can take advantage of your benefits at any time. (Source: Philpad)
Don’t be a slacker like I was. We moved to the Philippines in July 2009 but did not sign up for PhilHealth until March 2012! At that time it only cost us 1200 pesos to sign up, and that included benefits for both my wife and I.
At the time we were relying solely on my Health Reimbursement Account, HRA, we received from my former employer, AT&T. I was reimbursed for all of our medical expenses, including a few kidney stone attacks I had after moving here.
Though we have to be admitted as a patient to receive our PhilHealth benefits, I really cannot fathom why we did not take advantage of this Philippine national health insurance sooner.
To further add to my stupidity, we let our coverage lapse at the end of 2013 and did not renew it again until August 2014. We had no insurance for eight months. We paid until the end of December 2015. 1,200 pesos for the remainder of 2014 and P,2000 for 2015.
For an old geezer that preaches common sense, I sure don’t follow it at times.
That said, we knew after my wife’s recent bout with dengue and pneumonia, that we needed to renew our PhilHealth membership for the next two years ASAP. Sure, we could make quarterly contributions, but for the low cost, it makes more sense for us to pay two years at a time.
When my asawa was discharged from our local provincial hospital I asked our local PhilHealth office if we could renew our membership in Guimaras, the island province we call home. Or would we have to travel to Iloilo City as we had done in the past?
The PhilHealth employee told me we could renew it at the local Guimaras office but would have to pay the membership fee at the Land Bank. We have a Land Bank nearby.
So we went to the Guimaras office yesterday to renew our membership. The same employee gave us almost the same information as she did last week but this time mentioned that if Land Bank couldn’t take our payment we could go to LBC. We weren’t given a form to fill out nor told the cost to renew for two years.
We went to the local LBC office since that’s where we pay our Cignal satellite bill every month.
As I sat in our air-conditioned Ford Ranger XLT my asawa went inside LBC. A few minutes later she came out with a form. I was under the mistake impression that LBC was set up to handle PhilHealth payments. They’re not, at least not in our local office.
I asked my spouse: “Do you really want me to go inside so I can get aggravated?”
But I went inside, nonetheless.
There were questions on the form that we had no idea what to answer so we walked out. We both decided it would be easier to take the pump boat to the PhilHealth office in Iloilo and renew AND pay at the same PhilHealth location as before, something which our local Guimaras office is evidently not set up to do. We didn’t want to bother checking out Land Bank.
So before the end of this year we will be taking another pump boat ride to Iloilo City and renew our membership. My loving wife reminded me that’s what she wanted to do in the first place.
I’m not going to let it expire again as I have in the past.
Just doesn’t make good common sense.
(Thanks to Derek and Todd whose comments prompted this post.)