OFWs abroad who are also active OWWA members can take advantage of a supplemental medical assistance program called MEDplus. This is a program partnership with Philhealth intended for OFWs who may contract a dreaded disease while working abroad.
In this article, we will fill you in what is the Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs of the MEDplus Program as we share with you information on the benefits of the program, what does it cover, qualifications you must meet, the requirements you need, and how can you apply for the financial or medical assistance.
What is OWWA MEDplus?
The Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs or otherwise known as the MEDplus Program was implemented on June 2, 2016. It is around September of 2015 where the Board of Trustees of OWWA approved the program allowing OFWs to avail themselves of additional medical assistance from OWWA. Both the OWWA and PhilHealth signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to implement this program.
The MEDplus Program aims to provide a one-time medical or financial assistance for OFWs. This OWWA Medical Assistance is supplementing the benefits provided by the PhilHealth. This program is for active members of both OWWA and OFW PhilHealth who are experiencing dreaded diseases and are hospitalized either in the Philippines or abroad.
This program will be carried out through the Philippines’ 18 provincial offices. It is available to OFWs or their eligible dependents in the Philippines in the event of death or if the OFW is still away.
What are the Benefits of the MEDplus Coverage?
When you avail of the MEDplus Program, you are entitled to financial assistance with an amount not exceeding Php 50,000.00 per member for one dreaded disease. This medical assistance program supplements the benefits provided by the PhilHealth which means that aside from the benefits you are getting from PhilHealth, there is an additional Php 50,000.00 assistance from the MEDplus program.
The OWWA MEDplus Program is a supplemental medical assistance for OFWs covering both the medical procedure and surgical procedure for dreaded diseases, which includes:
- Heart Diseases,
- Liver Disease (e.g., Hepatitis),
- Chronic Kidney Disease,
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,
- and All Forms of Cancer
The benefits for hospitalization through the MEDplus Program are valid for only one diagnosed dreaded disease. But you may be allowed to avail of the OWWA medical assistance multiple times as long as it does not exceed the amount of Php 50,000.00 and is used for the dreaded disease you initially applied for.
What are the Qualifications of OWWA MEDplus?
For you to know If you qualify for the program, the Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs (MEDplus) is open to OFWs who has both an active OWWA Membership and PhilHealth membership who are afflicted with or is hospitalized due to a dreaded disease, whether in the country you are working for or in the Philippines.
Take note of the requirement, dreaded disease. This means your condition must be categorized as a dreaded disease in order to avail of this benefit.
What are the Requirements for Applying for the MEDplus Program?
For you to continue to your application for the Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs (MEDplus), you must prepare the following documents which are required for:
- MEDplus Program Application Form (Duly Accomplished)
- One (1) Photocopy of Passport-sized Picture
- PhilHealth Benefit Payment Notice (BPN) – This should show the actual payments you made by PhilHealth with regards to your confinement or availment.
- Proof of Recent OWWA Membership Contribution
- If the OFW is abroad and the filer—the claimant is the next-of-kin: Duly Notarized Special Power of Attorney which is executed by the OFW
- If the OFW is deceased: Death Certificate of the Deceased OFW and either the Marriage Certificate of the Birth Certificate of the next-of-kin claimant to prove the relationship with the deceased OFW.
How to Apply for OWWA MEDplus Benefits
Under the validity time of your OWWA membership, you can avail yourself of the MEDplus Program. Another thing is, you are still also covered for the medical assistance program 60 days after your OWWA membership expires.
To avail of the Supplemental Medical Assistance for OFWs (MEDplus), you only have to
- Go to the nearest OWWA Regional Welfare Office or POLO-OWWA office if abroad.
- Submit the documents required for the medical assistance.
- The process of the MEDplus Application takes up to three days after the submission of your documents and confirmation of PhilHealth benefit payment.
Video: OWWA Supplemental Assistance Program for OFWs (MEDplus)
Check out this YouTube Video Guide for more details about what to expect and how to apply for the MEDplus Program.
A lot of us are wary whenever we are asked if we want to get insurance, especially Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). This is because we do not really see the need to get one, at the same time we do not understand how insurance really works. Unfortunately, we are bound to some accidental incidents, in which for OFWs it would mean they’d be sent back home and there are times it will be harder for them to work again.
Having savings have been hard for OFWs to achieve, and sometimes what you save is not even enough. Good News! You can get help from the Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA) because it has the right program for you.
The MEDplus Program might be able to assist you with covering any of your medical expenses. However, keep in mind that obtaining this benefit can take some time. This is why it is wise to save as much as possible in order to ensure that you have a safety net in the event of an emergency.