Philhealth OFW benefits for Overseas Filipino Migrant Workers

PhilHealth’s program for Overseas Filipino Workers is a significant support system that offers a range of benefits specially created for the specific needs of Filipinos working abroad. This coverage includes essential services such as hospital room and board, surgeries, laboratory tests, and doctor’s fees, ensuring that Filipino migrant workers and their dependents receive comprehensive care. With a focus on both inpatient and outpatient services, including dialysis and various surgeries, the program also prioritizes preventive care through its Primary Care Benefit Package. By offering these benefits against a backdrop of subsidized annual premiums, the agency demonstrates its commitment to the welfare of OFWs and their families, acknowledging their significant contributions to the nation’s economy.

The significance of this program cannot be overstated as it offers a financial cushion, granting this population access to healthcare services at reduced costs—a boon considering the high medical expenses encountered abroad. The legal backing for this is solidified by the Universal Healthcare Law, affirming the government’s support for the voluntary participation of OFWs in PhilHealth. By staying enrolled and active, migrant Filipino workers can expect a safety net that covers various medical procedures and offers peace of mind for their families. With the government agency’s continuous updates, such as expanding coverage for COVID-19 testing and enhancing the Konsulta Packages, the program is poised to evolve to meet their healthcare needs effectively.

ofw benefits
Credits: PNA

What are Philhealth Benefits for OFWs?

PhilHealth offers valuable benefits, including coverage for hospital room and board, surgeries, lab tests, and doctor’s fees during confinement.  It also extends to outpatient services like dialysis and some surgeries, while the Primary Care Benefit Package provides check-ups and preventive care for them and qualified dependents. Notably, OFWs can enjoy these advantages by paying a subsidized annual premium.

Significance of the Program

PhilHealth benefits are a safety net for Overseas Filipino Workers, who contribute significantly to the Philippine economy. While contributions are voluntary, the agency offers subsidized annual premiums. This grants them access to essential healthcare services, including hospital care, surgeries, and medications, at reduced costs. This financial support is especially important considering the often high medical expenses abroad. Government data shows a significant number of OFWs benefit, with a 2015 report highlighting coverage for over 2 million Filipinos working overseas. This program provides peace of mind for both this group and their families, knowing they have access to quality healthcare in case of emergencies.

Legal Basis

The mandate to include OFWs in the PhilHealth coverage is rooted in the Universal Healthcare Law and supported by directives from the Philippine government. In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte announced in May 2020 that migrant Filipino workers could choose to be voluntary members, offering them a respite during a period of uncertainty and financial strain.


PhilHealth membership offers a range of benefits designed to meet the healthcare needs of OFWs and their dependents. These include:

  • Inpatient and outpatient coverage in accredited healthcare institutions in the Philippines and abroad.
  • Reimbursement for hospital expenses incurred overseas, processed within 180 days after discharge.
  • Lifetime Membership for those who have contributed for at least 120 months, providing continued healthcare coverage into retirement.
  • Comprehensive coverage for a wide range of illnesses and medical procedures, including cancer treatments and dialysis.

Eligibility / Qualifications

To be eligible for PhilHealth’s OFW benefits, individuals must be:

  • Actively working overseas and processed through the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) with a valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).
  • Voluntary members who have opted to continue their PhilHealth coverage while working abroad.


Enrolling or renewing PhilHealth coverage as an OFW requires the submission of documents such as:

  • a valid OEC, 
  • working visa/re-entry permit, 
  • job employment contract, and 
  • proof of remittance, among others. 

These documents serve as proof of active employment overseas.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Benefit from PhilHealth as an OFW

  1. Verify your eligibility by ensuring you have the required documents.
  2. Enroll or renew your membership by submitting the necessary documents and paying the annual premium of P900.00 at any PhilHealth office or through accredited collecting agents.
  3. Update your Member Data Record (MDR) to ensure your information is current.
  4. Make your contributions either locally through an authorized representative or directly if you are overseas, using various payment channels.
  5. Avail of benefits by presenting your PhilHealth ID and updated MDR at accredited healthcare institutions. For hospitalizations abroad, keep all receipts and submit a reimbursement claim within 180 days after discharge.

Recent Updates

PhilHealth Expands Konsulta Packages to Include Mammogram and Ultrasound Services

The Department of Health (DOH) has instructed PhilHealth to add mammograms and ultrasound services to its Konsulta Packages nationwide. This move aims to provide sustainable financing for preventive health services and catch conditions like cancer early. House Speaker Romualdez commended the agency for prioritizing the health and well-being of Filipino women through this initiative. (PNA)

PhilHealth Approves Higher Capitation Rate for Konsulta Packages

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation has approved an increase in the capitation rate for its Konsulta package. The rate has been raised to PHP1,700 per patient per year, with private providers allowed to collect a co-payment of up to PHP900. The increase is expected to be implemented by June 2024, pending operational details. (PNA)

Updated PhilHealth Contribution and Benefits for OFWs

Starting 2023, PhilHealth has set a 4% premium rate for OFWs, which amounts to a P2,000.00 monthly contribution for a P50,000.00 basic salary. OFW members can pay their premiums through various local and overseas channels, including PhilHealth offices and accredited agents like iRemit and Ventaja International. Registered members can access a suite of benefits, including inpatient, outpatient, and Z Benefit Packages, aligning with sustainable development goals to support the health of migrant Filipino workers and their families.

PhilHealth Expands COVID-19 Testing Coverage for OFWs

PhilHealth has extended its coverage to include COVID-19 testing for repatriated OFWs as acknowledged in the advisory dated September 8, 2022. The decision, aligned with IATF Resolution No. 168, reflects the agency’s recognition of this group’s significant contributions.


Video: Ms. Ople on PhilHealth mandatory contribution for OFWs

Former DMW Secretary Susan Ople has expressed the need to revise the provisions of the Universal Health Care Act regarding PhilHealth’s mandatory contributions for Overseas Filipino Workers. Ople believes that this requirement is burdensome and unjustified, particularly for low-paying jobs like domestic work, in response to concerns raised by migrant workers.



For OFWs, the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your loved ones have access to healthcare, no matter where you are in the world, is invaluable. PhilHealth’s comprehensive coverage ensures that you can focus on your work abroad without worrying about the what-ifs of health emergencies. By following the simple steps outlined in this guide, you can unlock a world of benefits, ensuring that you and your family are protected under the agency’s caring umbrella.

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