Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) will now pay up to P29,400 annual contribution for Philhealth as the agency increases the rate effective January 2021. Check the computation of the 2021 Philhealth contribution for OFW below.
Philhealth announced that they will start implementing another round of 0.5% increase in members’ contribution this year, which puts the premium rate at 3.5%. The hike is pursuant to the Republic Act No. 11223 or the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.
OFWs are classified as Direct Contributors under the UHC Law. Direct contributors refer to those who are gainfully employed and bound by an employer-employee relationship. Aside from OFWs, kasambahays, self-earning individuals, and practicing professionals belong to this membership category as well.
Instead of the previously fixed premium of P2,400 annually, OFWs now must pay a Philhealth contribution based on their salary.
“In its PhilHealth Circular No. 2019-0009 published on November 23, 2019, premium rate for Direct Contributors shall still be at 2.75% of their monthly basic salary with an adjusted ceiling of P50,000. In 2020, PhilHealth will increase the rate to 3% and henceforth adjusted to increments of 0.5% every year until it reaches the 5% limit in 2025 as provided for by law. The income floor is fixed at P10,000 during the 5-year period, while salary ceiling will gradually increase by P10,000 each year from P60,000 until it reaches P100,000 in 2025,” Philhealth explained in a statement.
The contribution table from direct contributors including OFWs look like this:
This means that if an OFW has a monthly salary of P10,000 or below this 2021, the premium will be at P350 monthly or P4,200 yearly. If the salary is 70,000 and above, the premium is at P2,450 monthly or P29,400 annually.
Increased Philhealth contribution for OFW met with public clamor
The rate increase which started last year did not sit well with OFW members as most of them were also locked down by the pandemic. In response to the clamor, President Duterte had ordered PhilHealth to make the payment of the premiums of OFWs voluntary instead.
Why push through with the increase this 2021 while the country is under the pandemic and Filipinos struggle to make ends meet? Philhealth President and CEO Atty. Dante Gierran reasoned out that they are only implementing the law. Also, the increase is needed to ensure sufficient funding for the health care benefits of its 110 million members.
“Everyone’s hard-earned contribution will help guarantee that all these gains are delivered and sustained for all Filipinos today, tomorrow and for the years to come,” Gierran said.
Some lawmakers have already pushed for the suspension of the implementation of this provision of UHC law, in consideration of the plight of OFWs and other members during this pandemic.