Life is uncertain—you may be healthy one day and be bedridden the next. You can’t afford not to have a health insurance for medical emergencies, especially if you’re not employed in a government office or a private company that provides HMO (health maintenance organization) coverage. This is where your PhilHealth membership comes in.
Apart from life insurance, PhilHealth membership is a guaranteed way to protect yourself against unexpected bills. By enrolling under the individual paying member category (also known as voluntary membership), you’re assured of the same PhilHealth benefits that employees enjoy, even if you’re self-employed, unemployed, or an overseas Filipino worker (OFW).
Photo courtesy of ILO in Asia and the Pacific via Flickr, Creative Commons
Any Filipino who doesn’t have a fixed employment term and is not a senior citizen, indigent member, or sponsored member can register as an individual paying member of PhilHealth.
Collectively categorized as members in the informal economy, qualified voluntary PhilHealth members include the following:
OFWs – documented or undocumented Filipino workers abroad
Self-employed professionals – self-earning individuals such as entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, and freelancers whose income is generated from their profession or business
Informal sector workers – people working in the informal economy, including jeepney and tricycle drivers, street and market vendors, and small construction workers
Dual citizens – Filipinos who also hold citizenship in another country
Naturalized Filipino citizens – foreigners who have become Filipino citizens through naturalization
Expats – foreign workers who live in the Philippines with valid working permits or Alien Certificate of Registrations
What are the PhilHealth Voluntary Membership requirements?
For membership registration and dependent enrollment, PhilHealth no longer asks for supporting documents such as birth certificates or marriage contracts as stated by PhilHealth VP Corporate Affairs Dr. Israel Francis Pargas in an interview.
How to register for Voluntary Membership in a PhilHealth office
Go to the nearest Local Health Insurance Office or PhilHealth Express outlet.
Fill out two PMRF copies.
Submit your accomplished and signed forms.
Wait for the PhilHealth Member Data Record (MDR) and ID card to be issued to you.
Using your PhilHealth ID number (PIN), pay your premium contribution to the cashier.
If you earn PHP 25,000 or below every month, you must pay the quarterly amount of PHP 600 (or PHP 200 monthly/PHP 2,400 annually). If your monthly income is over PHP 25,000, you’ll have to pay PHP 900 for the quarter (or PHP 300 monthly/PHP 3,600 annually).
How to register for PhilHealth Voluntary Membership online
Read the Terms and Conditions, tick the small box below, and click “Accept.”
On the PhilHealth online registration form, enter the required information.
Upload your document in jpeg, pdf, gif, or png format. This step is optional.
Enter the provided Captcha code, tick the small box below, and click “Submit Registration.”
You’ll receive instructions via email on how to complete your PhilHealth membership application. Copy the transaction number, which serves as a reference to your registration.
How OFWs can apply for PhilHealth Voluntary Membership
Photo courtesy of ILO in Asia and the Pacific via Flickr, Creative Commons
If you’re taking a vacation in the Philippines, you can apply in any Local Health Insurance Office or PhilHealth Express outlet. The PhilHealth membership application procedure is the same as that of other prospective members.
However, if you’re currently abroad, you have three options for your membership registration:
Using the PhilHealth online registration facility (refer to “How to register for PhilHealth membership online” above)
Downloading and printing the PMRF, filling it out, and sending it to email@example.com.
Whichever method you choose, you’ll need to pay the annual PhilHealth contribution of PHP 2,400 to any PhilHealth office, collecting agents, or the PhilHealth Operations Center at the POEA Central Office.
For any question or request, contact PhilHealth’s Overseas Filipino Program (OFP) via email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), OFW mobile phone (63917 512 9149), or landline (02 441 7442).
5 Things to Remember When Applying for PhilHealth Voluntary Membership
Go to the PhilHealth office early. Although PhilHealth membership registration processing takes less than a day, expect long lines and early cut-off times in some branches.
Read the instructions carefully on the second page of the PMRF before filling it out.
If employed previously and already have a PIN, put a check next to “FOR UPDATING” under the PURPOSE section. You can have only one PIN in your lifetime.
Declare your dependents to maximize your PhilHealth benefits. List down the names of your qualified PhilHealth dependents when filling out the PMRF. No need to pay extra premiums for their PhilHealth coverage. When you receive your MDR, make sure it has all the names to avoid inconvenience when claiming PhilHealth benefits.
When in doubt, call PhilHealth’s 24/7 interactive helpline at (02) 441-7442.
Applying as a voluntary member of PhilHealth is easier than you’d expect. Better do it sooner than later because you’ll never know when a medical emergency would happen to you or your loved ones.
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