THE Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa) in Davao Region announced two new programs aimed at expanding financial health assistance to overseas workers and their families.

Owwa officer in charge Zenobia Caro said the Rehabilitation and Health programs were launched in April this year.

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The Rehabilitation Program benefits, Caro said, can be availed by "workers repatriated due to mental illness and disability (accident on site) medical (intensive cases) that needs to be rehabilitated and are pre-terminated because of their medical status."

The program will grant each and every Owwa active member P100,000 worth of medical services.

This is on top of PhilHealth or any Health Management Organization, Caro said.

The OFW or dependents will have to file an application for referral, for initial diagnosis and evaluation that be covered by Owwa. Evaluation results will have to be approved by Owwa prior to the admission of patient to the hospital.

Health program

The "Health Program," on the other hand, is available to active and non-active Owwa members.

Active members are entitled to P100,000 assistance to subsidize the intensive, dreaded and catastrophic cases in order to provide inpatient and outpatient medical services. This is applicable to both domestic and local cases upon arrival of the active Owwa member who qualifies for this benefit.

Non-active members in jobsite are entitled to P50,000 of services. The scope for domestic in patient and outpatients are only good for check ups.

The "Health" pro-medical reimbursement will be claimed from the Owwa office.

Outpatient care benefits include prescription drugs and other medicines. Both inpatient and oupatient benefits are just for those people who are categorized in the 10 qualification of disease hanbook. Their medical conditions are assessed for coverage.

Underqualified conditions are alcohol abuse, cosmetic surgeries and optometric cases.

This service is also applicable to OFWs who are undergoing distress that needs immediate help that are contracted while working abroad and also six months after OFW returned from the country.

Reimbursement of expenses inside the hospital includes: advance payment of hospital bill. Worker should ask for certain requirements: copy of medical records in English translation, one passport size picture, Owwa membership, passport with stamp.

Reimbursement outside the hospital is also possible as long as the requirements are met like: prescriptions, copy of clinical summary, and receipt from pharmacy.

Caro said Southern Philippines Medical Center, formerly Davao Medical Center, including its psychiatric ward, is now covered by this program.

Now it is still in the process of affiliating with other hospitals and private medical institutions for the program. (RBB)