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Renewing Your OWWA Membership and OFW Compulsory Insurance in Germany: A Step-By-Step Guide for Filipino Nurses in Germany

Are you a Filipino nurse currently working in Germany? Living and working outside of the Philippines requires insurance that will allow you to exit your country of origin and protect you in the event of an emergency in the country of employment. But what happens when you are already abroad and it expires? Read on to learn more about your insurance renewal options!

Care With Care and Overseas Filipino Workers

Care With Care has a strong connection to the Philippines and relies heavily on its talented pool of nurses who are motivated to work in Germany. These nurses are part of a group known as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and must accomplish  a series of bureaucratic steps as they prepare to deploy.

Filipino Nurses in Germany: the importance of having insurance

One of the main requirements for Filipino workers is to have a valid Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) that allows them to exit the Philippines and work in Germany. In order to receive the OEC Certificate, the nurse must have an OFW Compulsory Insurance as mandated by the Philippine Dept of Labor and POEA together with proof of an OWWA Membership (Overseas Workers Welfare Administration). The OFW Compulsory Insurance provides coverage for life emergency related situations.

Luckily, Care With Care is here to ensure a successful journey from beginning to end. Our team is ready to help you obtain all necessary documents, including an OWWA membership and an OFW Compulsory Insurance, so all our nurses can exit the country and successfully land in Germany. All our Care With Care nurses coming from the Philippines arrive in Germany with a Compulsory Insurance issued through Magsaysay Global and provided by their insurance company partner Pioneer. 

Both, the OWWA membership and the OFW Compulsory Insurance, are valid for the duration of the Employment Contract with a maximal threshold of 24 months. Care With Care nurses are generally offered a 2-year employment contract meaning that both, OWWA and OFW Insurance certificates, expire after this time frame.

However, what happens with these documents if (1) candidates change employers before their 2-year contract comes to an end or (2) if 2 years have already passed under the same initial contract? This means that nurses will not be entitled to the OFW Compulsory Insurance coverage and OWWA membership benefits for certain repatriation or life emergency situations.

IMPORTANT TIP: It is recommended to renew 2 months before expiry of OWWA Membership via online or at the POLO, whilst the OFW Compulsory Insurance is to be renewed through Magsaysay Global Services, Inc. CWC Manila Office.

Once actively studying and working in Germany, it is crucial that Filipino nurses keep track of the OWWA membership and OFW Compulsory Insurance expiration date and renew it in time. This ensures coverage in the event of medical-related or life emergency related situations. In a worst-case-scenario, if there is an emergency and the insurance has not been renewed, the person will not receive, and is not eligible to request, any coverage. In a nutshell: OFW Compulsory Insurance is required by the Philippine law under the DOLE and POEA rules to provide insurance protection. Our partner company in the Philippines, Magsaysay Global monitors and reports quarterly all deployed OFW nurses to POEA to provide information of their status/state/situation until the end duration of the contract. Should a nurse renew the initial employment contract, Magsaysay Global through CWC Manila office will assist you in the renewal of your OFW Compulsory Insurance, and OWWA Membership.

It’s understandable for this to feel overwhelming at first, but please know that Care With Care is here to help.  If you are a nurse in Germany and need to renew your OWWA membership and/or your OFW Compulsory Insurance, check out the tips below to help you make an informed decision.

I am in Germany and my OWWA Membership and OFW Compulsory Insurance are about to expire: which options do I have?

There are two scenarios where your OWWA Membership and OFW Compulsory Insurance will expire: (1) you’ve either reached the end of your initial 2-year contract or (2) within the first two years of your stay in Germany, you are changing employers. Whether it’s one or the other situation, these are the options you have to renew your documents:

OWWA Membership:

  • Renew membership at the POLO Office in Germany or online

OFW Compulsory Insurance:

  • Request a renewal of the OFW Compulsory Insurance through Magsaysay Global 2-3 months in advance

Please note that the coverage under OWWA Membership and OFW Compulsory Insurance differ in terms of benefits and financial amount provided. Further details are provided below.

What does OWWA Membership cover?

OWWA was originally created to protect the welfare and well-being of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents. It stands for Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and it’s an administration branch that belongs to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The main purpose of OWWA is to provide coverage within several fields

  1. Social Benefits: Compensation provided to all members that have been involved in life-emergency situations or that have certain health issues, such as: disability and dismemberment, death and burial
  2. Education Scholarship and Training Benefits: Trainings and programs provided to all its members prior departure and during their stay abroad
  3. Welfare Programs: Programs offered with the purpose to provide protection and assistance from economic risks and insecurities of life
  4. Reintegration Programs: Programs offered to accompany Filipinos and provide counseling during their return back to their home country
  5. Repatriation Assistance Benefits: Emergency repatriation carried out in the event of any political unrest or natural calamities
What does OFW Compulsory Insurance issued through Pioneer cover?

Pioneer is our partner insurance company located in the Philippines and an accredited insurer of the POEA. One of its services is to offer the so-called OFW Compulsory Insurance to all Filipinos working abroad which provides assistance in life emergency situations such as repatriation. This insurance is not equivalent to the health insurance that covers regular check ups among others. In other words, the OFW Compulsory Insurance is a separate one from the German Health Insurance you will have to request when in Germany.

The list of benefits listed under the OFW Compulsory Insurance provided by Pioneer for Overseas Filipino Workers are

  1. Natural death
  2. Accidental death
  3. Permanent total disability
    • Complete loss of sigh of both eyes
    • Loss of two limbs at or above the ankles and wrists
    • Permanent complete paralysis of two limbs
    • Brain injury resulting in incurable insanity
  4. Repatriation due to the termination by the employer without just cause
  5. Subsistence allowance: Potential scenarios where this allowance can be requested are those related to Covid or natural disasters. For instance, subsistence coverage will be provided after request in case the candidate is not being paid the corresponding salary by the employer due to the latter having covid or due to the hospital being closed down for some time.
  6. Money claims: Potential scenarios where this benefit can be requested is when the overtime pay was not provided by the employer to the candidate. In this case, the candidate has to prove that he/she worked overtime before the claim can be approved.
  7. Compassionate visit: Visit of relatives to where the employer is located in case the nurse has an accident or is seriously ill. However, this doesn’t cover the whole trip, it is limited.
  8. Medical evacuation
  9. Medical repatriation

**All these coverage are subject to proof of supporting documents and approval from Pioneer Insurance.

How much do OWWA membership or the OFW Compulsory Insurance cover in the event of medical-related or life emergency related situations?

Check out the following table that gives specific details about the coverage of OWWA Membership and OFW Compulsory Insurance in different scenarios.

How much does it cost to renew OWWA membership and the OFW Compulsory Insurance, and what is their validity?

A two year OWWA Membership costs 21 EUR (25 USD).

A one year OFW Compulsory Insurance costs 28.50 EUR (32 USD).

These costs are applicable regardless of contract duration, change of employer, jobsite or recruitment agency.

Where can I request the OWWA membership and the OFW Compulsory Insurance?

OWWA Membership:

  1. If you are still in the Philippines
    • This is applied at the time of processing your OEC
  2. If you are already in Germany
    • You may apply for your renewal at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) Germany.
    • Due to the pandemic context, the POLO-OWWO office located in Berlin only accepts requests via email. Contact them at owwamemb@gmail.com and send both the required documents and a receipt of your OWWA payment.
    • OR: You can apply online through the website https://owwa.gov.ph/

OFW Compulsory Insurance:

  1. If you are still in the Philippines
    • This is applied at the time of processing your OEC
  2. If you are already in Germany
    • If you are already in Germany, you can apply for your renewal through Magsaysay Global. Send an email to winnie.alcolea@magsaysay.com.ph. Our CWC Manila office shall assist further.
What documents do I need for renewing the OWWA Membership and OFW Compulsory Insurance?

OWWA Membership:

OFW Compulsory Insurance:

  • Contact Magsaysay Global CWC Manila office via email to winnie.alcolea@magsaysay.com.ph. Request the renewal by stating your full name, date of deployment, employer and copy of the renewed employment contract.
Do you need more information? Check out these links and tips

OWWA:

OFW Compulsory Insurance through Pioneer:

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