Professionals who work for health maintenance organizations (HMO) and insurers providing health products can help in the frontlines against the COVID-19 pandemic and are exempted from the movement restrictions imposed by lockdowns in Luzon and other areas, the Insurance Commission (IC) said.
Insurance Commissioner Dennis B. Funa issued IC Circular Letter No. 2020-33 last Tuesday (April 7), saying that HMOs and insurance firms formed part of health frontline services under Resolution No. 19 issued by the Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) last April 3.
“Designated employees of these companies may be exempted from” prohibitions against going out under lockdown rules, Funa said.
Funa noted that HMOs and health insurers needed to deploy a skeletal workforce to attend to claims and inquiries of policy holders.
Last March, Funa sought the help of Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III in requesting the IATF to exempt HMOs and health insurers from quarantine movement restrictions.
Separately, Funa issued CL 2020-36 also last Tuesday to extend to non-life insurance players the same consideration given to life insurers who cannot sell their products through traditional means due to physical distancing.
“During this difficult time as we are continuing the battle against COVID-19, one of the immediate concerns is to make insurance products available and accessible to the public,” said Funa.
“Another immediate concern is to protect the health and safety of the employees of the insurance companies and insurance agents as they strive to maintain business continuity,” he said.
Funa issued a directive also last Tuesday relaxing ID requirements for access to financial products by those infected with COVID-19 and clients hit by the lockdowns.
But the directive on IDs would not apply “whenever there is suspicion of money laundering or terrorism financing.”
Edited by TSB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.