A new health insurance program for Filipino migrant workers and their families was launched on Wednesday.

The Bayani Family Care Program aims to provide coverage to overseas Filipino workers and their families back home. Emergency care, hospitalisation due to illness and treatment of accidental injuries are to be covered, Philippine News Agency reported.

The insurance program was developed by local health insurance firm PhilCare along with Madanes Group of Israel and UK-based Jardine Lloyd Thompson. Its introduction was prompted by concern that a large percentage of monthly remittances sent home by Filipinos is spent on medical care.

PhilCare CEO Jaeger Tangco said only 4% of Filipinos have health insurance while 58% of monthly remittances received from overseas goes to cover medical expenses of relations in the Philippines.

“This is sad because all of their dreams can go disappear because of a single family illness. This is the reason why we came up with the insurance. We are here to protect Filipinos,” Tango said.