Sterling product focuses on assured delivery of funds
SAN FRANCISCO - Finally, Filipino expats in America can send remittance to their families and loved ones with peace of mind knowing that their hard earned money will be spent for the purpose intended. Health or schooling concerns, no worries.
The newly launched services of Sterling Life HSA, were envisioned to tackle these concerns. Cora Tellez, Sterling CEO and successful Filipina business woman faced the Filipino American media last Wednesday and enthusiastically announced the availability of these two new products.
Filipino immigrants to the United States, she said, want to have a reliable and safe vehicle to assist relatives in the Philippines with healthcare and education financing needs. The funding mechanism must be secure and easy and convenient to use for both donor and beneficiary clients. It must also be guaranteed that use of funds is exclusively for medical or educational needs. The Gift of Health and Gift of Learning programs are designed precisely for this purpose.
The Gift of Health program she said, also allows Filipinos in the US who intend to retire in the Philippines, but still travel to the US, to save money for future medical needs. “Balik-Retirees” can set up a Gift of Health account while still employed and contribute funds in preparation for retirement. Medicare and private insurance cover emergency medical services while in the Philippines, but ongoing follow up care and treatment costs in the Philippines are the responsibility of the Balik-Retiree. The Gift of Health program allows them to save money for those expenses in retirement.
Gift of Health and Gift of Learning funds are held and managed by One Pacific Coast Bank and Sterling HSA is named as its administrative agent. Sterling HSA is a California based, privately held and financially self-sustaining company. Cora M. Tellez, a highly respected business and community leader has led several national health insurance companies, including Health Net, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. She founded Sterling HSA in 2004. Sterling HSA provides administration services for a variety of healthcare financing products, including health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, and flexible spending accounts. The depth of experience and the Philippine roots of Cora Tellez uniquely positions Sterling to understand and meet the needs of Gift of Health and Gift of Learning clients.
How the programs works
Setting Up and Funding Accounts
Through One Pacific Coast Bank and Sterling HSA, donor clients enroll in the Gift of Health and/or Gift of Learning programs by completing a simple application. The application specifies the name(s) of the donor’s beneficiary client(s), the amount of funds to be made available to each beneficiary, the types of medical or educational expenses they want to qualify for disbursement (hospital visit, doctor visit, prescription drugs or tuition, books, etc.) and a security identification code that the donor gives to each beneficiary to access money in their account. The donor client also sets up a contribution program and chooses the frequency, amount, and method (such as electronic funds transfer) of deposits to the beneficiary’s Gift of Health or Gift of Learning account.
Once the account is set up, the donor client notifies the beneficiary that money is available, how they want it to be used for medical care or education expenses in the Philippines, and how to access it. Sterling sets up beneficiary accounts with contribution and disbursement rules as specified by the donor client.
Disbursing money to beneficiary clients
The beneficiary client in the Philippines gets medical care or completes educational programs and activities. They submit a claim form and receipts showing how much was paid and for what medical or educational services, along with personal identification and the security code to verify access to funds in the account. The security code and other identifying information are verified, the expense is checked to see that it is on the list of qualified expenses authorized by the donor, and the donor is notified that funds are pending release to the beneficiary.
Once the donor approves the funds transfer, Sterling notifies its partner bank in the Philippines, RCBC Bank, that funds are being transferred to them. RCBC Bank holds deposits from Sterling pending disbursement to beneficiaries in the Philippines (with donor client approval). The bank also delivers funds to beneficiary clients in the form of a withdrawal at the bank, transfer to a mobile phone or via personal delivery. RCBC Bank reports that the transactions have been processed.
RCBC firmly holds its place among the five largest private domestic commercial banks in the Philippines. For more information on RCBC bank, visit www.rcbc.com.
Information and contact
For additional information on the Gift of Health and Gift of Learning programs, please call 1-800-617-4729 or email email@example.com.