Recently, I wrote about getting ready to go back to the Philippines. I think one of the things I would miss here is the medical insurance benefit that my husband's company provides. The medical insurance takes care of all the bills when it comes to our family's medical check-up, hospitalization, medications, dental care and eye care. We just need to always bring the health card with us when we avail of medical services. Of course, there are medical treatments that are not covered and I thank God that we haven't needed to undergo those. Having this medical insurance really saved us a lot of money. Just imagine that all my 5 pregnancies and deliveries were covered by the insurance. What blessings from God!
Because of this benefit, we haven't really looked into any health insurance in the Philippines. I remember when I was still working in the Philippines, there was I think Medicare which later became PhilHealth. Employees automatically become members of PhilHealth as mandated by the law. Employees and employer share 50/50 in the premium monthly contribution. The unemployed, self-employed and including OFWs can become members of PhilHealth, too, by making voluntary contributions (P300 per quarter). Seniors can apply for a lifetime membership when they reach age 65.
The benefit of having PhilHealth membership is the deductible amount or discount you and your dependents get in case one incurs any inpatient or outpatient medical bills. I believe some get as much as 20%. But this still does not cover everything. So if your total bill is a big amount, what you would have to pay would still be a lot.
I didn't continue paying for my PhilHealth membership when I went abroad. Maybe, when we get back to the Philippines, we need to reapply or maybe continue paying our old membership accounts (if that is possible). Then maybe we could check-out some sort of Medigap plans as a safety net in case we get into any serious medical expense.
In the US, they have Medicare, similar to (probably better than) our PhilHealth but it also doesn't cover every medical bill and expense. So, there are many private insurance companies offering Medicare Supplement plans or Medicare supplemental insurance. When looking for this type of product, I would consider looking for the following quality factors before deciding to get one:
- Affordability - The premium contribution should be affordable enough.
- Flexibility - The coverage needs vary from people to people - from seniors to frequent travelers. One provider of Medicare Supplement I saw online (from the US) allows potential clients to compare plans, so they can choose which one best suits their needs. By the way, for seniors here's a site with more info for seniors.
- Medical exam waiver - This provider I saw also guarantees policy approval even without medical exam under certain conditions. This is advantageous for those who have some health issues before and those who are no longer getting any younger.
- Customer satisfaction - Of course, the company should have a good track record and trustworthiness when it comes to its customer service.
Do you know of any health card or medical insurance company in the Philippines which meets the quality factors I mentioned above?