Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What About PhilHealth and Medical Supplemental Insurance?

This is my entry to Techie She Lucky Blogger Weekly Giveaway Week 12. This week’s prize is $10 paypal cash credit from Sir Rob of Be a LifeSaver of Goodness.

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?

11 comments:

Grace said...

Good day mommy Chin Chin.

You're right Philhealth is not enough to cover medical expenses, you need to get other health insurance or health cards from other private insurance companies.

You can inquire from Caritas Health Shield, Inc. or Sun Life for an assessment based on your preferences.

I have blogged on the different quotations Sun Life and Caritas have offered to me. Just click on my link.

I hope this can help.

krizza said...

Hi Chin! I don't think Philhealth is a good option. I would say this is something like..."better than nothing". I used to have this since I got employed and until now but the benefit I'm getting is very little. I guess going for a private health insurance would be better.

Have a blessed day!

teecup said...

For a time, Kainos made the cut until the company went bankrupt.

Now, there aren't any more insurance companies I know of that do not impose any restrictions on pre-existing health conditions.

Chin chin said...

@ Grace, I've heard about Caritas. My mom has it but when she had angioplasty last year, the fund was drained immediately.

@ Krizza, I agree with you that PhilHealth is "better than nothing" option. But what can the poor do about it? Private health insurance is good if you can afford it.

@ Teecup, didn't know about Kainos. I guess one better get a health card while still in good health. That's sad for those with health issues.

The Psalmist said...

Interesting!

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Rovie said...

If you will be covering your 5 kids for the healthcare, I think Philhealth is not enough.

If you are interested please check on International Marketing Group (IMG). they will give you a lot of options not only about your healthcare concern but also about saving with healthcare options...

Chin chin said...

Thanks Rovie for the info. I'll check it out when we decide to really get one.

reese said...

i also don't agree with Philhealth, it is run as a business rather than give service to the people...

it aims to squeeze the public dry in service of the public or private hospitals’ revenues...

did you know that there are reports
that Philhealth's disbursements have largely gone to private hospitals and not to public hospitals, kawawa ang mga mahihirap na ang option ay public hospitals

and lastly limited din naman ang benefits from Philhealth, its members still spend from their own pockets for their medical needs...

if you have the money go for private health insurance na lang wala tayong maaasahan sa gobyerno lalo't it is firm in its policy for budget cut in health and other social service

Chin chin said...

@ The Psalmist, thanks for the invite. I will see if my schedule will allow me to write up something.

@ Reese, thanks for the additional insight about this topic. I guess we can strongly consider getting a private health card.

Techie She said...

here in the US, you need to have an insurance because if you don't have any, you'll not die because of sickness or injury but of the soaring medical bills.

anyway chin, thanks for joining in the week 12 of the weekly giveaways. Sorry for the late visit too.

Regards and good luck! :)

PS. you might want to read my latest post (the one with a video), wink!

Chin chin said...

Oh! I was looking where is this comment. I thought I deleted it.

Re insurances, does that mean insurance companies are really making big money?