If you are moving to the Philippines or you have already, one of your last worries should be your health. You are in the Philippines because you like to enjoy your new life. But you should realize that living in the Philippines, a tropical country, but also a so-called third world country, is not the same as living in your home country like the USA, Canada or any European or other western country. Hygienic circumstances are not always optimal when you are somewhere else than in your own home, traffic is terrible at times and even dangerous, you are not the young man or woman anymore, different insects can bite you and so on. All this means that you are at a higher risk that something might happen to you.
Most facilities for healthcare in the Philippines mainly work under the Department of Health (DOH). The department aims at providing fair, sustainable and quality healthcare services for all Filipinos, especially the poor. The country has a dual healthcare system consisting of a public sector and a private sector. In general the health care system in the Philippines is affordable and the doctors and nurses are well-trained. Doctors and Nurses speak English very well, so communication won’t be a (big) problem. For people who do not have English as their native language, this might be a little bit a problem. Medical terms are in English or the scientific names are used. One should be familiar with them in such case.
The cost of medicine and health care is low in local hospitals. What distinguishes the government hospitals from the private hospitals in the country is simply the facilities and the costs of treatment. Most public hospitals in the Philippines are not equipped with the latest technologies in medicine. Despite that, most Filipinos seek for advice from these government hospitals because charges are not or seldom implemented.
Health Care in the Philippines comes at a price
There are a good number of private hospitals located in key cities of the nation. There are also tertiary hospitals that have the latest in medical technologies but which come at a price. Once you are in one of the few bigger private hospitals in the Manila Region you will see that expenses can go very high.
Cost of Emergencies & Serious Medical Problems
Treatments for serious medical problems that require hospitalization can be very expensive. Most hospitals in the Philippines ask for a down payment of estimated fees in cash at the time of admission. It is also possible that in some cases, public and private hospitals may withhold lifesaving medicines and treatments for non-payment of bills. Very often hospitals refuse to discharge patients or release important medical documents until bills are completely paid. Now it is important to decide if you, as an Expat in the Philippines, will have an expensive international health care insurance, a national less expensive one or you take the risk and use your savings for such occasions.
- Find out what kind of insurance plan you need and ask in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for health expenditures.
- Ask if the insurance is available for private persons / families
- Ask also until what age they will have you as a client, what their premiums are, and how much they go up every year.
- Ask if they also cover out-patient treatments
- Check what kind of pre-existing conditions you have and if they are covered.
And of course you can still think of more questions to ask before you decide to buy such insurance. There are many international Health Care Insurances, covering Health Care in the Philippines. You will find the names and addresses elsewhere on this website (check the related links at the end of this article). In this post I will name just National (Filipino) Health Care Insurers. If they will accept you I cannot tell you. You better ask yourself for information and a quote which is mostly for free.
To have something to compare I was offered a few international insurances a few weeks ago. After telling the agent that the first offer he did was too expensive for me, he send a second option with much lower premiums. You will find those at the bottom of this post. I had contact with an agent of Pacific Prime, an agency with several international health insurers in their portfolio. After sending me the second pdf with options he wrote:
- If these don’t meet your requirements, whether it be the coverage, benefits or premium, just let me know. These insurers have other plans available therefore I’m more than happy to send you additional options. If there’s anything you are not clear about in regards to the coverage or benefits, I will gladly explain.
I replied to him that even the cheapest offers on the second pdf were too expensive for me. And I have never heard from him anymore…. But I have found a few insurers for Health Care in the Philippines, I do not know about their premiums and coverage. That’s something for you to find out (and let me know if you want):
(in no particular order)
|EastWest Health care
tel: (+63) (32) 316-7556 Landline
Trunk line: (+632) 890-17-58 loc 299
COMPANY TRUNK LINE (+632) 908-6900
Contact number: (02) 789-4000
Contact number: (02) 902-3400
24/7 Operations Center Hotline: (+632) 636-6832
|Phil Am Life
Trunk line: (+632) 521-6300
|Insular life Health care
email (Medical Sales): medical_sales[at]bluecross[dot]com[dot]ph
email (Travel Sales): travel_sales[at]bluecross[dot]com[dot]ph
tel.#: +63 2 899-8001
contact: contact page
telephone #: (+632) 706-4847
trunk line: (+632) 884-9999
Why is Phil Health the choice of Jan: Premium is only 150 pesos (as of January 1 2013) per month for you, your wife and eventual dependents together. The coverage depends on the case, but roughly they cover about 30% of all in-patient costs. Aside from this my wife and I have some savings, just in case something ‘very costly’ happens to one of us. If you do not have savings, you may save by going for PhilHealth and put the money you do not spend in a separate savings for it.
As promised before here are a few pdf files with quotes I received and the corresponding brochures of some of the insurances. I received two documents with quotes from a few International health care insurance companies You may download them here, but they are based on my personal circumstances (just for the two of us, ages of myself and my wife); But it will give you an idea on what those insurances cost.
insurance quote 1
insurance quote 2
Below the brochures of those insurance companies:
William Russell Brochure
If you like to know how much these insurances cost in your situation, just contact them or one of the agents widely available on the Internet.