This post consists of three pages. On the bottom you will find links to the next pages.
Medical insurance a must
One of the first and most asked questions from people who want to move and stay in the Philippines is about their health and the insurance to cover the expenses. In the Philippines there’s no obligation (by law) to have a medical insurance or Medicare as it’s also called. Everybody is free to have one or not. Although the Philippine government is promoting their people to have a medical insurance, only few have it actually. Only some (but not all) who are employed have one. People, who don’t have stable jobs, mostly do not have medical insurances.
I have been surfing on the internet for my readers and found a lot of information about Medical insurance. Feel free to read it and ask quotations on the firms I’ve linked on these pages. I must say that I don’t have experiences with all of them; I only asked quotations from a few of them.
- I have collected a few statements from people who have medical insurance as their business. I’m including them in this blog.
- Links to a lot of Medical Insurance companies are placed at the end of this blog post
International Medical insurance companies are quite expensive. A few local companies offer cheaper solutions but also do not cover all expenses. After ample considerations my wife and I decided to take the cheapest we could find to cover the basics and save some money on a special account for emergency issues. This cheapest medical insurance is a Government Supported company: PhilHealth (see link below). The premium we are paying is only
100 150 (as per january 1, 2013) pesos a month for the two of us. The coverage is not very high but you will not have to pay in advance in hospitals in case of emergency. Aside from that we have saved (and still are adding) some money to cover emergencies or severe illnesses.
Checklist when asking for quotation Some of the crucial comparisons people need to make between health care policies:
- Does the provider have local claims units with authority to settle claims?
- Is there a age limit to enter?
- Is a reputable carrier used with a strong rating?
- Repatriation is an essential area in cases of severe ill health – does the cover allow the whole family to travel together if required?
- What cover is provided for chronic conditions – is this available as an optional benefit and is there a limit placed on the cover?
- What GP services are available in the specific country and are adequate levels supplied in the policy?
- Does the client play sport and if so, physiotherapy cover should be included. Check too for any dangerous sport exclusions.
- Are quality telephone help lines provided as part of the cover?
- Is the cover portable – can the provider arrange for a seamless transfer of cover if the policyholder moves between countries?
- If the policyholder has a high level of savings, a product with a large excess could be considered – check if these are available.
- If the client has limited funds, is a top-up plan available if some state care is available?
- If maternity cover could be required, check out the cover offered.
- Are alternative treatments available?
- Can dental cover be arranged either as a separate policy or an add-on?
International Health Insurance Options for Expatriates by Wayne Sakamoto
Summary: Wayne Sakamoto explains why expatriates need specialized insurance and how to choose it.
Expatriate travelers are highly encouraged to purchase international health insurance when traveling and / or residing outside their home country. For most individuals, private medical insurance, government sponsored health coverage, and employer sponsored health plans do not provide coverage outside their residing country of coverage. Expatriates may be students, employees, independent contractors, extended tourists, or even missionaries. In most cases medical insurance becomes a necessity when providing individual or family protection for illnesses and accidents which occur while traveling to foreign destinations. Common illnesses for expatriates may be as simple as an upper respiratory infection or food poisoning to dangerous illnesses transmitted by insects or animals. Accidents are also a concern for those physically active with adventure sports or just plain clumsy due to not paying attention to one’s environment & surroundings. When purchasing international health insurance coverage, travelers should be determining their needs with either a short term international health plan (5 days to one year) or an annual renewable international health plan (coverage for one year or longer). If you’re someone on the fence who needs one year of coverage and not sure which plan to purchase, you may want to opt for the annual renewable plan, in the case you need to extend your coverage for another year or even for a few months. This becomes important as you will not have to submit another application for coverage, if you are renewing your policy for additional length of coverage.