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Health Insurance


Gerry the Brit

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Hi

In the UK we free health care, sadly no such thing in the Philippines.

I am visiting Davao in September, and I am seriously considering retirement in the Philippines. Health care in Davao appears to be of a high standard, for me to move to Davao I need good reliable Health Insurance, should I ever fall sick.

I will be getting a retirement Visa, but I need to know if I as a foreigner can get Health Insurance, and do they pay out, and how do they pay out, for example do I pay out and then claim my money back, or do they pay the hospital direct, also does it pay for prescription drugs.

Also where do I go to inquire about Health Insurance to find out the costs, ( I presume that the Hospitals could provide me with Insurance details, but I am guessing)

Would also be grateful as to what the health insurance costs could be, I am a 57 year old male, with type 2 Diabetes which is controlled by diet.

I don't know if there has been a topic on this before.

 

 

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There is private health insurance and then there is Phil Health.  I will speak about Phil Health in this post.

 

My very good friend went to Phil Health office in Robinson Mall, Dumaguete in February of this year.  He was very proud that he got Phil Health and it only cost him 600 pesos for 3 months because he was a sick man.  In April of this year he was taken to hospital, where he died R.I.P., and the hospital will not issue a death certificate until the bill is paid.  I asked the billing people:  What about his Phil Health?  Did that not pay his bill?  They replied:  Phil Health is for filipinos only.  He cannot use that here.

 

So even though you can get Phil Health.  Even though others claim to have used it successfully.  You are battling the mind set of "This is Philippines and this is how we do it here".

 

I do not have Phil Health.

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There is private health insurance and then there is Phil Health.  I will speak about Phil Health in this post.

 

My very good friend went to Phil Health office in Robinson Mall, Dumaguete in February of this year.  He was very proud that he got Phil Health and it only cost him 600 pesos for 3 months because he was a sick man.  In April of this year he was taken to hospital, where he died R.I.P., and the hospital will not issue a death certificate until the bill is paid.  I asked the billing people:  What about his Phil Health?  Did that not pay his bill?  They replied:  Phil Health is for filipinos only.  He cannot use that here.

 

So even though you can get Phil Health.  Even though others claim to have used it successfully.  You are battling the mind set of "This is Philippines and this is how we do it here".

 

I do not have Phil Health.

Thanks for that Dave, so I can cross Phil Health off

 

Lets not talk about Phil Health. Can we talk about other Health Insurance that does pay out. ;-)

Edited by Gerry the Brit
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Unless you're indigent, Philhealth provides a discount off your hospital bill, it is not comprehensive. It is also not just for Filipinos, foreigners can pay for and use it, I've used it twice myself. Private insurance is available, I have Blue Cross Philippines but there are others. There are many options and many different policies available, at your age you can get one for several hundred (US) dollars a year that should cover most inpatient treatment. In general, they should accept the card in lieu of a deposit but that is not certain. The diabetes is a pre-existing condition so a claim related directly to that could be denied. For things like that and things that private insurance doesn't generally cover, like maternity, Philhealth is a help. Anything off the bill helps. 

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Unless you're indigent, Philhealth provides a discount off your hospital bill, it is not comprehensive. It is also not just for Filipinos, foreigners can pay for and use it, I've used it twice myself. Private insurance is available, I have Blue Cross Philippines but there are others. There are many options and many different policies available, at your age you can get one for several hundred (US) dollars a year that should cover most inpatient treatment. In general, they should accept the card in lieu of a deposit but that is not certain. The diabetes is a pre-existing condition so a claim related directly to that could be denied. For things like that and things that private insurance doesn't generally cover, like maternity, Philhealth is a help. Anything off the bill helps. 

Hi Mike, thanks for your reply.

I certainly need to look into the pre conditions, hopefully I could get them included by paying a higher premium or excess, I will check out Blue Cross and hopefully speak to one of its reps in September, again thanks for your post, much appreciated.

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It is also not just for Filipinos, foreigners can pay for and use it, I've used it twice myself.

 

I value your experience, Mike, but unless you wish to go to Silliman University Medical Center and convince them that my friend is an indigent, (has no means of support now he is dead and his Social Security stops and who happens to be a foreigner with Phil Health), then we have to accept that each person will have a different experience here.

 

No joke.  You are more than welcome to sort that out with the hospital here as they will not issue a death certificate until its sorted. And if you do I shall be happy to say I am wrong about Phil Health.

 

Edit:  The situation is complicated as another friend is the appointed representative (appointed by the next of kin to do the best he can considering there is no money).  HE IS ALSO of the opinion that PhilHealth is for filipinos only and thus will not argue with the hospital and PhilHealth about the bill being paid by them and a death certificate being issued.  Thus I must recant and say it would not be practical for Mike to intervene, even if he had a thought about doing so.

Edited by Dave Hounddriver
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That hospital who said it is for Filipinos is dead wrong and it should be reported to Philhealth. They might lose their accreditation.

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Obviously, I don't know the situation with your friend and I'm very sorry to hear about it. In general, if you claim Philhealth the deduction is the first thing taken off the bill before any other insurance enters into it. Perhaps they had already applied the deduction and there was a balance due. In that case Philhealth is not involved. The person who told you Philhealth is for Filipinos only is dead wrong.  

 

Regardless of if there might be some problems claiming Philhealth, I would still buy it and take the risk.  It is only p500 a quarter.

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you'd better get some travel insurance anyway for when you initially arrive to cover you until you sort something out in the Philippines.

 

with travel insurance you are not normally supposed to get it when you are outside your country of origin, in your case the UK. Even though you can get it online anywhere. The terms and conditions say you need to be in the UK when you purchase it and if you make a claim, especially a big one, they will probably try to find out where you were on the day you bought it. And travel insurance is quite expensive. Even without baggage cover the most inexpensive premium I can find these days, just for the health and death stuff, is just short of £120 for 4.5 months. Less than a pound a day. That is Virgin Travel Insurance.

 

I have always taken out travel insurance every year for years but never made a single claim until last December when I had an accident and knocked up a 60,000 peso hospital bill in Cebu. It took them five months, but they did pay up in April less a £125 excess. And they probably would have paid up sooner than that, had I got on their case more. I still had 12 weeks to go in the Philippines when it happened and tried to get them to pay up when I was still there, but that was never going to happen. They basically said on the phone that there was no way they would pay up until I got back to the UK. So it is not ideal for somebody going for an indefinite period. But surely better than not having any insurance at all.

 

insurance in the Philippines is not like the west anyway. A lot of times they just won't pay up and basically say to the claimants, ok sue us if you don't like it, and see what happens. They did that to a lot of people who lost cars in Luzon in the 2009 Typhoon Ondoy/Ketsana, or so my friend who works in the Solicitor General's Office in Manila told me at the time the claims were coming in big-style. Or they make a really derisory offer, a fraction of what the cover was supposed to be.

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