- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
Health Care Plans in the Philippines
Expats in the Philippines often are worried about health care and for good reason. US Citizens are not covered by Medicare abroad and like most others, retirees need to look more locally for medical plans, just in case.
The Philippines has private and public hospitals. Private hospitals are the best quality and equal to many in the USA but cost up front unless you have a plan. Public hospitals are more inferior and lack the up to date technology your condition may need. It just depends on what your health issue is and how minor or serious. Public hospitals are much cheaper.
The country has its national healthcare called PhilHealth for Filipinos. Their plans range from 3600 – 5000 peso per year ($75- 130). Their comprehensive Health Pro plans for 60 yrs+ begin at 32,000 peso/year ($700+).
If you are none citizen, you can still use it if you are married to a Filipino and added as a dependent. In this country, there is one doctor for every 1000, while in the USA, the ratio is 2.5 doctors, in Germany, it is 3.7 per 1000. In the whole country, there are 130,000 doctors but only 70,000 are active. The best hospitals are in Manila:
- The Alabang Medical Center
- The Asian Hospital and Medical Center
- The Makati Medical Center
- The Medical City
- St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City
- Chong Hua in Cebu City
Other comparable private hospitals are also in Cebu city and Davao, but overall, if the situation is serious, most refer you to Manila. Hospitals in most all other towns are basic and rudimentary for none serious illness and suffer from aging technology.
Maxicare is another health care plan. They have a Maxicare EReady card for emergency situations for 550 peso, and Maxicare Plus, which offers coverage of pre-existing dreaded and non-dreaded conditions, annual in-patient and out-patient executive check-ups options and other optional features such as dental packages and life accidental death and death packages with Php 25,000.00 coverage. There are different levels of plans.
AsianLife is another health care plan. The plan offers In-patient room and board accommodation on top of Philhealth and unlimited out-patient medical consultations. An Annual Physical Examination may also be availed of for employees as well as emergency situation benefits like ambulance services which is reimbursable up to 5,000.00 peso.
Medicard offers its Healthplus Card. The card costs only 1,100.00 peso ($30) for a one-year coverage which includes specialized healthcare maintenance service covering preventive and out-patient care in the MediCard Free-Standing clinics. Unlimited free consultations with primary care physicians and specialists like pediatricians and obstetricians are available for members while a flat rate of Php 350.00 applies for ENT consultations, ophthalmologists, rehab medicine physicians, etc. There is also a 20% discount is given for all laboratory and diagnostic procedures. Very affordable.
They also have MediCard RxER, which covers emergency and out-patient care for 2000 peso ($50).
There are many international companies that offer coverage in the Philippines. These include Pacific Cross (www.pacificcross.com.ph), Insular Life Health Care (www.icare.net.ph), and Pacific Prime (www.pacificprime.com). Pacific Cross has plans for those 60 yrs+ starting at 25,000 peso/year.
Doctors and Nurses in the Philippines have largely been trained or have worked in American hospitals in their past before returning, so the expertise is there.