This National Health Insurance Month, we’re celebrating a huge leap forward in our country: more Filipinos are securing their future by investing in insurance, and making healthier choices.
During the pandemic, consumers have been shifting their focus toward health and wellness. The Insurance Commission (IC) reported that a majority of Filipinos are reassessing priorities and putting more money into insurance this year—an increase of 26%, from an average of P723.43 per individual a year ago to P912.2 this year.
But why do some Filipinos not invest in health insurance before
Financial literacy is a big concern among many Filipinos. An apparent misconception regarding health insurance is that it is costly and not worth the investment. This, however, is not the case at all.
Though it may seem like a large sum initially, medical costs increase year after year and can quickly surpass that amount in just a few years. Also, without a health insurance plan that covers non-hospitalizations, such as visits to physicians or pharmacists, those expenses can quickly add up and leave you with a hefty bill.
Suppose you do need emergency surgery or medication that your insurance will not cover, for example, a blood transfusion during childbirth. In that case, you may have to pay anywhere from 10% to 50% out of pocket depending on which hospital you choose.
The average cost of confinement
The Philippines has a variety of hospitals, but the cost of staying in one can vary greatly. The government regulates the room rates for public hospitals, but private hospitals are not regulated. This means you will pay more for your stay at a private hospital. In addition to the room rate, there may be additional fees such as extra services, meals, and transportation charges.
As rooms become more luxurious and inclusive of additional facilities or amenities, their room rates increase accordingly. Some patients prefer rooms that have the same features as hotel rooms because it provides them with smooth recovery after surgery and treatment.
Ward: Hospital wards are small rooms equipped with multiple beds where patients can be cared for by a single nurse or physician. Although the cost of staying in a hospital ward can vary by facility, it’s not uncommon to find prices ranging from Php 150 to Php 300 per day.
Semi-Private Room: A semi-private room is the most common room type in hospitals. It is usually a large room that accommodates at least two (2) beds, with a wall or curtain providing privacy between each bed. It can range from Php 900 to Php 1,500 per day.
Private Room: Private hospital rooms in the Philippines are more expensive than a general ward because only one patient is allowed. However, they are worth their price because they guarantee more privacy and convenience. Private rooms usually come with amenities such as air conditioning, cable TV, a bathroom, and a refrigerator.
The cost of a private room can vary depending on your location and the hospital itself. Private hospital rooms in Metro Manila usually range from Php 3,000-6,000 per day.
Executive or Suite Room: The Executive or Suite Room is the most luxurious type of hospital room you can find in the Philippines. It has all the benefits and amenities of other rooms. It has a private bathroom, air conditioning, cable TV, Wi-Fi connectivity, private couches, and many more features.
This room is really ideal for VIP patients who want to experience superior comforts during their stay at the hospital. The price rate may start from Php 10,000 or more per day.
The average cost covered by PhilHealth
As of June 2021, PhilHealth’s Senior Citizen Members numbered 8.4 million and Lifetime Members totalled 1.3 million, with a combined qualified dependents population of 3.3 million.
Here are the PhilHealth benefits members can use:
- Inpatient benefits
- Outpatient benefits
- Z benefits (For catastrophic illnesses)
- SGD-related benefits
Your PhilHealth membership comes with a fixed amount of coverage. With it, you can get financial assistance from your HMO plan to help handle the costs of bills incurred in hospitals and other medical establishments. This means that if you’re confined at a hospital, they will cover your bills up to 15% and 30% if you’re a member. This helps cut down on your total cost. Click here to learn the list of rates covered by PhilHealth.
Why invest in a good HMO plan
Not all HMO plans are created equal, and it’s important to choose a good HMO plan that meets your unique healthcare needs. Here are some key benefits of an HMO plan you should choose:
Cost Savings: HMO plans typically offer lower out-of-pocket costs and premiums than other types of health insurance plans, which can result in significant cost savings for individuals and families.
Preventive Care: HMO plans often prioritize preventive care, such as regular checkups and screenings, which can help individuals stay healthy and detect health problems early.
Network Coverage: HMO plans typically have a network of healthcare providers, including doctors, hospitals, and clinics, which can offer discounted rates and provide coordinated care.
Reduced Administrative Burden: HMO plans often have simplified administrative processes, such as streamlined billing and claims processing, which can reduce the administrative burden on individuals.
No Need for Referrals: Some HMO plans do not require referrals to see a specialist, which can provide individuals with more flexibility in choosing their healthcare providers.
Quality of Care: HMO plans often emphasize quality of care and may have requirements for healthcare providers to meet certain quality standards, which can lead to better health outcomes.
National Health Insurance Month is an important reminder to all of us about the value of good healthcare, particularly for those who do not have adequate healthcare coverage.
This month, we at EastWest Healthcare encourage our readers to take an active role in their own health by learning as much as they can about it, be it with respect to healthcare plans, preventative care, or other aspects of healthcare that they may not be familiar with.
For more information on your healthcare options for you and your family, please contact EastWest Healthcare today.