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Health Plan 101 – How to Choose for the Right Health Plan?

Health plans is not a want but rather a necessity. Choosing what will perfectly suit us and our family is hard to predict. Today, various companies offer almost all kinds of health plan and each presents different options and modalities to choose from.  If we have health plans, we are insured especially during emergency cases. The benefits that we can get depend on how much we pay to these companies.

Acquiring a health plan is a responsibility that we need to focus. We can’t fully say that even we take good care of our health, sickness health insurance  Health Plan 101   How to Choose for the Right Health Plan?can’t get through. Even if we are protected with different kinds of vaccines and complete dose of multivitamins, it is not a guarantee. Accidents are very popular incidents that will require us to pay huge amount of money especially if operations are needed. So, if we plan ahead for these kinds of circumstances, it is not hard for us to face them. The question is, “how to choose for the right health plan?

If we try to look at it, almost all plans are the same; they are just presented in a unique way. All of them include benefits like: hospitalizations, prescriptions, doctor’s visit and a lot more. Before we decide on which company we want to pay for our health plan, we should know their credibility first. You have to make sure that they already established a steady and dependable company. If you can, refer to someone who already acquired the same health plan that you’re planning to engage with.

Next, consider your budget. Health plan is a commitment; once you started it, there is no turning back.  For example, if you will choose Premium account, it will require you to pay much higher compare to other plans. If you’re planning to pay monthly, you have to ensure that you can consistently pay for them. Once you stop it, your health privileges will be terminated.

Know the coverage of your desired health plan. If you’re aware that you don’t have any familial diseases or critical illnesses to be afraid of, choose a plan that will cover emergency cases and regular check-ups (e.g. yearly) only.

To further help you in deciding what type of health plans to choose from, here are some insurance plans that are available in the Philippines:

1. PhilHealth It is a national health insurance program that guarantees its members for discounts in their hospitalization bill at any accredited hospital. Members will not find it hard to look for them because nearly all hospitals have their accreditation. The following are types of membership that they can offer:

  • Individually paying membership – these are individuals who decided to pay voluntarily to PhilHealth
  • Employed membership – these are individuals who either work in the government or private sectors. Household employees and sea-based OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) whose premiums are both paid by the employer and employee are also included.
  • Lifetime membership – these are individuals who are retirees and pensioners who are granted for lifetime coverage once they reach the age of retirement. They must have contributed at least one hundred twenty (120) monthly contributions.
  • Overseas Workers – these are land-based overseas contract workers whose premiums are paid prior to departure.
  • Sponsored – these are the marginalized and less privileged families whose coverage are paid by the National Government and the Local Government Units (LGUs) or by private individuals and companies, members of Congress and other philanthropists.

2. Health Maintenance Organization – this type of health plan is very common in the Philippines. It gives medical services on a prepaid basis. The following HMOs are available in the Philippines:

  • Blue Cross Health Care, Inc.
  • I-Care Insular Life Health Care, Inc.
  • Maxicare PCIB Cigna Healthcare Corp.
  • Medicard Phils., Inc.
  • Philam Care Health Systems, Inc.
  • Philippine Association of Managed Healthcare Systems (PAMHS), Inc.

3. International Health Insurance Plans – it is paid by individuals who want to be insured when travelling abroad. Some companies provide coverage with a minimum of six (6) months to a maximum of thirty six (36) months.

Ensuring our health is never a tiring responsibility to take. Nor, we should never take it for granted. Our health is always our top most priority which is why it is very important to include health plans in our list.

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Sources: http://www.philhealth.gov.ph/members/

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