Health Insurance For Foreigners In The Philippines: One of the great things about living in the Philippines is that it has a wide range of health insurance options for foreign visitors. What is the best health insurance in the Philippines for foreigners, and, more importantly, how to find health insurance companies as an expat?
In today’s article, we will be searching through different health insurance plans and answering some of the biggest questions you may have about obtaining health insurance in the Philippines as a foreigner.
Health Care In The Philippines
Some insurance providers offer ” medical evacuation” for expats to be transported to neighboring Asian countries like Hong Kong and Japan, which have a medical facility with Western standards. However, such may not be true with another insurance provider.
As you are likely aware, health facilities across the Philippines are very different than more developed countries. Even though the Philippines, in general, has greatly developed over the years, some areas remain problematic, and healthcare is one of those sectors.
This means that depending on your location in the Philippines, some areas may be better for you than others. If you decide to live in the province areas outside of the main city, hospital treatment can be limited, so it is something to be aware of if you have any long-term medical conditions.
The World Health Organisation and BorgenProject have documented the problematic areas that the Philippines healthcare system faces. However, the good news is that there are health insurance options that can lessen the effects of the problematic areas, so let’s take a look at the best health insurance in the Philippines for foreigners.
Healthcare Insurance For Foreigners In The Philippines
Suppose you have never come across PhilHealth before. In that case, essentially, this program is the National Health insurance system for the Philippines, which aims to offer affordable health insurance services for all citizens.
For a few years now, PhilHealth has accepted foreign members to its program. The current terms state that foreigners who have a special resident retirees visa (SRRV) or have an alien certificate of registration card (ACR) can apply.
If you have a retirement visa, the annual premium contribution rate is 15,000 pesos. However, if you have an alien certificate of registration card, the annual premium contribution rate will be set at 17,000.
Some insurance systems will cover you if your spouse is Filipino; however, PhilHealth does not cover this. Therefore, as a foreigner looking for health insurance in the Philippines, you will need to become a member individually.
To become a member of PhilHealth as a foreigner in the Philippines, you first need to visit one of the local health insurance offices, complete the member registration form, pay the contribution fee, and finally set up any future payments, which can either be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually.
PhilHealth has several benefits for retirees in the Philippines; however, as it is a nationwide program, it has faced criticism from both Filipinos and foreigners over the years for several reasons. Therefore if you are looking for a premium cover, private insurance may be your best option.
2. Axa Health Care
In the Philippines, it is easy to grab AXA health Insurance as they have 40+ branches scattered around the country, with over 7,000 financial advisors ready to serve their clients.
The size of the business is mentioned because Axa can be purchased from abroad and used while living in the Philippines; however, purchasing locally will often be the most convenient and cheapest plan.
Axa has three main options: critical illness cover, second is medical coverage, and the third is health and investment. Looking through the terms and conditions, it appears that the most suitable service would be general medical coverage for foreigners living in the Philippines…
… however, depending on your circumstances, you may find the other options more suitable, but for this article, we will focus on the most relevant, which is their general medical cover.
In addition, Axa also offers global health insurance. If you frequently travel to other countries, this may be the best option, but we will be targeting the Philippines in this example. Therefore we will select the healthcare access option.
The premium plan covers members From 500,000 pesos up to 5,000,000 pesos. However, there are several terms and conditions and different types of plans available, so it is recommended to take a look at the AXA website directly, where you can obtain a free quote.
From our quotations, Axa was one of the highest plans; however, it offered the most features and ease of access for foreigners looking for health insurance in the Philippines.
3. SunLife Fit & Well
Sun Life has been around for many years, and because of this, they have many different healthcare packages available for foreigners living in the Philippines.
The most common insurance package is SunLife Fit & Well, a health insurance plan that offers critical illness and life insurance benefits until age 100. SunLife terms state that they can diagnose 64 major critical illnesses, 34 minor illnesses, and 16 specific cancer conditions within the plan.
Similar to Axa, prices differ from person to person; however, they do have online advisors and several offices if you prefer to visit face to face.
Cigna is best if you seek health insurance in the Philippines before arriving in the Philippines. Cigna offers 4 plans in total for expats. These include; Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Close care.
Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans cover worldwide insurance, excluding the US. However, the Close Care plan covers Country of residence + Country of nationality, which may be a great option for some travelers. However, please note Close Care does not cover as much as the Platinum plan.
In my own experience, these plans are not cheap, but they offer full coverage, including private rooms, full cancer care, etc.
As 65 years old, I was quoted $350 per month, so it is expensive; however, the monthly price decreases slightly if you are willing to cost-share.
Why Do Expats Need Health Insurance In The Philippines
Though the Philippines’ medical hospitals and health services may not be as expensive as Western hospitals, it may hurt you financially if you are not covered by health insurance.
Living in the Philippines is fun, especially when you have health insurance to cover your health crisis.
Having health insurance would put you in a vantage point wherein you can have immediate access to the healthcare facility wherever you are located in the Philippines. In addition, you will be assured that you will be receiving world-class medical treatment from the country’s private hospitals.
Being afflicted by an illness in a distant place from your relatives can be a scary experience. And maybe even worsened if the expat does not have health insurance. Therefore, health insurance maintains your peace of mind knowing that you will access the medical facilities when you get ill.
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