How Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses Can Get Costly for Seniors and Why a Healthcare Plan Can Remedy
May 17, 2019
Choosing the right health care insurance in the Philippines for seniors
Filipinos have close family ties. We like to spend most of our weekends together. Many of us have ageing parents and elderly relatives who have lots of health concerns as they grow older and are at a greater risk of being hospitalized. Caring for the elderly plays a big role in Filipino culture
. You will often find senior citizens living with their children and their families, instead of in a home for the elderly.
During difficult times, Filipinos believe in “kapit-bisig” which means to help and work together as a family. That’s why sometimes, relatives and family members of a sick elderly don’t worry about paying huge hospital bills as long as their loved one gets better and comes home with them soon. They do everything to pull up funds to help pay for hospital costs, medicines or to buy medical equipment to speed up their recovery.
We know that public hospitals in the Philippines do not have advanced medical technology. The Philippine healthcare system does not properly serve the poor
. The services in government hospitals that are free under PhilHealth are not always reliable or complete, especially outside of Metro Manila. It may seem like middle-income people in the Philippines are able to receive better healthcare, but they often struggle under the catastrophic costs. And if we want the best treatment for our aged parents or relatives, we will opt to bring them to a private hospital which really costs an arm and a leg.
The number of older people is increasing rapidly
in the Philippines. There were 4.6 million Filipinos who were 60 years or older in 2000, amounting to about 6% of the population. The growth of the number of senior citizens in the country is faster than that of the total population. This is further evidenced by how, in less than a decade, the percentage of senior citizens in the country grew to 6.9% of the population. According to the National Statistics Office, this number might increase to 11.5% of the Philippine population in 2030.
With an increase in the ageing population, there's also a corresponding increase in the need for advanced health services. The elderly are more likely to suffer from both communicable and degenerative diseases due to a weakened immune system. Older people have difficulty executing activities that younger people take for granted, such as walking, eating, and hearing, and one of the leading causes of death for an older population is infection.
However, luckily the Philippines is one of the few countries with policies and programs
that are specific to the elderly which how the government shows their concern for average Filipino senior citizens.
The Republic Act No. 9994 provides special privileges for elderly people specifically for those who are above 60 years old. They are also provided with Philhealth coverage in which they can avail both inpatient and outpatient benefits.
Republic Act No. 9994
is an act granting additional benefits and privileges to senior citizens, further amending Republic Act No. 7432, as amended, otherwise known as "AN ACT TO MAXIMIZE THE CONTRIBUTION OF SENIOR CITIZENS TO NATION BUILDING, GRANT BENEFITS AND SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”
Older people are more susceptible to illnesses and infection and this may strike anytime. Despite being provided with special health privileges, it still pays to have a medical insurance policy for seniors that provides cash benefits because becoming sick and needing hospital care are highly expensive.
The senior healthcare in the Philippines is costly for people ages 65 years and older. Know the reasons why healthcare can often be expensive, and learn how health care insurance can help cushion the financial impact caused by sudden hospitalization:
1. The high cost of medical bills - Senior citizens are mostly retired and no longer have a regular income. They only rely on their monthly pension which is around Php7,000 to Php8,000, that is why it is unlikely for them to pay for expensive medical bills.
Did you know how many hospitals in the Philippines are privately owned? Almost all hospitals in our country are! So, can you imagine how much it would cost you per day for regular or ICU confinement?
The best and practical solution is to look for healthcare insurance in the Philippines for senior citizens that provide cash benefits in hospitalization wherein the lumpsum amount is paid on top of the insured’s existing medical benefits. This way, it will be easier for you to decide in what hospital you want your elderly loved ones to be admitted.
2. No forward planning
- Most Filipinos believe in the “bahala na” mentality
that is either said as an expression of a fatalistic attitude towards life or as a determined one in a challenging situation where things are risky and uncertain. It can be translated to mean “whatever happens, happens,” “things will turn out fine,” or as “I'll take care of things.
Reality is, we all need to plan ahead and prepare for our retirement and senior years. Having health insurance for senior citizens above 60 years old in the Philippines is cheaper than we think.
Among the list of health insurance in the Philippines, choose a company that has an affordable health insurance that is specifically designed for senior citizens.
It’s never too late to get medical insurance for senior citizens in the Philippines. Insurance reduces the financial burden both on the older individual and their community. This saves our relatives and loved ones from the financial difficulties in paying huge hospital bills.
Paramount Direct has designed a product that can cover the healthcare needs of individuals from 50 to 70 years old. PrimeCare Cash Plan is healthcare insurance that provides cash benefit for confinements due to sickness or injury plus additional daily cash benefit for ICU confinements and one-time surgical cash benefit. All of these benefits are available in this plan, with a health insurance premium that starts at Php213 per month.
Apply for PrimeCare Cash Plan
and feel at ease knowing that you are taken care of during confinement and just focus on recovery instead of paying hospital bills.
Enjoy those retirement years with your loved ones and be confident enough to know that you are financially independent. You are not a burden, you are a gift.