The Benefits of Having Health Insurance

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Freelancing, Money Saving Tips, Personal Finance on March 7, 2011

I must have slept the wrong way or have been careless at lifting weights in the gym yesterday, but whatever it was, I found my right shoulder sore and numb this morning.

Several years ago, I might have just popped a pain reliever, massaged some liniment on it and hoped that my shoulders would get better tomorrow.

But today, I do what only a few people I know would do for something this “minor” – go to the hospital.

The doctor, after subjecting me to a few tests, including an x-ray, concluded that it was just muscle fatigue and all I need is some Vitamin B complex and rest.

Glad that it was nothing so serious, I happily went to my HMO desk afterward. I gave the staff a copy of my P3,000 hospital bill which I DID NOT HAVE TO PAY. She stamped it and then told me, “You’re free to go home now, sir. Hope you feel better. Thank you.”

health insurance The Benefits of Having Health Insurance

Many people, specially entrepreneurs and the self-employed, often ignore the importance of having health insurance. They often see it as a time-consuming process to undertake or worse, an unnecessary expense.

But time and again, I have personally proven that having medical coverage is not only financially smart, but also hugely beneficial to one’s health.

Several studies have shown that uninsured people are sicker and more apt to die prematurely than their insured counterparts. And those without health coverage tend to receive less timely medical care, which later on results to more serious illnesses that require more expensive treatments.

I know your common sense will agree to these facts.

But I can’t afford to have health insurance…

Are you sure you can’t afford it?

For Filipinos, if you can spare an extra P100 a month, then you can already become an individually paying member of PhilHealth and enjoy subsidy for room and board, drugs and medicines, laboratories, operating room and professional fees when you need it.

For a few pesos more, you can include your spouse, your children and even your parents as your dependents and they too will enjoy the same benefits.

Moreover, several Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) in the country have affordable packages designed for self-employed individuals as well.

And the best thing about these medical coverage is that you can use it ON TOP of the benefits you get from PhilHealth!

It may look costly and “useless” at first, specially if you’re young, active and living a healthy lifestyle. But you really never know when you’ll encounter a medical emergency in your life.

And when that time comes, you’ll be glad that you have health insurance.

List of Health Maintenance Organizations in the Philippines
As of December 2009 from the DOH: DOWNLOAD HERE
P.S. Thanks to desertman for the link


This post is part of the Legacy Article on Steps To Becoming a Successful Freelancer.

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Work Cited:
Randall R. Bovbjerg and Jack Hadley. “Why Health Insurance Is Important“. The Urban Institute Health Policy Briefs. November 2007

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Photo credit: psit


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15 Responses to “The Benefits of Having Health Insurance”


  1. Mommy Rubz says:

    Hello Fitz! Can you share the name of your HMO? I am looking for something to invest on for me and my kids. Thanks!

  2. Ram says:

    I agree with this article. I am currently employed and have been the breadwinner of the family since both of my parents are no longer working. Although I am enjoying benefits from PhilHealth and as an employee, it is better to be secured more than what’s being required by government; so I got my father a health insurance that is affordable, and am now planning to get one for my mother too.

    Your article in ‘three most often ignored necessary expenses’ last year was also very insightful.

  3. ikalea says:

    Great article Fitz. May I ask what HMO you use or can recommend? And is health insurance different from life insurance?

  4. Buena says:

    Same question with ikalea, i’ve been scouting around for a good HMO that could cover me and my dependent, however, i can’t decide which way to go. One more thing is I have a pre existing condition that tend me not to have an HMO anymore since they wouldnt cover it anyway. As i understand it, the first year when enrolled they will not cover and when you renew, they will? but Im not sure if is like that in all of the HMOs so i tend to shy away from them.

  5. desertman says:

    @ikalea

    Health insurance is more of medical coverage, meaning, you ask for a reimbursement of a portion or the total medical expenses you incurred. It is different from a life insurance since life insurance covers only the person for a certain amount from accidents, physical injuries and death for a specific period of time or until the person’s death. There are different types of insurance options nowadays and most of them have investment options while for the health insurance, some aleady have the full return of contribution after a specific period of coverage. Back when I was still employed in the Phils, our company used to have Blue Cross, Caritas Manila and Philam as HMOs. Better check online and inquire about the current HMOs and Fitz is right, they do offer quite an attractive package for self employed.

    Have a safe day :)

  6. Emily says:

    Can you give a recommendation for HMO’s that suit self employed people? Been a follower of your articles and I have to say keep up the great work Fitz! Thanks!

  7. Jurrell Kemp says:

    Life is unexpected each and everyday no one can guarantee that you will not have an accident so having something like life insurance is very useful year in and year out.

  8. DC says:

    I’ve heard that there are, well, *certain* insurance instruments wherein you can gain interest as well? I’m not too sure about this though…

  9. Fitz says:

    There are a lot of HMO’s out there. I suggest doing due diligence so you could get the best one suited for your needs and budget.

    Personally, I’m with iCare, which is also the HMO that my cousin uses for her company.

    When I was deciding years ago, I found that there are a handful of HMO’s who could provide the medical coverage I wanted. But in the end, I chose iCare to save myself time because my cousin helps me in the filing and application of my documents. :P

    In any case, I will do my best to get a comprehensive list of HMO’s in the Philippines (or at least in Manila) and post it here soon. :D

    Lastly, @Buena…

    I think all HMO’s have the same rules on pre-existing conditions – that it will only be covered after a year. But don’t let that discourage you from getting a health insurance.

  10. Randy Semana says:

    Listing all the comprehensive HMO in the Philippines is a great idea Fitz! I personally cant leave my work to be a full time businessman because the HMO in my work is great. And I need the coverage for my parents.

  11. desertman says:

    Guys,

    You can check this link for a shortlist of HMO in the Phils.

    http://www.rxpinoy.com/ondir/diHMO/index.html

    @DC

    Yup you’re right. There are certain types of insurance coverage with interest earning and investment features and these types of insurance policies are quite common nowadays. Some insurance policies would guarantee you a 10% interest rate on top of your insurable amount upon maturity of your policy.

  12. desertman says:

    Hi guys,

    Here’s another link. Sad to say, this is the latest I got from DOH website and it’s still 2009! Just like the previous link I posted here, I just want to give you all an idea regarding the names of the HMO providers in the Phils. I cannot attest to the quality of their services and even their updated clearance to operate.

    Just my two cents :)

    http://www.doh.gov.ph/bhfs/images/listing/hmo2009.pdf

  13. johnbrew says:

    I’m under intellicare. I don’t think intellicare have interest earning.

    had fat fad contusion last year on our team building. The sole is swelling and ended up walking without using the sole of my left foot. Good thing, my healthcard(under maxicare last yr) was release that week. went to hospital right away, done series of exam, ended in rehabilitation. did rehabilitation for a week every after work.
    Imagine money that I’ll lose in series of exams done and professional fee. That’s an approximate of 5000 bucks.
    You never know when will it strike, better to have HMO that will back you up.

  14. Ali says:

    Hi,

    Any suggestion on whee to avail health insurance for 60 year olds?
    Been looking at bluecross and they have very good coverage but they are on the expensive side. Maybe you may have suggestions. thanks.

  15. iMoneyPH says:

    We love your article Fitz! Kudos for giving us (your readers) a very good insight why people need health insurance. To be fair and passe at the same time, “Bawal magkasakit.” life is tough, it will get better but only if we play smarter.

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