HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) are commonly used by Filipinos for their health-care needs. Unlike in the U.S. where there is also the PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) option, the primary set-up in the Philippines involves managed care through HMOs, the government health insurance arm called PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) and private health insurance to supplement the coverage.
PhilHealth is a government corporation ensuring sustainable, affordable and progressive health insurance for Filipinos. All regularly employed Filipinos have PhilHealth accounts primarily because law requires all employers to pay part of the monthly contributions of their employees to PhilHealth.
As a National Health Insurance Program, PhilHealth ensures discounts for members’ hospital expenses in any accredited hospital anywhere in the Philippines. Types of PhilHealth membership includes: employed membership, individually paying membership (fully paid by voluntary member) and lifetime membership (paying a lump sum amount to cover lifetime membership).
Private Health Plans
Freelance and self-employed Filipinos use individual health insurance and HMO plans. This coverage is fully paid by an individual who wants to be covered. Family plans are also available for freelance and self-employed individuals who want to include family members in the coverage.
In the Philippines, employer-sponsored group plans usually come as a free plan to the member as the employer pays the plan of its employees. While some companies also provide free family plans to cover the employees’ family, most companies require covered employees to pay additional fee to include their family members in their plans.
International and Expatriate
International health insurance plans protect individuals and their families when traveling abroad. Such type of insurance usually covers from one to 12 months and are generally renewable. There are others that can provide straight coverage for up to 36 months. Most insurance plans offer two types of coverage: worldwide and worldwide except U.S. This is because of the higher cost of medical expenses in the U.S. compared to other parts of the world. There are health insurance policies offering coverage for hospitalization only and those offering additional coverage for preventive services and outpatient care. Expatriate health insurances for foreigners temporarily or permanently living in the Philippines are also available.
Companies providing international health and expatriate insurance offer packages for individual, family and group plans. Most also provide customized coverage and premium discounts for family and group plans.