Many expats that want to live in the Philippines ask about insurance for expats. The other day I saw a question on Yahoo Questions were someone was asking about HMO’s in the Philippines. They wanted to know about market share and earnings. Perhaps they were conducting market research. There probably is a need there that is waiting for someone to fill it.  I have my doubts on how effective that would be. The potential for fraud would be great I think and the market too small.

Medical Insurance for expatsThere really is not a lot of choices in insurance for expats and what choices there are I have no idea if they are any good. When I looked into it, I didn’t find anything that really excited me. Luckily the  insurance coverage I have through my retirement program covers me world wide. Though not as the same percentage levels I would get in the USA. Still for me, the cost is much less after insurance but that is because my before insurance cost is much lower. I have insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program.

I was looking for insurance offers that provide an affiliate program but I didn’t find one. I did find a couple of insurance programs that you can investigate. You should fully investigate them because I have not. I do not make a positive or negative assessment of their offers. I write about it because i see the question so often.

Two Insurance For Expats Offers:

Again, the list has question marks because I have no idea what they offer. I know that Pacific Prime has a page dedicated to the Philippines.

Now what I’ve found is that I can’t check into a hospital and hand over my insurance company and look for them to bill my insurance. I have to pay for it before I go in. As a result, I feel my health has suffered. Living out in the jungle makes matters worse. When I visited a doctor here hoping to find someone closer to home she basically told me my health situation is to complicated and I needed to stick with the doctors at Chong Hua Hospital.

So last month I took off toward Cebu City hoping to get admitted to do some of the test the doctor wants. All the test he wants to do would be done on an outpatient basis in the USA but they can’t do that here. So I fear my insurance company will later balk and I’ll end up paying for everything.

Now the cost will be much less. The five days of staying in the hospital will cost between $500 to $750. The same test in the USA would probably be in excess of $20,000 and that is on an outpatient basis.

When I got to Cebu City, I felt like an idiot because my doctor was out of town for three weeks! So I blew a big chunk of the money and got nothing accomplished. Now I’m waiting for an insurance check so I can go back down and do it again. I don’t know if I’ll do all five days at once. I don’t think I can take five days of a hospital bed. They’ll need to put me in a freaking straight jacket by the time that is over.

I feel like I need to go into a detox program to get off cigarettes and cokes! Okay, I jest, I just need more will power. Frankly though, cokes are the least of my problem. Cokes as a medical issue for me is laughable to be honest. Starting smoking again is probably the dumbest thing I’ve done in the last 30 years. Sit in judgment if you want but I wont much appreciate it won’t make much of an impression of you on me.

The Philippines has national insurance coverage for Philippines that is provided by the government. It provides some help but many Filipino are unable to get the medical treatment they need. The public hospitals in the Philippines are very low cost but the care is far below what would be acceptable to most Westerners.

Filipino are often in over crowded wards that are hot because they have no air conditioning. The medical care itself I remain uncertain of. My one on one contact with doctors has been mostly positive. But for two and half years my doctor ordered no blood test. This was shocking to the doctor I saw in Bogo City. He has ordered some now but I’ve not been in Cebu City to get them done.  When I go to the City I spend a lot. I will go when I can.  It will be soon

On the other hand, I feel it is almost pointless if I don’t quit smoking and I’m having very little luck with that. It is easy for me to say I’ll quit while I have one in my mouth. Twelve hours later that is a different matter completely. I am one of those people that is easily addicted to things and for that reason I had the good sense to never drink on a regular basis. Now my health won’t allow it. One beer and I may feel awful for a day or two.

Insurance for Expats May Just Not Be Worth The Cost

If you have any experience with medical insurance for expats, I’d love to hear about it. Others could use the information too. For now, I’m of the opinion you’re better off saving money for your medical needs while living in the Philippines. Insurance for expats in the West might be economically sound.

From what I’ve seen the cost of medical care is so low that insurance doesn’t make a lot of sense. I pay about $115 a month for my medical insurance and that will go quite a way in the Philippines but it is still less than the benefits I get every month.  However, my retirement plan pays around $200 a month more.  The insurance for expat coverage I’ve seen was around $250 a month. If you’re well off then it is very well worth considering. However if you are scrapping by on an annuity even less than I get, that is a significant amount of money.

I know people living here on $700 to $1000 a month and they just can’t afford to spend 25 to 45 percent of their income on insurance. I suppose they are living on a roll of the dice. Would their options be any better in the USA? I doubt it. There is some talk of extending medicare for overseas procedures. I think that could end up saving the taxpayers a huge amount of money if it can be done in a way to keep the fraud down. I think writing your congressman regarding this issue would make a lot of sense!

Veterans are in a class of their own. I’m not a vet. Sometimes I wish I had spent some time in the military.  I didn’t though so I don’t know much about it. There are offices that provide veterans with some medical treatment in various places in the Philippines. Sometimes vets go to the Manila area though for treatment. If you’re a vet and wish to comment on the benefits and how to get them, I’d love to hear from you and it will help those veterans that are interested in living in the Philippines. I have seen such comments here before but I just cannot recall the particulars. I remember being wrong about coverage for veterans once so I’m hesitant to venture there again.

If you have done research on or actually obtained insurance for expats writing about it here would be helpful to many others. If you would like to write an article about that and submit it for consideration for me to publish it, please get in touch with me! Many people ask about it and I’ve been unable to provide them with any good solutions. If there is a good solution in medical insurance for expats that live in the Philippines, I have yet to find it.

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Filed under: Medical Treatment In The Philippines

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