This is an important consideration for all persons who choose to reside in the Philippines such as retirees under the SRRV program or those residing through marriage with a Philippine partner. FIDCO will advise its clients their options on a case by case basis.
The country’s healthcare is considered good by international standards, and government reforms in the past 2 decades are pushing the country closer to universal healthcare. Foreigners qualify for this coverage, and this might be a great reason to consider the Philippines for long-term a permanent relocation.
Here is some general information on what is available:
The Philippines has a mixture of both public and private medical systems.
The government offers affordable public health insurance through Philippine Health Insurance Corp otherwise known as (PhilHealth). PhilHealth provides various plan options, depending on personal factors – income, age etc. It was established to provide universal coverage at affordable rates. Membership is achieved through periodic premiums, or pay one lump sum for lifetime membership. Coverage administered by PhilHealth includes comprehensive medical benefits such as:
- inpatient/outpatient services
- catastrophic coverage
- maternity benefits
- other ancillary services such as laboratory tests and medication
There is no formal set of deductibles/pay plans with PhilHealth, so healthcare providers will bill patients for the balance their insurance doesn’t cover. Almost always this will need to be paid up front, or before you leave the facility. If you use PhilHealth you’ll be issued a PhilHealth ID card. This is a government-issued ID and you can also use it to apply for other services in the country, such as opening a bank account. You can use your PhilHealth ID number to pay for your insurance premium contributions.
Health Management Organizations (HMOs) offer additional options for individuals or companies looking for self-financed or private plans. They act between the company and end user, and will sometimes partner directly with healthcare providers, to provide affordable rates.
There are several HMO options in the Philippines. HMOs are like private providers, except they give you access to certain doctors within certain networks. Plans are usually comprehensive and customisable and run on a reimbursement basis. HMOs administer programs such as:
- inpatient/outpatient services
- ancillary services such as laboratory tests and medication
The Philippine government is making progress towards universalising healthcare. That means, theoretically, everyone will be covered for almost every type of medical procedure. This health insurance scheme is government-run and funded through subsidies as well as contributions from employers or individuals as the case may be. There are no mandatory requirements stating individuals need to have health insurance while living in the Philippines. However, it is an infinitely wise provision as without insurance, one runs the risk of paying unexpected and potentially high fees for treatment.
FIDCO recommends all individuals such as SRRV retirees or expatriates married to Philippine partners and residing in the Philippines obtain health insurance. Medical emergencies can happen anytime. SRRV retirees or residing expatriates have access to several affordable options under the national PhilHealth. Private health insurance coverage is also widely available.