I've always taken health insurance for granted because my parents are doctors, thus, I am covered by the doctor privilege where doctors don't charge doctors and their families professional fees. Also, I have Philhealth and my employer has its own health plan, which I heard was pretty sweet as well.
Besides, I've only been hospitalized 3x my whole life. First was for dengue fever, then a month after that for a liver abscess caused by amoebiasis (damn you isaw!). I was only in college back then and still a minor, so not only did my parents avail of the doctor's privilege, they were also able to take advantage of stockholder privileges and paid zero for room charges, as my mom held clinic stocks in that hospital.
The third time was when I gave birth and with Philhealth thrown into the mix, I paid merely Php19,000++ for a caesarian birth. Amazing I tell you.
But just recently, my brother-in-law was hospitalized a month or two after my sister opted not to avail of her employer's subsidized Maxicare privilege, thinking that her Philhealth coverage was enough. Wouldn't you know it, he was admitted when she had just started her Philhealth contributions, so she failed to meet the 3 month minimum for coverage. And after several tests and a week's stay in the hospital, their bill is now about Php60,000. Ack.
This made me reassess my own health insurance needs pronto. A quick research revealed that Philhealth coverage is sadly not enough and that my employer does have a good health plan BUT it only covers its employees and not their dependents. So I've been looking up health insurance for my husband and son, and my doctor relatives highly recommended Maxicare and Intellicare.
Intellicare doesn't offer individual or family packages though, so the obvious choice became Maxicare. Some more research led me to I-Care or Insular Life Health Care. Aside from the cheaper premium (about Php10,000 cheaper than Maxicare for the same coverage) and comparable services, I liked how I-Care would cover pre-existing illnesses upon renewal after one year of coverage.
I'm really leaning towards I-Care now, but I still need some more convincing because if it's really the shizz, then why do the doctors I know recommend Maxicare and Intellicare? Does I-Care have some sort of dirty secret? Hmmm....
I'm also tempted to get the Maxicare prepaid cards for emergency cases (MyMaxicare EReady) and 6 common illnesses (MyMaxicare LITE). Basically, these are single use cards which have a maximum value of Php15,000 for emergency situations and Php25,000 for the enumerated illnesses (i.e.dengue, cholera, typhoid and paratyphoid, malaria, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.), and are good for one year upon registration. The price point is super affordable at Php500++ and Php1000++ for each card, and I'm thinking that with those cards + Philhealth + a healthy emergency fund, I can get away without health insurance and save Php20,000 -Php40,000 annually in the process.
But as these things usually go, and as my sister and brother-in-law have proven, doing without adequate health insurance can lead not only to physical pain, but also to financial pain. So I think I'll be getting the vanilla coverage for my husband. But from which company? Maxicare or I-Care? What do you think?