Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cost of Healthcare

If there has been of great concern to me even before my husband moved to the Philippines is the cost of keeping my husband healthy.

After 6 months of being here, I can give a rough estimate of how much some procedure costs.

When my husband's blood pressure shot-up some time around April, before we were able to get the right concoction of medicines that were available in the Philippines, we had a basic annual check-up done, e.g. CBC, lipid profile, x-ray, etc. and it costed roughly P5,000 even with a health card that gives us 15% discount on procedures.

Just lately when my husband was suspecting that his prostate is enlarged (it turned out it wasn't), we had several tests done. The following are the breakdown on the procedures, with the 15% discount already applied:

PSA Total (Prostate Specific Antigen) - P2448
Routine Analysis - P209.10
Bun - P303.45
Creatinine - P303.45
Uric Acid - P303.45
KUB Prostate - P2226.15
TotaL - P5793.60

Since we have isolated that it doesn't have anything to do with prostate, we are looking into getting a colonoscopy. At present, I haven't asked around yet except the ones I have gotten off the internet. I heard that a procedure like that would cost P20,000 in St. Luke's, QC, and P35,000 in St. Lukes, Global City. I asked with Healthway, and they only gave me the quote on the use of the machine which is P3,000 ++, they say I have to ask the doctor how much he/she would charge for the procedure. De los Santos hospital said the same thing, I would have to ask the doctor.

Since I have had much experience in bringing my closest of kin to hospitals (my mother specifically who was hospitalized when she had a heart attack October 2008), medical cost has always been a great concern for me. My mother had both of her eyes operated for cataract, each eye costing me around P25,000. When she was hospitalized for heart attack, the total bill costed P80,000 for 5 days of stay (3 days spent in an ICU), which I guess wasn't as half bad, if she had stayed in some other more expensive hospital. But San Juan De Dios Hospital (for those living near Manila Bay)is a pretty good hospital with doctors also holding clinics at St. Lukes. It is run by nuns who are devoted to quality health care and has even acquired ISO certification. Our cardiologist and endocrinologist both also hold clinics at St. Lukes.

At present, whenever my husband needs to visit a doctor we pay P400 for a specialist (per visit)and if it is just a general practitioner, we get to see one for free for our health card (the health card for Healthway cost only P1,500 annually, if you pay P1800 for an annual, you get a free annual check-up).

But right now I am working at getting him on to my private health plan with FortuneCare. It will not cover pre-existing diseases but it will certainly cover consultations, hopitalizations, and basic annual check-ups for other things that are not pre-existing. Also dental extractions, fillings, and re-cementation are for free. They give a 20% discount for other dental procedures. My husband has alot of pre-existing conditions, I know, and that may be the biggest expense in terms of healthcare, but at least any other thing apart from pre-existing conditions that may crop up will be covered by FortuneCare, e.g. dengue, accidents.

I myself am covered by my office for hospital expense up to P60,000. My health plan (just semi-private) covers me up to P160,000 and I have a health insurance that would pay me half a million if I ever have a critical illness.

The cost of semi-private annual coverage for me is just P7,440 and for my husband, P11,215. Not bad, huh? But as I said, with many pre-existing for him.. it's practically useless. And also even for me, it's just P160,000 coverage. I can't also be admitted at St. Luke's, Capitol Medical Center and The Medical City. Of course if I got the private coverage I can get into those hospitals. A semi-private coverage is just P800 room a day, anything extra is out-of-the-pocket already. So I am still thinking of getting extra coverage for hubby.

On the other hand, I think he is qualified to be covered by Veteran's Affairs since he has a service-connected disability (just 20%). I am still studying the possibility of this and the extent of coverage, so I will keep everyone posted. Anyone who has information on this can also leave me a comment to expedite my study. :)