Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Health Woes ... Again!

After about a month of my husband's stomach problems, even after having gone to the doctor for antibiotics. We are on the look-out again for a better doctor.  It is not that we distrust our present doctor, maybe it is just because she doesn't seem to feel the same urgency I feel right now -- that there must be something else that can be done other than to wait.  Although she did say that the next step may be an IV drip so that my husband can get the antibiotic intravenously.  And now I am beginning to think about how much it would cost us for the hospitalization.

The problem is, my husband has no money apart from his pension and most of it is eaten up on living expenses and medication (P8,000 worth monthly on maintenance medicines), so certainly he does not have money extra for hospitalization.  He has money tied up in the US on his 401 K and private pension, but how soon will it even be possible to get to them.  Ultimately I will need to come up with the money in the mean time.  It would set me back by a few thousand pesos and if the ailment is as bad as my worst-case scenario, ultimately, not even I may be able to afford it.  I would need to bring him to the US or I hope the US immigration will let me.

But I know it is better to address it now, while the symptoms are just fresh.  I would just have to accept the reality that it has to be done.

Considering that I have a health plan that covers me for P80,000, the office can cover me for P60,000 and I even have a half million critical illness insurance, how I wish it is remotely possible to transfer all these benefits to him, for him to enjoy.  But sadly I can't.. and I can only hope we can address his problems before they get worse.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Claudette,

    I just found your blog recently from philfaqs.com and thought I'd post a comment as I may be able to offer some suggestions after reading pretty much all of your posts and particularly this one.

    I'm sorry to hear about the problems your husband is having in his stay in the Philippines. I hope he does not drink water from the tap. With respect to his medications I suggest you look into ordering them through Costco.com. You see, I'm a Pinoy living in the US for quite a while now and I have been toying with the idea of moving back to the Philippines for good. One of the concerns I have though is health care and medications as some of the medications I take are similar to your husband's. A few months ago I started doing some research as to how I could get them here (US) and eventually shipped to the Philippines. I may have found a solution through Costco.com.

    Costco is a membership discount store chain with stores in most states. Although I haven't ordered from them online, it is the best option I found that may work in getting my prescription drugs to the Philippines once I make my decision to live there. They also have the lowest prices from what I've heard. To get them delivered to the Philippines, I can use either MyUS.com or AmericanMailNet.com. I haven't used either so I cannot rate their service yet. LBC Express is another option but someone has to bring the package to one of the few LBC store locations. What I found at Costco was that their pricing for a 100-day supply is the lowest compared to the 30-day or 60-day supplies. You can see their prices online even if you are not going to order. To save some more, I thought of asking my physician to write my prescription with double the dosage and just cut them in half.

    With respect to the 401K, I am positive that one can start receiving distribution at age 59 1/2. This is part of the tax code so it is uniform among 401K providers. Maybe your husband can ask his 401K provider for particulars. I hope he brought with him a magicJack to make phone calls to the US as easy as making a local call.

    Good luck,
    Joey

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  2. Thanks! :) Yes he has a magic jack and I will be looking into all of what you said. Maybe I am just worrying about alot of these, but we are not completely without option.

    I do hope you consider moving here. Healthcare is not really so bad here as long as you have enough money set aside to answer for them when it arises. My mother has her own savings we use up for her hospitalization bills when it arises, medication is something I answer and it isn't as much as my husbands so its bearable.

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  3. Oh, and he doesn't drink water from the tap. :p

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  4. Yup. If all goes according to plan, I will be there next year for good. BTW, thanks for all the info you posted about apartment rents, costs of furniture, home appliances and utilities. They gave me a rough idea of how much I need to start a new life in the Philippines.

    Regards,
    Joey

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  5. In addition to the source's J mentioned, there are a number of other overseas shopping sources that will provide a delivery address in the USA and then ship purchased goods on to the Philippines. There is always a cost involved, but when you consider the overall cos difference between the US and the Philippines it still works out as very cheap to me.

    Recently an elderly relative was 'confined' ... no not in prison, but it a nice, new hospital in Subic town. He was there almost three weeks and of course everyone was worried about the bill, but the total, including doctor's fees, hospital charges and drugs (antibiotics are particularly expensive) came out to less that the equivalent of $3000 USD. A the private room charge alone (a large room, by the way, bigger than many condo units I have visited, with a lovely Subic Bay view) was P1200 a day (about $27 or $28 US).

    Health care costs are always a consideration, but in my view, becuase of the fear, uncertainty and doubt campaign in the US, and becuase the US has the highest health care costs in the world, costs occupy too large a portion of people's minds. It's an issue, but it shouldn't be as big an issue as it seems to be ... especially living in the Philippines.

    Actually the most atrocious costs here are the funeral expenses. My dear mother-in-law was quite sick for several years and my wife and I were directly involved with her care and shouldered some of the costs. Sadly, Mom passed in April 2010, and then the real vultures went to work ... the very simple funeral costs were easily more than the last three years of her life's medical costs ... others helped by I was still a bit floored by our share ... staggering. And what will you do, not give a loved one a decent send off?

    A pre-need funeral plan might be more important to one's budget than health insurance.

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