Monday, July 9, 2018

Making Philhealth Work for the Expat Foreigner (Not Filipino)

A foreigner (aged 60 and above) would find it difficult to be covered by a local health plan.  Consequently, the only saving grace there is will be Philhealth.  It may be true that the deduction is "small" by a foreigner's standard, it is certainly better than nothing.

Philhealth deducts based on the "case" for hospitalization.  Simply said, if a patient is hospitalized for a specific medical condition, he/she will be deducted for the hospitalization and professional fee based on the "case".  For example, my husband was hospitalized in 2015 for cellulitis in his leg.  He was deducted for the hospitalization and the professional fee based on the case rate.

Take note also that if the last hospitalization maximized the allowable deduction, re-admission for the same case 90 days after the same confinement will result in not being eligible for the deduction.  

As a lawful resident (all you need is your ACR Card), a foreigner can enroll in Philhealth.  In our case, we paid a much lesser premium because I was working at the time for the government.  The government agency I worked with also paid a portion of the total premium.  On top of that, if he was confined in a government hospital (which he was several times), he gets 10% off the bill.  

If you are less than 60, go get an extra local health plan and you can get covered for a bigger amount.  At the time, I had Fortunecare for myself and my son, which was just a carry over of my company-sponsored plan.  It gave me around P150,000 of coverage a year.  Usually, the local health plan deducts the Philhealth deduction, before covering the remainder.  Always take note which hospitals accept your health plan and understand what is your room coverage.  When my son was hospitalized for gastroenteritis , the hospital we were in did not have the room (semi-private) that we were covered.  Since I read my policy contract, I know I was entitled to the higher room rate at least for one night, until they can have a room at the rate we were covered.  Luckily, he only stayed one night, so we got the better room at no cost to us.

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