Wednesday, July 4, 2018

What is your Game Plan?

In the last few years of our stay in the Philippines, my husband was in the hospital for more times than I can imagine.  Sometime 2014 up to 2015, my husband got hospitalized four times, and the last hospitalization had us staying in the hospital for one and a half months.  I often wonder if my husband was married to a different woman, would he have been alive now.  Majority of the hospitalization was not covered by the Veterans Affair (VA) because it was not service-connected and of those that were service-connected, the first hospitalization had to be reimbursed (meaning we initially had to pay it out-of-pocket). The last hospitalization which was service-connected, although paid mostly by the VA, had me still shelling out P64,000 in addition, because Medical City, the only VA-accredited hospital, had no room at the amount covered by the VA. So I had to pay the extra. It was a great strain on our finances at the time.  Considering that  my husband was only rated 20% at the time (it is now 70%), we had very little to cover our regular expenses AND hospitalization expenses.  Luckily, I had enough of my own money to pay all the extra expenses we were having.  But certainly, without that money, we would have been deep in debt by now.  But yes, I had to juggle our finances.

So what is my take away from that -  as a foreigner aged 50 and above, you have to have a GAME PLAN.  What do you do to cover the inevitability of getting sick?  I will assume that you and your wife/significant other truly love each other.  Then I assume likewise that you do not want your wife to struggle and hurt seeing you in pain and not being able to do anything to help you.  Consequently, you should have something to help her, help you.

I think, a foreigner, should have at least P100,000.00 of readily accessible cash (that is earmarked for hospital expenses) every year.  That, realistically, would not even be enough if you had a major surgery in a good hospital.  So yes, I say, that is the minimum you should have set aside in a year.  On top of Philhealth, if you can, get a health plan.  If not, set aside the money, for your peace of mind and your wife's peace of mind.

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