Are you looking for the best health cards in the Philippines?
Getting sick is expensive — especially if you’re a freelancer or a self-employed Filipino like me.
Thankfully, you can reduce your healthcare expenses if you get sick as long as you get an HMO plan in the form of a prepaid health card.
In this post, we’ll talk about the basics of HMO, what the best HMO Philippines is, and which health cards give the best value for your money.
- What is HMO?
- 2 Types of HMO in the Philippines
- Why Should You Get a Health Card?
- Best Prepaid Health Cards in the Philippines
Let’s bolt in!
What is HMO?
HMO, also known as Health Maintenance Organization, is a company that provides coverage of healthcare services to its members — as long as the members have paid their premiums in advance.
The most popular HMO providers in the Philippines are:
- Maxicare HealthCare
- Medicard Philippines
- ValuCare Health System
- Insular Health Care (InLife)
- and many others
2 Types of HMO in the Philippines
Typically, HMO providers in the Philippines offer coverage for two types of healthcare plans, depending on your budget.
1. Comprehensive HMO Plans
Cost: ₱5,000 to ₱60,000 per year
If you can shell out tens of thousands pesos a year for healthcare coverage, then a comprehensive HMO plan is for you.
A traditional HMO plan usually includes the full healthcare package:
- Out-patient care (consultations, laboratory, etc)
- In-patient care (hospitalization, operating room, professional fees, etc)
- Emergency care (professional fees, emergency room expenses, medicines, etc)
- Preventive care (annual physical exam, immunizations, etc.)
2. Prepaid Health Cards for Filipinos
Cost: ₱500 to ₱5,000 per year
On the other hand, a prepaid health card in the Philippines allows you to get healthcare coverage without breaking the bank.
But you won’t get the full healthcare package with a prepaid health card.
Some health cards have coverage for emergency care only, while others have coverage for preventive health care exclusively.
The type of healthcare coverage you have depends on the health card you buy.
Why Should You Get a Health Card?
Before we talk about the best health cards in the Philippines, let’s see why it’s important for you to get one:
- More affordable – It’s cheaper to pay for a prepaid health card that you may use, rather than to not get one and need the healthcare coverage. Plus, you can usually buy a health card and pay it with your credit card online.
- Flexible healthcare coverage – Right now, there are tons of health cards you can choose from, so you can easily find the best healthcare that fits your needs.
- Peace of mind – It’s better to buy a cheap health card and not need it, than to not buy a health card but need it. You also have a peace of mind knowing you have a back-up just in case, so you don’t need to dip into your bank’s savings account.
If that’s not enough, here’s a personal story back when I was younger.
I was sent to the ER a few years ago because I was paranoid when I had extreme chest pain.
The nurse was like, “Ma’am, do you have health insurance?”
And I was smiling proudly when I said, “Oh of course, I have PhilHealth!”
It was then when the nurse told me that I could only use PhilHealth if I were confined for a minimum of 24 hours. Lol. Talk about a harsh awakening!
As a result, I had to pay ₱4,000+ for one tablet of painkiller, one tablet of antacid and 2 hours in the emergency room! Grabe.
If only I knew of these best health cards before…
Best Prepaid Health Cards in the Philippines
Since I’m a self-employed author, I can easily relate with everyone who sent me messages to ask me to recommend affordable health cards which can fit their needs.
Here are the best health cards in the Philippines that you can consider:
1. Maxicare EReady
What it is: Maxicare EReady is a one-time medical emergency prepaid healthcare card that covers up to ₱15,000 on illnesses or injuries that arise from medical-related emergency conditions
HMO Type: Affordable health card for emergency care
Prices: ₱839 (without major hospitals) or ₱1,039 (with major hospitals)
Maximum one-time coverage of ₱15,000
- Asian Hospital
- Cardinal Santos Medical Center
- Makati Medical Center
- St. Luke’s Medical Center QC
- St. Luke’s Medical Center Taguig
- The Medical City
Healthcare Coverage: Life threatening conditions, illnesses and/or injuries that require immediate medical assistance such as heart attacks, cardiovascular or cerebrovascular accidents, loss of consciousness, and convulsions
- Doctor’s services for emergency treatment
- Emergency room fees
- Emergency (no take-home) medicines for immediate relief and treatment
- Oxygen, IV fluids, whole blood and human blood products
- Dressings, casts, sutures
- X-ray, laboratory and diagnostic
- Initial treatment for animal bites (within 24 hours from time of bite; with vaccines included)
Once the EReady Card has been swiped and accepted by the system, it will automatically be deactivated.
Once activated, your card will be valid for one (1) year. When emergency arises, present your card together with a valid ID (government issued or official company or school ID card) to accredited hospitals.
2. MediCard Health Check
What it is: The MediCard Health Check card gives you unlimited check-ups with MediCard’s primary care physicians and select specialists plus one-time annual physical exam.
HMO Type: Affordable health card for preventive health care
Price: ₱500 per year
Healthcare Coverage: Annual Physical Examination and unlimited out‑patient consultations with MediCard’s primary care physicians and select specialists
Annual Physical Examination
- Comprehensive Physical Examination
- Complete Blood Count
- Fecalysis (Stool Exam)
- Chest X-ray
- General Practitioner
- Family Medicine Physician
- Internal Medicine Physician
- Gynecologist (except on maternity-related consultations)
3. PhilCare Health Vantage Adults 40
What it is: A multiple-use prepaid card that provides coverage for emergency care and hospitalization for viral and bacterial illnesses and treatment of injuries resulting from accidents (except for stroke).
HMO Type: Affordable health card for emergency and in-patient care
Price: ₱3,750 per year
Multiple-use, maximum coverage of ₱40,000 – You can use your health card as long as the total plan benefit limit of ₱40,000 is not used up within one year of activation.
Healthcare Coverage: Acute cases of bacterial and viral infections such as:
- urinary tract infections sinusitis
- upper respiratory tract Infection
- dengue fever
- typhoid fever
- Emergency room fees
- Room and board (Ward Room) if emergency case needs admission
- Doctor’s professional fees
- Laboratory, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures
- Medicines (except vaccines) as medically necessary during confinement except for cases declared as non-coverable
- Special modalities of treatment which are medically necessary during ER and confinement and subject to standard inner limits
- ₱10,000 life insurance
- ₱50,000 accidental death and dismemberment coverage
For more details, here’s a list of non-covered illnesses and diseases.
Final Thoughts on the Best Health Cards in the Philippines
At the end of the day, getting sick can be expensive — but you can lower the costs of medical expenses by getting a health card that best suits your needs.
Want to buy a health card but don’t have a credit card to pay for it? You may want to see this next post on how to get approved for a credit card in the Philippines.