Affordable Health Care Solutions for Freelancers

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

One of the perks of being a freelancer is that  you have the privilege of working at  home.  More often than not, however,  freelancers are not provided a health care benefit that would cover them in times of emergency and hospitalization.

Getting sick and not being prepared for hospital expenses can take one by surprise and can even exhaust one’s lifetime savings.  As a freelancer, how can you address your emergency visits to the hospital, or should the worse thing happen, how can you afford to pay for hospital confinements when the need arises?

Even with the recent approval of the Senate of the Universal Health Care Bill,  the period between now and to the time it is passed as a law exposes one with the risk of affordability of a decent health care coverage in times of need. https://www.bworldonline.com/senate-approves-universal-health-care-bill-on-third-reading/

How then can freelancers keep themselves prepared for health care emergency needs and confinement?

1. Become A Voluntary Member of Philhealth

Freelancers are mostly categorized as self-employed and can become a Philhealth member by paying a minimum of P200 or P300 per month to enjoy health care benefits from Philhealth. This article explains clearly how easy it is to become a member – https://www.moneymax.ph/blog/philhealth-voluntary-membership.

As a voluntary Philhealth member, you get to avail of an array of medical benefits. These are benefits for inpatient and outpatient expenses (but limited to non-emergency). For more details of benefits you may avail thru Philhealth, please refer to this link https://www.philhealth.gov.ph/benefits/. Please take note that membership does not guarantee 100% coverage. There are specific limits for various cases. For a bypass operation for example, this is limited up to age 70 and choice of hospitals may be limited to government hospitals. Leukemia is covered only to up age 10 . Prostate cancer is limited to expenses up to P100T.

Despite certain limitations, Philhealth membership gives you an affordable way to get your hospital expenses partly subsidized. With the pending Universal Health Care Bill, one can even look forward to Philhealth’s expanded services to include medical consultations, laboratory and diagnostic services.

2. Buy Prepaid Health Cards

Prepaid Card for Emergency Consultations

While Philhealth can provide to a certain degree health coverage for everyone, a visit to the emergency room to any hospital will definitely be for your account.  (Please note that   Philhealth coverage starts if one is confined for a minimum of 24 hours.)

Worry not because Maxicare EReady Prepaid Card gives you the assurance of up to P15T per emergency room consultation.   Cost per card is for a minimum of P549 (not including 6 major hospitals) or P749 (to include visits to 6 major hospitals).  https://www.maxicare.com.ph/healthcare-program-for-me-and-my-family/maxicare-eready/

Prepaid Card for Selected  Diseases

A more  flexible plan is Maxicare Lite.  For only P1,599,   Maxicare Lite gives you coverage up to P25T for confinement due to any of the following deadly diseases. Dengue, Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid and Paratyphoid, Gastroenteritis, Pneumonia, Leptospirosis and Chikungunya.  https://maxicareprepaidhealthcare.com.ph/product/mymaxicare-lite-1599

Prepaid Card for Unlimited Consultations with Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests

Maxicare’s Prima Prepaid Cards offer a solution to the high cost of consultation, laboratory and diagnostic tests. While this card does not include hospital confinement, it boasts of unlimited consultations, unlimited  laboratory and diagnostic tests,   thru an affordable annual premium of P4,999 for silver cardholder (age 0-59 year old) and P12,999 (for 60 year old and above) .

To know more about Maxicare’s Prima Cards, follow this link: https://shop.maxicare.com.ph/prima-gold.html

3. Invest In A Life Insurance with Critical Illness Benefit

If you are a freelancer and you have people dependent on you,  getting a life insurance coverage with a critical illness benefit is one thing that you should seriously think of.    If the company that you work for does not provide this benefit, talk to a financial advisor now.   A financial advisor can give you options for a life insurance that provides an additional benefit to take care of you to cover you for 60 critical illnesses.

With this plan, you can have the  peace of mind that should the eventuality happen, you can still leave a decent amount of money to leave your dependents.   Should you get seriously sick,  you can easily access a health fund that can provide a bigger amount of money more than what your health card or what Philhealth can provide. After all, major illnesses require huge amount of money both when you are confined at a hospital and when you go home and start to recuperate.  This fund will give you the chance to get well sooner with the right medication, treatment and care.

https://www.manulife.com.ph/Personal-Health

https://www.manulife.com.ph/FAQ-Critical-Illness-Coverage

Whatever life stage you are in, as a freelancer, nobody except you can best prepare yourself for times that you get sick or even hospitalized.

Sicknesses are not planned but not having a plan to have the ability to recover can really be a problem.  Look for the solutions now while you still can.

To help you in making the right choice for your healthcare needs, take a look at this Quick Guide to Maxicare’s Prepaid Cards.

Remember, you may not be wealthy, but being in good health makes you one!

  • The writer is affiliated with Maxicare and Manulife Philippines. As such, she earns commission from the sale of products from these institutions. To know more about Maxicare’s prepaid card  and Manulife’s financial solutions that best suits you, email her thru personalmoneymentor@gmail.com.