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Medical Insurance

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rrider

Medical insurance has probably been discussed here many times, but I would like to bring it up again.  I am planning on moving to Cebu permanently in the near future, and visiting family and friends here in Canada once a year for a couple of three months or so. When I do this I will lose my medical insurance here in Canada, so I'll need some sort of medical insurance to cover me and the wife here when I return for a few months, and something to cover us in the Philippines as well. My wife is a dual citizen, holding passports for both Canada and the Philippines. I'm on a limited income and can't afford to much, so what is there out there that is affordable for a 70 year old retiree? I would like a Canadian perspective on this please, because I know it can/is different for other nationalities. 

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Jawny

It is definitely worth the time to search the archives of LinC under the health medical insurance etc. lots of threads and recent as well.

i have a private insurance but not available to you, so no specific recommendation. However, many people use Philheath. For foreigners the price is higher than for Filipinos. Even so, it does have one big benefit that hospitals are more likely to admit you with low or no cash deposit with Phil Heath. The reimbursement is low compared to other insurance.

If you read the older posts, you’ll find that pre existing conditions are a big deal as to coverage.  I believe most if not all companies will require a preliminary exam before insurance. Premiums can be costly for seniors.  Also, if you are returning to Canada, you may need an international coverage which may add to the premium costs. , 

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Soupeod

Most hospitals only take cash (other than J’s Philhealth comment above.

then you get reimbursed from your insurance... so you need cash first.
Do all Cebu hospitals operate that way as well?

 

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Bama
6 hours ago, Jawny said:

However, many people use Philheath. For foreigners the price is higher than for Filipinos. Even so, it does have one big benefit that hospitals are more likely to admit you with low or no cash deposit with Phil Heath. The reimbursement is low compared to other insurance.

Typically, you have to have an ACR card to sign up for PhilHealth. Do you have one ?

With no insurance-----then cash to pay for your medical care is your only option. Again, typically---no cash means no treatment with little regard of how dire your medical situation might be.When I say cash------I mean cash on hand in your local PI bank.You might not be able to wait for Uncle Bob to wire you money from Quebec two weeks from now or have the time to cash out some IRA or savings bonds.

Some that have got caught up in this have gotten by for a bit using CC's to pay for hospital care but often the CC company shuts the cards down when they get processed every few days for odd amounts of money from a foreign country.

Good luck with your decision.

 

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Headshot

A credit card works just as well as cash in Cebu hospitals. They accept Visa, Mastercard and often American Express. That way, you can keep the majority of your money in a bank in your home country, but still have access to it in a Cebu hospital. I find that much more convenient than trying to pay a hospital bill with a local bank account.

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to_dave007
1 hour ago, Headshot said:

A credit card works just as well as cash in Cebu hospitals. They accept Visa, Mastercard and often American Express. That way, you can keep the majority of your money in a bank in your home country, but still have access to it in a Cebu hospital. I find that much more convenient than trying to pay a hospital bill with a local bank account.

Just keep in mind..  there can be substantial discounts for cash payments.

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fred42

What about travel insurance for those here for 6 months or less?? Might be worth a look!

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rrider

Thanks guys, good info. But I am not worried about medical expenses there in Cebu. I have been hospitalized twice (for 3 days, both times), for stomach ailments, (damn, got to stop eating that street food, lol), and we paid cash both times, the cost was a lot cheaper then what I would have paid for the travel insurance. We will be looking into the Phil Health next year, when we get there in January. What I am wondering about, is what do we do for coverage for our visit in our home country for a stay of 2/3 months? What I discovered so far it's going to cost me anywhere from $560 to $650 US,  or more per month for international insurance, because of my age.  Which I think sucks, because I can probably run circles around guys 20 years younger then me lol. I wonder if we expats could start up some kind of international medical insurance co-op? do think it could be cheaper then the big insurance company's ? or maybe cost more?

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to_dave007

How often are you planning to visit Canada once here?

Will you still be filing Canadian tax returns annually?  In Ontario we pay our OHIP health care premiums via our annual tax returns.  I still pay my premiums, and I'm still covered.  Received new heath card earlier this year.  It appears to me, and to several other Canadians from Ontario, that though OHIP CAN cancel our coverage (and require a 90 day reinstatement period) it does not actually do so, unless you make a claim for medical expenses overseas.  Your province may be different, but for me it means I can visit the doctor in Ontario when I am there.

 

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rrider

I have just contacted Alberta health, they informed me that if I live outside of the country for 9 months, and return for 2 or 3 months to visit family and friends, we'll lose our coverage. You have to be in Alberta for at least 6 months of the year to keep your coverage. So, what  I am thinking is that we'll have to buy travel insurance for the months that we'll be in Canada. That'll cost us between $1800 to $2400 for both myself and the wife, depending on how long we stay in Canada, the deductible, and which company we get it from. Just so you know, in Alberta I don't pay for my health care, the government does.

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Woolf
29 minutes ago, rrider said:

That'll cost us between $1800 to $2400 for both myself and the wife,

puuuuh that is very expensive, I pay for full travel insurance 4 months in philippines about 800 CAD (4120 DKK)

 

33 minutes ago, rrider said:

in Alberta I don't pay for my health care, the government does.

government pays ??   with some the money that you paid in taxes all your working life I guess ??

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rrider

That cost is for travel in Canada for 3 months. yep free health care and blue cross for seniors and their dependents here. and heh, I got get something out of all the taxes I have paid all my working days eh.

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Jawny

You seem to have a plan for the health insurance while in Canada. However, I’d suggest that in addition to Phil health coverage while here, a reserve of around one million pesos is not unreasonable. This amount is at the extreme end of amounts to cover what you might expect.  Even so, there are situations where this can rapidly deplete for surgeries, other medical costs which Phil health will not cover adequately. 
 

For those that say use a credit card, not all of us use credit cards with high limits. 

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Headshot
2 minutes ago, Jawny said:

For those that say use a credit card, not all of us use credit cards with high limits. 

Having a decent credit card from a western bank is a personal choice, but I know that having one has kept me out of the soup on numerous occasions. If you don't feel comfortable having a credit card, then you get to live with the consequences, such as needing a large amount of money immediately available to you in the Philippines (a million pesos is between 19k and 20k USD currently). That does not mean having it in a Philippine bank ... because it may take days to access money from a Philippine bank when your only choices are pay now or not receive care in an emergency health situation. I don't like having that much cash on-hand. Personally, I can't imagine trying to live here without at least one credit card. You would be putting your life at risk.

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