What is Health Insurance?
Health insurance provides coverage for medical expenses related to illnesses, injuries, and conditions. This coverage is handled in two ways: insured parties will be reimbursed for medical expenses, or medical costs are settled directly by the insurance provider. The types of illnesses, procedures, and treatments covered will depend on the plan and the insurance provider.
Who Should Get Health Insurance?
The short answer is that everyone should get health insurance. The more in-depth explanation is that while everyone should, certain groups of people may need to have a health insurance plan as soon as possible. These people include:
- Breadwinners and providers for the family
As the primary provider, maintaining your health is crucial for continuing to support your family. Health insurance makes it easier to access medical services and treatments, allowing you to stay healthy without worry.
Additionally, some insurance plans allow you to cover your entire family with the same policy instead of buying them coverage separately. This will enable you to extend your security and protection to your loved ones, including dependent children and senior citizen parents.
- Students or Minors
Illness is an unavoidable part of growing up. Active students and minors can get injured from sports or outdoor activities. It can be tough for them to get sick or injured, as paying for medical treatments and services are costly. The best way to stay protected is by being registered as a dependent under their parents’ health insurance plan.
- Employees (Private or Self-Employed)
Under a traditional employer, you are usually covered by the company’s group insurance plan, which has set benefits for everyone. However, having a personal health insurance plan allows you to carefully select a provider and plan that suits your health concerns and fits your budget.
On the other hand, being self-employed means you have to assume the burden of processing mandatory contributions and providing your own benefits. Safeguarding your health is critical to keeping your freelance work or business activities going. Health insurance plans give you a safety net should you get ill or injured, especially when you’re in recovery and unable to work.
- Parents, guardians, and pregnant women
Parents and guardians are responsible for raising their children and providing for their needs—whether emotional, mental, financial, and so on. Having health insurance is essential to safeguard your well-being as a parent, as well as your children’s. The whole family can receive protection and healthcare whenever they need it, without worrying about the cost.
Pregnant women can also benefit from health insurance, as natal care and childbirth can be costly. Depending on the plan, these expenses can be significantly reduced or even availed without shelling out money.
- Newly-married couples
Starting a new chapter in life with a spouse means agreeing to invest in your future. Getting health insurance at this stage protects your well-being now and ensures that you can stay covered for years to come. Additionally, having your medical expenses covered lessens your financial burden, leaving you with more money for other critical investments during this period.
Benefits of Getting Health Insurance Coverage
There are several benefits to purchasing a health insurance plan for yourself and your loved ones.
- Hospitalization and medical bills are covered
Healthcare is one of the costliest expenses you can incur in your life. This can make it difficult to seek treatment when you’re in a financial pinch. Even worse, a medical emergency can quickly eat through your savings and possibly put you in debt.
Depending on the insurance policy you choose, a health insurance plan can typically cover hospitalization and other medical bills, allowing you to receive the healthcare you need without the financial burden.
- Easier to maintain your health
Generally, having a health insurance plan allows you to spend less on medical expenses, as the policy can reimburse you for them. Depending on your provider, you may even get certain medical consultations, tests, and other preventative care services without paying from your pocket.
Providers will usually have a list of affiliated doctors, clinics, and testing centers that are paid directly by them—all you need to do is show proof of your plan and fill out paperwork. As a result, treating illnesses and taking the appropriate measures to prevent them is more accessible.
- Safeguards against future illnesses
Health insurance plans are useful for needs in the present but also in the future. You may develop serious illnesses later in life, which will greatly affect your chances of finding an affordable health insurance plan. Long-term plans allow you to stay protected as you get older and may even cover life-threatening illnesses.
- Emergency services are covered
Anything can happen, and you may need urgent and possibly life-saving medical attention. Unfortunately, emergencies can be costly—from paying for the ambulance to receiving treatment in the emergency room. With a health insurance plan, you can be treated immediately and worry about the bill when you’ve recovered.
- Additional protection on top of your employer’s coverage
Most employees receive health benefits from their employers through the company’s group insurance plan. While this basic coverage is good when you’re just starting, having your own health insurance plan can give you additional protection outside of your HMO. A personal plan will also come in handy if you are no longer employed.
Factors That Affect Health Insurance Cost
Once you understand the benefits, the next question is usually “How much does health insurance cost?” Several factors affect the cost of health insurance in the Philippines:
As people grow older, they are likely to develop certain illnesses, conditions, and other health complications. As a result, they end up using more healthcare services than younger people. Your health insurance premiums are likely to go up as you start to age, as providers anticipate this increase in healthcare needs.
- Pre-existing medical conditions
People with different health conditions will have varying risks for developing certain chronic illnesses and other types of disorders. Insurance providers will consider pre-existing medical conditions to determine the premium rates for each policyholder.
When applying for a health insurance plan, you may be required to undergo medical examinations and disclose any pre-existing conditions or family history for certain illnesses.
- Type of insurance or coverage
Not all plans are created equal—some may have higher premiums than others. A general rule is that the more expensive the premiums are, the lower your out-of-pocket expenses will be. Adding optional benefits and riders will also make your premiums increase.
In addition to this, some insurance products are bundled with investment options. Investment-linked policies can have different price points compared to traditional or guaranteed policies, so take some time to compare the options available to you.
- Policy duration
Overall, your premiums may increase the longer you’re covered by your policy. Cost inflation for healthcare and other economic factors may also come into play. Policies that offer coverage beyond age 60 are also likely to incur higher premium charges since older people are generally considered to be more prone to illnesses and other medical conditions.
- Person covered
Another rule of thumb is that the more people a health insurance plan covers, the higher your premium will be. Say, if you were only to insure yourself, it would cost less than insuring you and your spouse. Naturally, a couples insurance policy would cost less than a family policy.
However, buying a plan as a family will turn out cheaper than if each family member were to buy an individual policy for themselves.
Protect Your Health
Having health insurance gives you access to healthcare when you need it, whether now or in the future. It also allows you to take charge of your well-being through regular checkups, tests, and other kinds of preventative care services. Getting health insurance today will give you the peace of mind you need to live your life without worries well into the future.
BPI-Philam has a variety of health insurance products that fit every type of need. With BPI-Philam, you can get insured easily, even amid the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more and schedule a virtual appointment with a Bancassurance Sales Executive today.