1. Healthcare in the Philippines is expensive.
Healthcare remains a major problem for many Filipinos. Getting sick is a constant cause of worry because of the high cost of medical checkups, medicine, and hospital care in the country.
In fact, the 2019 Medical Trends Around the World survey found that the Philippines is the second Southeast Asian country with the most expensive medical costs next to Vietnam.
Here at home, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that Filipinos’ health expenditure in 2019 grew by 10.9%. This figure means that, on average, every Filipino had to increase payments for healthcare goods and services, from P6,200.30 in 2018 to P6,662.20 in 2019.
Another key finding by the PSA is that most of the spending came out-of-pocket, meaning Filipinos have to draw from their personal funds to get medical care.
When you have access to health benefits in your job, you don’t have to worry as much if you or your family dependents get sick, as your health provider can help ease some of the burdens. You’ll be entitled to out-patient and in-patient benefits, and some packages even include other healthcare essentials like maternity benefits in the coverage.
2. Your salary may not be enough to cover sudden emergencies.
Medical emergencies can happen to anyone, but not everyone can cope when such a situation arises.
Take the case of a worker who’s earning minimum wage. There is a huge deficit between the measly net pay of about P6,000 per month and the costs of sudden hospitalization, which may be broken down in average as follows:
● Use of the hospital’s emergency room: P2,500
● Ambulance: P5,000+
● Overnight hospital stay: P2,500
In this situation, you may find yourself either withdrawing from the savings account that took you months or years to build or seeking the help of your relatives or friends to pay for hospital bills.
On the contrary, your health benefits as an employee can go a long way during medical emergencies, serving as your means to get immediate medical attention without causing a strain on your financial resources or needing to borrow money.
3. Health and wellness are paramount, especially in the middle of a pandemic.
If there’s one positive thing that can be gleaned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s none other than the need to prioritize one’s health.
Staying healthy not only helps in protecting yourself and other family members from COVID-19 but can also save you from the huge costs of getting treated for coronavirus, approximately worth millions of pesos.
On the other hand, the pandemic is a health crisis that can be addressed by a strong healthcare support system, including private health insurance from your HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) provider.
Hopefully, it won’t be long before the vaccines against COVID-19 reaches every Filipino, but it’s vital to have guaranteed healthcare coverage that can lower your medical expenses should you get sick prior to inoculation.
4. You can have an ideal quality of life.
The lack of health benefits to cover medical expenses can lead to catastrophic health expenditures, which refer to health spending beyond what a household can afford.
Simply put, if you’re spending a large percentage of your income—or anywhere from 10% to 40%—on health care, you’ll need to tighten your budget even more by reducing your allocation for living essentials like food and transportation allowance.
However, in sacrificing these basic needs, your living standards take a hit. And so, you may be forced to incur debt or sell some assets to improve your situation.
If you have health benefits courtesy of your company’s HMO, you can avoid having to make catastrophic payments. Better yet, have enough financial capability to support the daily living expenses of your family.