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Expat Exchange - Health Insurance in Philippines
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Palawan, Philippines


Health Insurance in Philippines

By Joshua Wood, LPC

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: Making the move to Philippines? One critical choice you'll face is between local health insurance and expat health insurance. Our article provides a comprehensive comparison of both, enriched with insights from expats in Philippines on their personal insurance decisions.

The Philippines offers a range of health insurance options for both locals and expatriates, ensuring that everyone has access to medical care. The system includes both public and private health insurance providers, with various plans tailored to meet different needs and budgets.

Health Insurance Companies in Philippines

In the Philippines, several health insurance companies provide coverage for both locals and expatriates. Some of the most popular insurers include PhilHealth, which is the country's government-sponsored health insurance program, and private companies such as Maxicare, Medicard, and Blue Cross. Expats are eligible to purchase health insurance from these companies, which offer a range of plans with varying levels of coverage and premiums. These insurers are known for their comprehensive health packages and extensive network of accredited hospitals and clinics throughout the country.

Expat Health Insurance in Philippines

Expats living in the Philippines often opt for specialized expat health insurance plans. These plans are designed to cater to the unique needs of foreigners living abroad, such as coverage for medical evacuation, repatriation, and international medical assistance. Some expats choose these plans for the peace of mind that comes with having a policy that is specifically tailored to their lifestyle and the flexibility to seek treatment both in the Philippines and in other countries if necessary.

Local Health Insurance vs. Expat Health Insurance

When it comes to choosing between local health insurance and expat health insurance, expats and digital nomads often weigh their options based on factors such as the length of their stay, their health needs, and their travel plans. Local health insurance plans are typically more affordable and provide adequate coverage for medical services within the Philippines. However, expats who frequently travel or prefer a higher level of coverage with international benefits tend to go for specialized expat health insurance providers.

Considerations for Health Insurance Overseas

When deciding on health insurance while living overseas, it's important to consider the specifics of the policy. One key factor is whether the insurer offers direct billing with hospitals and clinics or if you'll need to pay upfront and submit claims for reimbursement. The ease of the claims process, coverage limits, exclusions, and whether the policy includes preventative care, dental, and vision are also important considerations. Additionally, understanding the geographical coverage of the policy is crucial, especially for those who travel frequently or may require medical treatment outside of the Philippines.

Expats talk about Health Insurance in Philippines

"We do not have health insurance, except for PhilHealth through my husband's work. It pays for hospital stays, but there are a lot of out-of-pocket costs. However, these are not high - we are fortunate in that we have not needed any kind of major medical treatments. Something like advanced-stage cancer would have to be handled in Manila and would cost us in the realm of USD 5000 - 10,000, I'd estimate. Primary health care, like bandaging of wounds, bronchitis, and the like is free to all comers," commented one expat living in Bontoc, Philippines.

"There are a lot of health insurance choices on offer and it is highly recommended to go on one of them. To be without cash and medical insurance may become a death warrant for the "Unprepared"," mentioned one expat living in Philippines.

"I have not had to use my insurance here because the cost of care has been so inexpensive. I had to get an MRI which cost me less than 200 USD," said an expat in Philippines.

"Cebu city health care is very affordable. Good, top doctors compared to the U.S. When you are hospitalized and you ring for a nurse for help, you immediately get help - not one nurse but sometimes 3. We have a good experience in Cebu," remarked one member living in Philippines.

"I just explained my experience to the above question at Riverside Hospital in Bacolod. I spent 5 days there saw 5 specialists and the cost was $3,400 and they took care of my problem. I am American and on Medicare. If I have a serious problem I will go back to the states and use the Medicare. I also plan on enrolling in Philhealth after I get my ACR card," said one expat living in Philippines.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Palawan, Philippines

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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