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Medicare in the Philippines

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Tsmslf
9/3/2019 14:55 EST

Rather than bury this in the current health insurance post, I wanted to blare this to all US expats. St. Luke's likely the RP's pre-eminent hospital, ACCEPTS SOME MEDICARE AND US SUPPLEMENTAL INSURANCE!!

This stunning - to me at least - information was discovered on the net under St. Luke's Hospital site. If it's well-known to you long-timers, my apologies but for the rest, read on.

There are limitations but they can be achieved by changing Medicare providers I think though NOT sure. My Medicare is an Advantage plan with an AARP supplemental via United Healthcare.

This changes my calculus on living (and dying) in the RP as I can medvac to Manila if I live elsewhere or pay the price of Manila living for the security of St. Luke's care with Medicare and my supplemental coverage already paid for so I wouldn't need other coverage.. One could geographically extend residency North to Subic or South Tagaytay and still be covered by St. Lukes with pre-arranged ambulance transport.

There's a deal in there somewhere and this is great news to me and, I hope, many of you.

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mattinnorfolk
9/3/2019 15:22 EST

Great post and message for you to get this information out to everyone and this is why you were one of the smartest 10,000 people on this form! :-) Thank you very much !! I think higher!! ????

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phonedoctor1
9/3/2019 15:32 EST

i will be on Mindanao island, specifically Cagagan De Oro so i have medicare, AArp complete, so what is the best for me there ???

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Tsmslf
9/3/2019 15:38 EST

I don't know what is there as this is still new to me. I would ask my provider were I you and then check with them to see if they offer alternate Medicare plans, such as an Advantage Plan, which is available to beneficiaries in the RP. I'd then ask for policy copies and where to find the coverage sections. The time to do that kind of stuff is now, when it doesn't count not later.

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darkfader24
9/3/2019 19:26 EST

Tsmslf - This is very interesting news. I am very interested in hearing what you find out. My Medicare documents tell me that once you move away from USA Soil you can no longer participate in Medicare. They say if you return to live in the USA you can rejoin Medicare but at an elevated cost. So what you are saying in this series of posts is very interesting to see if it is really viable. Thank you for your information!

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Tsmslf
9/3/2019 21:04 EST

There are innumerable variables in this and I am never going to make blanket statements other than to look at the St. Luke's site and suggest each of you then look at your own insurance situation. Like you, I was aware that Medicare was US usable only but US included possessions like Guam. There were others who alluded to more requirements as to Guam but I have no knowledge of it at all.

My intent is to run this down based on my deal with my insurers and find out if they participate with Lukes. If not, I'll see which insurer does and switch if I can.

Wouldn't it be great if this works out??!!! WOW!!! Safe and it costs zero as it's already being taken from my social money and it isn't affecting my net there but cuts hundreds from my RP cost of living budget except I may do PhilHealth which is negligible in dollar terms.

Go look at the website and smile

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Robertdav298
9/3/2019 21:21 EST

ALL, . before we get embatlled by this medicare idea.
I suggest you contact ST. LUKE and find out for yourself. I also suggest we turn to the internet with a simple QUESTION is medicare valid in the RP.

Excuse me if I am skeptical but if this were the case it would be all over the news and facebook.

TM.......thanks for the post, we just need to do our homework.

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catabisis
9/3/2019 23:42 EST

Robertdav, i’m with you. I am skeptical that Medicare will pay here. If here, why not everywhere else in the world? The government is very anal about discrimination. I had a deviated septum repaired. The doctor told me if he did two exact operations paid by Medicare and did a little extra repair on one of the two patients, he could get sued by the government. He had 7 kids and discouraged all of them from medicine. He said the government took compassion out of the medical field. I am sure that insurance companies didn’t help

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darkfader24
9/4/2019 00:07 EST

Right on, TM and RobertDav.

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darkfader24
9/4/2019 04:43 EST

Catabisis - I'm sorry that you had to go through that. Just my 2 Pesos - The Gov't takes compassion out of EVERYTHING. That is a great line, By the way. Great because it is succinct - and speaks Truth!

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catabisis
9/4/2019 05:51 EST

Sorry to all. I didn’t mention that wasn’t on Medicare at the time I spoke to the doctor. I asked if any of his seven kids pictured on his desk would be doctors. That is when he told me he didn’t want any of them to be doctors and talked then about Medicare and lawsuits by the government

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Tsmslf
9/4/2019 12:15 EST

To All:

This is the URL info on the pages I have:

https://www.stlukes-stl.com/medicare/index.html

All lower case and one line. the dash after lukes is part of the address.

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Robertdav298
9/4/2019 21:24 EST

Guys, I forgot to mention that I use ST. LUKES for my TRICARE bad thing is I have to pay upfront while they send in the claim. Sometimes it takes as much as 3 months to get re-imbursed.
Next time I go I will ask about medicare and then share with the forum.

Also, I have used my TRICARE at Andersen AFB in GUAM no problems, good news they no re-imbursement necessary.
Since it is a US Territory medicare should be accepted, next time I am there I will inquire about the particulars. This may be useful to the expats on MEDICARE because GUAM is much closer than US.

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Tsmslf
9/4/2019 23:05 EST

There is no question but that Medicare is usable in all U.S. possessions such as Guam and the Marianas. That is common knowledge and I think I've seen it before on this site.

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darkfader24
9/5/2019 02:42 EST

Robert - I am not ex-military. (Thank you for your service). But as a regular USA Citizen do you think it is possible to stay on Medicare and just go over to Guam for Big Procedures? I pay a little under $300 per month for it plus another $200 for Supplemental and California Prescription Meds. It does not include insulin. Insulin through Medicare is $410 every 6 weeks - and $215 including Dry Ice shipping from Canada, eh. Guess where I buy it from. Less than half and it's only a border. Why the price difference? Big Pharma gouging us. People die because they cannot afford their insulin. Price gouging should be illegal when it comes to life saving meds.

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Robertdav298
9/5/2019 03:12 EST

Dark, medicare will not pay for medical or medical supplies "outside the US" meaning anywhere other than the 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam or American Samoa.
The tricky part is that you have to be living in Guam i.e. a resident to use your medicare.
But if you were smart you would go to Guam and set up residency, inform MEDICARE that you are moving to Guam......then do your thing and save $$$$.

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darkfader24
9/5/2019 06:20 EST

Robert - and Guam wouldn't have a problem with me not actually living there? Wouldn't the RP and Guam eventually "Find Out" that I had two residences? What about taxes? Pay taxes for Guam AND the RP AND the USA? Sounds costly - plus Medicare isn't inexpensive. I will be only getting about $1,100 to live on. I don't expect you to solve my problems - I'm just asking in case you might know - or if my questions give others here in this thread something to think about.

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BC57
9/5/2019 06:37 EST

Tsmslf

Not sure if this is accurate and hopefully someone can confirm if correct or incorrect. It says someone would have to be a resident to use medicare in Guam which would rule out just flying in to get treated, etc.... See below.

I found this while searching:
Traditional Medicare does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States (although Medicare does cover residents of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands).

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Goslig
9/5/2019 08:01 EST

darkfader24 I don’t pay any taxes in the Philippines. My pensions come from Canada. My pensions were reduced 25% because I left Canada, and I am taxed on them at a higher rate than if I lived there. There is a tax treaty between Canada and the Philippines, or I would have to pay more than the 15% I do now. I don’t pay any US tax since my income is less than $200 K. annually. https://m.taxesforexpats.com/philippines/us-tax-preparation-in-philippines.html

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Goslig
9/5/2019 08:06 EST

darkfader24 There are lots of Expats that maintain 2 residences. If you’re a Resident of Guam, it’s the same as being a resident in two different States.

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Tsmslf
9/5/2019 10:12 EST

For Medicare purposes, those places are the US. Medicare is not limited to the No.American continent

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Tsmslf
9/5/2019 10:17 EST

That residency argument makes no sense. As a Californian, do I need to be a resident of Virginia to use Medicare there? Of course not. Medicare is not a state program; it's a federal program and is available everywhere that is subject to federal law.

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LovePhilly
9/5/2019 10:37 EST

Lots of people have multiple residences but they can only legally be a resident of one place and that's the place where you live the most part of each year.

Dark, you are paying a lot of money right now. I would consider dropping what you have now (all of it), buying low cost philhealth and put the money you spend each month now in a savings account for medical expenses. Health care is so cheap in the RP you can probably save a lot of money by just paying what philhealth doesn't pick up.

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LovePhilly
9/5/2019 10:41 EST

Dark if I understand right, you pay 500 dollars a month for insurance now. That's 6,000 a year and I can't imaging there being any procedure in the RP costing more than that. A doctor visit is only 8 bucks. A hospital stay is 50 dollars a night. I don't know what insulin costs there.

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Morgacj2004
9/5/2019 11:58 EST

Love Philly not quite as cheap as that my mother in law was just in Chung Hua Hosp Cebu City the bill for less than a week was 40k pesos including antibiotics which were 5k there were no surgeries or procedures medical costs are rising

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Morgacj2004
9/5/2019 12:01 EST

Exactly Medicare is a federal program that you can benefit from where ever it is offered irregardless of what state you signed up in living overseas however limits your eligibility so check on the US residency requirement

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Tsmslf
9/5/2019 12:35 EST

Living overseas is rather vague as Hawaii is overseas. One doesn't register for Medicare if one moves within US states and the same is true for territories such as Guam or Puerto Rico.

Federal law is universal in the US and surely Guam is the US as much as Wyoming.

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Tsmslf
9/5/2019 12:37 EST

Generally, in law, your "home" is known as your "domicile". One may have many residences but only one domicile.

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darkfader24
9/5/2019 14:42 EST

Gentlemen - Thank you for all of the interesting information. Regarding Morgac's Mother In Law, that's about 1/3rd of an ambulance ride to the ER here in California. But I can tell it is a very high hospital bill for the RP. Well, the care, education, and medical equipment is probably getting better which means more cost. So you are going to see it rise as time goes by. The price of crawling out of the Third World.

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Morgacj2004
9/5/2019 15:05 EST

And actually we hot a second bill for another 21k . Those 2 charges did not include medication once she hot home

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LovePhilly
9/5/2019 18:39 EST

Still Morgac, I just spent that much to have my air conditioner repaired! lol. Anyway Dark, you get the idea. What if you were in for a week and had to have a surgery and the final bill were 4k? It would still be cheaper than paying for insurance (with the exception of philhealth). Anyway, that's my plan.

Philhealth will cover at least 30% of that leaving you with 2,800 out of pocket. That's for a major incident and you probably aren't gonna have one every year I hope.

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Robertdav298
9/5/2019 20:53 EST

MORGAC, DARK and Love, I had a friend living in CEBU and needed a bypass. He was admitted to CHUNG HUA, hospital.

He had PHIL HEALTH only, his total bill was 2.5 million PH of which Phil Health paid 25K, leaving him to pay the rest.

He was happy to pay it because it saved his life. It sounds expensive right but when you convert it to $$$$ and compare it to what it costs in the US it's astounding.

I asked him why didn't you go back to NY and have it done because his out of pocket would have been next to nothing? He replied "I would have died on the plane".

Having discussed all this I am now wondering for those expats that have MEDICARE and need emergency surgery a trip to GUAM or ST. LUKE in MANILA sounds like a great choice.

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TeeJay4103
9/6/2019 05:01 EST

Tsmslf

I spoke with an expat the splits his time between Guam and the RP.

He stated that he new of no residency restriction for use of Medicare insurance at the Hospitals in Guam.

I believe the 7 day reference was with regard to getting a divorce in Guam.

http://guamfamilylawoffice.com/divorces/guam-7-day-residency-divorce/explanation-guam-7-day-residency-divorce

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Robertdav298
9/6/2019 08:58 EST

TEEJAY.....this is good news, did you ask him if by chance he used his medicare in GUAM

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TeeJay4103
9/6/2019 10:23 EST

Robertdav298

No I didn't ask, though he is a U.S. citizen of retirement age.

I'll send him a message and ask if he has used his medicare there.

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LovePhilly
9/6/2019 10:42 EST

WOW Robert! 48,000 dollars! Wow. I thought Philhealth would cover 30% to 50% of everything. I guess there is a ceiling limit and I need to read carefully. Thanks for sharing.

If it were a serious surgery I would definitely want to go to St. Lukes.

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Tsmslf
9/6/2019 11:30 EST

Teejay: I am sure that's correct and I wrote about it above so it's good to have that kind of confirmation.
Remember too that the 7 day wait period is only for an UNCONTESTED divorce. A contested divorce requires a 90 day residency.

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gelynch52ph
9/7/2019 08:42 EST

I would like to see a source for this information. According to Medicare, the only way it can be used outside the USA is if one lives in the Outer Marianas Islands. In that case, it can be used in The Philippines. Of course Guam is part of the USA and Medicare is in effect there.

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gelynch52ph
9/7/2019 08:44 EST

You must be talking about some Medicare supplement plan sold by an insurance company and not Medicare itself which is a US Government function which you have paid into while working.

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Goslig
9/7/2019 09:23 EST

I would think those provisions would apply in all of the US territories: American Samoa.
Guam.
Northern Mariana Islands.
Puerto Rico.
U.S. Virgin Islands.

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LovePhilly
9/7/2019 10:51 EST

Robert, ignore my last. My math was off. It looks like philhealth DID cover half the cost of that surgery. My dad recently had that surgery here in the U.S. with medicare and his copay is at least as much as the guy in RP. That's not bad (still a lot of money).

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twj4241
9/7/2019 13:23 EST

Let's not get too excited fella's. This information is from:

St. Luke's Hospital
232 South Woods Mill Road
Chesterfield, MO 63017

not in Manila!

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Morgacj2004
9/7/2019 14:50 EST

Thank you TWJ ! I was seriously wondering about that.

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TeeJay4103
9/8/2019 22:45 EST

Robertdav298

I just received a reply from Guam Regional medical City Hospital. A 4 year old hospital with good reviews and new equipment.

Yes, they do take Medicare as does Guam Memorial, though Memorials ability to take Medicare is under review by Medicare for failure to comply with Medicare requirements. (another story)

I would suggest that they be contacted in advance with regard to any out of pocket billing (co-pays, etc.) for non residents.

My request for information took about two days for a response. They have a website as well as a Facebook page. The FB page responded.

https://www.facebook.com/GuamRegionalMedicalCity

Their website lists insurances accepted.

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Robertdav298
9/9/2019 04:14 EST

TEEJAY.......for non-residents?

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TeeJay4103
9/9/2019 06:29 EST

Robertdav298

Residency is not required, your ability to pay your bill is.

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darkfader24
9/9/2019 18:26 EST

TeeJay - Wow! Very interesting news. Thank you! Worth investigating.

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Robertdav298
9/9/2019 21:04 EST

sounds good

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