Here’s a hard truth: For many Filipinos, savings for healthcare are not considered a priority until they or a family member gets sick. And when it does happen, a recent study reveals many (40 percent of 1,350 respondents) cannot afford to pay for their hospital bills.
Life savings are at risk of being depleted or debt is expected to be incurred just so 35 percent of Filipinos can address their medical expenses.
While over 100 million are currently covered by state insurance PhilHealth and many have HMO plans, data show majority of healthcare spending is still paid out-of-pocket.
According to a study by Valerie Gilbert Ulep and Nina Ashley Dela Cruz, published in the Philippine Journal of Development, “out-of-pocket expenses remain to be Filipinos’ major source of financing for medical care,” accounting for more than 50 percent of the total, which “pushes Filipino households into poverty.”
“The fact that health expenses continue to rise each year, it’s becoming more expensive to be sick,” lamented Alok Roongta, chief of retail propositions at Axa Philippines. “Ironically, no product is available to cover all these costs.”
For instance, a severe case of COVID-19 can set a patient and their family back by millions of pesos, and PhilHealth, as of April 15, only covers a fixed amount of the patient’s hospital bills depending on the severity of infection.
“Ninety-five percent of Filipinos are very much concerned about COVID,” said Grace Mallabo, segment director for protection and health at Axa.
As the ongoing pandemic highlights the value of health protection, Axa Philippines introduces its new customizable protection and investment plan, MyLifeChoice.
The new product is an insurance and an investment in one. It covers 57 illnesses including heart attack, stroke, and cancer; while letting policyholders build a health fund by investing in a wide array of local and global funds based on their risk appetite.
“Our newest product MyLifeChoice addresses the need of people with clear goals and priorities, and help them achieve those goals,” said Axa Philippines president and chief executive Raul Hora.
MyLifeChoice allows customers to personalize their insurance plan depending on their priorities, budget, desired payment terms, investment profile, and desired supplementary benefits.
Budget-wise, for example, they can pay for as long as they want, whether that’s seven years, 10 years, or longer and they can opt to start for as low as P1,000 per month should they choose to pay regularly.
Customers can also customize their sum insured from seven times to 30 times their basic annual premium and enhance their plan with supplementary benefits as additional coverage to boost their protection if they so choose.
It also comes with a Start-Up Bonus equivalent to 70 percent of the first year premium invested in their selected Axa fund, as well as accident coverage benefit which will provide cash benefits in case of accidents and waiver of premium benefit where Axa will pay for future premiums in case of disablement.
Go to www.axa.com.ph/mylifechoice to know more.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.