Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Learning Experience in Philhealth

As I’ve said in my previous blog post, I’ll be providing some thoughts on what I learned while my better half is in the hospital. In this blog, I’ll be tackling Philhealth which is our insurance system.

I always thought that when it comes to national healthcare, we’re a bit better compared to Americans until their national healthcare system was pushed through their congress a few months ago. Through Philhealth, we’ll be able to have some discounts in medicine, hospitalization and even in doctors. Almost every hospital in the country is accredited by Philhealth which means I can easily walk to every hospital and ask for some assistance thinking that the Philhealth will help me with the bills.

While staying in the hospital, I often find myself going back and forth to the Philhealth liaison to check if my drug I’m about to purchase is covered by Philhealth. Imagine my grin when they stamp “Ok” on some prescriptions. It has saved me more than 2 thousand pesos just on medicine. When I checked out, I also asked for a couple of deductions in the room which was gladly provided by Philhealth. There are also prescriptions that I personally bought during the stay in the hospital that I gave to Philhealth. They told me to wait for 3 months for a reimbursement. Sounds great right?

But along the way, I have realized why many are complaining about Philhealth. I was a bit frustrated running around just trying to confirm my wife’s Philhealth membership. Luckily, I was able to get what I need and saved some money in the process. Yes, I’m still broke but not too broke.

Here are the things I learned about Philhealth:

• Better go on individual paying member rather than employed member – when you are employed, the documentations required by Philhealth is very difficult to access especially when you’re dealing with a big company. An added difficulty comes in when the person in the hospital is the person employed and you have to be there as a representative. But an individual paying member only needs to show the receipts of their payment to Philhealth.

• Look for a doctor accredited by Philhealth – I know there’s a doctor that is a proud member of Philhealth but I didn’t seem to find one in the hospital. I could have saved more in the process.

• If employed, double check with Philhealth every six months – I don’t know how you can do this but you have to double check with Philhealth to make sure the contribution is actually forwarded to Philhealth.

• Be paranoid on names – Philhealth is very, very strict in names. Double check the name, last name and middle name of the person so that you’ll get confirmed immediately.

• Look for the Philhealth office immediately and get the required documents. Complete the documents early so that you don’t need to run after documents when you’re getting out of the hospital.

Stay tuned for more articles regarding my hospital experience.

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