I was 33 years old when I realized how unprepared my husband and I was for life’s emergencies.
It all started with a throbbing, steady pain, said my husband. He would wake up at 12 midnight staying until 3AM, silently bearing the pain on his right abdomen.
After months of trying to keep it from me, I woke up one morning to see him curled silently in the couch downstairs. The check-up and all the tests that followed confirmed our suspicion: gall stones, which was then pressing already to the small opening leading to his liver. After months and months of tests, medications and even a complete check on his stomach to make sure there wasn’t any other obstruction — a sudden, sharp pain one Saturday afternoon finally sent us to the Makati Med ER where the doctors immediately scheduled him for surgery.
Our expected expense: about PHP250,000 including doctors’ fees. Our bank account had a total of PHP20,000, give or take a few hundreds.
It was my health card that saved us from all the worries, and gave us the energy to focus on his treatment and on getting the best medical care possible.
After surgery and recovery which constituted the five days he was in the hospital, our total bill came up to PHP220,000. I paid 50 pesos for the portable potty he needed to use; while PhilCare, my health care provider took care of all the rest — hassle-free.
It was that time when I became obsessed on getting any form of health care for my loved ones. Granted that my health care coverage was made possible by employment, I was relieved to note that PhilCare took their services to the next level by introducing a line of prepaid health cards.
The following Christmas, I gave my favorite aunt and uncles PhilCare ER Vantage cards, and encouraged cousins to buy one. Before my father turned 65, I bought him his own ER Vantage.
It is not surprising that PhilCare would come up with an affordable prepaid card. Only 4% of Filipinos enjoy HMO coverage, and the bulk of that small percentage have that coverage as a corporate benefit from their employers. The reality for most Filipinos is that if and when a major health crisis does occur, they simply aren’t prepared.
As one of their most popular products, ER Vantage is available for both children and adults and will cover the bearer for a single use or a period of one year — whichever comes first.
ER Vantage gives you a one-time coverage for emergency room care and hospitalization expenses, inclusive of Doctors’ fees, Laboratory and diagnostic procedures, Room and board (regular private room) Medicines (except vaccines) as medically necessary during confinement except for cases declared as non-coverable, Special modalities of treatment which are medically necessary during ER and confinement and subject to standard inner limits, Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as medically necessary during ER and confinement
Emergency cases are the sudden, unexpected onset of illness or injury, which at the time of contract reasonably appeared as having the potential of causing immediate disability or death or requiring the immediate alleviation of severe pain and discomfort. Emergency cases include but are not limited to Massive Bleeding; Acute Appendicitis; Fractures/multiple injuries secondary to accidents; Convulsions; illnesses or conditions resulting in moderate or severe dehydration such as diarrhea or fever; and Syncope. Pre-existing conditions and those conditions under the general exclusions of PhilCare are not covered. In addition, ER Vantage comes with a death of dismemberment payout.
Prices for ER Vantage for adults range from Php 1,050 to Php 4,950, amount of coverage is between Php 40,000 to Php 80,000 depending on the ER Vantage card/voucher purchased. For kids the prices range between Php 2,950 to Php 4,950.
In my family, I have a lot of aunts and uncles who have no children, or those with no means to get their own health card. Like before, I’ve bowed to get them the ER Vantage Plus 40 for Christmas.
I know, it’s a bit pricey as a Christmas gift for the extended family, but since these are my favorite aunt and uncles — and from experience — would depend on our help during medical emergencies. Giving them the security and protection afforded by a health card is worth it.
If you want to know more about ER Vantage or shop for your own: http://shop.philcare.com.ph/index.php?route=product/search&search=er%20vantage%20plus