Jul 4, 2010

HMO for Today and After Retirement

ambulance by extranoise in Flickr.com
Yesterday, this Filipino mom began paying for after-retirement health care.

For two thousand pesos per month -- that's a Starbucks coffee every working day -- for five years, I am assured of a 60,000 peso annual health benefit starting sixty years old. That turns to 98,000 annual health benefit when I turn 65.

That's without touching my principal, which will continue to earn interest -- extra income! -- for me.

Should I need more money than my allotted annual benefit, I will still have my principal, an additional 980,000 pesos, that I could use for more expensive medical procedures.

Why Long-Term Healthcare?

If there is one thing I absolutely loved and now miss about my old job -- other than my colleagues, of course -- it's the HMO (health maintenance organization)! You seldom get HMO when you work at home.

And having been at a point in my life wherein our children got sick and we did not have the means to bring them to a hospital, I appreciated the HMO right to the core of my heart:

  • When a vomiting breakout occurred at home, I was able to bring the kids to the hospital immediately without worrying about where to get money for deposit or clearance. 
  • When my husband's blood pressure dropped so low, the brachiometer couldn't detect it, we were able to rush him to the hospital without me having to wonder how on earth I would pay for the bills. (Incidentally, he was rushed to the ICU -- supraventricular tachycardia, they called it -- and The Medical City charged us forty thousand for the overnight treatment.)

Though I myself hardly ever used it, I was thankful for HMO every day of my life.

But I left the company to work at home. And inevitably, I lost the HMO.

Life after HMO

Without the HMO, gone was my total peace of mind for the kids' health. Gone were the annual checkups. No more free dental prophylaxis -- oh, how I shall miss that.

No more free checkups for the kids. Every checkup is now a pain in the pocketbook. And God help us, please do not let them need a hospital now.

It's almost funny how acutely I miss my HMO, considering that I am young and healthy. What if I were old? There is no HMO after retirement.

Ironic, isn't it? When one starts getting sick, that's when the HMO disappears.

Now, when I have a full-time home-based job and two work-at-home sidelines, I am still afraid to go to the hospital, because of the expenses.

What will happen when I am depending on my retirement funds? Will my children be able to afford to send me to a hospital?

Even if they could, I don't want to be a burden to them. They will have my grandchildren to take care of.

That's why I am paying for my after-retirement HMO now, while I am strong enough to do a full-time job and two sidelines.  Soon, I will be getting the same plan for the rest of my family too.

HMO Now!

You see, in addition to the long-term health care, this plan also provides its owner right now an annual 50,000 peso medical benefit, in addition to free annual checkup and annual dental prophylaxis. It's like getting my old HMO back for myself and my family! Except we won't lose this one when I retire or resign.

What's more, if we don't get sick, we can get an 80% refund.

Did I say refund? Yes. Remember that with the HMO, if you don't get sick, you can say good-bye to your payments. That's 0% refund for staying healthy. You gotta get sick if you want to maximize your HMO payments. And I don't want us to get sick.

With this new healthcare plan, if I don't get sick for five years, I get 80,000 pesos after fifteen years. I'll be forty-seven then. I could use that money for paying off what's left of the amortization for the house I am dreaming of buying now.

All in all, I would say that this health plan was a heaven-sent for us. That's why I am so eager to share it with the rest of you Filipino moms out there. It was an answer to my prayers. Perhaps it could be an answer to yours as well.

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