(Part 1of2) Health Care in the Philippines

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  1. I am going to find out about PhilHealth next month when I get my ACR card.  However I am told by the PhilHealth office that all I need is to fill out the form and bring in a copy of my passport.  The cost is 2400 peso for a year so 600 per quarter.  You can pay for a quarter at a time if you want.  We found that out when Dina and I went in to pay for 6 months of her coverage.  Why I didn’t pay for a year and not 6 months I don’t know.  That was stupid and I was thinking that 5 minutes after walking out of the office.  Next time I will.

    1. @kgbonez wow that’s great. I need to get a crown done, maybe I can get it done in October while Im there.  thanks for the info. Wonder why in usa they can’t be a lot more reasonable ??   greed !! and rip offs!!  sick and tired of all that here.

    2. When i saw the +1 today on my comment i thought i would add a little more info about some things I learned. For teeth cleaning it cost about $4.50USD here in Argao, Cebu. X-ray for a tooth they suggest to pull is about $11.50 to $14.00USD. A single crown for a single tooth was about $65 USD. I need eye surgery and will cost about $2500.00USD. 

    3. @***** yes I found out its not too much, not $1000 usd, one of the things that lead to divorce here!!  Phsy here wanted $5.000 for real!! 

    4. @PronseMan see kgbonez response above… his wife had complications, C-section, baby, infection….hospital in Cebu?  ~$3200…..where could you get that for in USA ??? out of pocket ? Ask others that have been in the hospitals and used services there. USA is rip off for health care like a lot of other things.

    5. For the health care you can get in the Philippines, its FAR better than what you pay for in USA.  Premium alone just to add my wife and son is $9600 alone; dental work is also cheaper there; ie, circumscion usa $5,000,  phils more like 500.

  2. I live in  Florida and we have a lot of Candians that live here part of the year. They say they have to spend six monthes and a day in Canada to recieve thier heath care.

    1. What is that supposed to mean Stephen ?? – if they are from Canada
      they obviously spent 6 months and a day in Canada. Also are you
      referring to their coverage in the USA or in the Phils, from the medicare
      program in Canada??
       I think what your saying is you have to spend 6 months and a day in
      Canada, in any one particular calendar year, to be covered by the Canadian
      medicare program, in any foreign country you visit.
        Can you add a little clarity on this point Stephen ??

  3. I don’t believe it is true that Philhealth only covers inpatient care. There are outpatient services paid, though certainly not as comprehensive as we might be used to in the West. Best to Google if you want to know all the specifics. Their website lists typical outpatient services and what is paid out.

  4. Here how it works in Canada. Canadians must stay at least six months each calandar year to benefit from the National Health Insurance which covers all medical expenses in Canada. I do not know what is covered when traveling in another country. I always take additional health insurance when traveling outside Canada.


    1. +Mikhail Bulgakov I live in Ontario, Canada…… it’s not a National Health Insurance program. There is no such thing. It is Provincial Governments that are responsible for health insurance… not the federal government in Ottawa.
      Health insurance is run by the individual provinces. In my case… the province of Ontario. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ontario. As I type this… I’m looking at my provincial Ontario Health insurance card..

    2. @Mikhail Bulgakov all this talk about health insurance in Canada is not really productive except to say that as soon as you leave Canada for more than 6 (in Ontario 7 months) you are removed from coverage.  Regardless, there is no part of this that is transferrable outside of Canada… only if you manage to get back to Canada (fly back or air-lifted) within the allotted away time (6 – 7 months) will you be covered again.  While you are away, buy Travel Insurance from a Canadian provider.  I went with http://www.melochemonnex.com/en/travel and it cost me about 60.00 / month. (29 year old Female in good health).  If you have a pre-existing condition, you can get a rider for that particular condition.  If you have meds, get your Pharmacy to get you the max you can take (usually 6 months).  You will have to declare that you ARE covered by Canadian health insurance (example OHIP) during the time you are away (and this is so they can get away with stabilizing you then shipping you back to Canada for “provincially covered treatment” which saves them a bundle on the overall costs).  If you intend to stay more than 6 months… Good Luck.  Frankly, I love the Philippines but I think the best scenario is to snowbird it back and forth… enjoy the Canadian Summers and be in PH for the Canadian Winters!

    3. Yes there are a lot of Caisse’s in Winnipeg, I’m
      a member there, and I like the place- low key
      and friendly-thanks for that Richard. There is
      a very big French community here in Winnipeg
      and thuout the city and province there are
      15-20 Caisse’s. I did not know they were in UR
      province of Alberta. They are in Quebec as well,it’s really a French type credit union, with a
      good majority of their members being French.

    4. what bank insurance do you have ??-TD-or Royal or what- just curious. You know back
      awhile my friend bought travel insurance to
      go to the USA on holidays. Cost him just $ 15
      and was lucky his wife bought it. He had a gall bladder attack in the US and the tab was
      $ 35,000- big bucs, and that was 20 yrs ago.
      Pays to have this-what do you have??

  5. OHIP (Ontario, Canada) will cover limited emergency expenses travelling abroad.  If I’m absence from the country more than 212 days in a 12 month period my OHIP coverage lapses when abroad.  On returning to Ontario after say 2 years, I need to re-activate my OHIP..

    Supplemental health insurance is critical to top up any expenses OHIP would not pay when travelling abroad.  I would never rely on OHIP alone when abroad. The insurance company will bill back to OHIP in any event and do a top up.  I’d definitely consult with an insurance broker to fully understand coverage and limitations of supplemental health insurance and OHIP coverage.  

    Here’s link re: Ontario coverage when travelling for extended periods.  There are exceptions to the 212 day rule. There are a lot of rules, unfortunately.


    In Canada, each province and territory administers its’ own Health Plan but they are federally regulated so its a patchwork of ‘medicare’.  There are still a lot of out of pocket expenses. In Ontario, we pay for our own ambulance rides, for example. 

  6. Health care in Canada is based on the province you live in. Canada does not have national healthcare. It is provincial healthcare. The following is from the Alberta Health Care website: ‘Stays outside Canada for a period that will not exceed 6 consecutive months, and the person intends to return to and maintain permanent residence in Alberta on the conclusion of the stay outside Alberta.’

    This is also from the AHC website: ‘Alberta Health covers only limited physician and hospital costs outside of Canada. It is strongly recommended that Albertans obtain private supplementary insurance when outside the province or outside Canada, as costs for services can be much higher than in Alberta.’

    I believe all the provinces offer pretty much the same plan. Looks like a Canadian would be better to buy some local Philippines insurance as you may find out that you’re not covered. I’ve heard of this happening to other Canadians travelling outside of Canada, especially Mexico.

    1. @Grant Bedard Hi, I’m with you on the private health care. Even though things can go wrong health-wise with anyone, generally prevention is best. I tend to fall into the category of people that believe the government wants people overly ‘concerned’ all the time or just fearful, so health care is an easy one to promote in that way. Here’s hoping a Canadian team has a great playoff run to the cup!

    2.  Yes good luck to you as well. Personally
      I would never buy private health care, unless
      I had “serious” things wrong with me-a waste
      of both money and time. I just don’t have time
      for a 6 hour physical. Blood work- blood
      pressure-the basics. For someone that needs
      special care, I can certainly then see the value. Thanks for all your input on this. In our
      province in Manitoba, they strongly try to
      discourage “private care.” There was this
      private place that opened up, that did things
      like shoulder, hip and knee replacements. It
      was called the Pan Am clinic, and really it
      got so busy that the Province bought them out, because the politicians felt threatened
      by their superior service. Who wants to wait
      3 years for an operation-right ??? Anyways
      I’m going to have to look into what I’m covered for-before I travel abroad. Not quite
      sure what to think-“different opinions.”here.
      Thanks my fellow Canadian- just wonder how
      the Flames and Jets will do in the playoffs!!

    3. @Grant Bedard If you want there’s plenty of reading on the Federal governments site. Pretty dry though. Also, Alberta does have private health care. And it appears to be better than the provincial coverage. I looked it into it and a complete physical will take at least 6 hours whereas under the province’s plan you can be in and out in under 1/2 hour. It does cost a lot though, but no wait times for pretty much anything. Anyway, best of luck with all.

    4.  I do agree with most of your points here,
      especially getting supplemental coverage.
      There is “no doubt” about that- just to be
      safe. ( Blue Cross maybe- not sure??)
        Where I do not agree with you, is that
      the Provinces have their own health care
      that’s independant of the country. Another
      guy on here feels the same way. I believe
      the provinces have a lot of influence to changes and administration of the Canada
      medicare program. Same as the US- they
      call it Obama Care- but it’s at the federal or
      national level. I’m not an expert by any means, however I’m quite certain we’re on a
      national medicare system.
        If you were right, I would think a couple of
      provinces would be totally private, but it goes
      against the grain of the national plan. The reason you’d have to wait for 6 months or so
      if you moved, is so they don’t get billed twice
      for the same thing-“things like that.”
        Anyways, thanks for you input, but I’ll go on
      thinking we’re on a Federal medicare program, til proven otherwise. It is although
      “administered” by the provinces, which have
      added their own costs, and rules etc. You
      have done more research than I have, but I
      still believe I’m right. Thanks for the great
      input- I’ll have to look into this, and ask a
      couple doctors, and do a little research, but
      it really matters not, because healthcare is
      basically free in “all of Canada.”-and that
      tells you something.

  7. As an Australian we are not covered, you would have to take out private cover, or travel insurance for holidays only this information is for singles only, but if you go home to oz you are covered by Medicare. All this is if you are in good health. Now if you have health problems, as i do, you would have to be a millionaire to get travel insurance, and as i am over 60 and have health problems, forget medical insurance. What i have done is keep my private health insurance in Australia so if I feel like I have a problem I’m on the first available flights back home, they will supply wheel chairs at airports, meanwhile enjoy your life and be happy.

  8. As a Canadian i can tell you if you leave your province, you must return home after 6 month are lose your coverage. its not only when you leave the country but also counts if you go to another part of the country. However after the 6 months is up lets say am in Ontario and go to PEI I would just get PEI coverage after getting a residence., so we dont really see lost of coverage within the country

  9. Hi Henry. Ive been watching your videos and I find it informative and entertaining at the same time. Just want to ask, how come you havent applied for a retirement visa? Is it more economical to apply for extension of tourist visa?

  10. Thanks for all of the good info.  One area not covered is for US military retirees and Tricare.  I have Tricare Prime in the US but when I move to the Philippines in Nov, I will be dropped down to Tricare Standard (75% coverage).  Unfortunately, in four years when I turn 65, I have to enroll into Medicare Part B to maintain my Tricare Standard, although I will never use Medicare.  My Filipina wife will get me enrolled into PhilHealth when I arrive, so between PhilHealth and Tricare Standard, I should be covered pretty good for health insurance.  Anyone out there who has experienced using Tricare Standard, out in the provinces of Luzon (not the special program used in Manila and a few of the other special sites)?

  11. Note: This applies to leaving the country only, not going to another province.

    Just some clarification on the Canadian Health Insurance. Each province has it’s own “health insurance” with different time limits you can be out of country and keep your coverage.

    For example, in Ontario (I’m going through this right now for my trip) you can be out of province for 212 days per year and still maintain your coverage. You are then required to be back in the province for the next 153 days after you return to ‘reset’ your clock for the following years cycle. So, 212 days out and 153 days in, in the previous 1 year period. (365 days total)
    Now, this is meant only to keep your coverage active for when you return home. OHIP (Ontario Health Plan) covers very VERY little expenses incurred while actually out of country. So it’s best to get travel insurance, especially if you have a pre-medical condition…diabetes, Heart etc..


    The good news is, these limits can be extended. If travelling for work or business, it can be extended for up to 5 years and, if travelling for pleasure, it can be extended for up to 2 years. After which, you must return home. For extension purposes you must provide proof of work/business as well as provincial id showing you still maintain a current address/residence in your home province.

    Found all this out today (Sept. 21 2015) and this just may have changed my plans for staying even longer in the Philippines!

  12. I also have blue cross blue shield of Illinois which is an international policy. I have found no hospital that will accept it so I’m looking at canceling. at a cost of $4300.00 a year I have 1 million peso plan here for 34000 a year.

  13. Interested in moving to the Philippines. I am a 100% disabled and retired from a hospital. How expensive is living in the Philippines. I know a lot about the culture because I practice being Filipino.

  14. If you staying in Philippines as an expat from the United States and any other European countries and you need to go back home in case of an long standing illness or an disabling accident – you could use one of the Medevac services which will transport you safely home in a Commercial or Charter flights.
    More information at http://www.airambulancephilippines.com. Or just call them. USA tel no 001 412 567 2211.

  15. I came here I was engaged but I was on a tourist visa after I got My ACRI card yes I was able to sign up for Phil health. And got my Phil health Card. I haven’t had to use it yet Thank God so not sure of how much they pay like you I have heard different stories of 20% or 80% coverage. But yes you can receive Phil health as an Esbat on tourist Visa, once you’ve been here long enough to get your ACRI card.

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