Your Guide to the Best Health Cards for Senior Citizens in the Philippines
Published: January 29, 2021 | Updated: January 31, 2021 | Posted by: Rouselle Isla | Personal Finance
Isn’t it ironic that most health insurance companies end their coverage when you reach the age of 65? But at 65, you start to feel different aches and pains in your body. You’re also not earning as much as you used to. And this is why when you’re a senior citizen, you need health coverage more than ever.
But that’s the sad reality for many senior citizens. They end up paying for checkups, hospital confinements, and surgeries with their own money. It may be hard to find a health card for senior citizens that will provide health coverage and medical benefits. But thankfully, there are still great options available.
As senior citizens become more prone to illnesses and injuries, health cards should also offer better medical benefits. If you’re looking for an HMO for senior citizens, we have rounded up a few in this article.
Table of Contents
- What is an HMO Health Card?
- What is the Difference Between a Health Card and a Health Insurance?
- Requirements for Health Card for Senior Citizens
- HMO Health Cards for Senior Citizens
- Other Health Packages Available for Senior Citizens
- What are the Benefits of Health Cards for Senior Citizens?
- What to Look for in a Health Card
- Final Thoughts
What is an HMO Health Card?
HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. It’s a network or organization that provides health insurance coverage for a monthly or annual fee.
Premiums for HMO health cards are usually paid on a monthly or annual basis. Also, you can only receive services or get consultations from doctors within the HMO’s network.
For example, you don’t need to pay consultation fees if you consult with an accredited physician. However, you’ll need to pay if you consulted an unaccredited doctor. The same applies when you go to a clinic or hospital that’s not affiliated with your HMO.
What is the Difference Between a Health Card and a Health Insurance?
Premiums for HMO health cards are usually paid on a monthly or annual basis by the employer. In addition, you can only receive services or get consultations from doctors within your HMO’s network. With your health card, you can also avail inpatient and outpatient services, surgeries, and laboratory tests.
For senior citizens, you can get a prepaid health card. Just pay for the card and activate it. You can enjoy the benefits for one year or until you use up the package.
Health insurance, on the other hand, offers more benefits and more access to healthcare organizations or networks. As this is not shouldered by employers, you will need to pay health insurance premiums on a voluntary basis.
Depending on the illness, the cash benefit is also bigger compared to HMOs. Where HMO’s coverage usually ends at age 65, health insurance can provide coverage until age 100.
Requirements for Health Card for Senior Citizens
Usually, there are three things you need to do to get a health card for a senior citizen:
- First, register online or fill up an application form.
- Next, settle your payment.
- Lastly, activate the health card.
Prepaid health cards are usually valid for one year from the date of activation. Some health cards also require a few days before you can avail of the medical benefits.
HMO Health Cards for Senior Citizens
You never know when you’ll get ill or suffer an injury. So give yourself peace of mind and health protection. Check out these affordable health cards that can be useful for senior citizens for consultations and medical emergencies.
1. Maxicare Prima Gold
This is a prepaid health card for senior citizens 60 years old and up. It offers coverage for one year and includes pre-existing conditions.
Price: PHP 12,999
- Unlimited laboratory tests, diagnostics, and medical consultations at accredited clinics
- Up to PHP 20,000 emergency room coverage at Maxicare-affiliated hospitals
- 24/7 teleconsult service
- 1 year validity from date of activation
- Pre-existing conditions are covered
- No medical check-ups and paperwork required
2. MediCard RxER
The MediCard RxER offers preventive and outpatient care services for senior citizens. There is no age limit and no medical check-ups required. Just show your MediCard RxER at any Medicard clinic.
Price: PHP 1,998
- Unlimited consultations with MediCard primary physicians and select specialists
- Preventive healthcare services (APE, CBC, chest x-ray, urinalysis, fecalysis)
- Free dental consultations and one time oral prophylaxis
- 30% discount on laboratory, diagnostic and dental procedures, surgeries
- Emergency care benefits (trauma cases, burn, animal bites, etc.)
3. PhilCare Vida Care CORE
Senior citizens who want to enjoy free consultations can benefit from PhilCare Vida Care CORE. This is a prepaid HMO for senior citizens in the Philippines aged 60 and above.
Price: PHP 11,120
- Valid for 1 year upon activation
- Benefits start 7 days after activation
- 1 year unlimited medical and dental consultations with accredited physicians
- Pre-existing conditions are covered
- 1 year unlimited outpatient laboratory and diagnostic procedures at accredited clinics
4. Unli-Consult for 65-Plus by PhilCare
This health voucher offers 1-year unlimited consultation services for senior citizens 65 years old and above. Consultations should be with PhilCare-accredited doctors and dentists.
Price: PHP 5,000
- Valid for 1 year upon activation date
- Benefits start 3 days after activation
- Pre-existing conditions are covered
- Unlimited consultations with doctors and dentists
- Dental services (annual dental exam, orthodontic/aesthetic consultation, emergency treatments, etc.)
5. PhilCare Vida Care PREMIER
If you’re looking for an HMO for a senior citizen, you can also consider Vida Care PREMIER. This health voucher offers unlimited medical and dental consultations. It also offers unlimited laboratory and diagnostic procedures for senior citizens 60 years old and above.
Price: PHP 13,270
- Valid for 1 year upon date of activation
- Benefits start after 7 days from activation
- One year unlimited medical and dental consultations with accredited physicians
- Single-use benefit of up to PHP 20,000 for outpatient emergencies
- One year unlimited outpatient laboratory and diagnostic services at accredited clinics
- Accepted at over 500 PhilCare accredited hospitals
- Pre-existing conditions are covered
Other Health Packages Available for Senior Citizens
1. Sun Senior Care (Sun Life Philippines)
This health insurance for senior citizens offers preventive health services and diagnosis. When you get sick, you can also receive treatment and rehabilitation benefits. Issue age is from 50 to 70 years old, and coverage is until age 100.
Price: Premiums vary depending on age. You can pay in 3, 5, or 10 annual installments. It’s also available in monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual payments.
- Financial benefit equal to 150% of your face amount if diagnosed with any of the 17 covered critical illnesses
- Additional one-time cash benefit equal to 5% of your face amount for specific covered surgeries or conditions
- Dividends or cash value
2. Prime Care Cash Plan (Paramount Direct)
With Paramount Direct’s Prime Care Cash Plan, you can simply focus on getting better. This is a health insurance in the Philippines for senior citizens aged 50 to 75. It’s a hospitalization plan with coverage of up to 80 years old.
Price: Premiums range from PHP 213 to PHP 1,705 per month.
- Plan 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 available
- Free application and guaranteed acceptance
- No medical exams and health questions required
- Coverage starts once first premium is settled
- Daily cash and ICU benefit up to 365 days per illness and per confinement
- Surgical cash benefit
3. Premium HealthCare Plus Plan (Paramount Direct)
This hospitalization plan is for people aged 50 to 74 years old. It offers financial assistance for long-term hospital confinements.
Price: Premiums range from PHP 216 to PHP 1,730 per month.
- Plan 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 available
- Daily cash benefit and daily ICU cash benefit up to 365 days per illness and confinement
- Convalescence benefit for confinements longer than 30 days
- Surgical benefit for every covered surgery in your plan
4. Pacific Cross Premier
This is a medical insurance plan for senior citizens 65 years old and up. It’s renewable up to age 100. With this plan, you can reimburse medical charges and enjoy 10% co-payment. This means that Pacific Cross will shoulder 90% of the approved claim amount.
Price: Annual premiums start at PHP 31,063 for In-Patient and Emergency.
- Coverage starts 30 days after the date on your policy
- Immediate coverage for accidental injuries
- Pre-existing conditions are subject to evaluation
- Reimbursement of eligible medical expenses
- Critical care, emergency, and surgical benefits
- Your choice of your own doctor, specialist, and hospital
- Maximum coverage of PHP 1,500,000
- Emergency overseas coverage
- 24-hour customer assistance and emergency hotline
5. Kaiser Senior Care
This health plan from Kaiser is designed to address the medical needs of senior citizens aged 60 years and above.
Price: Annual premium starts at PHP 25,300.
- Reimbursement type coverage for pre-existing illnesses, consultations, hospital visits, and medical expenses
- Kaiser to cover 90% of hospital bills
- Your choice of hospital, doctor, and specialist
- Coverage of up to PHP 1,000,000
Under the Expanded Senior Citizen Act, PhilHealth coverage for senior citizens 60 years old and above is mandatory. Whether you’re a lifetime member or automatic member, all senior citizens can claim PhilHealth benefits.
Price: At least 120 months of contributions for lifetime members
- Inpatient and outpatient benefits
- Z Benefits package
- No balance billing policy in public hospitals
Note: In case of hospital confinement, you can use both your health card or health plan with your PhilHealth benefits to save on medical bills.
What are the Benefits of Health Cards for Senior Citizens?
With a health card, senior citizens can enjoy zero or low out-of-pocket medical expenses. You can pay premiums with payment modes that suit your budget and choose a health package that’s right for your needs.
Furthermore, prepaid health cards can be purchased easily. And once you activate it, you can already enjoy the benefits for a year.
Health cards are also affiliated with a whole network of healthcare providers. This means that you can take your pick on who will provide your medical care.
Most prepaid health cards also don’t require check-ups and interviews. This means that even if you have a pre-existing condition, you can still get health coverage.
What to Look for in a Health Card
- Cost: It should be something that you can afford so you can continue to enjoy health protection every year. Consider if a one-time payment is better than monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual payments as well.
- Age Requirement: Check if you meet the age requirements. It’s good to go for a health card or health plan that will provide coverage until age 100.
- Benefits: When it comes to health cards, you want to get your money’s worth. Sometimes even more. If you can find a health card for senior citizens that offer different types of medical services for a reasonable price, then that’s a steal. Try to compare emergency care, inpatient and outpatient benefits, or hospitalization packages, if any.
- Accredited Clinics and Hospitals: A health card may be affordable, but where can you use it? Where is it accepted? This is why you should get a health card with a big network of hospitals and clinics in the country. This way, you can go to the nearest clinic or hospital wherever you may be and use your health card.
Although there are not a lot of health cards for senior citizens in the Philippines, the options on this list are still quite good. Suffice it to say, getting sick and being confined in the hospital is no laughing matter. Especially when you think about how much you will pay for your medical bills.
As a senior citizen, there may be things you can no longer afford. But your health should not be something that you should skimp on. Invest in a good health product that will ease your worries and help cover medical costs. If you don’t prepare for medical emergencies, you can truly be just one hospitalization away from poverty.
Aside from taking care of your health, getting a health card is the next best thing. Especially if you’re not getting any younger!
Sources:  Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) (Investopedia, 2020)
Rouselle is a quirky midlifer who loves the hustle of writing. She is also passionate about books, food, and film. When not busy typing away on her laptop, she’s busy collecting life moments and indulging in guilty pleasures. Follow Rouselle on Linkedin.