Isn't it ironic that companies offer health insurance coverage only until the age of 65? But senior citizens still need health coverage, possibly more than any other demographic. They feel more aches and pains in their body, but struggle to pay for hospital bills since they might be retired and not earning as much as they used to.
But this is the sad reality for many elderly Filipinos. They end up paying for check-ups, hospital confinements, and surgeries with their own money, depleting their own savings.
It may be hard to find a health card for senior citizens in the Philippines that provides comprehensive health insurance 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 health insurance in the Philippines for your senior citizen parents, you can choose the best option from this article.
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.
If you’re employed in the Philippines, your employer should shoulder the insurance premiums as part of their employee benefits. But if you’re going to get individual coverage, you can pay the premiums on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis, depending on the provider.
Moreover, 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. But you’ll need to pay if you consult 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 Plan?
Premiums for HMO health cards are usually paid monthly or annually by the employer. In addition, you can receive services or get consultations only from doctors within your HMO’s network. With your health card, you can also avail of 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 employers don’t shoulder this, you’ll need to pay health insurance premiums voluntarily.
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.
Read more: Senior Citizen Discount in the Philippines: Are Your Parents Getting the Full Deal?
What are the Benefits of Health Cards for Senior Citizens?
With a health card, a senior citizen in the Philippines 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. Once you activate it, your senior parents can already enjoy the benefits.
Health cards are also affiliated with a whole network of healthcare providers. This means that you can take your pick on who will provide the medical care.
Most prepaid health cards also don't require check-ups and interviews, meaning senior citizens can still get health coverage even if they have a pre-existing condition.
Pros and Cons of a Prepaid Health Card vs Health Insurance Plan
Prepaid health cards and health insurance plans are essential for health and financial protection. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Pros of Prepaid Health Cards
- Affordable - For the medical and dental services included in the package, prepaid health cards are cheaper.
- Easy to purchase - Go online, select the prepaid health card you want, pay, and activate the card.
- Good for preventive health care and minor emergencies - Doctor consultations and minor emergencies cost money, and having a prepaid health card to pay for them is one less thing to worry about.
- Can cover senior citizens - Because of their age and the onset of age-related illnesses, health insurance for seniors is very expensive. Prepaid health cards are an affordable and sure way to cover some of their health-related expenses.
- Better than no health coverage at all - The health coverage of prepaid health cards may not be comprehensive. But it’s good for preventive health care. The goal, after all, is to stay healthy and reduce risks for critical illnesses.
Cons of Prepaid Health Cards
- Limited coverage - You can only use it for doctor consultations and minor emergency cases.
- No hospitalization or surgical benefit - Should hospital confinements or surgical procedures be required, you can’t use a prepaid health card to pay for hospital expenses.
- Only valid for a year - It expires after a year, so you’ll need to purchase a new prepaid health card again.
Pros of Health Insurance Plans
- More plan options - There are more options available. And depending on the health insurance provider, you can even customize your health plan according to what the insured needs.
- Broader comprehensive coverage - As this is a complete health insurance plan, the insured can enjoy more health coverage, such as preventive health care, outpatient services, surgical benefits, medical reimbursement, and hospital income benefits.
- Cashless hospitalization - You won't have to bear the high cost of treatment or hospitalization with a health insurance plan.
- Covered until the plan is in force - Your senior parents can also enjoy health coverage as long as the premium is paid.
- Financial protection and peace of mind - Health insurance gives you the reassurance that you can pay for your elderly parent's medical expenses without losing your life savings.
Cons of Health Insurance Plans
- Issue age up to 65 to 70 only - If you have older senior parents, they can’t qualify for the plan anymore.
- More expensive - As the insured's age determines the insurance premiums, they’re very expensive. And the premiums will keep increasing each year.
- Waiting period - Coverage for senior citizens with pre-existing conditions will only start after the first or second year, depending on the provider.
- Co-payment option - You may still have to shell out money if there’s a co-payment option (what you pay out-of-pocket for covered services) or if you’ve reached the benefit limit.
Related reading: What Benefits Can Senior Citizens Enjoy in Your City?
Requirements for Health Card for Senior Citizens in the Philippines
Usually, there are three things you need to do to get a health card for a senior citizen:
- Register online or fill up an application form.
- Settle your payment.
- Activate the health card.
Prepaid health cards are valid for one year from the activation date. Some health cards also require a few days before you can avail of the medical benefits.
8 Health Cards for Senior Citizens in the Philippines
You never know when your senior parents will get ill or suffer an injury. So give them health protection and yourself peace of mind. Check out these affordable health cards for senior citizens in the Philippines, which can be helpful in consultations and medical emergencies.
📌 Maxicare Prima Gold
This is a prepaid Maxicare for senior citizens in the Philippines who are 60 years old and up. Maxicare Prima Gold coverage is for one year and includes pre-existing conditions. It’s a notable feature for seniors with pre-existing conditions looking for affordable health coverage.
There’s no need to undergo a complete medical check-up to apply and get approved for it. With this Maxicare for seniors health card, your senior parents can have ophthalmologist, internal medicine, ear-nose-throat, obstetrician-gynecologist, and medical dermatologist consultations.
- Unlimited laboratory tests, diagnostics, and medical consultations at accredited clinics
- Up to ₱20,000 emergency room coverage at Maxicare-affiliated hospitals
- 24/7 teleconsult service
- Maxicare Videoconsult access
- Dental service at Metro Dental (once within a year)
- One year validity from the date of activation
- Pre-existing conditions are covered
- No medical check-ups and paperwork required
Read more: Maxicare EReady: The Perfect Prepaid Health Card for Medical Emergencies
📌 MediCard RxER
What are the MediCard RxER benefits for senior citizens? This prepaid health card for seniors offers preventive, outpatient, and emergency care services. There's no age limit and no medical check-ups required. Just show the MediCard RxER at any Medicard clinic.
This prepaid MediCard for senior citizens in the Philippines also offers discounts on various MediCard services. For its affordable price, seniors can already avail of different medical and dental benefits, whether for an emergency or non-emergency case.
- Valid for one year
- Unlimited consultations with MediCard primary physicians and select specialists
- Preventive healthcare services (APE, CBC, chest x-ray, urinalysis, and 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.)
📌 PhilCare Vida Care CORE
Looking for a PhilCare health card for senior citizens? Senior citizens who want free consultations can benefit from the PhilCare Vida Care CORE. It’s another prepaid health card option for senior citizens aged 60 and above.
As one of the leading HMOs in the Philippines, senior citizens can use this health card in the country's biggest hospitals and any PhilCare-owned clinics.
- Valid for one year upon activation
- Benefits start seven days after activation
- One year of unlimited medical and dental consultations with accredited physicians
- Pre-existing conditions are covered (except behavioral and psychiatric disorders and psychosomatic illnesses)
- One year of unlimited outpatient laboratory and diagnostic procedures at accredited clinics
- Unlimited Heyphil Digimed consultations for one year
📌 PhilCare unli-CONSULT for 65+
If you’re looking for something more affordable than the PhilCare Vida Care Core, check out the PhiCare unli-CONSULT for 65. This health voucher offers one-year unlimited consultation services for senior citizens 66 years old and above.
Senior citizens can use this health card to consult PhilCare-accredited dentists, family medicine specialists, gastroenterologists, internal medicine specialists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, nephrologists, and endocrinologists.
It also offers dental services such as annual dental examinations, unlimited orthodontic consultations, first aid and emergency treatment, unlimited temporary fillings, simple tooth extractions, and annual prophylaxis.
For its affordable price, your senior parents can already avail of various medical services.
- Valid for one year upon activation date
- Benefits start three 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.)
- Unlimited HeyPhil Digimed consultations for one year
📌 PhilCare Vida Care PREMIERE
If you're looking for a health card for senior citizens in the Philippines, you can also consider Vida Care PREMIERE. This health plan offers unlimited medical and dental consultations and up to ₱20,000 outpatient emergencies benefit. It also provides unlimited laboratory and diagnostic procedures for senior citizens 60 years old and above. PhilCare Vida Care Premiere is packed with medical services available at over 500 hospitals in the Philippines.
- Valid for one year upon date of activation
- Benefits start after seven days from activation
- One year of unlimited medical and dental consultations with accredited physicians
- Single-use benefit of up to ₱20,000 for outpatient emergencies
- One year of unlimited outpatient laboratory and diagnostic services at accredited clinics
- Unlimited HeyPhil Digimed consultations for one year
- Accepted at over 500 PhilCare-accredited hospitals
- Pre-existing conditions are covered
📌 InLife MedConsult Seniors
This is a prepaid health voucher that seniors 65 years old and above can use for face-to-face and telemed consultations. It’s valid for 12 months and can be used for up to four face-to-face consultations with any Insular Health Care-accredited physicians and specialists.
InLife MedConsult Seniors is an excellent health card for seniors who want to save money on check-ups.
- Up to four face-to-face consultations with Insular Health Care-accredited doctors and specialists
- Unlimited telemed access
- One year of unlimited dental consultations with accredited Insular Health Care dentists
📌 Caritas Health Shield Enhanced Core 10
The Enhanced Core 10 from Caritas Health Shield lets you pay for five years and enjoy coverage for 10 years. Seniors up to 70 years old can apply for this health plan and avail of its health benefits upon membership effectivity.
The health coverage increases yearly within the five-year paying period, but you pay a fixed premium rate. You can choose to pay in one go or on an annual, semi-annual, and quarterly mode.
Price: Varies on the age upon plan enrollment
- Medical expense benefits (emergency care, outpatient services, hospitalization, special diagnostic procedures)
- Annual Physical Examination and preventive health care
- Dental care
- Insurance benefits (accidental death, term life, credit life, waiver of installment due to disability)
📌 Great Value Program (Care Health Plus)
Another affordable health care plan with comprehensive benefits is the Great Value Program from Care Health Plus. It offers renewable coverage after one year and provides members up to 70 years old with hospitalization services and outpatient care.
Price: Varies on the chosen room and board option
- Choose from five room and board types and maximum benefit limit (MBL)
- Ward: ₱80,000 MBL
- Semi-Private Room: ₱80,000 or ₱100,000 MBL
- Private Room: ₱150,000 MBL
- Suite: ₱200,000 MBL
- Hospitalization services, emergency care, diagnostic and laboratory procedures
- Outpatient care (annual physical examination, preventive health care, etc.)
- Dental care
Other Health Packages Available for Senior Citizens
If you’re looking for more than just a prepaid health card for your senior parents, you can also consider health insurance for senior citizens in the Philippines.
However, not a lot of insurance companies offer this particular product. And because the cost depends on the insured's age, prepare to pay higher payer premiums in a shorter period.
📌 Sun Senior Care (Sun Life Philippines)
Sun Life Philippines’ Sun Senior Care health insurance for senior citizens offers preventive health services and financial protection if diagnosed with a critical illness.
If they get sick with any of the 17 covered critical illnesses, they’ll receive a financial benefit equal to 150% of the plan’s face amount, which can cover diagnosis, treatment, or rehabilitation.
There's also a one-time cash benefit equal to 5% of the plan's face amount for four specific covered conditions or surgeries. Issue age is from 50 to 70 years old, and coverage is until age 100.
Price: Varies depending on the age of the insured
- Access to Health Preventive Care Services and GoWell Wellness Program
- 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
- Available in three, five, or 10 annual installments, or monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual payments
- Dividends or cash value
📌 PrimeCARE Cash Plan (Paramount Direct)
With Paramount Direct’s PrimeCARE Cash Plan, your senior parents can simply focus on healing when they get sick. This is a health insurance plan in the Philippines for senior citizens aged 50 to 75 with coverage for up to 80 years old.
The PrimeCARE Cash Plan provides cash assistance when your parents get sick. Seniors can reimburse their hospital expenses if they get confined, have a surgical operation, receive treatment for a dreaded disease, or have prolonged hospitalization. The amount will depend on the plan availed.
Price: Premiums from ₱212.95 to ₱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
📌 Premium HealthCare Plus Plan (Paramount Direct)
This hospitalization plan is for senior citizens who are 50 to 74 years old. The coverage and payment period is until age 80. It offers financial assistance for long-term hospital confinements, and coverage varies depending on the plan.
Price: Premiums from ₱216 to ₱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
📌 Pacific Cross Premier
This medical insurance plan for senior citizens 66 years old and up is renewable up to age 100. With this plan, you can reimburse medical charges and enjoy a 10% co-payment. This means Pacific Cross will shoulder 90% of the approved claim amount.
The maximum coverage is ₱1.5 million, making it one of the most comprehensive health insurance for senior citizens above 60 years in the Philippines.
Price: Annual premiums from ₱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 doctor, specialist, and hospital
- Maximum coverage of ₱1.5 million
- Emergency overseas coverage
- 24-hour customer assistance and emergency hotline
📌 Kaiser Senior Care
This medical healthcare plan from Kaiser is designed for seniors aged 61 to 100 years old. It reimburses hospitalization expenses depending on the plan coverage and medical benefits, which can be up to 1 million.
Like the Pacific Shield health plan, there's also a co-payment arrangement. Coverage starts one year upon the effectivity of the plan.
Price: Annual premium starts at ₱25,300
Plans 250K, 500K, and 1M available
- Includes critical care, surgical, and basic hospital benefits, as well as emergency outpatient services
- 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 ₱1 million
📌 PRUHealth FamLove
This new health insurance product from PRU Life U.K. is a renewable term health protection plan that allows you to share your critical illness coverage with eligible family members, including your senior parents. PRUHealth FamLove can easily be availed by answering a health questionnaire only. There's no medical examination as well.
That’s three lives insured in just one plan. It’s simple, easy, and affordable, making it one of the best health insurance products on the market today.
Price: Annual premiums vary depending on the age of the insured
- Shareable health protection plan via myParent Plan
- Critical illness benefit (moderate and several critical illness)
- Annual payment with the option to renew every year until age 85
- ₱500,000 to ₱1 million sum assured
- Age eligibility for parents is up to 70 years old
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 an 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
- COVID-19 Inpatient Benefit Package
Note: In case of hospital confinement, seniors can use their health card or health plan with their PhilHealth benefits to save on medical bills.
What to Look for in a Health Card for Senior Citizens in the Philippines
At a glance, these health cards and insurance plans for senior citizens may all look the same. But if you look at the fine print, you’ll discover that there are terms, conditions, or exclusions that can affect your decision to buy the product. With that, make sure to look for these things:
First, of course, it should be something you can afford to continue to enjoy health protection every year. Premiums for seniors are significantly higher and will continue to increase each year. Consider if one-time payment is better than monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual payments.
🔎 Age Requirement and Coverage Period
Check the age requirement. Some health insurance plans are available only for applicants of a specific age. Some offer health coverage only during the paying period and another two to five years after that. It's best to go for a health card or plan that provides health coverage until age 100.
When it comes to health plans, you want to get your money's worth, or sometimes even more. If you can find a health card for senior citizens offering different medical services for a reasonable price, that's a steal.
Check if pre-existing conditions are covered. Most health insurance plans will start coverage for pre-existing illnesses only after the first year. Some cover them only after the second year of continuous membership. Make sure you understand all these terms and conditions before you sign the form and pay the premium.
Also, compare emergency care, inpatient and outpatient benefits, and critical care and hospitalization packages to get the best health card for senior citizens in the Philippines.
🔎 Accredited Clinics and Hospitals
It may be an affordable HMO in the Philippines, but where can you use it? Where is it accepted? Get a health card with an extensive network of hospitals and clinics in the country.
Your parents can go to the nearest clinic or hospital and use their health cards with no problem.
🔎 Application Process
It’s definitely a bonus if the health card or health plan provider offers a quick and easy application process. Nowadays, you can go online, request a quote, and pay for your first premium without leaving your house. You also don’t need a medical check-up to get health coverage. This makes it easier and more convenient for seniors.
Further reading: The Importance of Vaccination and Prices of Vaccines in the Philippines
You may feel like there aren’t a lot of health cards for senior citizens in the Philippines to choose from, but the options on this list are still quite good. Seeing your parents fall ill and get confined in the hospital is no laughing matter, especially when you think about how much you'll pay for medical bills.
Senior citizens may no longer afford certain things, but their health should never be something to skimp on. Aside from taking care of them, getting them a health card is the next best thing, especially if they’re not getting any younger!
If you have senior parents, 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 might be just one hospitalization away from poverty.
Source:  Health Maintenance Organization (Investopedia, 2020)