Health Insurance for Expats and Foreigners in the Philippines
There is a wide selection of international health insurance plans available to expats who are moving to or visiting the Philippines. Not every expat will be covered by the Philippine public healthcare plan, so having an international policy can offer peace of mind and protection.
Even though medical costs in the Philippines may be a lot lower than most Westerners are used to, out-of-pocket payments can easily become a heavy burden on your personal finances, especially if you develop a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment.
Fortunately, Pacific Prime offers locally compliant international health insurance plans for the Philippines that are tailored for you.
These insurance plans are also globally portable and guaranteed renewable for life, so you can rest assured that no matter where you go in the future, you will have the quality protection that you deserve.
Get Free Quote
Health Insurance Options in the Philippines
The main insurance options available in the Philippines include international health insurance,
private local health insurance, and public health insurance. Expats and Filipino citizens alike choose the private health sector due to its quality of care.
Certain expats are eligible to enroll in public health insurance plans, either by their employer or voluntarily.
Public Healthcare in the Philippines
Filipino citizens receive free public health care, funded by government subsidies and run by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation named PhilHealth. It is also funded through company payroll deductions.
Public health insurance in the Philippines offers basic medical services to the public at either a subsidized rate or free of charge. Health centers and regional and district hospitals provide these health services.
Private Healthcare in the Philippines
Private healthcare services are accessed by either paying out of pocket or with a private insurance policy. Medical bills can climb quickly in the event of a severe illness or accident, so having the protection of health insurance is a choice most expats make.
Private insurance is available either through a local private insurance company, or an international company. Local policies only cover you while you are in the Philippines, whereas an international company will offer coverage during all your worldwide travels.
Best International Health Insurance for Expats
The best international health insurance for expats and foreigners in the Philippines are customizable plans, comprehensive benefits, and excellent worldwide coverage. This will ensure protection and access to healthcare facilities wherever you go.
Pacific Prime is partnered with various international insurers in the Philippines, as listed here:
International medical insurance gives you access to the best private hospital care not only in the Philippines but virtually anywhere in the world. Most expats and digital nomads prefer this form of insurance due to its comprehensive benefits and unique features.
To get an idea of how much international health insurance costs in the Philippines, download our Cost of International Health Insurance Report 2023 for free.
A Guide to the Philippines Healthcare System
The healthcare system in the Philippines is a complex network of public and private providers, aiming to deliver accessible and quality care to its population. Public hospitals offer quality care in larger cities like Manila, but rural hospitals have been known to be in poor condition.
The country's healthcare landscape is characterized by a mix of government-funded hospitals, private medical facilities, and health insurance options. There are two primary options when seeking medical care: public hospitals and private hospitals.
Public Hospitals in the Philippines
Public hospitals are government-run institutions that offer affordable services to the general public. These institutions are often crowded due to the large patient volume they handle daily. Some well-known government hospitals in the Philippines include:
Private Hospitals in the Philippines
Private hospitals provide a higher level of service but at a higher cost. They offer state-of-the-art facilities, advanced medical technologies, specialized treatments, and more personalized care. Several prominent private hospitals in the Philippines include:
Expatriates or foreigners living in the Philippines may consider obtaining international health insurance plans or expat health insurance tailored specifically to their needs.
Accessing Care and Seeking Treatment in the Philippines
In the event of falling ill, you can seek treatment by visiting a healthcare clinic with no appointment necessary. Public clinics and hospitals will have longer wait times than private clinics, where you can be seen and treated quickly and efficiently.
Healthcare is accessible to anyone who visits clinics or hospitals but be aware that if you are not covered by insurance, you will be paying for your care completely out of pocket.
Securing Health Insurance in the Philippines
Expats can secure health insurance for themselves by either purchasing a private health insurance plan or signing up with the public health insurance scheme (PhilHealth). PhilHealth is only available to expats with long-term visas.
International health insurance plans offer financial protection against unforeseen medical expenses and can alleviate the financial burden associated with costly treatments or hospital stays by covering the costs of hospitalization, outpatient treatments, and even emergency evacuation.
Expats living in the Philippines can greatly benefit from such policies as they provide peace of mind by ensuring that quality healthcare is accessible without imposing overwhelming financial implications.
PhilHealth for Expats
Expats who work for a major employer can enroll with PhilHealth under them, while those who don’t can voluntarily join under the Informal Economy Member category. Expats who marry Filipino citizens will also be able to enroll in PhilHealth.
For employed expats, their employers will pay social contributions for them. This means the employer will pay a percentage while another percentage is taken from the employee’s salary. Expats who register voluntarily are in charge of making social contributions on their own.
Selecting an International Health Insurance Provider
Expats should select their international health insurance provider with care, making sure they are happy with their insurance plan and the service they are receiving. They should weigh and compare the benefits and limitations of different insurance plans.
Factors to Remember When Comparing Health Insurance Plans
Factors to remember when comparing health insurance plans are your desired coverage, additional benefits, cost, ease of access, and reputation of the company. If you are satisfied with these factors on a specific plan and provider, you will likely be happy with your choice.
International Insurance in the Philippines - Plans and Coverage
Pacific Prime has a wide selection of international insurers we are partnered with that offer plans for expats in the Philippines, such as Cigna, AXA, and more. We’ve listed these below in greater detail.
Cigna provides flexible insurance plans to expats in the Philippines and across the world. They offer their members 24/7 access to a customer care team and access to any Philippine private hospital and clinic. Their plans are customizable and comprehensive.
Cigna has a silver, gold, and platinum plan with different levels of coverage and limits. All three of these plans share several common key coverage benefits:
- Inpatient and daypatient treatments
- Cancer treatments
- Accidental death or total permanent disability compensation
AXA Global Health Insurance is a great choice for expats in the Philippines due to its comprehensive coverage and customizable additional benefits. They offer short-term and long-term plans, with the protection expats need for any medical needs or emergencies.
Some examples of coverage under AXA insurance plans are:
- Hospital charges and surgery
- Emergency coverage
- Medical evacuation and repatriation
- Wide range of cancer treatment
- Ambulance transport
- CT, PET, and MRI scans
Aetna International is a leading global insurer with a network of quality healthcare in 200+ countries. They offer expats in the Philippines flexible and comprehensive benefits plans with additional options for medical, vision, dental, and pharmacy coverage.
Some of the basic coverage for their plans includes:
- Inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment (up to 90 days)
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Rehabilitation up to 120 days
- Emergency dental and optical treatment
IMG offers expats international health insurance with a variety of plans and payment options to fit any expat’s budget. They provide excellent services to their members with benefits like crisis support and preventative care, along with other additional benefits.
Some of the shared features across their varied plans are:
- Inpatient treatment
- Labs and diagnostics
- Physical therapy
- Cancer treatment
Pacific Cross Health Insurance offers expats in the Philippines a variety of affordable plans and packages. With over 65 years of experience in providing health insurance, they know how to treat their members fairly. You can expect comprehensive coverage and customizable benefits as well.
Pacific Cross offers 9 different insurance plans, with many shared features:
- 24/7 worldwide emergency treatment coverage
- Inpatient and outpatient medical expenses
- Lifetime renewability
- No-claims discount
- Premium discount options
- No limit on hospital choices from more than 450 hospitals
- COVID-19 coverage
William Russell offers insurance plans that are globally portable across countries, so expats can travel while protected. They also renew their contracts on an annual basis, so their members never feel like they’re locked into long-term contracts.
The basic features of all their plans are:
- Hospitalization treatment
- Cancer treatment and care
- Emergency evacuations
- Post-hospital physiotherapy
Allianz offers comprehensive insurance plans in the Philippines for expats. Optional riders are available to be purchased and attached to basic policies that Allianz provides. These riders can offer coverage for accidents or illnesses that expats may face during their time abroad.
Some of the basic coverage for their plans includes:
- Inpatient costs
- Diagnostics and laboratory tests
- Ambulances transport
- Cancer treatment
Additional Benefits and Coverage
Most international insurance providers offer additional coverage options you can purchase and add to your plan to extend your coverage.
While basic international health insurance plans cover hospital treatment costs and emergencies, they often don’t cover things like dental, optical, maternity, and more. This is where additional benefit coverage comes in.
- Dental: You can have dental check-ups, cleanings, and major dental procedures covered by additional benefits when customizing your plan.
- Maternity and family coverage: Expats looking to expand their family can purchase customized plans to cover prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care. There are even additional benefits that cover newborns.
- Preventive care: Customized health insurance plans can offer regular health checkups and screenings, along with vaccinations and wellness programs. These are important parts of keeping expats healthy as they continue their adventures abroad.
Expats with pre-existing conditions may fear limited coverage options when shopping for insurance plans, but there are still alternative solutions available. Some providers offer plans with a pre-existing condition exclusion, a moratorium, or coverage with loading.
Here is a general overview of what each term means:
- Exclusion: The insurer will not pay or reimburse the policyholder for medical bills related to the condition if they choose to buy a plan from them.
- Moratorium: The insurance company offers health insurance but excludes and observes the pre-existing condition for a certain time known as the waiting period. This period is usually 24 months, and the insurance company reviews its decision.
- Coverage with loading: Insurance companies may offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, but only with higher premiums. Not all pre-existing conditions are eligible for this kind of coverage, and not all companies offer this option.
Retirees Seeking International Healthcare in the Philippines
Expats retiring in the Philippines should seek out an international health insurance plan that offers comprehensive and flexible coverage for their unique healthcare needs. This may include coverage for cancer screenings, chronic conditions support, and preventative health support.
Some insurers may have age limits for their policies, but Pacific Prime can help retiree expats find the perfect international insurance plan for them with no such limits. Contact the experts at Pacific Prime to find a plan with excellent coverage and access to all the best private hospitals and care.
Safety and Health Tips for the Philippines
There are a number of health threats in the Philippines, such as malaria, Japanese Encephalitis, Dengue fever, Yellow fever, and Rabies are all endemic to the country. There is also a strong threat of avian flu. In the event that you should fall ill, consult a medical professional immediately.
Before traveling to the Philippines, visit your doctor and make sure your vaccinations are up to date, including a COVID-19 vaccine if you choose. Some of the health hazard diseases are mosquito-borne, so for your protection, you should sleep under a mosquito net and use mosquito repellant.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a foreigner get health insurance in the Philippines?
A foreigner can get health insurance in the Philippines by either purchasing a local or international private health insurance plan or signing up for public healthcare (PhilHealth). They are only eligible for public healthcare if they have a long-stay visa.
2. Will Medicare cover me in the Philippines?
Medicare will not cover you in the Philippines. It only provides coverage within the U.S.A and U.S.A territory borders.
3. Does the Philippines require travel insurance?
The Philippines does not require travel insurance. During the height of the pandemic, travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage was required but that requirement has since been removed.
Securing international health insurance is a wise decision for expats in the Philippines as it will protect them from costly medical bills and offer them a more comfortable option than public hospitals which can be crowded and lacking in resources.
Comparing health insurance plans can feel overwhelming, but the experts at Pacific Prime are ready to help. Our advisors offer impartial advice to help you find the best plan for your budget and specific needs.