Monday, July 9, 2018

The Rising Cost of Health Care

Mmmmmeds. Yami. (Excuse the naked duvet.) 

I haven't really blogged in a while, and mostly it's because I seem to have won the lottery of assorted health issues these last few months. 

The major one isn't covered by the health card my place of work is affiliated with. So it means I have to shell out for consultations and the meds I've been taking since February are on a rising scale. Basically my TRAIN money plans got funneled into medicine expenses so there goes that plan.  Will talk about this in another post, and will mainly talk about the health card for a bit since it's that time of the year that the contract with the health care provided is renewed. 

Since I'm a part timer, I have to pay for my own health card, but the institution gathers all these PTs and strikes a deal with the main provider to sort of have us ride on in their deal for employees and full timers. 

I joined the health care provider in 2016-2017, so this will be the third year. Here's the cost for the 3 years since: 

2016-2017: Php1,701.28/month (Maximum Benefit Limit: Php150k)
2017-2018: Php1,871.52/month
2018-2019: Php2,059.68/month 

I'm not sure if the Maximum Benefit Limit has risen or if it's still pegged at Php150k per year. I noticed that since I started, there's been a 10% mark up each time. 

To assure that part timers will pay for the whole year's medical costs, instead of a monthly deduction, the whole year's cost is deducted for six (6) successive pay checks. So you work for the entire term and pay for your health card that whole term. Which means that you get less money but hey, at least that's one less concern. 

In my first year of joining, I don't think I even used the card. Maybe went to the clinic a couple of times, but nothing major. 

This year though, I do feel that I needed the card, but my health concern wasn't covered. But this past month, I've gone for check ups almost weekly. 

I needed emergency dental work done in early June. Check up was covered. But the procedure I needed wasn't included. So pay for the professional fee and the materials needed. I was only too glad that the dentist could do something about it that same day. Otherwise, I couldn't have gone to work if I were missing some front teeth. Lesson here: folks, be careful when you bite into food. Otherwise, you'll be needing a new set of teeth. 

Then I had a weird ear infection that needed antibiotics, and then an ENT doctor who scared me that I might need to have an incision made. He said I would need to ready my PhilHealth stuff. "Ask the HR," he said. Which I haven't done. I prayed so hard that the antibiotics and the topical antibacterial would work because I really don't want to go to the hospital because of something on my ear. But really, since prescription meds aren't covered either, I had to fork over some serious coin. 

Am I glad that I have to use the health card? No. 
Am I glad I have the health card? Yes. 

All in all, it's like a series of unfortunate medical events. Hello and bye, emergency fund. But still, I am thankful that I had that stash and could do something about my situation. Otherwise, as they say, nganga. 

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