Health Care Plan: The Foundation of Building Wealth

A health care plan or long health care protection plan is a wise financial decision. Our family used to rely on social health insurance such as PhilHealth. This is certainly an inadequate healthcare protection.

My beloved husband, Manfred, passed away November 16, 2011 without the benefit of getting the best medical attention possible. My husband had a poor health seeking behavior. He resisted hospital confinement. Aside from the physical discomfort of staying in a hospital, his resistance has something to do with financial discomfort. He has no health care plan.

The old English proverb, "Health is Wealth” is true enough. Without health protection, medical bills even for minor incidents will deplete your savings. A major illness of a family member will force you to sell your fortunes at give away prices. Thus indeed, long term healthcare plans are necessities. Better safe than sorry, so the saying goes.

Building a solid financial foundation is like building a house. You must build it from the ground up. With the family's experience, I am fully convinced that a a long healthcare protection is the real foundation in building wealth. Proper health protection boosts your confidence that your investments will be intact even in major health problems.

Alarming Health Realities

I found the right health care plan with Kaiser Health Group International, Inc. Kaiser Health Group International, one of the leading Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) in the country, reported these alarming health realities in the Philippines:

  • In 20 years, the elderly will outnumber the yout by a ratio 4:1. This means that if there one young person has to take care of 4 older persons. This will put greater pressure on the resources of the working age population especially for the health care needs of the elderly population.
  • Aging workforce is the biggest economic challenge over the next decades. More and more members of the workforce are nearing retirement age. More and more illnesses start to appear during retirement years. The most problematic part is the reality that most retirees rely solely on pensions which could not adequately fund for their medical needs.
  • Heart disease is the number one cause of mortality in the Philippines. Heart diseases is a lifestyle disease along with hypertension, diabetes and kidney ailments. Lifestyle diseases cause strain on the family’s financial resources.
  • Medical inflation hits nosebleed levels, three to four times more than economic inflation. Relatedly, cost of medicines in the Philippines is 600% higher than our neighboring Asian countries. This makes medicines even for common ailments a strain on the family budget.
  • Health condition in the Philippines remains among the poorest in East Asia. Majority of Filipinos have poor health seeking behavior and one of the reasons is the fear of medical expenses. Thus, more and more people die not because of no doctor or no medicine but because of money.

With these alarming realities, having a health care plan or health insurance and a long term health care protection is a sound financial decision. Many people often ignore its importance. They often see it as an unnecessary expense. A medical coverage may be costly but having none costs more. Having an health care plan is not only financially smart, but also beneficial to your health. Timely medical attention is assured for insured people than their uninsured counterpart.

It is wise to get a long term health care plan from a reputable Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) while still young and healthy. You will be paying much lower premiums than when you get one when you are older. Get a health care plan now while it is easy. Make the commitment of setting aside something for yourself in the future. You will be glad you got one. It is the beginning towards building a solid financial foundation and a stepping stone in learning to become your own financial advisor and broker.

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