Critical illness in a family member creates intensive stress in the affected person and the people around him/her.
I have heard countless horror stories of how a family’s savings have been wiped out due to medical bills and expenses. Many marriages have even fallen apart, brought about by the weight of having to take care of a sick spouse, while paying for massive hospitalization fees. Some children even had to stop their schooling, as the parents can no longer afford to pay tuition fees.
Let’s face it: being sick is very costly in the Philippines- a country wherein we get no medical insurance or government-shouldered benefits. Sure, we have SSS and PhilHealth, but with the minimal amount and the hassle of claiming from these agencies, we know that we cannot rely entirely on them.
Sadly, living and eating healthy is also not an assurance that you will never be struck down by serious illnesses during your lifetime. No matter what, we all have the so-called ‘genetic code’ that makes us predisposed to ‘inheriting’ certain conditions, such as cancer, high blood, diabetes, heart diseases, etc.
In case you have a big sum of money stashed away and ready to be used anytime, then you can breathe easily and know that you are financially prepared, in case a health disaster crashes down on you or a family member. However, a reality check reveals that more than 80% of Filipinos are not financially ready to manage the costs associated with a critical illness in the family.
Remember, expenses do not stop on the day that you check out of the hospital. For potentially long-term illnesses such as cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or lupus, these may entail a lifetime of medicine, supplements, doctor and therapy fees.
How much does it really cost to be sick? If you have an HMO provider, you may be covered up to P120,000. But is this enough?
Statistics say otherwise:
- Stroke can set you back at almost P2,000,000, which includes therapy for 10 years.
- Heart disease/attack cost almost P1,000,000 up to P1,500,000.
- Treating Stage 4 Cancer would cost more than P2,000,000.
- A kidney operation would cost more than P1,000,000 and each dialysis session is between P3,000 to P4,000- with some required to have 3 sessions per week.
Definitely grim and scary figures that could send any common working folk into bankruptcy!
So what is the best course of action to protect yourself and your family? I’ll say it straight out: get a critical illness insurance plan.
Do you know that many reputable insurance companies, such as Manulife, offers various insurance plans that include coverage for critical illnesses? I like how Manulife gives you the flexibility to either:
A. Add an enhanced critical illness rider on top of your life insurance, or
B. Avail of a plan that is mainly focused on health care, such as the Adam & Eve line.
Up to 60 critical illnesses may be covered by your insurance plan. This includes circulatory diseases, such as heart problems and surgery; nervous system disorders, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, meningitis; kidney failure; cancer; and even organ transplants, major burns, HIV, disability, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
No matter how careful or meticulous you are, the truth of the matter is that accidents and sicknesses are often unavoidable.
Do you think critical illness plans are expensive? They do require an investment of around P50,000 per year. But then, think again and compare that to the cost of falling ill.
When it comes to our health and shielding our loved ones from future headache and stress, it’s always best to be proactive and get the protection that you need. You cannot place a value on peace of mind, after all.