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Health Insurance Guide in the Philippines

Last updated: November 28, 2022
Written by: Sean Martin D. Plantado | Reviewed by: Rafael Hular

Key takeaways:

  • Health Insurance in the Philippines is a very useful option.
  • You can consider several options for buying health insurance and choose the best one.
  • And if you don’t have enough money to buy an insurance policy, you can take out a loan from Digido.
  • Every Filipino has access to Digido loan up to 25,000 pesos for up to 1 month.

Illnesses, especially serious ones, can cost you a lot. If you want to save financially when you have a serious health condition, the first thing you should think about is financial support. In most cases, people with health insurance pay virtually nothing after the procedure. To take advantage of such benefits, the insured pays a premium. In this article, we will tell you about the health insurance system in the Philippines.

What is Health Insurance in the Philippines?

Health insurance in the Philippines is no different from international health insurance services in other countries. These are financial security services that are focused on giving financial coverage for medical-related expenses. If a patient needs medical care such as surgery, a basic check-up, vaccinations, medication expenses, etc, the expenses for these different medical services can easily rack up a huge amount of bills. This makes it even more crucial to have financial coverage in case of a medical emergency where the patient or patient’s relatives can be caught off guard if there is no health insurance coverage.

Medical insurance coverage is mandatory in the country through agencies like PhilHealth. But the reality is different from the ideal situation. Many Filipinos don’t have health insurance. It’s usually those in the middle class and up who get it and some only get it because they were employed. Unless a person has the intention to apply for health insurance on their own, they’re not getting any at all.

But before running off to apply for insurance, it’s a good idea to learn certain distinctions between the different categories of health insurance in the Philippines.


  • How much does health insurance cost in the Philippines?
    The cost is depending on the coverage you're getting. The plans would cost anywhere from P10,000 to 60,000 per year.
  • When can I take out health insurance?
    Health insurance helps to pay for your health care. It can help cover a variety of services, from routine visits to the doctor to major medical expenses in connection with a serious illness or injury. It also covers many preventative services to keep you healthy.
  • What is the best health insurance in the Philippines?
    In this article we have listed the main best companies for health insurance in the Philippines.

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Types of insurance: PhilHealth, HMO, and Health Insurance

You can choose from three types of health insurance in the Philippines. Let’s see how they differ and what the features of each are.

PHILIPPINE HEALTH (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation)

This insurance corporation is linked to the Department of Health (DOH). Employees are required to have coverage and the contribution is split 50/50 between the employee and the employer. Of course, anyone can apply for PhilHealth insurance even the self-employed. It’s also open to the unemployed as long as they can pay their contributions. Of course, the drawback is that the self-employed or the unemployed will have to pay the full 100% contribution.

For the year 2021, the contribution is expected to go up from the previous year.

  • At salary ranges from PHP 10,000.00 to PHP 70,000.00 the premium rate will be at 3.50% for the year 2021
  • At salary ranges from PHP 10,000.00 to PHP 80,000.00 the premium rate will be at 4.00% for the year 2022
  • At salary ranges from PHP 10,000.00 to PHP 90,000.00 the premium rate will be at 4.50% for the year 2023
  • At salary ranges from PHP 10,000.00 to PHP 100,000.00 the premium rate will be at 5.00% for the year 2024

HMO (Health Maintenance Organizations)

These are private health-insurance providers found all around the country. There are doctors within their network who are easily accessible to their clients. The premiums in HMOs are better, provided the employer and employee are also paying a higher annual allowance. The clients of these HMOs are usually from private companies. Those working in government tend to go with PhilHealth instead.

HMOs cover surgeries, inpatient/outpatient health care needs, and other services like laboratory tests.

The examples of such organizations are the following:

  1. Fortune Care;
  2. Medicard;
  3. Intellicare;
  4. Maxicare.

Health Insurance

These are companies that are an upgrade to the HMOs as these have a wider reach since some can even extend their services overseas. They also cover a wider range of services. Some of the benefits of this type are like the following:

  1. Hospitalization;
  2. Surgical Assistance;
  3. Inpatient/Outpatient services;
  4. Cash assistance due to accidents/illnesses;
  5. Bigger financial compensation based on the severity of illness;
  6. Laboratory tests.

The companies that provide these health insurance benefits are:

  1. AXA;
  2. Manulife;
  3. Prudential Life;
  4. Sun Life.

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What is the National Health Insurance Act?

The National Health Insurance Act is also known as the “Universal Healthcare Act” which is the product of decades-worth of effort to reform the country’s existing health care system. The bill was signed into law by the current sitting President Rodrigo Duterte last February 20, 2019, just in time at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal of this new law is to automatically enroll all Filipino citizens into the National Health Insurance Program. This way, Filipinos from all walks of life can avail cheaper or even free access to health care services and medicines, especially those who are financially disadvantaged or aged.

Top Health Insurance Providers in the Philippines

Manulife Health insurance

Manulife, known locally as Manulife Philippines, is a part or subsidiary of the Manulife Financial Corporation. Its headquarters are in Canada and claims to be the largest set of insurance companies in the world. Armed with a staff of 35,000 employees and more than 98,000 agents as of last year, Manulife boasts serving 28 million customers worldwide.

Some features and conditions offered:

  1. Flexible insurance terms;
  2. Health protection covered up to the age of 100;
  3. 2nd type cancers or stage 3 cancer covered even if the first cancer has been treated or not;
  4. Financial assistance for 24 months while in recovery from an advanced illness;
  5. Receive 25% financial support for children with a specified critical illness.

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AXA Health Insurance

AXA Group serves five industries namely: Property & Casualty, Life & Savings, Asset Management, Banking, and International Insurance. The company was established way back in 1985, operating in 57 countries, with 160,000 employees, and serving an astounding 108 million clients. The company is headquartered in Paris, France.

Some features and conditions offered:

  1. 1. Critical illness coverage;
  2. 2. Medical coverage;
  3. 3. Health and investment;
  4. 4. Allowance is provided for days spent at the hospital. This is to help patients with their potential loss of income;
  5. 5. More cash benefits are awarded to patients undergoing any of the 57 major critical conditions like stroke, heart attack, or cancer;
  6. 6. Cash allowance is provided for those with injuries from an accident. Named beneficiaries are also given additional cash benefits if the death of a patient is the result of an accident. If the accident results in dismemberment/disablement instead, the same condition applies.

Sunlife Health Insurance

Sunlife is another insurance company based in Canada, operating in various countries like the Philippines. The objectives of the company comprise of basically providing many types of insurances and management solutions.

Some features and conditions offered:

  1. Financial planning and guidance;
  2. Health insurance;
  3. Investment management;
  4. Wealth management.


Sunlife Health offers you health coverage for personal and family members and protects Sunlife members from the financial impact due to illness, accidents, and disability. The coverage for personal health insurance includes payment for prescription drugs, vision, and dental check-ups. For their critical illness insurance, it covers the costs that involve a life-altering disease.

Medicare Health Insurance

Medicare is an insurance company with a wide area of scope. They provide services to many industries like non-governmental organizations, governmental organizations, manufacturing, cooperatives, and others.

Some features and conditions offered:

Family Plans/Individual Plans:

  1. Individuals who are physically fit with a regular source of income are qualified;
  2. The applicant must be within 6 months old to 59 years old when applying;
  3. Minors require a parent or guardian to sign for the minor;
  4. Adults 51 years or above must undergo a physical exam;
  5. Dependents can either be a spouse or children and the latter must be below 21 years old, unemployed.

Family Plans: Starts at PHP 28,890.00; principal + 1 optional independent.
Individual Plants: Starts at PHP 11,901.00; ages from 18 to 50.

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Kaiser Health Insurance

Kaiser International a health insurance company aimed at providing health coverage primarily for the aging demographic of the country. Parents or grandparents tend to expect the younger generation to provide financial assistance to their elders, due to the country’s close-family culture. Unfortunately, this puts an extra burden on the younger generation. So as a solution, the Kaiser group was formed to fulfill this role for the sake of the older generations.

Short Term Healthcare (Traditional HMO)

  1. Beneficiaries can only be up to 60 years old;
  2. Unused health funds have no interest and do not accumulate;
  3. Very low coverage;
  4. No coverage for out-patient medication and cosmetic treatments;
  5. Not for retirees.

Long Term Healthcare

  1. Beneficiaries start from age 60 and up;
  2. Unused funds will have an interest and will accumulate;
  3. Comes with 4-way insurance coverage: accidental death and dismemberment, term life, waiver of the installment due to death, waiver of the installment due to permanent or total disability;
  4. Out-patient medication and cosmetic treatments are covered;
  5. Intended for retirees and the aging demographic.

Global Health Insurance (Aetna International)

Aetna International provides international health insurance coverage across the globe to more than 800,000 members. It is a part of the Aetna which is a Fortune 100 company in the United States.

Some features and conditions offered:

  1. Treatment for up to 90 days for out-patients;
  2. Treatments for dental and optical;
  3. Maternity care;
  4. Up to 120 days for rehabilitation;
  5. 24/7 assistance;
  6. In-patient and day-care treatment;
  7. Medical evacuation emergency.

Maxicare Health Insurance

Maxicare Healthcare Corporation started in 1987 with the goal of delivering a better healthcare system. Members of Maxicare can gain access to more than 56,000 healthcare professionals in more than 1,000 hospitals nationwide. Maxicare offers its services to a combined 1.1 million members across all industries and sectors.

Some features and conditions offered:

  1. In-patient/out-patient care;
  2. Preventive care;
  3. Dental care;
  4. Emergency care;
  5. Cover for chronic illnesses.

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Health Insurance Benefits

No one plans to get sick or get injured, but in a world of uncertainties, health insurance gives you a certain level of security for you and your family. Most health insurance coverage prepares you for unexpected or high medical costs during hospitalization especially as you age. This means you don’t need to take any money out of your pocket, instead, your insurer and the insurer’s accredited hospital facility will settle the hospital expenses.

More than providing financial coverage during a certain illness or injury, health insurance can also provide free preventive care such as vaccine shots and regular checkups. Most of all having that peace of mind is also a great benefit of having health insurance lessening your worry and stress for you and your family.

It is crucial to have health insurance. Simply look up “best health insurance Philippines” on Google to find a list of companies that offer these services.

Where to Get Money for Emergency Medicine

As mentioned earlier, many Filipinos are not covered by health insurance. Those without can find themselves strapped for cash and the simple act of medicine for the flu or headache can put a huge dent on the daily budget. In this case, there is an easy solution offered by Digido. Digido is an online lending service for those who need quick cash. Digido caters to those who are in need of emergency funds whether it’s medical or for doing household repairs after a disaster.

What are the Digido Requirements?

  1. The applicant must be at least 21 years old and not more than 70 by the time the loan term ends;
  2. Applicants must have a phone number;
  3. Applicants must have a government-issued ID or document to prove residency or proof of employment.
  4. Applicant must be a citizen of the Philippines

Here you can get an emergency loan within minutes. Digido’s requirements are not as strict as those of a bank. Transactions are performed online automatically, so there is no need to stand in line at the branch.

First-time borrowers can loan up to PHP 10,000.00 maximum for up to 15 days, and repeat borrowers up to PHP 25,000.00 with a maximum term length of 30 days. The borrowed amount must be returned on time.

Apply now


Sean Martin D. Plantado
Author pages:
Sean Martin Plantado is the head of Customer Care Dept. and Online Sales Dept. of Digido Finance Corp. creating articles, blogs, and other learning mediums that helps Filipinos struggling on their financial literacy. Sean also loves Cycling, Photography, Cinematography, Online gaming, Fine Arts, and dreams of becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
Rafael Hular
Author pages:
Rafael “Raffy” L. Hular is, the Finance and Accounting Manager. of Digido Finance Corp., monitoring and controlling the flow of cash that comes in and out of the company to meet the company’s business needs, preparing the financial reports and analysis of income and expenses, and monitoring tax compliance.  Raffy loves reading Japanese comics called manga and watching Japanese animated cartoon series. He dreams of establishing his own Accounting and Auditing Firm and teaching in a University.

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