How To Choose A Health Card

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 Stef dela Cruz 2 Comments

I know the value of preparing for the future, hence my desire to get a good health card. I do have PhilHealth – that’s government health insurance – but I wanted to make sure I had complete health coverage. Problem is, knowing how to choose a health card in the Philippines can be tricky; our country is unlike the United States where health insurance is almost compulsory for you to avail of affordable health care.

You might think that availing of PhilHealth is enough – maybe to most, it is. But I remember about five years ago when I underwent a procedure that cost me PhP10,000 (almost $250) in just one day. After I had my papers for PhilHealth processed inside the hospital, my request was declined! They said my procedure “wasn’t covered” by my health insurance. Goodbye, PhP10,000, I shall never see you again! You will be sorely missed.

PhilCare Health Card

A few years ago, I underwent a procedure that wasn’t covered by my health insurance. I should have availed of a better coverage!

It just goes to show that sometimes, even with health insurance, you might not be as insured as you think. Since then, I’ve been asking around about other health insurance providers. If you want to know how to choose a health card in the Philippines, join me as I tell you about the things I discovered recently. (I’ll also be giving away ONE HEALTH CARD – so read on to find out!)

How To Choose A Health Card

A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a whole-day affair courtesy of PhilCare. I learned a few things on how to choose a health card without having to pee money.

  • Not all health cards deal specifically with in-patient insurance. Many health insurance providers can provide assistance only when you actually get hospitalized. But there are health cards now that provide coverage even for out-patient procedures!
  • You can have more than one health card. Do you already have PhilHealth insurance? That’s great! But did you know that on top of that, you can also avail of other health cards that may cover for specific areas not yet included in PhilHealth’s health coverage? All you have to do now is do some health card shopping!
  • Some health cards go as far as paying for lab tests even if you’re not sick. Health insurance helps you if you get sick – but some companies ask, “Why wait to get sick?” We already know that prevention is less costly than cure, and insurance companies now appreciate that fact. For instance, PhilCare provides health cards that pay for different lab tests (complete blood count, urinalysis, fecalysis, and the like).
  • You can find health cards that deal with specific health problems. One example is PhilCare: they have cards that deal with gynecologic problems because the card can pay for an ultrasound, Pap smear and even a consult with a gynecologist – all for just PhP670! These health cards come in bundled health packages; they can help you if you have a specific plan of action you want to pursue.

In my next article, I will be giving away ONE HEALTH CARD from PhilCare. Check back and tell your friends to join, too! You can also get updates of this blog from Facebook or Twitter as I update my social networks regularly.

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a vegan doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She is the editor of The Manila Bulletin's Animal Scene Magazine. Get in touch if you want to invite her as a speaker!


  1. I wonder nobody made any response for this page before me.
    I feel that I should trust you about Philcare because you are a doctor..
    I tried looking for taabulated comparisons between HMO and I did not find any.
    I am thinking of getting Philcare or Kaiser.

  2. If I do make a tabulated comparison, I will post a comment here as soon as I can. Good suggestion. :) Thank you for dropping by!