Etiqa Philippines’ new health plan protects family in medical emergencies, shields their savings

30 NOVEMBER 2022

To many uninsured Filipinos, perhaps no other incident drives home the importance of a health card or medical insurance than a sudden, and possibly life-threatening, medical emergency. The agony starts at the hospital admission section where they are asked to produce evidence of the capability to pay like government IDs or credit cards. Then, they might not even have cash in hand to pay for a down payment or out-of-pocket expenses. The ordeal continues even after admission, as the costs of hospitalization increase. Hospital room rates alone range from P900 to P3000 per day, depending on the privacy level or hospital status. The patient resorts to borrowing from family, friends, or informal lenders.

The post-hospitalization result: depleted savings, bankruptcy prospects, and huge debts that might take years to pay.

Illustrating that health is truly wealth, medical and financial protection just might be the best gift one can give to loved ones starting this Christmas season. The traditional happy holidays have also unfortunately heralded the onset of medical conditions. For example, the outbreak of unhealthy habits such as food-binging and drunk driving can result in unexpected heart attacks or road accidents respectively. Careless clan gatherings create exposure to COVID-19, flu, pneumonia, and other infectious diseases.

Recognizing the situation that millions of uninsured Filipinos find themselves in, ASEAN insurance provider Etiqa Philippines launched ER Protect, a yearly renewable individual health insurance card for emergency care and other medical services.

“We are well aware of the challenges that many of our countrymen face when it comes to emergency-related medical expenses, ” says Etiqa Philippines General Insurance Head Glenn Navea. “ER Protect is designed to give them the services that they need during crises, accidents, or unforeseen health conditions like a stroke. First, our network of 30,000 doctors and 1,600 accredited hospitals and clinics nationwide can meet them at their point of need. ”

“Second, the emergency medical coverage is accessible because it is affordable. ER Protect, which can be a medical lifesaver as well as a deterrent against financial hardship, can be availed of for as low as P925 one-time fee per year or the price of a food-franchise family dinner, ” Navea adds.

All these benefits shall be paid on top of the patient’s PhilHealth coverage and/or other insurance policies.

Coverage beyond Christmas

Another advantage to gifting a loved one with medical or emergency protection is that the benefits go beyond Christmas. An annual coverage ensures access to emergency medical services once needed, during the next 12 months. The policyholder also has the confidence and peace of mind that he or she will not contend with skyrocketing hospital bills upon admission.

Affordable medical insurance or emergency protection is not just a shield against the woes of hospitalization---it is also an investment.

As a virtual health card, ER Protect takes care of a lot of the emergency-related medical services that a patient can expect, regardless of whether the hospital admits the insured or deems that his confinement is not necessary. ER Protect covers both inpatient and outpatient services. The coverage extends to costs related to doctors’ fees, lab and diagnoses, operating and treatment rooms, and emergency-related surgical services at the rate of P50,000/year. In cases of admission, it pays for the hospital room, board, and nursing services. In cases where the patient cannot be brought to the ER through the usual means of transport, ambulance service is also covered by the product.

Should the worst happen, it also has a P25,000/year accidental death and dismemberment benefit for the policyholder’s family.

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