The moment you get on the freelancing wagon, you’re saying goodbye to employee health insurance and benefits that employers are normally required to provide for their staff and management.
This is one of the difficult sacrifices to make when switching to self-employment, but there are health care options available for freelancing professionals. You just got to know where to find them.
Now, you may think that paying for health insurance voluntarily is expensive and not quite necessary, but I would like to think that paying for health care even on my own freelance income is a wise decision.
We may never know just when the next accident or injury will happen to us, so it’s best to prevent the likelihood of paying expensive medical costs by applying for health care options for the self-employed.
Different Health Care and Insurance Options
There are several notable health insurance organizations Filipinos go to for health care and it is up to you to do your research to see which of the many options fit well with your health care preferences and financial standing. Let’s take a look at some health care options available for Filipino freelancers:
PhilHealth is the most popular government-run health care organization, providing Filipinos with affordable social health insurance that they can use in case of medical emergencies.
Employers are usually required by law to pay for their employees’ PhilHealth costs while Filipino freelancers and entrepreneurs can voluntarily pay for their own PhilHealth plans. Most Philippine hospitals are accredited with PhilHealth, thus giving you the opportunity to use your PhilHealth plan to pay for all of your medical costs for yourself or for your dependents.
For Filipino freelancers, the Individually Paying membership is the best option because it is designed primarily for those who are self-employed, including freelancers, entrepreneurs, employees of civic and religious organizations, and it even has options for farmers, fishermen, and other suburban workers.
You can read about the qualified dependents, benefits, requirements, and their FAQ section to know more about the plan. As of this writing, the rate for premium health care for those paying individually is a fixed P100/month or $2.28/month payable quarterly, semi-annually, and annually.
Private Health Care Plans
If you’re planning of finding health insurance provider apart from PhilHealth, you may consider applying for a health care plan at a private health care organization like Sun Life Financial or Blue Cross Philippines.
It covers the individual’s health expenses in times of emergency, but there are also family and group health insurance plans available if the individual would like to cover his family and other chosen members’ medical costs as well.
A typical private health care plan is either fully paid or paid partially depending on the financial status of the member. You can upgrade an individual plan to a family or group plan in order to extend the coverage to other members.
There are several private health care organizations you can turn to for health insurance. You just have to do your research first before consulting and applying for one.
Health Maintenance Organization
A Health Maintenance Organization or HMO is another health care plan that Filipino freelancers can turn to. According to the description of this article, an HMO is best used for preventive care and outpatient medical treatments and hospitalization.
Regular employees are usually given HMO plans for free by their employers, but a practicing Filipino professional may also apply for an HMO for himself or for his family. You will also encounter HMO discount cards that can supplement your health care coverage. If you can’t really afford an HMO account, you can use these discount cards instead.
Now, How Can You Save Up for These Options?
As much as I’d like to encourage all Pinoy freelancers to get medical insurance, the prices of the plans can go way over a freelancer’s budget.
While you can search for insurance companies and organizations that offer the best prices for health care, you should also think of how you can save up for these insurance plans in case you need to use it.
Start saving a percentage of your freelance earnings for health care. Choose a health care plan that fits well with your financial standing and make payments a priority for you.
If you plan on getting a family or group plan for your chosen dependents, make sure that the necessary requirements are submitted and met to avoid any delays. This is especially important with government health insurance organizations like PhilHealth.
Do you think Filipino freelancers (or freelancers in general) need health care and life insurance? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!