PhilCare launches prepaid cards

Only a small percentage of employees are covered by health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and the health coverage is only applicable as long as they are employed.

After retirement, they get no health coverage. With the rising cost of healthcare, their monthly pension can barely cover their retirement needs.

Apparently, there are two specific segments, which make up 96 percent, that are more likely to need healthcare than others, and these are the elderly, and those who work in menial jobs.

“Ironically, these are the two segments of society that have the least access to healthcare coverage. We thought that for us to truly say that we offer inclusive healthcare, that we really need to reach out to these underserved Filipinos by providing accessible quality health coverage,” said PhilCare Vice President for Sales Christian Cristobal.

To answer that concern, PhilCare now offers VidaCAre and ER Health Assist products that cater specifically to the elderly and those who work in menial jobs for low income.

Vida Care Core offers unlimited medical and dental consultation and diagnostic and laboratory fees for outpatient procedures at selected PhilCare clinics. Vida Care Core is priced at P11,120 while Vida Care Premiere which includes a P20,000-hospitalization benefit, is P13,270.

ER Health Assist, on the other hand, offers the combined features of PhilCare’s very popular ER Vantage and UnliConsult cards for as low as P1,670. ER Health Assist provides a full-year of unlimited medical consultation at PhilCare MOA and Makati clinics, dental consultations at any PhilCare accredited network of dentists, and a one-time emergency care benefit.

Medical doctor Alfonso Sahagun Sr., chief medical executive of PhilCare, defined ER (emergency) as a condition where individual gets a sudden onset of illness or danger in the body.“He/she is in a life-threatening or emergency condition,” said Sahagun.

“The card is designed to cater to lower-income individuals, but it is also ideal for middle or upper-income families or individuals who want to give perks and benefits to their household help,” explained Cristobal.

“For many Filipinos and even those who live in the Philippines, kasambahays (house helps) aren’t just employees, they are extended family, and a lot of Filipino families would give these perks if they could afford to. With ER Health Assist, it is now very possible to give health coverage to kasambahays on top of the mandatory government benefits,” he added.

This isn’t the only reason to give perks to kasambahays. With the rise of the new middle class in the last 20 years, the kasambahay market isn’t what it used to be; that is why those who can afford help are now in a position that is probably unprecedented. Like companies trying to lure talent, those who want good help now have to dangle value added perks.

For those whose employers choose not to invest in their healthcare, at P1,670, ER Health Assist cost less than a budget smart phone. PhilCare’s latest prepaid card offerings are now available online.

PhilCare has more than 1,400 accredited hospitals and clinics, four primary care clinics, seven quick assists centers, and more than 30,000 accredited physicians. PhilCare has clinics located in Makati, Edsa, Manila, and MOA Complex.

For more details or more information about PhilCare products, visit




Published by Mylene Orillo

Mylene Orillo is a contributing writer at My Pope Philippines. Prior to that, she contributed to the Health & Lifestyle magazine.  She's a former correspondent at The Manila Times; former editor-in-chief of TravelPlus magazine; and former assistant editor of Health & Lifestyle, Zen Health, and DiabetEASE magazines by FAME Publishing, Inc., a company owned by cardiologist Dr. Rafael Castillo who has given her the much-needed break and opportunity in the health industry and medical field.  Her previous job as a Media Consultant at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and Writer-Researcher at the Headquarters Philippine Army ignited her passions for charity, volunteering, selfless service, and love of country. As a young girl, she loved reading her mom's collection of Mills & Boons pocketbooks, which started her passion to write romance stories.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Sto. Tomas in España, Manila. She is now working towards earning her master's degree hopefully this year. She loves traveling, long-distance running, reading romance and non-fiction books, watching Korean Drama series, feel-good rom coms, military movies, and documentaries during her spare time. Someday, she wants to meet Prince William and Pope Francis, settle down with the love of her life and have a family and kids of her own; and become a bestselling romance author.

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