I have been on the hunt for an HMO since resigning and I mentioned that in a previous post. For all intents and purposes, HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. I will not go into detail as you can just click here or here for more information. By the way, all HMOs work hand in hand with Philhealth, it's mandated by the Philippine government, so if you don't have Philhealth, or if your MDR (membership data record) is inactive like mine, fix it now!
I wanted to get an HMO because I wanted peace of mind that if I or the handyman should get sick, I can get confined in a hospital and feel like I'm checked in a hotel instead of room-sharing with another sick person. But seriously, since I am the breadwinner, having a health card was one of those things I truly appreciated as an employee. I wanted to continue having one and realized that, for self-employed individuals, they do not come cheap!
I looked at some of the HMO my past employers have used, such as Medicard, Maxicare, Intellicare, Blue Cross, Cocolife and BPI-Philam. The cost of these ranges between minimum 40 to 90 thousand pesos annually, depending on the services you want.
I don't get sick that often thank goodness, I haven't had to go to the hospital again since giving birth to my fourth child. That was in 2010. The same goes for the handyman. But accidents can happen! For me, a P40,000 peso budget a year for health insurance that I hardly use is too much. I kept looking and found myself comfortable with the health plan offered by Kaiser.
This is not a paid advertorial, I am just sharing my experience. I am encouraging you to get your own HMO apart from the one provided by your employer, but you don't need to get Kaiser, please apply due diligence in selecting your HMO.
I gave myself about six months learning and researching about Kaiser International Health Group Inc. before finally deciding that this is the one for us. So what were the convincing points for me?
1) It had a nice, good, solid office in Makati which made me feel like it was not a scam
2) The brochures where informative. The structure of their health plans made sense to me
3) It would cost me only P22,000 pesos a year, or roughly 2,300 a month. This is the minimum long-term health care plan that fits nicely in my budget. It's cheaper if you pay annually of course.
4) If I don't use it, my payments accumulate like an investment and I get the money back, compounded, when I'm old. If I die too soon, my family gets the money.
5) The website and contact info felt like it was easy to contact them in case of emergencies, and I met people who are like me - self employed and business-minded
The above points I made are my simplified interpretation, as you know I work that way, if it doesn't make sense to me, it's not worth my time. If you wish to know more about them you can go to Kaiser's official website.
But honestly, I learned more about Kaiser by attending the financial seminars offered by its distributor, IMG Wealth Academy. I will talk about IMG in a later post.
The first time I ever heard of an HMO was when I'd started working. I wish I had learned about it earlier so I could have bought one like Kaiser in my early twenties, thereby having my money compounded 10 years later. So I brought my two bigger kids along to the financial seminar I attended because I wanted them to understand what was an HMO and why we were buying it. I thought it wouldn't make sense to them, but surprisingly, it was fairly easy for them to get it. To make sure that they understood the seminar, I had them write in their journal about it and I will ask them to post that in their homeschooling blog.
As parents we really should give our children more credit for their level of understanding. The younger kids are exposed to financial words, the sooner these words become second nature to them. Did you know that Warren Buffet bought his first investment at age 11 and wished he had started investing at age 7?
So I have the bigger kids (age 8 and 13) tag along as much as possible (and when it's allowed). It's amazing when I overhear them talk about "assets" and "liabilities" among themselves as though they were talking about basketball.
Attending seminars with my kids is an example of our homeschooling journey to financial freedom. Do subscribe to Taumbahay.com to read more about my family's journey in achieving wealth.
If you are a self-employed individual like me and would like to know more about Kaiser, I'd be happy to assist, just fill out the form below: