Health and Wellbeing

How to be financially prepared for critical illness

Health often takes a back seat, not until a health emergency happens. Don’t get caught unaware. Here are some of the ways you can prepare financially when sickness strikes.

By Marife Remo

Health often takes the back burner when people feel generally well or when they are too busy to pay attention. It’s when sickness comes swooping down that they realize the importance of being prepared for health emergencies and critical illness. That’s why being financially prepared is a must.

If you’re employed here in the Philippines, you’ll have an HMO plan that lets you get health coverage from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and various other government offices.

While this is ok for minor medical events, it won’t be enough for serious conditions that’ll require long-term treatments. Illnesses such as those can eat up all your income and may even force you to dip into your own savings. And because you’re sick and unable to work, you won’t have income to support you.

It’s a lose-lose situation that you can actually prepare for. Here are some tips so you can be ready when it happens.

  1. Create an emergency fund.
    Life threatening conditions can strike anyone, at any age. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists ischemic heart disease and stroke as the world’s leading causes of death for the past 15 years. And they’re expensive. Acute heart attack can set you back about less than PHP 1 million. Medical treatments, in any case, are quite hefty and will only increase over time.
    So the best time to start financial preparations is now. Setting up a rainy-day fund dedicated to unexpected life events such as sickness helps alleviate anxieties for you and your family’s future. Have it handy via a well-maintained savings account.

  2. Cut expenses. Boost savings.
    Setting aside more for your overall savings helps to fill up that emergency fund. Do you really need that second trip to Japan this year?
    Getting rid of seemingly unnecessary spending helps you see things clearly and prioritize. The best time to spend on health is when you don’t need it.
    Did you know that even non-smokers can have lung cancer? The disease comes in second among the top causes of death in the country. Its treatment alone can cost an individual up to ₱2.78 million back in 2018. Just imagine how much more the treatments can cost a few years from now.
    Rainy-day savings can’t guarantee total wellness but it can sure give you a better grip in times of sickness.

  3. Make the most out of your other benefits.
    The resources you have, no matter how meager, can be of invaluable help when you need them. Your company’s insurance coverage normally includes consultation and medical procedures—depending on the policy. PhilHealth has the Z benefits package, which caters to eligible members afflicted with medically catastrophic diseases like breast cancer. Other government institutions such as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) provide medical assistance to qualified individuals.

  4. Get a critical illness life insurance plan.
    Becoming financially prepared early on will give you peace of mind and the motivation to pursue your dreams worry-free. FWD's Set for Health financially protects you against the rising cost of healthcare, especially for critical illnesses, be it major or minor.

We’ve all heard stories of friends or family members who have suffered a serious illness. What we don’t hear is how the financial strain may also have made a major impact during this trying times. Treatment and recovery require a huge financial support, for which a critical illness life insurance plan is a viable solution.

Also, Set for Health 's benefits are not just limited to health care. It has a rewarding component that gives you the benefits for living a healthy life until age 75. It is exciting to know that life insurance is no longer only for the benefit of heirs or those who will eventually be left behind. It is now a solid tool that can help an individual in addressing his financial needs be it for healthcare or expense protection.

In life, it is better to be always equipped with Plan Bs or emergency options when things go awry. Prevention is indeed better than cure, but preparation (of the financial kind) can be a more realistic approach to life’s uncertainties.

About the author

Marife is a freelance writer/copywriter specializing in advertising and marketing. But really, just tell her what you need and she’ll try her very best to come up with something interesting. She is a mom and wife 24/7, a Netflix junkie, meme lover, and a cat person who does not own a cat.