The findings are part of the latest AIA Healthy Living index survey, the fourth since 2011, that highlighted the prevailing health trends and concerns for individuals in the Asia Pacific region.
More Pinoys face financing gap in healthcare, says survey
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - November 12, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos are facing a considerable financing gap in healthcare as savings, current levels of insurance and government health provisions may not be enough to cover the cost of treatment for critical illnesses, according to a study conducted by AIA Group, the parent company of Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co. (Philam Life).

The findings are part of the latest AIA Healthy Living index survey, the fourth since 2011, that highlighted the prevailing health trends and concerns for individuals in the Asia Pacific region.

According to the study, 86 percent of Filipinos are concerned about the potential costs of critical illness such as cancer. The survey also indicated that over 81 percent of the respondents expressed concern that the cost of treatment for cancer would have serious financial implication on them.

Philam Vitality deputy head Kats Cajucom  attributed this concern   to Filipino’s inability to fully cover the cost of treatment for critical illnesses, as shown by the financing gap or the  difference between the cost of critical illness and the level of savings they have.

 “The gap in the cost of critical illness and the level of savings they have—that’s what we call the financing gap,” Philam Life chief marketing officer Leo Tan said.

Across all respondents in the Philippines, the financing gap for cancer is 75 percent, heart disease is 67 percent and for diabetes 55 percent of direct costs.

When asked how they would pay for the treatment of critical illness given the financing gap, 78 percent said they would rely on government support, while 56 percent cited charities or trust.

Only 27 percent said this would be covered by their own personal savings and even lower at 19 percent, by an insurance plan.

Tan said the financing gap that was seen in the latest survey was the reason why Philam Life continues to introduce more health and wellness products and services to the market.

“This is the reason why Philam Life has been introducing health and wellness products so just in case someone gets diagnosed, aside from the government’s support—that’s still important—we have a particular amount of coverage that can augment the savings that they’ve set aside,” Tan said.

 “To me, it’s very important. We talk about long-term savings, we talk about investing, we talk about retirement, but at the same time balance that with protection,” he said.

Earlier this year, Philam Life launched the Active Joint Critical Project, an insurance product for two that provides health coverage against critical illnesses.

HEALTHCARE PHILIPPINE AMERICAN LIFE AND GENERAL INSURANCE CO.
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