Personal Finance Apprentice

Medical Insurance For Senior Citizens – Blue Cross Premier vs Kaiser Senior Care

Medical Insurance For Senior Citizens - Blue Cross Premier vs Kaiser Senior Care

Medical Insurance For Senior Citizens – Blue Cross Premier vs Kaiser Senior Care

I posted about Health Insurance for Senior Citizens last time because it’s a topic that’s been on the minds of people that I know. And weirdly enough, it’s not a widely discussed topic despite generations of Filipinos shouldering the care for their parents’ well-being.

The probable reason for that is there’s hardly any choices. And what’s available is prohibitively expensive. I actually browsed several insurance sites but didn’t get any info about medical insurance for senior citizens. And I also previously read that Blue Cross was really the only one offering medical insurance to senior citizens.

But a good thing about that post is that it attracted someone that mentioned yet another alternative – Kaiser Senior Care. So I decided to write a post and try to compare the two.

It’s not going to be accurate since there’s a mismatch of information (2013 vs 2011 rates), and Senior Care isn’t even mentioned on Kaiser’s site – all I could find was an old (2011) brochure.

But maybe by doing this more people will mention other products, or even other alternatives for senior citizens. At worst, at least we can exercise how to choose between two potential insurance policies.

So let’s get to the “facts”.

Blue Cross Premier:

Price: Php69,299 (annually)
Coverage: Php1.5 million
Cheapest option: 25,487 per year for 500,000 coverage
Does not cover pre-existing conditions (though some maybe covered if approved by their medical director)
Drawbacks: Only for in-patient expenses (confinement)
Advantages: You are covered even when you travel abroad.

Kaiser Senior Care:

Price: Php62,000
Coverage: Php 1 million
Cheapest option: 23,000 for 250,000 coverage
Does not cover pre-existing conditions

  • Only for in-patient expenses (confinement)
  • 10% co-payment (you shoulder 10% of the bill)
  • treatment outside the Philippines is not covered

Advantages: Lower “buy-in”

Comparing them

There’s a few other details, such as if/when dreaded diseases are covered (ex Strokes, Cancer, anything that requires Dialysis). But those details are not readily available, and is best explained in detail by agents.

But regardless, we can use the following criteria to make a partial decision:

“Buy-in” – The lower, the better

By this I mean how affordable the cash out is. The best coverage always costs the most. But we only have so much room in our budget. In this case, Kaiser’s 62k is “easier” to pay that Blue Cross’ 69+k – even when comparing the cheaper coverage 23k for 250k coverage (Kaiser) vs 25+k for 500k coverage (Blue Cross).

“Bang for the buck” – the bigger, the better

By this I mean how much coverage your 1 peso buys. For Blue Cross, your 1 peso buys 21.64 pesos in coverage (1.5M divided by 69.299k). For Kaiser it’s only 16.1 pesos (1M / 62k). Even when choosing the cheaper option Blue Cross gives Php19.61 coverage for your peso while Kasier offers only Php10.87

Coverage – Preventive care and Pre-existing Conditions

(Ideally you’d also want to be covered for pre-existing conditions and out-patient/preventive-care, but neither one really offers that.)

Limitations / Exclusions

Generally, less is better. But what you really want is for whatever you have or likely to have to not be excluded. You’re getting this to pay for future hospital bills, the insurance company is selling to you on the hope it will profit by not having to pay too much. There’s a middle ground that you’ll have to find.

After that, it’s a matter of reviewing the fine print and the relatively “minor” details like: Do you really travel? Is the 10% co-payment doable or affordable for you?

So which one would I pick? 

Well, it really depends on your specific situation. For me, I’d probably choose Blue Cross, almost solely based on it’s bang-for-the-buck. But that’s because my choice is theoretical.

Once I buy one for my parents (assuming I actually have choices), I’ll most probably get the one that will impose less limitations/exclusions on them. I’d want them to have a good chance of being covered and thus making use of this policy.

If you have read or heard about other alternatives for senior citizens, please tell me by leaving a comment below. I’ll research and them to this post.

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photo credit: Education Health Insurance via photopin (license)
photo credit: Alex E. Proimos via photopin cc

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