Sunday, 25 December 2011

We'll take this lane one day ...

Retiring in the Philippines

Batch "66
Michigan, USA
FOR "old-timer" and "baby-boomer" Filipinos who came to America in the early 60s till the 80s, drawing their Social Security benefits and having Medicare coverage represents USA's commitment  to its citizens and is considered as "insurance policy" to their golden years.

Quite nice and rewarding to think about but then, with the rising cost of medicine and medical services, comfort and affordability of ordinary retired "kababayan" here in the United States is in jeopardy.

They would rather enjoy such "entitlement" outside the continental United States and its island territories and prefer heading home instead.

The biggest question raised was more on the Medicare coverage pertinent to its "portability and offshore application" to the Philippines .

As the provision indicates, residents and citizens of the USA can only avail Medicare coverage if you're here. Otherwise you can't.

Hoping that I can find more information related to this topic, my web search led me to "Global Freedom Strategies" which, by all accounts, gave me valuable information as detailed:

Is US Medicare coverage in the Philippines possible?

By Tracy L


Sources estimate that out of four million legally staying Filipinos in America in 2008, approximately 80% hold US citizenship and a number are covered by Medicare.

Medicare is America's federal health insurance program.

It was first created in 1965 to benefit citizens aged 65 and older.
In 1972, the program was revised, allowing younger people with Lou Gehrig's disease, permanent disabilities and end-stage renal health complications to enrol.

Off-Shore Medicare Coverage In Theory. Under the original plan, the circumstances that allow Medicare portability are limited.

Coverage outside America is permitted whenever a foreign hospital is nearer than any other hospital on American soil.

In rare emergency cases, those travelling "without unreasonable delay" through Canada may also avail of offshore coverage, provided again that the Canadian hospital is much closer than an American hospital.

In March 2010, the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines confirmed that under the original Medicare plan:

Planning your retirement
"Residents of Guam and Saipan are allowed to seek medical treatment ... on emergency cases. Availing of their Medicare benefits in the Philippines medical facilities due to the proximity of the Philippines vis-a-vis Hawaii, the nearest US State is also possible.

Off-Shore Medicare Coverage in Practice. My Philippine Retirement a round of phone calls to check whether hospitals in the Philippines have already reimbursed Medicare Benefits under the original plan. There were no recorded cases yet the staff said.

In fact, the majority of the hospitals appeared to be unaware of the "US Medicare".

They did supply the following honored international health insurance plans, some of which have tie-ups with Medicare Advantage plans;

International Health Insurance honored in selected Luzon-based Philippine hospitals as of March 2010.

(Allanz) Worldwide Care - Asian Hospital
AETNA  -Asian Hospital
AETNA  Global benefit - Makati Medical Center
Alliance - Asian Hospital
Blue Cross International - Asian Hospital
Blue Shield - Asian Hospital
Calvo's - St Luke's Hospital
CICNA - Asian Hospital
GMC Services - Makati Medical Center
hTH Worldwide - Makati Medical Center
IMA - Makati Medical Center
IMG - Asian Hospital
International Health insurance Of Denmark - Makati Medical Center
International SOS - Makati Medical Center
Net Care - Asian Hospital, Makati Medical Center
Pacific International - Asian Hospital
Prestige International - Makati Medical center
StayWel - St Luke's Hospital
Take Care - Asian hospital
TieCare - Asian Hospital, Makati Medical Center
Vanbreda International - Asian Hospital, Makati Medical Center
William Russell - Asian hospital

Impact On Philippine Retirement Decisions

The affordability of health care services in the Philippines is somewhat let down by the "pay-as-you-go" system, but a recent turn of events is changing the way potential retirees view the mirror cash first inconvenience.

One such development is the direction that Medicare portability is headed. Statistical trends indicate that by 2011, Medicare expenditures will soon exceed the revenues generated from the trust fund.

This can be prevented when cheaper off-shore facilities are used to deliver the same quality healthcare services offered in the US, experts have explain.

Clearly, majority of our Pinoy retirees are anxiously awaiting what will come next which such "on-going scenario".

Should there be a "chance" for  the US Government to take further views on "savings" through off-shore/portable Medicare benefits program , “sa totoo lang”, I think this will be America's showcase of gratitude to million Fil-Americans who, during their younger years, helped build the nation's economy, infrastructure, healthcare … and most importantly, lots of  our people served in the military.

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