During the pandemic, many people got sick and needed hospitalization. The circumstances were unprecedented and everyone was unprepared. Those who experienced severe COVID ended with a lot of compounding medical bills that a lot of times reached millions of pesos. And medical bills didn’t stop with COVID-19. There are also lifestyle diseases that make people need hospitalization, such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. And many have been caught without financial coverage, mostly because of the common misconceptions about health insurance. Read more about them.
What are Common Misconceptions About Health Insurance
Francesca Tolentino, Affinity Partnership Manager, Health & Accident Team of Sun Life, talked to the online media about her personal journey. Their family experienced a huge loss when their mom got sick and eventually succumbed to her illness. That took a huge toll on their finances and many of their investments as well as their personal and family goals, were sacrificed.
Looking back, Tolentino said that those unfortunate turn of events could have been greatly mitigated if only her mom had health insurance. In her case, she is trying to build her portfolio and increase her coverage in case of critical illnesses.
But she related that many people do not get covered because of these misconceptions about health insurance.
Health Insurance is Expensive
There is the notion that health insurance is expensive and that only a few people can afford it. Oftentimes, it takes very little from the monthly personal or family budget to afford some coverage. Some health insurance policies cost as little as a tall cup of iced coffee per month but the benefits are way cooler.
Fear of Talking to an Advisor
There are people who are wary of talking to a financial advisor for different reasons. Sometimes, they do not know what questions to ask. Some are offended about pre-empting something as unfortunate as critical illnesses or even death. Meanwhile, there are just those who are averse to “sales talk” and those persistent salespeople.
Going to the Wrong Sources
Getting the right information about something is the key to deriving knowledge and getting educated about a subject. It is the same in the search for health insurance. The topic becomes difficult to understand when a person asks the wrong person for information or advice.
In the new normal, priorities have changed. Now that the pandemic has passed, people felt like they were released from their personal cages. “Revenge travel” became the norm. Instead of looking at their health, most people would rather splurge on seat sales, hotel accommodations, new gadgets, and their travel outfits.
Confusion About Different Products
Without a doubt, there are so many health insurance products out there. If one is not into numbers and a lot of data, all these products can get very confusing. It is not like choosing a certain brand of laundry detergent over another at the supermarket.
Health insurance policies have a lot of fine print and legal jargon to contend with. Then there is the process of comparing which one will give the best benefits vis a vis the insurance premiums.
This is where a good financial advisor comes in. That person should be able to present their company’s different products well and recommend the right one in order to meet the needs of a potential client. The health insurance policy should also be affordable and sustainable for the client.
Moreover, the advisor should also be able to answer common questions about health insurance before the client asks for it. Let’s face it, many people talk to a financial advisor but do not know how to ask the right questions pertaining to coverage, among many other concerns.
Thinking That One Product is Enough
Some people are already believers in health insurance so at least, they have some coverage already. And they think that this is already enough. But not all policies are the same. There are some illnesses that are not covered by one policy alone.
Tolentino said that personally, she is working on having several health insurance policies because she does not want her family history to repeat itself.
Why Do We Need Health Insurance?
Here are some reasons why we need health insurance, Tolentino further explains.
- Bridging the gap. Family breadwinners should be able to cover themselves in case of critical illness without sacrificing the family’s current financial status and lifestyle.
- Not being a financial burden to anyone when you get sick.
- The family budget does not go to keeping healthy and preventing sickness.
Tolentino said that Sun Life holds regular health symposia in order to educate the public about health concerns, hospitalization, and related expenses. She encourages people to learn and get covered in the hopes that she can save more Filipinos from going through the same unfortunate events that her family did.
How to “Afford” Health Insurance
As stated above, one of the biggest misconceptions about health insurance is the cost. Check out these tips on how you can afford a health insurance policy for yourself that could benefit your family.
- List down your expenses. Sun Life Financial Advisor Garett Maralit says that the first thing to do when making a personal financial assessment is to list down expenses. That way, you know where most of your income goes.
- Budgeting. After itemizing your usual expenses, you can then start allocating budgets for regular expenses. The trick is to stick to the budget.
- Seek the help of a financial advisor. With the help of a financial advisor, you can identify the insurance that is right for your needs and is actually sustainable for you to pay off.
What the Financial Advisor Needs to Know
Health insurance may be more affordable than you think, but the benefits extend to the family in times of a health crisis.
- The financial advisor will ask you different things about your finances, i.e. cash flow, goals, monthly expenses, etc.
- Then a financial needs analysis will be conducted.
- The role of a financial advisor is to provide or recommend insurance products that bridge the gap from point A to B.
- A trusted financial advisor is your partner for life.