How to maximize your HMO benefits

At MediCard clinics, tests are more economical as compared to other outpatient clinics or hospitals in the country.

OOH LA LAI – Lai S. Reyes (The Philippine Star) – May 22, 2018 – 12:00am

‘MediCard products such as Health Check, Health Plus and the RxEr cards are a smart way for Filipinos to take charge of their health without breaking the bank,’ says Dr. Nicky Montoya.

When it comes to getting medical attention, more HMO cardholders have found the way to short circuit the system: rush to the ER even if it´s just a simple case of tummy ache. Well, who could blame them? At the ER, there are no long lines and the service should be faster.

“What they don’t realize is that they´re paying double — in terms of physician´s fees and diagnostics — for those little medical ‘emergencies,’” explains Dr. Nicky Montoya, president and CEO of MediCard Philippines. “By doing that, their card limit gets easily depleted without them realizing it and when real emergencies occur, they´re often left to their own devices.¨

As they say, “mahal magka-sakit (it’s expensive to get sick) so it´s important to learn how to maximize your HMO benefits. For MediCard cardholders, one way of doing that is by going to MediCard´s free-standing clinics rather than the ER or expensive hospitals to get medical treatments or diagnoses.

“At MediCard clinics, tests are more economical as compared to other outpatient clinics or hospitals in the country. While our rates are lower compared to other medical facilities, patients are assured that quality is not compromised since all MediCard free-standing clinics are ISO certified. Right now, there are 14 MediCard clinics scattered all over the country,” notes Dr. Montoya.

For example, a blood chemistry test for cholesterol at Medicard free-standing clinic for MediCard members is less than P200 as opposed to around P450 up to P650 in private hospitals. A chest x-ray at Medicard is only around P300 compared to the rate of close to P1000 at some hospitals. Similarly, a unilateral breast mammogram at MediCard costs about P1,500, which is significantly lower than the P2,700 up to about P6,900 that private hospitals charge.

Each clinic has a general practitioner, an internist, a cardiologist, a pediatrician, a general pediatrician, a dentist (select branches), an EENT specialist, an obstetrician/gynecologist, urologist and ophthalmologist. Some of the clinics have ambulatory surgical care as well.
Laboratory tests such as blood chemistry, hematology, clinical microscopy, drug test, among others, are likewise offered. Imaging services like ECG, X-ray, ultrasound and 2D echo are also available.

“We try to give MediCard cardholders (outpatients) as many services as possible at affordable rates so they get to maximize their card limit,” enthuses Dr. Montoya.

Unli-checkúp for only P500

Believing in the importance of a regular doctor´s visit to maintain good health, MediCard also offers products which are specifically for use in MediCard clinics – Health Check Card, Health Plus Card, and RxER.

“The most popular of which is the Health Check,” shares Dr. Montoya.

For only P500 a year, MediCard Health Check cardholders can avail of unlimited consultations with doctors, plus discounts on laboratory tests.

For a one-time payment of P500, MediCard Health Check cardholders are entitled to unlimited consultations for one year with MediCard primary care physicians, including general practitioners, internists, family doctors, pediatricians, and gynecologists (maternity-related consultations are not included). Consultations with MediCard specialists like EENT doctors, ophthalmologists, rehab medicine physicians and others are available for a flat rate of only P350.

Cardholders can likewise avail themselves of the annual physical examination (APE), which covers comprehensive physical exam, complete blood count, urinalysis, fecalysis and chest X-ray. In addition, they can get 20 percent discount on all laboratory and diagnostic procedures.

There are 14 MediCard clinics scattered all over the country. Each clinic has a general practitioner, an internist, a cardiologist, a pediatrician, a dentist(select branches), an EENT specialist, an obstetrician, urologist and ophthalmologist.

The good news is, there´s no age limit and no pre-acceptance medical exam to avail of the card. Membership is good for one year.

All MediCard Health Check Card benefits may be availed from Monday through Friday and by-appointment only at the MediCard free-standing clinic where the card was purchased.

The Health Plus Card´s benefits are similar to Health Check Card, but the former can be used in all MediCard Clinics. You can have it for only P1,100 valid for one year.

The RxER (P1,998), on the other hand, has emergency coverage for P20,000 but is limited to trauma cases, animal bites and accidental chemical food poisoning. Cardholders can avail of unlimited consultation in all MediCard free-standing clinics with select doctors; 30 percent discount on laboratories and diagnostic procedures; while emergency coverage for the above-mentioned cases can be availed at any MediCard accredited hospitals.

“These products are a smart way for Filipinos to take charge of their health without breaking the bank,” adds Dr. Montoya. ¨The card is also the best gift you could give yourself, your helpers, drivers, even relatives who just don´t have extra money left for health care.”

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To apply for a MediCard Health Check Card, Health Plus or RxER, visit or call MediCard free-standing clinics in Makati, McKinley, Centris, Fairview, Ortigas, Alabang, Cavite, Calamba, Sta. Rosa, Lipa, Clark, Cainta, Cebu and soon-to-open in Bonifacio Global City.

For inquiries, visit www.medicardphils.com.

Link to Philstar article