Life insurance company AXA Philippines is introducing a family healthcare plan that covers pandemic diseases like coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This will include hospitalization, prescribed tests, and vaccine complications — but not the vaccines themselves. 

The plan, called Health Care Access (HCA), will be brought to market next week. “There will be a wide range of plan types. You can choose the full comprehensive healthcare plan HCA Prime, or the supplementary plan HCA Lite, for those who want to add to their existing healthcare coverage,” said Grace M. Mallabo, protection and health segment director of AXA Philippines, at the product launch on Wednesday. 

Each plan type has five different benefit options ranging from P500,000 to P5 million, and will provide access to cashless arrangements for hospitalization, surgery, outpatient care, emergency care, preventive care needs, and teleconsultation.  

“Forty-eight percent of medical expenses in the Philippines are out-of-pocket, so these funds come from the hands of the family themselves or borrowed from other loved ones or from the bank, which still puts pressure on the family,” said Rahul Hora, president and chief executive officer of AXA Philippines. “That’s what we want to change.” 

HCA Lite, for example, can augment employer-provided medical plans, which, on average, cover around P150,000 to P250,000 of expenses. The cost of getting sick can very well go up to P1 million, said Ms. Mallabo, and this is where HCA Lite can come in handy. 

Those who avail of the plan will benefit beyond retirement, with medical coverage up to 75 years old and a longevity health fund that kicks in from age 76 onwards. — Brontë H. Lacsamana