How Insurance Can Protect You and Your Family From Common Filipino Health Issues
While prevention is always better than the cure, there is no surefire way to guarantee a life free from sickness and disease. Your next best option is to arm yourself with a health insurance plan that will cover you and your loved ones from the rising costs of health care. Investing in health insurance coverage protects you from unforeseen expenses such as medical bills that can quickly add up throughout the years. Take a look at the major health issues Filipinos commonly encounter.
1. Coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease, often referred to as the "silent epidemic" by those in the medical field, kills nearly 90,000 Filipinos annually, which is roughly 17% of the total population. Those with coronary heart disease have narrowed or blocked arteries caused by the buildup of plaque (i.e. cholesterol or fatty deposits), restricting blood from reaching the coronary arteries. Without proper blood supply, the heart becomes starved of oxygen and other vital nutrients it needs to function properly. Through time, this can get worse and worse and lead to an angina, heart attack, heart failure, and arrhythmias.
More than 14 million Filipinos suffer from hypertension. In fact, the Philippines is ranked number 11 in terms of hypertension fatalities worldwide.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure (HBP), is a fairly common condition in which the blood exerts pressure against the walls of the blood vessels. In extreme cases, this can lead to more severe health problems such as stroke, heart attack, or kidney disease. In most cases, hypertension is a genetic issue or comes with age, and as such, those suffering from it have little to no control over it.
Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the Philippines, claiming the lives of nearly 65,000 Filipinos each year. Sometimes called "brain attacks," strokes occur when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly cut off or interrupted. Most strokes occur by an abrupt blockage of arteries leading to the brain (ischemic stroke). A less common kind is when a blood vessel in the brain suddenly ruptures, causing bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).
If a stroke is not attended to right away and the brain is deprived of oxygen for too long, it could lead to permanent brain damage.
4. Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes is the fourth most common disease in the Philippines, with a reported 57,000 deaths every year. It is increasing at such an alarming rate that doctors have now called it an epidemic in the Philippines, affecting anywhere between 3 to 4 million Filipinos. Diabetes is a deadly diseases because it triggers a host of other complications - it is the number 1 cause of blindness, the number 1 cause of kidney failure, destroys or blocks blood vessels in the heart, brain, and legs.
Common symptoms include frequent urinating, thirstiness, hunger, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, slow healing of cuts and bruises, weight loss.
5. Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is a common disease not only in the Philippines but worldwide as well, being responsible for as many as 10% of deaths around the globe. It claims the lives of as many as 16,000 Filipinos every year, with an additional 28,000 undergoing dialysis.
6. Lung Disease
According to the Philippine Council For Health Research and Development, lung cancer and lung disease is the top cause of cancer-related deaths among males and the third highest cause of cancer-related deaths in females in the Philippines. It took the lives of over 16,000 Filipinos in 2014 alone. Although smoking is a major cause of lung cancer and lung disease, certain factors such as air pollution and chemical inhalation have also been shown to lead to lung disease.
Why invest in health insurance coverage?
None of these common medical problems come cheap. From diagnosis to treatments, maintenance medicine to even operations and confinement, these could all take a severe toll on your savings and could land you and your family in severe debt.
Health insurance plans in the Philippines could spell the difference between bankruptcy and financial security at crucial times such as a medical crisis. Most insurance plans include coverage for annual checkups as well as preventive care such as mammograms, vaccinations, prostate cancer screening or colonoscopies without charging additional cost to the insured individual. This could lower your risk of getting common diseases and increases your chances of spotting them, should you have them, early on, which also increases your chances of recovery.
For Filipinos with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, kidney disease or even asthma, having a health insurance plan is beneficial because it covers the medical expenses you incur from your regular and frequent trips to the doctor and hospital. Not to mention the maintenance medicine and treatments you will need to keep your condition under control.
Getting the right health care plan is easy with the proper research. While it may seem expensive at first, it is an invaluable investment that will safeguard you and your loved ones in times of trouble. At the end of the day, investing in a healthcare plan is always well worth the investment.
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