The Difference Between HMO, Health Insurance, and PhilHealth

  • Nov 22, 2019
  • By Miles Malferrari


Confused between the differences between HMO, Health Insurance and PhilHealth? Not sure which one you should be focusing on? Have you been approached by “financial advisers” telling you to get insurance + investment combo from them? Don’t worry, we got you. Here’s the low-down on the key differences between the three, what you should watch out for, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each. Stick around to the end and see which one we recommend prioritizing*.


We should all know what this is coming from corporate jobs. PhilHealth is the national health insurance program of the Philippines. It’s a requirement for all corporations to pay for their employees’ PhilHealth monthly membership fee. It aids in healthcare services by providing free, reimbursable, or partially paid medical expenses, care, or medicine to anyone still actively paying.

Advantages: You don’t have to worry about it if you’re working for a corporation that handles it for you.

Disadvantages: It’s a bit harder for a freelance worker or self-employed starter as you would have to be the one going to PhilHealth or payment centers to pay and they have limited hospitals and doctors available (only government-owned hospitals usually accept PhilHealth).

Health Insurance

These are the types of insurance you get that are usually attached to investments. Commonly known as VUL or Variable Universal Life. Big companies like PruLife and SunLife offer these kinds of premiums. You get several benefits from death to accidents and even Chronic illnesses. It’s normally used for Life Insurance and not for overall health.

Advantages: It’s one of the easiest ways to get into investing.

Disadvantages: Most of the time, VULs can’t be used for regular checkups or consultations. They only include death or accident situations. Also, it can be a bit more difficult to claim insurance as there are more steps involved.


An HMO or Health Maintenance Organization, is a prepaid healthcare system that provides self-funded care to individuals by providing them with a HEALTH CARD that they can present to accredited doctors and hospitals. This is the best thing to prioritize getting for yourself if you’re a starting freelancer or entrepreneur.

Advantages: Easy to get (check out and accredited in almost all hospitals around the Philippines both public and private (unlike PhilHealth). It also won’t ask for any premium payment for agents (unlike Insurance Agents) so you know all your money goes straight to your health. Lastly, you get added bonuses like discounts with brands like CBTL, GetGo and even Grab.

Disadvantages: It isn’t free since you would have to pay from your own earnings, but unlike the other two, this one is totally worth it and you see your money’s worth in the quality of care you can receive anywhere in the country.

For more details on HMO and how to get it, visit us at If you are still confused between the three types, hit us up on our Facebook page!

*We are not financial advisors, nor do we claim to be. Everything written in this article is only our opinion and is not backed by any financial background.

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