The catch 22 is that as a Retired American Military man I must pay for Medicare every month albeit I can not avail of Medicare Coverage here in the Philippines. But I can use my (FREE; that so cracks me up) Tri-care Military health benefits here instead. But I can’t have Tri-Care (The free one they promised in 1964) without having Medicare. The perfect catch 22.
My wife is also covered under my plan, and we have Phil-Health also. Phil-Health is inexpensive and is pretty good but there are restrictions. You cannot use it for outpatient care; it is primarily for inpatient care.
Mayang woke up in pain and we took her to Harbor Point Hospital on the Subic Freeport, We stopped by to check in with the TriCare office of course I brought my customary dozen Duncan Donuts for the very helpful ladies who guide you over the rocky road that is health care. They fill out all the forms and keep track of all the paperwork for us eligible members. As much as I can find fault with Tri-Care I can find no fault with the treatment these fine employees render to me. I will say the same about the hospital staff and Doctors at Harbor Point, top notch, everyone.
This glowing testimony is not just from a Kano point of view, all the Filipinos I’ve spoken to feel exactly the same way. About 8 of the biggest health insurance companies here in the RP also have representatives to guide their customers through the ins and outs of their coverage. This is my first time to encounter this at any hospital here.
They also have a well stocked pharmacy and the prices are comparable with Mercury Drugs on the outside.
So about Mayang, she has had a reoccurring problem with her kidneys causing pain once in awhile. While at the Tri-Care office the first week of October and forgetting that the government’s fiscal year starts 1 October the ladies had to inform me that my deductable would be starting all over again. It’s all about timing isn’t it? I smiled and said; “The luck of the Irish?” I don’t think they fully understood that expression, but they saw that I wasn’t surprised. It works like this: $150.00 deductable for both Mayang and also for me for a total of $300.00 per fiscal year. After that I pay 25% of the bill every visit after the deductable is paid. That is my free medical for life that my government promised to me when I enlisted. But it beats the hell out of that farce known as ObamaCare.
Mayang see’s the Doctor at 10AM, off to the lab, x-rays and then a sonogram. We took the prescriptions to be filled and were given an appointment to see the doctor when all the tests were returned the next day. While waiting for all that, the medicine was taking effect and Mrs. Thompson was feeling much better. But in no way would that deter her from returning for her follow up visit. Now me, I would have said: “I’m cured, pour me a beer.”
Meanwhile, our two daughters are running in concentric circles panicking over their mother. I had to bring my smart phone to answer all their calls with step by step information as to what was transpiring throughout the hospital visit. If I knew how to make conference calls it would have been much easier then each question times two. But it’s their mother so I understand.
One week later were back to find out about all the lab work Nothing serious that the medicine can’t fix but come back in November for a follow up. All my prescription medicine is reimbursable but I have to submit the form, so I wait and do it at the end of the fiscal year, you know the one I forgot about a couple of weeks ago. I missed out but it was only $150.00 (Boy medicine is cheap here).
Well now the ordeal with Mayang is over and she has returned to good health once more, she has a follow up appointment in November and that should meet her deductable for the rest of the fiscal year. I have no plan to get sick to pay mine, but one never knows what the fates will bring.
Moan and groan as I might TriCare is still better than nothing, but it damn sure ain’t free. What can I grouse about next week?