Showing posts with label Meralco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meralco. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Looking for health insurance for my family (because I'm all grown up that way!)

Posted this over at Twitter recently:

Yep, I'm still looking for health insurance! If you've been reading my blog long enough, I started looking for a private health plan for my family when the TMC disaster happened. By private, I mean it's a service that we pay for and not provided by the company I work for. Almost all of the recommendations I get from blog commenters and Twitter followers are the health plan providers that their company works with. The company I work for has health benefits, of course, but I'm looking for something more comprehensive and one that would cover all the members of my family, not just me.

So I've been researching and I've narrowed down my choices. I won't say what those are yet since I'll still give them a call and check them out. They might not look as good on paper, you know. What I'm really looking for is the kind of health plan my family got when my Mama was employed at Meralco. It's almost as good, if not better, than health plans in the US before the current health crisis. As a child, I was sick constantly. Like, I'd be confined at a hospital maybe 3-4 times a year. Not once did Mama have to take out her wallet to pay for my bills. Our dental needs were also completely covered, unlike today when only cleaning and temporary fillings are covered. Back then, we were assured that we can have everything from a filling to a root canal and not worry about the cost. Even cosmetic treatments (braces, bleaching, etc) were covered up to 25%. Absolutely frikkin' awesome. That's the kind of plan I want for my family!

Of course, that means I've been apprehensive about the cost of personal health plans, thinking that there's a reason why companies subsidize them. But I am happy to report that we actually have cheap health insurance here. My research shows that for just P10,000 a year, a family of four can get good coverage--private hospital room, good accredited hospitals, annual physical exams, dental check-ups. If you add another 5K-10K to that amount and you get absolutely fantastic coverage, the type that asks no questions, just pays your medical bill.

That plan, even if it may be P20,000 a year, I like very much. It's really not a lot of money. Just divide 20K by 4 (that's me and my three adorable boys!), and that's just 5K a family member for an entire year. That covers dental work, annual medical checks, and should someone get sick, great medical service and treatment. For peace of mind, 20K is nothing!

Someone told me, however, that the best health insurance is money in the bank. She doesn't believe in insurance, you see, thinking that it's all a scam. She said, "How many times does one get sick anyway? Once, twice? As long as you live a healthy lifestyle, you'll be fine. And for those times you do get sick, nothing beats cash." I do agree with her somewhat, especially since when I gave birth, both times were completely paid for by cold hard cash. There's a certain sense of pride knowing we were able to save up for a hospital like St. Luke's Global.

Still, if there's cheap health insurance available here anyway, I don't see why we shouldn't avail of it. What do you think? Should I or shouldn't I? Do you have personal health plans or is yours provided by your company?

Monday, August 01, 2011

Should you go forth and multiply? Methinks only if you're ready.

I take a break from all the bag promoting (shop here!) to talk about a serious matter: marriage and babies.

On my mommy blog, I wrote a post about the new power I feel now as a mother, and it's resonated with a lot of women, both mothers and single ladies. But I got a bit alarmed when I started getting emails from girls saying that because of my blog post, they've decided to get married and/or have babies because they feel so powerless and empty.

Kids, don't do it. I love being married and I love being a mom but it's not a joke taking care of people. It's a job that needs all the love you can give, every day of your life for as long as you live (thanks, Sound of Music!). If you're empty and aimless now, what can you possibly give to other people, especially children who need to be nurtured and guided 24/7?

Go out, have fun, make friends, make love (just don't get sick or pregnant!), try different jobs, live for yourself! Find the meaning of life, your purpose. Find God. Find yourself. Your teens and twenties are designed to be wild and free and kinda weird. Live it. Live for yourself because sooner than you think, your life will be about others and you don't want to feel like you missed out.

I think there's nothing wrong with being selfish. Especially when you're young and have no responsibilities. I think selfishness is a good thing for young people. It allows you to find yourself, to do what you want, to live the way you want and pursue happiness without feeling the burden of guilt and responsibility.

Imagine, for example, wanting to be a musician and being very talented, too, but your parents tell you to be a computer programmer so that you'll have job security and help the family out financially. (This thinking should stop. I am never going to ask my child to help us out. Parents, stop treating your kids like money-making machines. Be responsible for your own future!) So you give up your dreams, your purpose, your life so that you can help other people. It's very noble but it sounds like a path to despair.

My mother wanted me to work for Meralco, where she worked all her life. Meralco has (or had?) great benefits for their employees--a really amazing compensation package. Naturally, when I decided at 8 years old that I wanted to be a writer, she became upset. My father wanted me to be a statistician and work in an insurance company. Again, job security. Writing as a career was just preposterous and they both did their best to discourage me. I fought back. I obeyed them for most everything except my career choice (and my boyfriend choice, although for the latter, maybe I really oughta have taken their advice!).

Anyway, I once overheard my mother talking to her friend. "What's your daughter taking in college?" Mama shrugged, "Creative Writing. I don't know what it is and what will happen to her. But it's okay, I guess, since she's a girl and she'll just marry someone and be a housewife. I'm very disappointed really."

I confronted Mama about that and she insisted that if I cared about the family, I'd take up something more reasonable. I still didn't. I cared about my family, sure, but I also cared about me! My parents said writing will never be financially rewarding, that I'll starve. I didn't care. I decided that if I'm going to have a hard life, I might as well do something I love. I was young and selfish. This is what I want and no one is going to stop me. Years later, I turned out to be the one who helped (and is still helping) the family financially. I've made a career of surpassing low expectations.

What I'm saying, dear young ladies, is if you're empty and confused now, a man or a baby won't make you feel better. As Princess Diana said, "People think that at the end of the day, a man is the only answer. Actually, a fulfilling job is better for me." True! Find your purpose and do it well--whether it's a job or promoting a good cause or cooking or whatever. You need to have a life before you have marriage and kids. Don't commit to anything as serious as marriage and children unless you're ready to give up yourself. And love demands complete surrender. I still have a hard time doing that actually!

Now go and push away all thoughts of weddings and babies from your heads. Fill your hearts instead with love and friendship and fun! Have a good life!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Memories of Meralco

I mentioned in this blog somewhere that my Mama used to work for Meralco. All her life! So part of my childhood was spent growing up on the vast grounds where the main office stands. Mama was always loyal to Meralco because the company really took care of its employees. The benefits they enjoyed were beyond amazing--comprehensive healthcare, financial help, free theater tickets...

I know that Meralco took a beating this year from irate consumers but I can never feel angry towards the company that put food in my tummy, sent me to school, put clothes on my back and, because of the healthcare, saved my life more than a few times. Besides, like I mentioned in this post, because Vince and I are very smart with our electricity consumption, our electric bill is a lot lower than most people's bills.  

So when I was invited to Meralco's Christmas party at the Ortigas compound, I just had to go. Last Thursday, Meralco turned on the lights of its giant Christmas tree to usher in the Yuletide Season. This year, they're offering the public more attractions: a life-sized electric toy train and a candy-colored Toy Town. I've always loved the giant manger scene made out of copper wire, though, so seeing it again was enough for me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What's your health plan?

Seriously, I grew up a sickly girl but these past 10 months, I've seen too many doctors and too much hospital (and handed over too much money!) for my taste. So we've finally given birth but that only means even more face time with another kind of doctor: the pediatrician. This is my family at the pediatrician two weeks ago:
Vito is one month old here! I'm still trying to lose the preggy belly!
Well, time to shop for a good health plan. I actually have health insurance courtesy of my employ but it's not the same as the one I grew up with. It's a huge shock to me since I had amazing health care growing up as the beneficiary of my Mama (she used to work in Meralco)--All medical conditions covered. All dental work covered. If the procedure is cosmetic, 25% covered. I used to go in and out of hospitals with not a peso on me and the insurance paid for absolutely everything. So when Mama died and I had to avail of the health plan at work... well, let's just say it's not the same.

So now that we have this fascinating young man in our lives, Vince and I need to get a good, solid, reliable Medicare plan. Soon. Do you have a health plan? What is it? Are you happy with it? Help!