Manila, Philippines — Filipinos lose up to Php 35 billion annually due to cancer, with Php 29.2 billion coming from direct healthcare expenses such as charges for treatments, hospitalization, laboratory procedures, and medicines, as reported by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).1 The high medical treatment costs put them at greater risk of premature death compared to their Asian neighbors. In fact, treating cancer ranges from ₱120,000 to ₱1 million, with chemotherapy ranging from ₱20,000 to ₱120,000 per session depending on the cancer type.
In addition, in a study published in Acta Medica Philippina—a peer-reviewed general medical and health science journal published by the University of the Philippines (UP), 40.6 percent of cancer patients’ families experienced financial toxicity—or financial problems—due to the high cost of medical care.2
These expensive healthcare costs are also the main reason why Filipinos fear cancer the most, based on the recent Manulife Asia Care Survey. This concern is exacerbated by threats of rising inflation, with Filipino respondents ranking it as their top financial concern among surveyed markets in Asia. Another Manulife study, “Understanding Filipino Sentiments Toward Health and Critical Illness,” revealed that 80% of Filipinos surveyed cannot afford the high cost of treatment if they or their family members get diagnosed.
To help Filipinos prepare for medical expenses should they fall critically ill, Manulife introduced HealthFlex, an affordable life and health insurance plan that they can customize based on their needs and budget. It covers up to 112 critical illnesses and provides guaranteed coverage until age 100. Filipinos can boost their coverage through add-ons that would give them advanced benefits if they had early disease detection, were diagnosed with second occurrences of cancer, heart attack and stroke, or had a specific cancer that is common among males or females. There is also an option to receive a monthly allowance if they get diagnosed with an advanced critical illness and coverage for child-specific illnesses.
“Aside from its health risks to themselves, Filipinos fear cancer’s financial risks to their families. Because many often just have enough to get by, they worry that spending for medicines and treatments would take resources away from their loved ones’ basic needs,” Rahul Hora, President and CEO of Manulife Philippines, said. “We designed Manulife HealthFlex to help Filipinos have a sense of security and ease their financial worries in case they get sick. It also helps protect their savings so they can focus on recovery, while financially securing their future and that of their family,” he added.
About Manulife Philippines
The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company opened its doors for business in the Philippines in 1907. Since then, Manulife's Philippine Branch and later The Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (Phils.), Inc. (Manulife Philippines) has grown to become one of the country's leading life insurance companies. Manulife Philippines is a wholly owned domestic subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation, among the world's largest life insurance companies by market capitalization. Learn more about Manulife Philippines by visiting their website manulife.com.ph and following them on Facebook (facebook.com/ManulifePH), Twitter (@ManulifePH), and Instagram (@manulifeph).
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services provider, helping people make their decisions easier and lives better. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we provide financial advice and insurance, operating as Manulife across Canada, Asia, and Europe, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States. Through Manulife Investment Management, the global brand for our Global Wealth and Asset Management segment, we serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. At the end of 2022, we had more than 40,000 employees, over 116,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving over 34 million customers. We trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.
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