You will be Amazed at the Excellent Health Care in Mexico Options!
For most of us ‘Boomers’ Health Care is a very important consideration. There are many aspects to Health Care from ‘Tourista’ (Montezuma’s Revenge) to major surgery, dental, natural medicine, private insurance to the National Medical System, prescription drugs and many items in between. It’s a big topic and a very important one.
If you haven’t spent much time in Mexico, this could be one of your major concerns. It should not be, especially if you are considering living near one of the major cities or tourist destinations.
There are excellent facilities, doctors, specialists and medical staff in Mexico and a major benefit is that they are readily available (no long waiting periods). Many of the doctors speak English and often have taken some training in the United States or Europe.
Having lived in Lake Chapala, Mexico since 1995 we have had a lot of exposure, both personally and through the many Focus people we have brought to this area and gotten to know since we moved here. There are many, many stories of personal medical experiences.
Quality Health Care in Mexico and Personal and Caring Attention
Whether you take private or public coverage or elect to just pay-as-you go, you will be absolutely delighted with the quality of the service and in particular, the personal and caring attention you will receive in Mexico. The people that live here will tell you they are very pleased with the quality and availability of health care in Mexico systems, facilities and medical personnel.
"A good friend of ours found out he needed triple bypass surgery (year 2000). They had left Canada and had become non-residents for tax purposes, so were no longer eligible for Canadian health coverage. There were recent residents in Lake Chapala, and had just applied for IMSS insurance but weren’t yet eligible for major surgery coverage. John went to see the specialist (who at the time was the head of the IMSS in all of Mexico). John told the surgeon that he didn’t have coverage so his wife (a former nurse) was calling to check in Canada and the U.S. to find out the cost of the same surgery and compare it to the cost in Mexico. In Canada the surgery would have cost him $88,000 Canadian (he had become a non-resident of Canada and was not eligible for health care coverage there), but even had he been eligible, he would have been on a waiting list for months and he was told he needed the surgery immediately, so this wasn’t possible. In the U.S. he could have had the surgery immediately, but the cost was $250,000 U.S. In Mexico the cost was $11,000 (Canadian equivalent) and he could have it immediately. Then the surgeon told him: “John, if you can’t afford the surgery, I will do it anyway so don’t worry. You can pay me over time. The main thing is you need to have it done and soon.”
Needless to say, John was speechless. He told the doctor. “I can pay. I just wanted to check out the cost to compare.” John not only had the surgery and it was successful, but he and his wife became good friends with the doctor.
John told us later that this doctor was paid about $30,000 U.S. equivalent in Mexico (as the head doctor for IMSS), but frequently flew to the States to perform surgeries and received $100,000 U.S. per operation. Why did he stay at IMSS instead of going into private practice? Simple. They need him there. Yes, the doctors in Mexico are very caring indeed. "
Health Care in Mexico - Two Main Coverage Systems
Certainly, you will find the ability of the doctors equal to those “north of the border.” But the real difference comes in with the quality of the service. When you go into a doctor’s office in Mexico, you are not a number – you are treated with love and care. You are treated like there is no one else waiting. They really listen to you and respond with kindness. They even make house calls. Even the veterinarians make house calls.
There are basically two Health Care in Mexico Coverage Systems and both are available to foreigners living in Mexico, under any immigration status except an FMT (Tourist Visa).
- You can elect to use ‘Private Insurance Coverage’ (this could be national or international private insurance)
- Focus has put together a private insurance Best Doctors Group Health Plan. This is Catastrophic Worldwide insurance with a low annual premium of $1090. Pre-existing conditions are covered automatically after 12 months.
- Or join the National Government Program – 'IMSS, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social'. In the last few years IMSS have imposed some pretty rigid pre-existing conditions exclusions so more people are being turned down than ever before.
- There is a another National Government Plan called Seguro Popular that seems to be replacing IMSS. This is a good complement to Best Doctors as will cover things that are not covered in the Best Doctors Catastrophic Plan.
Note: Read pages in Navigation sidebar on both topics.
A Third Option for Health Care in Mexico - Pay as you Go!
There is also a third option is the ‘pay as you go’ approach or, if you are here only part of the time, it is possible you may be covered by your insurance back home. However, given the low cost of the IMSS plan and the Maskaras Clinic Discount program, it really does not make sense not to cover yourself.
Did You Know?
|Source: Government of Canada
|"The majority of Mexico’s population has access to public or private services. Three-fourths of this majority use public health care services. Emergency medical care is available and accessible to everyone regardless of employment status, but wealthy people can afford private medical care.
Recently, designing health plans and providing coverage to the uninsured population has been the responsibility of the government."
|Source: Government of Canada
|"Mexico has one of the most effective drug crop eradication programs in the world."