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Health care in Costa Rica

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If you have queries regarding health care services that are available in Costa Rica, here is an overview of its health care system.

Health care will probably be one of your major concerns during your expatriation to Costa Rica. No need to worry! These are easily available thanks to a developed health care system. In fact, besides education, the government also invests in health care so as to provide quality services to the population, including foreigners. Moreover, you can choose between the public health system, via the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) any the private health system, among which you have the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) which is the National Insurance Company.

Whatever your choice, you will realize that Costa Rica is way ahead of many countries in terms of health care thanks to the local expertise and quality health care. Moreover, life expectancy in the country is equal to that of many Western countries.

Public health

All citizens and legal residents of Costa Rica are eligible to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). In case of need, they can benefit from health care services in 10 hospitals that are found across the country. All of these are affiliated to the Social Security system. As regards daily health care, it is provided by the EBAIS which are dispensaries that are found in most villages.

On subscribing with the CCSS, you will contribute at a rate of 10% to 11.5% of your income. You will also have to pay for a mandatory pension if you are less than 55 years old. You will then be eligible to its recovery when you will be 65 years old.

To register with the CCSS as an employee you are required to call at the Social Security center with a letter issued by your employer. This letter should clearly display your employer's header and cache, detailing your employment date, etc. Independent workers and entrepreneurs, for their part, will be guided to the appropriate branch on calling at the Social Security center.

The private health

Costa Rica's private hospitals and clinics provide very high quality health care at very low costs. Indeed, over the years, the country has become a number one destination in terms of medical tourism.

To subscribe to a private insurance, you can seek the assistance of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS) which is a government authority. This insurance provides coverage in the case of dental, optical and annual routine health care. Prescription drugs, some medical examinations, diseases and hospitalization are covered at up to 80%. Finally, surgery and aesthetic interventions are entitled to a 100% coverage.

In general, you will pay between US$ 60 and US$ 150 per month and per person for a probate insurance.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Health care in Costa Rica Forum
National Insurance Institute (INS) www.ins-cr.com
Costa Rican Department of Social Security www.ccss.sa.cr
CCSS - FAQ www.ccss.sa.cr

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