Find, in this article, useful information on Mexico's health care and social protection system as well as on health insurance and vaccination.
Health care in Mexico is free of charge. You can easily access to health care services wherever you are as the country has many hospitals, private clinics and other health care centers. Most of these comply with international standards with modern and developed infrastructure and quality health care. However, health care services in private clinics can be quite expensive. In general, expatriates in Mexico opt for both public and private health care services.
You can as well take an appointment with a pharmacy doctor (in “Farmacias Similares”). Consultation and medication prices usually revolve around 20 to 30 pesos. But if you prefer to be examined by a private doctor or clinic, you will need at least 500 pesos. Note that medicine is sold in units in pharmacies.
Although health care is free of charge in public hospitals, the administration may inquire on your capacity to pay if you have to be admitted. Nevertheless, all workers, including foreign workers, are eligible to social security. You can seek related information with social security desks which you can find at hospital entrances.
You can as well subscribe to a expatriate health insurance according to your needs.
To be eligible to health insurance in Mexico, you must have contributed to the social security fund at least four weeks before being sick or injured. Season workers must have contributed to the fund at for at least six weeks during the last four months.
The retirement scheme will depends on your retirement age. To date, three schemes apply:
- retired workers scheme (65 years old)
- early retirement scheme (60 years old)
- early retirement insurance scheme (you are allowed to retirement before reaching 60 years provided you have contributed sufficiently to the fund and that the total of your weekly contributions exceed the minimum pension by at least 30%.
In all cases, you must have contributions at least 1 250 times, that is for 24 years, to be eligible to the retirement insurance.
Social security services
Social security services and fees vary according to different beneficiary categories. The compulsory schemes mainly apply to employees while the voluntary scheme applies to independent workers and civil servants. In both cases, social protection applies to the insured member, to the spouse and less than 16 years old children (less than 25 years old children if they are still students) and parents if they still live together. As for the health policy, it concerns preventive and curative health care.
Thus, hospitalization, health care, operation and medication fees are covered by the insurance scheme. In case of accident or disease leading to incapacity to work, the Social Security will pay a part of your salary for a maximum of one year period.
Good to know:
In general, employees are registered with the Mexican Social Security Institute by their employers. Otherwise, you can also register by filling in the request form which is available here. http://www.imss.gob.mx/tramites/imss02008 You will then receive your registration number which will make you eligible to the insurance scheme. Note that a monthly contribution of 10% of your salary will be required.
Vaccination and medication
Vaccination against malaria and yellow fever is highly recommended. These diseases are quite present in some Mexican regions. Vaccination against yellow fever is compulsory if you have stayed in an African or any South American country before moving to Mexico. You may also be vaccinated against rabies, polio, diphtheria and hepatitis A and B in your home country before traveling.
If you need any particular medication, you have to inquire beforehand if these are authorized in the country. Otherwise, you will have to obtain a prescription and buy a sufficient stock for the duration of your stay in Mexico.
You are advised to inquire on procedures that apply in case of repatriation with your home country's local authorities before moving to Mexico.