Close

Interested in health care quality, costs, and insurance in Mexico

Hello,
I am 64 yrs. old and retired, living in Gainesville, FL . I've always loved traveling and living abroad and Mexico is on my list of possibilities. I'd like to identify health care and insurance costs and quality , preferably, though not necessarily, in cities in the mountains .
I'd appreciate any info on that, or direction to good places to find that info.
Thanks much.
Bill

bkueck :

Hello,
I am 64 yrs. old and retired, living in Gainesville, FL . I've always loved traveling and living abroad and Mexico is on my list of possibilities. I'd like to identify health care and insurance costs and quality , preferably, though not necessarily, in cities in the mountains .
I'd appreciate any info on that, or direction to good places to find that info.
Thanks much.
Bill

There is a lot of information on that topic in previous posts Bill, some are in great detail. Just go to forum and skim over the previous post  to get some pretty good answers.

As for quality, the doctors and nurses here are really quite good, better in some cases than those in the U.S.

Thank you very much. I'll do that.   :)

Bill,

Costs vary from 5% of US cost to 50% depending on a lot of factors.  A drug that would cost me $350.00/mo cost $49.88 the last time I bought it here.  A specialist visit might go as high as $50 and include routine blood tests.  A hospital stay in a "world" class hospital $750/day, a local hospital for a mild case of pneumonia $50-$75/day including meds.  At one point I had a complete set of blood tests which included an EKG for $90.  There are walk-in clinics that belong to drugstore chains where you can get a quick BP or glucose check, stitches removed or diagnosis of symptoms for less than $2.00.  the bigger the city. the more options you have.

As a temporary or permanent resident you would be eligible for Seguro Popular.  Treatment is free but there are long waits, bureaucracy and if it doesn't cover something, you have to go to a private doctor.  It's good for emergency treatment if you're in no worse condition than a 2 hour wait to see a doctor.  Most private hospitals do take credit cards.  That was not the case 8 years ago, as far as I know.

Thank you, gudgrief - that's great info- very helpful detail.

Good information.  Thank you.  Deductibles have become so high here that the need for $5000 in medical expenses is not uncommon before anything is paid by insurance.

Hi Gudgrief:
If one is staying only 3-5 months, would I be able to apply for Seguro Popular?   If not, would it be best to just get travel insurance which includes emergency evacuation to the US?
Arlene

rubytue60 :

Hi Gudgrief:
If one is staying only 3-5 months, would I be able to apply for Seguro Popular?   If not, would it be best to just get travel insurance which includes emergency evacuation to the US?
Arlene

No, you have to have an immigrant visa, not just a tourist visa.  Expat insurance/travelers insurance would be available.  Google.

Your 64th year is the last year you can purchase health insurance in Mexico (I'm told by my insurance agent). Once you turn 65 I guess Seguro Popular is the only form of 'health insurance' available in Mexico.

There is also IMSS which costs around $300/yr. 
Actually, their both government and bureaucracy.
Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

You have to be a citizen or have a Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente visa.
Details on those can be found by Googling.

Thanks!

gudgrief :

There is also IMSS which costs around $300/yr. 
Actually, their both government and bureaucracy.
Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

You have to be a citizen or have a Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente visa.
Details on those can be found by Googling.

Hi gudgrief, we are moving as permanent residents as of August 26th. Would like to know the difference between Seguro popularité  (is it the Centro de Salud?), IMSS and ISSSTE. I have found the information for IMSS cost is based on age plus previous conditions and some waiting period for some aspect.

Based on your experience should we enroled with one of the government options + go to the private doctors.

Muchas gracias, GyC.

mexicogc :
gudgrief :

There is also IMSS which costs around $300/yr. 
Actually, their both government and bureaucracy.
Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

You have to be a citizen or have a Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente visa.
Details on those can be found by Googling.

Hi gudgrief, we are moving as permanent residents as of August 26th. Would like to know the difference between Seguro popularité  (is it the Centro de Salud?), IMSS and ISSSTE. I have found the information for IMSS cost is based on age plus previous conditions and some waiting period for some aspect.

Based on your experience should we enroled with one of the government options + go to the private doctors.

Muchas gracias, GyC.

First, ask around when you arrive, landlord or real estate agent, neighbors about doctors and dentists and a report on local facilities.  Just like everything else, there is no single standard and quality and access varies quite a bit from place to place.  I have had excellent advice that way.

If there is a Centro de Salud run by state government, Seguro Popular is probably there otherwise it may be located in the local hospital.  In Zacatecas there was a modern Centro Salud and a General Hospital.  A Google search or the Seguro Popular website can identify the local facility.  In Zacatecas, the wait times were not that long for a routine checkup and blood work but it was still a two to three hour exercise due to bureaucracy but the medical care itself was excellent.  I went to the emergency room one time and waited somewhere between 1 and 2 hours to see a doctor.  Here in Coatepec, a city of around 50,000, the local Seguro Popular is housed in an ancient hospital building.  I haven't gone.  My landlord is an MD who lives on the same property and advises me and sometimes prescribes for me but won't take a fee.  One time I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like death warmed over.  I took a couple of acetaminophen and tried to get back to sleep.  In the morning, I took a cab for the 20 minute ride to the best hospital in Xalapa, the state capital.  The emergency room wait was 10 minutes.  After a brief physical, Xray and ultrasound, I was admitted in a private room.  The diagnosis pneumonia and it had gotten my whole system out of whack.  I was in the hospital for 6 days and the total bill was about $4500 on the credit card.  I figure 6 days in the hospital in the US would be $10,000 minimum.

I really don't know much about IMSS except that an American I knew in Zacatecas was quite satisfied with treatment and surgery for appendicitis.

With both IMSS and Seguro Popular, if you take expensive or special medications, they might not be available and you'd have to buy them from a private drugstore.  I have had 4 medicines that Seguro Popular didn't have.

I believe ISSTE is for active and retired members of the teacher's union only.

My own solution for several reasons is to get my serious medical care in Texas if I'm in good enough shape to get there.  My Spanish is quite functional but if it's a matter of life and death, I'd prefer to deal in English.

I hope this helps.

Gudgrief, Thanks a lot, Canada
GyC.

Let me chime in with my semi-knowledgeable 2 cents worth. Mexico has at least 4 separate channels for healthcare/hospitals: ISSSTE for gov't employees, IMSS for private sector employees, Seguro Popular for  'others' and private care/private insurance for those who can afford it or have insurance thru their employer. If you are not eligible for IMSS thru your employer then you can apply to become a member but I'm told that the qualifications and cost can be very little different from obtaining private insurance.

There are shortages in the public system (not unique to Mexico) but, if you have the money to pay for necessities, you can get around this problem. A relative of mine needed hip-replacement surgery - the public system had a highly-qualified surgeon available but not the medical device. The patient privately purchased the required device and the surgery was done in a timely fashion.  As always in Mexico, where there is a will -and money- there's a way.

Someone commented that 64 was the last year you can purchase Insurance in Mexico, I assume they are referring to private insurance? If you do purchase before then, can you continue to carry it each year after you are 65?

Now I am confused, I understood that imss was for permanent and temporary visa holders for a fee every year , not just people who are employed ? SP is for non home owners , renters and is free ? I was going to apply for imss after I received my permanent residency.

IMSS is primarily Social Security which includes medical care.  Employers of more than 5 employees are supposed to pay the premiums but self-employed and other citizens along with temporary and permanent residents can pay the premiums.  Resident means one of two kinds of visa, the process for which must start in the home country, requires income verification and fees associated with it.  You have to go through a Mexican Consulate in your home country.

Anyone is eligible for Seguro Popular.  Home ownership has nothing to do with it.  You have to be a citizen or resident.  Only the most wealthy would be required to pay a premium; not likely since those people could afford private insurance and care or pay cash.

Have you started your resident visa application in the states?

Si gudgrief, all done just waiting for my card . Permanent resident.First thing apply for IMSS and open bank account. Strange someone told me SP was for people who rent only lol. I have found doctors treatment here lower than what my Medicare copay is in the states. The doctor also sits and talks with you , doesn't rush you thru like cattle. IMSS for emergencys and private doctor for the everyday needs.

Mel01 :

Si gudgrief, all done just waiting for my card . Permanent resident.First thing apply for IMSS and open bank account. Strange someone told me SP was for people who rent only lol. I have found doctors treatment here lower than what my Medicare copay is in the states. The doctor also sits and talks with you , doesn't rush you thru like cattle. IMSS for emergencys and private doctor for the everyday needs.

I found the same as you.  And am very satisfied with the level of care.

Yes, once you´ve qualified for a policy it will continue after your 65th birthday, although with rising premiums each year.

Mel01 :

Si gudgrief, all done just waiting for my card . Permanent resident.First thing apply for IMSS and open bank account. Strange someone told me SP was for people who rent only lol. I have found doctors treatment here lower than what my Medicare copay is in the states. The doctor also sits and talks with you , doesn't rush you thru like cattle. IMSS for emergencys and private doctor for the everyday needs.

IMSS doesn´t allow everyone to join. Some pre-existing medical condition exclude you from joining.

IMSS will exclude you from joining for some chronic diseases. They have a 6 month, 1 year , 2 year and 3 year waiting period on other chronic diseases and treatments and operations needed, It depends on what condition you are in when applying.


From the IMSS website:

Exclusions to join,

Google Translation:

"• not subject to insurance people who have: malignant tumors, chronic degenerative diseases (late complications of diabetes mellitus), diseases: Hoarding (Gaucher disease), chronic liver disease, kidney failure: • Some pre-existing, such as illness chronic valvular heart disease, heart failure, sequelae of ischemic heart disease (arrhythmia, angina or myocardial infarction), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with respiratory failure, among others
• chronic systemic connective tissue diseases, addictions like alcoholism and other substance abuse, mental disorders such as psychosis and dementia; congenital and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or Human Immunodeficiency Virus positive of diseases (HIV)"



http://www.imss.gob.mx/tramites/imss02014

It also states there is a minmum of 2 family members to join. There are exceptions to this rule.

"Individual must be at least 2 people, the head of the family group and your immediate family, as spouse or concubine , children, father, mother, or your additional family members, such as grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, cousins, children of siblings, siblings of parents. If you are the owner of the family group and if you reside abroad, you can also purchase this insurance for your family."

Seguro Popular takes legal residents of Mexico. Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente and anyone, any age can join with any pre-medical conditions and only about 2% of the 54,000,000 members pay an annual fee or pay on the 1 year contract for their family. With free enrollment you get a 3 year contract. Renters and people without a vehicle etc. do not pay.

Most of the people I have meet here in Mexico have IMSS and are single? Were they all married when they got here????????? Can someone here that has IMSS help with this ?

I am 95 percent sure that one can be IMSS coverage above age 65. The annual premium is a tad steep, but nothing like what you pay above the border.

FelipeZapata :

I am 95 percent sure that one can be IMSS coverage above age 65. The annual premium is a tad steep, but nothing like what you pay above the border.

IMSS is available to any permanent or temporary resident and the annual rate is based on your age even 80 and over, here is the link to the 2017 rates http://www.imss.gob.mx/derechoH/segurosalud-familia.

My wife and I will be doing this process once we get are Residency official cards probably in September.

Hope this is helpfull, GyC.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Mexico

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Mexico

Moving to Mexico

Find tips from professionals about moving to Mexico

Travel insurance in Mexico

Enjoy stress-free travel to Mexico