Good for usa retirees?

Hello.for several years ive been thinking of retiring to Ecuador. Probably the coast. Olon.Manta.Salinas.
I was curious if the new Ecuadorian goverment is stii friendly for usa retirees.
And the healthcare. What are usa retiress doing about healthcare.
We are approaching 60 yrs old.

Dear Appoquin X,

Welcome to the Ecuador forums of ...

The Ecuadorian government changed the visa rules a couple of years ago.  Lifetime visas for new arrivals are not readily available .. as there are more hoops to jump through.

However, the basic situation is the same.  If you qualify, for instance with an investment or a pension, you can stay in Ecuador ongoingly and eventually get your visa.

Ninety-two percent of Expats sleep better if a qualified immigration attorney or visa specialist is working with them, especially given the changes in the rules.  The other eight percent love a challenge and don't mind it when the immigration bureaucracy throws them a curveball or tries to kick 'em in the teeth. :cool:


appoquinx :

What are usa retirees doing about healthcare?
We are approaching 60 yrs old.

The Ecuadorian government attempted to change the rules for the cost to Expats of government-sponsored IESS health coverage.

They wanted to base it on a percentage of Expat income.

But the bureaucracy wasn't up to it .. and is not pressing to implement the percentage-of-income concept.

So, for the foreseeable future, single Expats are still paying about $80 a month for full care with no deductibles.  This includes care for pre-existing conditions and for all medications (when available).  Couples pay about ten percent more than the individual rate.

Most Expats in the IESS system, including your truly, keep IESS as a deep backup 'just in case'.  For most care, including routine visits to a doctor's office, we pay out of pocket -- typically $30-50 per visit in recent years, $50 being for a specialist who can prescribe the fancier medications.

By doing most healthcare outside the IESS system, we can choose our own regular doctors, schedule appointments at convenient times, and get immediate access to care without long waits after IESS enrollment and for specialists.

Your ages (late 50's) are not a barrier to participating in IESS health care.

Health insurance is mandatory in Ecuador for Expats who have obtained the visa and national ID card or cédula.  Private insurance is an option.  Several years ago, before IESS was fully opened to foreigners, I had private insurance for six months and paid $250 per month.  Coverage of pre-existing conditions was expressly excluded.  As soon as it was possible, I dropped the more-expensive coverage and enrolled in the IESS program.


Good job cccmedia, americans always know where to get the best deal! Are you still in Ecuador or Colombia for better deals?

norviato1 :

Good job cccmedia, americans always know where to get the best deal! Are you still in Ecuador or Colombia for better deals?

Dear Norviato,

In my travel year of 2018, I found the better deals in Colombia.  In case anyone hasn't noticed, the Colombian peso is so weak against the mighty USA dollar lately, that dollarized shoppers have been getting a ten-percent currency discount spending dollars in Colombia in recent months.

Compared to Ecuador, the tariffs on imported products are less onerous in Colombia as well.

In my nearly six months in the border city of Ipiales, Colombia, near Tulcán, Ecuador, this year .. I would look around the parking lot at the big Gran Plaza/Ahorros shopping mall on a weekend .. and notice that half the cars in the lot carried Ecuador plates.  (The US dollar has been the national currency of Ecuador for the past two decades.)

As of this afternoon, I'm traveling back North from another place with a weak currency and deals for the dollarized -- Argentina -- and will be arriving back in Quito, Ecuador, this month for a while.

cccmedia from Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina

I hope that my post is connected to the thread concerning ex-pats and their health.  I copy and paste the following and then I have a couple of questions:  "Health insurance is mandatory in Ecuador for Expats who have obtained the visa and national ID card or cédula."

1)  I receive medical and dental care through The United States Department of Veterans' Affairs secondary to my being rated as 100% service-connected disabled.  Department policies and procedures state that veterans who are permanently and totally disabled, as am I, can receive medical and dental services in countries to which they might move and that the federal government of The United States will reimburse medical and dental professionals (in countries where the Department of Veterans' Affairs has no hospitals and clinics).  Medical and dental professionals merely document services rendered and they will be reimbursed by the U. S. government.  Does any ex-pat know about this and has any ex-pat used this system in Ecuador?

2)  Does such provision for medical and dental services exempt a U. S. ex-pat from having to purchase additional medical and dental insurance?  In other words, does the U. S. government reimbursing medical and dental professionals in Ecuador meet the Ecuadorian government's requirement that ex-pats have (purchase) insurance?

and finally,

3)  I am legally married (within the laws of The United States) to an Ecuadorian citizen.  This is a same-sex marriage, we live in the United States, and my husband will soon be a United States citizen with dual Ecuador-U. S. citizenship.  When he returns (with me with him) to Quito, his hometown, does our marriage mean that I am seen by the Ecuadorian government as something other than an ex-pat?  And, if so, how does this impact our having to pay for Ecuadorian medical and dental services for me?

I thank all of you for assisting me with any of these questions.


John Cox (and my husband, Marco Zavala)

No information whatsoever on #1, but on two and three I believe the answers would be no and no.  The immigration requirement for insurance is that it be from an approved company and, at least last time I checked, there are no extra-national companies listed (including the US gov't).  As for #3, this wouldn't make a difference until you were naturalized (which may be a quicker process if part of a civil union - I believe it is with marriages - but it isn't an area I've researched).  Normally it takes about five years. Until that time, the only thing the civil union would do is provide a basis for the visa, not for immediate citizenship (the only "normal" circumstance that would obviate the need for insurance).

New topic