Over the years working with clients trying to live or retire to Mexico, Health care or health insurance are some of their main concerns. Even though the majority of our customers have some sort of coverage in their countries of origin, it is also necessary to have an insurance policy that covers them while in Mexico.
We contacted a Health Insurance Expert, Launa Brockman from Paradise Professional Services to share with her some of the frequently asked questions we get from our clients. Launa Brockman has two decades’ experience helping customers find the right insurance policy, both in America and Mexico.
1. Is US medical insurance accepted in Mexico?
Generally, no – most policies stop at the border. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize this until it’s too late. I advise people to get insurance in place BEFORE they even leave the US – whether moving here full or part time, or just traveling.
2. What is the best way to get health coverage? What is the average monthly expense?
The best way is to seek a knowledgeable agent. One of the best ways to find recommendations is to use the various expat pages on Facebook. The expat community in Mexico is awesome and very helpful. As far as the cost, that depends on the person’s age, the type of coverage they want, the deductibles, and the areas of coverage, etc, etc. There are too many variables to give an average cost, but I can say that in almost all cases, expat health insurance is far less than what Americans are paying in the US.
3. What about enrolling on IMSS and Seguro Popular?
I recommend people purchase their own private health insurance plan over using IMSS. I have heard many horror stories. I have also heard of some people having good experiences with it, but I have heard the negative far more than the positive. If a person has so many health issues that it is impossible to acquire some type of coverage, then yes – it can be used as a last resort.
4. I am on disability and get Social Security and have a medicare gap policy here. I can’t find a reasonable health policy in Mexico because of previous health issues. Can you tell me a Website that I can go to in order to find a decent policy at a reasonable price?
I am not aware of a website such as this. There are various types of policies that don’t require underwriting and offer limited coverages for those not able to acquire a full comprehensive health plan.
The best way to proceed is to find a knowledgeable expat insurance agent who has access to all types of companies and policies to guide you through the process of acquiring some type of insurance in Mexico. Normally there is something out there for almost everyone. The coverages may only allow for emergencies and such, but having something is far better than having nothing.
5. Is there a policy that covers people over 65?
There are policies that can cover all ages. My favorite comprehensive health insurance plan allows people up to the age of 74 to apply. And then once covered the policy will last through all of their life, even if that person should live to 125! The most important thing – do not put off getting a policy in place! You want to get a good reasonable health insurance policy in place BEFORE you need it. I can’t stress this enough. I have seen people lose their dream of living in Mexico due to health issues. They had to go back either the states or Canada due to not being insurable and not able to afford the out of pocket expenses for care.
6. Any other general advice?
In my opinion having health insurance in Mexico is even more important than having it in the US. Even when they are an option, the general hospitals (IMSS, Seguro Popular, etc) can be extremely busy and poorly staffed. I have personally known of people waiting 2 to 3 days to be seen, and sometimes time is literally a matter of life and death.
The best care in Mexico comes from private hospitals. And they generally will not treat anyone without having payment up front, or a guarantee of payment from an insurance company.
Please let us know if you have any other questions regarding health insurance, or you can contact Launa Brockman at her office in Puerto Aventuras. We are very positive you will find a health insurance policy under her guidance, if you want to contact her for a quote you can also email her.
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