One of the main concerns of many of our retired clients has to do with health insurance, after all an accident, emergency procedure or sudden illness could throw anyoneâ€™s budget out of balance. Even with the very reasonable prices offered by doctors and pharmacies in Mexico, it is important to have a few backup plans in case of an emergency.
If you want to keep prices low and make sure your policy would cover any sort of disease; one of the options can be enrolling on the IMSS (Mexican Institute for Social Security) medical plan.
IMSS insurance for foreigners: What is IMSS?
IMSS stands for Mexican Institute for Social Security; it was founded in 1943 by the Mexican Government to provide health services as well as pensions for Mexican employees. Mexico has one of the largest Social Security groups in Latin America and their hospitals have some of the best doctors in the country.
IMSS insurance for foreigners: Pros and cons
|Low cost, with a yearly premium of $7,531.55 in 2014. About 556 USD regardless of your age.||For that price you will probably be able to get a decent â€œSeguro de Gastos Mayoresâ€ policy in Mexico.|
|Some of the best doctors work for IMSS, and have a second office in fancy private hospitals. Why pay more?||The wait time to see a specialist might be long, from a couple of days to months. You have to consult with the general doctor first to be referred to the specialist.|
|IMSS has clinics and hospitals all over the country, in case of an emergency they will let you into any of their hospitals.||Sometimes there is not enough staff, medicines or equipment. You might have to buy certain items to get the service.|
|A wide array of wellbeing programs: IMSS has a wide array of preventive medicine services, free vaccines, programs to control diabetes, etc.||These services might not be worth your time if you can go to a private doctor and pay a few dollars for a consultation.|
|No Expense limits: IMSS doesnâ€™t limit your coverage, whatever you need; If IMSS has it, it will be provided to you.||Again, in case of a serious illness, time consuming waiting lists might affect your health.|
IMSS insurance for foreigners: Restrictions
It is important to know that IMSS will not cover these pre-existing conditions:
Malignant tumors; chronic degenerative diseases such as late complications of diabetes mellitus; Gaucher disease; chronic liver disease; chronic renal failure; cardiac valve; heart failure; sequelae of ischemic heart disease (arrhythmia, angina or myocardial infarction); Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with respiratory failure.
IMSS also wonâ€™t cover chronic systemic connective tissue diseases; addictions such as alcoholism and other addictions; mental disorders such as psychosis and dementia; and congenital or acquired HIV.
While IMSS might not be a fancy choice, many Mexicans like having the service and also having a private â€œSeguro de Gastos Mayores Policyâ€. If you have to go to the doctor for a check-up or some tests, it might be better to pay in cash. In case of something more serious, by all means use your private insurance policy and if everything else fails, you have your IMSS coverage.
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