American Retirees have seen their income reduced by the effect of the global crisis, their pensions are not enough to cover their living expenses anymore. Sadly, a growing number of retirees have lost their hopes of a good standard of living in their golden years, and even more are struggling to cover for their medical expenses.
Many of these individuals have decided to explore the possibility of retiring overseas, and Mexico has been an ideal haven for this group. Mexico offers a friendly immigration law, warm weather and low living costs; on top of that it is only hours away from any city in North America.
Mexico has become home for over a million foreign retirees, 25% of those are US citizens. This population is also growing fast, with about 85,000 people getting their permanent residency every year and a total of almost three million foreigners will be living in Mexico by the year 2020.
Medical Insurance in Mexico: Important Facts
With a growing number of retirees looking to move south of the border, there is not a specialized medical service oriented to serve this population. Most of them pay out-of-pocket for their medical services, while others return home for treatment.
Mexican government officials report that 67.7% of the US citizens residing in Mexico travel back for medical care.Â From this group 37.3% returns once a year, and 21.2% do so twice a year, while a 21.4% travel five or more times each year.
One of the main problems US retirees face is the difficulty of getting a reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare for medical expenses incurred in Mexico. Many of the retirees opt for a private health insurance policy, and permanent residents can opt for the affordable IMSS or Seguro Popular insurance in Mexico.
Medical Insurance in Mexico: Statistics
15.4% Have health insurance coverage in Mexico
6.7% Has acquired a Mexican private health insurance plan
13.8% Does not have any insurance for their health care
5.3% Are affiliated to IMSS
0.5% Use Seguro Popular
66.1% Pay their medical expenses in Mexico with their own resources
18% Are reimbursed by their insurance company
1.6% The insurance company pays directly to the service provider in Mexico
9% Have never visited a doctor in Mexico
Many United States retirees chose Mexican providers for diagnostic purposes, checkups, dental care and emergency cases, and visiting the United States for more complicated surgeries and costly medical treatments.
Medical Insurance in Mexico: Private Insurance
While getting enrolled in IMSS (Social Security) or Seguro Popular is very easy and really affordable, some people prefer to use or add a private insurance policy in Mexico. These policies are called Seguro de Gastos Medicos Mayores (Major medical expenses insurance) and they cover accidents, serious illnesses and surgeries.
The good news is that these policies are quite affordable, and make sure that in case of emergencies your health is covered by private hospitals and top notch specialists. The bad news is that the age limit to enroll in all of the contacted companies is 64, but once enrolled you can keep your policy until you reach 100 years!
We contacted several Mexican and international Insurance companies to get an insurance quote for a policy covering a couple of retirees (2 people), between the age of 62 and 58. Keep in mind that theses are subjective and there are a lot of factor that go into creating a quote. Your individual quotes may vary. Here are the results.
|Specialized product for foreigners
|Characteristics of the Insurance
|Premium USD (Yearly)
|Type of policy
|Spending Limit USD $2,000,000Copay 0%Deductible
|Bupa Global Select(High range)
|Spending LimitUSD $130,916.62Copay
As you can see the AXA policy is the most affordable of them all, and even though the coverage is not that high, the spending limit can stretch a long way in Mexico. Keep in mind this policy is designed for residents of Mexico, and will need proof of residence (Migratory form) in order to get it.
Allianz might seem like an expensive policy at $9,676 USD (covering 2 people for a year) but when you look at the policy it has 1.5 million dollars in coverage with no out of pocket copays or deductibles. Remember that a lot factors into insurance policies; gender, age, medical history, the amount of coverage you need, the amount of out of pocket deductibles and copays as well as what kind of services you add to the policy. Play with the numbers with your insurance agent until you find a premium that is right for you and your pocket book.
If you’d rather get international insurance, Allianz and BUPA are specialized in covering medical expenses for foreigners. Their prices and conditions are quite similar and the insurance policy at BUPA will let you go and have your procedures in any other country, with the exception of the USA.
Getting a private insurance policy is always a good idea! Even if you have coverage back home or enough cash to pay for medical expenses, an accident or illness can easily affect your finances. Luckily, medical services are much more reasonable in Mexico, but as they say: better safe than sorry!
Top Mexico Real Estate is an American-Owned real estate company, based in Playa del Carmen. We our decade, with a lot of experience in helping foreigners find and safely purchase the home of their dreams in Mexico.
Browse our website and dare to dream of a life of relaxation in beautiful Mexico, we are here to help you every step of the way. If you would like to learn more about living in Mexico, please feel free to subscribe to our blog or contact one of our Top Buyersâ€™ Representatives.
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