Should you purchase Medical Insurance in Mexico or back home?

Whether you are traveling or living in Mexico, it is highly advisable (almost compulsory) that you purchase medical insurance to cover you in case of anything. Given the fact that Mexican social security is a) hard to obtain as a foreigner (unless you have full immigrant residency status), and b) not necessarily top of the line treatment – sometimes lacking in doctors or equipment – it is an intelligent choice to cover yourself privately.

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Given the circumstance of needing health care in Mexico, you will be able to use private hospitals, private physicians or clinics without having to crack your head open about the costs. Although medical insurance in Mexico is significantly more economic than in the United States, for example, private health care can sum up to the thousands of dollars if you are involved in an accident or suffer from a serious illness.

Mexico offers a plethora of insurance companies that thrive in the country offering coverage for you and your family for monthly premiums. Depending on how much you are willing to pay determines the type of plan and how much coverage you get. Additionally, factors such as age, pre-existing conditions or past accidents determine whether you will have to pay more, or if you get insured at all.

Underwriters tend to look at family history and treat a family as a single unit, when in reality each member is an individual and should therefore be covered for their personal needs. Make sure you check which companies offer this type of service so that you ensure the best possible coverage for your family.

But the question remains. Should you purchase your medical insurance in Mexico or in your country of origin? As mentioned above, Mexico has a wide array of big insurance companies (ING, GNP, MetLife, Axxa) that offer different plans depending on your needs and the amount of time you are insuring yourself for, whether you are a national or a foreigner. The easiest way to go about it is by checking and comparing. Check the companies back in your country of origin (costs, small print, benefits, cons, amount of time it covers you outside your home country) and compare it to the companies in Mexico. At the end of the day, you get to pick what you feel most comfortable with.

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Although, as stated, health care in Mexico is cheaper than in the United States – a visit to a private doctor may cost up to $45 USD – the buildup in case of needing medical attention can take a toll on your budget. If you accommodate your budget to include either a monthly premium or an annual, life-long payment, you will end up saving thousands of dollars in the long run. Remember that where there are tourists, there are higher prices – and the medical industry is not left out.

Insurance companies cover more than checkups and accidents. Dental, maternity care, ophthalmologists and dermatologists, are some of the services that are included as well. Some even include – or have the option of purchasing for an extra cost – repatriation in the event of a life-threatening accident or death. Ask around to make sure you can also purchase additional guests when it comes to caring for health. Some companies will cover the plane tickets of someone back home so they can join you after an important surgery or accident.

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For those who visit Mexico regularly but do not live in Mexico full time, purchasing short-term medical insurance or purchasing one that works for both the United States and Mexico is ideal. Again, shopping around the industry is the best guaranteed way to find what suits you.

A short-term medical policy, such as IMG Patriot Insurance offer plans for as little as a week’s holiday. Usually, these are geared towards travelers and offer the “no questions asked” plans, but again, it all depends on your personal situation.

Purchasing insurance in Mexico is an easy task and it will be considerably more economic than in the United States in the long run. If you are a full-time permanent resident of this beautiful country, I recommend you go for one of the abovementioned Mexican insurance companies to take care of you.

If you have any questions about Mexican health care, insurance companies, or the pros and cons of investing in health insurance in Mexico, feel free to contact us. Additionally, for those looking for a paradise vacation – or otherwise – home, our Top Mexico Buyers’ Representatives are more than glad to help you through the process of becoming a homeowner in Mexico.

And remember, here at Top Mexico Real Estate

We Make It Happen!

Mexico Health Care Kit

Top Ten Reasons to Retire to Mexico

Mexico consistently ranks one of the top destinations in the world for vacationers but did you know that many people from all over are choosing Mexico to retire. Many retirees are looking for a more fulfilling, happier and affordable lifestyle, which can be achieved by living in Mexico. Here are the top ten reasons to retire to Mexico:

  1. Culture and History: Mexico is a country rich in culture and history. Complete with ancient Mayan ruins, warm proud people and a society steeped deeply in religion, heritage and a manner of living, working and playing that predate most industrialized nations.
  2. Weather: The weather in Mexico is nearly perfect and gorgeous year round. Mexico has NO SNOW! January, the coldest month of the year in the Riviera Maya has average high of 29C/84F and an average low of 21C/70F.

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  1. Food: It isn’t a shock that a country so rich in culture and heritage would have such amazing food. Mexico offers everything from a hole in the wall taco stands to gourmet fine dining restaurants. Mexico is also a melting pot for food because people from all over the world come to this beautiful land to set up shop.
  2. Safe: Mexico is very safe. For Example, the Yucatan State with its beautiful beaches and ancient Mayan ruins has a homicide rate that is lower than the U.S. rural states of Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, North Dakota, West Virginia and several others. People feel safer in Mexico than in many places in the United States.
  3. Close: Mexico is close to home. Your friends and family can come to visit in just a few short hours, with easy access through direct flights from the United States and Canada.
  4. Cost of Living: The cost of living in Mexico is amazing low. In Mexico you will save on everyday items like groceries and public transportation, to things such as water and cable bills, you will even save on entertainment such as going to the movies or out to dinner. Mexico, on average is 40% cheaper than the United States.
  5. Medical: As you reach your golden years you find yourself taking more trips to the doctor. Mexico has top-notch medical care facility and quality hospitals in all major city and tourist destinations, offering a 60% – 80% savings from what you would expect to pay in the United States and Canada.

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  1. Insurance: Private health insurance for many is thought to be only a dream but in Mexico it is very affordable and feasible. Also, foreign residents can qualify for social security. Health Insurance is attainable in Mexico.
  2. Benefits: Senior citizen are treated with respect in Mexico. Locals receive many benefits such as senior citizen discount cards, discounts at restaurants, and free or discounted passes to archaeological sites, museums and other tourist attractions throughout the area.
  3. Real Estate: Mexico is the gorgeous backdrop to some really stunning real estate. There are phenomenal real state opportunity’s in Mexico. On a whole, real estate properties, property taxes, HOA fees and Insurance prices are lower than what you would pay in the United State or Canada.

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Perhaps, one day you will be one of the many who retire to this beautiful country and call Mexico your home!

Now if you have any question about living in Mexico or any of the TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE properties we have listed in Playa Del Carmen, the Riviera Maya or anywhere throughout Mexico, please feel free to contact any of our TOP MEXICO BUYER’S RERESENTATIVES and we will be glad to help you find your very own piece of paradise.

And remember, here at TOP MEXICO REAL ESTATE…

We make it happen!


Medical Tourism In Mexico

Medical tourism in Mexico has been a popular option for North Americans for many years. With the never ending increase of insurance prices and copays, many people look for cheaper alternatives south of the border.

Mexico has many specialized medical tourism destinations, where tourist attractions and medical care come together to address medical issues.  One of the main characteristics of medical tourism in Mexico is the highly qualified doctors and nurses as well as excellent hospital infrastructure.

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Medical Tourism in Mexico: What procedures can I have done?

Medical tourism in Mexico is a great option for people looking for medical services, either because they are out of reach back in their home countries or because they are looking to cut expensive medical bills. Checkups, preventive care, specialized surgery and the recovery process; everything monitored by warm, professional doctors in Mexico.

Some of the most popular medical services performed by medical tourism in Mexico are:

  • Plastic and cosmetic surgery (liposuction, face, mammoplasty)
  • Dentistry (Cosmetic and Reconstructive)
  • Cardiology / cardiac surgery (bypass, valve replacement)
  • Orthopedics surgery (hip replacement or knee joint surgery, arthroplasty)
  • Bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, gastric banding)
  • Fertility (IVF)
  • Transplantation of cells, tissues and organs
  • Eye Surgery
  • Diagnostics and tests

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Medical Tourism in Mexico:  International Accreditations

The best way to ensure you get the best medical care possible is to do research and make sure you are being treated in a safe hospital or clinic.

Mexico has 9 hospitals and 1 medical center that comply with accreditation from the Joint Commission International, which is internationally recognized as a symbol of quality that reflects the commitment of an organization to meet performance standards. The Federal Ministry of Health has certified 105 hospitals, 98 of which are certified to international standards.

Medical Tourism in Mexico:  Quality and Low Cost

Mexico is an attractive country for health care for many reasons: the quality of medical services, the wide range of destinations, internationally accredited hospitals and the cost of medical care. It is observed that the main treatments offered include dental, ophthalmic, orthopedic and rehabilitation; and scheduled surgeries, plastic and aesthetic, which can become 60% ​​to 80% cheaper than in the United States.


Why spend thousands of dollars back home if you can get the same procedure for a fraction of the cost. The key is to find the right accredited professional, do research, and look for internationally recommended hospitals and doctors in order to ensure your health and safety.

This might be more difficult than you think, medical tourism is not regulated. The Center of Disease Control (CDC) makes some recommendations to people considering medical tourism. Once that you have decided to go ahead with your medical tourism trip, there are plenty of Medical Tourism agencies willing to do the arrangements for you.

We would like to thank Dental Bio-Esthetics for sponsoring this blog. Dental Bio-Esthetics and Dr. Michelle Spears, DDS is one of the foremost leaders in dental cosmetology and dentistry in the Riviera Maya. To learn more about Dental Bio-Esthetics, please click here.

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Dental Tourism – Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Riviera Maya, Mexico is one of the most beautiful and sought after vacation destinations in all the worlds. Whether you are attracted to the white sand beaches and crystal blue waters of the Caribbean, the wonderful Mexican / Caribbean blend of cultures or the hypnotic, tropical vibe, the Riviera Maya is a place that needs to be seen to be believed.

Now at about this time of year, people from the United States, Canada and the world for that matter are beginning the process to making vacation plans for the winter to escape the cold, harsh winters of North America, Europe and Asia. So now, at this time, I would like to introduce to you a new concept in vacation packages that is revolutionizing the industry…

Dental Tourism

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Now as I am sure you already know, dental and medical prices are quite simply ‘out of control’ in most places around the world… while quality of the work itself relatively stays the same.
So what gives?

Well according to recent studies, increasing insurance premiums and frivolous lawsuits worldwide have raised the operating cost of doing business to mammoth proportions, forcing many dental practitioners to increase their prices. While some others studies suggest that ‘good ol American greed’ is to blame for the rising cost of dental work.

Whatever the case may be, we do have a solution for you: Dental Bio-Esthetics… accredited, trustworthy and skilled dentistry here in the Riviera Maya!

With state of the art equipment, cutting edge technology and an incredibly skilled and dedicated staff, Dental Bio-Esthetics in Playa del Carmen, headed by Dr. Michelle Spears, DDS (a licensed, practicing and skilled dentist from the United States) is making the dream her dental practice slogan “We can make you smile again” a reality for many people in need.

… And did I mention… at a fraction of the price of all other dental institutes worldwide!

Now, you and your family can have it all: a wonderful and exciting vacation for the whole family and the confident and beautiful smile you always wanted! And all at the same price you would spend for just the dental procedures alone in the United States and Canada.

At Dental Bio-Esthetics, they can craft you a comprehensive treatment plan, coordinate transportation to and from the Dental Bio-Esthetic while in Playa Del Carmen, arrange for transportation to and from the airport and coordinate your flight and hotel arrangements depending on your specific needs and wants.
Dental Bio-Esthetics… “Re-think the dentist chair!”

Now if you have any questions about getting in contact with Dr. Michelle Spears, DDS at Dental Bio-Esthetics here in Playa del Carmen – Riviera Maya, please feel free to email her at
or visit her website at

See you in Paradise!!!!!!!!

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Childbirth at the Local Public Hospital – “Best Treatment I’ve Had”

On Friday I posted about the variety of health care options available to choose from on a day to day basis in Mexico. Today, I’m going to share the story of an expat who’s worked in the office here for the past few years and their experience with the public hospitals, specifically his wife and childbirth.  While most expats we know won’t be going in to have a baby delivered any time soon, it reflects how good the service is even in Mexico’s “working-class” health care system.

Here it is in his own words:

“My wife and I have had 4 children; the last 2 were twins, so it was 3 childbirths for my wife – the first was in a semi-charitable hospital specialized in childbirth and maternal health in Mexico City, the second was the public-insurance hospital (IMSS) in Playa del Carmen, and the third was a hospital in Canada.

“As for cost, for the one in Canada my wife – who is Mexican – was not yet covered by public health insurance, so we had to pay it out of pocket.  While they gave us easy, interest-free payment options, it was a HUGE bill, by far the most expensive.

“The cheapest?  The IMSS hospital in Playa del Carmen.  Our entire family was covered by my wife’s insurance; we had started a little family business, and I had “hired” her.  The monthly fee was pretty low.  In any case, I know you can also get full coverage on a person-by-person basis for about $350 a year.  However you get this insurance, it’s simply cheap.


Best Service

“Now, you’ll never guess which was the best treatment.  The specialist hospital in Mexico City was very professional, and without a doubt knew what they were doing, but my wife said it was impersonal.  Canada – well, it was Canada.  Nice doctors, nice nurses.  Did everything right, and were very friendly, but nothing above and beyond.

“The public-insurance hospital in Playa – she remembers going in; the nurse put on music, and made a real effort to make her comfortable.  It was the longest birth of all them, but she never felt like they were rushed or anything, she was comfortable and well-attended the whole time.

“After the last birth in Canada, she said the level of service and comfort was a close call, but Playa del Carmen’s IMSS hospital still won out – and this is considering that it was all but free!


The Choices

“Now we had our options in Playa.  There were excellent private hospitals that would’ve charged anywhere up to about $1600 for childbirth – a far cry from the $8000 we paid in Canada!  There were also private gynecologists who charged about the same or somewhat less.

“We were thinking about those options.  But in the end we thought: we have this insurance already; there’s a brand-new, pretty-looking IMSS hospital in town.  Previously they would’ve had to send us to Cancun, which we weren’t terribly interested in, but with the new hospital we could be a 5 minute drive from our house.  We knew people who work at the hospital, and had been there for some of the pre-natal check-ups.  Everything seemed professional and well run.

“We decided to go for it, and – considering it was the cheapest and BEST treatment my wife had – we’re glad we did.


The Down Sides

“Not everything is rosy and perfect.  We had only one major complaint; I wasn’t allowed into the delivery room.  This is standard practice in all public/low-cost hospitals in Mexico. The private options I mentioned would’ve allowed it.  Since all the options looked really good, the question came to this – was it worth $1600 for me to be in the delivery room? Since we were still paying off the little townhouse we bought, we decided ‘no.’

“My wife would’ve liked.  I would’ve liked it.  But the excellent treatment they gave her helped to balance that somewhat.

“The other downside was the quick shipment out the door.  They definitely took the time to make sure she and the baby were in good shape and that she had rested enough to go home.  But the baby was born at 6 am; by 2 pm, she was at home. “Same day delivery” I guess …

“BUT Canada was no different!  While I did get to be in the delivery room, she was also out the door before at the soonest possible moment.

“So, in the IMSS hospital, I stayed up all night in the waiting room, read an entire book of The Lord of the Rings, drank about 10 cups of coffee (there’s an all-night OXXO, like 7-11, across the road) and probably paced a hole into their brand-new floor.

“I remember when Tom came by to pick me up around noon so we could get my older son and mother-in-law to welcome our new baby as a family; we didn’t have a car, and I wouldn’t have been in the shape drive any way.  I must have looked like a wreck, but I was the happiest man in the world.  I had just talked to the doctor, who also looked like a wreck after being up all night delivering babies; but, as attested to by wife, he has spared no effort to make everything go well.


The Bottom Line

“The bottom line is that IMSS, one of Mexico’s “cheap” options, gives Canada’s first-world healthcare a run for its money, which cost about 100 times more (if we count all the usage we got out of it); even if Canada had been free, IMSS still won out on the comfort they provided for my wife.”

So, there you have it.  I’m going to dig up some more health care stories from expats here in Mexico in the future.  I can tell this already; while it’s not all perfect, you begin to see a pattern – lower cost, better service.


-by Thomas Lloyd



Do All Expats in Mexico Go To Fancy Hospitals?

So, the word is out; world-class, high-quality, top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art hospitals are available in many Mexican cities, and they cost a fraction of what similar hospitals do in the U.S.  The logical conclusion; all expats – including those who couldn’t afford such service back home – go to fancy space-age hospitals where they pamper you above and beyond what’s necessary.

The impression is true to a certain extent – at least to the extent that pretty much any expat who wanted to could go to this kind of hospital.  And plenty do … when the feel they need it.

Reality is much more varied …

This greatly oversimplifies the reality of health care in Mexico – even health care that’s suitable for and really used by Americans and Canadians living here.

The reality is this: health care in Mexico offers a wide variety of options, many of which are suitable for expats at some point or another.

The “local” clinics

Think about this; would you feel it necessary to go to a world-class hospital with the best equipment to check out a cut for stitches or a cold that has been going on a little too long?  Probably not.  Even if the price is relatively low, it would just seem like overkill.  And besides that, it might just be an unnecessary “trip.” Even if that hospital’s only 20 minutes away in taxi, there might be a good local clinic right around the corner from your home that can do the same for even less money.

Consider this story from Glynna Prentice, a seasoned expat at International Living:

“I once needed to see a doctor when I was staying in the colonial city of Guanajuato, where I have a small house.

“I got recommendations for fancy doctors in Leon, a major city of about 1.7 million people less than an hour from Guanajuato. But in the end, for convenience, I chose to go to a small clinic in Guanajuato’s historiccentro, a short walk from my house.

“The clinic treated walk-in patients, many of whom clearly were not wealthy. The waiting area had plastic chairs and out-of-date magazines. But the doctor, whom friends had recommended to me, was a well-traveled, middle-aged woman with a bright smile and a very professional manner. She sorted me out in no time. And her bill? Just $20.”

The Public Insurance Option

Besides the local doctor’s practices which can offer very good service, a growing number of expats are using Mexico’s public insurance (IMSS) for their regular needs.  For a flat rate of about $350 per year, it covers everything, including vitamins, eye glasses and sometimes even basic dental work.  While their hospitals lack the state-of-the-art equipment of the private hospitals, they are clean and cover more than just the basics; the state-of-the-art private hospitals are always there for anything very major, and for everything else the costs are kept to a bare minimum.

On Monday I’ll share the story of an expat who works in our office, and his experience with IMSS.

I’ve given two examples of different options here.  But the point is that you can find basic doctor’s offices that can offer a prescription for a minor infection, or do minor stitches; some that are are small, but specialized in specific health issues; large public hospitals; large private state-of-the-art hospitals and a dozen other options, which you can choose from at any time according to your needs.

Of course, not all the clinics and hospitals are good.  But the majority will deliver what they promise, and be honest when something is beyond their scope, usually quite willing to recommend the best place to seek the treatment you need.  Asking around you can quickly find out which hospitals or doctors (of all budgets) are reputable.

Glynna Prentice finishes her article with this simple and important observation:

“In general, I continue to use Mexico’s high-tech hospitals and specialists for my check-ups and medical tests. But it’s comforting to know that in Mexico I have a range of options, depending on my needs. And all of it at wonderfully affordable prices.”

That’s the key – “I have a lot of options – at wonderfully affordable prices.”

-by Thomas Lloyd

Mexico Preconstruction Condo Kit