Social Security Health Insurance for Mexico’s Permanent Residents

Are you and your family considering giving up your health insurance back home because it is too expensive? You don’t want to be unprotected in case of an accident or major health problem that you could develop after moving to Mexico.

 There are several plans available in Mexico for Private insurance carriers. Still, if you’re only interested in coverage for significant events, and you are willing to pay as you go for check-ups and regular care. In that case, this information will help you navigate the Social Security Health Insurance for Mexico’s permanent residents.

The first thing you need to know before you read on is that if you have any pre-existing conditions like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. You are not eligible to buy this insurance. You might be asking. How would they know? And the answer is simple, the first time you use your insurance, the doctor will be able to assess if you have any of these pre-existing conditions, and they would then cancel your insurance without a refund.

You also have to consider that most Mexicans that can afford private health care buy it and don’t use the social security system because of the waiting times and sometimes long lines to receive care. 

 Before you apply to buy the IMSS insurance, you have to have your SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.

How do I get my Social Security number?

  • Get your birth certificate, apostille it, and have it translated to Spanish. If you have a permanent resident card, your birth certificate doesn’t need to be translated by a certified translator, it can be a simple translation, but the apostille is necessary.
  • You will also need an official ID passport, permanent resident card, your CURP (Unique Population Registry Key), and your proof of address (CFE or water supply bills). Take two copies of everything.
  • Go to the Administrative Office of the IMSS delegation closest to you and take a turn (Notice: Not all IMSS buildings have these administrative offices, make sure to verify which one is the closest to your delegation)
  • Give all the documents to the clerk who will check them and give you a page with your Social Security Number. 

(At the time we wrote this article, the information was that the process has to be in-person to get your Social Security Number. Therefore, you can’t obtain the SSN online, but you may apply for the insurance online.)

Social Security Health Insurance for Mexico’s Permanent Residents


Now you are ready to buy your Social Security plan for you and your family. In the past, to access Insurance for Mexico’s Permanent Residents, it was necessary that enroll at least one family member to access this type of insurance called “Seguro para la Familia.” However, now you can register as an individual.

It is essential to enroll at the end of the month because the insurance will cover you starting on the month after you are enrolling. If you register later in the month, you will be paying the whole month and only use it for a couple of days. It is also vital that you renew your annual insurance 30 days before it expires every year.

How does it work?

  • It is a health insurance to which any person and their family members can voluntarily join as long as: They
    • carry out the procedure through IMSS Digital or in the sub-delegations.
    • Do not have a social security scheme in another public institution.
    • Have no pre-existing diseases
  • You buy it voluntarily through the celebration of an agreement with the IMSS.
  • The subjects covered by this insurance are the insured and his family nucleus:
    • Spouse or common-law wife,
    • Children, father and mother of the Insurance applicant and,
    • Grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, cousins, children of the parents’ brothers and sisters of the insured subject
  • You pay an annual fee that entitles you to medical services during that period (see table).
  • There is a fee for each family member who joins the insurance, according to their age.
  • Your coverage begins on the first day of the month immediately following your registration.
  • If you want to continue with the insurance at the end of the year, you must renew it within 30 calendar days before the year’s expiration.

What rights does it grant?

  • The insurance covers medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, hospital, and maternity assistance.
  • In the case of maternity, care is provided during pregnancy, childbirth, and puerperium.
  • Some pre-existing diseases will not allow you to incorporate to IMSS, such as malignant tumors, chronic degenerative diseases (late complications of diabetes mellitus), hoarding diseases (Gaucher disease), chronic liver diseases, chronic renal failure, heart valve disease, heart failure, sequelae of ischemic heart disease (arrhythmia, angor or myocardial infarction), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with respiratory failure.
  • Also, if you have chronic systemic diseases of connective tissue, addictions such as alcoholism and other drug addictions, mental disorders such as psychosis and dementias, congenital conditions, and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or Human Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). In that case, you won’t be able to enroll.
  • Some exclusions to the coverage include cosmetic surgery, glasses, hearing aids, and chronic conditions that require permanent therapeutic control.


  • At the sub-delegation corresponding to the insured’s address, from Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:30 hours.
  • Present official identification, Immigration card of permanent resident, translated birth certificate, CURP (Unique Population Registry Key), and proof of address, if applicable, marriage certificate, that of the family members to be incorporated.
  • Provide general data and fill out a medical questionnaire.
  • Cover the payment of the annual fee.



 Each insured’s annual fee to be covered in advance is determined depending on the applicant’s age.

Age Range Annual Fee
0-19 $ 6,200.00
20-29 $ 7,650.00
30-39 $ 8,250.00
40-49 $ 9,550.00
50-59 $ 9,950.00
60-69 $ 13,800.00
70-79 $ 14,350.00
80 and older  $ 14,850.00

Fees effective as of March 1, 2021.


 Steps for the procedure

  1. Start the procedure

Verify that the address that you have registered with the IMSS is up-to-date.

  1. Health questionnaire

Answer a history of illnesses. Knowing past diseases is an essential piece of information to know the current health status of you and your family.

  1. Enter family data

Register the data of the relatives you want to insure. They can be wife (or) or concubine (life partner), children, father, mother, or your additional relatives, such as grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, cousins, nephews, and uncles.

  1. Confirm your data

Verify that your data and that of your family are correct.

  1. Receive result

Obtain the proof of the procedure and the capture lines to make the annual payment and obtain the Incorporation to the Family Health Insurance.

Medical questionnaire


























Seguro Popular for foreigners residing in Mexico FAQs

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Seguro Popular is an option for foreigners residing in Mexico, it is a medical service offered by the Mexican government for those individuals that do not have with any other form of state issued medical care such as: IMSS, ISSSTE, SEDENA, etc.

   1.         What is Seguro Popular?

It is a state issued medical service that provides medical and surgical services, as well as pharmaceuticals hospitals and preventive health services. Its main objective is to provide financial protection to the non-insured population, through a scheme of health insurance, public and voluntary.

   2.         Who is it for?

Families and individuals who are not beneficiaries of the social security institutions or do not have some other mechanism of social security in health.

   3.        Is it is free?

In most cases it is free, a socioeconomic study might be required in order to set the premium.

   4.        What conditions are covered?

Currently Seguro Popular covers 284 medical interventions contained in the Universal Health Services Catalogue. This means that Seguro Popular will cover more than 90% percent of hospital casesm, 100% in health centers and 58% interventions for Catastrophic Expenses.

   5.        Can I join Seguro Popular if I have previous conditions?

Yes, however, the ideal is to apply for your membership when you are healthy.

   6.         If I am traveling out of my city, I am covered?

Yes, as long as it is an emergency and you present your current policy at the emergency room.

   7.        What if I lose my policy?

Go to the local office where you joined Seguro Populal and ask for a copy of your policy.

   8.        Do I have to pay for my medication in the Seguro Popular?

No, medication should be provided free to beneficiaries necessary for the treatment of diseases associated with conditions included in the Universal Health Services Catalogue.

   9.        Does Seguro Popular covers laboratory studies?

Yes, as long as they are required for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that are within the Universal Health Services Catalogue.

10.        If I require an ambulance, is it covered?

No, both land and air ambulance are not covered by Seguro Popular.

11.        Can I choose the clinic or hospital where I want to go?

A health center or hospital will be assigned to each beneficiary. If there is more than one option in the area the patient might be asked to choose their medical center or doctor.

12.         I’m a foreigner, can I enroll in Seguro Popular?

Yes, it is possible to enroll as long as you can prove your lawful stay in the country with a migratory form.

The foreign national will have to present the following requirements:

  • CURP
  • Migratory forms (immigrant or nonimmigrant or permanent resident)
  • Passport

As you can see, Seguro Popular is another good option for health care in Mexico. Sadly most of the centers have mainly Spanish speaking staff, so be prepared to use your Spanish or ask a friend to go with you and translate.

Even though medical treatments, medications, and doctor visits are very reasonably priced many foreigners living in Mexico have some form of health insurance. Whether you opted for IMSS (Mexican Institute for Social Security), Seguro Popular, private health insurance or a combination of these, it is always better to be covered medical wise should an emergency arise.