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Health and Medical Insurance Options for Expats in Mexico

Whether you have public or private health insurance, there are many options for expats in Mexico. Private medical insurance plans enable expats to seek the best treatment at private hospitals, while public health insurance provides access to public health institutions, facilities, and physicians. 

Many expats dream of moving to Mexico due to its affordable cost of living, beautiful surroundings, quaint towns, and friendly people. Whether they plan on visiting or staying for good, people often question the quality of healthcare in Mexico. 

Moreover, they wonder whether Mexico’s healthcare services are of lower quality since they cost less than in the US or Europe and are often surprised to hear positive feedback from expats living there.

But even though the cost of treatment in Mexico can be cheaper than in other places, that doesn’t mean that you should have to pay out of pocket for it. This Pacific Prime Latin America article covers the different health and medical insurance options for expats in Mexico.

Individual health insurance blog

Health Insurance for Expats in Mexico

Since Mexico does not have any reciprocal agreements with other countries when it comes to public healthcare, expats in the country have to secure health insurance on their own. If you require medical attention or healthcare services, you’ll have to pay for them yourself.

Unless you have expat health insurance in Mexico or are part of the IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social) public healthcare system, the options for expats, including short visits, extended stays, and foreign residents, are as follows:

1. Short Visits

If you’re traveling to Mexico for a vacation or business trip, your best bet is to secure travel insurance. Ideal for short visits, a traveler’s insurance policy covers you for a limited time while you’re traveling abroad. This may also be included in your employer-provided health insurance plan. 

2. Extended Stays

If you’re planning on staying in Mexico for longer than a short visit but don’t plan on living there, then you’ll need more than short-term travel insurance. Those staying for six months or less can benefit from a private health insurance plan that offers local coverage. 

However, if you already have health insurance in your home country, then it’s advisable to buy emergency medical travel insurance that includes emergency evacuation in case you need to fly home due to a serious medical emergency. 

3. Foreign Residents

Expats who intend to obtain or have residency in Mexico should skip travel insurance altogether since it is only suitable for people who travel for a short time before returning to their home country. Health insurance from your home country probably won’t cover you if you’re living abroad. 

Plus, you’d likely have to evacuate back there to benefit from coverage. If you plan on staying, you should look into international health insurance for expats in Mexico that covers all of your needs, such as the following options:

The IMSS System

Both temporary and permanent foreign residents are legally required to apply for the IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social), which is the public healthcare insurance system in Mexico. Upon application, foreign residents get access to certain medications, doctors, and facilities in Mexico. 

The IMSS covers public health institution and physician costs such as:

  • Hospitalization costs
  • Medical care costs 
  • Surgery costs 
  • Medication costs

In addition, coverage costs are based on age, and, as with any public healthcare system, long wait times are to be expected. It’s worth noting that employees who are enrolled in IMSS through their company get priority over voluntary enrollers. 

Private Medical Insurance

Expats often buy private medical insurance to cover medical expenses and ensure direct access to Mexico’s private healthcare system. Policies are tailored to each person or family, with the cost of health insurance in Mexico for expats varying by age, coverage level, duration, and deductibles. 

With several trusted insurers available in Mexico, it’s advisable to carefully compare your options before choosing one. You should also find out if the local hospitals in the area you’ll be living in accept coverage from your potential insurer. 

Additionally, most healthcare services in Mexico are provided in Spanish, which can make it challenging to communicate with medical staff. The good news is that most insurers provide telephone support and, in some cases, even provide an interpreter. 

It’s almost important to note that USA inclusive health insurance plans cost more due to the higher cost of treatment. 

Emergency Evacuation

If you’re living in Mexico and keeping your health insurance coverage in your country of residence, then you’ll want to look into an emergency evacuation plan. This type of plan will ensure you are flown home for treatment and recovery in the event of a serious health issue or accident. 

However, since emergency evacuation insurance only covers evacuation costs under serious circumstances, you’ll have to get other health issues attended to locally.

How to Get Health Insurance in Mexico

With plenty of health insurance options in Mexico, it can be overwhelming and time consuming to compare different insurers and policies. Fortunately, working with a reputable broker such as Pacific Prime ensures you’ll get the best plan for your requirements and within your budget.

Whether you’re looking to purchase travel insurance in Mexico, retiree health insurance, or other types of insurance, contact Pacific Prime Latin America. We compare health insurance plans from the top insurance providers in Mexico and across the globe to help you secure the right one. 

Contact us for impartial insurance advice and a free quote today.

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Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime Latin America
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs