Health and medical insurance options for expats in Mexico
Many expats dream of moving to Mexico due to its affordable cost of living, beautiful surroundings, quaint towns, and friendly people. When thinking about moving to or visiting Mexico, people often question the quality of healthcare in the country. They wonder whether healthcare services in Mexico are of lower quality since it costs less than it would in the US or Europe. While it may come as a surprise to some, Mexico is one of the top five countries with the best healthcare for expats in 2020.
However, just because the cost of treatment in Mexico can be cheaper than in other places 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.
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 make their own arrangements. If you require medical attention or healthcare services, you’ll have to pay for it yourself – unless you have a health insurance policy that works in Mexico or are part of the IMSS public healthcare system. The options for expats, including short visits, extended stay, and foreign residents, are as follows:
If you’re traveling to Mexico for a vacation or business trip, then your best bet is to secure a travel insurance policy. Ideal for short visits, these policies cover you for a limited time while you’re traveling abroad. Travel insurance may already be included in your employer-provided health insurance plan, though you’ll have to check your policy to be sure. If not, you can buy travel insurance for peace of mind during your time in Mexico.
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. If you already have health insurance in your home country, then it’s advisable to buy an emergency evacuation plan in case you need to fly home due to a serious medical emergency.
Expats who intend to obtain, or already have, legal residency in Mexico should skip travel insurance altogether. After all, travel insurance policies are 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 in Mexico that covers all of your needs, such as the following options:
The IMSS system
Both temporary and permanent foreign residents can apply for the IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social), which is the public healthcare insurance system in Mexico. By applying on a voluntary basis, foreign residents get access to certain medications, doctors, and facilities in Mexico. 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
Foreign residents often buy private medical insurance to cover their needs and ensure direct access to Mexico’s private healthcare system. Insurance policies are tailored to each person or family, with premiums varying according to age, coverage level, duration, and deductibles. There are several trusted insurers available in Mexico, so it’s a good idea 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. Fortunately, most insurers provide telephone support for their policyholders and, in some cases, even provide an interpreter. When buying private medical insurance, be aware that USA inclusive health insurance plans generally cost more due to the higher cost of treatment.
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, which is also known as a medical evacuation plan, will ensure you get 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 to know where to start. What’s more, while it is possible to secure health insurance yourself, you’ll spend a lot of time and effort comparing different insurers and policies. Fortunately, working with a reputable broker such as Pacific Prime takes the stress away and ensures you’re getting the best plan for your requirements, and within your price range.
If you’re looking to purchase private health insurance, 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 plan. Contact us for unbiased expert advice and a no-obligation plan comparison or quote today.
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