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On the Safe Side—Health Insurance in Mexico

On the Safe Side—Health Insurance in Mexico

Kayaking in Mexico

Kayaking in Mexico

Here’s an inexpensive and convenient way to make sure you have at least basic health insurance coverage in Mexico.  It’s available to anyone who is in the country legally!

August 2, 2007

Mexicans probably think Gringos are insurance crazy.  We have friends here who think nothing of driving without insurance or a license—and I’m not talking juvenile delinquent-types either.  House insurance?  Virtually nobody has it.  Your insurance is your family.  If the family is big enough, you always have a doctor or a lawyer or a police chief to look out for you—it’s your aunt or cousin or grandpa.

But one insurance that everyone thinks is important is health.  Although doctors are less expensive here than in the states, a minor health problem can still wipe you out.

Omar has insurance through work, but of course I’m not covered on his (the times are a-changin’, but not fast enough!).  I went uninsured for years and years, going to witchdoctors and shamans for minor complaints.  Finally, about 6 years ago I had a problem the homeopathic drops weren’t curing, and ended up spending $400 on two doctor’s visits and medicine.  At the time that was almost our monthly income.

So I finally broke down and bought health insurance, which as it turns out is a very good deal in Mexico.  Here’s the buzz….

Anyone in Mexico, including folks living here under one of the various types of visas, is eligible to buy health insurance through the government run IMSS—Instituto Mexicano de Seguridad Social, or Social Security.  Firmly in middle age, I pay $175 dollars for comprehensive health insurance coverage.  Not a month—that’s for a YEAR.  The program does not cover pregnancy, mental health, dentistry, or illness due to HIV-AIDS.

The first year it only covers colds, basically.  If you break your leg, they can medicate you but you have to pay to have it set.

The second year is more comprehensive, and covers most everything except for conditions that take a long time to develop and may have been pre-existing.

By the time you pay the third year, you are covered for just about anything, without restriction.

Mexican government hospitals can be up-to-date and caring or pretty hellish, depending on what’s wrong with you, who’s the doctor, and where you go.  But the peace of mind of having insurance in Mexico is just wonderful—and for $175 a year (slightly lower for spring chickens, a little more for boiling hens—I hope that doesn’t make me a capon!) it is worth it for emergencies alone.

I have yet to use my insurance—you have to drag me to the doctor’s–but I’m glad to have it.  And if you find yourself in a situation where you feel you need a different level of service, you can always go to a private practice.

If you would like to know more about the ins and outs of health insurance in Mexico, drop us a line!

Dan and Omar

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Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.