Going to Mexico for a short, long, or permanent stay? It is critical to learn about Mexican medical insurance before settling in to help you in the event of a medical emergency or any other medical issue that might force you to go back home for treatment. Regardless of where you are coming from, acquainting yourself with medical insurance in Mexico will greatly help you determine if you can get the help you need while away from home.
Now that the US Medicare is not available in Mexico, how do you ensure you are covered when away from your state?
Options For Healthcare in Mexico
The good news is that there is proper healthcare in Mexico for US citizens. Therefore, travelers and expats need to be specific with their medical needs to ensure they get the right medical cover in the event of an illness or an accident. Ensuring your health is protected when away from home is worth a lot of research. Here are five crucial things about the Mexican medical insurance system.
1. Medical Insurance for Short-Term Expats
If you will be visiting Mexico for a short time, say a business trip or a weekend away, you can get travel insurance from your current provider. However, it is crucial to learn about the available options. You may be included in your employer’s health plan if you are going on a business trip or you may purchase travel insurance. Start by learning about short-term travel insurance on our Mexico health travel advice.
2. Types of Health Care System in Mexico
Mexico is well-known and appreciated for its high-quality healthcare system. The population has access to a wide range of high-quality and inexpensive care options in both public and private channels. An additional thing to appreciate about the Mexican medical system is that these options are also available for expats as long as they meet the eligibility.
When researching about the types of healthcare coverage in Mexico, you will come across two popular terms; Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) and Seguro Popular. The first one is provided to employees as long as you are employed in a Mexican company, while the latter is available for all Mexicans by the Government to ensure every Mexican has access to healthcare regardless of their employment or income status. One good thing you should know is that prescription drugs and healthcare insurance are cheaper in Mexico than they are in the US.
3. Being Covered By the Mexican Health Insurance
You don’t need any requirements for this coverage, and the Seguro Popular is available whether you are a resident or a traveler. If you are unemployed and have decided to stay n Mexico the whole time, you will be eligible for Seguro Popular after you have become a resident. However, you will live in Mexico on a permit for six months. One crucial thing you need to know is that if you are coming to Mexico for less than 3 months and don’t intend to look for income-generating means during your stay, you will be ineligible for Seguro Popular and the IMSS until you register as a resident.
However, as an expat, you may benefit from international Mexican medical insurance coverage, even though many hospitals in Mexico do not accept foreign insurance. You might, therefore, be required to pay for medical care out of your pocket. The cost is typically low for US foreigners but a bit steep for Canadian and European citizens.
4. Choosing Between Private and Public Healthcare Insurance
If you are choosing between a public and private healthcare insurance policy, you should understand the ins and outs of each option. In Mexico, the special clinics and private hospitals have better facilities and shorter queues, and this is why expats, who can afford to pay for private insurance, choose this policy. Some of the popular healthcare insurance companies for expats include Cigna, Metlife, IMG Global Medical, and GNP Seguros.
5. The Cost of Medical Insurance in Mexico for Expats
For IMSS coverage, you will need to pay a fee of about $400 that you must renew every year. However, private insurance can cost up to $1700 for expats and deductibles of $5000. If you want to enroll in private insurance before getting to Mexico, it is vital to know the right channels to make overseas payments to avoid high exchange rates. Do a comparison on the available sites and banks to see how you can save when sending money abroad.
As you visit Mexico or settle down as an expatriate, it is of paramount importance to research and acquaint yourself with the best healthcare options in Mexico for you and your family. Knowing the available Mexican medical insurance options for you will provide peace of mind, and you can comfortably enjoy your stay or vacation in Mexico. You will know that you can get the right medical attention should you or your loved one fall ill or get involved in an accident.
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