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HIV Med Costs/Health Insurance

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Kevin57
4/1/2017 14:42 EST

I am seriously considering retiring in Mexico. I've visited several times, speak Spanish fluently. My health is good, except I have HIV. The meds are outrageously expensive here. What are medical insurance/coverage options for a gringo living there? Does anyone know how much HIV meds would cost out-of-pocket? Availability of the same?

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MsAlex
4/1/2017 16:26 EST

Since you speak Spanish, I suggest you call any Farmacia Guadalajara (which is the largest pharmacy chain I know of) and ask them for the price of the medication you need. To my understanding, Mexican private insurance will not cover your preexisting condition. (If anyone knows of a company/plan that WILL take pre-existing conditions, I'd like to know about it.) In any case, as you've heard, medical care in Mexico is a small fraction of what the same care is NOB.

Alex

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giershift43
4/1/2017 17:59 EST

I don't know about the cost of hiv medications in particular, but most meds are less than copays in the U.S.

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JohnPS
4/1/2017 21:46 EST

And some meds, such as pain meds, are almost impossible to obtain in Mexico. Who knows how the Mex govt. classifies HIV meds. A good pharmacist or physician should be able to explain.

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Launia
4/2/2017 21:19 EST

I think for serious medical condition medicine is expensive in Mexico. May be not as much as in the States but you will need to pay cash and you would not receive any social help.
I am speaking about cancer and I believe your situation would not easy. I hope I am wrong. Hospitals stays are also expensive.

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Launia
4/2/2017 21:23 EST

Some medicine is very expensive in Mexico.
You should come and visit and inquire. Consult with dr and hospitals. If needing hospitalization it can be expensive and you would need to pay cash. So be careful not to fall in something you would have wished different.

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RVGRINGO

From: Mexico
4/3/2017 13:26 EST

Generally speaking: If you have pre-existing conditions which might require hospitalization, occasionally or frequently, and regular use of medications, Insurance in Mexico will not be available to cover them. Think about trying to buy insurance anywhere for an accident or catastrophy that has already happened. It cannot be done. Even if you are healthy and could buy a policy that would exclude pre-existing conditions and only cover new illnesses, the premium costs rise significantly each year until old folks can no longer afford to pay. If you are already old, you are not likely to be able to purchase insurance. I had to leave Mexico because of that & now we have VA & Medicare back in the USA. Care was better in Mexico but...........too many hospitalizations & surgeries & medications; all having to be paid for in cash.....lump sum; no payment plans, no welfare, no insurance. So, if you go.....plan ahead for all eventualities. You are on your own.

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MonicaRixPaxson
4/5/2017 17:29 EST

If you obtain a resident's visa, you will qualify for Seguro Popular (public insurance and healthcare charged on a sliding scale) and and they have a program specifically for those with HIV/AIDs that includes antiviral treatment.

Please check my book, the 4th Edition of The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico for information on both Seguro Popular and more specifics on the HIV/AIDS program. It is available in print and as an ebook on Amazon.com. Best to you, Monica Rix Paxson, medical researcher and author

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giershift43
4/5/2017 19:14 EST

That's some great information

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tomwins
4/5/2017 20:29 EST

Not all HIV meds in the US are available in Mexico. I know Complera and some of the more recent blends are not. As you likely know it is not a good idea to be changing the combo you use, so that would be my first step - is it available or will I need to keep US insurance and plan trips to get refills.
You might look at this website: http://censida.salud.gob.mx/interior/diamundial.html

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tomwins
4/5/2017 20:33 EST

Here is a list of medications available in Mexico: https://aidsetc.org/sites/default/files/resources_files/mexicodrugs_0.pdf

It is three years old but not that much has changed in availability.

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expattobe26
2/11/2018 20:21 EST

I am ordering your book right now -- thank you. I am surprised, even stunned, that I could get health care coverage and HIV meds under the Mexican government system. This almost seems too good to be true. One option I have been exploring is having HIV meds sent to me from the U.S. once I am on Medicare. However, it seems that might be difficult to do -- the shipping laws.

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kentcoguy00
2/11/2018 23:22 EST

If you qualify for Seguro Popular (and any residente over 60 can basically) your HIV meds can be covered at no charge.....the most popular med being Atripla.......

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