5 Expats Talk about Health Insurance and Healthcare in Argentina
Last updated on Nov 27, 2021
Summary: Expats and global nomads in Argentina share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in Argentina, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.
How are healthcare services Argentina?
When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Argentina, they replied:
"As a newcomer, one of the first things you should do is buy international heath insurance that can be used at any private facility in the country. They are options for private insurance that can be bought from an individual private hospital but then if they do not have the equipment needed you will have to pay out of pocket to go to another facility. So with an international health policy you can be treated anywhere you choose. This is the type of policy I have. It also covers me anywhere else in the world and I have chosen to have the US option as well. The insurance is affordable and COMPREHENSIVE. If you have a medical condition, bring your doctors notes and copies of your prescriptions," commented one expat who moved to Buenos Aires.
"Remember, Argentina does not offer its Government Medical Insurance if you are a senior," said another expat.
"Q19 I have no way of making a comparison In the UK the NHS costs nothing at the point of delivery," added another expat.
Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Argentina?
"We have had wonderful experience with the private healthcare in Buenos Aires. My husband had a tumor and was seen right away - within hours. We have international health insurance which means we can choose to go to ANY PRIVATE HOSPITAL WE CHOOSE. The coverage is very comprehensive and affordable for us. If you need info, please contact me," added another expat.
What are emergency services like in Argentina?
When we asked about emergency services, members in Argentina wrote:
"In Buenos Aires, the emergency services are very convenient. Most of the private hospitals have excellent service with long waits are weeks to see a doctor. This is one of the main benefits to going private. If you go with the public system be prepared to wait. You call "107" for an ambulance or medical services. The better hospitals in Buenos Aires are Hospital Britanico, Hospital Aleman, Hospital Italiano. They are all located close to one other. generally in the Recoleta Area of the city," said one expat living in Buenos Aires.
"Have had good experiences with Clinica de Cuyo in downtown. There are lots of hospitals but I have no experience with them. Had experience with private doctors who inspired total confidence, even though they do not have all their records automated and in many cases, simply took notes on a little pad with a pencil. I find it impossible to give overall ratings such as that requested above--"same," "better, etc" so disregard what I put above," mentioned another expat in Mendoza.
Will I need to travel to see a specialist?
"Most people do not return to the US because the distance is very far. The care within Argentina at the private facilities usually is the best option. Another interesting bit of info...many people travel here for cosmetic surgeries," remarked another expat living in Buenos Aires.
Are common prescription medications available in Argentina?
"Most items are not prescription so it makes getting med pretty easy. Only controlled substances require prescriptions. There are many pharmacies to choose from and you will find a substantial saving from the US. There are also many generic options to choose from," commented one expat who moved to Buenos Aires.
"Common Rx may not be available all the time. The government restricts imports severely, and there are times when certain prescriptions are simply not in the pharmacies. This has happened repeatedly and affects, for example, heart and cancer medications. Cost is about the same as in the U.S. I know an Argentine cancer patient who at one point had to go all over town to numerous pharmacies in search of a medication and could not get it for weeks," said another expat.
As a foreigner living in Argentina, will I have access to public healthcare? What is it like?If you live in Argentina, newcomers to Argentina would love to hear your answer to this question:
"As an expat, if you have residency you can enroll in the public heathcare system, but honestly most expats insist on using the private healthcare system. Enrolling the public healthcare is affordable but the quality of the facilities and services is not what most expats would consider. Private hospitals are usually the option that expats take as they are better equipped, and the doctors tend to have more credentials and often times are fluent in English. Pre-existing conditions in general are not covered but this is determined on a case-by-case basis," said one expat living in Buenos Aires.
What have your experiences during the pandemic with the local healthcare system been like?
We asked expats in Argentina if they have access to public healthcare in Argentina. And, if they do have access, what is it like. They wrote...
"My step-daughter is a hospital doctor in the city and anecdotal evidence is that they are dealing with the emergency much better than many of the countries expats have come from," said one expat living in Buenos Aires .
What advice do you have for expats having a baby in Argentina?
We asked expat moms who gave birth in Argentina about their experiences and advice they have for other moms to be. They said:
"Make sure you get your private insurance as soon as possible. I would recommend purchasing the best coverage you can afford so that you have full coverage, as well as no deductibles or copays. Medicus and OSDE are two excellent choices," remarked another expat in Buenos Aires.
About the Author
Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.
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