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Expat Exchange - How to Enroll in the Public Healthcare System in Honduras
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Roatan, Honduras


How to Enroll in the Public Healthcare System in Honduras

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: A primer on how to enroll in the public healthcare system in Honduras.

If you're planning to enroll in the public healthcare system in Honduras, this article covers the requirements for foreigners to be able enroll in the public healthcare system, the steps involved and more.

The public healthcare system in Honduras is known as the Honduran Social Security Institute (IHSS). It is a government-run system that provides healthcare services to the Honduran population. The quality of healthcare in Honduras varies widely, with some areas offering high-quality care, while others, particularly rural areas, have less access to quality healthcare services. The cost of healthcare in Honduras is generally lower than in many developed countries, but it can still be a significant expense for many people.

While the IHSS is not mandatory for all residents, a large portion of the population does use the system. However, it's important to note that the IHSS primarily serves employees of the formal sector and their dependents. The informal sector, which makes up a significant portion of the Honduran economy, often lacks access to the IHSS and relies on other forms of healthcare.

Enrollment for Foreigners in the IHSS

Foreigners are allowed to enroll in the IHSS if they are legally residing in Honduras and are employed in the formal sector. The employer is responsible for registering the employee with the IHSS. If you are a foreigner moving to Honduras and plan to work in the formal sector, your employer should handle your enrollment in the IHSS.

Steps for Enrolling in the IHSS

  1. Obtain legal residency in Honduras: Before you can enroll in the IHSS, you must first obtain legal residency in Honduras. This typically involves applying for a residency visa through the Honduran embassy or consulate in your home country.
  2. Secure formal employment: The IHSS is primarily for employees of the formal sector. Therefore, you must secure formal employment in Honduras to be eligible for the IHSS.
  3. Employer registration: Once you have secured formal employment, your employer is responsible for registering you with the IHSS. This involves submitting the necessary paperwork and paying the required fees.
  4. Receive your IHSS card: Once your registration is complete, you will receive an IHSS card. This card is necessary for accessing healthcare services through the IHSS.

It's important to note that while the IHSS provides a range of healthcare services, it may not cover all healthcare needs. Therefore, many foreigners in Honduras also choose to purchase private health insurance to supplement their IHSS coverage. Private health insurance can provide access to a wider range of services and can also provide coverage for healthcare services outside of Honduras.

Additionally, many foreigners in Honduras choose to use private healthcare providers, even if they are enrolled in the IHSS. The quality of care at private healthcare providers is often higher than at IHSS facilities, and private providers often have shorter wait times. However, the cost of private healthcare in Honduras can be significantly higher than the cost of care through the IHSS.

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SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB-Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model. Our clients benefit from their country’s most favorable tax environment by utilizing the efficient investment vehicles we offer. Our commitment to quality service is reflected in our stellar reviews, with over 300 testimonials boasting 95% five-star ratings.
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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Roatan, Honduras

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