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Expat Exchange - How to Enroll in the Public Healthcare System in Peru
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How to Enroll in the Public Healthcare System in Peru

By Betsy Burlingame

SJB Global
SJB Global

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

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

Peru's public healthcare system, known as Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS), is a government-funded program designed to provide healthcare services to the country's residents. The quality of healthcare in Peru varies, with private hospitals and clinics in major cities offering high-quality care, while public hospitals and rural areas may offer lower quality care. The cost of healthcare in Peru is generally lower than in many Western countries, but it can still be a significant expense for those without insurance. While enrollment in the SIS is not mandatory, a large portion of the population, particularly those in lower income brackets, rely on it for their healthcare needs.

Eligibility for Foreigners

Foreigners are eligible to enroll in the SIS if they are legal residents of Peru. This means that you must have a resident visa or a foreign resident card (Carné de Extranjería). Tourists and temporary visitors are not eligible for the SIS and should ensure they have travel insurance that covers healthcare costs.

Steps to Enroll in the SIS

  1. Obtain your resident visa or foreign resident card. This is usually done before moving to Peru or shortly after arrival.
  2. Visit a SIS registration office. These are located in public hospitals and health centers throughout the country.
  3. Present your passport and resident visa or foreign resident card. You may also need to provide proof of address.
  4. Fill out the registration form. This will include information about your health history and current health status.
  5. Pay the registration fee. The amount of the fee varies depending on your income level and the type of coverage you choose.
  6. Wait for your SIS card to be issued. This can take a few weeks, so it's a good idea to apply as soon as possible after arriving in Peru.

Once you are enrolled in the SIS, you can use your card to access healthcare services at public hospitals and health centers. You will also be eligible for discounts on medications and other healthcare products at pharmacies that participate in the SIS program.

Alternative Healthcare Options

If you are not eligible for the SIS or prefer to have access to private healthcare, there are several private insurance companies that offer health plans in Peru. These plans can provide access to private hospitals and clinics, which often offer higher quality care than public facilities. However, they also tend to be more expensive.

Another option is to pay for healthcare services out of pocket. This can be a viable option due to the relatively low cost of healthcare in Peru, but it can also be risky if you have a serious illness or injury that requires extensive treatment.

Regardless of the healthcare option you choose, it's important to ensure that you have access to adequate healthcare services while living in Peru. This may involve researching different healthcare providers, comparing costs and coverage, and considering your own health needs and budget.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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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.


SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB 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.
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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.
Learn More

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