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Healthcare Options in Costa Rica

By Steve Linder

Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

Summary: Overview of healthcare in Costa Rica, including CAJA, INS, Private Medical Insurance and the best hospitals.

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About the Author

Steve Linder is the managing Partner of Pacific Lots of Costa Rica, the largest and oldest expat development in Costa Rica. Steve is from Cambridge, MA and attended Northeastern University's International MBA program. He spends winter months living in Key West, FL and Costa Rica and summers in Massachusetts. Steve is an authority on Costa Rica and has traveled the country for nearly 20 years.


Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

Allianz Care International Health Insurance
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Comments

ivan51754
Feb 25, 2011 14:06

I am interested in determining if my psoracratic arthritis would be covered by CAJA (CCSS). From Steve Linder's article I learn it is "offered to all residents (participation is required for immigrants) Covers doctor's visits, medications, examinations and hospitalization. Pre-existing conditions are generally covered Covers pre-existing conditions. Covers all medications including dental and eyes. Some reasons to consider this plan. Have pre-existing health condition and do not qualify for INS insurance. Take medication on a regular basis." I take injections of Humira which my current health insurance plan pays $1,500 per month. Does anyone have knowledge of how I can find an answer? Anyone to contact? Your help and advice will be greatly appreciated.

guest
Aug 25, 2011 14:29

I have almost the same question as Ivan, but the medication is Remicade for rheumatoid arthritis. Is there an online list of all the prescription drugs available? Thanks! Sophie Jensen

guest
Jan 6, 2012 18:00

Steve , I have Lived in C .R. & traveled there for a # of years ( worked / lived, over 20 years ,worked for embassy / Mil. ) and family Co. ( A top Forbes 500 Co. till we sold Now just a big Ranch ( over 3 states & 1,000,000 plus !! Sorry , just wrong facts ! Chow cowboy John , just a ranch ) I mustsay do not have your facts Right ; Sorry , but what u said is not all true ! I can show u any time u like !till you do get it / u should try to live it /

guest
Mar 7, 2012 11:06

Dear Steve, We live in Rhode Island USA,we are both 60 years young and trying to find out exactly how much private health ins. will cost per year. If you can supply info specifics we would be so grateful.Coasta Rica sounds perfect for us in so many ways. My husband is a physician ENT and i am presenty a non practicing R.N. We would like to partially retire in two to three years. It seems that specific health ins. info is hard to come by So look foward to hearing from you Sincerely Molly Aronson

guest
Mar 7, 2012 11:16

Dear Steve, We live in Rhode Island USA,we are both 60 years young and trying to find out exactly how much private health ins. will cost per year. If you can supply info specifics we would be so grateful.Coasta Rica sounds perfect for us in so many ways. My husband is a physician ENT and i am presenty a non practicing R.N. We would like to partially retire in two to three years. It seems that specific health ins. info is hard to come by So look foward to hearing from you Sincerely Molly Aronson

lovecostarica
Mar 7, 2012 16:27

To those who have asked about specific medications you might be on for pre-existing conditioins, I suggest you call one of the pharmacies in Costa Rica and just inquire about the cost of your particular drug in Costa Rica. Many drugs that cost hundreds of dollars in the states cost very little in Costa Rica. I can get a Lipitor equivelant for about 1/7th the cost in the US. My wife has a medication that we were paying nearly $200 for in the US that I can buy in Costa Rica for about $23. Two conditions I did not discuss are pre-existing conditions and those very elderly. First of all no country wants to pick up the healthcare tab of those with pre-existing conditions but that does not mean you can't afford to live there. Since healthcare is less expensive in Costa Rica, even with a pre-existing condition you may find that treatment costs out of pocket or insurance costs that may be available considering the pre-existing condition may still be a much better, cheaper, more user friendly option than your options elsewhere. Those of advanced age might not be able to get coverage from the CCSS propgram and may be forced to buy private insurance. Keeping in ind that even Medicare pays for no more than half the cost of insurance coverage in the states, this still will likely be much less expensive than just Medicare. For exact quotes on medications try contacting this pharmacy for pricing http://www.alivioexpress.com/esp/laboratorio.php which will take you to a very user friendly site within Clinica Biblicas pharmacy. If you want insurance quotes for health insurance go to the link below (you will need to paste it into your browser) and you will find a list of brokers selling insurance in Costa Rica. Spend a bit of time and a few bucks on phone calls and you will find what you need to know. http://portal.ins-cr.com/portal.ins-cr.com/Encontrarnos/Corredores/ NSURANCE BROKER AF General Manager: Fuentes MBA.Laura Najera Phone : (506) 2240 - 1310 Fax : (506) 2236-8112 Email : [email protected] Website: www.afseguros.com Address: San Jose Llorente Tib├ís, the newspaper Al Dia 200 meters North, Building D Ferenc, San Jose, Costa Rica or

guest
Mar 26, 2013 16:30

All Medications are NOT provided at 'no cost' through CAJA. Neither is all dental and eye care. This price quote 'The cost, for someone younger than 55 years old, is $55 per month; 55 years or older is $37 per month" really needs to be updated, by at least $20 per month!!! Since you should be prepared to wait for a year or more to see a specialist most expats go to a private practitioner. NOTE: INS will not admit new policy holders after reaching 70 years of age.

guest
Mar 27, 2013 09:23

Do keep in mind that this article was up to date when it was printed. Times change and prices rise, the cost of the CAJA goes up a bit each year. You can't get private healthcare insurance through the INS (Institute National de Seguros) after you reach 70 years old.

guest
Mar 28, 2013 15:08

"Do keep in mind that this article was up to date when it was printed" First Published: Jan 07, 2011 With the ease of updating a website, this CAJA /CCSS information, can easily be amended.

PacificLots
Mar 29, 2013 08:34

To the person who suggested it is easy to change a website, I wrote the comment that the information would eventually become out of date (Steve Linder who wrote the article in the first place) and you followed by saying it is easy to update a website. I wanted to point out that I can't update THIS website, it is run by a third party, I submitted the article two years ago and was merely pointing out that things change over time.

guest
Apr 16, 2013 17:33

You are probably right in that you cannot update this website, as I don't know the protocol for this site, but you can update your own, http://www.pacificlots.com/healthcare-costa-rica/ 'Costa Rica Health Plan Summary': The cost, for someone younger than 55 years old is $55 per month; 55 years or older $37 per month.

CREnvy
Nov 20, 2013 13:58

Here are a couple of updates and a general comment regarding this topic from a 5-year resident of CR: - The monthly premium for new residents is now a percentage (+/- 13%) of your income. - A LOT of prescription drugs are not carried by Caja - The level of care provided by Caja is VERY uneven around the country. Hospitals are overcrowded, and unless you have something immediately life-threatening expect to wait days, weeks, or years for treatment. Just consider the Caja premium to be a tax and you will feel better about flushing that money. - Fortunately, private care in CR is excellent and generally 20-25% of the retail cost in the States. We don't even bother with insurance. Here was the "last straw" experience we had with Caja: http://adullroar.blogspot.com/2012/07/our-caja-experience-part-2.html Pura vida, Casey (A Dull Roar)

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