EPS, which stands for "Entidad Promotora de Salud," is one type of government sponsored health insurance available in Colombia. Even if you choose to purchase private expat health insurance, you must be enrolled in an EPS (unless you qualify for SISBEN, which is for lower income and homeless residents). The cost of EPS health insurance is extremely low and many expats use their IPS (health center assigned by your EPS) for basic care and go to private doctors using private health insurance for other issues and chronic conditions. "EPS is the [primary] Public Health system in Colombia and mandatory for all residents. It's not about being eligible, by law you have to have it. The cost is not based on age but rather on your income," said one expat.
"Anyone interested in living in Colombia, get your cedula and immediately sign up for Sanitas EPS and worry about the details later on. You can leave the country, not pay, and you will STILL by a member years later (happened to me) And you do NOT pay for years missed, just the months of your last year here)," commented one expat.