Expat Healthcare Advice for Grecia
Residency to obtain public health care (CAJA)
seems to be taking about 18 months, so you will have to use private care until you obtain residency (if that is what you plan on doing). Even with CAJA, many people continue to use the outstanding private facilities available in and around San Jose (possibly in other areas, but I am only familiar with San Jose). There are many expat health insurance plans
available and I highly recommend obtaining one if you are under 70. There may be some available over 70; I don't know. I presently do not have any insurance and have been paying out of pocket for some serious medical issues. I suggest you have a fund of $6-10,000 tucked away if you don't have private insurance or have a high deductible.
Emergency Medical Care in Grecia
There is a CAJA (public hospital) in our town Grecia
which is about a 20 minute drive from my house. I have not heard anything good about it. I have heard good things about the public hospital (Hospital Mexico
) in San Jose and the private hospitals in San Jose (about 45 minutes from us) are all excellent.
Expat Health Insurance in Costa Rica
Expats interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.
Quality of Healthcare in Surrounding Area
I have not needed to do that so far, so I have no information except from friends, all who have been HIGHLY pleased with their specialists in San Jose.
For most meds, you can simply see the pharmacist. I get most of my refills by simply asking for them. They are not expensive but they are not cheap -- one b.p. drug I take cost about $1/pill; another drug is $2/pill. When I came here, I had been on two narcotic pain meds for 13 years. It was impossible to find Vicodin in Costa Rica and very difficult to regularly find MS contin (and then only as an injection). My doc switched me to Oxycontin which I hated, so I decided to detox and get off the pain meds -- because I am no longer working, I find that I can handle my chronic pain issues with other drugs and yoga. But be forewarned about narcotic meds if you feel you need them here.
Healthcare in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is has both public and private healthcare systems. When you become a resident, you must enroll in the public healthcare system (CAJA). Many expats use the public system for routine healthcare and have private expat health insurance for specialists, surgeries and emergencies.
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