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Colombia Expat Forum

Medical services in Colombia-my experiences

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Hinge
10/25/2016 12:29 EST

Sometimes I’m asked about medical services and such here is Colombia. Here is a list of the first three experiences I have had.

1st Experience: No insurance, go to walk in clinic, within 5 minutes, I see the Dr. – exam – shot 80k COP

Got SURA Private with ER through GF’s policy using passport - Me – late 50’s, no issues or concerns during insurance physical and lab work – all good

2nd Experience: With insurance, Made appointment with Orthopedic foot specialist – exam – co-pay 27k COP

Was told I needed EPS to cover any out-of-country medical cost (up to 3 months at a time). And needed a visa (other than tourist) to add EPS. I had gotten a visa – got EPS

Cost per month (SURA EPS and SURA Private with ER) appx 500k COP per month

3rd Experience: With insurance

Monday – called and made appointment with Orthopedic specialist for shoulder

Tuesday – saw Dr (speaks excellent English). He ordered MRI of shoulder. Told Dr, I needed a pill to get into the tube. He ordered procedural sedation -requires an anesthesiologist

Dr said once we had the MRI results in hand - call him – do not make an appointment

Friday -Saw anesthesiologist.

Wednesday - Had MRI.

Saturday – Picked up results, sent copy of report to Dr. He said come in Monday.

Monday – Dr explained issue and fix (surgical procedure)- I agreed. He asked when I wanted to do it. I asked what days of week he does surgeries – he said tell me what day you want to do it.

Scheduled date. Had procedure done. Started physical therapy.

Cost - initial office visit co-pay of 27k COP. During surgical procedure some item for 8k COP was used (not covered by insurance). Other out of pocket costs – meds apprx 130k COP. Do have a co-pay for PT – 12k COP

Quality of customer service - excellent. On time appointments, speed through the processes, etc, much better than my experiences with US medicine with insurance. The quality of the services provided have been excellent. Doctors treat you like a human instead of a beach house payment, spends lots of time with you, well trained medical staff, modern medical equipment, etc. Cost with insurance – excellent. My out-of-pocket expenses for the 3rd experience about 285k COP (~95.00 USD).

Your insurance coverage / cost may be different than mine (I’ve read the debates). You may or may not be required to have EPS (I’ve read those arguments also). Your experience may be different than mine (yep – read them too).

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Leelet
10/25/2016 12:42 EST

Where did you have this work done? How did you locate the doctor? Was he a specialist or a GP who referred you to a specialist?

Can explain obtaining insurance here? Who do you need to contact?

Thanks a lot

Leigh

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dliss62
10/25/2016 14:46 EST

Great post!

Med Insurance in Colombia is a topic I've been struggling with because I keep my insurance (Blue cross & Shield) once I retire for life. They cover me if I live in Colombia, but I pay out of pocket and get reimburse once I mail in the bill.

I thought about simply cancelling my Blue cross, but was told that I be a fool to do that because I may need something done in the States. I was even advised to keep it once eligible for Medicare.

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Bobfrozen1
10/25/2016 20:55 EST

Same questions and did you obtain the insurance in conjunction with your girlfriends policy?

Would like to know more.

Thanks !!!

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Bobfrozen1
10/25/2016 20:55 EST

Same questions and did you obtain the insurance in conjunction with your girlfriends policy?

Would like to know more.

Thanks !!!

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rumplejesusskin
10/26/2016 09:23 EST

500k/month!!! Wow. That's about 3/4 of a monthly salary for most Colombians.

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Hinge
10/26/2016 09:57 EST

@leelet,

I had the work done at Clinica del Campesta in Medellin. Made appt directly with the orthopedic. Insurance did not require a referral from a GP. Once we made appt with the Dr, used word of mouth to check his work.

Not sure of the non-GF/spouse path of obtaining insurance here. I see links on the left side of the forum page about healthcare/insurance. When I got mine, there was a cut off age for obtaining private insurance - it was 59. I will be able to keep the private part after turning 59. That limit may have changed and it may vary from different insurance providers

@Dliss62,

I keep my employer US supplied medical insurance. It has a similar benefit as yours - When out of US, you pay then they reimburse. The cost for my part is almost the same as my insurance here. However, the benefits difference (what I pay out of pocket cost) is much more. Now with coverage for out-of-country travel, I will try to use the SURA before using my US insurance (if system allows it) when in the US .

@Bobfrozen1,

Yes, I am part of her insurance access. I don’t know the details. When we first talked to the agent, my cost by myself, would have been higher (I cannot remember the exact amount, seems was plus 200 or 300 k cop above current cost)

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Kee
10/26/2016 11:11 EST

There is no one answer for everyone regarding insurance. Some of my Colombian friends are happy with just E.P.S., and I've have good experiences using that (a CT scan for 3,000 pesos for example).

But I also have ColSanitas, which was recommended to us from friends and relatives. But it gets more expensive if you are older.

I just spent a night in the emergency room at a local hospital, with drips, other medication, sonogram, etc. Total cost: 27,000 pesos.

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Leelet
10/26/2016 11:50 EST

Hinge,

Thanks for your response.

I'm 70, so they probably won't take me. I'll keep looking. there must be some plan for just everyday things.

I have my Medicare and the supplemental insurance, in the US and if something major happens and I have the time (hopefully, I won't require immediate care), I can always go home.

But I would like the extra assurance of coverage here.

I appreciate you getting back to me.
Thanks and good luck.

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dliss62
10/26/2016 14:26 EST

@Hinge,

Good advice...thanks!

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dliss62
10/28/2016 01:32 EST

@Harry LL76

Got your IM and thank you! Sent you a reply :-)

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