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tgb
9/11/2016 12:05 EST

My wife and I are just starting to research Panama as a retirement destination (which won't be for another 2-3 years). I've seen figures for health care and insurance that seem to good to be true - i.e. $10 doctor visits and health insurance for $250/year.

How close to the real numbers are they?

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ranadelnorte
9/11/2016 13:52 EST

Hi and welcome to the forum!
Short question: long answer.
It depends on where you'll be living, but even in rural areas I believe your figures are out of date. You MIGHT be able to see a doctor at a public health clinic for $10, but the wait will be long, and the service not what you're probably used to.
Visits to a doctor's office in Panama City where I live run $20 for a generalist and $60-65 for a specialist, after the pensioner's discount.
Insurance rates depend on what kind of plan you are looking for (local or international), the deductible you choose, and your pre-existing medical conditions.
I find diagnostic tests and prescription medications cost more than in North America.
I suggest when you come on an exploratory visit as part of your due diligence you consult a local health insurance broker and visit a pharmacy to see the availability and cost of your medications.
Good luck!

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tgb
9/11/2016 17:13 EST

I plan to do just that, thanks.

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coronadochris
9/12/2016 14:38 EST

An international policy that also covers you in the U.S. will be closer to $250 a MONTH per person (depending on coverage, deductables etc). Coverage solely in Panamá is cheaper of course and there are also some hospital plans that are not really insurance but allow members to use hospital doctors and services at a significant discount. It is rare for pre-existing conditions to be covered, although some insurance companies might cover certain conditions after a waiting period.

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