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IESS Social Security Health Insurance

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Starriderx
1/9/2014 07:25 EST

Ecuadorian social security voluntary health insurance program has been opened to everyone without any age restrictions starting January 1st of 2014. It is $70.04 dollars per month and I understand it pays 100%.

What is the procedure to sign up?

What are the benefits of the social security program?

What are the downsides as opposed to conventional insurance?

I know a lot of people are self insured, but sh*t happens and I would like to have something in place for something catastrophic and I can make the $70 a month

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larryp
1/9/2014 11:28 EST

You need to go to your local IESS office to get the specifics, although this program has been in existence for anyone with a RUC (including personal)...there may be some changes that you will only know upon checking and even then you may find some differing requirements in different offices...nothing is set in stone when policy or procedures change, everyone makes up their own minds what any change means in the government here.

The 100% is paid as long as you use IESS facilities and doctors, including medications, however sometimes the IESS pharmacies do not have what you need and you have a choice to purchase yourself or wait on them to obtain it. The system is pretty darn good though from my personal experience, including major surgery and even though experiences vary I would strongly suggest you only listen to those that have had "actual" experiences with the system so the info is first hand since the procedures can be quite different than we are used to, like having to supply your own toilet paper, towels, utensils etc.
Emergencies are treated differently than normal issues in many cases, but again that will or can differ depending on the facility..it is NOT all equal. The facilities in the larger cities are quite good..smaller towns not as much and the further out you go away from any facility you may find them pretty sparse. I can attest to Guayaquil and Bahia de Caraquez personally...perhaps others can give you some direction to their areas.

The $70 per month is a drop in the bucket compared to most places for health care...the private insurers are good too and you can take different deductibles...and the differences that I can tell will be in the facilities not in the care or experience of the doctors, nor necessarily in the equipment either as the IESS has some of the best, at least in Guayaquil they did.

Good luck and please share as to what happens with you so other expats can have that knowledge and info.

larryp

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