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davelynne
2/22/2015 20:08 EST

Hello there, my first post.......we are thinking of moving to puerto vallarta in 3 yrs, however we are now doing our research........as canadians, where should we be looking for health coverage.....we each have pre existing prescriptions....but in good health, but want peace of mind and decent coverage......where do we look?

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RVGRINGO
2/23/2015 11:21 EST

There are private insurance companies in Mexico, but prior conditions are often excluded, as are people over 65 or 70. If you are younger, note that the premiums will increase as you age. The good news is that medical costs can be paid out of pocket and are quite reasonable.

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Number13
2/23/2015 11:29 EST

Does temporary residency give any heath insurance benefits in Mexico.

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eldante
2/28/2015 20:04 EST

For someone with a chronic pain condition who just needs a simple prescription for a pain medicine, reasonable amount/dose, how hard would it be? In the US everything is restricted to 30 day amounts so spending 4-6 months in Mex is a problem. Is something like vicodan hard to get (if warranted)

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Vlynn
2/28/2015 22:28 EST

Pain medication is very hard to get here.... you will need to find THE PAIN DR... San Miguel has one... most pharmacies do not carry class 4 drugs..I have been in the hospital with a broken back here and COULD not get pain pills that did anything because the PAIN Dr was not available to write the prescription. This has been my personal experience... I stock up when in the states...

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RVGRINGO
3/2/2015 12:46 EST

Residency, Temporal maybe, Permanente for sure, can sign up for IMSS or Seguro Popular medical plans. Some few do so. The private hospital system is much, much better than those public systems.

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CoffeeSnob
3/2/2015 13:43 EST

I guess the question is, can one afford the private health care without insurance if one is not wealthy.

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kittvincent
3/2/2015 15:14 EST

This is a difficult question to answer so I will give you examples to see if that will help. An office visit will cost from $150-300 pesos. Why such a spread? Some doctors see mostly expats and their prices are higher. Other doctors see many locals and they charge accordingly. A specialist will charge $500-600 pesos per visit. Rich locals and expats see these doctors. But when you think about it, an office visit with a specialist for under $50 USD is very reasonable. A full lab screening was around $2000 pesos. Under $200 USD and they tested everything plus 2 specialized tests is very reasonable. My husband has a heart condition. He is on many medications. I buy a month's supply at the beginning of the month. I pay about $2500 pesos. I go to Farmacia Guadalajara. He got a discount on every medication. Some discounts are larger than others. When I get around to getting my DIF card (like a senior citizen card) I may get further discounts on prescriptions. The cardiologist wants to do an expensive test which I cannot pay for. We do have IMSS. We applied when it was easier to be accepted. Like consulates, not all IMSS clinics follow the same rules. It is difficult to get IMSS in Chapala and easier in Jocotepec. You apply in the municipality (county) you live in. You go to the clinic and they refer you to the hospital. Our cardiologist has offered to write a letter to the clinic explaining the tests that have been done and what he feels is still needed. He is hoping this will move Bill up on the waiting list. If you have an emergency, you can go directly to the hospital as we did when I broke my arm. Health care is not like the States and in some respects that is a good thing. But Mexican care is not rattles, feathers and potions. You can get that if you want but generally speaking health care is top notch. There are doctors that are better than others but your friends can help you find one. You are not given free health care when you cross the border. There are no food stamps or welfare checks. Not even for the citizens of Mexico. I hope this helps. Kitt Vincent

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CoffeeSnob
3/2/2015 15:55 EST

That's really a great answer kittvincent. Thanks for sharing that information. I'm OK with no free health care. We have that so called free health here in Canada but unfortunately it's more of joke on us. The health care system here has failed. We live in an area where emergency rooms are closed for weekends or a few days at a time because of no docs available. Kind of third world here with some things.

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dungeondevil
3/2/2015 16:25 EST

I don't know where you live in Canada Coffeesnobb, but it works for me and has for my 76 years. My present ill health has me here for the winter rather in Mexico and I've been taken care of by my provincial health System with care and understanding. Nothing has been denied me. Every test is covered for Blood, CT-Scans, Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and if necessary I've been told a PET-Scan if deemed necessary. I get phone calls from the hospital and other agencies daily to verify my condition.All covered by my income tax. Volunteer pick-ups to the Hospital or clinic by the Mason's, advice at all times from nursing staff who CARE. Yes, the Canadian System has faults, but this is so in Sweden, Norway and other countries who claim their systerm is better.
Could it be your attitude is wrong?

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PVG
3/2/2015 16:47 EST

The public health care system (IMSS) is good for minor aches and pains, the flu, and a general check-up. To get private health insurance VALID in México (applicable to expats actually living in México) the insurance HAS TO BE underwritten by a Mexican Insurance Company. Use Google Translate to tranlsate the link..
http://www.cnsf.gob.mx/PreguntasFrecuentes/Paginas/Usuarios.aspx
or this excerpt outlining the rules for non-Mexican insurance companies.
II.- Se prohíbe contratar con empresas extranjeras:

1).- Seguros de personas cuando el asegurado se encuentre en la República al celebrarse el contrato;
2).- ( Derogado).
3).- Seguros de cascos de naves o aeronaves y de cualquier clase de vehículos, contra riesgos propios del ramo marítimo y de transportes, siempre que dichas naves, aeronaves o vehículos sean de matrícula mexicana o propiedad de personas domiciliadas en la República;
4).- Seguros de crédito, cuando el asegurado esté sujeto a la legislación mexicana;
5).- Seguros contra la responsabilidad civil, derivada de eventos que puedan ocurrir en la República; y
6).- Seguros de los demás ramos contra riesgos que puedan ocurrir en territorio mexicano. No se considerarán como tales los seguros que no residentes en territorio mexicano contraten fuera del mismo para sus personas o sus vehículos, para cubrir riesgos durante sus internaciones eventuales.

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CoffeeSnob
3/2/2015 17:20 EST

No, my attitude is not wrong. I live on the east coast. Do I need to say more. Sure I do. No the health care system here doesn't have it's faults, it is a failure with regard to providing 'reliable' health care when 'needed'. And reading the provisions of health care for our province was just plain scary. My father almost lost his eye because of our famed health cared. My wife and daughter were turned around at out patients/emergency because there was no doctor til 5:00. The next nearest hospital is 40 minutes away. These are just two examples of thousands that happen here all the time. We just can't seem to keep doctors here. I'm guessing you are west of Quebec where things seem to run a tad smoother.

I speak the facts dungeondevil, not attitude. Don't take offense because of some Canadian pride.

We've experienced a little health care personally in Mexico and have heard many experiences of those who have had health care in Mexico and I honestly feel much better about doctors and hospitals in Mexico than I do with our provincial health care here. And honestly, I think I'm being very polite about how I'm speaking about our local health care. It's really an insult to my efforts to pay income tax.

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dungeondevil
3/2/2015 17:56 EST

I'm on the other coast where it seems we get treated one heck of a lot better better, Especially Seniors. Certainly better than in Ont-ari-ari-ari-O.

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PVG
3/2/2015 18:20 EST

Living in Mexico for 18 years now, I have used both, the public health system as well as the private sector.
In my opinion, the public IMSS system is only good for minor aches and pains or a general check up.

Mexico has a tightly regulated insurance and financial system, that authority is the CNSF (Comisión Nacional de Seguros y Fianzas.
A private health insurance policy is very affordable but one has to make sure the company is authorized to actually underwrite policies in Mexico.
here the direct link http://www.cnsf.gob.mx/Instituciones/Paginas/ListaInstituciones.aspx

Currently there are only 10 companies authorized to SELL LEGAL private health insurance to Mexicans and Expats.

As an expat, you will need to provide them with a copy your legal resident status. This is for expats living in Mexico ONLY. Tourists need to get Travel Health Insurance, and different rules apply.


1.AXA Salud, S.A. de C.V.
2.BBVA Bancomer Seguros Salud, S.A. de C.V.,
3.Dentegra Seguros Dentales, S.A. Sitio de la Compañia
4.General de Salud, Compañía de Seguros, S.A.
5.Medi Access Seguros de Salud, S.A. de C.V.
6.Odontored Seguros Dentales, S.A. de C.V.
7.Plan Seguro, S.A. de C.V.,
8.Seguros Centauro, Salud Especializada, S.A. de C.V.
9.Servicios Integrales de Salud Nova, S.A. de C.V.
10.Vitamédica, S.A. de C.V.

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kittvincent
3/2/2015 19:03 EST

I knew you were going to jump in Dungeondevil. I am sure that Canada is much like the US where there are areas not covered by adequate medical care. They are only relating their experiences. Congress is going to pass or already has, a provision for vets who live farther than 50 miles from a VA hospital to use local providers. When I worked at the University of Utah, we covered 8 states to transport people to who were critically ill to our hospital. What we considered a routine antibiotic was a miracle drug to the outlying areas. IMSS clinics do handle the mundane but I had surgery at the IMSS hospital for a badly broken arm. I have 2 plates and 9 screws in my arm and full function. It was an amazing experience. The love and care I saw was beyond amazing. And it was the family members and friends providing the bedside care. The nurses are spread pretty thin so they do treatments, IVs and meds. Much like the States when I graduated from nursing school. We had nursing assistants and Mexico has families. Kitt Vincent

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eldante
3/2/2015 20:02 EST

Wow! Thanks a ton for taking time to post details. I truly appreciate your time and thoughts. May all your travels be safe

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eldante
3/2/2015 20:10 EST

I think I would like to be your neighbor; hope that doesn't sound creepy, but the voice of reason is a(rare) sweet song on the internet.

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tblackmore
3/2/2015 20:45 EST

I read somewhere that some expats in Mexico self-insure for office visits and routine treatment and purchase health insurance for major medical issues. Is that a reasonable option?

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Plumo
3/2/2015 22:25 EST

I have to agree, maybe in his area familly practitionners are non existant or already have their quotas.

That was my case for several years until a new clinic opened

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MsAlex
3/16/2015 14:47 EST

The answer to your question would depend heavily on what your (and your spouse's) age will be when you retire to Mexico. The answer would vary also depending on your financial situation. You should provide this info if you want relevant answers.

For younger retirees, buying good quality private health insurance is a great deal. We purchased policies from MetLife Mexico, which we're very happy with -- but we were age 55 and 60 when we purchased them.

Many older retirees "self insure" in Mexico and go north in the event of greater medical expense.

Other older retirees buy "catastrophic" policies for coverage here in Mexico, and pay as they go for lesser healthcare expenses.

Get multiple quotes before you choose a policy. Also, FYI, it is pretty much "standard operating procedure" in Mexico to not reveal all your prior conditions when dealing with Mexican policies. The insurance companies in Mexico have no power to look at your medical history. We provided our insurer with all our history, and we were told we had been foolish to reveal prior conditions (which were then excluded for coverage by our policy). How you choose to handle this situation is obviously your choice... but welcome to Mexico (which operates with a different set of ethics than you may be used to).

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MsAlex
3/16/2015 14:47 EST

The answer to your question would depend heavily on what your (and your spouse's) age will be when you retire to Mexico. The answer would vary also depending on your financial situation. You should provide this info if you want relevant answers.

For younger retirees, buying good quality private health insurance is a great deal. We purchased policies from MetLife Mexico, which we're very happy with -- but we were age 55 and 60 when we purchased them.

Many older retirees "self insure" in Mexico and go north in the event of greater medical expense.

Other older retirees buy "catastrophic" policies for coverage here in Mexico, and pay as they go for lesser healthcare expenses.

Get multiple quotes before you choose a policy. Also, FYI, it is pretty much "standard operating procedure" in Mexico to not reveal all your prior conditions when dealing with Mexican policies. The insurance companies in Mexico have no power to look at your medical history. We provided our insurer with all our history, and we were told we had been foolish to reveal prior conditions (which were then excluded for coverage by our policy). How you choose to handle this situation is obviously your choice... but welcome to Mexico (which operates with a different set of ethics than you may be used to).

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MsAlex
3/16/2015 14:47 EST

The answer to your question would depend heavily on what your (and your spouse's) age will be when you retire to Mexico. The answer would vary also depending on your financial situation. You should provide this info if you want relevant answers.

For younger retirees, buying good quality private health insurance is a great deal. We purchased policies from MetLife Mexico, which we're very happy with -- but we were age 55 and 60 when we purchased them.

Many older retirees "self insure" in Mexico and go north in the event of greater medical expense.

Other older retirees buy "catastrophic" policies for coverage here in Mexico, and pay as they go for lesser healthcare expenses.

Get multiple quotes before you choose a policy. Also, FYI, it is pretty much "standard operating procedure" in Mexico to not reveal all your prior conditions when dealing with Mexican policies. The insurance companies in Mexico have no power to look at your medical history. We provided our insurer with all our history, and we were told we had been foolish to reveal prior conditions (which were then excluded for coverage by our policy). How you choose to handle this situation is obviously your choice... but welcome to Mexico (which operates with a different set of ethics than you may be used to).

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MsAlex
3/16/2015 14:47 EST

The answer to your question would depend heavily on what your (and your spouse's) age will be when you retire to Mexico. The answer would vary also depending on your financial situation. You should provide this info if you want relevant answers.

For younger retirees, buying good quality private health insurance is a great deal. We purchased policies from MetLife Mexico, which we're very happy with -- but we were age 55 and 60 when we purchased them.

Many older retirees "self insure" in Mexico and go north in the event of greater medical expense.

Other older retirees buy "catastrophic" policies for coverage here in Mexico, and pay as they go for lesser healthcare expenses.

Get multiple quotes before you choose a policy. Also, FYI, it is pretty much "standard operating procedure" in Mexico to not reveal all your prior conditions when dealing with Mexican policies. The insurance companies in Mexico have no power to look at your medical history. We provided our insurer with all our history, and we were told we had been foolish to reveal prior conditions (which were then excluded for coverage by our policy). How you choose to handle this situation is obviously your choice... but welcome to Mexico (which operates with a different set of ethics than you may be used to).

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eldante
3/17/2015 15:53 EST

great answerespecially the part about different ethics. I really enjoyed a book called "The Mexican Mind" available at Amazon. to help get my head around the Mexican mindset. Consider the possibility that they are "normal" and we/our culture is the one that is messed up :)

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MsAlex
3/17/2015 16:45 EST

The truth is that the Mexican culture has a lot of corruption in it. Expats get used to it as "the way things are done". It is nothing to admire or emulate however.

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eldante
3/17/2015 17:10 EST

As a wise man once said" the truth is sometimes hard to come by...Eskimos have many words for snow and Mexicans have several words for "truth" However, it is true that ALL "ignorance is bliss:)"

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eldante
3/17/2015 17:10 EST

As a wise man once said" the truth is sometimes hard to come by...Eskimos have many words for snow and Mexicans have several words for "truth" However, it is true that ALL "ignorance is bliss:)"

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Cozumeldeb
3/17/2015 17:43 EST

Surely u are not implying MX is more corrupt than USA?

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Sandee
3/17/2015 17:53 EST

I think Mx is less corrupt. Here is why, they at least admit their corruption. In the U.S. they are still pretending to be honest, although we know that's just politically correct talk.

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MexicoToday
3/18/2015 10:54 EST

BEWARE
In the thread, I noticed that there was reference to there being only 10 insurance companies providing coverage in Mexico. While there is some truth in that statement, the reality is that several international providers offer insurance coverage in Mexico...such as BUPA and Best Doctors.
Both of those companies offer full medical as well as Catastrophic coverage, with Best Doctors having the edge in terms of service, features and global access.
One warning...
In Mexico, some groups offer discounted programs on health insurance as long as you "join" their group, with discounts as high as 50%. BUT THE COVERAGE IS LESS...AND COVERAGE CAN BE LOST if the group folds or membership drops below a pre-determined number. This has happened in the past and left many customers without health care. The cost of the policy that was offered to replace the discontinued policy was exorbitant. It was cheaper to buy a new policy entirely, but many clients no longer qualified due to age or health.
We purchase our personal coverage (Best Doctors) through TioCorp Insurance. One of the great things is that once it is acquired, it can be used worldwide even if you are travelling or move out of Mexico. And it can never be cancelled - it is not a "Special" program.
http://www.tiocorpinsurance.com/

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RubyCalle
3/18/2015 11:01 EST

I also have to say that I have been thrilled with the coverage I get from my CIGNA expat policy. I am usually paying out of pocket but their reimbursement are quick and customer service in the UK is great

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MexicoToday
3/18/2015 13:38 EST

Yes, it is true that there is no way to look for your pre-existing conditions from one country to another.
HOWEVER...What happens if you do not declare pre-existing conditions? This depends on the pre-existing conditions...
If you are still being medicated for a condition, you have to declare.
If you had cancer treatment 10 years ago, it is not necessary to declare....BUT..., if a tumor of a organ was removed, you have to declare it as it may become obvious in any subsequent treatment.

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