El Puente Roto (Broken Bridge) in Cuenca, Ecuador
El Puente Roto (Broken Bridge) in Cuenca, Ecuador
El Puente Roto (Broken Bridge) in Cuenca, Ecuador

19 Expats Talk about Health Insurance and Healthcare in Ecuador

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Expats and global nomads in Ecuador share their experiences with health insurance, healthcare in Ecuador, local hospitals and specialists, quality of medical care and more.

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How are healthcare services Ecuador?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Ecuador, they replied:

"I let them know about public and private insurance options. This with chronic conditions should enroll in Ecuadorian IESS public system. But even without insurance the medical care in Ecuador is much more affordable than in the US," commented one expat who moved to Loja.

"If you need medical care and have good knowledge of Spanish, the state system IESS may be your choice, however if you are retired they raised the rates to about 17.5% of retirement income. I have cheap (low quality) insurance which reportedly doesn't pay, which is fine for me because I would rather pay 45 per month for insurance that I can't use than 75/mo for insurance I won't use," said another expat.

"Go to the best hospital instead of the government hospital. Use the private clinics for basic healthcare and pay out of pocket," remarked another expat in Quito.

"Do sign up for IESS national healthcare. Note that as of July 2017 the rate will be based on Verified Income. The rate will be 17.6% and an additional 2.4% per dependent. An expat on $1200 Social Security with one dependent would therefore pay $240 a month for Health coverage," remarked another expat living in Montanita.

"This is the best medical care in terms of caring for you and really identifying the best way to correct the medical issues of people. Doctors really care for their patients, and spend time talking and testing for the real problem and thus coming up with a real solution to your specific issue. And all done at a bargain price," said one expat living in Cuenca.

"Seeing a doctor in Cuenca is an easy matter. No appointment necessary in most cases. Excellent service and good quality for a much lower cost that the U.S," mentioned another expat in Cuenca.

"Surprised by the ease in getting doctor's appointments and the speed at which patients are processed - much less waiting time than in the States. No wasted or unnecessary medications or treatments. Doctors and nurses here are for the patients not for profit," remarked another expat living in Machala.

"I don't require prescription medication, however, many expats in the community have shared that availability of prescription medications and the costs are extremely low compared to North America. They have their prescriptions translated into Spanish for simplifying the process at the pharmacy," said one expat living in San Jacinto.

"It is good for a non life-threatening emergency or routine ailments, but anything complicated or that requires technology or advanced treatment, you'd have to go elsewhere," mentioned another expat in Canoa.

"There is essentially no healthcare options in my town but there are good options 3 hours away or acceptable ones just 45 minutes away," commented one expat who moved to Montanita, Ecuador.

"Socialized medicine has many flaws versus private medicine. Due to age and prior conditions , government medical plans are the only "play"," remarked one expat living in Manta.

"For anything serious we go to Ibarra or Quito, Cotacachi is a small village without a lot of health resources except for minor things," commented another person.

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Need health insurance in Ecuador? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite).

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Ecuador?

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Need health insurance in Ecuador? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a Quote

Need health insurance in Ecuador? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

William Russell International Health Insurance

Need health insurance in Ecuador? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite).

Learn More Get a Quote

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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