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Playa las Animas near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Expats Talk about Health Insurance and Healthcare in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 01, 2023

Summary: Expats, retirees and snowbirds living in Puerto Vallarta talk about the quality of medical care, the lower costs and the need for travel or long-term expat health insurance. They also share how healthcare services have been impacted by the pandemic.

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How are healthcare services Puerto Vallarta?

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

"Be sure to have travel insurance... helps to speak Spanish to communicate more freely with the caregivers, however someone there will speak English," commented one expat who moved to Puerto Vallarta.

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"As cash customers of healthcare services in both the US and Mexico, we have found that private system medical costs all across Mexico are 1/20 of what it used to cost us back in California. We have also found the quality of care to be better," commented one expat living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

"Have to find equivalent medications or alternatives, but manageable. Have to find the right doctors, but that is the same as with the US," added another expat.

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William Russell Health Insurance

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.

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William Russell Health Insurance

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.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Puerto Vallarta?

"Ask for receipts as many places don't issue one.....my health insurance would not cover my pedicures even though I went to the hospital for medical pedicures as the person doing it was not the officially accepted PODIATRIST. My massage visits are wonderful and reasonable 500 pesos for 75 minutes! My insurance companies pay those to a limit as long as the receipts show all necessary info... so check with your insurance company what is necessary. Many Mexicans don't or can't write properly, so make sure they spell your name correctly and have all the info correct, even the date as on one of my receipts the girl put 2010 when it was 2017 and my insurance company refused it even though I had submitted many receipts together and it was an obvious error. There are many walk in clinics with doctors, but quality is questionable, so stick to well known ones in your area. Similaries are good and lower cost. I also lived in Mexico for 2 yrs and worked and had the local Seguro Social medical coverage... covers basics. I speak Spanish so it worked out ok, but it was a bit of a drive and a different process... so when I felt stressed I just used the local private clinic and paid 500 pesos to see the doctor," commented one expat living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

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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 Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Mexico

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.
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What are emergency services like in Puerto Vallarta?

When we asked about emergency services, members in Puerto Vallarta wrote:

"We live in PV 6 months of the year in our condo there and are just a 5 minute walk from 2 private first rate hospitals, Medasist and CMQ in downtown Puerto Vallarta. You can literally walk in and be seen immediately by a doctor in Emergency. I was admitted for 2 days in 2015 for bronchitis. I had a large private room with a window, couch, large bathroom and everything was absolutely spotless and shining clean... floors etc. Nurses uniforms new and clean also. I speak Spanish so I was able to communicate with all my caregivers. The food was excellent, delicious actually. The lady at the front desk, who was also in charge of activating insurance quickly and efficiently coordinated with my insurance provider so that I was not out of pocket at all in the admission stage where they normally ask for a credit card. I was recommend insisting at this stage that the hospital contact your insurance company to take care of all costs or you will end up paying something and having to claim it back. For a 2 day stay, my bill was around $2355 USD," mentioned another expat in Puerto Vallarta.

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William Russell Health Insurance

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.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

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.

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Will I need to travel to see a specialist?

"There are many specialists in Puerto Vallarta and you can usually make an appointment within 2 days and the cost is about 500 pesos (less than $50)," added another expat.

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Are common prescription medications available in Puerto Vallarta?

"Farmacia Guadalajara is a chain, so you are reasonably sure of the quality of the drugs and since their prices are standardized, chain-wise, you are reasonably sure that you are not paying the gringo price at one of the tourist pharmacies. Many common drugs available. Also Freddy's on Olas Altas," mentioned another expat in Puerto Vallarta.

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What have your experiences during the pandemic with the local healthcare system been like?

When we asked expats in Puerto Vallarta if common prescription medications are available in Puerto Vallarta, they wrote...

"Access to our regular cardiologist and internist has been restricted (actually, cut off altogether) because they were both drafted into the Covid fight. We were able to find younger replacements temporarily, however," mentioned another expat in Puerto Vallarta.

"Reports were not positive initially, getting better now (vaccinations better vs. care initially)," commented one expat who moved to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Playa las Animas near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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