This is usually the third question people ask me about living in Mexico. Invariably the first question is, "Is it safe?" and "Aren't you afraid?"
After I swallow my exasperation at those first two questions, I'm ready to settle down and answer sensible questions.
Healthcare is very important.
Services available in San Miguel de Allende are a general hospital and a private hospital, MED TEC 100.
There are many clinics, labs and specialty clinics. There are dentists, doctors, chiropractors, and homeopathic people among others. There is much "alternative" care which covers a gamut of things that I know nothing about.
I've used the same doctors, a cardiologist, an eye doctor, an internist and dermatologist for all the years I've been here who are connected now with MED TEC 100. I was hospitalized twice in what, at the time was the private hospital De La Fe and had care from the appropriate doctors. I've been more then satisfied with the care and the costs.
My cardiologist and eye doctor are well known by their colleagues in the USA. Both came highly recommended.
I don't have insurance in Mexico but the cost for 3 days in the hospital was around $300 with a Dr bill of less then $100. I've had stitches in my cheek when I fell which cost less then $100 in the ER room. A doctor's office visit is 500 pesos, $40USD. You pay in cash - no checks, no credit cards. The hospital now will take US and Mexican credit cards. Many years ago it would not.
So basically, an ex-pat is self insured unless he joins one of the government operated health plans.
Seguro Popular is for the people who have the least amount of money. One signs up as I understand it.
Then is told if they are covered. One goes to a clinic for a physical and then is assigned to a doctor. I've never signed up for any of these programs, so I'm just repeating what people who have done and have told me. Basically Seguro Popular uses the services at the General Hospital.
IMSS is a program with its own clinics and hospitals. There is a clinic in San Miguel and a hospital either in Queretaro or Celaya. I'm not sure which. One must go to Guanajuato to sign up or use a facilitator to handle it for you. I believe that after a year, you have no problem having pre-existing conditions paid for. It costs about $300USD for a year's coverage.
Recently I was told that Met Life has health insurance coverage in Mexico. I could not, after trying many times, get information about premiums, coverage or any other details. If you want to know more about that I suggest you contact a US agent and see if he can put you in contact with an appropriate individual who can answer your questions. This would be the first US insurance company with medical coverage that I have been able to find that covers people living full time in Mexico.
Of course I have Medicare in the USA, thankfully. I also have prescription coverage that I pay for, just in case.
Many people have Med Evac policies through various groups. SkyMed is one and there are several others. From what I've been told, the premium per person is about $400 USD per year. Some of the companies allow you to choose where you want to be flown to as long as a Dr. signs off on it. Others send you to the "nearest" appropriate medical facility in the USA. Research on your part will turn up many companies who provide these services.
US health insurance Part B does not cover ex-pats in Mexico UNLESS you live here only part time and something happens to you during the first six months you are out of country. It's a dicey deal.
Usually those policies require that your prime residence be in the USA. I'm sure there are exceptions but I'm not aware of what they are. Check with your insurer to find out.
There are good facilities as well in Queretaro and Celaya. There is a German orthopedic surgeon in Queretaro who has worked miracles for people with back, hip and other problems that couldn't be resolved in the USA through surgery. There is a heart institute and many other specialties handled there. Queretaro is a city of two million people. It also has many multinational factories and corporations located there. Many people find the services they want there.
Lots of people who have Medicare fly or drive to the USA a couple of times a year for medical care and checkups. There is a large VA facility in San Antonio, Texas and also Mc Allen, Texas along with Houston, Texas.
In summation, do your homework. If you are a sickly person now, need medical care frequently, are severely handicapped, then possibly this is not the place to be. It is something to investigate.
On the other hand, I do know of people who have moved their parents or spouse here because the private home care is so caring and thorough and inexpensive, that the quality of life of someone who cannot get out much or is severely handicapped can be better then being in a facility in another country.
Hopefully this has given you some information. I have very much appreciated those that have added comments with information that I am not aware of. And, some who have corrected those comments that were not complete or accurate. Thanks so much.
Tomorrow, I will finish this series up. Tomorrow will be why people leave...........what can't you find here that you HAVE to have..........and a few ways to save money.