One of the greatest concerns expats face when moving to Mexico is healthcare; how will they be covered? How will the medical treatment differ from back home? Most health insurance policies, whether it is from Canada or the US, are not valid in Mexico, and the ones that are, only provide minimal coverage. Mexico offers high-level healthcare and beautiful fully-equipped hospitals; the trick is finding a medical insurance policy that suits your needs.
The quality of insurance companies in Mexico will meet or exceed the level of coverage and service provided by the companies found in Canada, Europe and the US. And you will also find policies in Mexico will cost you 40%-70% less than they do in the US.
The lower cost of medical insurance in Mexico may scare some expats, making them question the quality or coverage they will receive, but you can rest assured knowing you will receive premier coverage and high-quality medical treatment in Mexico if you choose the right company. The factors such as a lower cost of medical care, lower wages, fewer litigation issues, and the value of the US dollar, all contribute to being able to offer a lower price for clients and patients.
Although there is a low-cost government health plan available here in Mexico, you will experience overcrowding and long waits, and it may not be the standard of hospital you have come to expect after living in first-world countries. Most expats prefer to use private health insurance and stay at a private hospital equipped with the latest technology, and modern rooms with the comforts the general hospital does not provide.
There are several private health insurance providers available depending on your health, budget, and the scope of coverage you desire. Do you want basic health care or do you want health carewith no restrictions on the level of doctor or hospital, and the flexibility to be treated in first-world countries like the U.S., Canada and Europe?
Expats may choose to pay as you go for regular doctor’s appointments, as they are very affordable, and purchase health insurance for emergencies and surgeries. If you travel overseas once or more every year, you may also want to have a policy that can cover you there.
Here’s a list of very important points to look for in a health insurance policy:
✓ Direct payment: does the insurance company pay the hospital or doctor directly, so you do not need to submit receipts and wait for your claim to be reimbursed?
✓ Does the deductible fit your budget should an emergency occur?
✓ Is the deductible per incident or for the year? Did you know that most health insurance providers in Mexico have a deductible per incident and not per year? This means that you can end up paying 3 or 4 different deductibles during the same policy year!
✓ After your deductible, are there any other concepts that you would have to pay out of your pocket that won’t be reimbursed such as copay/coinsurance?
✓ Will your policy cover you outside of Mexico?
✓ Is USA coverage available?
✓ Which hospitals will honor your policy? Do you have free choice of hospitals and doctors, or is there a limited network?
✓ What’s the penalty if you use a different doctor or hospital that does not belong to the network of your company?
✓ How flexible is the company with including preexisting conditions in the coverage?
✓ Will you have service provided to you in your native language?
Sit down with your insurance broker and discuss your medical needs and budget. And remember, when choosing your policy, especially with health insurance, there are many other, and much more important aspects, that should be taken into consideration besides just the annual premium.