Healthcare in Mexico

Healthcare in Mexico: Is It Really That Affordable?

Mexico is a country with so many things to offer that make a happy and affordable retirement possible for expats. A very warm and friendly culture, beautiful cities and history, great food, and in general an affordable cost of living are some of the reasons why more and more expats consider Mexico as their first option for retirement.

But not everything in Mexico is as cheap as you may have thought or as it used to be in the past. For example, electronic equipment is actually more expensive here than it is in the U.S., Canada or Europe, because most of it is imported and therefore sold at a higher price than in your home country.

Other items you may find to be more expensive here are some food including snacks and drinks, house products, tools, small appliances, home improvement and decor, gasoline, and clothing can be more expensive here that what you´re used to.

But one thing that is much more expensive than what many Expats think is healthcare. Doctor’s visits, lab work, diagnostic services and over of the counter medication is usually very affordable. However, that is not the case with major procedures or medical emergencies. Many expats have realized that after going through a medical emergency or significant treatment and seeing that the cost difference between that and the minor things is much higher than they expected.

Did you know that Mexico is the third most expensive country for healthcare in the American continent?

Just after the U.S. and Brazil, Mexico leads the way in costs of medical care for the major things.

For the past few years, medical inflation in many countries around the world including Mexico keeps surpassing the general inflation, and 2018 was no exception. In a survey carried out with 204 insurance companies globally, the highest cause of claims costs remains cancer and diseases of the circulatory system with top risk factors continuing to be: metabolic and cardiovascular, dietary and emotional/mental health risk factors.

The average global medical inflation rate observed in 2018 was 9.7%, three times the general rate – with a similar increase expected for 2019, and even higher rates for 2020.

In Mexico, medical inflation was 12.9% versus the general inflation of 4.8%.

Increase in the cost of pharmaceutical products, supplies, new medical equipment and medical procedures are the main factors that impacted the insurance providers around the world, but mainly in Latin America, and the medical inflation rate is expected to continue to grow for 2019 and 2020.

In addition, expat cities have better equipped hospitals and better prepared doctors, bilingual and experienced, and in most cases major procedures can be treated in these cities so expats don’t have to fly to the larger Mexican cities, like Mexico City or back to their countries. Having these benefits represent a high cost for healthcare as well.


Healthcare in Mexico is not as inexpensive as it once was, and a major procedure in Mexico may be more than you are able to afford – especially on a fixed income.

If you haven’t prepared for a medical emergency, we encourage you to do so, and the smartest way is through a private health insurance plan. If you don’t have one yet, our team at Guardian Insurance MX can walk you through the process of picking the plan that best suits your needs. Contact us today for a free quote.

Source: Mercer Marsh Benefits, world’s largest risk and consultancy management in the insurance brokerage industry.

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