Medicare in Mexico

A lot of people have asked me about getting Medicare in Mexico.

As it stands today, Medicare does not cover health care for Americans outside of the United States, except under these conditions:

1. The beneficiary is a border resident who requires hospitalization and the Canadian or Mexican hospital is either closer to the beneficiary’s home than the participating U.S. hospital or when the Mexican or Canadian hospital offers covered services which the U.S. hospital does not.

2. The beneficiary is not a border resident, but the emergency occurs in the United States and a Mexican hospital is in closer proximity. 

In both instances, Medicare pays for physician and ambulance services furnished in Mexico in conjunction with a covered inpatient stay.

This lack of coverage affects residents, tourists, short-term visitors, and people who choose to live in Mexico.  Fortunately, the “per incident” cost of health care is very affordable. In fact it’s so affordable that many “gringos” don’t have health insurance and simply pay per incident:

  • Private room in a hospital, $50 per day
  • Exam and consultation with a specialist, $15
  • Ultrasound or X-ray , $15
  • Oral surgery, $50 per tooth
  • Porcelain filling, $30 each.
  • Teeth cleaning, $25
  • Emergency room treatment, $15
  • Exploratory abdominal surgery and appendectomy using video laporoscopy.
  • Four-day hospital stay in a private room, all fees of the surgeon and the anesthesiologist, and medication. $1,200.

You may also be eligible for Mexico’s universal health care program:

The National Health Care Program, IMSS:

1. Available in most major cities.

2. Takes about 6 to 9 months for coverage to be activated after acceptance. Once accepted, you are a life member as long as premiums are paid.

3. At IMSS clinics you do not have a choice of physicians. 

Available in Mexico:

1. Small clinics with general practitioner who is qualified to handle minor illnesses and injuries.

2. Small hospitals with surgeons, internists and pediatricians.

3. Large intensive-care facilities with various specialists.

The general requirements for joining the IMSS program are:

 1. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire, with the assistance of a doctor.

2. Submit to a basic medical examination which includes checking your blood pressure and listening to your heart. Other tests may be requested. The cost of the health care coverage is approximately $250.00 U.S. per year. You may apply only in January, February, July and August.  This program is open to all foreigners regardless of nationality and/or immigration status. Medical care in Mexico…… is unbelievably inexpensive by almost anyone’s standards. Of course prices vary according to the region and whether you go to a private clinic or a government run facility.

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  1. Pingback: Healthcare During Retirement | Mexico Retirement Blog

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