Social Security, Medicare and IMSS

Social Security, Medicare and IMSS

Hopefully, I’ve gotten you started toward the process of getting all your finances in order, which is great to do whether you are looking at retirement in 20 days or 20 years. The day will come when you realize the old paycheck is going to no longer come to you a couple of times a month. From now on, it’s going to be what you’ve managed to save, perhaps a pension (and fewer of those are becoming a reality nowadays) and Social Security.

As far as Social Security, the nay-sayers and dooms-dayers say it won’t be there – but, even if is, (and I can’t imagine any politician who values their political life not working to keep it functioning) then it will be an added bonus! Contact your local Social Security office for printed up-to-date information! Some facts to get started:  I’m repeating: You must be a resident of the United States to receive Social Security benefits.  That means you may live any place, as long as you are still a United States citizen.

You will not receive Medicare in any country other than the United States.

If you are a U.S. citizen, you may receive Social Security benefits outside the U.S. as long as you are eligible for them. (There are exceptions.)  Even if you are a citizen of Mexico, you may receive your payments as long as you are outside the U.S., unless you are a dependent or survivor.

Once you received Social Security payments, the S.S. will send questionnaires periodically that you must fill out and return, informing them as to whether you are still eligible for benefits. Do so immediately upon receipt. 

The Foreign Work Test – A monthly benefit is withheld for each month in which a beneficiary under age 70 works more than 45 hours outside the U.S. in employment or self-employment which is not subject to U.S. Social Security taxes.

Of course, it is great if you have a decent amount of savings put back to supplement yourSocial Security. A lot of people will receive pensions from the companies they worked for,but there are also a lot of people who don’t have a pension coming in …we’re in that group. We always knew our retirement would be what we were able to put away.

And then, there are lots of people who make it, living only on their Social Security.

Some countries where direct deposit and other forms of electronic payments are available include Mexico. With direct deposit, you receive your payment much faster than if you are paid by check (usually 1 to 3 weeks faster than check deliveries). When direct deposit payments are sent to a financial institution, you also avoid check cashing and currency conversion fees. 

There are rare emergency cases where Medicare can pay for care in Mexico. Also, Medicare can sometimes pay if a Mexican hospital is closer to your home than the nearest U.S. hospital that can provide the care you need. If you get emergency treatment in a Mexican hospital or if you live near one, ask someone who works atthe hospital about Medicare coverage, or have the hospital help you contact theMedicare Intermediary.

IMSS (MEXICAN MEDICAL) – Many foreign residents of Mexico are not aware that the Social Security System of Mexico (IMSS) medical coverage is available to all. IMSS hospitals are well equipped with many staff doctors known for their practices in private hospitals. All residents of Mexico are eligible without exception, other than those who suffer from chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease. (The reason we cannot live in Mexico permanently.)  Age is not a consideration.  

Public health care is guaranteed to all Mexican citizens regardless of pre-existing conditions. (Foreign residents of Mexico are eligible without exception, other than those who suffer from chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease. If you do have a pre-existing condition, it’s mandatory you discuss it with a doctor at IMSS to see if it would be covered later, or if it will affect your coverage as a whole.)

If you are accepted, IMSS covers only minor illness, such as colds etc., and nothing involving surgery the first year. The second year the insurance will cover everything other than broken bones, and orthopedic surgery. The third year finally covers everything. Medication is covered as well for anything needed for diagnoses, and it is provided toyou during your visit. Prescriptions are not covered if you buy it at any other pharmacy.  Any pre-existing condition that is not reported and later found to exist causes cancellagion of all coverage. Again, I must stress:  If you do have a pre-existing condition, it’s mandatory you discuss it with a doctor at IMSS to see if it would be covered later, or if it will affect your coverage as a whole.

Upon acceptance, cost is per person per year and according to age: as much as 3000 pesos for age 60+ to as low as 977 pesos for age 19 and under. The cost is subject to change from year to year.

Your retirement may be just around the corner, or it may be along way off, but from this day forward it’s up to you – and no one else – to save enough money to live on happily after retirement!

Addition Feb 3, 2013 – the amount you need to move to Mexico has changed – see – http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/detroit/index.php/info-english

Social Security, IMSS, Medicare article by Barbie

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