Mexico’s public health service does not have reciprocal agreements with any other country, and US Medicare is not available here so visitors and foreign residents need to make specific provision for their health care needs. In the event of an incident that requires healthcare or medical attention, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket, or arrange a health or medical insurance policy that is valid in Mexico and provide suitable cover for you and your partner/family in the event of an accident or illness. This article explains the various options for visitors, extended stays, and foreign residents.
Health Insurance for Short Visits to Mexico
If you’re visiting Mexico for a short period —on a vacation or short business trip, for example— travel insurance policies which cover you for a limited time while you’re away from home should suffice. These might be provided by your current healthcare provider (but double-check the small print), through an employer’s health plan if you’re here on a short business visit, or through purchase of a short-trip travel insurance policy. You can learn more about short-term travel health insurance on our guide to insurance in Mexico.
Health Insurance for Extended Stays in Mexico
If you plan to be in Mexico for an extended stay, but don’t intent to take-up residence in Mexico – for example, you might take a sabbatical, a volunteer job, or plan to stay in Mexico for six months or less, then a short-term travel insurance policy might not cover your needs. In these circumstances, you may consider a private health insurance policy that covers you locally and, if you retain health coverages in your home country, you might also consider taking out a medical evacuation plan in the event of a serious medical incident that requires you to be flown home for treatment and recovery.
Health Insurance for Foreign Residents in Mexico
If you intend to apply for, or have, legal residency in Mexico, a travel insurance policy won’t be valid as these are designed for people who come to Mexico for a short defined period and return to their country of residence. If you have health insurance cover in your country of residence, the policy might cover you if you’re living abroad (but probably won’t) and in most cases you would need to evacuate back to your home country to avail yourself of any coverages. Therefore, if you plan to reside in Mexico, you should consider health insurance coverages that will be valid and provide adequate care for your needs. Here are the options:
Mexico’s IMSS Medical Insurance
Foreign residents (temporary or permanent) can apply for the Mexican public healthcare insurance system known an IMSS on a voluntary basis which provides access to certain doctors, clinics and hospitals in Mexico. Some medications are also covered under this plan. Coverage costs depend on your age; restrictions and limitations apply and, like all publicly-funded healthcare systems, patient demand is usually higher than the supply of services, so you may have to wait for care. (Note also that people who are enrolled in IMSS through an employer get priority over those who enroll voluntarily.) This article explains the IMSS medical insurance system in Mexico.
Private Medical Insurance in Mexico
Most foreign residents who can afford to do so will take out a private medical insurance plan that covers their personal needs and gives them direct access to private doctors, clinics and hospitals in Mexico. Policies are crafted to the individual situation of the person, couple, or family, and premiums depend on things like your age, term of coverage, coverages included, and the deductible you are willing to pay in the event of a claim. You can complete this health insurance request and our associate will contact you personally to discuss your situation and needs, and provide a no-obligation quote for you to review.
Medical Evacuation from Mexico
If you are resident in Mexico and continue to have health coverage in your home country then you might consider a medical evacuation plan to enable you to get home for treatment and to convalesce close to your own doctors and family in the event that you experience a serious accident or health event (e.g. heart attack) while you are here. Note that medical evacuation insurance coverages only cover evacuation costs in serious cases and so you’ll need to get routine or non-critical health matters attended to in Mexico.
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