Health Care and Health Insurance
Is Cruz Roja the same as the Red Cross?,
Hospital San Javier,
Hospsital Puerta de Hierro
Health Care in Mexico is Top-Notch and Inexpensive
The Ajijic, Lake Chapala area has many well trained English-speaking physicians and specialists — many educated in the United States — some are in private practice, and others work out of clinics.
A major benefit is that the doctors here are readily available … no long waiting periods!
The clinics all have emergency capability, outpatient surgical facilities, and short-term hospital care. Further, all these clinics are associated with major hospitals in Guadalajara, to which the Red Cross provides ambulance service.
In Guadalajara there are many excellent hospitals, including two university medical schools, where the latest diagnostic tools are available, as well as up-to-date treatment of all diseases.
With doctors’ visits and common medical procedures costing perhaps a fourth of what they do in the U.S., many expats just pay out of pocket. Many foreigners come to Mexico to take advantage of low-cost plastic surgery, dental procedures and other services.
- An office visit with a doctor in the Ajijic, Lake Chapala area—specialists included—costs $15-$40. And doctors here still make house calls! The doctor spends the time to take medical histories himself, and also provides his/her personal telephone number and says to call immediately with any questions or concerns … and means it.
- Lab tests cost about a third of what they cost in the U.S and an overnight stay in a private hospital room is about $35-$50.
- A dental cleaning averages between $25-$45.
- Prescription drug costs are a fraction of those north of the border, and most can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription.
- There are board-certified holistic practioners providing nutrition therapy and other personalized programs for health and healing.
- Several assisted living facilities are also available at Lakeside.
IMSS — Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social
Mexico has nationalized medical care, and makes certain hospitals and emergency facilities available to all, regardelss of their ability to pay.
Additionally, the government-run IMSS hospitals are some of the best equipped in Mexico. However, be aware that there may be a waiting time until you can be “worked in” for consultation, treatment or surgery.
IMSS insurance is available to those under 60 for approximately $140 US per year, and to those over 60 for between $200-$300 US/person/year.
Private Health Insurance
Many of the same health insurers available to you where you live now are also available here in Mexico, and at much lower cost. Several reasonably priced medical insurance options also include air evacuation.