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sunseeker

Jun 12, 2016, 7:23 AM

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Medical care costs and residency

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My husband and I are Canadians and have spent many winters in Mexico. We are now considering making Mexico our home for longer than 6 months per year. Any advice concerning medical care? My husband is 78 and I'm not sure that we can obtain insurance for him. Is there anyone out there who has had to enter hospital in an emergency situation? Can you advise me of costs/treatment/confidence in your treatment? We will be living near Puerta Vallarta. For those who have done it what do you consider to be other advantages of residency? Thanks.



rvgringo

Jun 12, 2016, 8:21 AM

Post #2 of 16 (8248 views)

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Re: [sunseeker] Medical care costs and residency

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The quality of medical care, especially in Guadalajara, is excellent. You must be prepared to pay for it, as I am also 78 and Mexican insurance companies generally reject folks my age, especially if there are any pre-existing conditions. Office and clinic visits are very affordable at seldom more than $50 USD equivalent for the most expensive. Hospital costs will be much lower than in the USA, but will still amount to several thousand for a stay of a few days and surgery, etc. My examples are a few years old, so I will leave it to others to give recent examples with specifics.


mcm

Jun 12, 2016, 11:48 AM

Post #3 of 16 (8227 views)

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Re: [sunseeker] Medical care costs and residency

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As you say, it's unlikely that your husband could get medical insurance here, at his age.

Given that, it is important that you have enough cash readily available to pay for an emergency -- hospitals typically accept credit cards for the hospital stay, but doctors generally are paid in cash. An example of costs for hip replacement after a fall: hospital stay and surgery -- 60,000 pesos (can be paid with credit card -- if NOB credit card, look for one that does not have a foreign transaction fee), surgeon and follow up doctor costs 20,000 pesos (cash), cost of the artificial hip (cash required) 30,000 pesos. The hospital stay cost is on the high end. Keep in mind that many private practice doctors practice at several hospitals, and some are much more economical than others, so be sure and ask.

I recommend that one of the first things you do is find a doctor that you like and establish a relationship -- when an emergency happens, you want someone that you can call immediately for advice and referrals.

Finally -- although your husband could, if he is a permanent resident, get IMSS or Seguro Popular coverage, the coverage is limited (in some cases), and the quality of care of uneven (in many cases, necessary equipment is not available, etc.). Also, the public health system in Mexico is VERY overextended, and as foreigners with other options, you probably wouldn't want to contribute to making the problem worse.


MJD

Jun 12, 2016, 7:27 PM

Post #4 of 16 (8180 views)

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Re: [sunseeker] Medical care costs and residency

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In early 2015, husband ended up in the hospital in northern Mexico for five nights for a serious spider bite. He didn't have surgery but he had a whole lot of attention and antibiotics. At the time, the bill ending up being $3,000 USD and that included the doctors. All inclusive. The exchange rate is a big variable. We paid by credit card at intervals during his stay.

There is a woman in Vallarta who helps people connect with the medical community. She is highly regarded. She is on Facebook and her name is Pam Thompson-Webb. If you aren't on Facebook, here is the website.
http://www.healthcareresourcespv.com/


(This post was edited by RickS on Jun 12, 2016, 9:16 PM)


sunseeker

Jun 13, 2016, 9:31 AM

Post #5 of 16 (8129 views)

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Re: [sunseeker] Medical care costs and residency

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Thank you - appreciate the info.


RuralPuebla

Jun 15, 2016, 7:42 PM

Post #6 of 16 (7996 views)

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Re: [mcm] Medical care costs and residency

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My best friend is a doctor's wife. Though because this is Mexico, I tell everyone he is my best friend, but she is actually more like a really excellent sister.

I discussed this issue with her a few years ago, and she told me with their help finding an economical hospital anything that I could survive would cost less than $5000 USD.

I have saved so much over the last 15 years on insurance premiums that I am not worried about it.

A month or two my wife fell really hard, doing something so thoughtless that it prompted our son to say she needed psychiatric evaluation. Jijiji.

We drove to a well trusted hospital and for three x-rays and extensive examination and explanations cost around $80. Medicine was around the same. They did not do the psychiatric examination my son requested, heh, heh.

I just found out while typing this that my brother-in-law needs open chest surgery, not open heart. Apparently his veins are very thin, and so they need to take some out of his leg and put in there somewhere by the heart. The doctor told him the cheapest he can do it is around 300,000 which comes to around $16000 USD. I do not know if we can do that or not. It will be serious discussion time here.


sunseeker

Jun 16, 2016, 3:32 AM

Post #7 of 16 (7976 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Medical care costs and residency

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Thank you for taking the time to reply.


jeffie1


Jun 16, 2016, 8:23 AM

Post #8 of 16 (7943 views)

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Re: [sunseeker] Medical care costs and residency

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We live in the Central Highlands about 2 hours south of Guadalahara. We use a doctor in Mazamitla which is about 4 miles from us. She charges 100 pesos (around $6 USD) for office visits. We feel she is well trained and competent. Once a month, a dermatologist & internist (a husband and wife team) come to our doctors office from Guadalahara to see patients. They both charge 400 pesos (around 24 USD) for a consultation. All top-notched Docs in my books.

In Sahuayo, about 25 miles from us, is a fine hospital and many fine doctors as well. My wife had an extremely thorough mammogram (complete with ultrasound ) there for 1000 pesos or $50 bucks. Many specialists there for 400 pesos a visit.

We have been quite surprised at just how good the medical care is here and at reasonable prices.

Mis dos centavos,
Jeff


sunseeker

Jun 17, 2016, 3:03 AM

Post #9 of 16 (7896 views)

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Re: [jeffie1] Medical care costs and residency

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Thanks for your 2 cents worth Jeff! Have appreciated all the helpful replies. Great forum.


RuralPuebla

Jun 17, 2016, 7:44 PM

Post #10 of 16 (7839 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Medical care costs and residency

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An update on my brother-in-law's surgery. His daughter made arrangements for the surgery to be done at a government funded heart hospital. cost will be only nominal.

She said all in Mexico can use that hospital, including foreigners, but you may be on a number system priority.

We were very relieved, because we weren't sure about coming up with $16,000.


sunseeker

Jun 18, 2016, 4:23 AM

Post #11 of 16 (7826 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Medical care costs and residency

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Good news for you and good info for us, thank you and good luck. Would love to hear about the experience when it's all over if you don't mind sharing.


roberb7


Jun 21, 2016, 7:27 PM

Post #12 of 16 (7714 views)

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Re: [mcm] Medical care costs and residency

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Quote
Finally -- although your husband could, if he is a permanent resident, get IMSS or Seguro Popular coverage, the coverage is limited (in some cases), and the quality of care of uneven (in many cases, necessary equipment is not available, etc.). Also, the public health system in Mexico is VERY overextended, and as foreigners with other options, you probably wouldn't want to contribute to making the problem worse.



RuralPuebla

Jun 23, 2016, 8:56 PM

Post #13 of 16 (7634 views)

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Re: [roberb7] Medical care costs and residency

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Absolutely. Over the years, I have sometimes been asked to drive people to the daily clinic in the IMSS hospital. They get there at maybe 8 am, and do not get seen until around noon. Also, the medications are sometimes less than full strength.

Just to clarify so no one misunderstands, my brother-in-law of the heart problem is Mexican. My wife, also. As long as we can do it, we have every intention of using private doctors, which is why we had to spend the money on x-rays. So far, our outlays are only a fraction of the cost of health insurance.

I did forget to mention the local IMSS hospital simply has no x-ray at all. if needed, they have to go forth and pay for them. They had one; it broke and no money was there for repairs.

But, in the case of brother-in-law 300,000 pesos is simply not available to be had. If it were he would have private surgery.


AlanMexicali


Aug 1, 2016, 6:21 PM

Post #14 of 16 (6991 views)

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Re: [roberb7] Medical care costs and residency

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In Reply To

Quote
Finally -- although your husband could, if he is a permanent resident, get IMSS or Seguro Popular coverage, the coverage is limited (in some cases), and the quality of care of uneven (in many cases, necessary equipment is not available, etc.). Also, the public health system in Mexico is VERY overextended, and as foreigners with other options, you probably wouldn't want to contribute to making the problem worse.



Any legal resident can can get Seguro Popular, anybody no matter their medical condition, and IMMS if the donīt have certain pre-existing illness which exclude them from joining - Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente. Both systems are not overextended. If they are out of equipment in one location they refer you to another location for treatment or diagnosis. The red or web of both IMSS and SP takes care of itīs members quite well. Many Expats know little about these 2 systems it appears and I have first hand knowledge of both systems.


(This post was edited by AlanMexicali on Aug 1, 2016, 6:50 PM)


drope

Aug 12, 2016, 8:21 AM

Post #15 of 16 (6691 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Medical care costs and residency

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In Reply To
My best friend is a doctor's wife. Though because this is Mexico, I tell everyone he is my best friend, but she is actually more like a really excellent sister.

I discussed this issue with her a few years ago, and she told me with their help finding an economical hospital anything that I could survive would cost less than $5000 USD.

I have saved so much over the last 15 years on insurance premiums that I am not worried about it.

A month or two my wife fell really hard, doing something so thoughtless that it prompted our son to say she needed psychiatric evaluation. Jijiji.

We drove to a well trusted hospital and for three x-rays and extensive examination and explanations cost around $80. Medicine was around the same. They did not do the psychiatric examination my son requested, heh, heh.

I just found out while typing this that my brother-in-law needs open chest surgery, not open heart. Apparently his veins are very thin, and so they need to take some out of his leg and put in there somewhere by the heart. The doctor told him the cheapest he can do it is around 300,000 which comes to around $16000 USD. I do not know if we can do that or not. It will be serious discussion time here.

that IS open heart surgery. the viens or arteries taken from his leg will be used as bypass arteries on his heart. don't waste a lot of time thinking about it as if he doesn't get it done he will die.the arteries feeding his heart are severally blocked to warrant this surgery


RuralPuebla

Aug 15, 2016, 9:02 PM

Post #16 of 16 (6485 views)

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Re: [drope] Medical care costs and residency

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You may be right. I do not know. His wife is a retired nurse and she told my wife it was a clogged vein.

He had the surgery and I was sent a photo of him sitting up in bed. So, I'd say he survived.
 
 
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