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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some retirees have medical coverage with their retirement package, as I do. However, it may not work the same in Mexico, although I have used mine a few times. Here is what happened just now:

Last Friday, I suffered a heart attack and survived the first hour by eating aspirin, taking oxygen and resting quietly. Called my cardiologist for instructions and to arrange to meet at Hospital Bernadette in Guadalajara. He quickly called back to tell me they would not accept me, nor any other BCBS insureds, because BCBS had not yet paid my bill for major abdominal surgery and 11 day hospitalization in February.

We quickly followed instructions to go to Hospital MexicoAmericano, which works with BCBS, and got lost for a bit before finding it and getting into the Emergency Room. Soon, I was in Cardiac Catheterization, getting more stents and surviving another attack, caused by a blood clot, while on the table. Two of three blockages were resolved; the third being inaccessible, and I spent the night recovering. Saturday moring I was OK to be released, but BCBS does not work on weekends, nor does their international contractor in Chicago. Calls go to voice mail. So, the hospital held me. Then BCBS, on Monday, wanted 24-48 yours to get the details to the hospital and allow my release. It took until Wednesday morning!

If you have an emergency, try not to have it over a weekend.

Weak and wobbly, but still alive.
 

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1. Good hear you're still with us!
2. Hope you're on the 'mend.'
3. I didn't know that BCBS covered persons who reside in Mexico, with the possible exception of the California BCBS which, I understand, provides coverage for care/treatment to Americans with one of its (Calif.) polices ... by doctors and at hospitals in Baja California.
4. If BCBS hasn't paid a bill for treatment last February, seems to me the hospital may not have provided sufficient substantiation for the claim to be paid. BCBS, throughout it's system, is the most widely-accepted insurance particularly because of it's record of quick pay for which hospitals and doctors give the company a substantial price reduction.
5. My BCBS has staff/advisors on-duty 24/7/365. I'm still working now and my BCBS is contracted for through my employer and maybe the retiree plans only offer (as you suggest) scaled back service.
6. You've pointed-out something very important to expats not familiar with living in or traveling to Mexico: You're not in Canada or the USA anymore and hospitals can deny you even in life-threatening situations. I assume that your prior health history precludes you from obtaining healthcare coverage from a Mexican insurance company, but for expats in better health ... having coverage with a company in Mexico should minimize the life-threatening risk of being refused care.
7. Is there a reason you didn't call Cruz Roja, for immediate care/transport?
8. While I miraculously avoided a heart attack, I did have 3 serious blockages and two stents inserted - in the USA, not Mexico. So I understand some, but not all, you went through.
9. Best of luck with the recovery process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Cruz Roja is only a block and a half away, but I have oxygen here and know how to address an attack and got the cardiologist on the phone immediately.
BCBS covers less outside of USA for travelers, etc. & works through contractors, nurse screeeners, and other delaying layers before even getting to the international contractor for expats, tourists, etc. Most of them do not work weekends. Only the latter has anyone with other languages. Some offices love voice mail much too much.
No, I am not insurable in Mexico, due to previous conditions as well as age being within a month of 76.
 

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Thanks for the further response. From what I'm recalling, you're one of those rare individuals who has more than the 9-lives of a cat! Good for you, and us!
 
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