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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard some people advise to get on the IMSS scheme, but I've also heard from some people who would just rather pay for the private care when a health problem arises due to the reasonable cost.

I imagine if something happens that leaves you in hospital for a few days and you need surgery, that the cost would be really high, but really I don't have a clue.

What would your advice be?
 

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Welcome. Medical treatment may be less expensive in Mexico, but it isn't cheap. Last Thursday, my wife had a tumor removed from her right index finger. It was an oupatient procedure but it did require general anesthesia and a hospital room for the day. The surgeon's fee was 13,000 pesos and the hospital fees were 6500 pesos; for a total of 19,500 pesos or about $1500 USD. Yes, we do have IMSS but prefer to use private physicians and hospitals for everything that we can possibly afford.
However, I do recommend that you purchase IMSS in the event of a catastrophic accident or illness which would 'break the bank'. Many say, "Oh, I would just go to the USA and use Medicare." Well, getting a medical evacuation by air is really expensive and in bad situations, you probably won't be transportable for a while. Air evacuation insurance is available but the fine print usually excludes such evacuation if suitable medical treatment is available. Since Mexico does have excellent facilities in the major cities, one isn't likely to be evacuated.
So, the bottom line is that you should cover yourself for serious medical situations by private insurance, if you are young enough and can afford it, or through IMSS membership.
 

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.....Medical treatment may be less expensive in Mexico, but it isn't cheap. Last Thursday, my wife had a tumor removed from her right index finger. It was an oupatient procedure but it did require general anesthesia and a hospital room for the day. The surgeon's fee was 13,000 pesos and the hospital fees were 6500 pesos; for a total of 19,500 pesos or about $1500 USD.................
This isn't a troll.
Are there "****** prices" for private medical care in Mexico? I ask because the prices you paid seem fairly high for an overnight stay.
I know of an English-speaking doctor in one town in Mexico who charges around 400 pesos for an office visit, while most of the other doctors charge 200 pesos.

Any idea of the standard daily ward charges in Mexican hospitals....private or IMSS? The British Columbia Medical Services Plan apparently pays up to $75C/day, and Alberta up to $100/day towards hospital charges out of Canada.

If I purchase my employer's "residing out of Canada" medical insurance coverage, it's good for most things EXCEPT hospital charges, (which I find difficult to comprehend).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any idea of the standard daily ward charges in Mexican hospitals....private or IMSS?
I would also be interested to know this. Those prices also seem higher than I was expecting.

I am in a bit of a pickle at the moment because I am here in Mexico waiting for my visa to be processed and because of this I can't insure myself with IMSS or otherwise. I'm considering purchasing holiday insurance from the UK to cover it while I wait.

Thanks for replying.
 

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Your visa should be processed in a matter of a week or so.

There are doctors, and there are doctors. You can get an MD in Mexico and open an office with no internship or residency; ie., no experience.
This was microsurgery done by an excellent orthopedic surgeon in a proper hospital operating room, with general anesthesia attended by an anesthesiologist, etc.
We can get medical consultations by local physicians for as little as 25 pesos or as much as 500 pesos. I think you can see the difference. It is wise to do some investigating before selecting an MD, here or anywhere else. The same goes for dentists, veterinarians, etc.

There are no charges in IMSS hospitals. Of course, you must provide your family member for general care, water, pillow, etc. and the family member usually sleeps on the floor on their own pad from home. In private hospitals, you also need someone with you, but the facilities will be quite nice; frequently better than in the USA or Canada. Depending upon the size and sophistication of the hospital, room charges and other service charges will vary and will be posted, as in hotels, in the lobby or reception area close to the cashier's office. If you don't see them, ask. Most doctors will discuss your hospital needs with you and allow you to choose.
 

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Last evening,I was talking to a gentleman who required emergency medical care(in Mexico) that included an angiogram and a stent.He was hospitalized for about two weeks. He did not have any medical insurance.His bill came to about 40,000 Can......so far,he has only been reimbursed $4,000 by OHIP and has engaged the services of a lawyer in order to try and collect more....personally,I have never required medical services while in Mexico but I have heard stories of health care being either really cheap or extremely expensive...in an emergency and lacking fluent Spanish...it would be difficult to negotiate expenses
 

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Having had multiple cardiac catheterizations and six stents installed, I can sympathize with your friend. Cardiologists, Catheterisation labs and the team to operate them, the anesthesiologist and a week in the hospital are all expensive. Stents are the same price anywhere in the world and the cutting edge techniques and expertise are the reason you friend and I are still alive. Had he been in Canada, or had I been near a VA hospital in the USA, we would have been treated at no cost; however, we weren't and we must pay.
 

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Having had multiple cardiac catheterizations and six stents installed, I can sympathize with your friend. Cardiologists, Catheterisation labs and the team to operate them, the anesthesiologist and a week in the hospital are all expensive. Stents are the same price anywhere in the world and the cutting edge techniques and expertise are the reason you friend and I are still alive. Had he been in Canada, or had I been near a VA hospital in the USA, we would have been treated at no cost; however, we weren't and we must pay.
I agree with your statement re: we must pay.....but many Canadians think Mexico hospital care is significantly cheaper than care in Canada and expect that their provincial provider(eg.OHIP) will reimburse for the total costs involved for a stay in a Mexican hospital...as my friend found out,this is not always the case
 

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I agree with your statement re: we must pay.....but many Canadians think Mexico hospital care is significantly cheaper than care in Canada and expect that their provincial provider(eg.OHIP) will reimburse for the total costs involved for a stay in a Mexican hospital...as my friend found out,this is not always the case
A quick look at any Expat message board confirms that healthcare is easily the most baffling issue faced by anyone wanting to travel or reside, full or part time, in another country.

Why it should take a Philadelphia lawyer to answer the simplest questions is beyond me.

As a resident of British Columbia, I am covered by BC Medicare for up to 180 days out of province, which corresponds nicely with the 180 day Mexican tourist card.

Essentially, BC says that it will pay all the same medical costs for out of province/out of country treatments as it would pay if the services had been provided in BC.

Since medical costs in Mexico are, in most cases, apparently substantially cheaper than they are in Canada, one would expect, then, that BC would cover virtually all the "normal" medical expenses one might incurr in Mexico.

Then you receive information such as Mr. Chips has provided....and you don't know where you are as far as coverage is concerned.

Several years ago, a friend with COPD who was spending the winter in Los Cabos required oxygen. The cost was several TIMES higher than it would have been in BC. So high, in fact, that she was medivac'd home to BC, accompanied by a nurse, at tremendous expense. That's why I asked if there are two prices for private medical care in Mexico....the Mexican price and the ****** price.
 

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Prices for medical care are totally dependent upon the quality of services you require. There are 'medicos' and hospitals in many different price ranges, from small clinics or hospitals with only a few rooms, to marble palaces where your meals are delivered by two waiters in tuxedos and the rooms, all private, are huge and the PR folks bring you a DVD library. The latter will accept your credit card, while the former will want cash.
 

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Further to what RVGringo says, you could think of health care facilities something like hotels. The most luxurious ones are like five-star hotels, and charge prices accordingly whether you are Mexican or foreign. There are a full range of facilities down through mid-range and to basic. I won’t rule out the possiblity that occasionally foreigners might be subject to a “foreigner surcharge” in either a hotel or a health facility, but more likely the variation in prices is because of the variation in what what you are getting.
 

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Visitors should also note that both Hotels and Hospitals must post their prices at the reception areas. Sometimes, they are hard to find, but you can always ask and the list will be provided. Mexico also respects its elders and we are often given 'senior discounts' without even asking, or having to present an INAPAM card to prove our 'tercer edad' (over 60) status.
 
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I have lived here in Querétaro state for a few years, and in Latin America for the past 15 years. I have used the local hospital for treatment and surgery with 4 doctors attending. (Orthopedic surgeon, a GP who did the drilling :), the anesthesiologist and the radiologist). The cost for everything - doctors, surgery, 5 days in the clínica and including 4 months of follow-ups was about US$3600.

The primary doctor was an orthopedic surgeon who spends two weeks each year in Cuba for additional training, and he has about 25 years experience. And an unhurried, pleasant bedside manner. I would put him up against any other orthopedic surgeon/doctor in North America.

This clínica would compare to a 3 star hotel, with only 6 private patient rooms and a couple of wards, and hospital costs run less than US$90 a day for a large private room. It was spotless, quiet and plenty of nurses.

I also had a tumor removed (internally) from my arm in outpatient-type surgery by a specialist at Clinica Angeles in Querétaro. The total cost for this was about US$300.

Normal doctor appointments run about MX$400, or MX$600-$700 for a specialist in Querétaro. Biggest difference - I rarely have to wait more than 5 minutes to go in to see the doctor.

I may live in a sheltered place, because I NEVER encounter ****** prices locally. Then again, there are very few gringos in my area and I am fluent in Spanish.

I priced an international medical policy, and my cost would have been more than US$9000 a year. It will be many years before I am eligible for Medicare. I do maintain a major medical policy in the US with a high deductible in case of something huge, like cancer or a heart transplant, but nothing more. Out of pocket for the routine medical things here seems to be much cheaper than insurance for me. Not to mention, no endless telephone calls, documentation, translations, and the normal insurance company runarounds.
 

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I have lived here in Querétaro state for a few years, and in Latin America for the past 15 years. I have used the local hospital for treatment and surgery with 4 doctors attending. (Orthopedic surgeon, a GP who did the drilling :), the anesthesiologist and the radiologist). The cost for everything - doctors, surgery, 5 days in the clínica and including 4 months of follow-ups was about US$3600.................I also had a tumor removed (internally) from my arm in outpatient-type surgery by a specialist at Clinica Angeles in Querétaro. The total cost for this was about US$300.....Normal doctor appointments run about MX$400, or MX$600-$700 for a specialist in Querétaro......
I priced an international medical policy, and my cost would have been more than US$9000 a year. It will be many years before I am eligible for Medicare. I do maintain a major medical policy in the US with a high deductible in case of something huge, like cancer or a heart transplant, but nothing more. Out of pocket for the routine medical things here seems to be much cheaper than insurance for me. Not to mention, no endless telephone calls, documentation, translations, and the normal insurance company runarounds.
There's a story in today's paper here in Vernon, British Columbia about a 72 year old woman visiting from the US who had fainted, and was admitted to the emergency dept of our local hospital. She was kept overnight for observation. Fortunately, tests showed no particular problems. She was released after a total stay of 10 hours.
She has been billed $3565 for the emergency visit, standard ward rate and tests, and an additional $320 charge from the physician who saw her. That's approx. $3500 US. She has no out-of-the-US health insurance and is on a fixed income.

For Canadians, of course, her entire experience would have cost nothing.

This whole subject of medical costs, insurance, etc scares the heck out of me. The condo complex we live in is mostly seniors. Many of them, in the early years of their retirement, spent parts of the winter in Arizona or California.....something they've looked forward to for years. As they reach their mid-60's and older, however, most of them stop going to the States because of the prohibitive medical costs or outrageous insurance premiums.

We hope to find some way to spend our retirement years in Mexico, but it will only be if we are able to make some sense of the insurance maze so we have some assurance that medical costs will not bankrupt us.
 

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Welcome. Medical treatment may be less expensive in Mexico, but it isn't cheap. Last Thursday, my wife had a tumor removed from her right index finger. It was an oupatient procedure but it did require general anesthesia and a hospital room for the day. The surgeon's fee was 13,000 pesos and the hospital fees were 6500 pesos; for a total of 19,500 pesos or about $1500 USD. Yes, we do have IMSS but prefer to use private physicians and hospitals for everything that we can possibly afford.
However, I do recommend that you purchase IMSS in the event of a catastrophic accident or illness which would 'break the bank'. Many say, "Oh, I would just go to the USA and use Medicare." Well, getting a medical evacuation by air is really expensive and in bad situations, you probably won't be transportable for a while. Air evacuation insurance is available but the fine print usually excludes such evacuation if suitable medical treatment is available. Since Mexico does have excellent facilities in the major cities, one isn't likely to be evacuated.
So, the bottom line is that you should cover yourself for serious medical situations by private insurance, if you are young enough and can afford it, or through IMSS membership.
I am VP Latin America for the SkyMed emergency air evacuation membership program. Even if suitable medical treatment is available in Mexico, we will still transport you home in an air ambulance. and we take you ALL the way home, wherever you choose in the US or Canada. contact me if you would like more information. cathie
 

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How would you handle a US or Canadian citizen who lives in Mexico on an FM3 visa and has nothing more than a mail forwarding address in his home country? Would you fly them to destination of choice?
 

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How would you handle a US or Canadian citizen who lives in Mexico on an FM3 visa and has nothing more than a mail forwarding address in his home country? Would you fly them to destination of choice?
Absolutely, you choose. We have a special program for Mexico residents that even eliminates the "100 miles from home" requirement on our traditional membership. We cover you from your home in Mexico to whatever destination you have chosen on your application. This program is called NATO, the north american transport program. If you decide to change destinations later, you can, with 30 days written notice. And we have a special program for US veterans who are covered by the VA; you can choose any city you want but in case that VA hospital has no rooms, we will search all the VA hospitals in the US until we find one that has a room for you and we will take you there.
 

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Great. That information may be useful for some folks and I trust they'll seek you out through normal means. With that, I'll have to end this discussion before it becomes real advertising.
You might want to consider a Premium Membership, so that you could advertise openly.
Thanks.
 

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Great. That information may be useful for some folks and I trust they'll seek you out through normal means. With that, I'll have to end this discussion before it becomes real advertising.
You might want to consider a Premium Membership, so that you could advertise openly.
Thanks.
Thank you! i will check that out right now!
 
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