Medical care in Puerto Vallarta, where most doctors speak English, is probably the same and better, much faster to receive (especially for Canadians) and cheaper than in your hometown of the north.
7 Modern Hospitals in Puerto Vallarta
In the Puerto Vallarta area, there are 7 modern and fully equipped hospitals and many more excellent health care centers of all kinds, so finding what you need will never be a problem. These modern hospitals and support facilities in Puerto Vallarta have excellent doctors/ specialists who speak English, use the latest laboratory technology and X-rays, have a staff that speaks primarily English and hospitals will accept some health insurance issued in the US.
International Health Insurance
Now there are a large number of expats living in Vallarta with many more in the process of moving or thinking of moving to Vallarta. Some live here full time and others live part-time. Some are of Medicare retirement age and others are younger. Some are from the United States and others from Canada and other countries. Some are in good health and others have chronic health problems, so there is a need for a wide variety of international health insurance options.
Fortunately, There Is!
Since there is such a wide variety of options, we can not present in detail in this publication all the details and variations because they are personal. However, what we can do here is give the following introduction to the type of programs available. We are not in the health insurance business, but we can recommend reputable insurance professionals who can answer all your questions and offer coverage options.
- International health insurance: Several insurance companies provide a wide range of health coverage for when you are outside of your country of origin.
- Travel medical insurance: The policies are adapted to short international trips and there is no subscription to these policies, although the pre-existing conditions may be relevant in case of a claim.
- Medical evacuation insurance: This coverage provides air ambulance service. Some will take you to the city of your choice, others to the nearest city for your type of attention.
- Travel cancellation insurance: Depending on the policy, you can recover the cost of your unused flight, unused hotel costs and a certain amount of emergency medical treatment.
- Since there are so many international health insurance options, it’s important to work with a knowledgeable person so that you can buy the right policy for you. We can direct you to a competent and professional agent for Vallarta if you request it.
- Insurance is generally not accepted for outpatient services, such as doctor’s appointments, X-rays, laboratory tests, etc.
- When admitted to any hospital, the hospital will require a deposit with a credit card in an amount of between 10,000 and 50,000 pesos, depending on the situation. You can request that the deposit not be executed but retained until more information is known about the insurance, the condition, the expected treatment costs, etc.
- If you have health insurance for Mexico, you must notify the hospital at the time of admission and request to contact the insurance company immediately to obtain a prior certification of coverage to demonstrate that the procedure such as surgery, MRI, etc. is a medical necessity. This starts the process by which the hospital will contact the insurance company to obtain a guarantee of payment, fewer deductibles or items not covered so that you can know the charge of your credit card. In addition, you or a representative should contact your insurance company immediately if you are hospitalized.
Medical Coverage outside the US is Limited
In general, the medical care you receive while traveling outside of the United States is not covered by regular Medicare. However, Medicare Plan F covers costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B, including reimbursement of international medical expenses required up to 60 days after leaving the US. You pay the portion of the charge you would normally pay for covered services. This includes any necessary medical and ambulance service that you receive in a foreign country as part of a covered hospitalization for inpatients. It also pays the coinsurance, copays, and deductibles you would normally pay if you had these same services or supplies in the United States.
Because Medicare has very limited coverage outside the US you can choose to buy travel insurance or an international health insurance policy. If you have a policy of this type, you should check with your insurance provider to see what is covered.
Mexican National Health Insurance IMSS
The Federal Government of Mexico provides medical
care to its citizens as guaranteed by its Constitution.
In addition, the Mexican government, through the
Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), offers affordable health insurance for all Mexican residents regardless of their nationality if they qualify and are willing to pay the fee. The IMSS is what ordinary health care employers buy for their workers while they have private insurance for themselves and their families.
The IMSS insurance is cheap, around $700 a year, but, like all government services
everywhere, it is very bureaucratic and long waiting times and limited services are normal.
Also, if you have a pre-existing condition, it will not be approved. Some expatriates have IMSS,
but many still return to the US for Medicare or Veteran’s Medical due to important medical
We have heard good things about the IMSS doctors, who sometimes also practice in private hospitals. But the system has long waiting times, lacks adequate capacity, technology and supplies to meet minimum US standards. So it does not really provide the quality medical care that most expats require.
Everyone was more than satisfied with the results and it was much cheaper than doing it in the states. In addition, they could enjoy a wonderful vacation in PV while they recovered. Dental implants, bridges, etc. They are much less here and there are several highly qualified dentists here. Even continuing education is taught to dentists around the world. Its offices have state-of-the-art equipment. People with older spouses, brothers, etc. They have found wonderful care and care for loved ones here. Some have caregivers 24/7 in their residence and others have placed them in homes that specialize in providing excellent hospice care. All this is a fraction of what the price would be in the United States.
All the large supermarket chains in Mexico have pharmacies in their stores and several even have medical offices attached if you need to see a doctor to get a prescription. Virtually all medications available in the US are also available in Mexico, and mostly at a fraction of the cost. Chains of independent pharmacies such as Farmacia Guadalajara, Ahorro Farmacia and others are everywhere, and many are open 24 hours a day. Your doctor will give you a prescription for everything you prescribe, but only antibiotics require it here. It is very difficult to obtain an opioid-type medication in Mexico because they simply do not use much and only in special situations, apparently not like the United States.