If a tattoo isn’t a pre-existing condition, I don’t know what is. Removal is most certainly not covered by insurance in the U.S., though by the looks of some we’d really rather you invested in the surgery. In Mexico, however battered their health system, you can get yours removed GRATIS. That’s right: if you have Lupita la Guerrillera tattooed on your forearm or a nice Speedy González on your ankle and feel it might preclude you from that 9-to-5 you were hankering for, no worries. Head on over to your local IMSS clinic (if you’re a Mexican) and they can remove in one of three ways: chemically (ouch), with surgery (ouch) or via laser (ouch again).
Obviously it’s going to hurt and probably more than when you got it, but compared to the hundreds or even thousands of U.S. dollars it takes to have one removed stateside, hey, it’s pretty painless. And with the need for at least a half-dozen treatments to get the darn thing off, the costs (and that pesky pain) can add up pretty quickly.
By the way, retirees living in Mexico often have access to IMSS, so this shout out goes to the ladies who got a little racy 20 years ago and would now rather be considered demure, and to those gents who now realize those way-cool tribal tatts don’t really work when your muscles aren’t quite what they used to be.
Personally, I got mine where I can hide ’em. Saves on pain, money and general discomfiture amongst the younger population.