by David Simmonds
For your next trip to Mexico you might want to consider Travel Health Insurance, although I never have. As I get older I may consider it, but for now I’m in pretty good health and a bit of a risk-taker (my wife would define that as stupid). A good, legitimate insurance policy can be purchased for a reasonable price and may include evacuation services in case of an emergency situation (no, a severe hangover will not qualify). For further information you can check in your favorite search engine and you will find 10 or 15 companies where you can comparison shop for rates and benefits.
Some foreigners who live in Mexico on a small budget buy into the government program IMSS, or Instituto Mexcicano del Seguro Social. I have found a very helpful and informative web page that gives you a complete description on how it operates and why it makes sense for many expats:http://www.mazinfo.com/infofiles/IMSS.htm.
As you will see, a person between 40 – 59 years old can purchase a policy for about $175.00 per year and over 60 for about $250 per year. You probably wouldn’t want to use it for something major, but if it is all you can afford it does offer you a chance to save your life. Many expats enroll in IMSS and then use local, private doctors when the situation calls for it. Private doctor’s fees and services are a fraction of the cost as is in the U.S., with a typical doctor’s visit running around $20.00 US. I have heard a few accounts where the care wasn’t so good, but for the most part a local doctor in a tourist area or a large city will take care of your problem in a competent and friendly manner.