Healthcare is among the top concerns of those considering a move here, or to any foreign country. Fortunately, Mexico has excellent, world class medical care at a fraction of the costs of the United States and Canada. Guadalajara, just an hour away, has world-class hospitals and medical schools, which produce many of the primary care doctors and other specialists who practice in the Lakeside area. There are also a variety of health insurance plans from which to choose – all of which are significantly less than plans in either the U.S. or Canada.
Local Medical Centers
There are a few hospitals and comprehensive medical clinics in the immediate area, all of which have bi-lingual doctors on staff. In emergencies, ambulance service is available from these clinics locally or to large modern medical centers in Guadalajara. Medical air evacuation services are available to the United States as well.
- Hospital Ajijic at Carretera 33 in Ajijic has doctors and nurses on call 24/7. Services are available by both walk-in and appointment. General medicine, ultrasound, gynecological, laparoscopy, lab tests, dental care and a variety of surgical procedures. Telephones: 376-766-0662, 376-766-0500, cell: 333-584-2044 and for 24 hour emergency, 376-766-1499.
- Clínica Maskaras. Headed by Dr. Ramon Garcia, the clinic offers a number of specialists. Hidalgo 79-G, Riberas del Pilar. Phone: 376-765–4805. http://www.maskarasclinic.com/
- Maria Auxiliadora Hospital, Morelos 149, La Purísima y La Calabaza, Jocotepec. A full-service hospital located along the main Carretera on the way into Jocotepec. The facility offers, a diabetic foot clinic, Pediatrics, gynecology and obstetrics, traumatology and orthopedics, cardiology and thoracic surgery, urology, general and laparoscopic surgery, anesthesiology, gastroenterology, radiology and more. It is open 365 days and 24/7. Phone: 843-671-0185 or 333-671-0184. https://hospitalmariaauxiliadora.com.mx/
- Ribera Medical Center: under construction. This new 30,000 square meter, full-offering hospital will provide the same quality of services and staff as that of the facility’s sister – the Vallarta Medical Center in Puerto Vallarta. This will be a private facility, with services not covered by IMSS or Seguro Popular insurance plans.The Red Cross, 376-765-2277, which is located on Calle Gonzales Gallo in Chapala, responds to all traffic accident injuries. The services are at no charge, even if an ambulance has to take you into one of the Guadalajara hospitals. Donations to the Red Cross are always appreciated.
Health Insurance Plans
There are two types of public health care coverage in Mexico.
- The first and most common is the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), which is provided when you’re employed full time with a Mexican company or private employer, regardless of your nationality. If you don’t meet that criteria, you can pay into the same plan for a pretty modest monthly fee. With IMSS, your first year of coverage will only cover medical attention. As of the second year of coverage, you’ll also be eligible for surgeries, medical supplies, prescription drugs and hospital visits. For those enrolling in IMSS coverage, you can expect a yearly fee of the equivalent of about US$400, which must be renewed annually. Deductibles aren’t paid annually, but rather by diagnosis. For accident-related fees, the deductible is typically US$250. A non-accidental deductible costs on average US$800.You can, however, be denied coverage for certain pre-conditions. Application to the program and subsequent services are provided in Spanish only. If you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll likely need to hire an interpreter or rely on the support of a friend when completing paperwork or receiving treatments.
- The second public type is called Seguro Popular. This service is provided nationally by the Mexican Government to ensure all Mexicans receive healthcare, regardless of their income or employment. Seguro Popular is only applicable to those who aren’t eligible for IMSS or private health insurance. Foreigners who have a resident visa are eligible to apply for this program. The premiums are charged on a sliding scale based on your income and assets. A wide variety of private insurance plans may also be purchased, which can vary in annual premiums from $1,500 to upwards of $5,000 depending on the coverage, deductibles and any pre-existing conditions. There are several very knowledgeable health insurance brokers lakeside who can explain these various plans in detail and help you decide which one might be best for you.