Is Foreign Health Insurance Accepted in Puerto Vallarta?
One of the primary concerns when on vacation or traveling abroad is usually healthcare. Fortunately you will find that in general healthcare in Mexico is very good…and in most places it´s excellent. Many doctors and dentists in Mexico have received at least part of their training in the U.S. (and many U.S. doctors have trained in Mexico, notably in Guadalajara.) And even then many continue to go to the U.S. or Europe for ongoing training.
Every medium to large city in Mexico has at least one first-rate hospital, and Puerto Vallarta is no exception with five of them, located in several areas along Bahia de Banderas. A big plus is that the cost of healthcare in Mexico is generally half or less of what you might expect to pay in the U.S. for the same medical procedures, including plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery and dental care. The same goes for prescription drugs. Prescription drugs manufactured in Mexico cost on average about 50% less than the in the U.S. With this in mind, it’s not surprising to know that the number of patients who come from the U.S and Canada to get their medical procedures done in Puerto Vallarta is growing every year.
Yet when it comes to paying, are credit cards accepted? Foreign cards too? How about health insurance?
Foreign Health Insurance in Puerto Vallarta
Generally speaking foreign health insurance is accepted in Puerto Vallarta- but not everywhere. All first class hospitals, dental clinics and healthcare specialists (plastic surgeons, orthopedic doctors) do accept foreign health insurance and many even have pre-approved plans with some of the largest insurance providers. This means that if you have an emergency that needs to be taken care of immediately you’ll probably be covered.
If on the other hand, you’re planning a medical procedure that you want to have taken care of in Puerto Vallarta but billed to your insurance provider we recommend you speak with your local doctor to make sure all requirements and paperwork needed are arranged in advance. Health insurance plans may include valuable medical expense coverage, trip interruption, medical emergency assistance, treatment services and more, but will depend on the company and level of insurance policy you have.
What Medical Insurance Plans Are Available?
Short Term International Health Plans
These insurance plans can cover a person for up to three years outside their home country. If you live outside the U.S or Canada permanently or for the majority of the year, see International Major Medical Plans below.
International Major Medical Plans
These insurance plans can cover a person for lifetime. If he or she is living in Puerto Vallarta and visits their home country, the policies are renewable. These plans and the short-term plans cover costs of hospital and doctors, medicine, local and air ambulance, reunion of family members, and offer 24-hour-a-day, seven days a week support. There are more benefits than what we mention here.
How to Proceed If You Needed Medical Treatment While in Puerto Vallarta
In order to get reimbursed by your health care provider you’ll need to file a claim and include an itemized receipt from the hospital. The process can take weeks, sometimes months. The expenses covered will be on par with how your policy works in the U.S. or Canada, meaning that if you normally have a $50 co-pay for emergency-room visits, your health insurer will subtract $50 from its reimbursement check.
Medicare and Medicaid
If your only source of coverage is Medicare or Medicaid, you effectively have no health insurance outside the U.S. Medicaid pays only for services in the 50 states, Washington, D.C, and U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico. Medicare is nearly as strict, though it provides coverage in Canada and Mexico when an emergency occurs in the U.S. but the nearest hospital is over the border. You’re also covered if you’re hurt or fall ill in Canada while on a direct route to Alaska or if you’re in a cruise ship and less than six hours away from the US.
TALK TO US!
We’ve been helping hundreds of patients during the past few years get top medical care in Puerto Vallarta, and many have used their insurance from the US. Let us help you plan your procedure, speak with the doctor, and arrange all the paperwork needed for you to benefit from your health insurance if you have it. We can also help you if you don’t have insurance- some hospitals offer temporary insurance for medical procedures that will take place in their facilities.