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Health Care – Mexico vs U.S.A.

Here’s what the new U.S. health care “reform” bill has in store for Americans:

  • A 50% increase in the cost of a premium for a pre-existing condition.
  • No public option where everybody would get it free, like in some other countries.
  • No Medicare buy-in where 55-plus people can pay to get Medicare.
  • Compulsory health insurance for everybody, like car insurance.
  • Fines and potential jail time for failure to sign up with a health insurance company.
  • Hundreds of millions in payoffs to Senators to get them to vote for the bill.
Free health care clinic (for a day) in Inglewood, California

Free health care clinic (for a day) in Inglewood, California

That doesn’t sound great to me, at all.

I sure hope the compulsory part of the bill doesn’t apply to Americans living in Mexico.

If Jim and I had to pay U.S. health insurance premiums we would go broke, and so would a lot of folks.

In Mexico, the health insurance system is much better, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what CBS News has to say:

Some Senior Citizens are Finding Sunshine and Affordable Health Insurance in Mexico

(CBS)  For American retirees the Pacific coast town of Manzanillo, Mexico is paradise. The weather is always warm. Every home has a view, without a million dollar price tag. And a doctor’s visit doesn’t cost a penny out of pocket.

CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports Billy and Sandi Hunter retired to their dream home in Manzanillo. Then they learned they hit the healthcare jackpot: full medical, dental and vision coverage for $600 a year.

“It was a great deal, and the care is good,” Billy said.

The Hunters bought into the Mexican Social Security Institute, or IMSS – a government-run health care plan for Mexican employees but open to legal foreigners.

“When we leave our doctor’s office, if we have a prescription we go pick it up,” Sandi said. “No charge, so we like it.”

There are no limits, no deductibles and no co-pays. Even pre-existing conditions are covered after the first one to two years.

Doctor Ivan Ocadiz is a doctor in Manzanillo’s IMSS hospital. He said the number of patients from the U.S. increases month by month.

The hospital is new, but without the comforts of a U.S. facility: few private rooms, extras like blankets are brought from home, and families are expected to help feed and bathe patients. But when it comes to diagnosis and treatment, Americans here say it’s just as good, sometimes better than the U.S.

Craig McDole was taking more than a dozen pills prescribed in the U.S. when he collapsed on a tennis court in Mexico. He went to an IMSS hospital.

“When my internist there saw what I was taking, he went nuts. What do they have you on all this medicine for?” he said.

McDole’s feeling well now. Dr. Ocadiz said, “he’s perfect.”

But the system isn’t perfect: long lines, waiting lists, not enough doctors or in some cases, not enough medications.

IMSS is designed for Mexican workers who’ve been paying into the system for decades and it’s already financially strained. Some worry a flood of American retirees could bankrupt it. The Hunters would like to see their own government come up with an alternative.

“I wish they could stop arguing and find a way to help as many people as are helped here,” Sandi said. “This is simple. It’s not perfect, but a lot of people get good care.”

Without it, the Hunters would struggle to afford paradise in their golden years.

Lady dumped on Los Angeles skid row by U.S. hospital

Lady dumped on Los Angeles skid row by U.S. hospital

Mexican health insurance is a whole lot better than what you get in the U.S.

OK, what if you live in Mexico and have no health insurance, like us?

Well, here’s an article from International Living on the subject.

(By the way, you can check all my quotes by clicking on the blue links.)

Health Care in Mexico-High Quality, Low Cost

By Glynna Prentice

When I decided to move overseas, I made sure I would have access to excellent, affordable health care. After all, I only wanted to downsize my expenses-not lower my quality of life.

That’s why I picked Mexico. I’d heard that Mexico’s medical professionals and hospitals are first-rate, while the cost is only a fraction of what you’d pay in the U.S. I’ve lived in Mexico nearly three years now, and so far I’ve never been disappointed. My own medical care has been all that I’d hoped. Other expats I’ve spoken with report the same thing.

My first experience with Mexican health care was pretty minor. I cut my thumb while slicing vegetables, and needed stitches. At the clinic I was moved to the head of the line-I saw a doctor right away. The stitches weren’t the dissolvable kind that I was used to in the States, but otherwise the prep and treatment were similar. The other difference was the fee: less than $5. In the U.S., I probably would have had to add a couple of zeroes to that bill.

As I say, a few stitches are pretty minor. But low fees are the rule here rather than the exception. Most specialists, for instance, charge between 350 and 500 pesos ($27 to $38) for a consultation. I pay 400 pesos (about $31) to see an internist. A local gynecologist here in Campeche-whose lab equipment is cutting-edge-charges 350 pesos for a consultation, and 500 to 700 pesos ($38 to $55) for an ultrasound. The gynecologist takes her time with patients, too-no rushing.

Dental work is also cheaper. I lost part of a back tooth some months back, and the dentist said I’d need more than a filling to repair it. He took a mold of the tooth and had his lab create a replacement for the missing section. I returned the next week for a fitting. The entire cost-for both visits, the mold, and the fitting-was less than $100.

Well, there you go. Even without health insurance, Mexico has better and more affordable health care.

With or without health insurance, Mexico wins.

No wonder so many retirees and other Americans are moving to Mexico! It’s such a shame when patriotic Americans, like Jim and me, can’t afford to live in our own country!

There’s no way people like us, with modest means, could survive with the U.S. health care system.

We could easily wind up on the sidewalk like that poor woman on LA’s skid row…and so could you!

Visit Los Algodones, Mexico and Save up to 70% on your dental care.  Get your Free Quote!

1 comment to Health Care – Mexico vs U.S.A.

  • Thank you for this post! You know medicine in some countries in the Eastern Europe is FREE.. I mean all state medical centers, not private. And national politic on health care is based on creating special conditions for health care improving, responsibility of people for their health, prophylaxis and availability of health care, priority to kids & moms, good coordination between the departments of the government in this field and so on.. So the problem of medical services costs is not actual for such countries. What do you think about it?

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