Costa Rica has Medical Insurance
Costa Rican foreigners have access to a variety of insurance plans. Global medical plans offer many benefits. They include access to health care in any country around the globe, including your own country. Access to private healthcare facilities will be easier and quicker. You will have the best possible care and high quality services to pay for your medical costs if you are injured or sick.
The Cigna Global Health Plan, which is an annual renewable plan, provides comprehensive coverage for expatriates in Costa Rica. The plan offers three plans, including one with unlimited coverage. It also covers maternity, doctor office visits and hospitalizations. You can select to include or exclude the US from this plan.
Best Health Insurance for Americans Living in Costa Rica
If you are looking for health care insurance for US citizens living in Costa Rica, the GeoBlue Xplorer Global Plan is a great choice. This premium coverage provides comprehensive benefits and access to the Blue Cross Blue Shield network.
Costa Rica’s Best Student Insurance
There are a variety of coverage options available to international students studying in Costa Rica. For more information, you can read the requirements for travel visa insurance and provide proof of international student insurance. Students studying abroad will find the Tokio Marine HCC Student Secure plan a great choice.
Costa Rica Medical Insurance – A Comprehensive Overview
Even though Costa Rica is small, it has a large number of healthcare providers. Costa Rica’s universal health insurance program routinely ranks among the upper 25% of the world’s top healthcare systems. As well, it’s considered to have the best public health program in all of Latin America. It’s easy to see why Costa Ricans love it. To give you additional security, get insurance in Costa Rica so that you are covered for any medical emergencies.
There are some things you should know when looking into insurance for Costa Rican living.
We get asked often: Is it possible to obtain health insurance in Costa Rica. All foreigners who live in Costa Rica have the option of private medical insurance. It can take up 18 months for residency papers to be processed. Without your papers, you can’t participate in the Costa Rican healthcare system. While you wait, it is important to have your own coverage.
While researching expatriate insurance plans for Costa Rica, you might hear expatriates also speak about health discount plans. Although the terms can sometimes be interchangeable, health insurance plans as well as health discount plans are two completely different things.
Part-time private practice is a common option for many doctors who work in the Costa Rican public health system. Private practice visits are not covered under the public health system. This means that there is a charge for these visits. Patients without private insurance or INS can use a health discount plan to budget for private Costa Rican healthcare.
You can get certain discounted appointments, blood tests and x-rays in return for a monthly subscription. A discount plan is a way for patients to plan their medical expenses, even if they don’t have private insurance.
Costa Rica: How Much Does Health Insurance Cover?
The pricing for international health insurance plans in Costa Rica will vary based on a number of factors – your age, the benefits you select, deductibles, and other lesser factors. Health insurance costs can start at $100 per month, and go up from there. Plans with comprehensive benefits and no deductibles will be more expensive, costing up to $1,000 per calendar month. An international medical insurance policy costs between $200 and $500 per month in Costa Rica, or $3,000 to $6,000.
Examples of costs:
- Costs for a 30-year old living in Costa Rica range from $120 to $887 per month under the Cigna Global plan.
- An IMG Global Medical Insurance plan costs between $93 and $465 per month, including coverage in the USA if desired.
- This pricing includes coverage for the USA, Costa Rica, as well as the rest of the globe.
You will save money by getting coverage in Costa Rica, but not in the USA.
- An IMG Global Medical Plan costs $42 per month for catastrophic coverage, and $374 per monthly if you don’t include medical care in the USA.
If you are eligible for local plans, they will be cheaper. These plans also have a smaller number of hospitals and doctors that you can access. The majority of local plans do not provide benefits beyond Costa Rica.
Overview of Costa Rica’s National Health Care System
Since the 1940s, social security and universal health insurance have been part of Costa Rican society. This system is sometimes called ” La Caja“. This is a short version of the “Caja Costarricensede Seguro Social” (or “CCSS”). Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social funding comes primarily from payroll taxes that are based on income. This is usually between 7% and 11%.
La Caja is not the only option. “INS” is also available. This is short for “Instituto de Seguro Nacional”. It is a private health plan that the Costa Rican government runs. INS coverage covers optometry, dental work, and an annual check-up. It covers visits to private hospitals and clinics. Both systems are supported by ongoing government investments, including new private hospitals and equipment, as well as staff hirings.
The pros and cons of using the local health insurance system
La Caja, Costa Rica’s public health program, is well-respected and popular. The system is well-managed and costs are low. The emphasis is on community wellness and preventative care.
Both Costa Ricans and expatriates alike may choose to mix private and public insurance. Some procedures and treatments may have long wait times in public systems. The good news is that the private and public systems can co-exist. Patients can, for example, have their diagnostic imaging done in a private facility to reduce wait times. For follow-up, the results can be sent to their general practitioner. Private doctors can write prescriptions for La Caja pharmacies, as long as they are covered under the La Caja system. This allows patients to save money.
How Costa Rican Expats Can Qualify for Medical Insurance
All legal citizens as well as those who have residency papers are covered by the Costa Rican public healthcare insurance system. It is important to note that having residency papers does not mean you are simply residing in Costa Rica. To be considered a legal resident under a residency program like rentista or pensionado, you must first be legally present. North American snowbirds who travel south to escape the winter cold may consider themselves part-time residents of the country. They are not eligible for residency, however. They are eligible for limited emergency care at a Costa Rican hospital if they don’t have the financial means.
Participating in the La Caja system, even if you are certain that you will use private insurance throughout your journey, is not an option. All residency applicants must be members of the La Caja System since 2010. This is a good thing. Foreigners have more options and flexibility when they are part of the public system. Public hospital emergency rooms are free of charge. Some private hospitals in Costa Rica require large upfront cash payments to be admitted.
Here’s what you need to know about processes
International citizens all know that paperwork is the first step in any overseas procedure. This means that you must register with the nearest regional government office in Costa Rica. They will need proof of your residency. Then, they’ll direct you to the nearest EBAIS clinic. They will also require you to register with them. They will issue your “carnet” which functions in the same way as an insurance card.
Routine doctor visits: How they work
Many Costa Ricans, as well as long-term residents, don’t need to see a doctor for routine visits. They simply go to the local pharmacy for non-emergency cases. The Costa Rican pharmacist is often called “doctora” and is treated with respect. They can consult with patients and offer recommendations. They can diagnose an underlying condition or recommend non-medication treatment.
Small community clinics, also known as EBAIS are available for non-emergencies and provide everyday medical care. Many EBAIS clinics offer online appointment booking. For those who don’t have an online system, appointments can still be made in the traditional way. It is important to get up at dawn and wait in line.
Costa Rica is one of the few countries where house calls still form a significant part of the healthcare system. EBAIS teams visit different homes in the community to provide medical treatment. These comprehensive visits include everything, from checking the patient’s records for vaccinations to assessing their pets’ health. Costa Rica is all about preventative care!
How to Find a Costa Rican Family Doctor
The doctor will find you in Costa Rica! Based on their geographic location, everyone is assigned to a local clinic. While you will likely see the same doctor for most of your visits, other doctors may sub in from time-to-time.