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We're MX Newbies... Appreciate your experience with Best Private Health Insurance, IMSS and Other?

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Post by Jubilacion on Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:30 pm

We're new this month to Lakeside and MX (64 & 61 wife). I just started looking at Private Health Insurance for us, which opened a can of "whoop-a$$"! Your help and experiences would be appreciated. I qualify for Medicare in November so I've got to juggle my Medicare Supplement decision also. Not overwhelmed yet... just under informed.

In addition to Private Insurance its been suggested we sign up for IMSS when we get our resident cards; to consider joining San Antonio Hospital as members; and for natural care health to rub lake crystals on our belly with guava jelly (not really but I'm expecting it!)

Before posting this request for Health Insurance direction, I did search ILC and found the last Health Insurance thread was started in 2012 .... just a bit out of date! So I am hoping for health insurance suggestions with your recent experiences. Thanks in advance.

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:05 pm

Based on your age, Private health care insurance will cost you around 4k to 6k Usd per year ( for both of you) depending on what deductible you choose. It doubles in price when you hit 65. Paying cash for medical treatment has increased tremendously over the past 8 years. Personally I would not want to be hospitalized in the socialized medical system here.

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Post by gringal on Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:26 pm

It is largely going to depend on your current state of health and whether you are in Mexico for the long haul. We dropped our Medicare part B shortly after moving here in 2004 and are way ahead of costs by paying cash for doctor visits and hospitalizations....six of the latter for short stays for surgery over the past 16 years. This does not include the costs we would have incurred just in the process of returning to the U.S. for medical care under Medicare and housing, etc.
Also, many U.S. doctors do not want Medicare patients since it is less profitable.
We signed up for the socialized medicine option, but have never used it.
Others' considerations about this may well be different.

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Post by Carry Bean on Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:29 pm

Talk to Bellon Insurance catty-corner across from Super Lake. Mine didn’t cost as much as said in the previous post but a lot depends on the amount of deductible, preexisting conditions and what hospitals you want to use. Bellon has plans at all price points. I pay for routine stuff and only have insurance for hospitalization.

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:33 pm

What is your deductible for hospitalization?

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Post by Carry Bean on Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:00 pm

The premium this year was 57,479 pesos with deductible of 83,000 at age 75 and I’ve had the same company for 10 years.  He deleted a few of the most expensive hospitals this year like Puerto de Hierro to make the premium a bit better which made no difference to me as there are still plenty of good hospitals allowed.  Been lucky too with the exchange rate which is a lot better than 10 years ago.  Never made a claim but that doesn’t seem to matter.  This doesn’t cover day-to-day stuff.  Met Life.

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:10 pm

Two years ago our premium with VUMI was $3600 USD, with a $250 deductible, for both of us. (55 & 64). My wife turned 65 and the premium shot up to $5000 USD with a $1000 deductible. This year they wanted $5800 USD and I cancelled it. Decided to move back to Canada (socailized medical) instead, assuming we can sell our house. If we can't sell it we will seek out other arrangements probably similar to what you have. "Pay as you play" at the private hospitals has skyrocketed. My friends dad just died of covid in the hospital and the bill was $90,000 USD. Our Canadian dollar sucks right now so it is quite expensive for everything medically related.

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Post by Carry Bean on Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:24 pm

Yes, the hospitals have gone up a lot.  I shudder to think what Puerto de Hierro costs now.  I’m nervous about no coverage at all.  There was no point in me getting Medicare supplements as I have no doctor up there and no place to go if I had to use it but I knew I was here for the duration.

I opened a file at Seguro Popular right before the changes took place figuring I might be grandfathered in if they cut off legal residents if my regular premiums get too huge for me but hope I never have to use it as my Spanish is so bad and I’m spoiled enough I don’t relish the idea of being in a ward.  Nice that it’s available though and gracious of Mexico to include us.

I have been lucky that the dollar seemed to get stronger just as I hit milestone ages like 70 so the jumps in premiums weren’t too painful.  Of course that can change too.  Bellon does have all kinds of policies available even for folks older than I am.  One thing for sure, I will never have a Go Fund Me for any medical bills.  I would be horrified if someone did that for me.  I’d rather die, in fact I know of a local Kevorkian should the need arise if I can silence those years of Catholic catechism.

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Post by Jubilacion on Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:26 am

The first quotes I received (from Bellon) were almost exactly what CanuckBob tossed out. I'm very glad I began to ask you all for help. Their first quotes from GNP were premiums of $4,946 to $6,125 year USD with deductibles of $1,400 to $2,200 receptively. I'll take questions back to Bellon from Carry Bean and Gringal and ask about Hospitalization coverage for catastrophic and consider taking care of the routine and emergencies in cash.

Do you know anyone who has become a "Member" at San Antonio Hospital? Any other ideas suggestions from IL viewers would be appreciated.

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Post by CanuckBob on Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:51 am

And they go up substantially when you turn 65. The SAT package doesn't offer much.

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Post by CHILLIN on Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:45 pm

The public hospitals have been all lumped together, and the Presidente has sort of kicked the can down the road for now. The public hospitals can be very good, it depends on what you are used to and how much Spanish you have struggled to learn. I don' t mind wards, that is what I was used to in Canada and one very short experience in the U.K. People are funny in their choices, for example many can't imagine wearing pre owned clothing. I have no problem with it. If you can afford it, and are in good health, try to stick with Mexican based insurers. Most of the Mexican insurers are targetting up and coming middle class families. They are playing the long game. To try to jump aboard at this late stage is not what they imagined. The Mexican companies are constrained by laws too. A popular low cost U.S. insurer popular at Lakeside, called WEA, was recently purchased by another insurer, who then gave 1 months notice that they will no longer issue or support individual or group memberships. This would be illegal in Mexico.
Some of the huge, public hospitals in Guadalajara, such as civil, are undergoing major renovations. Then there is the general hospitals, which today are forced to ask for a sort of co pay for many procedures. They are still far less cost than the private hospitals which seem to charge the same as US rates these days. Also, remember you can negoiate doctor and hospital fees. If you have time that is. That is the scary part. As in the U.S. you can wake up thankfully alive - but now bankrupt.


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Post by CHILLIN on Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:40 pm

GNP is considered to be one of the best Mexican companies. We were on for one year, promised that increases would be limited to cost of medical inflation, typically 3 to 4 percent. It turned out to be 18%. At that rate the cost would be double by age 65. We cancelled. Wife has Best Doctors catatropic, but I am none too confident that they would every pay out. I am OK with public. You have to learn the ropes and a lot of time patiently waiting for anything. The public health system is much more cautious when it comes to surgical procedures. The private surgeons and hospitals are much more of the slash and dash profit mentality. The specialists are always finding a flavor of the month disorder which requires immediate treatment. One year it is gall bladders, the next it is cataracts.
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Post by CanuckBob on Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:45 pm

Have you been hospitalized in the public system or experienced any emergency mishaps?

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Post by CHILLIN on Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:00 pm

yes, have spent 18 weeks, or more, hospital care in General Hospital Occidente this year. Beginnings of congestive heart failure ( reversed in time), two kidney stones, and two heavy IV antibiotic treatments for UTI E.Coli. Have seen so many things there, mostly good, and more entertaining than cable tv. Lying in a private room, watching TV in a language you don' t fully understand, would be my idea of hell on Earth. Watching Mexicans treat their family members with unlimited love and kindness - priceless.
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Post by CanuckBob on Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:10 pm

Well you are a braver man than me.......our ideas of hell on earth differ.....lol. What is your situation with the new combined system?

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Post by gringal on Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:34 am

"The private surgeons and hospitals are much more of the slash and dash profit mentality. The specialists are always finding a flavor of the month disorder which requires immediate treatment. One year it is gall bladders, the next it is cataracts."(Chillin)

Grossly unfair assessment of the local docs, IMO. I have had (unfortunately) many opportunities to see docs in my 16 years here, and have encountered very few with that mentality. One visit was enough in those cases. Most doctors here are much more "human" than those I encountered in the U.S. and don't prescribe unnecessary procedures or medications.

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Post by CHILLIN on Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:57 am

I haven't needed hospital service since AMLO. It is just as well, all hospitals are supposed to be closed right now for emergencies only. The emergency room and staff at Occidente are excellent. They actually have another one in the newly built expansion, including a heliport which is kept busy with mostly Federale birds, and the occasional air ambulance. I don't know why Federales use this hospital so much - possibly enhanced security in the new wing? They can provide care to the ICU level and 24 hour surgeons.
We have had bad experiences with local doctors (Dra. L's Clinica) before Quality Care came to town. The best specialists, recognised by their peers as top of their field, are of course located in Guadalajara, CDMX and Morelia. They couldn't afford to specialise here.
By the way, Quality Care is moving to a new location beside San Antonio Hospital. I don't know when, but it will be soon.
I have also heard that the Military hospital in Guadalajara and the Naval hospital in Puerto Vallarta offer excellent care at a very good price for civilians.
Hope this helps.
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Post by gringal on Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:00 pm

A little fact checking:
" The best specialists, recognised by their peers as top of their field, are of course located in Guadalajara, CDMX and Morelia. They couldn't afford to specialise here." (Chillin)

Most of the top specialists at Quality Care and elsewhere are based in Guadalajara and use the offices locally on specific days of the week.

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Post by Jubilacion on Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:03 am

Just want to thank everyone for their opinions and suggestions on Healthcare. A lot of good info was shared and I hope others thought it was helpful too! At least I have an idea of new questions to ask how to proceed. Gracias, mi amigos!

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Post by CanuckBob on Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:31 am

Private catastrophic insurance is the way to go. Want to avoid those 10K plus bills. Day to day stuff just pay as you play IMO.

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Post by Jreboll on Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:01 pm

Is catastrophic insurance valid in any country you’re at?

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Post by CanuckBob on Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:09 pm

Well I would get every country except the USA. Adding the USA will add 40% or more to the premium.

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Post by Jreboll on Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:21 pm

Any idea how much for a couple in their early 70s? Mexico only.

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Post by CanuckBob on Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:02 pm

Probably about $8000USD with a $5000USD deductible. No coverage for pre existing conditions. And of course it will increase every year.

I knew a couple in their mid 80's looking for coverage and it was 30K per year with a 10K deductible.


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Post by gringal on Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:12 pm

Unless there's a very good reason for it, such folks would be better off paying out of pocket.

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