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Seguro Popular vs IMSS

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Post by Intercasa on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:11 pm

Interestingly the new immigration law prohibits discrimination and treating foreigners differently in health and education matters.

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Post by hound dog on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:35 pm

Intercasa wrote:Interestingly the new immigration law prohibits discrimination and treating foreigners differently in health and education matters.


What I find even more interestlng is that in Chiapas, where we live about six months out of every year, the indigenous, mostly Maya, population which constitutes about 40% of the people living there, are treated far worse than any foreigner could ever imagine. I guess they are not covered under immigration law as they were here for milllenia before even the Spanish arrived some 500 plus years ago. These are the sick, unbelievably poor people waiting for a hospital bed at Seguro Popular in San Cristóbal or Tuxtla Gutierrez or Tapachula behind this foreigner with financial resources beyond their imaginations taking up a bed and/or doctors time and they don´t even know that she heads back to her foreign community to boast about her accomplishments at milking the system to her benefit.

Disgusting.
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Post by coffeeguy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:53 pm

It's an interesting issue. I certainly didn't like the "free healthcare" lady's attitude, but OTOH as Spencer points out the law prohibits treating foreigners differently and the Mexican government has itself (from time to time) touted cheaper health care and paying into IMSS as lures for expat retirees.

It would be great to see a clear and coherent national strategy about IMSS and SP for foreigners that represents some sort of "win-win" for all, perhaps with foreigners paying in at a higher rate for a much more limited set of services? I would think many expats would be happy to be excluded from routine care (paying for that out of pocket) and would only hope to have access to hospitals for more serious conditions, paying rates that subsidize care for Mexicans while still being cheaper than NOB.

It's only a 2 min. video and a pretty lame one, but it does point to how much options, care and facilities vary from state to state within Mexico.

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Post by Trailrunner on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:03 pm

Wow. I'd say that video is the healthcare equivalent of the AARP article on Lake Chapala area in 2005. Woe is us. Again.

Linda Rose used to live here and only moved to SMA a few months ago. At first I was a bit miffed by Dawg's post but now that I've seen the video - aiyiyiyi.

The bottom line is, go back and read what Dr. Sam said about SP in emergencies! It leaves a lot to be desired! YOu really do get what you pay for.
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Post by Rolly on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:18 pm

hound dog wrote:
Intercasa wrote:Interestingly the new immigration law prohibits discrimination and treating foreigners differently in health and education matters.


...Disgusting.
Disgusting indeed!

When I was dealing with a dislocatesd shoulder, my doctor refereed me to a trauma specialist whom I could see at his private practice or see for free at Sergio Popular. Because of SP's odd qualification requirements, I am eligible to join at no cost. I saw the specialist at his office. I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of taking resources at SP when I could afford to pay my own way.

Several years ago, I had a very large bill at the lab for various tests. I was told that I qualified for a 50% discount. Fine. Only later did I learn that the 50% would be paid by a Catholic charities group. I was very unhappy about that. Why should I be feeding at the trough meant for the truly needy?

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Post by gringal on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:41 pm

I completely agree that the "whee, it's free" video reveals a disgusting attitude, akin to sitting down for a free meal at a soup kitchen meant to feed the poor.


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Post by hound dog on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:14 pm

[quote="coffeeguy"]It's an interesting issue. I certainly didn't like the "free healthcare" lady's attitude, but OTOH as Spencer points out the law prohibits treating foreigners differently and the Mexican government has itself (from time to time) touted cheaper health care and paying into IMSS as lures for expat retirees.

The law in Mexico prohibits treating foreigners differently, eh? Well, Dawg is 70 years old and a permanent resident of Mexico since 2001 and, in Chiapas I receive, without any objection at all, a 50% discount on my property taxes and water bill and would on my car if it were registered in Chiapas and not Jalisco. In Chapala, they steadfastly and absolutely refuse to give foreigners the required discounts on property taxes and other obligations of the state and municipality despite the enduring obligations they have to grant these discounts for all old people meeting the discount criteria as do I in spades. Don´t talk to me about self-righteous proclamations that all are treated equally. I can afford to pay my full property tax and utility bills but don´t blow bullshit smoke in my direction and expect me to thank you for trying to cloud my vision.

This IMSS and Seguro Popular subsidies for FM-3 style extended tourists coming down here to exploit the locals like vultures to a corpse will soon be gone with the wind as they should be. Imagine going to IMSS or Seguro Popular for your free medicines or medical treatment you could easily afford even on a social security monthly benefit that, alone is beyond the imagination of your Mexican compatriates. Utterly disgraceful - not that you are allowed to do so but that you do do so.

Read that aljazeera link posted earlier on this thread and if you are not nauseated by this disgusting woman featured there braggin about the way she has exploited this country, you may need to rethink your values.
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Post by coffeeguy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:27 pm

I agree wholeheartedly that Linda Rose's comments are disgraceful, and that the last thing foreign retirees ought to be doing is abusing the medical system here.

As for the rest, there are no IMSS or SP "subsidies" for expat retirees. It's fine with me if Mexican officials promoting the country as a retirement destination for foreigners want to stop promoting access to the health care system, but that hasn't happened yet, as far as I know. There should be plenty of appeal in just pointing out that excellent care can be had paying out-of-pocket for a small fraction of U.S. costs.

Trailrunner the point about SP is that the "bottom line" here at Lakeside is specific to the area. In San Miguel the bottom line is SP is your first and best choice in the event of an emergency. IMHO any foreigner who isn't totally indigent who would avail themselves of their services for routine care, meds, etc. is the living definition of an "ugly American" and ought to be deported.

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Post by Trailrunner on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:03 pm

Si, coffeeguy. What a difference between here and SMA in terms of SP.
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Post by ferret on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:24 pm

Coffeguy,
So the S.P. Hospital is the newest in San Miguel. What is the status of the Hospital de la Fe? or the Hospital General?...updates would be appreciated.

IMHO, IMSS and Seguro Popular Insurance should be available to CITIZENS OF MEXICO. Everybody else should pay their going rates. Period.
Foreigners, especially we old farts, put an unrealistic burden on the system.
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Post by coffeeguy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:22 am

Hi ferret-

Mercifiully have only been to de la Fe up there and that just to see an ENT. It's very small but has the basics. Friends who've lived in SMA speak highly of it though they go to SP first in an emergency. I don't know the situation with Hospital General.

Your idea about IMSS and SP being available to citizens only would certainly provide the much-needed clarity. As to whether we old farts are putting an unrealistic burden on the system, that's an interesting question We all know people who've retired down here, paid into IMSS for a few years and then had surgery or end-of-life care that clearly costs an exponential multiple of the relative pittance in annual fees they paid during their short time in the country.

OTOH there are large numbers of us who've paid in for years with no intention of using the system except in case of emergency, paid out-of-pocket for care as needed and either will never use the system or have been excluded without cause after years of paying in with no use. This of course doesn't take into account those with private insurance, snowbirds with travel insurance, etc. Are there really enough expats in Mexico using IMSS or SP to really be a burden on the system, on balance, when one looks at usage vs. premiums paid? I have no idea and neither does anyone else, as far as I know.

It's up to Mexico to decide whether including foreigners in its health insurance system in some form at part of its strategy to attrect retirees/gringo dollars makes sense. Clarity would be much better than the current ambivalence. Unmentioned in any of this discussion - and I am not offering this as an excuse for foreigners gaming the Mexican system - is that the burden on the U.S. health care system from Mexican immigrants with no insurance using ER's and the like surely is exponentially greater than any toll we old farts place on the system down here.

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Post by Parker on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:43 am

coffeeguy wrote:Hi ferret-

Mercifiully have only been to de la Fe up there and that just to see an ENT. It's very small but has the basics. Friends who've lived in SMA speak highly of it though they go to SP first in an emergency. I don't know the situation with Hospital General.

Your idea about IMSS and SP being available to citizens only would certainly provide the much-needed clarity. As to whether we old farts are putting an unrealistic burden on the system, that's an interesting question We all know people who've retired down here, paid into IMSS for a few years and then had surgery or end-of-life care that clearly costs an exponential multiple of the relative pittance in annual fees they paid during their short time in the country.

OTOH there are large numbers of us who've paid in for years with no intention of using the system except in case of emergency, paid out-of-pocket for care as needed and either will never use the system or have been excluded without cause after years of paying in with no use. This of course doesn't take into account those with private insurance, snowbirds with travel insurance, etc. Are there really enough expats in Mexico using IMSS or SP to really be a burden on the system, on balance, when one looks at usage vs. premiums paid? I have no idea and neither does anyone else, as far as I know.

It's up to Mexico to decide whether including foreigners in its health insurance system in some form at part of its strategy to attrect retirees/gringo dollars makes sense. Clarity would be much better than the current ambivalence. Unmentioned in any of this discussion - and I am not offering this as an excuse for foreigners gaming the Mexican system - is that the burden on the U.S. health care system from Mexican immigrants with no insurance using ER's and the like surely is exponentially greater than any toll we old farts place on the system down here.

IMO, Very well presented. Thank You.

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Post by solajijic on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:58 am

Lets think about this usage in budget terms. Each of these IMSS and SP hospitals have yearly budgets. They manage the care they give within the budget they have so if expats, older by percentage, require significantly expensive procedures that does mean that there are not resources available for others.

When this comes up I am always reminded of 9 or10 years ago when many here thought they had found the perfect and reasonable private health insurance only to be told by the big company a couple years later that everyone i this geographic area had been cancelled because the aggregate expense of the demographic was impossible to service with reasonable premiums.





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Post by ferret on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:21 pm

Coffeeguy and Solajijic...both sides well presented.
I tend to lean towards Solajijic's summary although I sympathize with those who paid and then were cancelled. Do not muddy the waters throwing in hospital care for illegals in the U.S....we are talking legal immigration here. OTOH, you could be paying more for your vegetables in the U.S. if illegals weren't picking them. Catch 22. And don't tell me that some HMO's in the U.S. haven't cancelled people's insurance after they paid into it for years because, now, they actually needed it.
Whatever happens, some authority (in Mexico) didn't do their homework or any projections. It's not just the hospital care, it's the cost of medications which many of us are taking.
It is now easier than ever to become a permanent resident and then a citizen. It used to be a 10 year process. Or, IMSS and Seguro Popular could simply not accept anyone over a certain age for obvious reasons.
Don't know the answers...do know that it's a problem.
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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:25 pm

Canada offers free (very low monthly fee) health-care to all immigrants including Mexicans who immigrate there. I have no problem with a reciprocal deal.
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Post by joec on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:29 pm

CanuckBob wrote:Canada offers free (very low monthly fee) health-care to all immigrants including Mexicans who immigrate there. I have no problem with a reciprocal deal.

What is low cost monthly?

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:32 pm

In most cases the medical is paid by the employer. If not, it is based on what you make. Anywhere from $11 to about $75 per month.
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Post by joec on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:36 pm

CanuckBob wrote:In most cases the medical is paid by the employer. If not, it is based on what you make. Anywhere from $11 to about $75 per month.

That's a giveaway price. if it covers everything.

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Post by ferret on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:56 pm

CanuckBob wrote:Canada offers free (very low monthly fee) health-care to all immigrants including Mexicans who immigrate there. I have no problem with a reciprocal deal.

I think the difference is that those who are immigrating to Canada are younger and WORKING and contributing via taxes. Their employers are contributing via the Employee Health Tax in Ontario. I know it's different in other provinces.
You show me a person RETIRING to Canada for their golden years and I'll show you a nutcase. ;)
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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:21 pm

I totally disagree, you need to come to Vancouver and see all the aged Indian and Chinese immigrants that are brought over by the families. Far more than Canadian expats in Mexico. Many of them collect welfare and immigration assistance too. Things must be very different in Ontario.
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Post by gringal on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:22 pm

LOL. I thought about retiring to the Sunshine Coast and later thought better of it. More sunshine here.

The unfortunate thing about retirees and the Mexican health insurance is that the arriving group of expats are in an age group heading for their sickest years. Plus, the average 65 plus person is on at least 5 prescription drugs for various conditions. Insurance only works well if the mix is young and healthy mixed in with older people.

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:33 pm

Well I am sure Mexico has enough young and healthy ones to support a few thousand old fart ex-pats (or at least the ones that sign up for IMSS or SP). Besides, most of the expats are putting a lot into the economy through other avenues.
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Post by gringal on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:45 pm

Yes, but: in a private or even a Canadian style insurance situation, everybody pays, which is where demographics enter the picture. In the case of us older expats, some use the Mexican care and don't pay enough to justify being in the system. We are simply being greedy if we pop in to get our drugs and see the docs for every thing that comes up, unless we are indeed among the poor. Most of us can well afford the very inexpensive visits to our local docs.


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Post by David on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:42 pm

There are, according to the last census, less than 700,000 Americans and Canadians in Mexico. The population of Mexico is 116 million or .6% are from the US and Canada. Even if ALL of those northern foreigners were using IMSS and SP it's doubtful that the system would be overwhelmed. Seriously, there are fewer than 10,000 foreigners of all nationalities residing in the greater Guadalajara area (including Lakeside) do you really think that those that use IMSS or SP locally are going to unfairly burden the systems? I would say that more than 66% of the foreigners that we know here have private health insurance. I have no guess concerning the % that have or use IMSS or SP.
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Post by gringal on Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:03 pm

The point was that it's disgusting for expats who can afford their own medical care, be it insurance or out of pocket, to take advantage of the "freebies"available.....just because they can.

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:05 pm

I don't have either IMSS or SP however coming from a country that offers all it's immigrants very low cost health-care I would have no problem signing up for IMSS (which is something you have to pay into similar to Canada) but probably not SP as I believe that one is for Mexico's truly poor.

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