Costa Rica Health Insurance for Foreigners and Expatriates
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health insurance in costa rica
There are several health insurance plans available for foreigners living in Costa Rica. A global medical plan offers several benefits, the most important being medical care anywhere in the world, even in your home country. You will also have access to a wider range of private health centers with shorter waiting periods. In short, you have access to the best quality care and services to cover your costs should you be injured or ill.
Reading: How much does travel health insurance cost for costa rica
best health insurance for expats living in costa rica
for all nationalities, from any country, cigna global is our most popular plan.
cigna’s global health plan is a comprehensive, annually renewable plan if you’re looking for Costa Rican expat health insurance. This plan provides three plan designs, one with unlimited coverage, is renewable annually, and includes coverage for doctor’s office visits, prescription drugs, maternity, surgery, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, lab work, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, etc. . cover you worldwide, and you can choose to include or exclude the us. uu. in the coverage.
best health insurance for US citizens living in Costa Rica
If you are looking for health insurance for US citizens living in Costa Rica, the geoblue xplorer global plan is an excellent option. This top-tier coverage offers comprehensive benefits, a network of top-tier doctors around the world, and access to America’s Blue Cross Blue Shield network of doctors and hospitals.
more options: a list of the best international health insurance companies
best insurance for students in costa rica
International students in Costa Rica have a few coverage options while they are there. You can review travel visa insurance requirements and show proof of international student insurance plans for more information. WorldTrips (formerly Tokyo Marine HCC) Secure Student Plan is an excellent option for most students studying abroad.
health insurance in costa rica: an overview
For a small country, Costa Rica is mighty when it comes to healthcare. Costa Rica’s universal health insurance program routinely ranks in the top 25% of the best health care systems in the world. In addition, it is considered to have the best public health program in all of Latin America. Add in the beautiful countryside, gorgeous weather, and easy connections to North and South America and it’s easy to see why foreigners who live in Costa Rica love it. For added peace of mind, make sure you have Costa Rica health insurance to take care of you in case you need care.
things you should know when considering insurance to live in costa rica
We are often asked: can I get health insurance in Costa Rica? Private health insurance is an important tool for all foreigners living in Costa Rica. residency documents can take up to 18 months to process. you cannot be part of the Costa Rican health system until you have your papers. it’s important to have your own independent coverage while you wait.
As you research expat insurance plans in Costa Rica, you may hear expats also talk about discount health plans. The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but health insurance plans and discount health plans are completely different things.
Many doctors who work in the Costa Rican public health system have their own part-time private practices. Since the public health system does not cover private practice visits, there is a cost associated with these visits. A health discount plan is an economical tool that allows patients without insurance or other private insurance coverage to plan their Costa Rican private health care costs.
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You get a certain number of discounted appointments, blood work and x-rays each year for a monthly fee. For patients who don’t have private insurance policies but still take advantage of private facilities, a discount plan can help them plan for their medical costs.
how much does health insurance cost in costa rica
The price of international health insurance plans in Costa Rica will vary based on a number of factors: your age, the benefits you select, deductibles, and other minor factors. the cost of health insurance can start as low as $100 per month and go up from there. the most expensive plans will cost up to $1,000 per month with comprehensive benefits and no deductibles. The average cost of an international health insurance policy in Costa Rica is $200 to $500 per month or $3,000 to $6,000 per year.
- For a 30-year-old living in Costa Rica, costs range from a minimum of $120 to $887 per month with Cigna’s global plan.
- A global health insurance plan from img costs between $93 and $465 per month, including coverage in the US. uu. if you wish.
- this price includes coverage in usa. USA, Costa Rica and the rest of the world.
- if you exclude medical care in the us. In the US, an img global medical plan costs between $42 per month (for catastrophic coverage) and $374 per month.
- clinica san miguel 250 meters west of the juan santamaría museum. avenida 3, calle 6 y 8, alajuela, costa rica contact: +506 2442-5958
- santa ritaav clinic. 8, gonzález lahmann, san jose, costa rica (near the supreme court) contact: +506 2221-6433 / 2255-1618
- clinica unibe200 meters east of ice, san jose, tibás, costa rica contact: +506 2297-6300
- Cimaautopista Próspero Fernández Hospital, San José, San Rafael, Costa Rica Contact: +506 2208-1000
- hospital clinica biblica av. 14, Labyrinth, San Jose, Costa Rica Contact: +506 2522 1000
- hospital metropolitanomerced, province of san jose, san jose, costa rica contact: +506 2521 9595
- jerusalem christian hospital 218 jerusalem hospital, el alto de guadalupe, 2nd floor office #1 guadalupe san jose cr, san jose, 10801, costa rica contact: +506 2216 9191
- hospital hotel la catolica pilar jimenez, province of san jose, guadalupe, costa rica contact: +506 2246 3000
coverage in costa rica but excluding coverage in the united states will save you money.
Local plans, if eligible, will be less expensive. These plans will also be more limited in the number and variety of doctors and hospitals you will have access to. local plans generally do not cover benefits outside of costa rica.
overview of the national health system of costa rica
Universal health insurance and social security have been part of Costa Rican society since the 1940s. The system is often referred to as “la caja”. This is an abbreviated form of “Costa Rican Social Security Fund” or “CCSS”. The Costa Rican Social Security Fund is funded primarily through payroll taxes based on individual income. this generally amounts to 7% – 11%.
in addition to the box, there are also “ins”. this is short for “national insurance institute”. It is a form of private health plan administered by the Costa Rican government. ins coverage includes dental work, optometry, and annual checkups. It also deals with the coverage of visits to hospitals and private clinics. the government makes ongoing investments in both systems, paying for new private hospitals, new equipment, and hired staff.
pros and cons of using the local health insurance system
Costa Rica’s public medical program, La Caja, is popular and well-regarded for good reason. costs are low and the system is well managed. there is a strong emphasis on preventive care and community wellness.
Expats and Costa Ricans alike often choose to use a combination of public and private insurance programs. Certain procedures and treatments may have long waiting times in the public system. Fortunately, the public and private systems work well together. for example, patients can have imaging done at a private facility to avoid long wait times. the results can be sent to your public doctor for follow-up. and since the box system covers prescriptions, private doctors will write prescriptions for box pharmacies so patients can save money.
how expats living in costa rica can qualify for health insurance
All legal citizens and those with residency papers are part of the Costa Rican public health insurance system. Note that there is a difference between simply residing in the country and having residency documents. you have to be a legal resident in a residence program as a pensioner or annuitant. North American “snowbirds” who fly south for a few months each winter to escape the cold might think they live part-time in the country. however, that does not mean they are eligible for residency. Like all visitors, they are only eligible for limited emergency care at a Costa Rican public hospital if they cannot afford to pay.
even if you are safe, you will be using private insurance all the time, being part of the box system is not optional. since 2010, it is mandatory for all residence applicants to join the fund system. and that’s not a bad thing. Being part of the public system gives foreigners flexibility and options. for example, there are no fees associated with emergency room visits at public hospitals. however, some Costa Rican private hospitals want large cash payments up front just to get admitted.
what you need to know about processes
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As all international citizens know, the first step in any process abroad is the paperwork! In Costa Rica, that means registering at the nearest regional government office. they will want to see proof of your residency status. They will then direct you to your nearest local clinic, known as ebais. you will have to register with them too! but the steps are worth it, as they issue you your “carnet”, which works similarly to an insurance card.
how routine medical visits work
For many Costa Ricans and long-term residents, a routine medical visit doesn’t start with a doctor at all. in non-emergency situations, they simply visit the neighborhood pharmacy. In Costa Rica, pharmacists are often called “Doctora” and are accorded a high level of respect. they are authorized to consult with patients and make recommendations. if they suspect an underlying emergency or recommend a non-drug form of treatment, they will tell you where to go.
For day-to-day medical care, small community clinics, known as ebais, handle most non-emergency situations. many ebais clinics have a system for booking appointments online. For those who don’t, dating is done the old-fashioned way. you have to get up early and stand in line!
costa rica is a rare country where house calls are still a big part of the medical system. teams from the ebais go to different houses in the community to care for people who need medical treatment. These are comprehensive visits that include everything from reviewing the patient’s vaccination record to evaluating the health status of your pets. preventive care is everything in costa rica!
how to find a Costa Rican family doctor
In Costa Rica, the doctor finds you! all are assigned to a local clinic based on geographic location. At your clinic, you’ll likely see the same doctor for most visits, but other doctors may fill in from time to time.
hospitals that accept health insurance in costa rica
read: hospitals in costa rica for expatriates and foreigners
recommended global health insurance plans for foreigners in costa rica
Below are three of the most popular plans that offer coverage to foreigners, expats and retirees living in Costa Rica. each has different costs, benefits, and plan designs. once you request a plan, we’ll send you a quote along with a comparison of the other plans that best fit your needs, budget, and circumstances.
travel insurance to costa rica
If you are just visiting Costa Rica, you must have a travel medical insurance plan. these plans are strongly recommended to cover basic emergencies along with medical evacuations, trip interruption and other emergencies.
Before you arrive in Costa Rica, you’ll want to look at your Costa Rican travel insurance options and shop for coverage based on your needs. Some considerations include:
- Does your travel insurance plan meet Costa Rican requirements for travelers?
- Will you participate in any adventure sports activities?
- Will you be visiting for a week or several months?
coverage required for US citizens traveling to Costa Rica
For us citizens who visit Costa Rica, the safe travels voyager plan will be your best option.
for non-US citizens, coverage for international citizens visiting Costa Rica
the safe travels voyager international plan will cover all other nationalities visiting costa rica. the plan will cover covid-19 and meets the requirements for entry to costa rica. you can request a quote online.
- Global Medical Plans: Overview
- Costa Rican Ministry of Health
- world health organization: costa rica
- Costa Rican health system
- travel insurance for visitors to costa rica