Do you Need Private Health Insurance in Mexico? [The Truth]

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Do you Need Private Health Insurance in Mexico
According to the International Monetary Fund, Mexico is one of the countries in the world with the highest GDP. The country holds the 15th position with $1.27. However, the country still has a small budget for the healthcare system. It only funds about 51% of the healthcare expenses and spends $1,154 on each person healthcare, the lowest value in the OECD.  Although the country is improving by the day, it remains incomparable to other OECD countries. The Mexican healthcare system remains to be unacceptable as per OECD standards. The system has failed to keep up with OECD terms of a certain number of practising doctors/ nurses per 1000 individuals. As a result, the country’s life expectancy is low, have high avoidable mortality rates, and increased chronic disease morbidity. Also, the world bank shows around 41.28% of Mexico’s healthcare costs are from out-of-pocket spending. However, on 1st January 2020, Mexico joined most countries globally by executing a universal healthcare system. This is a great step showing there are working to better the healthcare system.
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How Does Mexico’s Healthcare System Operate?

The country’s system has three levels the public at no cost, the public at a cost, and private. They all provide the same care under the public healthcare system.
  1. Public, At No Cost
Under this level, there is the Instituto Nacional de Salud para el Bienestar (INSABI). The offering came in after replacing Seguro Popular on 1st January 2020. Seguro Popular used to charge some fees and forced expatriates to go through a lengthy and hefty sign-up process. Nonetheless, since the introduction of INSABI, all medical services are provided at no cost and with no sign-up process. Thus, creating a standardized process where everyone can access health services. In addition, INSABI is an excellent choice for people who don’t get any social security support from the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) or Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE). Here is what INSABI covers:
  • Primary (general physician) and secondary (specialist) services at no cost. Tertiary healthcare (more specialized doctor) will attract a fee.
  • Any conditions and diseases.
  • Life-threatening and chronic diseases. E.g. HIV/AIDS and cancer.
  • Prescribed drugs.
  1. Public – At a Cost
Typically, this insurance coverage is for working persons. It depends on the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) and the Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE). IMSS  applies to individuals with jobs, while ISSSTE applies to those with a federal role. The employer processes these options. However, you can still get the IMSS plan if you are unemployed, retired, and self-employed. All you ought to do is pay the relevant expenses.
  1. Private Option
This level is mainly for expatriates and moneyed individuals. But according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), private facilities attract almost half of healthcare spending. This is probably because almost half of the hospitals are private institutions.

Why Do the Private Health Sector Attract More People?

There is a significant difference between what the Mexican government promises in the health facilities and their offerings. That’s why some people prefer going for private healthcare services. Here are more reasons behind seeking private healthcare services:
  • Some hospitals lack essential equipment and medication, and patients have to pay out-of-pocket.
  • Mexican public health hospitals are stuffed.
  • Private hospitals have modern equipment and technology for efficient treatment.
  • Private facilities offer timely and personalized treatment.

Private Insurance Plan Overview

You might want to supplement your public insurance with a private policy, or maybe you may wish to depend on private insurance solely. Here is what you ought to know about private health insurance in Mexico. Private plans offer more benefits than public insurance plans. It gives you the mandate to choose the level of care you want and how it is offered. Here is why one may prefer private insurance over public insurance:
  • You can easily access private healthcare providers and facilities.
  • Insurance coverage depends on your situation and lifestyle.
  • Plans depend on aspects such as age, plan level, and deductible you agree to pay in case of a claim.

Bottom Line

Mexico has and continues to struggle with its healthcare system. With the country being the 15th largest economy globally, it fails to serve its healthcare right, and more needs to be done. However, with a few steps the country is making, such as implementing universal healthcare, the country is undoubtedly striving to better the healthcare system. The Mexican public healthcare system has been harrowing in pain, leaving the counterpart, private health insurance, to lead in health matters. Public facilities are offering poor services, are overcrowded, and lack essential equipment. With that, this has led to people opting for private facilities and private insurance plans. Private insurance coverage plans remain the most preferred plans because they have modern equipment, timely services, and private access to facilities.