Understand the differences before making a decision on your EXPAT healthcare insurance
There is much confusion when it comes to private healthcare insurance for Americans and Canadians living in Mexico. Should you buy an EXPAT healthcare insurance plan through a U.S. insurance company or are you better off purchasing one from a Mexico based provider? How do they work? What do you need to know before making an informed decision? Mexican healthcare insurance plans operate quite differently than expat healthcare plans and here are the 5 important differences between US EXPAT healthcare insurance and private Mexican plans:
#1 – U.S. Deductibles are ANNUAL
Mexican insurance deductibles are applied to each TYPE OF MEDICAL ISSUE instead of one ANNUAL DEDUCTIBLE as with a U.S. insurer. So, with an EXPAT healthcare insurance plan, if you have a heart issue and then later get a broken hip, you would pay the deductible at the first event and not again for the second incident or any others that happen within that same policy year. With the Mexican insurer, they require you to pay the deductible for each type of incident… so, in our example, with the heart event AND then again with the broken hip.
#2 – Paperwork with a Mexico insurer will need to be completed in SPANISH
… and most of your dealings with the insurer will need to be done in Spanish. With the U.S. insurers, they can provide Spanish forms for the doctors to complete if needed but you will always be dealing in ENGLISH with the head office. They also have bilingual staff that will deal directly with the hospitals when needed.
#3 – Renewals are NOT guaranteed with a Mexican insurer
… and they can decide to drop you based on your usage. Each year they review your claims history and can cancel your policy if they wish. The U.S. insurers provide guaranteed renewal for life no matter how many claims you have.
#4 – There is NO MAX AGE limit for your plan with a U.S. company.
As long as you opted into an EXPAT healthcare insurance plan by age 74 and pay the premiums as required, your coverage will continue for your lifetime. Some Mexican plans have maximum age limits of 75 and you must apply prior to age 65!
#5 – Worldwide coverage.
EXPAT healthcare insurance plans purchased through a U.S.-based insurer are sold in US dollars and will cover you WORLDWIDE (you can opt to EXCLUDE the USA). So this means that when you go on that Bahamas cruise or exploring through Thailand, you will already be protected with your EXPAT plan. Private Mexican insurance only covers your healthcare while you’re in Mexico.
The best practice when looking to purchase any kind of insurance product is to ask trusted friends what their experience has been and if they have a broker or agent they have confidence in will do the best for you.