IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social)
IMSS is available to Temporary and Permanent Residents. Renewals are annual and fees may be as high as ~12000 pesos depending on one's age. Those with pre-existing conditions which may be as common as high blood pressure or high cholesterol are normally denied coverage at time of applying or later when one has a serious health issue. In some locations, when joining IMSS, applicants pay the membership fee and then they are required to take a medical. If denied coverage at the point, the annual fee is not refunded.
First year's coverage with IMSS is practically nil; second year's coverage is greater but full coverage is not until the third year.
Cedula - Professional Designation
A cedula is a professional license to practice. All attorneys, doctors, architects, accountants, engineers, notarios, dentists, nurses, chiropractors, etc must have one to legally practice. The law provides for penalties of up to six years in prison for foreigners that practice a profession without obtaining prior authorization / credentialing as per Article 250 of the penal code.
Mexico does have certifying boards for medical specialties. The cedula is a government issued document that certifies that the professional has completed proper studies for the licensure in the appropriate school. For doctors every one must have a cedula as a general practitioner and the doctors with specialties may have a second or even third cedula that certifies them legally for the practice of their specialty(s). However, that does not mean that a doctor is competent in what they do or claim to be specialized at.
Aside from the cedula there are certification Boards for every specialty in Mexico. This is a different kind of certification which requires not only that you have legal documents (cedula) but also requires a Board exam of knowledge and technical skill when it applies. Board certification needs to be re-established every 3 or 4 years to ensure that specialty doctors are up to date. In order to get re-certification a specialist needs to obtain a specified amount of points. Points are given for National and International congress meetings, conference attendance, publishing, teaching, and other educational or continuing education participations.
Last, board certification is mandatory to work in most private hospitals and to be part of other medical associations / staff. Hence, for a patient it is very important to know if their specialty is board certified and up to date. It is the only way to fight charlatans and fraud (doctors that say they are but they aren´t).
Boards in Mexico are known as "Consejos", like: "Consejo Mexicano de Medicina Interna", "Consejo Mexicano de Otorrinolaringología", "Consejo Mexicano de Cardiología", "Consejo Mexicano de Ortopedia", etc. And all databases may be accessed on line.
There are also expats including in San Miguel who will indicate they are professionals including Nurse Practitioner but have never proven their credentials in Mexico. And, they may not be certified in another country as anyone can print certificates. Once an expat is certified they apply at INM for permission to work. Some expats have bypassed this requirement as well.
So, the next time any one including an expat states they are a doctor, engineer, architect, lawyer, chiropractor, dentist or any other professional designation ask to see their cedula. Then check it on-line to ensure it is real. http://www.cedulaprofesional.sep.gob.mx/cedula/indexAvanzada.action
And if you know the Cedula number enter it here: http://www.buholegal.com/consultasep/
Public healthcare at INSABI and IMSS hospitals as described below varies widely. One program is not necessarily better than the other. INSABI (formerly Seguro Popular) in Mexico City is often very good and in some places much less so. In some cities such as San Miguel de Allende, INSABI has a large modern clinic and a hospital where as IMSS has no hospital and a dated clinic.
Doctors who work with these programs often have a private practice so to suggest the doctors are of lesser caliber is not true. Doctors who work with both private and public care do so for the low cost housing assistance, pensions and in some cases to provide care to those who may not otherwise afford their expertise. For many expats the best option is INSABI which has no fee and also for them to have private insurance with a high deductible for major illness. I work with very professional brokers for all types of insurance including long and short term health care, auto, property, medical evacuation. Please contact me if interested.
Farmacias Similares are found throughout Mexico and on Mondays there is a 25% discount. Prices are excellent. Often the generic medications they sell are made by the large pharmaceuticals and contrary to myths they are of high quality. Here is also an article regarding generic drugs in Mexico and reference to Farmacias Similares.
INSABI (Formerly Seguro Popular)
Anyone who has a CURP, meaning all Temporary and Permanent Residents may now have healthcare through what was Seguro Popular. It is now called the Institute of Health for Welfare (INSABI).
There is no fee. There is no sign-up. One needs a CURP page print out (not a MX state driver's license or something showing your CURP number) and photo ID, preferably Temporary or Permanent Resident visa. A citizen would normally provide a INE / IFE card. There is no membership; there is no age limit. You simply go to what was a Seguro Popular facility for health care wth the two documents I noted. To print out a CURP please go the page titled:"ETC."
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All of my services are available in Puerto Vallarta / Riviera Nayarit and San Miguel de Allende.
Please contact me for your health, life, auto, evacuation and property insurance.
Long Term Health Insurance for expats and nationals including COVID coverage.
Life Insurance for applicants under age 71. Once purchased it may not be cancelled regardless of age.
Short Term Medical Insurance for tourists
Medical Evacuation Insurance
Auto Insurance for Mexican registered cars
Auto Insurance for US & Canadian registered cars in Mexico
Auto Insurance for cars with UCD permit
Boat / Yacht Insurance
Homeowner's / Renter's Insurance