One of the most misunderstood considerations that puzzle many gringos as they ponder a life south-of-the-border is the health-care options. What happens if I break my ankle on one of those damn charming cobblestones? Or a coconut drops on my head (you’re probably dead) while swinging in my hammock, or my gastrointestinal tract slips its track? Do I have to evacuate to Phoenix or, if I don’t, does the local medic have any semblance of a license to practice medicine…on humans? And will he speak English, ‘cause I sure as hell don’t speak Mexican?
The fact is that if you are one of the 40 million Americans who have no health insurance at home, you will be much better off in Mexico, and if you do have insurance at home, you still might be better off in Mexico. (I can’t speak to the Canadian situation, eh?).
So, can’t I just use my Medicare benefits that I’ve paid into for 40 years? No, not in Mexico…not yet. There are studies now being conducted to figure out a viable way to integrate Medicare into Mexico, and as the number of Americans moving to Mexico increases, it should happen in the future. To do so would not only benefit the recipients, but would also decrease the costs to the U.S. government, as services are a fraction of the U.S. amount in Mexico. (see this web site for more info: http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~healthp/index.html.
With the number of North Americans (I know, Mexico is in North America, but here I refer to Americans and Canadians) moving to Mexico expected to skyrocket in the coming boomer-retirement years, there is a clear need for a consistent, easy-to-accomplish portability program for medical insurance. I expect this to happen in the near-future, but the feds are going to need to get involved to make it happen on a wide-scale. Already, there are U.S. companies that operate near the border on the north side who are covering their employees to have their medical care on the Mexican side…because it saves them a lot of money. It’s a great idea, and clearly illustrates the absurdity of the escalating costs on the north side, where a family of four, those who can afford it, can easily expect to spend over $1,000 a month for medical and dental coverage. Mexico, for the most part, provides care as good, and some people I know will say better, than the U.S. Many of Mexican doctors have been trained in North America and Europe and the system is designed to provide personal care, and not perpetuate the for-obscene-profit health-care corporatocracy that we have become. Health care costs have far out-paced inflation in our country as care has rapidly declined. There are many reasons why a person would not consider moving to Mexico, but fear of inadequate health services should not be one of them.