Published 18 November 09 03:04 PM
Suzan Haskins
Latin America Editor, International Living

Which foreign country will be the first in which Americans can use Medicare and Medicaid benefits?

Mexico, of course.

It just makes sense. Mexico is right next door to the largest market of health care consumers in the world. Some health services in Mexico can cost 12 times less than what is charged in the U.S., experts say.

It’s no wonder that Americans (and yes, Canadians, too) cross the Mexican border in frequently increasing numbers to avail of the high-quality but low-cost health care Mexico provides, including reduced cost prescriptions.

Already, the four largest commercial U.S. health insurers—with enrollments totaling nearly 100 million people—have either launched pilot programs exploring or offering overseas travel to countries like Mexico for health services. Some smaller health insurers and brokers also have introduced travel options for hundreds of employers around the country.

It also makes sense that Americans should be able to use insurance benefits from Medicare and Medicaid in Mexico. And that ability may become reality very soon, says Bruno Ferrari, the chief executive officer of Promexico, Mexico’s foreign investment agency.

And he believes that within one year, the governments of Mexico and the U.S. may have an agreement to let Americans use their Medicare and Medicaid insurance at Mexican health care facilities.

Already, 10 U.S. and Canadian companies have expressed an interest in building facilities to cater to Americans seeking to take advantage of low medical expenses, he says.

This is all good news for those of us who live in Mexico and for anyone thinking about relocating or retiring there.

Anticipating the approval of both U.S. private insurance and Medicare/Medicaid programs in Mexico, real estate developers are getting in on the act, too. Many of them are creating special communities that cater to the health needs of foreign retirees, including assisted living centers.

Since Mexico has been hard hit by the global economic meltdown, and the peso has recently lost 30% of its value against the dollar, there are deals to be had on real estate in Mexico right now. (And on travel and just about everything else).

Health care, health insurance, and real estate opportunities in Mexico will be just some of the subjects of discussion at our upcoming Live & Invest in Mexico Seminar in Puerto Vallarta November 12-14.

There are many reasons why today’s Mexico makes sense for the retiree or investor. There truly will never be a better time in your lifetime to start a new life in Mexico.


# Edward Wheeler said on November 23, 2009 11:23 AM:

I have some valuable information for whom ever is deciding bringing medicare to Mexico.

When my wife Carol and I moved to Mexico five years ago my wife had no medical insurance as with pre-existing medical problems the cost was very expensive. I decided to go with out insurance and use medical care in Mexico.

I would like to share my very, very positive experience with the medical care she received. She saw her own doctor regularly (30 minutes per visit). Was hospitalized twice stomach and life threatening neck surgery.

The surgeries as well as her doctor, Clemente H. Zuniga,is at Hospital Angeles in Tijuana. I beleive that facility would be worth looking into as a Health care group for Medicare. Please email me if you would like more information.

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