A Simmering Healthcare Crisis for Expats in Panama 5


A Simmering Healthcare Crisis for Expats

A Simmering Healthcare Crisis for Expats; photo from Best Places in the World to Retire

Linda Jensen at Best Places in the World to Retire has some excellent information on healthcare in Panama.  This is an article worth reading.

In Panama healthcare is much more affordable, over- all, than in the USA. Of this, I am fairly certain. On the other hand, there is a serious need for health care reform in the insurance industry serving Panama. Not all expats are wealthy, not all can afford the high deductibles, and up to $2,000 plus monthly premiums many insurance companies require here. Medicare would be great if it were allowed, but alas, not available, even with the more affordable costs of care, surgeries, hospital stays and the close political ties between Panama and the USA. If you are over 75 it is really difficult to afford additional insurance.

5 thoughts on “A Simmering Healthcare Crisis for Expats in Panama

  • Jackie Lange

    The title is very misleading. There is no crisis for expat healthcare. This person must not know where to find affordable health insurance. I pay $2100 a YEAR for international health insurance. No deductivle in Panama. Only a $1000 deductible for insurance outside of the country. I’m covered in the US too with that policy.

    If you want to reduce your costs in half, you can go with a Panama only version. This insurance is through United Healthcare. You can also get insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield. Or through the local hospitals.

    A visit to a local doctor is about $10 with no health insurance. If you go to the Social Security Hospital it is only $1.50 ( one dollar fifty cents)

    So where is this simmering healthcare crisis? With these prices, certainly not in Panama!

    Or you can always move to a country that has socialized medical care. it will cost less but you will need to wait forever to see a doctor.

    • JK Mikals Post author

      The title is the title of the original post (this article is a re-blog). I actually agree with you, Jackie. I find health care here quite good WITHOUT insurance. However, I have been blessed with excellent health and only see doctors for minor things. I’ve been told by several friends that without insurance, if you develop a serious problem (eg., cancer) that the hospital care available to you is “not totally wonderful.” Most expats without insurance that I’ve both spoken with and who have spent time in a hospital in Panama do not rate the experience high and found it a serious source of culture shock. For example, they were required to provide their own pillow, blanket, and toilet paper. Apparently the hospitals that folks with insurance attend provide these things.
      Since I have no personal experience of dealing with medical insurance here, I found this article interesting and reblogged it in the hope of raising some commentary and getting a few other opinions on the subject.
      Thanks for helping with that.

    • Pedasi Pundit

      Jackie
      You are very correct, however those of us with preexisting conditions and/or are older cannot find affordable healthcare insurance. Our lowest quote from several top companies and a couple of lower deck companies was $1750 PER MONTH, with a $5,000 deductible and no benefits for 2 years. Not affordable even if we had more income than SS. However we do use the local Salud and have had excellent care.

      • JK Mikals Post author

        Thanks for your input, P Pundit. It does support the author’s position. Anyone else with insurance experience? Please weigh in. People need to know about this.

      • JK Mikals Post author

        Thanks for your input, P Pundit. It does support the author’s position. Anyone else with insurance experience? Please weigh in. People need to know about this.

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