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Author: Subject: IMSS or Seguro Popular for Ensenada
ZipLine
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[*] posted on 1-22-2016 at 11:30 AM
IMSS or Seguro Popular for Ensenada


Generally healthy full-timer in Ensenada area - will get USA MediCare this year, but want/need something to fill in on this side in case of emergency. Is there any advantage to IMSS or Seguro Popular - one versus the other?

I've read that it is more difficult to sign up for IMSS for the foreigners these days. Is that true?

Would appreciate some guidance also from anyone who has gone the process locally. My Spanish is not yet self-sufficient, so I am wondering about the difficulty of the sign up process also.

Thanks for any help.

Zippy

PS: I have been carrying a private policy down here, but it is getting expensive and if I can do most things with Medicare, I don't see that it is worth carrying it if I can get good emergency care locally if signed up for one of the local medical services.
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bajaguy
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[*] posted on 1-22-2016 at 02:16 PM


Signed up for Seguro Popular about two years ago at the hospital just north of MicroPlaza Wal-Mart ....the sign up desk at that time was in a little construction office trailer in front of the hospital.

Can't remember all of the requirements but think I needed proof of immigration status (RT or RP with your CURP number - FMM won't work) and a copy of a utility bill in my name showing Ensenada address....pretty simple, no fees or exam.....but I took a Mexican neighbor just in case I needed translation help.

Seguro Popular is good to have in your hip pocket, but if it is a real emergency I would rather go to Velmar or Cardio-Med for preliminary/stabilazation, then to Sharp in San Diego where I can use my medicare. You should also have a local (Ensenada) family practice doctor for small stuff.

And as always here in Mexico, YMMV

[Edited on 1-23-2016 by bajaguy]
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Bajahowodd
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[*] posted on 1-22-2016 at 06:07 PM


Back in the day, actually not so long ago, Velmar was the place that the feds took captured, injured drug criminals to.

I remember one time when all the streets were blocked off around the hospital because some high value drug guy was inside.

They have a very good reputation, and would be my #1 go to place in an emergency.
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[*] posted on 1-22-2016 at 06:32 PM


If Velmar is THAT good, then I bet they don't take IMSST or SP.

You REALLY have to research the hospitals that take these forms of Mex insurance and make sure you are comfortable having something in the middle ground (not major, not minor) done there.

I dont know your financial situation but I would rather pay, out of pocket, for even the minor stuff at a more upscale hospital than trust the ones that take those types of insurance. They are bottom of the barrel over here in Sonora. Maybe it is different over there.

Point in case. I was suffering from some significant upper chest pains about a month ago. Decided to call our local, donations-only, non-profit ambulance service to take me to the one good hospital in Guaymas; a Catholic hospital. So, I entered the emergency room on a gurney (you come through the lobby, LOL!) and was attended by two nurses and the doc on call. Explained my symptoms; he put me on an EKG, took blood pressure, full interview in Spanglish on what was going on. I was in there about 45 minutes. 400 pesos for the hospital visit and I donated another 400 pesos for the 20 minute ambulance ride to the hospital (the donation was worth every penny, seeing my wife on the ambulance 's bumper in the Jeep, passing cops and driving on the wrong side of the road!).

Turns out it was just a severe upper respiratory infection. Meds took it down.

My point is, make sure you are comfortable with the care at the places that take IMSSST and SP. If you can afford the small stuff at better places, do it.

I have world wide insurance that only covers the REALLY big things. Everything else is out of pocket.
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[*] posted on 1-22-2016 at 08:05 PM


Great thread!



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[*] posted on 1-22-2016 at 09:38 PM


Thanks all, good info for the future
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durrelllrobert
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[*] posted on 1-23-2016 at 09:19 AM


SP is great for minor emergencies, ailments, x-rays, ultrasound, etc. The EASIEST place to sign up and go for treatment is the clinic in maneadero, next to PEMEX station at 2nd signal light. If they can't handle your situation they will send you to the IMSST hospital in Ensenada via cruz Roja if necessary. Sign up and treatment is free to foreigners as well as Nationals but you will need a CURP number (same as US SS no) and proof of residence like a utility bill or a PR/ TR card.
Enter into building at far left, ignore all the people seated waiting to see their doctors and go directly to the SP window on left side near back to sign up.




Bob Durrell
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ZipLine
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[*] posted on 1-23-2016 at 01:52 PM


Thanks, all, for the good information.

Bob, thank you for that specific where to go info. Super helpful.

I am curious if there is a qualitative difference between the two health services if needing good care for a short period of time (and not able to get NOB.

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ZipLine
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[*] posted on 1-24-2016 at 06:10 AM


I have understood IMSS and Seguro Popular to be two different systems. IMSS with an annual fee and to be of higher quality care. SP to be free but hit and miss with very long waits for doctor visits.

Am I mistaken on that understanding?

For emergencies are they different in terms of quality? Emergencies are my only real concern.
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bajaguy
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[*] posted on 1-24-2016 at 06:47 AM
IMSS


http://www.mazinfo.com/infofiles/IMSS.htm
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[*] posted on 1-24-2016 at 09:38 AM


I do not want to get into a political discussion but it is necessary to understand what is going on. Before retirement I was a health insurance broker so I do understand how the system works. When the idea of Seguro Popular was brought up, it was a political solution to a problem of a large percentage of the population in Mexico not having any health insurance coverage. So they passed Seguro Popular and as with all great political ideas, they forgot to assess just what it was going to require to institute a program of that magnitude. So the idea was great, but the development and functioning of that idea has a very, very long way to go. (sound familiar?) So yes, in some situations you can get good service and treatment, but in most cases, it is long waits at the hospital to get to see whatever doctor is on duty and you get put somewhere in the very long line before seeing a doctor. You will have better luck when tests and labs are ordered because you will be sent to those places. Most of the time they are out of medicine so you end up going to the pharmacy and buying what you need. The cost varies by program and location from free to a fee on a sliding scale. It is still very reasonable if you end up paying. I think my last yearly was somewhere around $100 US but in Ensenada it is usually free for signing up.

IMSS is the program for government employees and there are cases I know where people have been able to sign up if their health is good. Here the care is a little better because it is for the government. You still go to the hospital, wait for the next available doctor, and then go from there. I have set for hours with a friend waiting to see the next doctor, but hey, I have done that with Kaiser Permanente as well in the emergency room.

The other option, is find a doctor you are comfortable with and establish a relationship. Pay out of pocket for whatever you need and be aware that from Ensenada it is easy to take the ambulance north to the border for a reasonable fee, and if you are covered by Medicare and a supplement, most times your transportation is a covered expense if your situation is life threatening or in danger to limb or body. They will coordinate with the US hospital and meet you at the border and the transfer will take place in secondary.
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ZipLine
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[*] posted on 1-24-2016 at 04:57 PM


Thanks again for the responses.

I don't intend to use Seguro Popular or IMSS for anything other than real emergencies. Not for regular care. I don't mind using local doctors that I already know for most care needs and I don't mind paying their modest fees.

MediCare can cover chronic or episodic health issues. Just want something to cover me is the issue is urgent and requires care before I head to the border.

[Edited on 1-24-2016 by ZipLine]
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