Retired And Looking For Affordable Health Care? These Five Countries Are Your Answer!
Despite being one of the best countries in the world, the USA can’t really boast of its healthcare system. Whether we are talking about affordable health care or just health care in general, the USA doesn’t feature in any of the top five lists. But do not despair! There are other countries that provide the best affordable health care. These countries are not as rich as the US, yet they have built a system that is definitely at par with the USA or even better. Despite having good health insurance, retired people often look for countries to settle down in where they can go for treatment without burning a hole in their pocket. So, here is a list of five countries that provide the best health care for less.
Who knew this small Central American country had nailed it in terms of health care? Expats living in Panama prefer to bear costs from out of pocket. But if you do opt for private insurance, it can cost as little as $80 a month for someone over the age of 65. For older people, hospitals often offer membership for $90 to $175 per month. Some hospitals even offer treatment for pre-existing conditions. Several big hospitals and clinics in Panama have tie-ups with well-known medical facilities in the USA, like John Hopkins Medical Center or Cleveland Clinic.
Closer to home, Mexico is known to have a health care system that not only provides good treatment options but does that at a fraction of costs if the same treatment options were availed in the USA. In fact, health care in Mexico is divided into private and public, both of which are definitely affordable and accessible. A couple of hundred dollars is all you need for the public health care system while private health care costs a little more. A visit to the doctor can cost you $30 to $40. Expats can also take private health care insurance.
Despite being one of the poorest countries in the continent of South America, Colombia has managed to get a better ranking than the USA in the overall health care rating. It ranks at 22, while the USA is at 37. Local residents over the age of 60 can apply for an insurance card from the government while expats can get coverage for a couple of treatment options at $70 to $85. Private health insurance is also available which will be slightly more pricey than the government insurance, but nonetheless, it won’t be as much as the sum one has to pay in the USA.
Most locals in Costa Rica combine both government-run health care as well as private health care system. They have a universal health care system called Caja which usually covers almost everything one might need for treatment – a doctor visit, diagnostic testing, prescription drugs, and more. It is pretty comprehensive and the best part is that one has to pay the insurance based on their monthly income — usually, it is about $75 to $150 per month. The only drawback of the whole system is that since everybody comes through the same system, there is usually a huge waiting time for major surgeries. The private system works well, too. Though the costs are higher than Caja, a doctor’s visit, for example, costs $50 and a USG scan costs about $75, but even then, the costs are lesser than those in the USA.
Surprisingly, Malaysia tops this list. It has made a huge name for itself in recent times for its medical expertise especially in the fields of cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, and dermatology. Malaysian doctors are all well-trained and in fact, most of them have degrees from foreign universities in the USA, Australia, and the UK, among others. Their foreign education has made them fluent in English which is a major perk for expats. It has been found that 11 medical institutions in Malaysia have been awarded a Joint Commissions International Certificate (JCI). This certificate is usually given to places with very high ratings.
So now you know where to go in case you can’t afford the USA’s astounding health care costs for a medical condition you may have. Another piece of good news is most of these countries won’t even require a visa for entry for US citizens. Medical tourism is on the rise. If you have taken retirement already and looking to travel, this is your chance. Combine travel with health and you will save in many ways!
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