Like many expats in Costa Rica, we don’t have private health insurance. It is next to impossible to find private coverage for folks over 70 years of age or that doesn’t exclude preexisting conditions. And affordability is another factor for us with annual plans in the thousands for the two of us. We rely mostly on the Caja for our healthcare needs and, when necessary, see private doctors as well. But what if something big happened? We liked the idea of having something else to keep private healthcare affordable.
Several months back, one of our readers told us about a new program, called MediSmart, which he had just joined. Turns out it is offered through Hospital Metropolitano in San Jose, one of the hospitals on our healthcare tour. We knew from visiting there on our tour that Hospital Metropolitano has much lower prices for many procedures than most of the other private hospitals. They are a smaller hospital, just 8 hospital rooms, so they can focus on personalized service. Plus, our friend recently had inpatient surgery there and had a wonderful experience. So we decided to check out their Medismart plan to see if it would work for us.
MediSmart is basically a discount plan, offering 40% to 80% off of everything from appointments with specialists like dermatologists and gynecologists to X-Rays, lab work, and even hospital rooms and operating room time. There are no exclusions for age or pre-existing conditions. The best thing is the cost. For a single person, the cost is $10 per month. For a couple, the second person adds $5 for a total of $15 per month. And if you pay for a year in advance, like we did, you get 2 months free. So, for two people, that’s $150 per year to participate in the plan. Pro-rated, that comes to just $12.50 for the both of us to be enrolled in the plan. Our first visit will be with a dermatologist, at 60% off the normal fee, so paying ¢18,000 colones (about $33 USD) instead of ¢45,000 colones, a savings of about $50 USD.
You can sign up for MediSmart right in the lobby of Hospital Metropolitano. More details about the plan are in the graphic below (click to enlarge). If you speak Spanish, you can also call Kerly Ramirez, the MediSmart Sales Executive, at +1 506 8718-3305 with any questions. You can also visit their website (Spanish only) for more details.
- Our June 2016 Costa Rica Cost of Living
- Healthcare in Costa Rica: From the Public System to the Private-Our Story, by Bob & Linda Beavis