The Caja is Costa Rica’s public health care system. The full name is the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS).
We were able to join the Caja after being in-country for 21 days. We had already submitted all of our residency paperwork and had the signed form which verified that fact. We joined in our town of San Ramon and were accepted, though at the time, others told us that in most other places in Costa Rica, one needed to have their residency card (“cedula”) in order to join. Our monthly payment was confirmed at 32,000 colones, about $64, per month. The monthly payment is based on the guaranteed monthly income statement that is part of the residency application.
Until now it has been the general understanding that you needed to be a citizen or legal resident of Costa Rica in order to join the Caja. However, recently we have met several individuals who are not legal residents but have been able to join. Like many things in Costa Rica, it may depend on the person waiting on you when you apply.